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Dining Out

  • By: Daphne Demetry & Gary Alan Fine
  • In: Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture
  • Edited by: Dale Southerton
  • Subject:Sociology of Consumption, Consumer Psychology, Consumer Culture

Dining out is a nuanced term; while many refer to it as frequenting a commercial establishment, namely, a restaurant, it can also be associated with eating out at a wedding reception, a school cafeteria, or the local coffee shop. Most individuals, however, define dining out as a separation from the domestic sphere, or home, and food being prepared by others with some sort of monetary payment involved. Whichever of these locations a person decides to eat at, the act of dining in the public sphere provides an effective case study of consumption in that it presents the commodification of individual desires. Current estimates suggest that in the United States, over 30 percent of all meals are consumed away from home, amounting to about 40 percent ...

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