Sharing food photographs on social media: performative Xiaozi lifestyle in Young, middle-class Chinese urbanites’ WeChat ‘Moments’

Yuzhu (altman) Peng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sharing food photographs on social media is on the rise. This act has become increasingly popular in younger generation urban Chinese users’ everyday use of WeChat, the popular social media application. In this article, I argue that self-presentation provides an angle to understand aspects of young, middle-class urbanites’ food-photograph sharing. This article comprises an eight-month project, conducting netnographic research of 16 young, middle-class Chinese urbanites’ WeChat usage. Through the netnographic research, I discovered that, by displaying geotagged snapshots of food, these young urbanites disclose their everyday consumer experience in particular urban spaces. Aspects of this practice feed into these urbanites’ performance of Xiaozi tastes, facilitating the self-presentation of their class distinction. The outcomes of the research provide a glimpse into the interplay between post-reform consumerism, Xiaozi lifestyle, and social media usage in the urban, middle-class Chinese younger generation’s everyday lives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-287
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Identities
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Food photographs
  • WeChat
  • Xiaozi
  • middle-class
  • self-presentation
  • young urbanites

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