Communicating Food Reform Through Instagram: A Grounded Theoretical Assessment of Dialogic Engagement on Jamie Oliver's 'Food Revolution' Instagram Account

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Virginia Tech

British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has been an active voice among those striving for food reform, directly influencing attitudes and behaviors among the culture of food around the world. Oliver's most recent campaign, Jamie's Food Revolution, can be considered one of his most successful attempts at influencing modern day food practices. The mission of the campaign is 'to create a strong sustainable movement to educate every child about food, inspire families to cook again and empower people everywhere to fight obesity' (Home Jamie's Food Revolution, n.d.). In addition to the campaign website, Jamie's Food Revolution campaign has a Facebook page, an Instagram page, a Twitter page, and a YouTube page, which are all used to contact with people around the world. The purpose of this thesis is to explore how the Instagram page, @foodrev, is used to post content that aligns with the mission and offers dialogic opportunities for publics to engage with the campaign through a grounded theory methodological approach and application of dialogic theory. More specifically, this thesis will: 1) highlight how the content of the @foodrev Instagram account represents the mission statement of Jamie's Food Revolution; 2) address whether the content posted to the Instagram account generates opportunities for dialogic engagement; 3)reveal whether the content posted to the Instagram account actually generates dialogic responses from other Instagram users; and4) reveal features of dialogic theory that transfer to social media, specifically Instagram, and what aspect of the platform provides dialogic affordances not already explained by dialogic theory.

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, Instagram, Dialogic Theory, Grounded Theory, Communication, Social Media