PhD Candidate James Lannigan on Context and discourse in the specialty coffee scene

Ph.D. Candidate James Lannigan has published an article in The International Journal of Information Management. The article, entitled, “Making space for taste: Structure and discourse in the specialty coffee scene,” compares discourses employed in-person and on social media platforms of four specialty coffee events in Canada. Lannigan argues that there are significant discourses to be found in-person and online, and emphasizes the importance of the context of interaction. These consequences illustrate the complexity of communicating subtle, sensory-based messages in different contexts.

James Lannigan is currently conducting dissertation research on entrepreneurial networks, and examining how individuals, retailers, and institutions use social media.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available through ScienceDirect here.

Lannigan, James. In press. “Making a space for taste: Structure and discourse in the specialty coffee scene.” International Journal of Information Management.

Connoisseur consumption is continuing to grow in popularity, with more niche retailers and specialty firms servicing increasingly discerning consumers. Despite the wealth of consumer data from social media platforms, there has been little empirical focus on how consumers make sense of their experiences after interacting with cultural interlocutors from niche industries with highly specialized knowledge. In order to scrutinize the process of distinction making in practice and reception, this study employs a mixed methods approach to triangulate the production, reception, and practice of taste-making at four coffee fairs held in Toronto, Ontario, and Hamilton, Ontario. Through ethnographic fieldwork, conventional content analysis, and a discourse network analysis of social media usage from attendees, this study finds that there are important contextual differences that affect which discourses are present in-person and appear online.