Crunch My Heart! It Falls for You: Carnal-Singularity and Chocolate Gift-Giving Across Language Contexts

Marjaana Mäkelä, Shona Bettany, Lorna Stevens

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter augments consumer culture theorizing around subject-object relations with a feminist intervention into how materiality is conceptualized. It introduces the material-semiotic concept of carnal-singularity, drawing on the work about singularity in consumer culture research (Epp and Price 2010; Belk and Coon 1993; Kopytoff 1986) to recover the body as a significant materiality in analyses of object agency in the context of chocolate gift-giving. Materiality and chocolate has a long, complex, and interesting history, and chocolate is inextricably semiotically linked with carnality. We develop that understanding by exploring the processes by which the body of the woman (gifter or recipient) imbues the chocolate, in order to enhance our understanding of the giving and consumption of chocolate. This process is re-conceptualized as the carnal-singularity of chocolate. By using online data in three languages, French, Finnish, and English, we demonstrate how the carnal-singularity of chocolate shifts across language contexts, and how this reflects gendered and sexualized cultural and societal structures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGifts, Romance, and Consumer Culture
EditorsYuko Minowa, Russell W. Belk
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781351385053, 9781315144658
ISBN (Print)9781138500709
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRoutledge Interpretive Marketing Research


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