Book: Fabricating Authenticity
Chapter: Beyond Authenticity?
Building on McCutcheon’s analysis, Cuthbertson shows how the most interesting question is not whether a particular object or thing really is authentic or inauthentic but rather how and why and by whom it is designated as such. From food to theme parks he argues that authenticity claims depend on three related ideas: authority, origins and traditions. Authenticity is not the binary of authentic vs. inauthentic, but better thought of as a spectrum of social accomplishment that relies on the expectations and preferences of the people involved.