Thesis Defense Presentation: Johnny Boghossian

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 14:15to16:15
Bronfman Building Room 575, 1001 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3A 1G5, CA


Mr. Johnny Boghossian, a doctoral student at McGill University in the Strategy & Organization area will be presenting his thesis defence entitled:

Artisans of Authenticity: The Emergence and Growth of Markets for Artisan Cheese and Wine in Quebec

Date: Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Time: 2:15 pm
Location: Room 575, Bronfman Building


The process of new market emergence is a cultural phenomenon embedded in the market’s social environment. However, despite widespread recognition of the importance of this embeddedness, notions of place and community remain at the periphery of most studies. Interesting phenomena come into view when we focus specifically on the links between markets and the communities in which they develop. Surprisingly, even emergent markets, despite their novelty, may come to assume an air of antiquity and authenticity, as communities appropriate them as expressions of their collective identities and artifacts of local history. This thesis, which is based on three papers, extends current understanding of the process by which new markets are constructed and perceptions of authenticity are created, in particular the influence of regional identity therein. The first essay is based on a qualitative, comparative study of the artisanal cheese markets of Quebec and Ontario, and is based on 47 interviews conducted with actors across the industry. The primary findings of this study are the elaboration of the personal and regional forms of authenticity, with the former particularly meaningful to producers and the latter a source of support to producers from other market constituents. The second essay focuses on the Quebec context and is based on a qualitative study of archival materials. Whereas institutionalists have focused on the coercive and legitimizing roles of the state, I show that the state may also imbue markets with values and beliefs in pursuit of its own goals and interests, and thereby contribute to the construction of 'patriotic markets'. The third study is a statistical analysis of media accounts and organizational foundings in the emergent market for artisanal wines produced in Quebec. The primary finding is that regional identity affects audience attention, enabling the development of local markets despite the availability of higher quality alternatives.

Student Committee Chair:  Professor Robert David

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