In public debates, communication campaigns and public policies, it is increasingly common to attribute to consumers and their agency an ability to help solve a broad array of societal problems. This tendency is particularly clear in the field of food consumption, owing to the fact that food is both materially and symbolically central for consumers in everyday life as well as for large scale institutionalized dynamics. In order to shed light on the challenges facing food consumption, this volume takes an innovative theoretical approach, presenting four empirical Danish case studies which are compared with other analyses drawn from the wider international context. Consumption Challenged will appeal not only to sociologists of consumption, risk and the environment, but also to policy makers and researchers in the fields of geography, communication, media, governance and social psychology.
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; A field of challenged consumption; Analysing challenged consumption from a practice theoretical perspective; Dealing with environmental challenges; Dealing with food risk challenges; Dealing with challenges of cooking from scratch; Dealing with nutritional challenges; Concluding consumption challenged; References; Index.
Bente Halkier is Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies, Roskilde University, Denmark
This is a pioneering contribution to an important, largely neglected topic in consumption studies: media campaigns and debates which increasingly rely on the agency of ordinary consumers to solve serious social problems. Halkier’s empirical cases of food consumption reflect major modern concerns about the health of the human body and soul and its relation to the external world. Jukka Gronow, Uppsala University, Sweden 'Consumption is not only everyday routine - it is also a challenge. Consumer choices involve moral dilemmas and contradictions between utility, comfort and responsibility towards others and the environment. Consumers engage in political acts, sometimes consciously but often taking no explicit stand. This is an erudite treatment of theoretical issues involved in understanding consumer behavior, and gives firm empirical evidence on its revealing conclusions.' Pekka Sulkunen, University of Helsinki, Finland 'The book is both empirically and theoretically important, encouraging us to think past more individualised and rationalistic notions of challenging consumption and to set these behaviours in a social context - highly relevant to a consideration of individual versus public responsibilities.' Food Ethics