The Practice of the Meal: Food, Families and the Market Place, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Practice of the Meal

Food, Families and the Market Place, 1st Edition

Edited by Benedetta Cappellini, David Marshall, Elizabeth Parsons


252 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2016-04-05
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Reflecting a growing interest in consumption practices, and particularly relating to food, this cross disciplinary volume brings together diverse perspectives on our (often taken for granted) domestic mealtimes.

By unpacking the meal as a set of practices - acquisition, appropriation, appreciation and disposal - it shows the role of the market in such processes by looking at how consumers make sense of marketplace discourses, whether this is how brand discourses influence shopping habits, or how consumers interact with the various spaces of the market. Revealing food consumption through both material and symbolic aspects, and the role that marketplace institutions, discourses and places play in shaping, perpetuating or transforming them, this holistic approach reveals how consumer practices of ‘the meal’, and the attendant meaning-making processes which surround them, are shaped.

This wide-ranging collection will be of great interest to a wide range of scholars interested in marketing, consumer behaviour and food studies, as well as the sociology of both families and food.


'This welcome contribution to the marketing literature builds on three decades of social scientific research to provide an invaluable demonstration of the way producing a meal lies at the heart of an intricate and overlapping set of practices that are embedded in the food provisioning cycle that runs, time after time, from shop, to kitchen, to plate, to waste bin.' - Anne Murcott, Honorary Professorial Research Associate, SOAS University of London, UK

'This volume is a veritable smorgasbord of texts catering to those craving the intellectually savory, without neglecting those lusting after something sweet. Scholars with a gluttonous inclination might want to feast on the book in one setting, but I would probably recommend enjoying the chapters as tidbits from time to time, allowing plenty of time for digestion.' - Jacob Östberg, Professor, University of stockholm, Sweden

'This is by far the most creative and innovative group of papers on food I have read in many years. The authors mount a cohesive expedition into the terra incognita of the everyday meal, discovering and exploring important rich veins of consumer culture which have been hitherto neglected. Using advanced theoretical tools, they take us far beyond the comfortable fiction of the happy family dinner.' - Richard Wilk, Provost’s Professor of Anthropology, Indiana University, USA

Table of Contents

Preface 1. Introduction: The practice of the meal (David Marshall, Benedetta Cappellini and Elizabeth Parsons) Part I: Acquisition 2. Authentic Food and the Double Nature of Branding (Søren Askegaard, Dorthe Brogård Kristensen and Sofia Ulver-Sneistrup) 3. The Supermarket Revisited: Families shopping food (Malene Gram) 4. Working Your Way Down: Re-balancing Bourdieu’s capitals in times of need (Benedetta Cappellini, Alessandra Marilli and Elizabeth Parsons) 5. The Multi-Cultural Food Market: Grocery stores approaching foreign-born consumers in Sweden (Karin M. Ekström) Part II: Appropriation 6. Appropriation (Alice Julier) 7. Appropriating Bimby on the Internet: Perspectives on technology mediated meals by a virtual brand community (Monica Truninger) 8. The Digital Virtual Dimension of the Meal (Janice Denegri-Knott and Rebecca Jenkins) 9. Fraught Contexts and Mediated Culinary Practices: Ontological practices and politics (Paul Hewer) Part III: Appreciation 10. Consuming the Family and the Meal: Representations of the family meal in women's magazines over 60 years (David Marshall, Teresa Davis, Margaret Hogg,Tanja Schneider and Alan Petersen) 11. From Harmony to Disruption and Inability: On the embodiment of mothering and its consumption (Susanna Molander) 12. The Intersection of Family Dinners and High School Schedules in Urban China (Ann Veeck, Hongyan Yu, and Fang (Grace) Yu) 13. Meal Deviations: Children’s food socialisation and the practice of snacking (David Marshall) Part IV: Disposal 14. The Milk in the Sink: Waste, date labeling and food disposal (Carl Yngfalk) 15. The Quest for the Empty Fridge: Examining consumers’ mindful food disposition (Elina Närvänen, Nina Mesiranta, and Annilotta Hukkanen) 16. "Don’t Waste the Waste": Dumpster dinners among garbage gourmands (Marie Mourad and Alex Barnard) 17. Shit Happens: Excrement as fear of waste, and waste of fear (Robin Canniford and Alan Bradshaw) 18. Concluding Remarks (Benedetta Cappellini, David Marshall and Elizabeth Parsons)

About the Editors

Benedetta Cappellini is a lecturer in Marketing at the Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research interests are in food consumption, material culture and family consumption. She has published in Journal of Business Research, The Sociological Review, Consumption, Markets and Culture, Journal of Consumer Behaviour and Advances in Consumer Research. Her teaching interests are in consumer behaviour and marketing communication.

David Marshall is Professor of Marketing and Consumer Behaviour at the University of Edinburgh Business School. His primary research interests include research on food access and availability; consumer food choice and eating rituals; and children’s discretionary consumption in relation to food advertising and marketing. He edited Understanding Children as Consumers (2010) and Food Choice and the Consumer (1995) and has published in a number of academic journals including The Sociological Review, Journal of Marketing Management, Consumption, Markets and Culture, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, International Journal of Advertising and Marketing to Children (Young Consumers), Appetite, Food Quality and Preference, International Journal of Epidemiology, Journal of Human Nutrition.

Elizabeth Parsons is a Professor of Marketing at the University of Liverpool. Her research interests include: consumer culture, critical marketing, and gender, identity and subjectivity at work. Recent co-edited texts include: Branded Lives: The Production and Consumption of Meaning at Work (Edward Elgar) and Key Concepts in Critical Management Studies (Sage). She is also co-editor of the journal Marketing Theory.

About the Series

Routledge Interpretive Marketing Research

Recent years have witnessed an ‘interpretive turn’ in marketing and consumer research. Methodologies from the humanities are taking their place alongside those drawn from the traditional social sciences. Qualitative and literary modes of marketing discourse are growing in popularity. Art and aesthetics are increasingly firing the marketing imagination. This series brings together the most innovative work in the burgeoning interpretive marketing research tradition. It ranges across the methodological spectrum from grounded theory to personal introspection, covering all aspects of the postmodern marketing ‘mix’, from advertising to product development, and embracing marketing’s principal sub-disciplines.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Consumer Behavior
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Marketing / Research
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Marriage & Family
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Gender Studies