1st Edition

What is Food? Researching a Topic with Many Meanings

    204 Pages
    by Routledge

    204 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume brings together contributions that provide a snapshot of current food research. What is Food? acknowledges the many dimensions of food, including its social, cultural, symbolic and sensual qualities, while also being material in that it is fundamental to our survival.

    The collection addresses contemporary challenges and reflects the concerns of funders and researchers working in the broad field of the sociology of food: dietary health, sustainability, food safety and food poverty. Reflecting broader academic trends, the chapters are moreover concerned with interdisciplinarity, the analysis of change, data reuse and the use of social media as data. The book includes empirical evidence from around the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan and addresses food both as a lens through which to examine these wider social relationships, processes and social change and as a primary subject.

    The contributions will be of interest to a wide range of students and researchers looking for a cutting-edge insight into how to frame and study food in areas related to the sociology of food, health, risk, poverty, sustainability and research methods.

    Introduction  Part 1: Studying Food  1. Revisiting ‘Eating Out’ – Understanding 20 Years of Change in the Practice in Three English Cities  2. Food Poverty in Context: Parental Sacrifice and Children’s Experiences in Low-Income Families in the UK  3. From Practices to Volumes, from Meaning to Nutrients: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Healthy and Sustainable Food Consumption  4. Traditional or Cultural Relativist School Meals? The Construction of Religiously Sanctioned School Meals on Social Media  Part 2: Changes and Challenges  5. ‘I Wouldn’t Delve into It Too Much’: Public Concerns (or not) About the Contemporary UK Food Supply System  6. Eating Less Meat ‘to Save the Planet’: Studying the Development of Sustainable Healthy Eating Advice in the UK and Denmark  7. Healthy Eating, Social Class and Ethnicity: Exploring the Food Practices of South Asian Mothers  8. The Original Taste of Real Food: The Discursive Formation of Taiwan’s Food Education  9 ‘We Need to Survive’: Integrating Social Enterprises Within Community Food Initiatives


    Ulla Gustafsson is Principal Lecturer in Sociology in Department of Sociology, University of Roehampton. She has published work on school meals in the UK, and her research interests include young people’s food practices.

    Rebecca O’Connell is Reader in the Sociology of Food and Families, Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education. She is co-author, with Julia Brannen, of Food, Families, and Work (2016) and Principal Investigator of the European Research Council-funded study "Families and Food in Hard Times".

    Alizon Draper is Reader in Food and Public Health at the University of Westminster. She has a background in both social anthropology and human nutrition and has been involved in extensive research in the UK and internationally on many topics relating to food and nutrition.

    Andrea Tonner is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Marketing at the University of Strathclyde and Co-Convenor of the BSA Food Studies Group. Her research considers food marketplaces and how consumers negotiate food consumption for health and well-being.