Presentation on theme: "Handy tins and fancy muck: Meanings of "convenience food" Libby Bishop ESDS Qualidata, University of Essex Changing Families, Changing Food Meeting University."— Presentation transcript:
Handy tins and fancy muck: Meanings of "convenience food" Libby Bishop ESDS Qualidata, University of Essex Changing Families, Changing Food Meeting University of Sheffield 15 March 2006
Why study convenience foods? One-third of home food spending-2003 A major cause of poor dietary health Essential for food retailing profitability Contribute to decline of family meal Class: luxury; equaliser; common; junk Gender: from home-made soup to fish fingers Challenging case for consumption theories Enabling factor in industrialisation of household production Justified with neoliberal choice
What is convenience food? Tins Frozen Processed Pre-processed Ready-to-cook Ready-to-eat Ready-chill …but what about: –Tinned tomatoes? –Oxo cubes? Bisto? –A frozen home-made casserole?
Theorising convenience (food) Not a proper meal (Murcott, et al.) Convenience vs. care (Warde) Decline in cooking skills (Lang) Time famines (Hochschild) Time-shifting (Warde) Expressions of agency and self- constitution (Valentine, Gofton) Structured choice (Bourdieu) Practice and choice (Jackson, et al.)
Secondary analysis Thus secondary analysis is not the analysis of pre-existing data; rather secondary analysis involves the process of re- contextualising data… [T]hrough recontextualisation, the order of the data has been transformed, thus secondary analysis is perhaps more usefully rendered as primary analysis of a different order of data. (Moore, 2005)
Preliminary research questions What attitudes are held about convenience foods? Is its use criticised? Why? Have these answers changed over time? Do attitudes vary with age, gender, class and race?
Spreadsheet on collections TitleEdwardiansMothers and Daughters Kitchen Secrets See handout
Mothers and Daughters questions Would you say that some people are naturally healthier than others? Do you have any sort of recipes that you have for keeping healthy? And any particular ideas for keeping children healthy?
Mothers and Daughters quotes and table See handout
Selected Edwardians questions on meals Did they buy any tinned or dried vegetables or fruit? What about tinned meat? Could you choose what you wanted to eat from what was cooked or did you have to eat a bit of everything? Did all the family sit at the table for the meal?
Edwardians quotes and table See handout
Next steps Historical comparison of Edwardians and 100 Families (choice, not tins) In-depth qualitative study of convenience as practiced, with observation of shopping and food preparation (as well as interviews)
Melissa, 30s, married with 4 year old son I have things in the cupboard I like. Like savory rice, packets of savory rice. I just love …. I could just sit and eat one of those, I love that kind of thing. For me, its convenience. I get home from work and I dont..… Im not a great cook anyway, so I just want something I can cook really easily. I dont see Kyle during the day. He comes home at night I have two hours with him before he goes to bed, and I dont wantto be honest with youI dont want to be preparing a meal when I could get something down me and then go and spend some time with him. As a family we do sort of have lots of convenience food. I do try and get away from it. I suppose I have staple things in my cupboard which just happen to be packets of savory rice and pasta and sauces.
LA, 30s, married, 2 children > 5, not doing paid work Theres still a huge part of our lives with ready prepared food…and I cant see that going to change for a while…I just cant see…because as the kids get older and [I?] get more time for me Ill probably end up working more…I cant see that suddenly Im going to have two hours every day…to create wonderful food…and I just think back and wonder how my Mum did it…I dont think she went out much…she didnt watch tell much…she didnt have hour long conversations on the phone with friends which I frequently have…I just think our lives are very different…Im in favour of it I think [emphasis added].