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The practice of eating: counting time and money Alan Warde, University of Manchester Economic and Social Data Service, ESRC Social Science Week 2007, All.

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Presentation on theme: "The practice of eating: counting time and money Alan Warde, University of Manchester Economic and Social Data Service, ESRC Social Science Week 2007, All."— Presentation transcript:

1 The practice of eating: counting time and money Alan Warde, University of Manchester Economic and Social Data Service, ESRC Social Science Week 2007, All Consuming: consumption research findings from government surveys, British Academy, 1 November 2007

2 Counting time and money Introduction Food and consumption Changing behaviour The analysis of practice: saying and doing Trust in Food: national differences The organization of eating Meals and the family Eating out Conclusion

3 2. Changing behaviour Four strategies for changing behaviour are commonly pursued. Strategies for change? lever for change collective regulationpersonal education homo economicusfinancial incentivesinformation (rational action) homo sociologicusprohibitionconversion (normative action) mode of individual action All have a part to play but not resoundingly successful because based on weak understanding of consumption and its dynamics.

4 A practice (Praktik) is a routinised type of behaviour which consists of several elements, interconnected to one another: forms of bodily activities, forms of mental activities, things and their use, a background knowledge in the form of understanding, know-how, states of emotion and motivational knowledge. Reckwitz A (2002) Toward a theory of social practices: a development in culturalist theorizing, European Journal of Social Theory, 5(2), 249

5 It is very safe to eat …. (per cent) Index 12 foods 20,718,819,431,531,235,850,8

6 Do you think that the conditions for (prices, quality, farming methods, health, safety) have improved, are more or less the same or have rather deteriorated over the last twenty years? ( > 1 – net improvement, < 1 – net deterioration)

7 Imagine a scandal with salmonella in chicken, would the following actors … tell the whole truth? (per cent) Super- markets Authorities Experts

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9 Diffusion of the culture of consumption Time use and expenditure patterns in five countries between 1971 and France, USA, UK, Norway, Netherlands Three practices: eating, reading, travelling Eating inc. visiting, entertaining, eating at home and eating out With Southerton, Olsen and Cheng. Financed by Economic and Social Research Council, UK, Programme on Cultures of Consumption:

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13 3 Eating at home, eating out and food preparation: national profiles Almost everyone spent some time eating at home. Everywhere except France, the amount of time spent has, on average, reduced. Time allocated to domestic food consumption is minimal in USA. Time devoted to cooking reduced in all five countries. Decline most marked in Norway and France (32 and 22 minutes). Common sources?: supermarketization, provision of part prepared convenience foods, new kitchen technologies, etc.. Time spent in Europe at the end of the 1990s was about the same as in USA in Everywhere eating and drinking away from home increased. French and Americans now spend most time on eating out, Britons not far behind. Eating and food preparation takes up considerably less time in the USA than in Europe. In France eating and drinking, uniquely, take up more time at the end of the century than it had in 1974.

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16 Satisfaction expressed with last meal on commercial premises (percentages by row). How did you enjoy..? liked a lotliked a littleneitherdislike a littledislike a lot company conversation food atmosphere value service décor overall occasion

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18 Temporal re-organisation of eating in UK, duration of domestic meals has not radically altered. more intense dependence on commodified provision. more shorter episodes of eating away from home but many of longer duration (short episodes are additional, not substitutes). weakening distinction between weekday and weekend, indicate greater temporal (and spatial) flexibility. people allocate a substantial amount of time to eating and drinking in public spaces, but without sign of diminished significance for eating at home.

19 A Social Map of Consumer Tastes: Factor analysis of the budget share of 81 spending categories

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