The next Environmental Governance Seminar, titled Theoretical Reflections on the Practice of Eating, will be held by Alan Warde. The lecture will take place the 20th of April 2017 from 12:00 - 13:30 in room C64 (Leeuwenborch building).
Alan Warde is Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, a Professorial Fellow of Manchester’s Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI). Research interests are wide but recently have concerned the sociology of consumption, the sociology of culture, and the sociology of food and eating in the context of issues of sustainability. Current projects are concerned with applying theories of practice to eating, analysing change in eating behaviour in Britain, and conducting a re-study of his 1995 investigation of eating out in Britain.
The lecture: Theoretical Reflections on the Practice of Eating
This talk presents some arguments from my recent book, The Practice of Eating. First, I review briefly developments in the sociology of food and eating and make some suggestions about how understanding might be improved by the application of theories of practice to the subject matter. This is followed by asking what sort of a scientific object eating might be, and what sort of a practice it is. Then I proceed to examine ways in which the practice is coordinated and organised, the role that habits play in its conduct, and how changes in practice might be explained. Followed by sketching an account of the ways in which established eating patterns might be understood and explained, using concepts of habituation, intermediation and institutionalisation. As illustration, I take cases of the emergence of a widespread taste for foreign or exotic foods in western societies in the late 20th century and the patterns of diffusion of vegetarianism. And, conclude by pointing to changes in provision, intermediation and cultural environment as sources for an explanation of the development of new tastes.