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Food, Families and Work

Food, Families and Work

by Rebecca O’Connell

Rebecca O'Connell is a Senior Research Officer at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education, UK, where she currently manages a European Research Council funded study of Families and Food in Hard Times. A social anthropologist, her research interests focus on the intersection of care and work, particularly foodwork and childcare, as well as social research methodology. Rebecca has published on these topics in leading peer reviewed journals and given numerous presentations at national and international conferences. She is co–convenor of the British Sociological Association Food Study Group. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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and Julia Brannen

Julia Brannen is Professor of Sociology of the Family at the Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education, UK and Adjunct Professor at the University of Bergen, Norway. She has an international reputation for her work on family life, work–life issues, intergenerational relations and for her expertise in mixed methods, biographical approaches and cross national research. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2016
  • DOI:
    10.5040/9781350001817
  • ISBN:
    978-0-8578-5508-4 (paperback)

    978-0-8578-5750-7 (hardback)

    978-0-8578-5597-8 (epdf)

    978-0-8578-5785-9 (epub)

    978-1-3500-0181-7 (online)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
    London
  • Published Online:
    2017 2017
Food, Families and Work
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With dual–working households now the norm, Food, Families and Work is the first comprehensive study to explore how families negotiate everyday food practices in the context of paid employment.

As the working of hours of British parents are among the highest in Europe, the United Kingdom provides a key case study for investigating the relationship between parental employment and family food practices. Focusing on issues such as the gender division of foodwork, the impact of family income on diet, family meals, and the power children wield over the food they eat, the book offers a longitudinal view of family routines. It explores how the everyday meanings of food change as children grow older and negotiate changes in their own lives and those of their family members. Drawing on extensive quantitative data from large–scale surveys of food and diet — as well as qualitative evidence — to emphasise the larger global context of social and economic change and shifting patterns of family life, Rebecca O'Connell and Julia Brannen present a holistic overview of food practices within busy contemporary family lives.

Featuring perspectives from both parents and children, this innovative approach to some of the most hotly–debated topics in food studies is a must–read for students and scholars in food studies, sociology, anthropology, nutrition and public health.