Porru, Emanuela (2017) Come cambiano le abitudini alimentari: cibo e processi di trasformazione socioeconomica. Doctoral Thesis.
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Food acquires today a growing importance. We are facing with undeniable changes, which affect what we put on our plates, the structure of individual meals, time and places dedicated to supplying, preparation and consumption of food, and the number and variety of courses. Not just eating habits change, but also the very meaning of the act of eating and our role with respect to it. Food is a multidimensional concept that can be analysed in its geo-biological, material and symbolic aspects, but also considering the mechanisms of production and consumption.
Based on developmentalist approach – which takes distance from the idea of food mostly unchanging and ritual and the primacy of social class and economic system (Mennell et. Al, 1982, Lupton 1996) – the aim of this research is the identification of transformations experienced by food practices in recent decades, with attention to socio-economic progress.
Research takes place in Sardinia, an Italian island characterized by a peculiar process of socio-economic modernization, which began in the 50s of the last century and may provide an interesting key to explain the evolution of habits and eating practices (Bottazzi, 1999). We used a mixed-methods approach – combining in-deep interviews and a quantitative survey, realized into three specific areas of the region – to bring out the cultural dimension of food tying it to the economic one, because symbolic meanings of food often provide an "emotional foothold" that hides underlying economic rationality, not always immediately detectable.
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