Exploring the expression of taste through the processes of consumption this book provides an incisive and accessible evaluation of the current theories of consumption, and trends in the representation and purchase of food. Alan Warde outlines various theories of change in the twentieth century, and considers the parallels between their diagnoses of consumer behaviour and actual trends in food practices. He argues that dilemmas of modern practical life and certain imperatives of the culture of consumption make sense of food selection. He suggests that contemporary consumption is best viewed as a process of continual selection among an unprecedented range of generally accessible items which are made available both commerciall
Chapter 9: Theories of Consumption and the Case of Food
Theories of Consumption and the Case of Food
The Specialness of Food
It is becoming accepted that universal propositions about consumption practices are impossible to sustain because different areas of material culture and different types of commodity do not operate in accordance with a single rationale (e.g. Miller, 1987; Fine & Leopold, 1993). This raises a doubt about precisely how useful a case study of food is in the explanation of consumption behaviour more generally.
Food is a complex case. Its consumption is universal, mundane and polyvalent. Everyone eats; most eat several times a day without much reflection; yet the activity is integrally connected with many other highly meaningful aspects of living. It is meaningful because social; usually people eat ...