PhD project: Staging of food habits, culture and learning amongst youth

Project Details


This PhD-project aims at studying how the pleasure and the competence for Self-Cooking are developed amongst youth (at the age of 18-24 years), and how this pleasure and competence can bee improved. As a background for the research stands a pilot project (2010), in which approximately 100 Danish students at the age of 18-20 took part in a cooking-school course, including both theoretical introduction, common cooking, and – at the end – eating together. This project was instantiated by The Danish Agriculture & Food Council on the assumption that increased Self-Cooking skills in combination with common cooking and eating activities would improve the pleasure for cooking food and meal from scratch, and thereby also increasing the participants interests in using (and buying) fresh food materials. As a consequence of this work – and inspired by the actual Danish and international debate and research on food and meal culture – questions arose about how family experiences and school learning’s influenced on the pleasure of cooking and know-how in a broad sense, and how these also effected the emotional motivated engagement in taking on the role as the host for common meals. Furthermore questions were asked as to how these previous earned experiences are mixed with the young people’s actual life in a social context with friends of their own age, positioned in the field between something that has been (family-life with their parents) and something new, which is still unknown, but has to come! In order to investigate this, the PhD-project, on the grounds of further literature-studies, will be designed as a study amongst occupants of college and flats for young people in their 18-24 years. In terms of cultural theory, the research will build on a practice-theoretical perspective: the empirical study will be based on qualitative methods, including both individual in-depth interviews, focus-group and participant observations. The project will also in a broader perspective develop research-methodology in order to investigate the usefulness of the practice-theoretical perspective in consumer-sociological researches. In the last phase the project (approximately the last 1/3) will – at the basis of the insights given by the empirically based research (and in close corporation with The Danish Agriculture & Food Council ) elaborate and test proposals for concrete activities, which can improve the young peoples pleasure for self-cooking and hosting common meals. Within a frame consequently using the young peoples perspective on health, wellbeing, nutrition, food and mealculture this PhD will reflect on normative conceptions of common meals and making meals from scratch. This will be effectuated from a contemporary socio-political point of view, and in a modernism-critical perspective, including European- and US-research in the field.
Supervisor: Niels Heine Kristensen
Effective start/end date03/01/201117/04/2015


  • food
  • commensality
  • meals
  • youth
  • foodscapes


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