This book reconstructs and extends sociological approaches to the understanding of food consumption. It identifies new ways to approach the explanation of food choice and it develops new concepts which will help reshape and reorient common understandings. Leading sociologist of food, Alan Warde, deals both with abstract issues about theories of practice and substantive analyses of aspects of eating, demonstrating how theories of practice can be elaborated and systematically applied to the activity of eating.
The book falls into two parts. The first part establishes a basis for a practice-theoretic account of eating. Warde reviews research on eating, introduces theories of practice and constructs eating as a scientific object. The second part develops key concepts for the analysis of eating as a practice, showing how concepts like habit, routine, embodiment, repetition and convention can be applied to explain how eating is organised and coordinated through the generation, reproduction and transformation of a multitude of individual performances.
The Practice of Eating thus addresses both substantive problems concerning the explanation of food habits and currently controversial issues in social theory, illustrated by detailed empirical analysis of some aspects of contemporary culinary life. It will become required reading for students and scholars of food and consumption in a wide range of disciplines, from sociology, anthropology and cultural studies to food studies, culinary studies and nutrition science.
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