Alan Warde, Professorial Research Fellow of the SCI. Since 1999 I have been a Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences at The University of Manchester. My previous position was Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University. My current research interests include: sociology of consumption, food, theories of practice, sociology of culture, and the analysis of sustainable consumption. In the past I have also conducted research on politics, social movements, cities, domestic divisions of labour, economic restructuring and the social structure of Britain. I came to Manchester to work partly in the Sociology Department, partly to serve as Co-Director of the ESRC Centre for Research on Innovation and Competition (CRIC). Research projects in CRIC focused on developing theories of consumption, with particular emphasis on food, and on economic sociology.
Thereafter, I joined the group at the University of Manchester who designed the programme of research for the SCI. I was initially Theme Leader for a research programme on consumer behaviour. Currently I am involved in two projects at SCI. One is finalising the reporting of a project examining patterns of eating in Britain. The other is the replication of a study of eating out in Britain which is a focus of research activity of several members of the SCI. We have conducted a survey in three British cities and are now doing some household interviews. The project is designed to repeat my study of 1995 (see Warde and Martens, 2000 Eating Out: social differentiation, consumption and pleasure, CUP) in order to examine changes in British patterns of eating out over a 20 year period.
Recent publications include: The Practice of Eating, Polity Press, 2016; Culture, Class, Distinction, - a substantial empirical study of cultural taste in the UK - (with Tony Bennett, Mike Savage, Elizabeth Silva, Modesto Gayo-Cal and David Wright), Routledge, 2009; Consumption, a four volume collection of classic and influential papers in the Sage Benchmarks in Culture and Society Series, published in August 2010; The Habits of Consumption, COLLeGIUM: Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Volume 12, Helsinki: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (co-edited with Dale Southerton); ‘The Sociology of Consumption: its recent development’, Annual Review of Sociology, 41, 117-134, 2015; and ‘After taste: culture, consumption and theories of practice’, Journal of Consumer Culture, 14(3): 279-303, 2014.
Between 2010-12 I was the Jane and Aatos Erkko Visiting Professor in Studies on Contemporary Society, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland. The Professorship is awarded on the basis of an international competition for scholars in humanities and the social sciences. The project was called 'Consumption and sustainability: towards a social scientific understanding'. It was premised on the proposition that consumer behaviour will have to change rapidly and on a massive scale if there is to be any chance of approaching current international goals with respect to mitigation of climate change. A significant part of the research was seeking to understand how consumer habits change. That is one source of my latest book, The Practice of Eating, published in December 2015. It applies the perspectives of practice theory to the issues of how people eat.
I am currently a Guest Visiting Professor at the Universities of Uppsala and Aalborg and am a Trustee of the British Sociological Association.