This book brings together recent UK studies into children’s experiences and practices around food in a range of contexts, linking these to current policy and practice perspectives. It reveals that food works not only on a material level as sustenance but also on a symbolic level as something that can stand for thoughts, feelings, and relationships. The three broad contexts of schools, families and care (residential homes and foster care) are explored to show the ways in which both children and adults use food. Food is used as a means by which adults care for children and is also something through which adults manage their own feelings and relationships to each other which in turn impact on children’s experiences.
The book examines the power of food in our daily lives and the way in which it can be used as a medium by individuals to exert power and resistance, establish collective identities and notions of the self and to express moralities about notions of 'proper' family routines and 'good' and 'healthy' lifestyle choices. It identifies inter-generational and intra-generational differences and commonalities in regard to the uses of and experiences around food across a range of studies conducted with children and young people.
This book was published as a special issue of Children's Geographies.
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Samantha Punch is a senior lecturer in Sociology in the Department of Applied Social Science at Stirling University. Her research interests include rural livelihoods in China, Vietnam and India, youth transitions and migration in Bolivia, children’s sibling relationships and birth order. Her recent publications include Global Perspectives on Rural Childhood and Youth: Young Rural Lives (2007), Get Set for Sociology (with McIntosh, Edinburgh University Press: 2005) and Sociology: Making Sense of Society (with Marsh, Keating, Harden, Pearson: 2009).
Ian McIntosh is a senior lecturer in Sociology in the Department of Applied Social Science at Stirling University. His research interests include, attitudes to begging, national identities and belonging. Recent publications include Get Set for Sociology (with Punch, Edinburgh University Press: 2005) and English People in Scotland: an Invisisble Minority (with Robertson and Sim, Edwin Mellen Press: Lampeter: 2008).
Ruth Emond is a part time senior lecturer in Social Work in the Department of Applied Social Science at the University of Stirling. She has conducted research in a range of areas relating to vulnerable children and young people,particularly those in institutional care. She works part time as a social worker and play therapist at The Family Change Project in Perth, Scotland where she supports children and young people who have experienced complex trauma.
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