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ERIC Number: EJ1052176
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-1357-3322
Informal Mealtime Pedagogies: Exploring the Influence of Family Structure on Young People's Healthy Eating Dispositions
Quarmby, Thomas; Dagkas, Symeon
Sport, Education and Society, v20 n3 p323-339 2015
Families are increasingly recognised as informal sites of learning, especially with regard to healthy eating. Through the use of Bourdieu's conceptual tools, this paper explores the role of family meals within different family structures and the informal pedagogic encounters that take place. How they help to construct young people's healthy eating beliefs, values and dispositions, together with what influences their ability to conduct healthy lifestyle practices within different social and material conditions, is also considered. This study draws from semi-structured interviews with students (n = 62) from three inner city comprehensive schools in the Midlands, UK, who were invited to interview with a friend from the same family structure. The interview protocol sought to uncover how often young people ate with their family and elicit their subjective views of family meals as a social context (pedagogical field) in which health messages were conveyed. Corresponding interview data were analysed using thematic analysis which revealed two main themes: (1) the importance of family meals as a pedagogic context for the (re)production of health-related beliefs, values and dispositions and (2) the influence of family structure on individual agency. The narratives illustrate the varying role of family meals for young people in different fields and suggest that family (as a primary field) with its particular practices can act as a site of informal pedagogy, but crucially, only for those whose social and material conditions allow. We should therefore not assume that family meals are "normative" for all families and may serve different functions for different families. Hence, in a period of economic depression and prolonged austerity, encouraging family units of any structure to invest in family meals from an early age will help to enhance young people's healthy dispositions.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)