The framing of social class distinctions through family food and eating practices

Wendy J. Wills, Mei-Li Roberts, Kathryn Backett-Milburn, Julia Lawton

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68 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing on two qualitative studies which looked at diet, weight and health from a social class perspective, we use Bourdieu's theory of habitus to help explain the different food and eating practices undertaken by families with young teenagers. Whilst the families displayed considerable reflexivity when making decisions about what to eat on a daily basis, the analysis highlighted that everyday behaviours are still bounded by distinctions of taste, according to social position. The paper includes an examination of the relationships between different forms of capital and whether form or functionality is prioritised within families. We show the importance of temporal frameworks when interpreting classed food and eating practices.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-740
JournalThe Sociological Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011



  • social class
  • eating practices
  • food
  • family

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