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Ungdomars matval – erfarenheter, visioner och miljöargument i eget hushåll

Doctoral thesis
Authors Ann Parinder
Date of public defense 2012-06-15
ISBN 978-91-7346-721-6
Publisher Acta universitatis Gothoburgensis
Place of publication Göteborg
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Food and Nutrition, and Sport Science
Language sv
Keywords Home Economics, Adolescent, Climate, Choices of food, everyday life, moving from home, sustainable development, internal conversation
Subject categories Domestic science and nutrition


The aim of this thesis is to increase the knowledge of how young people, who have recently formed their own household, reason about and present their food choices. The study sheds light on the process the young people become a part of when food choices are made and food habits established. Additionally, light is shed on young people’s reasoning about their choices of food, their previous experiences and how they envision the future. The starting point has been how the young people present their food choices in relation to ethical standpoints, particularly with respect to the environment and climate. A central interest of the thesis has been to study young people’s households from a Home Economics perspective. In order to analyse and shed light on young people’s considerations and individual reflections when facing different choices, Archer’s (2003, 2007) “internal conversation” has been used. The empirical material, which comes from a 3-year study, included 51 young people who were studying, 19 of whom participated during all three years. The young people were aged 15 to 23 and had recently formed their own household. The methods used during the fieldwork included questionnaires, written reflections and participant observations as well as individual and group conversations. In addition, 23 young people photo documented their choices of food during a period of one week. The conversations were based on a guide where the young people’s perspective on the choice of food was central. The empirical material provided the prerequisites for the subsequent analysis. The results show that when the young people formed their own household, previously self-evident norms were questioned, opportunities for acquiring new standpoints arose and alternatives in the everyday food choices were found. Ethical, sensory, economical, health-related, social and knowledge-related aspects influenced in different ways the food choices. Daily routines and rituals were created and considerations concerning ethics, taste, social activities, time aspects and a desire to change the food repertoire influenced the choices. The results show clearly how the young people acted in several food arenas and navigated in order to create a functioning everyday life. Usually, ethical standpoints regarding the environment and climate varied and were taken more or less into account when choosing food. All felt that environmentally and climate friendly food choices were important and that in the future, it would be necessary to take this into account when choosing food. In conclusion, the study shows that when young people moved from a familiar life to their own household where they have to take responsibility and where habits and routines are established, they are open to change and to outside influences. Furthermore, they strive for a normative and pragmatic organisation of their food choices.

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