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Food in Relation to Sustainable Development Expressed in Swedish Syllabuses of Home and Consumer Studies: At Present and Past

Journal article
Authors Emmalee Gisslevik
Inga Wernersson
Helena Åberg
Christel Larsson
Published in Journal of Education for Sustainable Development
Volume 10
Issue 1
Pages 68-87
ISSN 0973-4082
Publication year 2016
Published at Department of Food and Nutrition, and Sport Science
Pages 68-87
Language en
Keywords Food consumption, home and consumer studies, home economics, sustainable development, syllabus
Subject categories Food Science, Domestic science and nutrition, Nutrition and Dietetics


Little is known what the term sustainable development entails in relation to the school subject of home and consumer studies and the subject’s knowledge area of food. The aim is to illustrate how food is expressed in national syllabuses of home and consumer studies at present and in the past, and its operationalization into sustainable development. Using qualitative content analysis, the results show three themes: (a) maintenance of the family and household, (b) maintenance of the earth’s resources and (c) maintenance of the future generations. The first theme is characterized by concrete tangible judgements based on experiences of family members and is predominant in earlier syllabuses. The second and third themes are predominant in later syllabuses and show a movement into complex and abstract contemplations of global ecological, social and economic conditions for the purchase of food. The presentation of food in relation to sustainable development has changed over the years, consequently demonstrating the didactic challenge of home and consumer studies.

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