Reference : Responsibility in Everyday Practices of Sustainable Food Choices between Self-Referen...
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Responsibility in Everyday Practices of Sustainable Food Choices between Self-Referentiality and Regional Identification
Reckinger, Rachel mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
12th European Sociological Association Conference: Differences, Inequalities and Sociological Imagination
25-28 August 2015
European Sociological Association – Consumption Research Network (RN05)
Czech Republic
[en] Food Consumption ; Sustainability ; Reflexivity ; Meanings and Values
[en] The aim of this paper is to analyse everyday appropriations of ‘responsible’ eating habits – seen as a set of plural ways of how people put into practice plural ideas of sustainability. The qualitative (N = 47) and quantitative survey (N = 3 300) were carried out in the transnational context of Luxembourg and the surrounding Greater Region, allowing for comparative results of consumption dynamics between regions in four countries (Luxembourg, Germany, France and Belgium).

To find out by which motivations the motor for ‘responsible’ consumption is driven, the notion of sustainability is not addressed directly, but is characterised by quantitative indicators of possible sustainability in the food domain, relating to consumed foods or to individual criteria of food selection. Subsequently, qualitative interviews provide insights into the meanings of, and values behind, those indicators, uncovering everyday priorities, appropriations and strategies of consumption, as well as its justifications in a perspective of regional/spatial identification.

By contrasting arguments about food consumption ideals and practices, the results show a marked dialectic between egocenteredness and a general interest in food’s provenance, understood as regionally produced. This shows which aspects of the polysemic idea of sustainability are relevant to people’s preoccupations, and to what extent consumers are reflexive in their ‘responsible’ food choices.
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