Journal Article

How (not) to feed young children: A class-cultural analysis of food parenting practices


This study unpacks how class processes shape understandings and practices of ‘good feeding’ in families with young children. It brings a Bourdieusian class consumption focus together with food parenting studies and approaches feeding as encompassing a wide range of processes including cooking, shopping, and planning. To capture the lived experience of feeding work, the study draws on a longitudinal and ethnographic study conducted in the south-east of England over the course of two years. The analysis suggests that, regardless of their resources, parents tend to internalise the dominant discourse on ‘healthy’ and varied’ feeding. However, closer inspection of day-to-day practices reveals a nuanced class-cultural patterning in how these terms are defined and achieved. Moreover, it reveals how different interpretations of key notions such as homemade, nutritious, and balanced generate practices that contribute to the cultivation of distinctively classed culinary agencies in children. This study also questions what potential role these understandings can play in reproducing taste hierarchies and maintaining symbolic boundaries from very early ages.

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Karademir Hazir, Irmak

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Social Sciences


Year of publication: 2021
Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-10-08

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