Meat, masculinity and morality

S. Wahlen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Moralities of eating meat in everyday life are constantly evolving with associated food practices. This contribution aims at scrutinizing dynamics and linkages in practices of eating, gender performances and representations as well as moralities. The practices of eating meat evolve with associated elements of social practices: understandings, procedures and engagements. Of particular relevance for moralities is the understanding of such practices in terms of meaning and representations in performed practices. The performativity of doing food would not be possible with particular material, i.e. food, being handled that is understood as good or bad. Moral aspects of social practices become particularly apparent when considering gender roles: eating and preparing meat is broadly considered a male social practice. Barbequeing is an empirically very interesting example, as its role in many European societies has changed during recent decades. The moralities of eating meat are under constant contestation with ‘lay normativity’, i.e. moral orientations associated with meat, being influenced by media Through an analysis of gender representations in the monthly magazine "beef”, a journal that is targeted towards male barbequers, the dynamics and linkages of meat, masculinity and morality can be emphasized. Further, this contribution attempts to disentangle and problematize moralities being associated with masculinities and eating meat, thereby advancing theories of social practices highlighting representations of manliness without propelling meat as a symbol of masculinity. As such, this contribution avoids a reification of androcentrism but rather advances a problematization of gender roles and moralities in social practices of eating.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event(Un)Making Europe: Capitalism, Solidarities, Subjectivities: 13th Conference of the European Sociological Association - Athens, Greece
Duration: 29 Aug 20171 Sep 2017
Conference number: 13


Conference(Un)Making Europe: Capitalism, Solidarities, Subjectivities
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