Temporality and the practices of eating

Marie Plessz, S. Wahlen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Theories of social practices acknowledge the (temporal) organisation, performances and intersections of everyday life in family and household contexts. A commonly used approach is to zoom in and to decompose social practices into different elements, with the agreement that temporality is an essential aspect of how practices organise social life. On the contrary, we would like to zoom out on a set of integrative practices. The “doing food” of making practices of eating possible is exceptionally interesting, as ingesting food is socially embedded, organised and performed in conjunction with a variety of other practices, from grocery shopping, meal preparation, and setting the table to cleaning up and washing the dishes. Hence, practices of eating are very intricate and combine a nexus of different practices coming together. We aim at characterizing this complexity by highlighting different dimensions of temporality in the practices of eating. Therefore, we analyse data from the Dutch Time-use surveys 2011/2012. The uniqueness of this data is manifested in its length of observation: with one-week diaries per household member we can capture rhythms that extend beyond the single day. In our analysis, we compare the set of practices of eating along dimensions of temporality: duration, tempo, sequence, synchronization, and periodicity. This research (in progress) will enrich the understanding of the temporalities of eating (often restricted to intakes or to durations) while strengthening the connection between the theoretical foundations of practice theories and their empirical tests on time-use data.
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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