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The "ideal" food consumer in Home Economics: A study of Swedish textbooks from 1962 to 2011
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
2017 (English)In: International Journal of Consumer Studies, ISSN 1470-6423, E-ISSN 1470-6431, Vol. 41, no 3, 237-244 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Is the ideal food consumer, educated in Home Economics in Sweden, one who makes sustainable choices? By examining Home Economics textbooks for lower secondary school published from 1962 to 2011, we explored what kind of food consumers emerged and thus open up a discussion on sustainability and food consumption. One standard textbook from each decade, in total six, was included in the study, and the passages dealing with food, as core content, were analyzed. Discourse analysis was used to reveal different characterizations of the ideal consumers, specifically in relation to sustainable food consumption. Three different discourses emerged: (a) the healthy and obedient consumer, (b) the healthy, thrifty, and caring consumer, and (c) the healthy, thrifty, and environmentally conscious consumer. There were both similarities and differences among these consumers, specifically regarding what knowledge they are shown to need and how they are supposed to learn. All three consumers are primarily motivated by health arguments, even though health is related to finances in the second and to both finances and environment in the third case. Furthermore, we found a common tendency for textbooks to express knowledge in a prescriptive way, with the implied belief that people are rational food consumers. This tendency leads us to suggest that the discussion about future consumer education and textbooks could be broadened and strengthened by the inclusion of a participative and critical approach and social responsibility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 41, no 3, 237-244 p.
Keyword [en]
consumer education, Home and Consumer Studies, Home Economics, sustainable food consumption, textbooks
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-321172DOI: 10.1111/ijcs.12329ISI: 000398573300001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-321172DiVA: diva2:1095183
Available from: 2017-05-12 Created: 2017-05-12 Last updated: 2017-05-12Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, LolitaHjälmeskog, Karin
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf