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Hur maten blev en risk: Medicinens bidrag till regleringen av det svenska ätandet
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2002 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this dissertation is to historically study the medical and political regulation of swedish eating, with a special focus on the contribution of medicine to such a regulation.

In a first theoretical part the study is placed within a "sociology of food" tradition. It is argued that in order to understand modern eating a historical approach needs to be taken. It is also argued that the role of medicine and politics in shaping modern eating is often overlooked in sociology. For this purpose a Foucaultian method of discourse analysis is choosen to look at how food and eating has been problematised in medical and political documents over the last two centuries and what strategies, techniques and apparatuses have been developed to solve these problems.

The empirical part consists of three interrelated studies. In the first study three qualitatively different historical medico/political approaches to food and eating are identified: an economising approach, a "hygienic nourishment" approach and finally a risk-management approach. It is argued that nutritional science has been been closely involved in setting the agenda for as well as legitimising a number of political concerns for more than a century. The second empirical study looks closer at how medicine has been involved in the regulation of eating at a micro-level. This is done through a study of how overeating/obesity has been problematised within medicine and how disciplinary background effects the way in which overeating is constructed as well as the techniques developed to treat it. Finally, the third study looks closer at how risk became a central category in the medical discourse. This is done by looking closer at the hypothesis that dietary fat was an important risk factor behind atherosclerotic heart-disease and the process it had to go through in order to reach medical concensus or near-concensus.

Finally it is argued that we have to understand the modern concern with food risks not as a reaction to an essential state of the modern world but as a discursive effect to a large extent generated by the medical discouse around food.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Sociologiska institutionen , 2002. , 277 p.
Keyword [en]
Sociology, food, eating, gastronomy, medicine, regulation, discourse analysis, formations, history, sociology
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-2695ISBN: 91-506-1633-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-2695DiVA: diva2:162061
Public defence
2002-11-22, sal IX, universitetshuset, Uppsala, 10:00
Available from: 2002-10-30 Created: 2002-10-30Bibliographically approved

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