“You’re a sugar addict!”: – Sweetness and Health in Home and Consumer Studies
(English)Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Because of possible contradictions between physical and psychosocial health, sweet foods can create social tension in home economics. To explore this tension, we observed 59 students and five teachers during 26 lessons. Discourse analysis of naturally occurring talk indicated four big ‘D’ Discourses about sweet foods, namely the coveted treasure, the superiority of the homemade, danger/disgust and the unnecessary extra. The treasure Discourse could spark conflict because of demands on extreme fairness or perfect results. It could also be used to mark both good and bad relationships. The unnecessary extra, home-made and danger/disgust Discourses could be used to stigmatize others and mark superiority. There was also a risk of demonizing sweet foods without offering realistic alternatives. To avoid this, teachers can a) tone down the focus on results, b) make sure students share their sweet foods with everyone, c) balance the negative aspects of simple carbohydrates with a more holistic, psychosocial view of the role of sugar in the human diet, and d) give the students concrete tools to create healthy snacks.
discourse analysis, cfritical food literacy, home and consumer studies, food sociology, social health
Research subject Food and Nutrition
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-128175OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-128175DiVA: diva2:1050050