SOAS University of London

SOAS Food Studies Centre

Changing tastes: the effects of eating out

Professor Alan Warde (University of Manchester)

Date: 21 March 2018Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 21 March 2018Time: 8:00 PM

Venue: Paul Webley Wing (Senate House) Room: Wolfson Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Lecture


This talk examines the effects of increases over recent decades in the habit of eating out. I explore how eating out has been affected by, but also how it mediates, the impact of major social, cultural and economic changes. The focus is on the forces of globalisation, commodification and aestheticisation and their counter tendencies. I illustrate the talk with detailed evidence from a re-study of eating out in three English cities. In 1995 a survey and some interviews were conducted. These were repeated in 2015, allowing for systematic assessment of change over a 20 year period. By examining how eating out in restaurants and the homes of family and friends has changed – how manners, menus, companionship and mobility have evolved – I assess the overall impact of fundamental cultural and structural shifts on taste and the practice of eating. The talk will also address issues of method and of explanation of taste.

Speaker Biography

Alan Warde is Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, a Professorial Fellow of Manchester’s Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI). Research interests include the sociology of consumption, the sociology of culture, and the sociology of food and eating. Current projects are concerned with applying theories of practice to eating, analysing change in eating behaviour in Britain, and conducting a re-study of an earlier investigation of eating out in Britain.

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Organiser: SOAS Food Studies Centre, Centres & Programmes Office

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