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 Research Projects at the MPIfG

Changing Food Habits and Ideologies: A Sociological Perspective on Meat Consumption in Germany

Laura Einhorn (doctoral project)


 
Contemporary consumption practices in affluent Western countries are shaped by a plurality of moral ideas about what is considered to be normatively "right" and therefore constitutes legitimate consumer behavior in the marketplace. While some authors observe an individualization of consumption practices, others emphasize the importance of socioeconomic characteristics in shaping individual preferences and norms. The consumption of food is a particularly fruitful area to study how different social and cultural norms shape consumption practices. Food consumption, a highly sociable practice, is often subjected to mechanisms of immediate social control and influence which can result in behavioral changes, especially when there is a plurality of moral claims about what to eat. This dissertation project will look at meat consumption and reduction patterns in Germany as a paradigmatic case to investigate a) how the consumption of a highly debated food item is socially stratified and how it changes over time and b) whether and how meat consumption choices are influenced by one’s dining company and by the public display of different eating norms. Project duration: October 2016 to March 2020.
 

 
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