A Colloquium at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies

Helsinki, May 23-25 2012

The “Eating: Comparative Perspectives”  -symposium is organized by Professor Alan Warde as part of the Jane and Aatos Erkko Professorship activities. The symposium takes place on 23-25 May at HCAS. Please find the programme of the symposium below.
Background: The social science of food and eating remains very fragmented and is much stronger in its understanding of production than consumption. Recent developments in food studies have been driven less by the logic of theoretical inquiry than by a mission to respond to public crises and anxieties —physical, social and moral, symbolic, and economic. Eating is a matter that concerns everybody; in most instances a mundane and repetitive activity, it fulfils a range of social functions which far transcend the satisfaction of physiological need. This colloquium will take stock of the current state of social scientific knowledge about eating, with particular emphasis on sociological analysis. It seeks to explore the potential for new developments in theory and theoretical approaches, with a view to making better sense of the now considerable amount of primary research data on eating patterns. In particular it will focus on the way that the use of comparative methodologies might contribute to theoretical advances. Papers will draw upon comparisons of various kinds and levels – between historical periods, countries, regions, classes, ethnic groups, etc..

How such studies might be brought to bear upon different traditions of theory and whether comparative analysis might support new research programmes in the sociology of eating will be explored.

Provisional Programme (subject to change)

Venue: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, Fabianinkatu 24, except public lecture which will be held in the lecture hall 12 of the University main building, Fabianinkatu 33.