Car-centered Diets, Social Stratification and Cultural Mobility: Food Systems Research Directions
Authors: Dixon, Jane; Banwell, Cathy; Hinde, Sarah; McIntyre, Heather
Source: Food, Culture and Society: An International Journal of MultidisciplinaryResearch, 1 March 2007, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 131-147(17)
Abstract:This article describes the centrality of cars to food provisioning in Australia. We provide an overview of ethnographic research conducted to explore a range of car-centered diets. This research, augmented by a handful of interviews with managers and consumers of four car-centered points of food exchange, suggests that the car provides a vehicle for multiple dietary practices. We note that in the Australian context lack of access to a car constrains dietary possibilities. Full participation in car-centered diets allows groups to feed upon the whole range of foodways while limited participation means a heavy dependence on foods produced in the industrial system. We proceed to question the implications of differential access to foodways for cultural mobility, and hypothesize that car-centered diets contribute to the reproduction of privilege and social hierarchies. We also note that cars simultaneously encourage a fragmentation of food production systems and consolidate the power of large retailers. We conclude with suggestions for future research of food systems.
Document Type: Research Article