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Sociology: Research


Taking humour seriously in contemporary food research

Taking humour seriously in contemporary food research
Speaker: Professor Peter Jackson # University of Sheffield; Introduced by: Dr Marisa Wilson # University of Edinburgh
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Date and Time
16th May 2018 11:00 - 16th May 2018 13:00
Room 2.13, Geography (Old Infirmary), Drummond Street, EH8 9XP

This presentation focuses on the role of humour in recent research with British food consumers.  Examples include the use of different kinds of humour by research participants to negotiate the moralization of food in contemporary family life, to cover potentially embarrassing situations, to express familiarity and disgust regarding participants’ current consumption practices, and to excuse or rationalize what might be seen as shameful behaviour or guilty pleasures.  The presentation concludes that an understanding of the ‘background disposition’ through which participants make sense of their multiple encounters with food is critical to the analysis of food-related humour and that ethnographic methods are particularly adept at revealing the context in which laughter arises.