Doing and Displaying Families through the Preparation of Children's Lunchboxes

Friday, July 18, 2014: 5:45 PM
Room: 413
Oral Presentation
Vicki HARMAN , Centre for Criminology and Sociology, Royal Holloway University of London, Surrey, United Kingdom
Benedetta CAPPELLINI , School of Management, Royal Holloway University of London, Surrey, United Kingdom
This paper analyses family life and social change from the perspective of parents and their daily routines of preparing lunchboxes for their children. In this study lunchboxes are understood as an artefact linking together discourses and practices of doing and displaying families, marketplace and government discourses of feeding children and broader issues of care and surveillance in private and public settings. At a time when the roles of men and women are experiencing considerable change, this paper explores family life and gender roles by considering who is responsible for preparing children’s lunchboxes, how they feel about it and how this daily practice connects with workplace considerations. Drawing on photo-elicitation interviews and focus groups with British parents with children aged between nine and eleven years old, we explore majority and minority experiences in order to contribute a greater understanding of how traditional and non-traditional families negotiate family display through children’s lunchboxes.