White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

Food stories: consumption in an age of anxiety

Jackson, P. (2010) Food stories: consumption in an age of anxiety. Cultural Geographies , 17 (2). pp. 147-165. ISSN 1474-4740


This paper (originally presented as the Cultural Geographies 2009 annual lecture) reflects on the agenda set out in Maps of meaning 20 years ago which sought to chart a series of new directions in cultural geography. At the core of that project was an argument about the politics of culture and the idea of cultural politics. Today, that agenda might be re-cast as an attempt to map the intersection of culture and economy or, more precisely, of political and moral economies.This paper will apply these ideas to the geographies of food where, despite relative affluence and food security, consumers in the West (and particularly in Britain) are often described as living through an ‘age of anxiety’. Consumer anxieties about food have been provoked by a range of food scares and farming crises. As a result, manufacturers and retailers have struggled to re-establish consumer trust in food and governments have urged a re-connection between food producers and consumers. The paper explores the concept of consumer anxiety and draws on a series of consumer interviews and life histories with people in the British food industry to illustrate the nature of contemporary anxieties about food. The paper concludes with some reflections on the intersection of public and private anxieties as illustrated by these personal and corporate food stories.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: anxiety; cultural geography; food; life histories; moral economy
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Geography (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Prof Peter Jackson
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2012 12:32
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2014 03:38
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1474474010363844
Status: Published
Publisher: Sage Publications
Identification Number: 10.1177/1474474010363844
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/74375

Actions (repository staff only: login required)