Food Habits of the Elderly
Definition of foodways : it “...generally refers to ways in which a distinct group selects, prepares, consumes and otherwise reacts to and uses portions of the available food supply” (Wahlqvist et al., 1991:164)
* Analysis of the meaning of foodways for social actors in general * Significance of food for the elderly (migrants )focusing on their marginalized social location * Implication of foodways of the elderly * Meaning of the dominant medical system and dietary guideline : State hegemony over individual social actors
Principal arguments: * For the elderly, food plays an especially important role for their autonomy and independence and inclusion in society in general
Control over food purchasing and consumption “can become a major concern for older people as symbolic of independent living” (McKie, Linda p. 529, 1999).
“The purchasing, preparation and serving of food all require a certain degree of physical strength and mental vitality on the part of the person responsible. Not surprisingly, elderly people are all more likely to lack such abilities as a result of illness” (Van Eeuwijk, Peter 2007)
Joint daily meals serve as “important arenas of social interaction and information sources” for the elderly (Van Eeuwijk, Peter 2007).
“Involvement in social networks through shopping and food activities was of positive benefit to their well-being” (McKie, Linda p. 533, 1999)
* Different levels of access to food resources can shed light on the existing power structure in a larger context in the society
: Depending on the age, gender, race or ethnicity, class, etc, individuals will have different level of access to food.
Hunger is the absolute sign of powerlessness (Counihan, qtd in Van Eeuwijk, 2007)
* Food can serve as an instrument for exerting power and control * Majority of the elderly might prefer more traditional food instead of ready-made products