Universitat Rovira i Virgili

The “precarization” of everyday life: (in) food security, gender and health

  • Data Sheet

    Reference: CSO2016-74941-P

    Funding Body : Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness

    PIs: Dra. Mabel Gracia Arnaiz

    Period: 2016 -2019

    Reserach Team: Lina Casadó, Susana Carro, Flavia Demonte, Blanca Deusdad, Manfred Egbe, Montserrat Garcia, Fabiana Kramer, Maria Antonia Monsterrat-Mas, Oriol Romaní, Mireia Campanera.

The purpose of this project is to analyze the relationships between the precarious process of daily life, the increase of food insecurity and the increase in obesity; to understand precariousness as a central economic and political process in post-industrial societies that simultaneously generates uncertainties and opportunities. Our hypothesis suggests that the growing "food precariousness" is structured as a phenomenon integrated into this broader process and, as a result, it becomes a source of tensions and conflicts. The need to solve daily diet embodies situations of uncertainty that limit the quality of life of people because it demands them to change tactics, environments and interlocutors constantly.

In this context of (in) security, women play a central role because they are the ones that mainly seek, prepare and distribute food from the domestic group, and those that incorporate in their daily practices, and also in their bodies , the most committed part of these difficulties. With the foods you get, they reproduce and / or create proposals that respond to acceptable and sustainable culinary formulas (gastro-miques). However, when it comes to managing a restricted meal, women star in more flexible but more uncertain food practices for their health (gastro-anomalous). In this sense, the second hypothesis suggests that obesity, with a higher incidence in popular classes and very significant among women, is an epitome of precariousness. In accordance with the paradoxical characteristics of this process, these "precarious bodies" in the same way that they embody social inequalities also question the hegemonic discourses they present to older people as "sick subjects" who are eating it a lot and moving little and, therefore, due to its lack of discipline and / or control.

We want to find out to what extent the demands of these women's daily lives have disrupted their eating practices and if this disruption (type and quantity of food consumed, times, commensals, places ...) can be linked to the increase of obesity or other possible diseases. If this link is established, the causes and mechanisms that articulate the paradoxical relationship between poverty and obesity could be better understood, thus responding to the health and political discourses that give an explanatory accent and, consequently, their interventions, in individual responsibility and the food choices of the subjects. At the same time, this greater knowledge could contribute to transforming the content of the preventive strategies adopted in Spain, which have not succeeded in part because they have disregarded the particularity of context / sociality imposed by austerity policies and their effects on the daily life.

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