Food choices and peer relationships

Examining 'a taste for necessity' in a network context

Posted by Mark C. Pachucki on Wed, Jan 1, 2014

Abstract: The knowledge of how our taste preferences in food are shaped by our social lives has largely developed without attention to the roles played by relationships with other people. While the well-known sociological work of Pierre Bourdieu highlights the relationship of economic, cultural, and social capital with food consumption, very little scholarship concerned with food has given explicit empirical attention to social network connectivity as a form of social capital. To bridge this gap, this investigation utilizes data from a prospective cohort study of health in which both the food choices of several thousand individuals and their social ties with peers are examined. Comparing the relative social connectedness of individuals and their common food choices provides a new perspective on taste formation and maintenance and provides new evidence of how interpersonal mechanisms play a role in food choice and taste preferences.

Citation: Pachucki, M.C. and Malo, I., 2014. Alimentation et réseau social: une étude sur «le goût par nécessité» en contexte social. Sociologie et sociétés, 46(2), pp.229-252

Related: English translation of this study