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Families and food poverty in three European Countries in an Age of Austerity

Objective

Food poverty in the global North is emerging as an urgent social and moral concern, increasingly recognized as a central issue in the field of health inequalities in industrialized countries. With widening income disparity in Austerity Europe and ‘the end of cheap food’, these effects are being exacerbated. International media report an increase in the number of children arriving at school hungry, a dramatic rise in the number of food banks handing out food parcels to families and parents forced to choose between ‘heating and eating’. However, little is known about how food practices are negotiated in low-income families, children’s and young people’s perspectives of food poverty and how it affects their lives, or how food poverty manifests and is addressed in different places. The proposed interdisciplinary, ambitious and innovative study will answer such questions, breaking new ground by: a) applying a mixed method international comparative case study design to the study of household food poverty b) including the experiences of children and young people using both extensive and intensive data and c) drawing on methodological developments in the sociology of food and consumption to elucidate habitual behaviour. Providing for ‘a contrast of contexts’ in relation to conditions of austerity, the study focuses on Portugal, where poor families with children have been most affected by economic retrenchment, the UK, which is experiencing substantial cuts in benefits to poor families, and Norway which, in comparison with most societies, is highly egalitarian and has not been subject to austerity measures. Building on the Principal Investigator’s (PI’s) current mixed-methods UK research on families, food and paid work, the project will develop the PI’s research skills, publication record and international reputation. Engaging academic and non-academic beneficiaries at various stages of analysis and dissemination the study will achieve societal as well as scientific impact.

Call for proposal

ERC-2013-StG
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Host institution

UCL Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute for Women’s Health
Address
Gower Street
WC1E 6BT London
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 948 382,22
Principal investigator
Rebecca O'connell (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Jennifer Morgan (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (6)

STATENS INSTITUTT FOR FORBRUKSFORSKNING

Participation ended

Norway
Address
Sandakerveien 24 C, Building B
0405 Oslo
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Alexander Schjøll (Dr.)
INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON

Participation ended

United Kingdom
Address
20 Bedford Way
WC1H 0AL London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Pauline Muya (Mrs.)
UCL Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute for Women’s Health
United Kingdom
EU contribution
€ 948 382,22
Address
Gower Street
WC1E 6BT London
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Rebecca O'connell (Dr.)
Administrative Contact
Jennifer Morgan (Ms.)
OSLOMET - STORBYUNIVERSITETET
Norway
EU contribution
€ 228 721,19
Address
Pilestredet 46
0167 Oslo
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Alexander Schjøll (Dr.)
Associação para Investigação e Desenvolvimento da Faculdade de Medicina

Participation ended

Portugal
EU contribution
€ 11 725,93
Address
Av. Prof. Egas Moniz
1649-028 Lisbon
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Eduardo Martins (Dr.)
INSTITUTO DE CIENCIAS SOCIAIS
Portugal
EU contribution
€ 182 108,15
Address
Av Prof Anibal De Bettencourt 9
1600 189 Lisboa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Maria Eugénia Rodrigues (Dr.)