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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.
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Principal Investigator

Rebecca O'connell (Dr.)

Host institution

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

Address

Gower Street
Wc1e 6bt London

United Kingdom

Activity type

Other

EU Contribution

€ 948 382,22

Principal Investigator

Rebecca O'connell (Dr.)

Administrative Contact

Jennifer Morgan (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (6)

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UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

United Kingdom

EU Contribution

€ 948 382,22

STATENS INSTITUTT FOR FORBRUKSFORSKNING

Norway

INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON

United Kingdom

OSLOMET - STORBYUNIVERSITETET

Norway

EU Contribution

€ 228 721,19

Associação para Investigação e Desenvolvimento da Faculdade de Medicina

Portugal

EU Contribution

€ 11 725,93

INSTITUTO DE CIENCIAS SOCIAIS

Portugal

EU Contribution

€ 182 108,15

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 337977

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 May 2014

  • End date

    30 April 2019

Funded under:

FP7-IDEAS-ERC

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 370 937,49

  • EU contribution

    € 1 370 937,49

Hosted by:

UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON

United Kingdom