Food and work - A sociological study of the eating habits of shift workers.

PRESCOTT, Margaret Mary. (2003). Food and work - A sociological study of the eating habits of shift workers. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

This thesis is a sociological study of the eating habits of shiftworkers. It explores the relationship of male and female shiftworkers to food purchase, food preparation and food consumption in the home and at their place of work. This included exploration of the interaction of attitudes and beliefs about food and health on shiftworkers' diets and patterns of eating, and their perceptions of the influence of shiftworking on food consumption and eating patterns.The research used a mixed methods approach and collected both quantitative and qualitative data; two workplaces were observed, 120 shiftworkers responded to a self-completion questionnaire and 43 semi-structured interviews were conducted with a sub-sample of shiftworkers employed in a variety of industries in Sheffield. A critical review of the background academic literature also informed the study.Quantitative data was analysed to provide a description of the facilities available to obtain food at work and the patterns of eating of shiftworkers on their last working and last non-working day. A typology of eating patterns, and profiles of the eating patterns types which were more associated with various groups of shiftworkers, were also developed through analysis of the data.Qualitative analysis explored the interaction of attitudes and beliefs about food and eating on shiftworkers' diets and patterns of eating both at home and at work, and their perceptions of the factors influencing their eating patterns. Conceptions of the 'proper' meal and 'family' meal were important influences, particularly on female shiftworkers' ideas of appropriate patterns of eating in the home. Factors within the workplace also constrained shiftworkers' eating patterns at work; notably the facilities available to obtain food at work; formal rules and regulations within the workplace; the organisation of the labour process, and informal social norms relating to uses of food.Gender appeared as an important influence on the relationship of male and female shiftworkers to food and eating. The study explored gender divisions of labour in foodwork in shiftworkers' households and found that female shiftworkers were primarily responsible for food purchase and preparation.The study found shiftworkers were dissatisfied with their eating patterns at work and at home as a result of what they perceived to be the constraints of shiftwork. The study contributes to increasing theoretical and practical understanding of the social influences on food purchase, preparation and consumption at home and at work.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2003.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:23
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2018 08:45
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20785

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