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Opening and closing Conference

The opening conference will be giving by Professor. Cristobal Gómez Benito (Sociologist),”. It will cover “Discomfort in contemporary food, From Protest to Food Citizenship”.

Cristóbal Gómez Benito

Cristóbal Gómez BenitoCristóbal Gómez Benito (1948) is graduate in Philosophy from the Complutense University of Madrid and Doctor in Sociology from the National University of Distance Education (UNED). He has been Professor at the National University of Distance Education (UNED), teaching in Rural Sociology and Human Ecology. During 1991 and1992 was also Guest Researcher at Institute of Economics, Geography and Demography in the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC). He retired in December 2014, currently honorary collaborator of Sociology Department of the National University of Distance Education (UNED).

Previously, was senior technical specialist from Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (1978-1991) (currently on leave), working as rural sociologist at the Institute of Land Reform and Development (Huesca). (1978-1983) and as Head of Technical General Secretariat and as director of the magazine Agricultura y Sociedad published by the Ministry (1983-1991.

He has belonged to the Council's Members of the European Society for Rural Sociology and has been part of the Advisory and Drafting Committee of several Spanish and international journals. He has also played positions of corporate representation in professional associations. Between 2007 and 2012 was member of the Scientific Committee of the Spanish Agency of Consumption, Food Safety and Nutrition (AECOSAN), and of the Association of Self-Control in Advertising as well as Commissar of the centennial celebration of the death of Joaquín Costa.

Professor Benito spent several periods at foreign universities (Bologna, Naples and Rome).

His professional work, as senior technical specialist and as professor and researcher, has been mainly focused over more than forty years on rural sociology, agrarian history, environmental sociology and sociology of food.

El malestar en la alimentación contemporánea: de la protesta a la ciudadanía alimentaria

¿Malestar en la alimentación contemporánea? Podría ser un contrasentido a primera vista, dado el alto nivel de desarrollo y sofistificación de las instituciones de regulación y control del Sistema Agroalimentario (SAA) y dada la altísima productividad de las actuales tecnologías agrarias y de los alimentos, con capacidad para dar de comer satisfactoriamente a la población mundial actual. Y, sin embargo, se puede hablar de malestar en la alimentación.

Por un lado, a pesar de estos desarrollos tecnológicos e institucionales, casi una sexta parte de la población mundial pasa hambre, viven en un contexto de escasez, de privaciones y sufren trastornos asociados a la mala o insuficiente alimentación y apenas dos tercios de la población mundial viven en contextos de opulencia alimentaria y sufren trastornos asociados a una alimentación excesiva y de baja calidad.

Mientras tanto, casi una cuarenta por ciento de los alimentos se pierden o se tiran a lo largo de la cadena agroalimentaria. Por otro, la opacidad intrínseca del SAA de producción industrial de alimentos y globalizado genera insatisfacción en cada vez mayores sectores de la población en los países desarrollados.

Algo falla cuando los nuevos movimientos sociales alimentarios nos muestran los problemas de la globalización, la dominación de las grandes corporaciones agroalimentarias y la producción industrial de alimentos, los modelos de consumo, los problemas ambientales asociados a ese modelo, la creciente desigualdad social en el acceso a los alimentos, suficientes, saludables y de calidad, el comercio injusto, la explotación del campesinado, el malestar animal,….

El gran reto de las Ciencias Sociales aplicadas al fenómeno alimentario es analizar la naturaleza del SAA mundial de alimentos, la opacidad estructural de ese sistema y sus efectos sociales, económicos, ecológicos… De modo especial es tarea nuestra indagar en las condiciones para la construcción de una ciudadanía alimentaria que, a la protesta y a la resistencia, añada mecanismos reales de gobernanza ciudadana.

The Closing conference

Changing tastes: the effects of eating out” will be addressed by Alan Warde professor at Manchester University.

Alan Warde

Short biography

Alan Warde is Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, a Professorial Fellow of Manchester’s Sustainable Consumption Institute (SCI). Research interests include the sociology of consumption, the sociology of culture, and the sociology of food and eating. Current projects are concerned with applying theories of practice to eating, analysing change in eating behaviour in Britain, and conducting a re-study of an earlier investigation of eating out in Britain.

Changing tastes: the effects of eating out

There continues to be some suspicion of the catering trade, that its products may be bad for health, may waste the money of the poorer sections of the population, and may erode the bonds of the family. In this it is part of wider concerns about the over-extension of markets and market logic into the realm of everyday life.

Repairing to restaurants may entrench poor quality mass culture, reduce capacities for self-provisioning by eliminating cooking skills, and replace mutually enriching social interdependencies with impersonal and instrumental economic exchange.

In this talk I examine, in the light of a range of empirical evidence, the effects of increases over recent decades in the habit of eating out. I explore how eating out has been affected by, but also how it mediates, the impact of major social, cultural and economic changes.

The focus is on the forces of globalisation, commodification and aestheticisation and their counter tendencies. I illustrate the talk with detailed evidence from a re-study of eating out in three English cities.

In 1995 a survey and some interviews were conducted. These were repeated in 2015, allowing for systematic assessment of change over a 20 year period.

By examining how eating out in restaurants and the homes of family and friends has changed – how manners, menus, companionship and mobility have evolved – I assess the impact of fundamental cultural and structural shifts on taste and the practice of eating.

The talk will also address in passing issues of method and of explanation of taste.

Alan Warde, University of Manchester

Recent relevant publications

Paddock J, Warde A and Whillans J, ‘The changing meaning of eating out in three English Cities 1995- 2015’, Appetite, volume 119 (December 2017), pp.5-13.

Warde, A. Consumption: a sociological analysis, (London, Palgrave, 2017)

Warde, A. The Practice of Eating, (Cambridge: Polity, 2016)

Warde, A. ‘After taste: culture, consumption and theories of practice’, Journal of Consumer Culture, 14(3) (2014) 279-303.