• Laura Birgitte Meyhoff Petersen
  • Nanna Andersson
The Danish media often presents the Danish eating culture as being in decline. Danes eat alone, they eat in a hurry and they buy convenience meals that require a minimal time of preparation. In general time spent eating has decreased, the composition of meals has been simplified and both eating out and the use of takeout solutions have increased. To gather a modern family around the dinner table for a commensal meal appears to be an increasingly difficult task, because of longer working hours, the wish for pursuing a career, self-realisation projects, children’s leisure activities and the practise of customised, individual diets.
The aim of this thesis is to investigate how commensality can be understood and practised in the Danish society and what dinner clubs contribute with in a modern eating culture. This aim has a foundation in the wonderments; how is the term commensality understood, what is the status of the commensal meal in Denmark, what motivates people to participate in dinner clubs and what does dinner clubs and the new tendency with common food initiatives contribute with in a modern eating culture?
To investigate this, a varied use of methods has been applied. Six semi-structured interviews have been conducted with resource persons, with knowledge and practical experience in the field of food and sociology, in order to gain a diverse understanding of the term commensality and the status of the commensal meal. Furthermore, observations and semi-structured interviews have been conducted within five dinner clubs in the Greater Copenhagen, Denmark. Lastly, 116 motivation slips have been collected from dinner club participants in order to perform visual descriptive summaries on their motivation for participating. The triangulation of methods has been used to reveal the norms and perceptions among the dinner club participants.
Based on the analysis of our data, it is concluded that commensality is understood as the gathering of human beings where the served food is seen as the mean to gather people, and socialisation is seen as the main purpose. Our results show that commensality is an everyday activity among the Danish population. Furthermore, it is discovered that dinner clubs contribute with the possibility to socialise with family, friends, neighbours and acquaintances in an informal eating setting, and to be relieved from everyday cooking chores. In a modern, changing eating culture dinner clubs contribute with organisation and structure, stability and gastro-politics that establish a frame for human interactions around food.
SprogEngelsk
Udgivelsesdato4 jun. 2014
Antal sider114
ID: 198501489