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Adolescent experiences of 'family meals' in Australia

Gallegos, D., Dziurawiec, S., Fozdar, F. and Abernethie, L. (2011) Adolescent experiences of 'family meals' in Australia. Journal of Sociology, 47 (3). pp. 243-260.

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Popular discourse laments the decline of the ‘family meal’, leading to family fragmentation and nutritional compromise. This article reports findings of a study investigating beliefs and practices surrounding the ‘family meal’, using data drawn from an on-line survey completed by 625 adolescents in Perth, Western Australia. The results challenge current concerns about the loss of the ‘family meal’, demonstrating that, for a majority, meals are eaten together rather than in isolation; are home-made rather than store bought or fast food; and are sites of conversation regardless of the presence of a television. Adolescents are divided, however, on the value of the ‘family meal’, with half seeing it as a positive experience of family togetherness and half regarding it negatively or as unimportant. The findings go some way to dispelling the notion that the ‘family meal’ no longer exists in Australia.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology
Publisher: Sage
Copyright: The Australian Sociological Association
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