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'Because we can spend quality time together': Year 10 students' experiences and perceptions of 'family meals'

Tilbury, F., Dziurawiec, S., Gallegos, D. and Abernethie, L. (2005) 'Because we can spend quality time together': Year 10 students' experiences and perceptions of 'family meals'. In: TASA 2005: Annual Conference of the Australian Sociological Association, 5 - 8 December 2005, University of Tasmania, Tasmania

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This paper reports the findings of a study investigating beliefs and practices surrounding the ‘family meal’. Using data from a sample of 415 Year 10 students, the paper challenges current media driven concerns about the loss of the ‘family meal’, instead finding that while, for some, it may look rather different from the traditional ideal, for a vast majority, meals are: eaten together, rather than in isolation; are home made, rather than store bought or fast food; and are the sites for conversation. While television watching is a common practice, it does not appear to preclude conversation. For these young people, opinion was equally divided on the value of the ‘family meal’, with those who saw it as important regarding its value as in the opportunity for family communication. The findings of the current study go some way to dispelling the myth that traditional notions of the family meal no longer exist. It also suggests that socialisation can still occur in non-traditional meal practices.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology
School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Copyright: 2005 The Authors
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