Families remembering food

French store front

Principal Investigator:

Peter Jackson (Geography); Graham Smith (ScHARR)


Sarah Olive

Aims and objectives:

The oral history timeline will both inform and be informed by the other projects in the programme. It aims to document changes in family structures and relationships and changing patterns of food consumption, based on qualitative data from existing archived materials. A particular focus will be intergenerational attitudes to family, health and food across Britain. This project will also seek to address particular qualitative questions raised in the course of the other projects in the programme.

Research questions:

  • Have social constructions of the family, and memories of the family, changed over time and place (with particular reference to food consumption and mealtimes)?
  • What is the place of food in people’s memories of family life (and are there geographical differences)?
  • How do gender, ethnicity and social class impact on the different interconnections between family and food?

Research design:

The project will examine existing archived oral historical evidence collected in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The evidence, elicited from these collections, will allow for family and food to be located within broader life story data that covers the years from the Edwardian period to the Millennium. The data sources being used are:

The Edwardians

100 Families

Millenium Memory Bank