Individual choices? Bioscience, culture and society as approaches to genes, eating and health

Mari Niva, Mari Sandell, Anna Kirveennummi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


The interest in food, eating and health is increasing within a number of disciplines.This paper presents the background and a plan for an interdisciplinary study that aims at examining the practices of eating as an entanglement of biology, culture and society all together. Our interest is on genes not only as a biological fact but also as a scientific discovery that increasingly shapes our understandings of the interconnections between genotype, eating patterns and health. Genetics is assumed to bear a growing role in the self-understanding and eating practices of future consumers. In this paper, we first highlight the basic assumptions on the role of the social and the individual in theory of practices, food-relating taste psychogenomics, and cultural studies. Then we present our own effort to put these approaches together as an empirical study that employs both analysis of genotypes of voluntary participants, qualitative and quantitative studies on notions of eating, genes and health, and a critical analysis of the production and the context of the empirical knowledge generated in the study. And finally, we discuss the potentialchallenges and discoveries we might face in the process of finding a common language, develop-ing our theoretical ideas and producing new perspectives.
Original languageFinnish
Title of host publicationFuture of the Consumer Society : Proceedings of the Conference "Future of the Consumer Society"
EditorsMarileena Koskela, Markus Vinnari
Publication date2009
ISBN (Electronic)978-951-564-968-3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
MoE publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings

Publication series

PublisherTurun yliopisto, Turun kauppakorkeakoulu
ISSN (Electronic)1797-1322

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