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Title: Foodways and futures (2013-2016) : an action research approach to exploring the food choices of formerly homeless young people in the North East of Scotland
Author: Gombert, Karolina
ISNI:       0000 0004 6346 3897
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2017
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The Foodways and Futures project (2013-2016), as part of the “Pathways to a Healthy Life” theme at the University of Aberdeen, is an interdisciplinary project, combining education, sociology, public health and nutrition. An unpublished pilot study, conducted with young people who had previously been homeless and were temporarily accommodated by a charitable youth organisation in the North East of Scotland, the Aberdeen Foyer, suggested that young people (16-25) experiencing homelessness and social deprivation were struggling to consume sufficient amounts of healthy foods according to UK nutritional guidelines (Perry, 2011). The Foodways and Futures project was developed to investigate the lived experiences of the young people accommodated by the same organisation, to explore how, why and in what context they make their food choices. I combined action research and ethnography as mutually beneficial research approaches. Four different research methods were employed: participant observation at three of the housing sites, interviews, as well as a peer researcher group of young people and photovoice as more participatory approaches. The study combines methodological, ethical as well as analytical insights. The thesis' contribution to knowledge is firstly, the insights into the complexities of young people's lived experiences and secondly, the novelty of the research approaches to explore these. Foodways and Futures illustrates the ways in which food choices and practices may appear nutritionally undesirable, but are nevertheless linked to the young people's search for security and social connectedness, in their new living environments. Food choice makes subjective and emotional sense to the participants and cannot be separated from the socio economic context. In realising this, evidence for policy becomes more interactive. Policy changes require insights and action not only from the communities of concern, but also require collaborative support and action from policymakers as well as governance, organisational and managerial actors.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS) ; Scottish Government
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Homeless youth ; Diet