The goal of this paper is to help develop a comprehensive theoretical basis for the empirical study of ‘trust’ and ‘distrust’ in food, by relating concepts such as routines, reflexivity and risk perception, which are crucial in the literature about food consumption. It is part of a larger strategy which includes also a wider discussion of the project, its methodology and its scope. Taken together these facilitate the development of a conceptual model that encompasses the various dimensions and relations of trust to be deployed in our project. This format itself reflects a view which has often been discussed among the partners in the project: both trust and distrust could be seen as constructions – historically grounded, concerted, and contested – which might facilitate better social worlds. To be sure, the project takes off from the recognition that trust has gained prominence in research concerned with risk management, especially in terms of how to cope with what is called a “crisis of confidence” (Stirling 1998). However it aims to consider both trust and distrust critically – that is in relation to their social determinants as grounded in specific social and institutional histories as well as in their positive and negative implications. We aim to provide an understanding of the conceptual dimension of trust in food, its relevance and its cross-cultural variation while offering some means to evaluate the possible ways forward for ameliorating European food systems and policies. In this sense, the question arises as to whether we should have a certain level of distrust in society or, in other terms: does (a measure of) distrust lead to better, safer and more democratic societies? In Europe the interest in the democratic management of risk has meant that food crises and trust deficit are no longer seen as social anomalies. Food issues, together with the application of technology to life and biology , are the dominant themes of contemporary public debates. According to one study, they represent more than 45% of the public debates taking place in the Western world (Marris and Joly 1999). This partly reflects the need to govern and control risk perception and trust mechanisms, but it is also arguably linked to the growing need to take seriously the different perspectives of the different actors involved.

Trust and food : a theoretical discussion / A. Salvatore, R. Sassatelli. - [s.l] : University of Bologna, 2004 Jun.

Trust and food : a theoretical discussion

R. Sassatelli
2004

Abstract

The goal of this paper is to help develop a comprehensive theoretical basis for the empirical study of ‘trust’ and ‘distrust’ in food, by relating concepts such as routines, reflexivity and risk perception, which are crucial in the literature about food consumption. It is part of a larger strategy which includes also a wider discussion of the project, its methodology and its scope. Taken together these facilitate the development of a conceptual model that encompasses the various dimensions and relations of trust to be deployed in our project. This format itself reflects a view which has often been discussed among the partners in the project: both trust and distrust could be seen as constructions – historically grounded, concerted, and contested – which might facilitate better social worlds. To be sure, the project takes off from the recognition that trust has gained prominence in research concerned with risk management, especially in terms of how to cope with what is called a “crisis of confidence” (Stirling 1998). However it aims to consider both trust and distrust critically – that is in relation to their social determinants as grounded in specific social and institutional histories as well as in their positive and negative implications. We aim to provide an understanding of the conceptual dimension of trust in food, its relevance and its cross-cultural variation while offering some means to evaluate the possible ways forward for ameliorating European food systems and policies. In this sense, the question arises as to whether we should have a certain level of distrust in society or, in other terms: does (a measure of) distrust lead to better, safer and more democratic societies? In Europe the interest in the democratic management of risk has meant that food crises and trust deficit are no longer seen as social anomalies. Food issues, together with the application of technology to life and biology , are the dominant themes of contemporary public debates. According to one study, they represent more than 45% of the public debates taking place in the Western world (Marris and Joly 1999). This partly reflects the need to govern and control risk perception and trust mechanisms, but it is also arguably linked to the growing need to take seriously the different perspectives of the different actors involved.
theories of trust; theories of social action; social identities; risk perception; trust and food; food studies
Settore SPS/07 - Sociologia Generale
Settore SPS/09 - Sociologia dei Processi economici e del Lavoro
Settore SPS/08 - Sociologia dei Processi Culturali e Comunicativi
European Union
Working Paper
Trust and food : a theoretical discussion / A. Salvatore, R. Sassatelli. - [s.l] : University of Bologna, 2004 Jun.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/20261
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