Families and Food: Marketing, Consuming and Managing

Special issue call for papers from European Journal of Marketing

Guest Editors:

Professor Margaret K. Hogg, Lancaster University Management School, U.K.
Associate Professor Teresa Davis, Sydney University Business School, Australia
Professor David Marshall, Edinburgh University Business School, U.K.
Professor Alan Petersen, School of Social Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Dr Tanja Schneider, St Gallen University, Switzerland

The Guest Editors invite papers on changing family forms in the twenty-first century and families’ experiences of the marketplace with specific reference to consuming, managing, governing and regulating food practices and food systems.


In both popular culture, media, and advertising family is often presented as an immutable institution, enduring in its practices and symbolic functions. The family remains an important consumption site and source of socialization into consumption practices in the marketplace. However, although the influence of the family is pervasive in terms of consumption, the constitution of the family has moved beyond the traditional suburban nuclear structure to encompass a variety of formations. This has made the sources of influence on family consumption increasingly complex and highly varied. While the idea of what constitutes ‘the family’ is recognised as having altered considerably the discursive ideal of the suburban nuclear family still exerts an inordinate amount of influence on the way both consumer culture and on how behavioural scholars view consumption.

Oláh (2013) described the ever evolving idea of family as follows “The family cannot be described simply as a set of well-defined roles anymore; it is negotiated on a daily basis, constructed by interactions between partners at the micro-level and influenced by macro structures in the political and economic sphere. Work and family lives increasingly influence each other as both women and men engage in earning, as well as in caring activities, not seldom reinforced by employment instability and precariousness. Gender relations and related values and attitudes have become more fluid, changing dynamically over the life course and across generations in the context of blurring boundaries of family and work life.” This she argues have major implications for intergenerational wellbeing and policy making. She explicitly calls for more research into family decision making about family life and money.

These changing family forms and their food practices invite further research. There have been calls to focus on how this diversity (in structure, form, subculture, constitution, race, ethnicity) affects consumption choices, practices and processes. How does this influence children’s understanding and learning about consumption; specifically, in relation to socializing children into particular food consumption patterns - towards or away from obesity (Moore, Wilkie and Desrochers 2017)? How do different kinds of families choose, buy and consume food? These familial practices can reinforce or change the way we understand family. If some kinds of family are less likely to eat together at the family table, how does this change the way advertisers represent them, or how food marketers target them? A better understanding of familial practices of managing and consuming food, and related marketing practices, is central for clearer policy insights into how best to promote better dietary habits and patterns of consumption and thus tackle health conditions such as obesity and diabetes. Is there a possibility that family and food can be managed and regulated by policy? Is regulating the family and the way they consume key to reducing obesity, environmental consciousness and consumerism? 

The special issue will focus specifically on marketing issues related to managing, governing and regulating food practices and familial practices, as well as on how notions of family are constructed in relation to food and food consumption. We seek research papers that unpick the evolving and changing understanding of how contemporary families live their lives, make their decisions, and interact with the marketplace. For this special issue we seek to bring together scholarship on four interrelated areas that will be introduced by a leading scholar in the area:

1. Family forms, food practices and decision making: e.g. family food consumption rituals and socialization practices; parenting and food discourses; family roles in consumption choices; family food socialization practices and childhood obesity
2. Food marketing and food regulation: e.g. representations of family and food in media and popular culture
3. Food Consumption socialization patterns: e.g. food cultures: slow food, fast food and its relationship with the family; home, family and home-cooked food
4. Policy issues and the marketing of food: e.g. morality and food discourses; health, disease, healing and other medicalisation discourses around food and the family

In the light of these themes, an indicative (but not exhaustive) list of possible topics could include:

•    Changing Familial food consumption ritual and practice
•    Representations of family and food in media and popular culture
•    Gendered food
•    Shifting and changing family roles in food consumption choices
•    Morality and family food discourses
•    Food cultures: Slow food, fast food and its relationship with the family
•    Parenting and food discourses
•    Health, disease, healing and other medicalisation discourses around food and the family
•    Home, family and home-cooked food.
•    Visual displays of food and family
•    Aesthetics of food and family lifestyle
•    Food, Family and class
•    Family food socialisation practices and childhood obesity.
•    Investigation and new conceptualization of the changing food socialisation practices in families
•    Examination of interface between the public (state e.g. public policy makers) and the private (family life) in the face of greater regulation but also greater individualization of responsibility
•    Examination of family food practices and its relationship to childhood obesity and its discourses

All manuscripts submitted must strictly follow the guidelines for the European Journal of Marketing. These are available at EJM home page: http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/journals.htm?id=ejm
The author guidelines are available at http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=ejm
The closing date for submission is 31st October 2017 for publication in at the end of 2018.


The deadline for submissions is 31 October 2017.

Authors should prepare their manuscript in accordance with the journal author guidelines available at www.emeraldinsight.com/ejm.htm. Manuscripts must not exceed a maximum of 11,000 words (including all references, tables, diagrams and appendices).

Manuscripts should be submitted online using the European Journal of Marketing ScholarOne Manuscripts site (http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ejm)  New users should first create an account. Once a user is logged onto the site submissions should be made via the Author Centre.

To submit your manuscript to the Special Issue on Families and Food: Marketing, Consuming and Managing choose the title of the Special Issue from the Manuscript Type list when you come to submit your paper. Also, when you come to the ‘Details and Comments’ page, answer ‘yes’ to the question ‘Is this manuscript a candidate for a special issue’ and insert the title in the text field provided.

If you have any queries you can direct these to the EJM Special Issue Guest Editorial Team

c/o Professor Margaret K. Hogg, Lancaster University Management School
Email: m.hogg@lancaster.ac.uk
c/o Associate Professor Teresa Davis, University of Sydney Business School
Email: teresa.davis@sydney.edu.au