Families and food: beyond the "cultural turn"?
06 Oct 2011
Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
Abstract. This paper provides some personal reflections on the ''cultural turn'' in human geography including a tentative chronology of events. It outlines some of the characteristics of the ''cultural turn'' and some of the criticisms that have been levelled against it. In the body of the paper, I attempt to assess the value of the ''cultural turn'', conceptually and methodologically, as applied to two recent research projects on the geography of food and families. The paper concludes that the ''cultural turn'' greatly enriched the study of human geography through its analysis of discourse, representation and practice. But other approaches are required to explain broader changes in political-economy and the materiality of nature. While the ''cultural turn'' contributed to our understanding of materiality and our place in a more-than-human world, geographers are now also embracing other approaches such as those informed by actor-network theory and geographies of emotion, embodiment and affect. The paper concludes with an agenda for future research on the political and moral economies of food, focusing on contemporary consumer anxieties at a range of geographical scales.