Families and food: exploring food well-being in poverty

Archana P. Voola, Ranjit Voola, Jessica Wyllie, Jamie Carlson, Srinivas Sridharan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper aims to investigate dynamics of food consumption practices among poor families in a developing country to advance the Food Well-being (FWB) in Poverty framework. Design/methodology/approach: The research design used semi-structured interviews with 25 women and constructivist grounded theory to explore food consumption practices of poor families in rural South India. Findings: Poor families’ everyday interactions with food reveal the relational production of masculinities and femininities and the power hegemony that fixes men and women into an unequal status quo. Findings provides critical insights into familial arrangements in absolute poverty that are detrimental to the task of achieving FWB. Research limitations/implications: The explanatory potential of FWB in Poverty framework is limited to a gender (women) and a specific country context (India). Future research can contextualise the framework in other developing countries and different consumer segments. Practical implications: The FWB in Poverty framework helps identify, challenge and transform cultural norms, social structures and gendered stereotypes that perpetuate power hegemonies in poverty. Policymakers can encourage men and boys to participate in family food work, as well as recognise and remunerate women and girls for their contribution to maintaining familial units. Originality/value: This paper makes an original contribution to the relevant literature by identifying and addressing the absence of theoretical understanding of families, food consumption and poverty. By contextualising the FWB framework in absolute poverty, the paper generates novel understandings of fluidity and change in poor families and FWB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2423-2448
Number of pages26
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2018


  • Families
  • Food consumption
  • Food well-being
  • Gender
  • Poverty

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