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Social representation of new foods among European students

Jaana-Piia Mäkiniemi (Department of Social Research, Social Psychology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland)
Anna Bäckström (Department of Social Research, Social Psychology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland)
Salla Ahola (Department of Social Research, Social Psychology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland)
Michelle Pieri (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca, Milano, Italy)
Anna-Maija Pirttilä-Backman (Department of Social Research, Social Psychology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland)

British Food Journal

ISSN: 0007-070X

Article publication date: 25 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to measure how three components of social representations (SRs) of new foods, Adherence to technology, Adherence to natural food, and Food as enjoyment, relate to Finnish and Italian university students’ religiousness, country of origin, sex, and field of study.

Design/methodology/approach

Italian and Finnish university students (n=564) completed a 27-item scale of SRs of new foods. A series of analysis of covariance was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

As expected, technology students scored higher on Adherence to technology than social science students, and women and religious persons scored higher on Adherence to natural food than men and non-religious persons. Unexpectedly, Finns scored higher on Food as an enjoyment than Italians.

Originality/value

This study illustrates the usefulness of SR theory for studying food-related thinking, and throws more light on how religiousness, professional field, and sex are connected to the three components of SR of new foods in two European countries and food cultures.

Keywords

Citation

Mäkiniemi, J.-P., Bäckström, A., Ahola, S., Pieri, M. and Pirttilä-Backman, A.-M. (2014), "Social representation of new foods among European students", British Food Journal, Vol. 116 No. 12, pp. 1921-1930. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-06-2012-0157

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited