Eva Neely

Doctor of Philosophy, (Health Promotion)
Study Completed: 2015
College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Citation

Thesis Title
Moving beyond Nutrients- Nurturing Young People's Social Health and School Connectedness through Food

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Food plays a central role in social health, and contributes to the overall quality of life. This thesis framed food practices as important for social health by investigating the ways in which food practices foster school connectedness in young people. A critical ethnographic methodology was used to explore in depth everyday food practices within a secondary school setting. The thesis highlighted that food practices played a role in social health, and were tacit but important vehicles for young people’s social relationships. The findings showed that food rituals enabled young people to establish, maintain, and strengthen peer relationships in everyday interactions; that shared lunches were a valuable practice; and how they could be used in a whole-school approach. This thesis provides an important contribution for understanding the mechanisms by which school food practices may contribute to school connectedness as a protective factor for young people’s overall health and educational achievement.  Mrs Neely investigated the ways in which food practices fostered school connectedness in young people. She found that food practices played a role in social health, and were tacit but important vehicles for young people’s social relationships. This thesis provides an important contribution for understanding the mechanisms by which school food practices may contribute to school connectedness as a protective factor for young people’s overall health and educational achievement.

Supervisors
Professor Christine Stephens
Dr Carolyn Morris
Dr Mat Walton

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