The "Proper Meal" and Social Capital in Urban China

Ann Veeck, Western Michigan University, USA
Hongyan Yu, Jilin University, China
Alvin C. Burns, Louisiana State University, USA
Representations of the “proper meal” have been studied as a symbol of the idealized family and as a means to define the roles and power distribution among family members. In the context of China’s rapidly changing urban environment, this study examines how family members depict “proper meals” to understand the role of the family in providing support and direction to family members as they negotiate new environments. Drawing on interviews with Chinese families, three major types of social capital that are transmitted via family meals are identified: identity, moral, and emotional. Implications of the links among social capital, family life, and society are discussed.
[ to cite ]:
Ann Veeck, Hongyan Yu, and Alvin C. Burns (2009) ,"The "Proper Meal" and Social Capital in Urban China", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 636-637.