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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Research Reports
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Using Diary Methods to Explore the Meaning of Mealtimes
Author(s): Thomas, Nadine
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Citation: Thomas N (2018) Using Diary Methods to Explore the Meaning of Mealtimes. SAGE Research Methods Cases. London.
Keywords: food
older people
lunch clubs
Issue Date: 2018
Date Deposited: 23-Feb-2018
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Series/Report no.: SAGE Research Methods Cases
Abstract: This case study explores the methods used in a study of how older people who live at home alone interact with, and attach meaning to, food. In this project, we designed, piloted, and distributed 5-day food diaries to 10 older people living on their own. We conducted pre- and post-diary interviews alongside the diary entries to gather additional qualitative data. The following account provides real-life examples of the highlights and practical challenges faced in this study involving diaries to elicit data on food practices. It outlines the potential of diaries to capture the social and symbolic dimensions of food consumption, which is often sidelined to nutrition. It further draws attention to the flexible nature of diaries and how they can be adapted to specific groups—in this case, older people. However, the case study also demonstrates the various ways in which participants engage with food diaries and describes how this study coped with outcomes such as diary non-completion and respondent innovation. In doing so, it appraises the advantages and shortcomings of “open” versus “structured” diary designs and discusses how even “structured” diary designs are sensitive to unexpected interpretations.
Type: Research Report
DOI Link: 10.4135/9781526439055
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: Faculty of Social Sciences
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