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social significance of dining out, TheA study of continuity and change$
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Alan Warde, Jessica Paddock, and Jennifer Whillans

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526134752

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526134769

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 28 July 2021

The meaning of eating out

The meaning of eating out

(p.50) 4 The meaning of eating out
social significance of dining out, The

Alan Warde

Jessica Paddock

Jennifer Whillans

Manchester University Press

This chapter considers what eating out means to people, for what reasons they dine out, and how their orientations towards the activity differ. It draws on in-depth interviews and survey questions about orientations towards dining out. It distinguishes between special meals and impromptu and regularised ordinary meals, identifying popular understandings and the meaning of eating out from the analysis of responses to twenty-five statements included in the survey in both 1995 and 2015. These responses indicate what people like and dislike, hope and fear, think and do. They also give some indication of change over time. The social characteristics which predispose people towards different orientations can be identified. It is concluded that dining out is primarily understood, as it was in 1995, as a substantial meal, paid for in a commercial establishment, eaten with other people, and usually primarily for enjoyment. Basic reasons for wanting to eat out are similar in 2015, but the activity has become more familiar and rather less special. Most meals out now are best considered as ordinary, and occurring in an impromptu or regularised manner which renders them normal.

Keywords:   changing orientations towards dining out, ordinary meals, restaurants, special meals

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