Ongoing Research Themes
The project has a number of ongoing research themes that we will be continuing to explore throughout 2016. These themes relate to different aspects of Everyday Globallisation' and include:
- Food and drink
- Travel and mobility
- Communication and social networks
- Leisure and Culture
- Employment, skills and education
- Global consciousness
The following is an example of some of the research we've been conducting around the food and drinks theme.
Food and drink
Food and drink are a really good example of everyday globalisation. Increasingly our lives and our relationship with food is dictated by our connections to other places – whether through the complex distribution systems that supermarkets operate, or the growers of the food we consume, or our associations and ideas about what we want and like influenced by travel or the media. There is also increasing awareness about food security, provenance and local sourcing, food miles and the contribution of global agriculture to climate change, as well as concerns about health and diet.
Food brings together the local and the global in complex ways and through our research we are finding ways of trying to understand how a global food industry plays a role in the lives of people in Newtown by focusing on 3 different aspects:
Material flows of food and drink into and out of the town
- What volume is needed to sustain a small rural town such as Newtown as its expected level of choice and availability, and what are the processes and logistics required to make this happen?
- We have surveyed and mapped Newtown's food outlets, and recorded the brands of soft drinks they respectively sell. Soft drinks are a mundane and ubiquitous feature of everyday life, something that most of us consume on a daily basis, and for this reason they can help us to understand how complex globalisation processes function in order to allow us to make consumer choices.
Food choices and behaviours
- What do we eat and why? What factors influence our food choices e.g. choice, availability, price, cultural influences, family, ethics, global consciousness? How have our food shopping and eating habits changed over time?
- We have been exploring this theme through biographical interviews with Newtown residents, as well as conducting a Christmas Food Diary project with the members of Newtown WI to explore their seasonal food choices and traditions. We carried out another project with sixth form geography students at Newtown High School looking at the fast-food chain Subwayas a way of exploring issues around food and globalisation, and we soon be holding a focus group with catering students from NPTC to explore their views on all things foodie!
- What is the role of local food in the economy, identity and branding of Newtown?
- We'll be continuing to explore this theme in the coming months, focusing in parituclar on ther build-up and staging of the 2016 Newtown Food Festival.