This paper examines aspects of the experience of eating out in 2015 and its change over time. In 2015 we repeated an earlier study of eating out in three cities in England in with similar coverage of topics and mostly with identically worded questions, and conducted follow-up in-depth interviews with some of the respondents. We focus on the changing reasons and meanings of the activity as breadth of experience in the population augments and eating main meals outside the home becomes less exceptional or special. What we call ‘ordinary’ events have become more prevalent, and we delineate two forms of ‘ordinary’ occasions; the ‘impromptu’ and the ‘regularised’. We describe the consequences for popular understanding of the social significance of eating out in 2015, its informalisation and normalisation.
- Change 1995–2015
- Eating out
- Meal occasions
- Ordinary consumption
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- School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies - Lecturer in Sociology