A clash of modernities: Developing a new value-based framework to understand the mismatch between production and consumption

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study addresses the enduring problem of the mismatch between firms' offerings and consumers' desires. It combines the general framework of modernity theory with the concept of regimes and uses the food area as the empirical context. Our cultural analytical study of consumers' and firms' articulation of values of food and meal demonstrates that firms are largely entrenched in the modern era, characterized by rationality, resource efficiency, and progress as means to improve human lives by providing more and better products. The consumers, on the other hand, have shifted to the late modern era, identified by risk aversion, local production, naturalism, hedonism, and a focus on identity and everyday life. The study concludes that the dichotomy in values and the structural constraints inherent within the contemporary food system explain much of the mismatch between firms and consumers in the Swedish food market. Another reason is that firms have difficulties to respond to new consumer demands. Our results are summarized in a conceptual model of differences in values between firms and consumers. They provide guidelines on how firms can rethink the present structure and better understand consumers.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Stockholm University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ethnology
  • Business Administration

Keywords

  • food consumption, food production, late modernity, mismatch, modernity, regimes, values
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)824-851
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Consumer Culture
Volume16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 1
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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