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The Critical Kitchen:Public Kitchen Discourses and Private New Zealand Families.


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Mothers occupy a gendered world of food in which they are now (often solely and privately) responsible in terms of its sourcing, preparation and disposal in private(ized) homes. This individualized setting for family life appears in “the language and logic of impersonal, competitive, contractual, commoditized, efficient, profit-maximising, self-interested relations” (Kinser qtd. Hays 316-317). The dynamics Amber Kinser describes are those we as authors associate with the increasingly dominant influence of neoliberal ideas. Harvey expresses the practical manifestation of these ideas in the proposition “that human wellbeing can best be advanced by liberating individual entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free markets, and free trade” (3). The New Zealand Experiment, as outlined by economist Jane Kelsey, turned a previously social democratic nation into a world model for neoliberalism. The economic- and social-policy changes initiated in 1984 by a Labour government included a structural adjustment agenda now usually associated with programs imposed by agencies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on nations seeking financial assistance. The continuation of the neoliberal agenda after the 1980s by successive governments of differing political orientations since the sudden wholesale and radical adoption of neoliberal ideas has resulted in a unique neoliberal environment that has been in existence for nearly three decades. Our paper reflects on the New Zealand kitchen as an interesting case to highlight the extent to which neoliberal ideas now pervade social spaces.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mothers, food, family, kitchen, critical, neoliberalism, cooking, shopping, consumer, organic, ethical, global, critique
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Health & Social Practice
Depositing User: Rachel Hunter
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2017 22:39
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 04:37

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