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Title: Consuming Anxiety? Parenting Practices in China after the Infant Formula Scandal
Authors: Gong, Qian
Jackson, Peter
First Published: 1-Dec-2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing for Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS)
Citation: Food, Culture and Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, Volume 15, Number 4, December 2012, pp. 557-578(22)
Abstract: This paper examines the social context and implications of the 2008 infant formula scandal in China. It argues that the crisis was precipitated by China's rapid urbanization and the growth of middle class consumption patterns as well as by a lack of effective government regulation of the supply chain. The paper uses focus group research with families in Chengdu to examine the way parenting practices changed in light of the scandal as parents switched to more expensive imported formula and came to rely on food supplies from rural friends and relatives. The paper argues that parenting practices, including infant feeding, should be understood in terms of the high rate of female labor-force participation in China (with low levels of maternity leave), the medicalization of childbirth and antenatal care, and the heavy reliance on grandparents to provide childcare for newborn babies. While parental practices have adjusted since the infant formula scandal, a range of food-related anxieties persist.
DOI Link: 10.2752/175174412X13414122382764
ISSN: 1552-8014
eISSN: 1751-7443
Embargo on file until: 1-Jan-10000
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Archived with explicit permission from publisher. Publisher site: Version of record:
Description: Embargoed awaiting publisher permission.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Media and Communication

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