Mothers on Display: Lunchboxes, Social Class and Moral Accountability

Vicki Harman, Benedetta Cappellini

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This paper explores middle class mothers’ narratives on their daily routines of preparing lunchboxes for their children. In this study lunchboxes are understood as an artefact linking together discourses and practices of doing and displaying mothering, media and government discourses of feeding children and broader issues of care and surveillance in private and public settings. Drawing on semi-structured, photo elicitation interviews and a focus group discussion, this paper illuminates how mothers feel on display through the contents of their children’s lunchboxes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)764-781
Number of pages18
Issue number4
Early online date3 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • display
  • Family
  • FOOD
  • moral accountability
  • Mothering
  • social class

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