Complexity and conundrums. Citizens’ evaluations of potentially contentious novel food technologies using a deliberative discourse approach
KeywordNovel food technologies
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CitationGráinne M. Greehy, Mary B. McCarthy, Maeve M. Henchion, Emma J. Dillon, Sinéad N. McCarthy. Complexity and conundrums. Citizens’ evaluations of potentially contentious novel food technologies using a deliberative discourse approach. Appetite, 2013, 70, 37-46. DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2013.06.083.
AbstractThis research considers the processes involved in the formation of attitudes by citizens on potentially contentious novel food technologies (NFTs). Observations of one-to-one deliberative discourses between food scientists and citizens, during which they discussed these technologies, form the basis of this enquiry. This approach enables an exploration of how individuals construct meaning around as well as interpret information about the technologies. Thematic analysis identifies key features that provide the frameworks for citizens’ evaluations. How individuals make sense of these technologies is shaped by their beliefs, values and personal characteristics; their perceptions of power and control over the development and sale of NFT related products; and, the extent to which these products are relevant to their personal lives. Internal negotiations between these influences are evident, and evaluations are based on the relative importance of each influence to the individual. Internal conflicts and tensions are associated with citizens’ evolving evaluative processes, which may in turn present as attitude ambivalence and instability. Many challenges are linked with engaging with the general public about these technologies, as levels of knowledge, understanding and interest vary.
FunderDepartment of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Ireland