Reinventing Oneself through Food

By: Solenn Thircuir  

The raw food ideology is based on an ideal of health, a social demand that of a humanity relieved of suffering and disease. Its ambition is to make the individuals become "more alive." This commitment is therefore based on the conviction and the faith in the power of the living to establish a just order. The emergence of raw foodism, claiming to hold a "truth" hidden by other approaches, is based on a dynamic of disenchantment/reenchantment of the world. The approach envisages individual awareness as a vector of societal change integrating values relating to the body, the environment, education, spirituality or politics, joins a generalized tendency which considers that a global change must first come from the individual. This is because the purification of personal lifestyle is associated with the solution to social problems. This food practice reveals an initiative of self transformation. In France, this diet is becoming increasingly popular. This article aims to understand, with a sociological approach, from the individual stories of french raw foodists, how experimenting with a new way of eating makes possible other ways of living one's environment and body. I will draw attention to the interviewees’ perception of their food choice and to the way they describe their commitment. The analysis of the interviews conducted during this thesis shows how common the vibrations are between the individual and the collective problems at the level of society.

Life Trajectories, Disenchantment/reenchantment
Food, Nutrition, and Health
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Solenn Thircuir

-, -, School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, France
-, France

PhD student in sociology at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (France) since 2015. Member of the doctoral network of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Santé Publique and Visiting Student Researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. My research seeks to analyze the merge of the raw food diet. This research project suggests a historical approach of the practices and discourses on the idea of a “good food” on two field works (American and European), but also a sociological perspective of life trajectories to understand the social and political dimensions of the individuals’ choices.