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Author Jiahui, Yu

Title A Practice Theory Framework for Understanding Disposable Servingware Use at the University of Melbourne

Published 2018


Location Call No. Status
Physical description 1 online resource
Thesis notes Thesis (Masters Coursework thesis)-- Office for Environmental Programs 2018
Summary The excessive use of single-use servingware constitutes a major problem at the University of Melbourne (UoM). While various interventions and initiatives have been implemented to encourage students to adopt more sustainable choices, the disposables remain the taken-for-granted choices. The paper identified that current policies are dominated by the psychological and economic theories of behaviour change, which attempts to change individuals' behaviours by changing their attitudes or removing the contextual barriers. However, it is argued that these approaches have confined themselves to minor and short-term change, without addressing the roots of the problem. A practice perspective is thus adopted. Under the framework of practice theory, individuals and their behaviour are seen as socially and culturally constructed. The routinized and ordinary everyday practices thus become the central of the analysis. From this perspective, the paper proposes that the use of disposable servingware at UoM is largely related to the 'grab-to-go' eating routines. By identifying the material, organizational, and psychological factors that shape and sustain the eating practices at UoM and how they interconnect with each other, the paper recognizes that the lack of space and infrastructure, offers from caterers, the university timetable and the perceived lack of time are the key factors that influence the eating practices on campus. The paper then applies the model of recursive cultural adaptation (MORCA) to suggest the directions of change. Integrating the specific contexts of UoM into these theoretical perspectives, the paper proposes that interventions should be made in a way that can influence the way in which eating on campus is understood; the developments of infrastructure and schedules for promoting the sustainable change should be made in a way that fits into the students' routines and values. Empirical studies are needed to understand the students' perceptions on eating practices, their daily routines, and other considerations when making decisions.
Subject practice theory sustainability food culture higher education MORCA