Bus Drivers' and Assistant Nurses' Conceptualizations of Food and Meals During Working Hours
In today's Europe, only 24 per cent of the labor force always works regular daytime hours. The aim of the current study was to explore conceptualizations of food and meals in relation to irregular working hours. The participants were eight bus drivers in city traffic and six assistant nurses in geriatric care. The data collection comprised participant observation and semi-structured interviews. The qualitative analysis of interview data showed that the main element in the participants' conceptualization was the importance of safety and confidence in their choices, which was managed partly within the content of food and meals: i.e. judgment of healthiness, food safety, freshness and taste, and partly within the structure of meals: i.e. management of conditions for meals and opportunities to make informed choices. Employees take past experiences as well as visualizations of the future into consideration as their basis for forming a judgment about choices of food and meals during working hours. The responsibility for food and meals during working hours is to a great extent the employee's alone, despite the fact that the irregularity of the working hours is set by the employer.
irregular working hours; meals; participant observation; qualitative research interviews; contextual analysis; Atlas.ti; Sweden