Bus Drivers' and Assistant Nurses' Conceptualizations of Food and Meals During Working Hours


  • Eva Gunilla Svederberg Kristianstad University College
  • Maria Nyberg Kristianstad University College
  • Klas Sjöberg Lund University




irregular working hours, meals, participant observation, qualitative research interviews, contextual analysis, Atlas.ti, Sweden


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. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1002150


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Author Biographies

Eva Gunilla Svederberg, Kristianstad University College

Eva SVEDERBERG, PhD, is a senior lecturer in Education at the School of Teacher Education at Kristianstad University College. Her field of research is food and nutrition from a learning perspective, where the consumers' perspective and possibilities to make informed choices is a primary point of departure.

Maria Nyberg, Kristianstad University College

Maria NYBERG, PhD, is a lecturer in Culinary Arts, Food and Meal Science at Kristianstad University College. Her research interests include food patterns and attitudes to food and meals, as well as how this can be understood in relation to everyday life practices in general and the demands of the work in particular.

Klas Sjöberg, Lund University

Klas SJÖBERG, Associate Professor, is a senior consultant in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology and Hepatology. He is also an active researcher in immunology and gastroenterology, especially nutrition, at the Department of Medicine, Lund University.




How to Cite

Svederberg, E. G., Nyberg, M., & Sjöberg, K. (2010). Bus Drivers’ and Assistant Nurses’ Conceptualizations of Food and Meals During Working Hours. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 11(2). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-11.2.1254