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Adequate Food, Adequate Parenting? Critical Insights on Family Law (and Justice) and Parenthood Through Food


The links between food, families and the law seem to be particularly strong in what concerns dietary issues, parental food choices and the best interests of the child. In such a framework, I will examine some recent decisions that have been pronounced by Italian courts having to decide disputes involving such questions in relation to alternative food choices. My claim, drawing on Canguilhem, is that some of these decisions seem to point towards an imposition to normalise food practices and familial behaviours: children and parents are to be educated towards food practices that are seen as in accord with social normativity (normal) and avoid those considered as deviant (pathological).

Published: 2020-05-06
Pages:19 to 32
Section: Symposium. Law, Culture and Things: Human Links to the Material
How to Cite
Branco, Patrícia. 2020. “Adequate Food, Adequate Parenting? Critical Insights on Family Law (and Justice) and Parenthood Through Food”. Law, Technology and Humans 2 (1):19-32.

Author Biography

Center for Social Studies, University of Coimbra
Portugal Portugal

Patrícia Branco is a researcher at the Centro de Estudos Sociais, University of Coimbra in Portugal (Stimulus for Scientific Employment DL 57/2016/CP1341/CT0023). Patrícia obtained her Doctoral degree in Sociology of Law from the University of Coimbra (2013), an LL.M degree in Legal Theory from the European Academy of Legal Theory (2006), and has a Bachelor degree in Law from the Faculty of Law of the University of Coimbra (2000). Her research interests include access to law and justice, in a broad perspective; courthouse architecture, spaces of justice and the administration of justice; the relations between law and the humanities; the mutations of family and child law and its connections with gender issues; and family law and food.

Open Access Journal
ISSN 2652-4074