University of Oulu

The role of empathy in food literacy initiatives in schools

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Author: Rufino De Oliveira Neto, Gilberto1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3 MB)
Pages: 74
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : G. Rufino De Oliveira Neto, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-06-26
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Jokikokko, Katri
Reviewer: Jokikokko, Katri
Karjalainen, Magda


The multidisciplinary research on empathy, commonly agreed to be the ability to take another person’s perspective, has come a long way in the attempt to describe and understand its wide scope of action. This master’s thesis intends to explore the role of empathy in food literacy initiatives in the observed case studies, specifically in their attempt to foster prosocial food choices. Food literacy is part of a larger paradigm which intends not only to educate people about healthy eating, but providing both critical and functional knowledge regarding food-related decisions. As this thesis’ focus is to understand the role of empathy in promoting prosocial food choices, food literacy inside the school environment was utilised as the channel. In order to understand the role of empathy in food literacy at school phenomenon in practice, this thesis’ methodological approach was a multiple case study, which brought together 3 food literacy initiatives in 3 very diverse school scenarios: the Food Literacy course in Britannia Secondary School in Canada, the Landless Workers Movement Itinerant School in Brazil and the Fairtrade Schools in the United Kingdom. The adopted data analysis method was an inductive content analysis of the cases official releases, other relevant documents and two open-ended interviews. The conclusion is that the role of empathy in food literacy initiatives in schools are three: expanding affiliation, betting on the collective and biosphere consciousness. This thesis did not test the causal relationship of empathy in food literacy and food choices, but utilised a combination of literature on empathy and food consumption as well as case studies to justify its positions in the findings.

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Copyright information: © Gilberto Rufino De Oliveira Neto, 2019. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.