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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The article considers food problem as a marker of the contemporary capitalist society based on the principles of overconsumption, fast food, standardization and predictability. The author analyzes the McDonaldized society concept put forward by the American sociologist G. Ritzer from the perspective of eating dehumanization in the process of social interaction and communication between people. It is noted that numerous protest movements are being organized in response to global trends of McDonaldized society. The first of them is the Italian movement of Slow Food as opposed to the global transmission of McDonald’s principles. The second one is freeganism (i.e. search for food and things in the trash); it is an anti‑capitalist protest movement aimed at drawing attention to the acute problems of hunger, poverty and excessive food production. The author presents a sociological interpretation of the described protest movements and analyzes this philosophy in the USA and in European countries. However, freeganism principles, ideas and philosophy have found response in Russia as well. The test provides the analysis of the content of networks records made by freegans, i.e. users of the Russian social network VKontakte, which reveals two distinct categories of population in relation to the search of things in the trash. This analysis allows to make judgment of the certain confidence level, as well as of social and civic activity of counter‑cultural freegans’ movement. The first category involves young people from 25 to 36 who see nothing shameful in the freeganism movement. The second category involves young people of the same age group, who are reticent and prefer to remain invisible while searching things in the trash.
food, counterculture, freeganism, trash diving, slow food