The social class myth of collectivism: A qualitative study of the impact of social class on families’ meal interaction behaviour
The class distinction in the Sierra Leonean society is the primary determinant of families’ access to a balanced diet as well as the level of social interaction at mealtimes. The income earned by families, their status in society, level of education and the type of job they do, significantly determines the type of food they consume. This implies that, social class can act as the arbiter to families’ access not only to adequate, but quality food. It also influences the food variety available at mealtimes. The study shows that, many Sierra Leonean families experience the problem of daily food affordability challenges, which limits social interaction at the dinner table at mealtimes. Nevertheless, the findings also show that, irrespective of the social standing of families, table etiquette are important to the different social classes, as it provides the foundation for training and socialising children into becoming responsible adults.