Within the last decades, it became more and more apparent that the body’s immune and metabolic systems react to the modern Western lifestyle with a state of chronic, low-grade inflammation, termed metaflammation. This inflammatory condition is associated with increased activity of immune cell subsets in different organs, and metaflammation contributes to the development of non-communicable diseases (NCD).
Nowadays, NCDs represent a rising public health problem with global pandemic dimensions affecting Western societies and increasingly also the populations in low- and middle-income countries. The preservation of healthy life should thus be an urgent goal of public health efforts, however, international multimodal strategies are necessary to tackle an unhealthy and obesogenic lifestyle that is deeply integrated into Western cultures and meanwhile expanding in low- and middle-income developing countries as well.
This project is part of the 'Metaflammation SFB 1454'. It will be conducted as a joined transdisciplinary public health project between the Institute of Innate Immunity and the Institute for Political Sciences and Sociology. Cultural sociology deals with the social practices, values, norms, and actions linked to the historical onset of a modern Western lifestyle. The focus of the project lies in the investigation of ambivalences, contradictions, and dilemmas of individual actions regarding the forms of social discipline within modern societies. Investigations are taken to understand the more profound mechanisms and dynamics of individual and collective actions concerning dietary habits and consumer behaviour. From a cultural sociological perspective, the consumption of unhealthy Western diets linked to a Western lifestyle is considered as a cultural symptom of modern societies.
In this project, we are particularly aiming to assess whether practices such as rule, enlightenment, fashion determine current Western lifestyle behaviour. Therefore, consumer behaviour and dietary patterns are assessed within different status groups in the social lifeworld of hospitals. The project combines ethnographic fieldwork with problem-centred interviews. The collected data will be evaluated based on grounded theory methodology. Moreover, the different forms of social discipline will be applied, in the form of medical science-based workshops, trainings, scientific exhibitions and canteen health week executions, to examine whether consumer behaviour can be tackled or altered .
Lastly, we concentrate on public outreach, and we are conducting public relations.
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)