Journal article Open Access
This paper suggests a rethinking of the existing research about Genetically Modified (GM) food. Since the first batch of GM food was commercialised in the UK market, GM food rapidly received and lost media attention in the UK. Disagreement on GM food policy between the US and the EU has also drawn scholarly attention to this issue. Much research has been carried out intending to understand people-s views about GM food and the shaping of these views. This paper was based on the data collected in twenty-nine semi-structured interviews, which were examined through Erving Goffman-s idea of self-presentation in interactions to suggest that the existing studies investigating "consumer attitudes" towards GM food have only considered the "front stage" in the dramaturgic metaphor. This paper suggests that the ways in which people choose to present themselves when participating these studies should be taken into account during the data analysis.
D. Barling, H. de Vriend, J. Cornelese, B. Ekstrand, E. Hecker, J. Howlett, J. Jensen, T. Lang, S. Mayer and K. Staer, "The social aspects of food biotechnology: a European view," Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology, vol. 7, no.2, pp.85-93, 1999.
G. Gaskell, A. Allansdottir, N. Allum, C. Corchero, C. Fischler, J. Hampel, J. Jackson, N. Kronberger, N. Mejlgaard and G. Revuelta, "Europeans and Biotechnology in 2005: Patterns and Trends," Final Report on Eurobarometer, 2006.
G. Gaskell, M. W. Bauer, J. Durant and N. C. Allum, "Worlds Apart? The Reception of Genetically Modified Foods in Europe and the U.S.," Plant Biotechnology: Food and Feed, vol. 285, pp.384-387, 1999.
G. Gaskell, N. C. Allum, W. Wagner, N. Kronberger and H. Torgersen, "GM Foods and the Misperception of Risk Perception," Risk Analysis, vol. 24, pp.185-194, 2004.
H. Miller, "How we engineered the food crisis," The Guardian, 2011.
J. Vidal and F. Lawrence, "Britain must launch GM food revolution, says chief scientist," The Guardian, 2010.
L. Bredahl, "Determinants of consumer attitudes and purchase intentions with regard to genetically modified foods- results of a cross-national survey," Journal of Consumer Policy, vol. 24, pp.23-61, 2001.
M. Costa-Font, J. M. Gil and W. B. Traill, "Consumer acceptance, valuation of and attitudes towards genetically modified food: Review and implications for food policy," Food Policy, vol. 33, pp.99-111, 2008.  Y.-L. Lin, Differences between UK and US consumer buying behaviour of GM food. Guildford, University of Surrey, 2005.  C. Marris, B. Wynne, P. Simmons and S. Weldon, Public Perceptions of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Europe: Final Report of the PABE research project. 2001.  J. L. Lusk, "Effects of cheap talk on consumer willingness-to-pay for golden rice," American Journal of Agricultural Economy, vol. 85, no.4, pp.840-856, 2003.  J. L. Lusk, M. Moore, L. O. House and B. Morrow, "Influence of brand name and type of modification on consumer acceptance of genetically engineered corn chips: a preliminary analysis," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, vol. 4, pp.373-383, 2002.  J. L. Lusk and A. Rozan, "Consumer acceptance of biotechnology and the role of second generation technologies in the USA and Europe," TRENDS in Biotechnology, vol. 23, no.8, pp.386-387, 2005.  L. A. Marks and N. Kalaitzandonakes, "Mass media communications about agrobiotechnology," The Journal of Agrobiotechnology Management and Economics, vol. 4, no.3&4, pp.199-208, 2001.  E. Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. London: The Penguin Press, 1959.  B. Wynne, "Seasick on the Third Wave? Subverting the Hegemony of Propositionalism: Response to Collins & Evans (2002)," Social Studies of Science, vol. 33, pp.401-417, 2003.  P. Sturgis and N. Allum, "Science in Society: Re-Evaluating the Deficit Model of Public Attitudes," Public understanding of science, vol. 13, no.1, pp.55-74, 2004.  Lusk, J. L., House, L. O., Valli, C., Jaeger, S. R., Moore, M., Morrow, J. L. & Traill, W. B. (2004) "Effect of information about benefits of biotechnology on consumer acceptance of genetically modified food: evidence from experimental auctions in the United States, England, and France," European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 31, pp.179-204.  C. P. Snow, The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution. London:Cambridge University Press, 1959.  R. Sheldon, N. Cleghorn, C. Penfold, A. Brown and T. Newmark, Exploring attitudes to GM food Final Report. 2009.  M. Hammersley and P. Atkinson, Ethnography: principles in practice. Oxon:Routledge, 2007.  E. Murphy and R. Dingwall, Qualitative Methods and Health Policy Research. New York:Aldine de Gruyter, 2003.  D. Burke, "GM food and crops: what went wrong in the UK: Many of the public's concerns have little to do with science," EMBO reports, 5, pp.432-436, 2004.  U. Beck, Risk Society: towards a new modernity. London:Sage, 1992.
Nerlich, B., Clarke, D. D. & Dingwall, R. (2000) "Clones and Crops: The Use of Stock Characters and Word Play in Two Debates about Bioengineering," Metaphor and Symbol, vol.15, pp.223-239.