Actor Mapping in Food Networks

Course content

The course aims at giving the students an introduction to different actor understandings and mapping approaches related to food networks. Actor-Network-Theory (ANT), practice theory and other important contributions in the interdisciplinary STS research tradition will be presented and discussed as will stakeholder analysis and other actor and network understandings. The actor/object/discourse situational mapping by Adele Clarke will be an important part of the course. Mapping of food actors will be a substantial part of the exam of the course.

The actor-network approach will also touch upon understandings of technology and discuss the contemporary food systems and their technological and scientific basis.

A discussion of different scientific paradigms and their typical methodological approaches will be touched upom in realtion to the above mentioned Actor-understandings.


MSc Programme in Integrated Food Studies.

Learning outcome

After completion of the course it is expected that the student has achieved the following qualifications:

Knowledge and understanding

  • Knows the major theoretical approaches to analysing food networks.
  • Know different actor perspectives, theories and methods to understand and discuss a food related area of research
  • Knows the methods used to perform Living Lab research and implement user-orientation in in food networks



  • Is able to distinguish different mapping theories relevant to food network analysis.
  • Is able to identify and describe the major actors in the food sector.
  • Is able to explain the dynamics amongst actors, institutions and networks, their roles and strategies.



  • Is able to map the most important networks and institutions around a meal-system.
  • Is able to identify actors, institutions and their relations.
  • Is able to apply relevant actor mapping theories and methodologies on specific cases.

The teaching will be a combination of lectures, group work with texts or cases, workshops, plenum presentations, case studies with fieldwork and excursions.

See Absalon for a list of course litterature.

It is recommended that students have a general knowledge of the field of Integrated Food Studies.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Written assignment
The assessment is based on an individual report describing the actor understandings used in the semester project work. The formal requirement is use of minimum two different actor theories from the course to discuss the chosen approach. The report is written during the course and submitted at the end of the course.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners
Criteria for exam assessment

See Learning Outcome.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 18,5
  • Practical exercises
  • 27
  • Excursions
  • 9
  • Preparation
  • 50
  • Study Groups
  • 15
  • Exam
  • 18
  • English
  • 137,5