The Sociology of Food and Eating

Course content

This course introduces students to sociological perspectives on food and eating in everyday life and to key sociological concepts and theories with relevance for food and eating.

We will work with topics such as the social significance of meals within the family and in institutional settings such as schools and hospitals; identity and the meaning of food and meals; and food poverty. We also examine developments in meal patterns, and how societal challenges such as environmental sustainability, risk, and health (including body weight management) are dealt with in ordinary food practices.

Parallel to the focus on social aspects of food and eating the course will introduce theories of social practices and human action and key sociological concepts such as inequality and difference, social class, gender, age, ethnicity, and social in- and exclusion.

Education

MS Programme in Integrated Food Studies

Learning outcome

Knowledge

  • Students will gain insight in sociological research in the field of food and eating.
  • Students will understand the social significance of food and eating in various contexts, and gain knowledge on how issues related to environmental sustainability, trust, risk, and health are addressed in ordinary food practices in the population.
  • Students will familiarize themselves with key sociological theories about human practices, and with key sociological concepts of relevance for food and eating.
  • Students will be aware of the potential contributions of sociological perspectives in multidisciplinary problem- oriented collaborations.

Skills

  • Students will be able to critically evaluate research in the field of food and eating and to evaluate the relevance of different social theories for food related topics
  • Students will be able to identify relevant research topics and questions based on sociological theory and research. 
  • Students will be able to contribute with social perspectives on food and eating in different professional contexts and settings.

Competences

  • Students will be able to follow new developments in sociological food related research
  • Students will have the competences needed to contribute sociological perspectives in multidisciplinary collaborations

The type of instruction at the course will include lectures, plenary and group discussions, seminars, individual and group exercises, student presentations, project work, supervision and feedback from teachers, and peer feedback.

Textbook

Book chapters

Scientific articles

Not open for Food Innovation and Health students due to some overlap with the course ' 'Determinants of Food Consumption'

Written
Oral
Collective
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, Throughout the course
The exam form is a written report which students prepare throughout the course and submit at the end of the course. The report presents a sociological analysis and/or discussion of a topic of the student's choice.

Reports should be handed in at the end of the course week 8.

The report may be written individually or in groups.
Aid
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

The following criteria will be used when assessint the reports:

  • Clarifty of problem or issue definition
  • Relevance and scope of literature used
  • Consistency and clarity of argument/discussion presented
  • Relevance of conclusions and/or perspectives

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Preparation
  • 44
  • Theory exercises
  • 25
  • Project work
  • 111
  • Guidance
  • 6
  • English
  • 206