Food Sociology: Understanding the Social Appetite

10 Units

This course provides students with a sociological understanding of the social context of food and
nutrition and the social determinants of food habits. Students examine social trends in the
production, distribution and consumption of food to understand ‘why we eat the way we do’.

Faculty Faculty of Education and Arts
School School of Humanities and Social Science

Not currently offered

Previously offered in 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006

Learning Outcomes

By the completion of this course, students will be able to:

1.Apply sociological theory to the study of food and nutrition 2.Describe the social context of eating within communities, organisations and policy arenas 3.Critically analyse the structure and dynamics of the food system including food production, distribution and consumption 4.Evaluate the social determinants of food habits and health-related behaviour.


Topics covered in the course include: globalisation and food insecurity; debates over the genetic modification of food; the social construction of obesity, body ideals and eating disorders; gendered eating; class and food habits; McDonaldisation of the food supply; the politics of agribusiness; the medicalisation of food and the functional food-health claims debate; multiculturalism and food; indigenous food and social nutrition; vegetarianism and meat eating; and the environmental consequences of food production and consumption.

Assumed Knowledge An undergraduate degree with a major in social science or other related discipline.
Assessment Items
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Journal article reviews (2 x 1000 words): 50% - due week 4 and week 8 (Assesses course objectives 2,3, & 4)
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Major essay (3000 words): 50% - due week 13 (Assesses course objectives 1,3 & 4)
Contact Hours
  • Self Directed Learning: for 8 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Timetable 2018 Course Timetables for SOCA6680
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