A valuable international compilation of issues of food and nutrition from a social constructionist/social problems perspective. Chapters highlight the quantity of food people eat or to which they have access, problems associated with the qualities of these foods (such as concerns over contamination or meat eating), and issues related to the food industry and government policies.
The 1980s and 1990s saw the publication of several landmark works (in the United States, Great Britain, and Australia) providing overviews of food and eating as specifically sociological topics of inquiry. Early British volumes, such as and , draw from microsociological subfields, such as gender and interactionist perspectives, and they focus on the social and cultural meanings of everyday food experiences. incorporates health considerations into these experiences. uses changing trends in food practices to examine cultural theories of taste and consumption. and filter food issues through the lenses of social constructionism and social problems. analyzes food meanings in relation to theories of governance and the state.
Sociology of Food Questions How has food shaped our society
Brian Obach, professor of sociology at SUNY New Paltz, has released “Organic Struggle,” a new publication from MIT Press that looks at the past, present and future of the push to develop and institutionalize the practices and principles of sustainable agriculture.
Summer's here, and the time is right for … going to class
Food is a relatively new empirically distinct area within sociology, yet one that has seen extensive interest and growth. Previously, studies of food production and consumption typically fell under the purview of research on health, agrarian studies, development sociology, agricultural economy, or social anthropology. Rural and natural resource sociologists especially have long emphasized the management and impacts of food production systems in their work. In classical tomes food was typically mentioned as an example of social classification or of social problems rather than a distinct object of study. Since the 1980s sociologists’ attention to how food strengthens social ties; marks social and cultural differences; and is integrated into social organizational forms, ranging from households to empires, has grown. Early-21st-century interest in food by both researchers and the larger public follows heightened awareness of the global character of markets and politics, concerns with health and safety, and the ways cooking and dining out have become fodder for media spectacle. Today sociologists of food display considerable diversity in their theoretical approaches, research methods, and empirical foci. Sociologists draw upon both classic and contemporary sociological theorists to study food’s production, distribution, and consumption as well as how food and eating are integrated into social institutions, systems, and networks. Topically, sociologists contribute to research on inequality and stratification, culture, family, markets, politics and power, identity, status, social movements, migration, labor and work, health, the environment, and globalization. Sociological work on food in the late 20th and early 21st centuries is characterized by two overlapping threads: food systems (derived in part from scholarship on agricultural production and applied extension as well as environmental, developmental, and rural sociology) and food politics, identity, and culture (which reveals social anthropological and cultural-historical undertones). Both are nested in the emerging interdisciplinary research field of food studies, which has gained greater institutional footholds at universities in Europe and Australia than in the United States and Canada (but this may be changing). Sociologists working across the two threads examine issues of food and inequality, trade, labor, power, capital, culture, and technological innovation. This article maps out social science research and theorizing on what we eat, how we produce and procure food, who benefits, with whom we eat, what we think about food, and how food fits with contemporary social life.
Introduction to Sociology – 1st Canadian Edition
Here's a question for nosy foodies to ponder: what's the link between Chinese noodles and Italian pasta? Noodles have existed in Asia for thousands of years. While the origin of pasta is often attributed to Marco Polo, who traveled to China in the 13th century, it's more likely that nomadic Arabs brought noodles west at an earlier date. Italian immigrants went on to use their noodles to create a new dish for their adopted homeland: the "all-American" spaghetti and meatballs!