LLEK10297U The Sociology of Food Consumption

Volume 2017/2018

MSc Programme in Human Nutrition
MSc Programme in Food Innovation and Health
MSc Programme in Clinical Nutrition


Focus is on basic sociological thinking and the sociology of food consumption. Themes covered are: Food culture and eating habits, meal structures and meal patterns; food production in the household and its socio-cultural meanings, the importance of food and meals in everyday life, social and cultural influences on food preferences, food acceptability and habits, the role of health concerns in ordinary eating habits, etc.

Focus will also be on social science research designs and methods, including both quantitative and qualitative methods. A central element in the course is a project where the students (working in groups) select and define a topic, formulate problem and prepare a study design and implement a small data collection for an empirical study within the field of sociology of food.

Learning Outcome

The students gain insight in a) social and cultural aspects of the meaning and significance of food in people's everyday lives and in b) standard social science methods used within the sociology of food.

- Show overview of central social and cultural aspects of people’s relationship to food
- Express knowledge about the meanings associated withfood and meals
- Express knowledge about people's understandings of and practices related to food and health
- Describe social and cultural variations in people's relationship to food- Express knowledge of central sociological theory and key concepts relevant to food consumption
- Show overview of current social science data collection methods and their use

- Identify key concepts and sociological theory relevant to studies of food consumption
- Apply sociological data collection methods at a basic level


Assessing food and nutritional related issues in a social and cultural perspective
- Formulate and justify a sociological problem of relevance to the nutritional field
- Applying sociological theory in relation to concrete food related issues
- Designing sociological studies in relation to foodl related issues
- Assessing methodological designs critically


Course compendium with sociological articles (for sale in Academic Books,SCIENCE)

The course will include both lectures and seminars, where theoretical issues are addressed in the light of literature and exercises where the students are trying out different methods and designs. The emphasis in this course is the completion of an independent project where students in groups work on a self-selected food sociological topic and design an empirical study, develop methodological tools for collecting data and test them in a small pilot study.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 67
  • Project work
  • 102
  • Theory exercises
  • 8
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 min
Individual oral exam first focusing on the project report and secondly on a question related to the curriculum drawn by the student. The grade is only based on the oral exam.
Exam registration requirements

submission of a group project report.

Written aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship

Same as ordinary exam.

If the student has not handed in the group project report, the student should hand in the project report individually instead of in a group, two weeks prior to the re-exam. It must be approved before the exam.

Criteria for exam assesment

See aims of course = Learning Outcome