NIFK20001U The Sociology of Food and Eating

Volume 2024/2025

MS Programme in Integrated Food Studies


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, identity and the meaning of food and meals and food poverty. We also examine developments in meal patterns and how societal challenges such as climate change, risks, 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, stigma, social class, gender, age, and social in- and exclusions.

Learning Outcome


  • 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.



  • 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.



  • Students will have competencies to critically evaluate research in the field of food and eating
  • 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


Book chapters

Scientific articles

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.
Not open for Food Innovation and Health students due to some overlap with the course ' 'Determinants of Food Consumption'
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 20
  • Preparation
  • 44
  • Theory exercises
  • 25
  • Project work
  • 111
  • Guidance
  • 6
  • Total
  • 206
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, Throughout the course
Type of assessment details
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.
Exam registration requirements



All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

A new or revised report may be handed in at the time stipulated in the annual structure of the Science Faculty

Criteria for exam assesment

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