The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2018

Course handbook


Aims to provide students with a sociological understanding of the social context of food and nutrition. Students examine the production, distribution and consumption of food to understand 'why we eat the way we do'. Topics include: the causes of world hunger; the rise in popularity of vegetarianism; the environmental consequences of food production and consumption practices; debates over the genetic modification of food; the links between gender and food; and the influence of social class and culture on food habits.

Availability2018 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2018

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of theories, research methods and debates in food sociology

2. Be familiar with the process of critical appraisal of relevant literature

3. Critically analyse and discuss a refereed journal article in written and oral form relevant to food sociology

4. Construct an evidence table on a specific topic relevant to food sociology

5. Communicate understanding of theories and debates in food sociology in essay form.


  1. An overview of sociological approaches to studying food and nutrition.
  2. The ethics and politics of food production and consumption, in terms of world hunger, the environment, and vegetarianism.
  3. The links between food and the body, especially the social construction of obesity and thinness, and the links between gender and food.
  4. Critiques of the social consequences of genetically modified food.
  5. Food policy and issues of food regulation.
  6. The role of class and culture in food consumption.

Assumed knowledge

40 units of study at1000 level.

Assessment items

Participation: Online participation

Written Assignment: Written Assignment

In Term Test: Exam (x 2)

Written Assignment: Annotated bibliography

Contact hours



Online 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks

Online Activity

Online 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks

Self-Directed Learning

Self-Directed 1 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks