Special Topics in Sociology: Sociology of Food

SOCIOL XL 180D

This course explores the social aspects of food through reading, writing, talking, and tasting. Examine cultural perspectives on food, physical fitness, body image, diets, eating disorders, politics of food, and food as work.

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What you can learn.

  • Clearly articulate the impact of society on your relationship with food
  • Conduct and construct an ethnographic observation
  • Analyze the multifarious ways that food connects you with the social world
  • Identify and analyze various food-related subcultures

About this course:

Food is a multifaceted symbolic phenomenon and one of our most powerful motivators. Some philosophies view food simply as fuel, yet the fact that a philosophy of food exists tells us that food is a deeply social phenomenon. Today, seemingly nearly everyone has an opinion about food, from the expected group of marketers, nutritionists, celebrity chefs, and health care providers to a growing number of politicians, academics, activists, and media personalities. The food choices we make are inextricably linked to our cultural, religious, regional, physical, social, economic, and political identity, revealing that food is more fraught with meaning than ever before. This course explores the social aspects of food. Through reading, writing, talking, and tasting, students examine food as social entity, including cultural perspectives on food, physical fitness, body image and diets, eating disorders, the politics of food, and food as work. Transferable for UC credit.

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