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SOC 808 Study Guide - Final Guide: Whole Foods Market, Poutine, Media Culture

6 pages104 viewsFall 2017

Course Code
SOC 808
Donna Appaoo
Study Guide

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Chapter 1
Why is food studies such a young field?
Cartesian dualism (mind over body) Belasco
Gendered aspect and approach to food (Male vs Female outlook).
Distancing from nature, tradition, and wisdom caused by technological
utopianism (ideal society operating for the wellbeing of all citizens)
Focus on the pathologies of food malnutrition, hunger and eating disorders.
What does food studies study?
“the historically specific web of social relations, processes, structures, and
institutional arrangements that cover human interactions with nature and
with other humans involving production, distribution, preparation, and
consumption of food" (Power and Koç, 2008, p. 2)
Theoretical Approaches to food studies
Marxist theory
Political economy
Gender/feminist theory
Critical race theory
Queer Theory
Research typically relies on qualitative methods including discourse analysis and narrative to subvert master narratives
or imposed truths.
Post modernism theory: human beings have the ability to make decisions within social structures and social
inequalities. Also how humans create meaning about health and interpret the world through social interactions. Life
course: brings attention to how early experiences, present circumstances and the timing of various historical events
influence health.
Disability theory, sees disability as a social construction informed by social structures. The impaired body or differently
abled body should be seen as part of history and culture having meaning not only as a biological entity subjected to the
medical gaze.
Structuration brings together agency and structure in the analysis of social action.
Bordieu is most known for structuration theory capital, habitus and embodiment. He addressed the relationship
between power and control and how they are used as a form of social control through societal institutions.
Discourse analysis is a method associated with Foucault to understand how power works through dialogue. Once a
dominant discourse is determined, citizens may internalize the knowledge to become compliant and willing subjects.
CAFS = Canadian Association of Food Studies
Characteristics of food studies
Multilevel systems approach the need to work at multiple scales and how changes at one level potentially affect the
entire system.
Applied and/or Transformative Work daily practical use
Spans Traditional Academic Disciplines a convergence of disciplines, rather than just as a discipline. The
goal of food studies research is to provide an area where various perspectives and disciplines can be
Chapter 2
Studying Food Systems
Food crises – what are the consequences? Is marked by dramatic, sudden price rises. The world of food become
unstable and unpredictable. Millennium Development Goals
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Food security? Food security refers to the availability of food and one's access to it. A household is considered food-
secure when its occupants do not live in hunger or fear of starvation.
Food banks? A place supplying food to poor or displaced people.
World Food Programme = multilateral food aid = dispose of surplus and require recipients to buy farm
equipment/products from the donor country.
Food sovereignty? Asserts the right of people to define their own food systems. Advocates of food sovereignty put
the individuals who produce, distribute and consume food at the center of decisions on food systems and policies,
rather than the corporations and market institutions they believe have come to dominate the global food system.
Nutritionism? Is the idea that, when we look at food, it should be defined as a set of nutrients.
Healthism? Describes a variety of ideological constructs concerning health and medicine.
Food regimes combines commodity studies with world systems analysis to identify long periods of stability and
chance in agrifood systems. Actornetwork theory, tracks human and nonhuman actors is increasingly seen as
complimentary to food regimes theory.
Commodity Studies (Farmers do not benefit from rising prices).
Commodity studies: all stages of production, distribution, and consumption of wheat, beef, tomatoes, fish, lettuce,
sugar, etc.
A commodity chain is a process used by firms to gather resources, transform them into goods or commodities, and
finally, distribute them to consumers.
Commodity Fetishism: in a capitalist economy, consumers encounter a vast range of commodities in markets which
are measured by privie, while the range of social and biophysical relations involved in their production are hidden and
largely incomprehensible.
Demonstrates how specific changes in food systems happen globally and
Tracking commodities along supply chains
Regional specialization
Class relations
Interstate power
Food regimes built on world systems theory:
Researchers show through food regime analysis how markets are shaped by historically specific rules governing
power, money, trade, labour.
Periods of food crises, or transition.
Communities of food practice: networks of individuals and organizations public, private or nonprofit engaged in
creating a regional, networked, inclusive, agrefood economy.
worldsystems analysis: provides a top down approach to understanding agrifood systems and is concerned with how
structures and institutions and policies determine action. Considers the impact of capitalism, colonialism, and state
power on food markets.
Chapter 3
Troubling Clarity: reading the mundane as if for the first time.
Cookbooks provide insight into changing social roles, identify strategic objectives and contextualize history.
Food Choices
What influences Canadians’ food choices? Social, political and economic factors.
How have these influences changed over time?
Foodways: the systems through which food is sourced, prepared, served and consumed. Foodways are influenced by
food choices and entrance and exit by each actor in the food system.
Food choices: individual decisions about where to get food, what food to choose and how to prepare food.
What is a recipe?
What are cookbooks? Prescriptive narratives, anticipate culinary experiences and disseminate within a context i.e.
implied author and reader.
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