SOC 321

Food, Culture, and Society

4 Undergraduate credits
Effective May 2, 2018 – Present

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

This course introduces and explores the sociological perspective through the study of food. While eating is a biological necessity and often a social activity, the meanings of food are embedded in larger socio-cultural contexts. Food is connected to individual and cultural identities, structures of power and inequality, and activism and social justice. Students will examine the social forces and social relations surrounding food, and the links between food and bodies. Lecture, discussion, multimedia materials, and a variety of readings are used to study the complex connections between food, culture, and society.


Learning outcomes


  • Comprehends and applies sociological concepts, theories, and processes to the study of food.
  • Examines and appreciates how culture, gender, race, ethnicity, and class influence food-related practices and behaviors.
  • Applies course materials to ones own experiences with food socialization.
  • Interprets and evaluates contemporary social issues in relation to food.
  • Writes analytical papers that are informed, well reasoned, and literate at an upper division college level.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  • Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
  • Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.

Goal 7: Human Diversity

  • Understand the development of and the changing meanings of group identities in the United States' history and culture.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the individual and institutional dynamics of unequal power relations between groups in contemporary society.
  • Analyze their own attitudes, behaviors, concepts and beliefs regarding diversity, racism, and bigotry.
  • Describe and discuss the experience and contributions (political, social, economic, etc.) of the many groups that shape American society and culture, in particular those groups that have suffered discrimination and exclusion.
  • Demonstrate communication skills necessary for living and working effectively in a society with great population diversity.

Fall 2019

Section Title Instructor
01 Food, Culture, and Society Enke, Ja Books Course details

Spring 2020

Section Title Instructor
01 Food, Culture, and Society Enke, Ja Books Course details