RSO-22306 Food Culture and Customs


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper0
Excursion (one day)8
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)O Morrow
Lecturer(s)O Morrow
prof. dr. CN van der Weele
Examiner(s)dr. JAB Duncan
O Morrow
prof. dr. CN van der Weele

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Some personal experience with food across different cultures.


Studying food is a way of studying some of the big questions that occupy social scientists. This course examines the role that food plays in customs and across cultures. Food culture is the expression of how people value food and everything connected to food. As such, this course is an exploration into the ever changing social functions of food. This does not mean we will look at different cultures around the world. Instead, it entails an examination of the attitudes and assumptions that shape people's lives; the rituals and beliefs that mark their identities; the role of ethics in food choice; and the ways foods are grown, processed, sold and consumed in particular places.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand food as a social concept from different cultural, social and ethical perspectives;
- assess the different roles and meanings food can have across food cultures;
- analyse the role of social structure and agency on food cultures and individual food choices;
- formulate ethical arguments in relation to food;
- analyse tensions between sociological and ethical approaches to identity.


- lectures;
- guest lectures;
- discussions;
- tutorials;
- group assignments;
- excursion.


- reflection journal (30%);
- group assignment (20%);
- final exam (50%), a grade of 5.5 is needed for each element to pass the course. The exam consists of short answer and multiple choice questions related to the themes and readings from each week.


Articles will be made available in Brightspace. 

Restricted Optional for: MFTFood TechnologyMScF: Spec. F - Gastronomy Science2MO
Restricted Optional for: WUCBHBSc Minor Consumer Behaviour2MO