RSO-31806 Sociology of Food and Place


Studiepunten 6.00

Group work0
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)prof. dr. ir. JSC Wiskerke
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. JSC Wiskerke
O Morrow
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. JSC Wiskerke

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Two of the following courses: CPT-21304 Introduction to Technology, Agro-ecology and Development M; ENP-31806 Globalization and Sustainability of Food Production and Consumption; RSO-30806 The Scoiology of Farming and Rural Life; RSO-34306 Theorizing Development: Impications for Research; RSO-34806 Social Transformations towards Sustainable Food Systems; SDC-21804 Introduction to the Sociology of Development, Knowledge and Change M; SDC-32806 Sociology in Development: Towards a Critical Perspective.


The course aims to provide a theoretical, empirical and methodological understanding of food provisioning and place-based development in urbanizing societies. It builds on (elements of) courses mentioned under assumed knowledge, by deepening and integrating themes and topics as well as theoretical concepts and perspectives of these courses. Furthermore it elaborates on emerging topics, theories and methodologies in the sociology of food and place, such as: the relations, interactions and synergies between the urban and the rural and changing conceptualizations of space and place; the role of place-based food products in regional development and food tourism; the role of food citizenship and social food movements in transforming food provisioning practices; envisioning and understanding different food provisioning practices and networks through the diverse economies framework; and imagining and exploring the future of food and place through the lens of food utopias. By presenting and discussing recently completed and on-going research projects a large variety of empirical examples will be presented and a wide range of research methodologies will be introduced, explained and discussed.
As such this course acquaints students with the most important theoretical perspectives and paradigms of food provisioning and place-based development. In doing so the course presents a comprehensive framework for a thorough analysis of the heterogeneous and multidimensional character of food provisioning and place-based development (and of socio-spatial transformation processes in general). Within that framework the on-going scientific, societal and policy debates about sustainable food provisioning and place-based development fall into place.
In addition to a thorough and in-depth elaboration of these debates, food provisioning and place based development practices will be analysed. This is achieved through research presentations by PhD students, analysis of case studies from current and recently completed research projects, and short movies and video clips. As a result students come to understand the conceptual and methodological challenges involved in studying the multiple facets of food provisioning and place-based development dynamics and will be equipped with a set of methods (through tutorials and group assignment) to study these dynamics.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand past and current sociological debates about food provisioning and place-based development processes and their changing social and political context;
- analyse the multi-actor, multi-level and multi-aspect dynamics of food provisioning and place-based development;
- evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different theoretical concepts and perspectives used to analyse the complexity and dynamics of food provisioning and place-based development;
- operationalise theoretical concepts and perspectives by applying them in the design of research;
- identify appropriate methods for conducting sociological research on food and place;
- draft a research proposal on one of the topics of or related to the course.


- lectures;
- debates in class about lectures and literature;
- self-study;
- tutorials about applying sociological perspectives and concepts in research design;
- group assignment (writing a research proposal).


- group (or individual) assignment (40%);
- written exam with open questions (60%).
To pass the written exam requires a minimum mark of 5.50.


Scientific articles in Brightspace.

Keuze voor: MOAOrganic AgricultureMScB: Spec. B - Sustainable Food Systems5MO
MDRDevelopment and Rural InnovationMSc5MO
MIDInternational Development StudiesMScA: Spec. A - Sociology of Development5MO