Sociology of Food

Sierra Clark Burnett and Krishnendu Ray

in The Oxford Handbook of Food History

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780199729937
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Sociology of Food


The study of food, an area associated with domesticity and women's work, has been neglected in sociology for decades. Folklorists and anthropologists in the past already recognized the importance of food in the development of cultures, religions, group dynamics, symbolism, communication, and other sources of meaning in human life. Sociologists, however, have been reluctant to focus on food. Even today, when food is already a major component of studies of class and stratification, labor, and consumption, there is little sociological work dedicated to food. Before discussing the merits of food studies in general and its lessons for sociology in particular, this article provides an overview of the discipline of sociology, its theories and methods, strengths and limitations that have been adapted to the study of food.

Keywords: food; sociology; knowledge; food studies; class; labor; consumption

Article.  9366 words. 

Subjects: History ; World History

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