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Unit information: The Feminist Sociology of Food in 2021/22

Unit name The Feminist Sociology of Food
Unit code SOCI30104
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Perrier
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims


This unit introduces students to the critical study of food and eating from feminist perspectives and explores the relationship between social change, feminism and food. Key to this unit is to enquire into the ways in which women’s special relationship to food and feeding has both been both a form of oppression and power. We discuss the kinds of power relations involved in how we think about food, in how our food is prepared, and in how we come to desire (and shun) the kinds of foods and the kinds of alimentary identities that we do. Our discussion of food will be informed by feminist theories that challenge the distinction between mind/body, public/private and reason/emotion to shed new light on classic debates about the objectification of women’s bodies, the unequal division of household labour, differences between women and women’s competing identities as mothers/workers by emphasizing the affective and sensory dimension of food practices. We consider a range of issues from breastfeeding, eating disorders and dieting, sustainable food production and ecofeminism, food and intimacy, media food culture and the gendered politics of food preparation.


1) To critically analyse the relationship between food, feminism and social change

2) To examine a range of feminist theories and assess their implications for the study of food

3) To critically evaluate how social relationships of feeding and eating are gendered, raced and classed

4) To critically analyse food and eating in a range of empirical contexts

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate feminist conceptual approaches to food and eating
  • Apply this theoretical knowledge to analyse the politics of food in a range of empirical contexts and to their own lived experience.
  • Demonstrate critical and detailed knowledge of the role of food and eating in reproducing and challenging gendered and other inequalities

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

Assessment Information


1000 word reflexive assignment


3000 word essay (100%)

The assessments assess all of the intended learning outcomes listed above.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. SOCI30104).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.