Social aspects of food

Research Paper Instructions

Sociology 4 Food & Society     Fall 2019

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This assignment is an option. The other choice is an in-class exam at 1:50pm on Tuesday, Dec. 17 in our regular classroom. Both options are worth 35 points of your total class grade.


For this paper you will choose among our class topics to research the social aspects of food, with a particular focus on inequalities. You must use at least 3 class readings and 2 outside academic articles or academic books. Use at least 3 key terms from class/reader/textbook/lecture.

This paper is worth 35 points of your total course grade. Late papers will be graded down by one letter grade per 24 hours past the due date (17 points max penalty deduction from 30 possible points). If you have trouble uploading the document to blackboard, then email the paper to by the deadline. Make sure you get an email response/confirmation that it was received.

You may choose your own topic for this paper based on what we’ve covered in class, but here are some ideas: 1) how is food gendered? Investigate research on gendered aspects of food preparation or how women and men are portrayed in relation to food in the media; 2) how has industrialization and technology changed the way we grow and eat our food?; 3) how have corporations changed the way we think about food, the way we get access to food, and/or the American diet?; 4) we have a globalized food system. What does this mean? What are inequalities in our globalized food system; 5) What makes up your foodscape? Where you do you see inequalities in your food system, foodscape, and foodway (such as who grows/picks/prepares your food)? Examine the specific issues facing your neighborhood.; 6) what is the environmental impact of food production?; 7) Focus on one particular food product (such as a tomato). How can you use the tomato to talk about global food inequalities, industrialized food production, etc.? 8) What is a feminist analysis of food production, marketing, or food choices?; 9) Focus on an activist struggle regarding food production, such as a striking farmworkers union, migrant worker rights, palm oil, etc.

10) SNAP Challenge paper. Do the SNAP challenge for 5 days. Read about it online, plan your week, take notes while shopping, and discuss the results. Answer the following questions in the paper: What is SNAP? What is the connection between class (income/wealth) and our food system? What did you learn about our food system by taking this challenge?

You must first tell me your idea before you write it. Please feel free to talk to me about your paper at any time, but I want to see your thesis statement (at least, introduction is preferable) by December 3.

Utilize relevant key terms: You will also be graded on your ability to correctly discuss class topics/terms/theories. Be sure to define any terms that you introduce. Show me you read and understand the class readings and lectures. Engage with the readings – compare them when possible and explain quotes. Do not let the quotations speak for you.


  • 7 Pages. I will stop reading at 10 pages. 7-8 is the goal, not including photos/graphs/bibliography.
  • Alternatively- you can write 3 pages and turn in Vlog, or 7-15 minute video, about your SNAP challenge experience.
  • For 7-page paper: Use at least 3 key terms from class/reader/lecture. Use also 3 course readings and 2 outside academic sources. I recommend that you check with me regarding the academic sources you choose to use. The SocIndex database on the library website is the best resource.
  • For 3-page paper and Video: Use at least 3 key terms from class/reader/lecture. Use also 2 class readings and one outside academic article – these things can be in the paper or video.
  • You must turn it in on blackboard in order to receive your grade. If you have trouble with blackboard, then email it to
  • Please proofread! Grammar, spelling, and the structure of the paper will impact your grade.
  • 12-point font. Double spaced.
  • One-inch margins on all sides
  • Times New Roman font.
  • Correctly cite all literature using quotations and a works cited page (not footnotes/endnotes). “This is an example quotation” (Rogers-Brown 2012: 3). I suggest you use the ASA style guide (just google it) or another REAL style guide like APA or MLA.
    • Last, First. Year. Title of Book. City of publication: Publisher.
    • Last, First. Year. “Title of Journal Article.” Journal Title. 4(3): 5-22.
  • Plagiarism will not be tolerated. If you use text from an article, you must use quotation marks unless you have totally come up with your own words. Even then, you must cite where you got the idea.
  • You must discuss your paper with me and send me your thesis statement at minimum, but I recommend sending me more – your intro draft, or the whole draft well before it is due. I will electronically respond with comments to documents that are about a page in length. Longer papers require at least a brief meeting about your paper.

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