Welcome to the Junior Professorship of Food Sociology
Nutrition is not only a biological necessity, but also a culturally shaped and social action.
Whereby social means two things:
- on the one hand, that people's actions are socially shaped, i.e., influenced by their social environment,
- and on the other that behaviour is socially oriented in a variety of ways, e.g., so that it conforms to expectations in social networks and broader fields of communication.
The junior professorship of Food Sociology focuses on the analysis of social and cultural patterns of interpretation and action that shape food and nutritional behaviour and to which it is oriented. To better understand the social and cultural aspects of food behaviour, we focus on social communication processes in which social and cultural factors that shape behaviour are constructed, reproduced, and represented.
Special attention is paid to the issues of health and sustainability, which manifest the social relevance of food and nutritional action. Questions we deal with are, for example, how health and sustainability are perceived relating to food and nutrition in society, how they are negotiated in social discourses and how and which specific patterns of interpretation prevail and become relevant for the food actions of individuals, groups and/or organizations. We understand food as a "total social fact", which can be analysed in various food-related actions and communication processes of different actors (producers, distributors, consumers, media, politics, etc.).
In our research, we draw on a wide range of sociological theories and apply qualitative and quantitative methods of empirical social research. The aim of our research is to contribute to a better understanding of food behaviour and to derive implications from our findings for addressing specific groups and social actors to promote healthy and sustainable food and nutrition.