A Cultural Experience through Food

Sociology of Food students enjoying a proper tea at an art museum in London.

No human endeavor is untouched by the necessity for food and water. The Sociology of Food, a London-based study abroad opportunity led by professor Debra Street, allows students like former College of Arts and Sciences Ambassador, Katie Flynn, to explore how food and water shape both the everyday and exotic experiences in the modern world.

“I was able to try different cuisines and explore a diverse and historical city, vastly different from everything that I have known, living in Buffalo my entire life," Katies says. "It also pushed me to change my major to Psychology and Sociology, and now I'm writing a Sociology Honor’s Thesis!”

Students used a sociological lens to explore a part of everydaylife that is often taken for granted. They acquired a new understanding of how globalization has changed the ways food is produced, consumed, and disposed of, and why the future of food security has become such a critical area of study. Learning took place in the classroom and through visits to different kinds of food venues. From Harrod’s famous Food Halls, to supermarkets, street markets, and historic wholesale markets, these places underscored social inequalities associated with food production and distribution.