SOSANT2610 – The anthropology of food

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The anthropology of food has long links with early anthropologists who investigated food in the societies they studied because of its central role in human life and interactions. In recent years, the sub-discipline has developed to include specific studies on identity, consumption, taste, nurturing, aesthetics, health, class, gender, race, nationalism, migration, diaspora, social movements, climate change, urbanization, and globalism.

The course provides students with a basic introduction to the anthropological perspectives on food systems at local and global levels. We will discuss differing conceptions on food and human life, as well as the social, symbolic, and political-economic perspective of food.

Relevant examples are:

  • Consumption issues and the historical or daily constructions of national/ethnic/religious identities.
  • Food exchanges and social relations.

Learning outcome


  • Overview of different anthropological approaches to food systems around the world
  • Understanding the food as a subfield of general anthropology, its history and interconnection to anthropological themes
  • Knowledge about fundamental analytical models and models of explanation in fieldwork sites.
  • Understanding of connections between the anthropology of food and diverse theoretical orientations


  • Increased ability to reflect critically on themes pertaining to food in anthropological texts.
  • The ability to reflect on the use of theoretical and methodological methods.


  • Ability to produce anthropological analysis.
  • Knowledge of the ground rules for engaging with anthropological studies.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Recommended previous knowledge

It is recommended that you have taken SOSANT1000 – Innføring i sosialantropologi or equivalent before taking this course.


The teaching consists of four lectures and six seminars.

The course builds on active preparation and participation on the part of the students.

Students are expected to read the text before the lectures, and the lecturer will begin each lecturer with basic question on assigned texts.

Seminars will consist of student assignments and presentations. Assignments will be explained and distributed during the first lecture.


Take-home exam.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit your assignment.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English.You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

It is recommended to request an explanation of your grade before you decide to appeal.



The deadline to request an explanation is one week after the grade is published. For oral and practical examinations, the deadline is immediately after you have received your grade.

The explanation should normally be given within two weeks after you have asked for it. 
You find the explanation in Inspera.

Ask for an explanation of your grade

Resit an examination

If you are sick or have another valid reason for not attending the regular exam, we offer a postponed exam later in the same semester.

See also our information about resitting an exam.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2017

The course is offered irregularly.


Autumn 2017

Teaching language