Dr. Tracy Ore, an associate professor of sociology & anthropology at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, has been teaching a ‘Sociology and the Politics of Food’ class featuring an informative website:
“This website is put together by students from St Cloud State University in a “Sociology and Politics of Food” class. Students in the course examined how the production, distribution, preparation, consumption, and/or representation of a particular food or consumed item creates reinforces, or challenges structures of power among specific groups of people. The goal of the class was to make the information gathered both available and useful to those outside of the class. This web site is the result, serving as a â€œclearinghouseâ€ of information on the politics of food. The purpose of this site is to provide information about a variety of ordinary items we consume and the actions that we can all take regarding the politics of food in our everyday lives.”
It’s refreshing that the course is designed to produce good public information. The students’ PDFs are great introductions, emphasizing ‘things you should know’ and ‘things you can do.’ This structure, however, makes it diffulcult to get a sense of how a particular commodity chain operates from start to finish. Similarly, while labor issues an environmental costs are addressed, they’re not cleary organized. Once we complete our website redesign, we’d like to approach Dr. Ore and assess her interest in a possible HSIM / St. Cloud State collaboration.