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Teaching & Supervision

Dr. Sarah Elton:

I teach the sociology of food and eating as well as qualitative research methods, at the Faculty of Arts, to undergraduates. In these courses, I foreground a critical lens. That means I encourage students to think about how social and political forces shape food systems and knowledge production respectively.

In the sociology of food eating (that’s SOC808), the class explores how society and social processes shape the food system and the way we eat. We unpack the ways in which the global industrial food system is built on colonialism–or how colonialism built the global industrial food system. We consider how colonialism is an on-going process and we investigate its impact today. During the semester, we talk about food culture and identity, race and the food system, the sociology of marketplaces, how gender plays out in the kitchen, and so much more. As a practitioner of Community Engaged Learning and Teaching, my students are often out and about in the world, making connections between theory and practice. Note that this course is very popular and is taught by several different professors at the university, each giving their own flavour to the topic.

In qualitative research methods (SSH301 in the Faculty of Arts), we explore qualitative research design and research methods. We question commonly held ideas about research and the ways we come to know something. We talk about ontology, methodology and epistemology and we consider how knowledge is produced. Students in my class get a chance to construct their own research projects and we often partner with the Community Engaged Learning & Teaching office to provide students with hands-on experience and enrich their classroom learning.

I also supervise graduate students at my university and at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health.