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Food Study Group


The BSA Food Study Group joined forces with the Scottish Colloquium on Food and Feeding (SCOFF) in 1994. The group aims to encourage the sociological analysis, both theoretical and empirical, of all aspects of food production and consumption.


The Food Study Group holds hour long seminars and longer, themed, events throughout the UK. The aim is to provide a forum for stimulating debate amongst academics, practitioners and others interested or involved in social science research on food, diet and eating.


SCOFF is re-launching.  We would like to invite proposals to host future events. Simply e-mail Andrea Tonner with your thoughts.

The History of the BSA Food Study Group

Murcott, A. (2011). The BSA and the Emergence of a 'Sociology of Food': A Personal View. SociologicalResearchOnline 2011 16(3):14

In this paper, which is free to access, Professor Anne Murcott provides a personal view of the history of the BSA and the emergence of a nameable 'Sociology of Food'. Many thanks to Anne for writing this paper and for granting permission to signpost it here.

Forthcoming Events

22 October 2015 (1-2pm)

Fleshing out fat: materialisations of fatness in a disadvantaged Australian suburb with Megan Warin

TCRU Library, 27/28 Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AA


The British Sociological Association Food Study Group & the Thomas Coram Research Unit (TCRU) will be delighted to welcome staff and students to this lunchtime seminar. Please note this is a special seminar outside of the usual TCRU Tuesday lunchtime schedule.

Summary: Foregrounding the material properties and agentive capacities of fat, this paper explores experiences of expanding, maintaining or diminishing body sizes to give substance to the different enactments of fat. Drawing on fieldwork in an underprivileged community in South Australia that is represented as 'obesogenic', I detail how bodies become fat and what fat can do for bodies. In places of situational poverty I argue that fat can be characterized as enhancing wellbeing and as a material resource that acts to safeguard or augment bodily survival.  This paper thus moves away from representational accounts of fat, and builds upon ontological and new materialist explorations of bodies (Colls 2007; Bennett 2010; Warin et al. 2015), focusing on 'embodied topographies' and agentive capacities of corpulence.  Extending the question of what fat does to ethnographic accounts of bodies, I 'flesh out fat', its multiplicities and inconsistencies, to demonstrate how the productive potential of fat  ̶  to express health, 'to get stuff', to 'protect' oneself or repel others  ̶  materializes in and from bodies. Such understanding is important for broadening how we conceptualise fat – of how fat intertwines with other humans and things - and challenging current obesity prevention programs that engage in what Mol (2002) refers to as 'ontological singularity' – in which fat is seen as simply a substance to be restricted.
Megan Warin is a social anthropologist and Associate Professor in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Adelaide.  She is currently an Australia Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow and her research interests span theories of embodiment and new materialisms, intersections of class and gender in experiences of obesity, public understanding of obesity science (epigenetics and developmental origins of health and disease), and desire and denial in eating disorders. Recent publications include: (2015) Short horizons and obesity futures: Disjunctures between public health interventions and everyday temporalities.  Social Science & Medicine. 128:309-15; (2015) Epigenetics and Obesity: The Reproduction of Habitus through Intracellular and Social Environments. Body & Society (doi: 10.1177/1357034X15590485; (2014) Material feminism, obesity science and the limits of discursive critique. Body &Society (doi: 10.1177/1357034X14537320).


For any queries and to register your attendance please email: 

Food Study Group London Lunch and Seminar Series


Please watch this space for details. 


Please note that these events are free to attend but places are limited and the cost of lunch is not included. To reserve a place please email Rebecca O’Connell, noting whether you will be joining us for lunch.


All meetings are held at the University of Westminster, Cavendish Campus, 115 New Cavendish Street, London.


Please visit our Past Events page for further details of our activities.

Annual Report

The Food Study Group Annual Report is now available. 

Joining the Group

Members receive regular e-newsletters and discounted rates for study group events. Students and non-academics are very welcome to join, along with academics and researchers from any discipline. The multi-disciplinary/ multi-sectoral nature of the membership promotes vibrant discussion and is encouraged. There is a joining fee of £46, waived for the unwaged and individuals who are already members of the BSA. To join, complete the Joining Form and email to Hannah Lambie-Mumford 

Contact the Convenor(s)

Suggestions for speakers, venues and other events are always welcomed. Details of relevant books, events, news, funding and jobs can also be added to the website.


Hannah Lambie-Mumford

University of Sheffield

Send an email.


Rebecca O'Connell

Institute of Education

Send an email.


Andrea Tonner

University of Strathclyde

Send an email.

Links to Relevant/Current Research

Australian Food, Society and Culture Network - This network has been established to allow researchers and policy makers located in Australia who are interested in the social and cultural aspects of food and eating to connect with each other. It is hoped this network will foster interdisciplinary projects and other research synergies.


Dr Karen Throsby’s wonderful evening talk at Food & Society 2012, ‘Dreaming of Jelly babies' is now available on the British Library's Sport and Society webpages in a special section on food:


Food Stories is an interactive website, designed primarily for KS3 and KS4 citizenship and geography students.  It traces the changes that have taken place in the UK's food culture over the last century.  Students can play with colourful animations and listen to audio interviews from the British Library Sound Archive to investigate the ways in which food relates to identity, cultural diversity, the environment, technology, farming, shopping, travel and much more.


The Association for the Study of Food and Society is a multidisciplinary international organisation dedicated to exploring the complex relationships among food, culture, and society.  The ASFS publishes a useful list of course outlines with bibliographies on topics relevant to the sociology of food, food anthropology, agriculture and society etc, which some members might find useful.


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