Session 38

M2 Methods in Food Studies Research

Food Studies as an interdisciplinary field is interested in the historical, economic, cultural, social, and political investigation of the production, processing, distribution, purchase, preparation, incorporation and disposal of food and its implications for society. The scales on which research in food takes place therefore varies from the global to the individual or household level. Furthermore a variety of difficulties arise from the interplay of those different scales. However, the practices, outcomes and challenges that are connected with food systems vary in time and space. In our session, we would like to discuss methodological issues that arise from the investigation of a topic as complex such as food in its manifold functions, meanings and entanglements. Papers should address one of the following questions either at a general methodological level or at using a concrete example of a specific research project: (1) Which are appropriate methods to analyse topics such as food consumption practices, governance, sustainability, (alternative) food networks, food waste etc.? (2) Which data are suitable for which kind of research questions and how can they be collected? How valid are results drawn from the different kind of data? (3) Where and how can data be collected? Which sampling strategies can be applied and how does it affect the generalization of results? (4) When and why is it useful to use a mixed-method or multi-method approach? And which data collection and analysing methods fit best? What are the challenges the researcher might face? (5) What are further challenges and opportunities of food studies research? Papers debating general methodological questions and papers discussing specific problems using a concrete data type in a specific research project are both equally welcome.