Spring 2020 - SA 326 D100

Food, Ecology and Social Thought (S) (4)

Class Number: 7191

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 6 – Apr 9, 2020: Wed, 1:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Yildiz Atasoy
    1 778 782-5520
    Office: AQ 5082
    Office Hours: We 17:30-18:30 (by appointment)
  • Prerequisites:

    SA 101 or 150 or 201W.



Modernization narratives have placed food and agriculture on the margins of social thought. The current ecological crisis requires us to take a new look at the global agrifood system and its social, political and ecological relations. This course develops analytical perspectives on contemporary issues concerning food, ecology and agrarian change.


This course focuses on the sociology of food and agrarian change and their ecological relations. Modernization narratives have placed agriculture and food relationships on the margins of most social analysis. However, the current ecological crisis is forcing us to take a new look at global agrarian transformation and shifting relations of food, as well as their implications for the well-being of humans and non-human nature. This course adopts various analytical approaches to examine pressing contemporary issues concerning the centrality of food and agriculture in the relationship between humans and the rest of nature. Among the particular issues examined are: the contested commodification of landscapes and territories; the gendered and racialized processes of production and labour in farming and farming practices; peasant dispossession and seed enclosures; agro-biotechnology and super-marketization of food; agricultural knowledge(s) including indigenous knowledge and non-market values of well-being; as well as actual and potential resistance movements involved in reimagining the relationship among agriculture, farming, food getting, and the nature.


  • Written summaries (2 x 15%)* 30%
  • Class presentation* 30%
  • Critical journal* 25%
  • Presenting the international news of the week 5%
  • Participation 10%
  • *Students will receive an N grade if they do not complete any one of these assignments.


Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and the student does not write the exam or withdraws from the course before the deadline date, an N grade will be assigned. Unless otherwise specified on the course syllabus, all graded assignments for this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned. An N is considered as an F for the purposes of scholastic standing.

Grading System: The Undergraduate Course Grading System is as follows:

A+ (95-100) | A (90-94) | A- (85-89) | B+ (80-84) | B (75-79) | B- (70-74) | C+ (65-69) | C (60-64) | C- (55-59) | D (50-54) | F (0-49) | N*
*N standing to indicate the student did not complete course requirements

Academic Dishonesty and Misconduct Policy: The Department of Sociology & Anthropology follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic dishonesty and misconduct procedures (S10.01‐S10.04). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style.  It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website.

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.



Yıldız Atasoy (2017) Commodification of Global Agrifood Systems and Agro-Ecology: Convergence, Divergence and Beyond in Turkey, London and New York: Routledge.

Available online through the SFU Library here.
ISBN: 978-0-415820509

Other select readings available online and through the SFU Library.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html