Bridg'it! European network in the social science of food and sustainability
The Bridg'it network
The anthropologists, sociologists, social policy and marketing scholars from FRIED; the Sociology of Food Unit of the Centre Maurice Halbwachs (CNRS Paris) and INRAE; the group of food sociologists at the Department of Food and Resource Economics (University of Copenhagen); and food sociologists and social anthropologists from the Instituto de Ciencias Sociais (University of Lisbon) came together for three annual workshops in Paris (May 2017), Edinburgh (May 2018) and Lisbon (May 2019), and discuss research and work in progress amongst researchers, early careers researchers and PhD students.
Against the current, we called our network ‘Bridg’it!’ with a view to studying food, flavours and eating across the Channel and the North Sea. In 2019-2020, the network further expanded to include the Department of Consumer Research, Communication and Food Sociology of the University of Giessen. During the pandemic, we met regularly online before finally resuming our in person gatherings, with a 4th workshop in Copenhagen on 18-20 May 2022. The Bridg'it workshop this year was held on 10-12 May 2023 in Giessen (Germany).
The Bridg'it partners
- FRIED Edinburgh
The Food Researchers in Edinburgh (FRIED) network, hosted by the School of Social and Political Science of the University of Edinburgh, brings together academics, post graduate students and others interested in food-related research in Edinburgh and Scotland more generally. Its members approach food from a variety of angles, including inequalities of food access, long-term uses and abuses of resources, food production, food governance and trade, food in relation to health and well-being, sociology of consumption and the culture of food and eating. FRIED counts with 43 researchers and 37 PhD students, coming from 11 Schools across all 3 colleges of the University (Social and Political Science – convening the network; Biological Sciences; the Business School; Edinburgh College of Art; Economics; Geosciences; Health in Social Sciences; Law; Medicine & Veterinary Medicine; Philosophy, Psychology, &Language Sciences; and Physics and Astronomy).
- Sociologie de l'Alimentation (SOLAL group) at Centre Maurice Halbwachs (CNRS Paris)
Centre Maurice Halbwachs (CMH) is a joint research unit of ENS (Ecole normale supérieure Paris), EHESS (Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales) and CNRS. Its 42 researchers and over 100 PhD students address a wide range of topics. CMH is organized around five axes: 1) Inequalities and Solidarities, 2) Work Seen from its Boundaries, 3) The Social Sciences of Politics and Law, 4) Practices of Writing and Materiality of Knowledge, 5) Intersections of Gender, Class and Race. It has internationally recognised expertise in ethnography, socio-historical approaches and cross-national comparative research. In 2017 INRA research group Solal (Sociologie de l’alimentation) joined CMH. Since 2006, Solal has brought together 10 historians and sociologists of food and eating, interested in dynamics and inequalities
in food practices, the history of food policies, and environment and health concerns in food.
- Food sociology group at IFRO Copenhagen
The food sociology group of the University of Copenhagen is located within the Department of Food and Resource Economics, which researches the fields of environment, natural resources, global development, food and agriculture as well as consumption, bioethics and governance. The sociological group is part of the section for Consumption, bioethics and governance, which is a multidisciplinary section including sociology, economics, philosophy and law. The sociological group teaches and does research in the field of food consumption, the role of food in daily life, lay conceptualizations and practices related to food and health, risk, sustainability, climate change and body management, and in the field of public understandings of technology and strategies in the food sector. The group has a long track-record of multidisciplinary research, and has been actively engaged in many large collaborative projects which include research groups from a wide range of health science disciplines as well as social science.
The sociology of food group currently consists of nine sociologists and includes four senior researchers with extensive experience in food related sociological research and profound expertise in both quantitative and qualitative methodology. The group has well-established collaborative relations with leading experts in agriculture, food technology, nutrition, obesity, economics and philosophy, and has access to quantitative data sets of food purchases (panel of 4000 households). From research in the group large data sets are available about meal patterns and practices, food insecurity, food consumption/purchase, eating patterns, stigma and implicit bias against obese people among members of the general public and a sample of GPs.
- ICS Lisbon
ICS-ULisboa is an internationally renowned research institution with an interdisciplinary interest in Social and Cultural Anthropology, Economics, History, Human Geography, Political Science, Social Psychology, and Sociology. In 2002, the Institute became Associate Laboratory of the University of Lisbon. Since 1996 ICS has always been rated Institution of Excellence (the highest rating) by international FCT panels. Since 2018, ICS is a member of the European Alliance for Social Sciences and Humanities (EASSH). ICS is home to 123 full time researchers, 33 technical staff, and 147 doctoral students.
ICS is engaged in two food-related Lisbon University networks (the Network on Food – Rede Agro, and the network on the Seas – Rede Mar), as well as with the University of Lisbon College F3 – Food, Farming and Forestry, which organize scientific and outreach events on the topic of Food and the Seas, both for academic and non-academic publics. The ICS team is also part of an informal platform of researchers dedicated to the topic of food (ICS Food Hub) that organizes seminars, reading groups and conferences on the social sciences of food open to staff and students.
- Department of Consumer Research, Communication and Food Sociology, at the University of Giessen
The Faculty of Agriculture, Nutrition and the Environment at the University of Giessen is a vibrant community of interdisciplinary scholars involved in the study of food. This
interdisciplinary environment is seconded by a strong emphasis on cultural studies in the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture, a unique doctoral programme combining various disciplines from the humanities and social sciences.
The Bridg'it workshops
Paris - May 2017 - Report
Edinburgh - May 2018 - Programme and abstracts
Lisbon - May 2019 - Report
Giessen - May 2023 - Programme and abstracts
These workshops have been made possible through funding from our various Schools and departments, as well as through the ERASMUS staff mobility programme.
Bridg'it workshop. Giessen. May 2023