GEOG 30
Geographic Perspectives on Sustainability and Human-Environment Systems

Learning Activity: Food Choice and Social Norms

PrintPrint

In Module 4, we learned about the importance of social norms to solving collective action problems. Please review the concept of social norms as it appeared there. In this learning activity, you're going to apply the concept of social norms to food choice. Simply put, different communities have different norms for food choice. You're going to reflect on this and discuss its significance for sustainable consumption and other food-related issues.

Learning Activity Directions

Part I: Create your entry

Your entry should have three sections. The first two are paragraphs of 125-175 words each. The third is a systems diagram. In your paragraphs, please incorporate one or two-course concepts/terms covered in Module 6.

Part I submission requires a descriptive title(1 point out of 50 points) that encompasses your three components! Try to make a title that contains the main message you wanted to express.

1. In the first paragraph, draw on your personal experience:

  • Describe a situation from your personal experience in which food choice was influenced by social norms. This can be your own food choice or the food choice of others you know.
  • Explain the social norm and its connection to food choice.

2. In the second paragraph, connect to societal issues:

  • Drawing on content from this module, connect the food choice from paragraph 1 to one or two societal issues.
  • Clearly state the issue(s) and how they are connected to the food choice.
  • Given this connection, state your view on what the social norm should be. This is an ethical statement, and you might find it helpful to review module 3.

*Please note the difference between social norm and societal issue(s). Examples of societal issues can include hunger, obesity, food waste, or other environmental and health issues. You are encouraged to pick one or two societal issues that you can think of yourself.

3. Draw a systems diagram:

  • Compose a systems diagram that shows linkages between the social norm, the food choice, and the societal issue(s) discussed in paragraphs 1 and 2. The diagram should have at least four systems components. Use the Drawing feature in Google Docs. Make sure that the arrows point in a logical direction and are explained.
  • When your diagram is complete, within the 'Insert Drawing' window pull down the 'Edit' menu and save your diagram to your computer as a JPEG image ('Edit' 'Download As' 'JPEG'). Make sure that your image filename contains your user id so that it is unique from other posts and is not overwritten! (For example, 'food_diagram_xyz123.jpg ').

Post your response

To post your Learning Activity response, go to the Module 6 Learning Activity: Food Choice & Social Norms Forum in Canvas.

  • Select Reply from the instructor's original post.
  • Copy/paste your initial/original response to the Learning Activity into the text box from a saved Word document (to prevent losing work if the page refreshes, etc.).
  • Select Post Reply. Your response is now visible to your classmates and your instructor. Check in to the discussion forum often throughout the week to post and respond to comments and questions.

Part II: Read and comment on other students' entries

Read other students' entries

Read through entries by about 20 other students, and respond by writing comments for two of these student entries. Please choose students whose entries have fewer comments. Also pick students whose entries are interesting to you for any reason.

Post a comment

Post a comment on the two entries you have chosen. Briefly introduce yourself and what you wrote for your own entry. Then respond to their entry in some way by using concepts from this or other modules. Be sure to compare and contrast your own entry with theirs. You might ask a question, or pose a challenge based on course concepts. As always, keep your comments polite and respectful.

The comment should be 4-6 sentences long, not counting greetings.

To post a comment on TWO of your classmates' Learning Activities, go to the Module 6 Learning Activity: Food Choice and Social Norms Forum in Canvas and follow these steps with TWO Learning Activity posts:

  • Select Reply from a student’s Learning Activity post.
  • Copy/paste your response into the text box from a saved Word document (to prevent losing work if the page refreshes, etc.).
  • Select Post Reply. Your response is now visible to your classmates and your instructor. Check in to the discussion forum often throughout the week to post and respond to comments and questions.

Grading Criteria

You will be graded on the quality of your participation. See the Grading Rubric for specifics on how this assignment will be graded (accessible through “Resources” >> "Grading Rubric").