1st Edition

Research Methods in Digital Food Studies

Edited By Jonatan Leer, Stinne Gunder Strøm Krogager Copyright 2021
    248 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    248 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book offers the first methodological synthesis of digital food studies. It brings together contributions from leading scholars in food and media studies and explores research methods from textual analysis to digital ethnography and action research.

    In recent times, digital media has transformed our relationship with food which has become one of the central topics in digital and social media. This spatiotemporal shift in food cultures has led us to reimagine how we engage in different practices related to food as consumers. The book examines the opportunities and challenges that the new digital era of food studies presents and what methodologies are employed to study the changed dynamics in this field. These methodologies provide insights into how restaurant reviews, celebrity webpages, the blogosphere and YouTube are explored, as well as how to analyse digital archives, digital soundscapes and digital food activism and a series of approaches to digital ethnography in food studies. The book presents straightforward ideas and suggestions for how to get started on one’s own research in the field through well-structured chapters that include several pedagogical features.

    Written in an accessible style, the book will serve as a vital point of reference for both experienced researchers and beginners in the digital food studies field, health studies, leisure studies, anthropology, sociology, food sciences, and media and communication studies.

    1. Doing Digital Food Studies

    Stinne Gunder Strøm Krogager and Jonatan Leer

    Part 1: Textual Analysis

    2. Textual Analysis in Digital Food Studies: New Approaches to Old Methods

    Michelle Phillipov

    3. Reading Celebrity Food Websites: Poststructural Approaches

    Katrine Meldgaard Kjær

    4. Analyzing Digital Food Sounds from a Textual Perspective - A Case of Champagne (?)

    Nicolai Jørgensgaard Graakjær

    5. How to Approach Food Texts on YouTube

    Thomas Mosebo Simonsen and Stinne Gunder Strøm Krogager

    Part 2: Digital Ethnography

    6. Fieldwork in Online Foodscapes: How to Bring an Ethnographic Approach to Studies of Digital Food and Digital Eating

    Tanja Schneider and Karin Eli

    7. Beyond the Hashtag: Social Media Ethnography in Food Activism

    Alana Mann

    8. Food Politics and the Media in Digital Times: Researching Household Practices as Forms of Digital Food Activism

    Tania Lewis

    Digital Tools and Platforms: The Rise of Food Apptivism and Alternative Food Networks

    9. Exploring the Food Blogosphere

    Meghan Lynch and Kerry Chamberlain

    10. How to Study Online Restaurant Reviews

    Camilla Vásquez and Alice Chik

    Part 3: User’s Practices

    11. Digital Food Tracking: Combining Traditional and Digital Ethnographic Methods to Identify the Influence of Social Media Sharing of Health and Food Upon Users’ Everyday Lives

    Rachael Kent

    12. How to Use Digital Media in Food-Related Action Research

    Jonatan Leer

    13. Food, Design, and Digital Media

    Fabio Parasecoli

    Part 4: Digital Archives and Network Analysis

    14. Archived Web as a Resource in Food History

    Caroline Nyvang

    15. Tracing Culinary Discourse on Facebook: A Digital Methods Approach Anders Kristian Munk

    Afterword: Future Methods for Digital Food Studies

    Deborah Lupton


    Jonatan Leer is head of food and tourism research at the University College Absalon and has published widely on food culture including Food and Age and Alternative Food Politics, and previously edited the anthology Food and Media. He is visiting lecturer at the University of Gastronomic Sciences, Pollenzo, Italy.

    Stinne Gunder Strøm Krogager is Associate Professor at the Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University, Denmark. She has published on food, gender and methodologies in, for example, Routledge’s Critical Food Studies, and she is also Editor-in-Chief at the Nordic Journal, MedieKultur: Journal of Media and Communication Research.

    "We all know that food has moved online, but how do we study the virtual world of comestibles? This compelling book filles the gap. Research Methods in Digital Food Studies provides thoughtful ideas for how to work with digital food data, including everything from champagne bubbles and online calorie counting to restaurant reviews and YouTube cooking shows. The contributors guide us through a wide array of mediums, platforms and methodological approaches. This book will inspire exciting research incorporating food blogs, hashtags, and food celebrities into our understanding of food and social change."

    - Josée Johnston, Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto, Canada

    "This book is a must-read for researchers and students of food in social sciences, humanities and nutritional science! Acknowledging the increased normalization of the digitalization of all aspects of food in society, this anthology presents an excellent collection of concrete methodological 'tricks-of-the-trade' chapters from researchers involved in empirical digital food studies. A contribution which is much needed in the field of food research in general. The collection spans a broad variety of methods approaches and food themes, making it a relevant and interesting read for many food researchers."

    - Bente Halkier, Professor, University of Copenhagen, Denmark