Research of the Sociology of Consumption and Households Group

Mission, vision and objectives

The mission of the Sociology of Consumption and Households group (SCH) is to better understand how practices of consumption and care can enable (or impede) health, wellbeing and sustainable development. Conceptualizing the household as a socio-material setting for consumption and care in the everyday life, we aim to analyse the connections between care and consumption within the household and processes and practices in other locations and at different spatial scales, including socio-economic disparities, state policies and transnational flows. We look at households in different settings (including Global North and Global South) in order to shed light on how household practices are co-structured by situated economic, political and environmental circumstances.

Our main objectives are:

●      to explain how household practices of consumption and care enable (or impede) health and sustainable development

●      to analyse how household processes are co-structured by situated material, political and social contexts and circumstances.

In order to address those objectives, we draw from a range of sociological theories by deploying quantitative, qualitative, and mixed transdisciplinary research methods and henceforth advancing critical constructive scholarship on consumption and care.

Research themes

Our research lies within the fields of sociology of consumption and care ethics. We focus on the Wageningen domains of food as well as living environment and scrutinize health and well-being in society, the use of natural resources in consumption promoting sustainable development, processing of food in the household, institutions and governance of consumption, and stakeholders shaping consumption. Our unique contribution to those domains is that we focus especially on how large scale dynamics, such as climate change and food supply, play out in the household and simultaneously how household practices can contribute to access to nutritious food and solutions to climate change.

We are interested in three interlinked yet distinct areas with regard to our research themes, which are the material, political and social aspects of consumption and care. On the right you can proceed to the respective sub-pages.

Research of members of the group

Research school

The research of the group is embedded in the Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS).