Research of the Sociology of Consumption and Households Group

SCH Research agenda

Despite considerable progress in global well-being stark inequalities have remained extant. The mission of the Sociology of Consumption and Households group (SCH) is to understand who is at risk of malnutrition, bad health, and lack of care and how well-being is produced and allocated in households, larger social networks, and within different settings.

The vision of SCH is to research processes, causes and consequences of social inequalities in (food) consumption, care, and health in Western and non-Western societies. We study individuals within their social contexts, adopting both an intergenerational perspective, in our concern with how (dis)advantage is transmitted across generations, and an intragenerational perspective, focusing on human development and life course change. Our work is comparative in nature, exploring the impact of socioeconomic, institutional, and cultural contexts on the processes that generate inequalities.

 Our objectives are:

  1. To explain inequalities in consumption, health, and care across Western and non-Western societies
  2. To explain these inequalities over the life course and from a life course perspective
  3. To integrate social and life science perspectives to better understand our research area
  4. To study both behavior and practices using quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research methods

Research themes

Our research area interfaces with the sociology of stratification, life course studies, and food choice/ consumer studies. We focus on the Wageningen-specific domains of food consumption and nutrition, health, and care addressing both practices and behaviours and exploiting qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods to examine how inequalities vary across societies and subgroups, what causes these inequalities, and what are their consequences. We use the life course approach as a lens to examine the interacting, and temporal nature of inequalities in life course trajectories, emphasizing people’s social, spatial, and historical embeddedness.


Research of members of the group

Research school

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