Rural Sociology 8444, Graduate Seminar in Agriculture, Food and Community. The goal of this course is to introduce key debates in the sociology of food and agriculture in the last 30 years and provides a sociological lens with which to view and discuss changes in the agricultural and food system. This information should empower students to more critically consider the practical and policy implications of agricultural change for nations, communities, families and individuals. The course covers research on the structure and history of the food and agriculture system and its impacts on farmers, communities and the natural environment, as well as more recent scholarship on emerging alternatives and social movements in the food system. The arc of the course will be looking at scholarship in sociology of agriculture and food in the last 30 years from a critical perspective. The arc will commence with production-centered analyses, particularly looking at structural perspectives including commodity analysis, labor process and theories of the firm. We will then look at the turn to ‘quality’ in food studies, and the incorporation of phenomena beyond the farm gate, which bridges a sociology of agriculture, to food studies. In particular we will examine the rise of consumer and consumption as units of analysis, and regulation/governance literature. Finally, we will spend time on alternative food networks and movements to provide sociological insight into understanding contemporary food system change, and to introduce the social dimensions of achieving a more sustainable food and agricultural system.