Using A Sociological Approach

Using A Sociological Approach

SOC 100: Intro to Sociology


In the article a study was conducted by students at North Carolina State University to see learn more about food deserts and people’s shopping habits. They wanted to address the rising concerns about food deserts and how the people who live there feel like they are affected. The study found that people were willing to travel further distances even though they didn’t have a car, to buy food that was cheaper. The researchers also found out that because people were travelling farther they often only went shopping once a month. The study concluded that monetary reasons are the main concern for people’s shopping habitats not store locations.


When I decided to relook at this article, I tried to look at it from a functionalist’s view. The reason produce is more expensive in certain stores is because of the quality and freshness. We need to pay more for the good because of how it is grown and where it comes from. It seems like people are wanting more and more all natural and organic food to eat nowadays and that food is not cheap to make. By pricing that food higher we ensure that food growers can keep up their business.

The limitations of the functionalist views on this subject are that by marking up the prices so much they are cutting out a lot of potential customers. These customers then need to either get different cheaper produce or just choose different food all together. These customers are then having less nutritious diets which affects their health and can have negative effects on society.


In this study I believe they used to different research methods. First, they used content analysis to survey and map the grocery stores for quality food. The problem with this is one person might think that the produce looks fresh while another does not. They then used surveys to find out why people shopped the way they did. The drawback to using this research method is that it takes a lot people and time to conduct that many interviews. Another drawback is that not everyone likes to take surveys because they may not have the time to complete one.

The problem addressed in the article is that people don’t have enough money and that’s why they shop the way they do. To address this, you could give random people extra money to spend on food and then see if they spend it differently or not. One of the problems with this is that I feel like people get stuck in certain eating habits and it’s not a quick thing to change.