The purpose of the study is to understand how people choose the food they eat. The population focuses on consumers and vendors at the West Side Market. This study hypothesizes that people decide what to eat based on social interactions. Thus, learned, social behaviors shape food-related attitudes and dietary habits. This study explores food choice by analyzing consumers’ attitudes through a sociocultural lens. I examine variables that affect lifestyle; in particular, social relationships and values. The goal is to understand how food choice behaviors reflect social and cultural values. Thus, the study investigates how consumers select food by the level of engagement with place, space, and people. The study employs ethnographic methods with participant observation and informal interviews. I interview individual vendors and adopt a public health research technique called photovoice to capture and magnify consumer perceptions. Vendors do not take part in the photovoice method, but the study aims to understand vendor motivations through personal experiences. Thus, the research project illustrates the role of vendors in consumer food choice decisions. Personal narratives are fundamental in the study to depict the interconnection between consumers, vendors, and food. This study disseminates attitudes on food choice through the power of storytelling.


Navarro-Farr, Olivia


Sociology and Anthropology


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Digital Humanities | Food Studies | Other Anthropology | Other Public Health | Social and Cultural Anthropology


Food Choice, Consumers, Dietary Habits, Social & Cultural Values

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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