I am a Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. My major substantive interest is the sociological study of food. I see food as a lens for investigating questions that lie at the intersection of multiple areas like culture, politics, gender and the environment. Much of my work examines discourses of ethical consumption, and investigates how consumers seek social transformation within the constraints of contemporary market forces. I am also deeply interested in the topic of foodies – what they value, how they eat, and why the hamburger remains such an iconic food. My latest research project focuses on the cultural politics of meat consumption.
Research & Teaching Areas: sociology of food; cultural sociology; consumer culture; gender; environmental sociology & political ecology; critical theory
Latest Article: “Capturing Inequality and Action in Prototypes: The Case of Meat-Eating and Vegetarianism” — In this piece, written with Shyon Baumann and Merin Oleschuk, and published in Poetics, we use interview data to analyze perceptions of meat-eaters and vegetarians. We show how participants use intersectional prototypes — like the “multicultural meat-eating muscle man”, the “meaty fat man”, the “skinny rich vegetarian”, and the “religious vegetarian” — to understand social categorizations.