Why do people continue to eat meat, even when they are aware of its health consequences, the environmental externalities, and the harsh conditions in many confined animal feeding operations?
In this article in Sociological Forum, we examine a diverse sample of Canadian meat eaters and vegetarians to study justifications for eating meat. We identify 4 key cultural repertoires that people employ to make sense of their continued meat-eating: embodied masculinity, cultural preservation, consumer apathy, and consumer sovereignty. Building off prior psychological findings, the identification of these cultural repertoires allows us to understand more fully how and why people maintain their meat consumption—even in the face of growing public discourse about meat’s significant health, environmental, and social risks.
I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to carefully read Richard Ocejo’s super interesting book, Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy, for an Author-meets-critic session last Spring at the Eastern Sociology meetings. Ocejo’s book does an excellent job thinking through the labour underpinnings of urban hipster/foodie culture. It’s also an excellent example of how good sociology can creatively make connections between seemingly disparate phenomena — like butchers, cocktails, craft whiskey, and barbershops.
I wrote up a book review for Food, Culture and Society, which is now out and available here:
Academic conference season is underway! I’m looking forward to sharing my newest research at upcoming events, and several of the students I supervise will be speaking about their own exciting work. Here are some of the conferences where we will be presenting (or have recently presented):
Represent: Student Leadership Conference (29 – 30 April, Toronto)
- Alexandra Rodney and Margaryta Ignatenko. “Disruptive Innovation Through Collaboration: Increasing Student Engagement” (28 April)
Indigenous Peoples’ Land Rights and the Roles of Ethnoecology & Ethnobotany (2- – 5 May, Victoria)
- Anelyse Weiler. Wrap-up/Commentary with Barbara Wilson (3 May). Mediator for “Plants and Indigenous Environmental Stewardship Protected Areas: New Models for Indigenous Governance” (4 May)
Canadian Association for Food Studies (28-30, Toronto)
- Josée Johnston. Panelist for “Communities, Collaboration, Complexity: Diverse Perspectives and Experiences of Canadian Food Studies” (28 May)
- Alexandra Rodney. “Teaching Food Insecurity: The Social Assistance Food Budget Challenge” (30 May)
Canadian Sociological Association (29 May – 1 June, Toronto)
Canadian Association of College and University Student Services Annual Conference (11-14 June, Ottawa)
- Kelly, Heather, David Newman, Julia Smeed, Jacquie Beaulieu and Alexandra Rodney. “(Re)Designing the student experience: What happens when we stop surveying students and start talking to them?” (14 June)
American Sociological Association (11 – 16 August, Montréal)