Tag Archives: Sociology

New Article in Ag & Human Values: Meat and Mothering

When Kate Cairns and I first worked on the topic of Food and Femininity, we didn’t anticipate that the topic of meat would hold such an important, but contradictory place in everyday foodwork. People worry about meat — where it comes from, whether it is safe to eat, how the animals were treated, and if they should teach kids about where meat comes from.

In this article in Agriculture and Human Values,  we draw from qualitative data collected with Toronto mothers to explore how meat figures into foodwork and childrearing. We identify a central paradox surrounding meat consumption. On the one hand, good mothers are expected to teach kids where food comes from, a perspective strongly informed by ethical consumption discourse. On the other hand, good mothers are expected to protect children from the harsh realities of modern life — realities like slaughterhouses, factory farms, and eating animals. This paradox is not easily resolved, and can force mothers to confront some of the visceral discomforts of eating meat, especially in settings that are far-removed from the lives and deaths of animals. More generally, this articles speaks to the idea that food habits are not just about knowing (e.g., knowing the backstory of your meal), but also involve care, concern, and discordant emotions.

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Read more: “On (not) knowing where you food comes from: meat, mothering and ethical eating”, Kate Cairns and Josée Johnston. Agriculture and Human Values. Published online 24 January 2018.

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Conference season is underway

Photo of of a pile of lanyards.

Photo by Mack Male: https://flic.kr/p/p74G91

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)