My research interests are reflected in my teaching and graduate student supervision. I have taught courses on the sociology of food and globalization with an emphasis on inequality, social justice, sustainability, and consumer politics. I supervise graduate students who work on topics of food, gender, and consumer culture. A few of the graduate students with whom I am currently working include:
Undergraduate Course Descriptions
SOC 349 (UTM)
Sociology of Food
Course description: In this course, you are encouraged to think more deeply about the food that sustains you. The topic of food is particularly rich, sociologically, because it allows us to make direct connections between academic research and our daily lives. The course is designed to take full advantage of that, encouraging you to make linkages through classroom discussion and weekly writing. In the first half of the course, we will look at issues of food production. We will look at some of the major issues of conventional industrial agricultural production – especially sustainability, hunger, obesity, and malnutrition. In the second half of the course, we turn to the cultural politics of food, and tackle issues like the gendered distribution of food labour, the search for the exotic “Other” through food, and the rise of Food Network celebrities like Jamie Oliver.
Soc 317 (UTM)
Shopping and Society
What is consumption and what are commodities? What is distinct about consumer culture? How is shopping sociologically significant? In this course, we will attempt to address all of these questions. After a broad introduction to the sociology of consumption, we will use case studies to examine consumer culture in greater detail and in specific settings. Each case-study will provide a lens to better understand sociology, but also to better understand our place in consumer culture. For each consumer case study we will: 1) Identify how the consumption case-study has sociological significance; 2) Connect consumption to our social identities (how do consumers use this item to say something about who they are, and/or who they want to be?; 3) Examine the relationship between the case-study and social inequality; we may also consider the consumption case-study’s impact on ecological sustainability.