Sociology of the Environment and Food Systems

Faculty in this area study how ideas, policies, and behavior concerning the environment (or nonhuman natures) and food systems are constructed and what their consequences are for society. Many of these studies take a global or transnational perspective. 

Faculty’s research interests include:

  • The political economy of the new “ Green-Revolution" for Africa
  • Philanthropic efforts to bring agricultural biotechnology to the global south
  • Mobilization around genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in different national contexts
  • Environmental and environmental justice movements 
  • The social and political consequences of “eco-terrorism” legislation
  • Linking environmental sociology and environmental justice studies with feminist theory, critical race theory, postcolonial and post-statist theories, and critical animal studies
  • When and how governments sign on to environmental policies concerning climate change 
  • Global waste dumping
  • Environment and immigration

Faculty members work closely with:

  • Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society
  • Interdisciplinary Center for Global Change
  • Institute for Advanced Studies

Many associated faculty in this area of specialization are affiliated with the Environment and Technology Section of the American Sociological Association. Professor David Pellow was a recent past president of the section. In addition, Professor Rachel Schurman is co-founder of a campus Agrifood Studies reading group (sponsored by the Institute for Global Studies).