PhD Graduate Sarah Cappeliez and Professor Josée Johnston on Everyday Culinary Cosmopolitanism

Sarah CappeliezPhD Graduate Sarah Cappeliez and Professor Josée Johnston published an article in Poetics that explores how cosmopolitanism is expressed through everyday food consumption in Toronto and Vancouver. Based on the lived experience of twenty families, the authors define three different modes of cosmopolitan consumption.

Sarah Cappeliez obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2018. She conducts research comparing North American and European food practices in terms of their cultural, identity and consumption elements. Josée Johnston is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga and her general research goal is to advance knowledge in the sociological study of food and consumer culture.

We have posted the article citation and abstract below. The full text is available through the University of Toronto Library Portal here.

Cappeliez, Sarah and Josee Johnston. 2013. “From Meat and Potatoes to “Real-Deal” Rotis: Exploring Everyday Culinary Cosmopolitanism.” Poetics, 41(5):433-455.

The purpose of this article is to broaden our understanding of the lived experience of cosmopolitanism and to expand the notion of multiple everyday cosmopolitanisms. Drawing from 40 semi-structured interviews with 20 families living in Toronto and Vancouver, we propose examining cosmopolitanism as a type of cultural repertoire that contains a range of cosmopolitan eating practices. Based on an in-depth reading of these interviews, we map out three modes of cosmopolitan consumption: a knowledge-focussed connoisseur mode, a pragmatic mode centred in lived experiences and social connections, and a tentative mode of engagement with cosmopolitan culture and cuisine. This research questions the idea of cosmopoli- tanism as a homogenous cultural practice or as a purely elite phenomenon. At the same time, we also demonstrate how cultural and economic capital are concentrated in and associated with certain cosmopolitan cultural styles and practices.

Read the full article here.

PhD Graduate Alexandra Rodney and Professor Josée Johnston on Ethical Eating and Neighbourhoods

PhD Graduate Alexandra Rodney and Professor Josée Johnston, in collaboration with Professor Michelle Szabo (Sheridan), published an article in Sociology. The article examines how ethical consumption choices regarding food vary across neighbourhoods. The authors argue that ‘ethical eating’ practices vary greatly with both neighbourhood and social class.

Alexandra Rodney obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2017 and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Guelph. She researches the intersections of health, gender and culture. Josée Johnston is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto and her general research goal is to advance knowledge in the sociological study of food and consumer culture.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available through the University of Toronto Library Portal here.

Johnston, Josée, Michelle Szabo, and Alexandra Rodney. 2012. “Place, Ethics, and Everyday Eating: A Tale of Two Neighbourhoods.” Sociology, 46(6):1091-1108.

In this article we investigate how ‘ethical eating’ varies across neighbourhoods and explore the classed nature of these patterns. While our focus is on ‘ethical eating’ (e.g. eating organics, local), we also discuss its relation to healthy eating. The analysis draws from interviews with families in two Toronto neighbourhoods – one upper and the other lower income. We argue that understandings and practices of ‘ethical eating’ are significantly shaped by social class as well as place-specific neighbourhood cultures which we conceptualize as part of a ‘prototypical’ neighbourhood eating style. People compare themselves to a neighbourhood prototype (positively and negatively), and this sets a standard for acceptable eating practices. This analysis helps shed light on how place is implicated in the maintenance and reproduction of class-stratified food practices.

Read the full article here.

PhD Graduate Alexandra Rodney and Professor Josée Johnston on Celebrity Chefs and Inequality

PhD Graduate Alexandra Rodney and Professor Josée Johnston, in collaboration with Professor Phillipa Chong (McMaster), published an article in Poetics. The article explores how celebrity chefs reproduce social norms regarding race, class, and gender. The authors argue that the personas created by these individuals are usually gendered, racialized, and classed in a way that contributes further to existing inequalities.

Alexandra Rodney obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2017 and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Guelph. She researches the intersections of health, gender and culture. Josée Johnston is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto and her general research goal is to advance knowledge in the sociological study of food and consumer culture.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available through the University of Toronto Library Portal here.

Johnston, Josée, Alexandra Rodney, and Phillipa Chong. 2014. “Making Change in the Kitchen? A Study of Celebrity Cookbooks, Culinary Personas, and Inequality.” Poetics, 47:1-22.

In this paper, we investigate how cultural ideals of race, class and gender are revealed and reproduced through celebrity chefs’ public identities. Celebrity-chef status appears attainable by diverse voices including self-trained cooks like Rachael Ray, prisoner turned high-end-chef Jeff Henderson, and Nascar-fan Guy Fieri. This paper investigates how food celebrities’ self-presentations – their culinary personas – relate to social hierarchies. Drawing from literature on the sociology of culture, personas, food, and gender, we carry out an inductive qualitative analysis of celebrity chef cookbooks written by stars with a significant multi-media presence. We identify seven distinct culinary personas: homebody, home stylist, pin-up, chef-artisan, maverick, gastrosexual, and self-made man. We find that culinary personas are highly gendered, but also classed and racialized. Relating these findings to the broader culinary field, we suggest that celebrity chef personas may serve to naturalize status inequities, and our findings contribute to theories of cultural, culinary and gender stratification. This paper supports the use of “persona” as an analytical tool that can aid understanding of cultural inequalities, as well as the limited opportunities for new entrants to gain authority in their respective fields.

Read the full article here.

PhD Graduate Alexandra Rodney and Professor Josée Johnston on Ethical Eating and Class

PhD Graduate Alexandra Rodney and Professor Josée Johnston, in collaboration with Professor Michelle Szabo (Sheridan), published an article in the Journal of Consumer Culture. Their article analyzes how class background affects ethical consumption choices regarding food. They find that those with greater privilege are often more active in ‘ethical eating’, but that low income communities find ways to adapt ethical consumption to their circumstances as well.

Alexandra Rodney obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2017 and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Guelph. She researches the intersections of health, gender and culture. Josée Johnston is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto and her general research goal is to advance knowledge in the sociological study of food and consumer culture.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available through the University of Toronto Library Portal here.

Johnston, Josee, Michelle Szabo, and Alexandra Rodney. 2011. “Good Food, Good People: Understanding the Cultural Repertoire of Ethical Eating.” Journal of Consumer Culture, 11(3):293-318.

Ethical consumption is understood by scholars as a key way that individuals can address social and ecological problems. While a hopeful trend, it raises the question of whether ethical consumption is primarily an elite social practice, especially since niche markets for ethical food products (for example, organics, fair trade) are thought to attract wealthy, educated consumers. Scholars do not fully understand the extent to which privileged populations think about food ethics in everyday shopping, or how groups with limited resources conceptualize ethical consumption. To address these knowledge gaps, the first goal of this paper is to better understand how consumers from different class backgrounds understand ethical eating and work these ideas into everyday food practices. We draw from 40 in-depth interviews with 20 families in two Toronto neighborhoods. Our second goal is to investigate which participants have privileged access to ethical eating, and which participants appear relatively marginalized. Drawing conceptually from cultural sociology, we explore how ethical eating constitutes a cultural repertoire shaped by factors such as class and ethno-cultural background, and how symbolic boundaries are drawn through eating practices. We find that privilege does appear to facilitate access to dominant ethical eating repertoires, and that environmental considerations figure strongly in these repertoires. While low income and racialized communities draw less on dominant ethical eating repertoires, their eating practices are by no means amoral; we document creative adaptations of dominant ethical eating repertoires to fit low income circumstances, as well as the use of different cultural frameworks to address moral issues around eating.

Read the full article here.

Professor Josee Johnston Featured on CBC Ideas show “The Restaurant: A Table Divided”

Professor Josée Johnston was recently featured in a CBC Radio Ideas documentary The Restaurant: A Table Divided. Produced by Michelle Macklem and Zoe Tennant, the documentary  examines how the institution of the restaurant reflects the nature of our social world. Along with food historians and restaurateurs, Professor Johnston weighs in on the role of the restaurant in today’s society. Professor Johnston is a specialist in political and cultural sociology and is, together with Professor Shyon Baumann, author of Foodies: Democracy and Distinction in the Gourmet Foodscape.  In the podcast, she discusses the impact of economic inequality on displays of status in today’s restaurant culture. Listen to an excerpt below and the full episode here.

“Inequality has become so extreme that there is a backlash to people who display their wealth and status too overtly.”

PhD Candidate Athena Engman, Professor Shyon Baumann, and Professor Josée Johnston on Ethical Food Consumption

Athena EngmanPhD Candidate Athena Engman, Professor Shyon Baumann, and Professor Josée Johnston, in collaboration with Professor Emily Huddart-Kennedy (Washington State University), published an article in Canadian Food Studies. The article analyzes how motivations for ethical food consumption vary across demographic groups and types of food. The authors find that, in Toronto, motivations to purchase organic food often came from a desire to care for others, while motivations to purchase local food were more focused on the well-being of the community and the environment.

Athena Engman is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto studying epistemology, philosophy of mind, and medical sociology. Her thesis probes the experiences of organ transplant recipients. Shyon Baumann is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto Mississauga. His research focuses on questions of evaluation, legitimacy, status, cultural schemas, and inequality. Josée Johnston is also a Professor of Sociology at University of Toronto Mississauga and her general research goal is to advance knowledge in the sociological study of food and consumer culture.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available through the Canadian Food Studies website here.

Baumann, Shyon, Athena Engman, Emily Huddart-Kennedy, and Josée Johnston. 2017. “Organic vs. Local: Comparing Individualist and Collectivist Motivations for “Ethical” Food Consumption.” Canadian Food Studies 4(1):68-86.

We extend prior research on “ethical” food consumption by examining how motivations can vary across demographic groups and across types of ethical foods simultaneously. Based on a survey of food shoppers in Toronto, we find that parents with children under the age of 5 are most likely to report intention to purchase organic foods and to be primarily motivated by health and taste concerns. In contrast, intention to purchase local food is motivated by collectivist concerns—the environment and supporting the local economy—and is associated with educated, White, women consumers. In addition to highlighting this distinction in motivations for organic vs. local food consumption, we also argue that the predominant “individualist” and “collectivist” framing in the scholarly literature should be reformulated to accommodate an intermediate motivation. Organic food consumption is often motivated by a desire to consume for others (e.g. children) in ways that are neither straightforwardly individualist nor collectivist, but rather exemplify a caring motivation that is intermediate between the two.

Read the full article here.


PhD Candidate Athena Engman, Professor Shyon Baumann, and Professor Josée Johnston on Political Consumption, Conventional Politics, and High Cultural Consumption

Athena Engman

PhD Candidate Athena Engman, Professor Shyon Baumann, and Professor Josée Johnston published an article in the International Journal of Consumer Studies. The article analyzes political consumption (referring to consumption that supports a political or ethical position) and its relationship with conventional forms of politics. The authors find that, contrary to earlier arguments, political consumption has not replaced conventional political behaviour and that those who engage in the practice of political consumption are actually more likely to engage in political activism.

Athena Engman is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto studying epistemology, philosophy of mind, and medical sociology. Her thesis probes the experiences of organ transplant recipients. Shyon Baumann is a Professor of Sociology at University of Toronto Mississauga. His research focuses on questions of evaluation, legitimacy, status, cultural schemas, and inequality. Josée Johnston is a Professor of Sociology at University of Toronto Mississauga. Her general research goal is to advance knowledge in the sociological study of food and consumer culture.

We have posted the citation and the abstract of the article below. The full text is available through the University of Toronto Library Portal here.

Baumann, Shyon, Athena Engman, and Josée Johnston. 2015. “Political Consumption, Conventional Politics, and High Cultural Capital.” International Journal of Consumer Studies 39(5):413-421.

This article advances our knowledge of how political consumption is related to conventional forms of politics. Using survey data collected in Toronto in 2011, we examine how different kinds of political consumption are related to a range of conventional political behaviours. We find that, contrary to pessimistic views, political consumption is strongly correlated with conventional political behaviours. We do not find evidence for a crowding out or substitution effect of political consumption on conventional political behaviours. However, our findings suggest that political consumption is an individualized and relatively exclusive form of consumption, with demographic correlates that resemble other forms of high status cultural consumption and potentially limit its breadth.

Read the full article here.

Working Paper 2018-02

Eating for Taste and Eating for Change: Ethical Consumption as a High Status Practice

Emily Huddart Kennedy, Washington State University

Shyon Baumann, University of Toronto

Josée Johnston, University of Toronto

UT Sociology Working Paper No. 2018-02

March 2018

Keywords: cultural capital, food, ethical consumption

Full Article


Under what conditions is ethical consumption a high status consumption practice? Using unique food consumption survey data on both aesthetic dispositions and ethical consumption, we investigate how these orientations to food are related. Existing research points to two relatively high cultural capital consumer identities: the ‘foodie’, who defines good taste through ‘authentic’ aesthetic standards and the ‘ethical consumer’, whose consumption is driven by moral principles. However, ethical consumption can also be practiced in inexpensive and subcultural ways that may not conform to dominant status hierarchies (e.g., freeganism, food swaps, etc.). In order to better understand the complex cultural terrain of high-status consumption, we investigate how socioeconomic status (SES) is related to foodie and ethical consumer practices and preferences. Using a k-means cluster analysis of intercept survey data from food shoppers in Toronto, we identify four distinct clusters that represent foodies, ethical consumers, and ethical foodies. Through multinomial logistic regression we find that while high SES consumers can be foodies or ethical food consumers, the highest status consumers prioritize both ethical and foodie consumer preferences. Further, we find that respondents’ reported shopping locations and meat consumption corroborate the results of the regression analyses. The highest status consumers eat in a way that conveys both culinary authenticity and morality. That is, ethical consumption can signal high status when it is simultaneously practiced with an aesthetic disposition. These results are an important addition to literature that examines how food consumption repertoires can produce and reinforce classed boundaries.

The data collection for this project was funded by an Early Researcher Award (ERA08-05-060) from the Ontario Ministry of Research to Josée Johnston.

PhD Candidate Merin Oleschuk on the Contradictions of Maternal Foodwork

Merin OleschukPhD Candidate Merin Oleschuk recently co-authored a piece on maternal foodwork with Professors Kate Cairns and Josée Johnston that was featured on the Gender & Society blog. The Gender & Society blog posts pieces for a general audience that align with the mandate of the Gender and Society journal.  This blog post examines the careful “balancing act” that mothers perform when deciding what to feed their children according to societal expectations. Using the conceptual figures of the “McDonalds Mom” and the “Organic Mom”, the authors illustrate how mothers are penalized for both healthy and unhealthy choices, and how  different social contexts can perpetuate these undesirable labels or hinder mothers from reaching the acceptable balance. Merin is currently completing her dissertation on how social inequalities shape food and the practices surrounding it.

We have posted an excerpt of the blog post below.

Calibrating Extremes: The Balancing Act of Maternal Foodwork

By Kate Cairns, Josée Johnston and Merin Oleschuk

When it comes to feeding children, mothers today must avoid the appearance of caring too little, or too much. Either extreme garners social stigma, although the penalties are far from equal.

Theresa describes how becoming a mother brought heightened significance to her food decisions. “I really tried to avoid the junk,” she says, hosting a focus group of friends in her Toronto apartment. A mixed-race single mother raising three kids on social assistance, Theresa says the scarcity of time and money makes putting regular healthy meals on the table difficult. But occasionally her efforts pay off. She recalls with pride the time her five-year-old son “went to a birthday party at McDonald’s, came home and threw up because he just wasn’t used to that food.” For Theresa, her son’s intolerance for fast food was evidence of her devoted feeding work.

The specter of the “McDonalds Mom”

When we conducted interviews and focus groups with Toronto women, many mothers described ongoing efforts to feed their kids nutritious meals, while avoiding processed “junk.” In doing so, these women distanced their own feeding practices from an imagined “bad” mother who makes “bad” food choices. Carol (white, producer) admits that she sometimes scrutinizes other grocery carts with a “judgmental eye” when she sees “really awful stuff going down the conveyer belt with kids there.” Tara (a white single-mother who was unable to work due to chronic pain) expressed frustration that her son’s healthy lunches would inevitably be traded for junk because his friends were sent to school with “all this crap.”

As mothers in our study distanced themselves from an unhealthy “Other” who made poor food choices, we were surprised how frequently McDonald’s entered the conversation. McDonald’s seemed to function as a trope symbolizing “easy” meals, “unhealthy” choices, and “bad” mothering more generally. Gail (white, acupuncturist) contrasted her vision of healthy home cooking with a “stereotypical image of someone stopping at McDonald’s to get food for their kids.” Marissa (Black, project manager) confessed that as “busy people we do need to do fast food,” but clarified that “my kids will tell you that does not mean McDonald’s.” Lucia (Latina, social worker) said she and her son “talk about what’s junk and you know, McDonald’s and all that kind of food” in an effort to teach him “what’s healthy, what’s not healthy.”

Again and again, mothers distanced themselves from the figure of the “McDonald’s Mom,” a stigmatized “Other” they used to defend their own feeding practices. While this defense may seem judgmental, we suggest mothers’ efforts to establish this distance reflect the intense pressures they experience feeding their children…

Read the full blog post here.

Professors Josée Johnston and Shyon Baumann featured in UTM News

Professors Josée Johnston and Shyon Baumann were recently featured in an article on the UTM News Page. The article highlights their research about the food preferences of lower socioeconomic status populations. The findings of their study was published in The Journal of Consumer Culture in July 2017. Professor Johnston is a Full Professor and Professor Baumann is an Associate Professor of Sociology, both with teaching responsibilities at the UTM campus.

We have included an excerpt of the news article below.

What’s for Dinner? New study reveals how low-income diners choose what’s on their plate

Friday, October 27, 2017 – 12:44pm
Blake Eligh

A study from U of T Mississauga is shedding new light on the complex relationship between food, culture and poverty. The study by Professor Josée Johnston and Associate Professor Shyon Baumann of the Department of Sociology investigates how and why people in low socioeconomic households make the food choices they do, and features surprising results about how low-income diners view healthy eating.

Baumann and Johnston previously reported on how diners in higher socioeconomic brackets make food choices. “But relatively little attention has been paid to the taste preferences of those in lower socioeconomic groups,” Johnston says. “We had never systematically looked at low-income consumers to assess how they valued food.”

A peek at a weekly grocery bill doesn’t provide a full picture about what people would actually like to be eating, she says. “We argue that low-socioeconomic-status respondents demonstrate aesthetic preferences that are distinctly different from that of high socioeconomic status cultural consumption.”

“Our study moves beyond daily economic constraints to look at food ideals—what they describe as desirable and how they justify their preferences,” Baumann says.

Read the full article here.

PhD students Alexandra Rodney, Sarah Cappeliez, Merin Oleschuk & Professor Josée Johnston examine ideals of feminine domesticity in food blogs

Sarah CappeliezMerin Oleschuk


Sociology PhD students, Alexandra Rodney, Sarah Cappeliez, Merin Oleschuk, with Associate Professor Josée Johnston have recently published an article in the international multidisciplinary academic journal, Food, Culture & Society. The paper titled “The Online Domestic Goddess: An Analysis of Food Blog Femininities“, analyzes how idealized notions of femininity are demonstrated in blog posts written by female food bloggers.

We have posted the citation and abstract below. The full article is available on the Taylor & Francis Online Database.

Rodney, A., Cappeliez, S., Oleschuk, M., & Johnston, J. (2017). The online domestic goddess: An analysis of food blog femininities. Food, Culture & Society, 20(4), 685-707. doi:10.1080/15528014.2017.1357954

Scholars have explored how female food celebrities represent a realm of fantasy and desire, embodying attractive “domestic goddesses” who showcase the wonder and seduction of home-cooked meals. These studies have largely focused on television personalities and have overlooked the food blogosophere, a highly popular, digital realm of food media dominated by women. The blogosphere has its own prominent food personalities and occupies a central role as a source of information and inspiration for home cooks. This paper investigates how idealized food femininities manifest on popular food blogs by examining 426 blog posts written by twenty-two award-winning, female food bloggers. These bloggers forward a vision of idealized feminine domesticity that is glamorously seductive and rooted in the “real” life of everyday home cooks. This article illuminates food blogs’ paradoxical combination of idealization and mundanity. It argues that the online domestic goddess exemplifies women’s need to balance multiple, seemingly contradictory ideals: she must embody domestic success, while avoiding associations of perfectionism, excessive control, or laziness. This study of female bloggers nuances scholarly understanding of the domestic goddess fantasy by revealing the deep tensions in women’s food blogs, particularly the challenge of crafting a credible and appealing feminine voice in a postfeminist context.

Read the full article here.


Professors Judith Taylor and Josée Johnston consider Hugh Hefner’s cultural impact

Judith TaylorProfessors Judith Taylor and Josée Johnston recently published an article in The Conversation discussing the late Hugh Hefner’s influence on beauty, sexuality, and the objectification of women in the media. Professor Taylor is a faculty member in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies and teaches at the St. George campus. Professor Johnston is a faculty member in Sociology at the UTM campus. Both have done collaborative research on gender, beauty norms and popular culture. We have posted a short excerpt of the longer piece here.

Hugh Hefner’s legacy: Narrow visions of sex and beauty

With the death of Hugh Hefner, the architect of the Playboy empire, comes tributes and stories of his life. One wonders about his origin story, the price of his mansion and why he loved to wear pajamas. Hefner’s death gives us reason to revisit the debate about whether Playboy made room for sexual expression and free speech — or whether it ushered in a pitiful era of objectification of women with still-lingering effects.

What can we say about Hefner’s impact on sexual culture? Did his empire broaden the sexual landscape in the U.S. and abroad? As researchers who look at popular culture, gender and women’s sense of value and sexual selfhood, we assert that Hefner’s effects have been detrimental.

Most centrally, Hefner defined sexuality solely as men’s desire, in which women aim to achieve physical attractiveness as a life project. In this definition, women can consider themselves sexually successful if, and only if, they are desirable to men (or “f*ckable”, as noted by female comedians like Amy Schumer, Tina Fey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus).

Playboy culture advocated objectification rather than reciprocity, without democratizing heterosexuality and asking men to cultivate, earn and fail at desirability, as women do.

Read the full article here.

U of T at the ASA

This year, 22 faculty members and 25 graduate students from Sociology at the University of Toronto are presenting papers at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociology Association in Montreal. In addition to the people presenting papers, a number of our community are also participating as session organizers, discussants or journal editorial panel members. The meetings happen between August 12th and August 15th. We have listed the papers we’re presenting below in the order of their occurrence, with student presenters shown in italics. Note that some of the papers have unlisted co-authors from other universities. Please refer to the ASA Program for complete information.

Saturday, August 12th

Bill Magee, Optimistic Positivity and Pessimistic Negativity Among American Adults: Effects of Birth-Cohort, Age, Gender, and Race

Jaime Nikolaou, Teen Pregnancy and Doula Care: A Space for Feminist Praxis?

Andrew Nevin, Technological Tethering, Cohort Effects, and the Work-Family Interface

Andreea Mogosanu, Historical Change in Gender Differences in Mastery: The Role of Education and Employment

Ioana Sendroiu and Laura Upenieks, Gender ‘In Practice’: Rethinking the Use of Male Practice Players in NCAA Women’s Basketball

Emine Fidan Elcioglu, The State Effect at the Border: Avoiding Totalizing Theories of Political Power in Migration Studies

Paul Pritchard, A Bifurcated Welcome? Examining the Willingness to Include Seasonal Agricultural Workers in the Host Community

Yukiko Tanaka, Managing Risk, Pursuing Opportunities: Immigration, Citizenship, and Security in Canada

Gordon Brett, Feminist Theory and Embodied Cognition: Bridging the Disciplinary Gap

Mitch McGivor, Inequality in Higher Education: Student Debt, Social Background, and Labour Market Outcomes

Sarah Cappeliez, Wine Nerds and Pleasure-seekers: Understanding Wine Taste Formation and Practice

Katelin Albert, Negotiating State Policy in the Improvised Classroom: An Ethnographic Inquiry into Sexual Health Classrooms

Marie-Lise Drappon-Bisson, Tactical Reproduction in the Pro-Choice Movement in Northern Ireland: Alliance for Choice’s Path Towards Successful Tactics

Milos Brocic, Cultivating Conviction or Negotiating Nuance? Assessing the Impact of Associations on Ideological Polarization

Omar Faruque, Neoliberal Development, Privatizing Nature, and Subaltern Resistance in Bangladesh

Sunday, August 13th

Dan Silver, The Political Order of the City: Neighborhoods and Voting in Toronto, 1997-2014

Andreea Mogosanu and Laura Upenieks, Social Change and the Evolution of Gender Differences in Depression: An Age-Cohort Consideration

Markus Schafer, Religious Attendance Heterogamy and Partnership Quality in Later Life

Atsushi Narisada, Buffering-Resource or Status-Disconfirmation? How Socioeconomic Status Shapes the Relationship between Perceived Under-Reward and Distress

Josee Johnston, On (not) Knowing Where Your Food Comes From: Children, Meat, and Ethical Eating

Ann Mullen, Labored Meanings: Contemporary Artists and the Process and Problems of Producing Artistic Meaning

Lawrence Williams, Dilemmas: Where No Schema Has Gone Before

Patricia Landolt, How Does Multicultural Canada’s Ethnicizing Imperative Shape Latin American Political Incorporation?

Merin Oleschuk, Consuming the Family Meal: News Media Constructions of Home Cooking and Health

Sarah Shah, The Context of Birth Country Gender Inequality on Mental Health Outcomes of Intimate Partner Violence

Louise Birsell-Bauer, Precarious Professionals: Gender Relations in the Academic Profession and the Feminization of Employment Norms

Geoff Wodtke, Regression-based Adjustment for Time-varying Confounders

Monday, August 14th

Markus Schafer, The Role of Health in Late Life Social Inclusion and Exclusion

Kim Pernell, Institutionalized Meaning and Policymaking: Revisiting the Causes of American Financial Deregulation

Cynthia Guzman, Revisiting the Feminist Theory of the State

Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, Policing Race, Moral Panic and the Growth of Black Prisoners in Canada

David Pettinicchio, Beyond Employment Inequality: Wealth Disparities by Disability Status in Canada and the United States

Yangsook Kim, Good Care in the Elderly Care Sector of South Korea: Gendered Immigration and Ethnic Boundaries

Ioana Sendroiu and Ron Levi, Legality and Exclusion: Discrimination, Legal Cynicism and System Avoidance across the European Roma Experience

Lawrence Williams, Bounded Reflexivity: How Expectations Shape Careers

Irene Boeckmann, Contested Hegemony: Fatherhood Wage Effects across Two U.S. Birth Cohorts

Jennifer Chun and Cynthia Cranford, Becoming Homecare Workers: Chinese Immigrant Women in California’s Oakland Chinatown

Katelin Albert and Steve G. Hoffman, Undone Science and Canadian Health Research

Ronit Dinovitzer, The New Place of Corporate Law Firms in the Structuring of Elite Legal Careers

Melissa Milkie and Scott Schieman, Who Helps with the Homework? Inequity in Parenting Responsibilities and Relationship Quality among Employed Parents

Matthew Parbst, The Impact of Public Opinion on Policy in Cross-National Perspective

Tony Zhang, The Princelings in China: How Do They Benefit from their Red Parents?

Rania Salem, Structural Accommodations of Classic Patriarchy: Women and Workplace Gender Segregation in Qatar

Tuesday, August 15th

Patricia Louie and Blair Wheaton, Revisiting the Black-White Paradox in Mental Disorder in Three Cohorts of Black and White Americans

Jenna Valleriani, Breaking the law for the greater good? Core-stigmatized Organizations and Medical Cannabis Dispensaries in Canada

Martin Lukk, What Kind of Writing is Sociology? Literary Form and Theoretical Integration in the Human Sciences

Jerry Flores, Gender on the Run: Wanted Latinas in a southern California Barrio

Jean-Francois Nault, Determinants of Linguistic Retention: The Case of Ontario’s Francophone Official-Language Minorities

Luisa Farah Schwartzmann, Color Violence, Deadly Geographies and the Meanings of “Race” in Brazil

Jonathan Koltai and Scott Schieman, Financial Strain, Mastery, and Psychological Distress: A Comment on Spuriousness in the Stress Process




U of T at the 2016 ASA

University of Toronto Sociology at the Annual Meeting of the 2016 American Sociological Association

Our Sociology faculty members and graduate students are very active with the American Sociological Association, with over 60 of them appearing in this year’s program either as presented or an organizer of a panel. See the program for more information. Here are some of the highlights:

Saturday, August 20

Irene Boeckmann

Fatherhood and Breadwinning: Race and Class Differences in First-time Fathers’ Long-term Employment Patterns

Monica Boyd; Naomi Lightman

Gender, Nativity and Race in Care Work: The More Things Change….

Clayton Childress

I Don’t Make Objects, I Make Projects: Selling Things and Selling Selves in Contemporary Art-making

Jennifer Jihye Chun

Globalizing the Grassroots: Care Worker Organizing and the Redefinition of 21st Century Labour Politics

Paulina Garcia del Moral

Feminicidio, Transnational Human Rights Advocacy and Transnational Legal Activism

Phil Goodman

Conservative Politics, Sacred Crows, and Sacrificial Lambs: The Role of ‘Evidence’ During Canada’s Prison Farm Closures

Josee Johnston

Spitting that Real vs. Keeping It Misogynistic: Hip-Hop, Class, and Masculinity in New Food Media

Andrew Miles

Measuring Automatic Cognition: Practical Advances for Sociological Research Using Dual-process Models

Atsushi Narisada

Palatable Unjust Desserts: How Procedural Justice Weakens the Pain of Perceived Pay Inequity

David Nicholas Pettinicchio

The Universalizing Effects of Unionism: Policy, Inequality and Disability

Markus H. Schafer

Social Networks and Mastery after Driving Cessation: A Gendered Life Course Approach

Lawrence Hamilton Williams

Active Intuition: The Patterned Spontaneity of Decision-making


Sunday, August 21

Sida Liu

The Elastic Ceiling: Gender and Professional Career in Chinese Courts

Jonathan Tomas Koltai; Scott Schieman; Ronit Dinovitzer

Status-based Stress Exposure and Well-being in the Legal Profession

Andrew Miles

Turf Wars of Truly Understanding Culture? Moving Beyond Isolation and Importation to Genuine Cross-disciplinary Engagement

Melissa A. Milkie

Time Deficits with Children: The Relationship to Mothers’ and Fathers’ Mental and Physical Health

Diana Lee Miller

Sustainable and Unsustainable Semi-Professionalism: Grassroots Music Careers in Folk and Metal

Ito Peng

Care and Migration Policies in Japan and South Korea

Scott Schieman; Atsushi Narisada

Under-rewarded Boss: Gender, Workplace Power, and the Distress of Perceived Pay Inequity


Monday, August 22

Salina Abji

Because Deportation is Violence Against Women: On the Politics of State Responsibility and Women’s Human Rights

Holly Campeau

The Right Way, the Wrong Way, and the Blueville War: Policing, Standards, and Cultural Match

Bahar Hashemi

Canadian Newspaper Representations of Family violence among Immigrant Communities: Analyzing Shifts Over Time

Vanina Leschziner

The American Fame Game: Academic Status and Public Renown in Post-war Social Sciences

Ron Levi; Ioana Vladescu

The Structure of Claims after Atrocity: Justifications, Values, and Proposals from the Holocaust Swiss Banks Litigation

Patricia Louie

Whose Body Matters? Representations of Race and Skin Colour in Medical Textbooks

William Magee; Laura Upenieks

Supervisory Level and Anger About Work

Maria M. Majerski

The Economic Integration of Immigrants: Social Networks, Social Capital, and the Impact of Gender

Melissa A. Milkie

You Must Work Hard: Changes in U.S. Adults’ Values for Children 1986-2012

Jean-Francois Nault

Education, Religion, and Identity in French Ontario: A Case Study of French-language Catholic School Choice

Merin Oleschuk; Blair Wheaton

The Relevance of Women’s Income on Household Gender Inequality Across Class and National Context

David Nicholas Pettinicchio

Punctuated Incrementalism: How American Disability Rights Policymaking Sheds Light on Institutional Continuity and Change


Tuesday, Aug. 23

Katelin Albert

Making the Classroom, Making Sex Ed: A School-based Ethnography of Ontario’s Sexual Health Classrooms

Catherine Man Chuen Cheng

Constructing Immigrant Citizen-subjects in Exceptional States: Governmentality and Chinese Marriage Migrants in Taiwan and HongKong

Hae Yeon Choo

Maternal Guardians: Intimate Labor, Migration, and the Pursuit of Gendered Citizenship in South Korea

Bonnie H. Erickson

Multiple Pathways to Ethnic Social Capitals

  1. Omar Faruque

Confronting Capital: The Limits of Transnational Activism and Human Rights-based CSR Initiatives

Elise Maiolino

I’m not Male, not White, Want to Start There?: Identity Work in Toronto’s Mayoral Election

Jaime Nikolaou

Commemorating Morgentaler? Reflections on Movement Leadership, 25 Years Later

Kristie O’Neill

Traditional Beneficiaries: Trade Bans, Exemptions, and Morality Embodied in Diets

Matthew Parbst; Blair Wheaton

The Buffering Role of the Welfare State on SES differences in Depression

Luisa Farah Schwartzman

Brazilian Lives Matter, and what Race and the United States Got to do With it

Daniel Silver

Visual Social Thought

Laura Upenieks

Beyond America? Cross-national Contexts and Religious versus Secular Membership Effects on Self-rated Health

Barry Wellman

Older Adults Networking On and Off Digital Media: Initial Findings from the Fourth East York Study

Blair Wheaton; Patricia Joy Louie

A New Perspective on Maternal Employment and Child Mental Health: A Cautionary Tale

Tony Huiquan Zhang

Weather Effects on Social Movements: Evidence from Washington D.C. and New York City, 1960-1995


Sociology of Meat

SSHRCThrough much of human history, meat has enjoyed an exceptionally prominent position in our diet. It is both an important source of protein and a cultural product with deep significance. Nonetheless, current and projected levels of meat consumption over the next several decades promise to overtax the food distribution system, push agriculture to more and greater reliance on industrial meat production practices, and exhaust valuable environmental resources.

Professor Josée Johnston and Professor Shyon Baumann have recently begun a new research project, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, to study the ideas, beliefs and practices around meat consumption in North America.

They have noted that concerns around industrial-raised meat have coincided with something of a renaissance of meat as a cultural product. Even as tainted meat scandals shock consumers and firms work to allay public fears, meat plays a dominant role on upscale food menus, and butchery skills continue to confer status for chefs and home-cooks alike. Nor has the overall consumption of meat declined.

To study these trends, Johnston, Baumann and their students are scouring contemporary and historic news stories and advertisements related to the meat industry, conducting consumer focus groups, and interviewing meat producers. Despite the growing body of evidence that North American meat consumption is a social and ecological problem, meat carries powerful meanings about class, gender, ethics and taste. In some cases, meat is connected to national identity, and to masculinity.

By understanding how meat consumption is framed in public discourses, this research will help us better understand the social contexts that shape consumer choices about the meat they eat.

Down with ‘Foodies’? on BBC World

josee johnstonProfessor Josée Johnston was recently interviewed for “The Food Chain,” a program on BBC World Service on an episode about food and social class. Professor Johnston and her co-author Professor Shyon Baumann published a book on Foodies in 2010 (second edition released in 2015). In the interview, Professor Johnston discusses the definition and meanings attached to the “foodie” identity. Professor Johnston is currently working with Dr. Baumann to research the place of meat in the today’s cultural landscape.

From the BBC website:

Down with ‘Foodies’?

Is being cool a sign of culinary class? In the autumn of 2015 the Cereal Killer café in East London was attacked by protestors. They viewed it as a symbol of rapid gentrification – arguing that the cafe- which serves cereal from around the world- exemplified the rising inequality in the UK’s capital. It led to some basic questions about running a food business. And the tensions between what’s trendy, what’s traditional and what’s affordable when it comes to eating out.

But a larger discussion, about conspicuous consumerism and the so- called ‘foodie movement’ looms. In this programme from London, Sarah Stolarz explores the intersections of city living, being upwardly mobile and the pursuit of the next best meal. We look at food trends and their irresistible appeal when it comes to social media- although it turns out, no one actually likes to be called a ‘foodie’. Is access to new and varied food becoming more democratic, or are social media sites glossing over the surface of the culinary class wars? And what does that have to do with the price of pineapples?

Listen to the program. Professor Johnston’s portion of the program begins at minute 6:30.