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

January 23, 2019 by Nico Golinski

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.