Associate Professor of Sociology

University of Toronto

Josée Johnston


Photo credit: Nicolett Jakab 

Josée Johnston is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. Her major substantive interest is the sociological study of food, which is a lens for investigating questions that lie at the intersection of multiple areas like culture, politics, gender and the environment. Dr. Johnston’s recent work examines discourses of ethical consumption, and investigates how consumers seek social transformation within the constraints of contemporary market forces and neoliberal regulatory regimes.

Josée Johnston co-authored (with Shyon Baumann) Foodies: Democracy and Distinction in the Gourmet Foodscape (2010: Routledge). She is currently working on a book with Dr. Kate Cairns on the topic of food femininities.

Dr. Johnston has published articles in venues including American Journal of Sociology, Journal of Consumer Culture, Theory and Society, Signs:  Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Gender and Society, and Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography.  Her SSHRC-supported research project, Change your Diet, Change your World? explored campaigns geared at ethical consumption.  In 2009 she was awarded the Province of Ontario’s Early Researcher Award for Eating Off-Grid: Understanding Consumer Motivation in the Alternative Food Sector. Professor Johnston has also participated in a major collaborative project examining consumer food habits across Canada funded by CIHR.

Dr. Johnston teaches courses on the sociology of food and globalization with an emphasis on inequality, social justice, and sustainability.

AREAS: sociology of food; cultural sociology; consumer culture; gender; environmental sociology & political ecology; critical theory

Recent Publications:

Taylor, Judy, Josée Johnston and Krista Whitehead. Forthcoming. “A Corporation in Feminist Clothing? Young Women Discuss the Dove “Real Beauty” Campaign”. Critical Sociology. Accepted July 2013.

Cappeliez, Sarah and Josée Johnston. 2013. “From meat and potatoes to “real-deal” rotis: Exploring everyday culinary cosmopolitanism.” Poetics 41: 433-455. Online Aug 2013. 

Cairns, Kate, Josée Johnston and Norah McKendrick. 2013. "Feeding the 'organic child': Mothering through ethical consumption,” Journal of Consumer Culture. 13 (2): 97-118.

Josée Johnston Curriculum VitaeHome_files/Johnston_CV_Feb%202014.pdf