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Sarah Bowen


Department of Sociology and Anthropology

1911 Bldg 362

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Research Publications


(* = equally authored)

  • *Bowen, Sarah, Joslyn Brenton, and Sinikka Elliott. 2019. Pressure Cooker: Why Home Cooking Won’t Solve Our Problems and What We Can Do About It. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Bowen, Sarah. 2015. Divided Spirits: Tequila, Mezcal, and the Politics of Production. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Selected journal articles:

  • Mycek, Mari Kate, Annie Hardison-Moody, J. Dara Bloom, Sarah Bowen, and Sinikka Elliott. 2020. “Learning to Eat the ‘Right’ Way: Examining Nutrition Socialization from the Perspective of Immigrants and Refugees.” Food, Culture, & Society 23(1): 46-65.
  • Hardison-Moody, Annie, Lillian MacNell, Sinikka Elliott, and Sarah Bowen. 2018. “How Social, Cultural, and Economic Environments Shape Infant Feeding for Low-income Women: A Qualitative Study in North Carolina.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 118(10): 1886-1894.e1.
  • *Elliott, Sinikka and Sarah Bowen. 2018. “Defending Motherhood: Morality, Responsibility, and Double Binds in Feeding Children.” Journal of Marriage and Family 80(2): 499-520.
  • Elliott, Sinikka, Josephine Ngo McKelvy, and Sarah Bowen. 2017. “Marking Time in Ethnography: Uncovering Temporal Dispositions.” Ethnography 18(4):556-576.
  • MacNell, Lillian, Sinikka Elliott, Annie Hardison-Moody, and Sarah Bowen. 2017. “Black and Latino Urban Food Desert Residents’ Perceptions of Their Food Environment and Factors That Influence Food Shopping Decisions.” Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition 12:3: 375-393.
  • Bowen, Elizabeth, Sarah Bowen, and Anamika Barman-Adhikari. 2016. “Prevalence and Covariates of Food Insecurity among Residents of Single Room Occupancy Housing in Chicago.” Public Health Nutrition 19(6): 1122-1130.
  • Jakes, Susan, Annie Hardison-Moody, Sarah Bowen, and John Blevins. 2015. “Engaging Community Change: The Critical Role of Values in Asset Mapping.” Community Development 46(4): 392-406.
  • *Bowen, Sarah, Sinikka Elliott, and Joslyn Brenton. 2014. “The Joy of Cooking?.” Contexts 13(3): 20-25.
  • *Bowen, Sarah, and Marie Sarita Gaytan. 2012. “The Paradox of Protection: National Identity, Global Commodity Chains, and the Tequila Industry.” Social Problems 59(1): 70-93.
  • Bowen, Sarah. 2010. “Embedding Local Places in Global Spaces: Geographical Indications as a Territorial Development Strategy.” Rural Sociology 75(2): 209-243.
  • Bowen, Sarah, and Ana Valenzuela Zapata. 2009. “Geographical Indications, Terroir, and Socioeconomic and Ecological Sustainability: The Case of Tequila.” Journal of Rural Studies 25(1): 108-119.

Public writing:

  • Bowen, Sarah, Annie Hardison-Moody, and Sinikka Elliott. 2020. “Want to Fight Rising Food Insecurity? Listen to People Who’ve Been Hungry.” Civil Eats, May 8, 2020. Available at
  • Bowen, Sarah, Sinikka Elliott, and Annie Hardison-Moody. 2019. “A Heartbreaking Choice for Moms—Food or a Family’s Future. The New York Times, August 21, 2019. Available at
  • Bowen, Sarah, Sinikka Elliott, and Joslyn Brenton. 2019. “Why Ditching Processed Foods Won’t Be Easy—Barriers to Cooking from Scratch.” National Public Radio’s The Salt, May 24, 2019. Available at
  • Elliott, Sinikka, Sarah Bowen, and Joslyn Brenton. 2018. “To Close America’s Diet Gap, We Must Recognize Food as a Human Right.” The Guardian, July 21, 2018. Available at
  • Bowen, Sarah, Sinikka Elliott, and Annie Hardison-Moody. 2018. “If Congress Changes Food Stamp Requirements, Kids Will Go Hungry.” The New York Times, July 1, 2018. Available at

Funded Research

Bowen, Sarah (PI), and Annie Hardison-Moody (co-PI). 2020-2021. “RAPID: Effects of Responses to COVID-19 and Social Context on Food Insecurity.” National Science Foundation, $199,034.

Bowen, Sarah (PI), Sinikka Elliott (co-PI), and Annie Hardison-Moody (co-PI). 2019-2021. “Understanding and Addressing the Roots of Child Food Insecurity: A Qualitative Longitudinal Analysis.” Russell Sage Foundation, $174,567.

Hardison-Moody, Annie (PI), Lindsey Haynes-Maslow (co-PI), J. Dara Bloom, Lorelei Jones, Carolyn Dunn, Sarah Bowen, Jason Bocarro, Michael Kanters, Aaron Hipp, Michael Edwards, Myron Floyd, and Cintia Aguilar. 2016-2018. “A Multi-Level Approach to Prevent Obesity: Extension and Engagement in Four North Carolina Counties.” Center for Disease Control, $1,582,325.

Bowen, Sarah (PI), Richelle Winkler (co-PI), J. Dara Bloom, and Lillian O’Connell. 2014-2015. “Contextualizing Family Food Decisions: The Role of Household Characteristics, Neighborhood Deprivation, and the Local Food Environment.” USDA ERS, $39,848.

Bowen, Sarah (PI), Sinikka Elliott (co-PI), Annie Hardison-Moody (co-PI), Lorelei Jones, Susan Jakes, and J. Dara Bloom. 2011-2016. “Community-Based Approach to Reducing Childhood Obesity in Low-Income Populations: Research to Action.” USDA NIFA, AFRI, $3,026,299.


B.S. Agricultural and Biological Engineering The Pennsylvania State University 2000

M.S. Rural Sociology University of Wisconsin-Madison 2004

Ph.D. Sociology University of Wisconsin-Madison 2008

Area(s) of Expertise

Sociology of Food, Health and Inequality, Political Economy/Globalization, Qualitative and Participatory Research Methods