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Sarah Bowen

Professor and Director of Graduate Programs in Sociology

Department of Sociology and Anthropology

1911 Bldg 362

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Bio

Sarah Bowen is a professor and Director of the Graduate Program in Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at North Carolina State University. Her research focuses on food systems, social institutions, and inequality, with a particular focus on the structural roots of diet disparities and food insecurity. Dr. Bowen is the author of two books: Divided Spirits: Tequila, Mezcal, and the Politics of Production (University of California Press, 2015) and Pressure Cooker: Why Home Cooking Won’t Solve Our Problems and What We Can Do About It (Oxford University Press, 2019), as well as numerous articles. She uses mainly qualitative and community-based methods in her work and has conducted research in the United States and in France, Mexico, and Sweden.

Google Scholar page: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=P0mLtJgAAAAJ

Research Publications

Books:

(* = 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:

  • *Bowen, Sarah, Sinikka Elliott, and Annie Hardison-Moody. 2022. “Rural Food Insecurity: A Longitudinal Analysis of Low-income Rural Households with Children in the South.” RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 8(3): 50-77.
  • Elliott, Sinikka, Sierra J. Satterfield, G. Solorzano, Sarah Bowen, Annie Hardison-Moody, and Latasha Williams. “Disenfranchised: How Lower-Income Mothers Navigated the Social Safety Net During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World 7. doi: 10.1177%2F23780231211031690.
  • Bowen, Sarah, Sinikka Elliott, and Annie Hardison-Moody. 2021. “The Structural Roots of Food Insecurity: How Racism Is a Fundamental Cause of Food Insecurity.” Sociology Compass 15(7): e12846.
  • *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.
  • *Bowen, Sarah, and Marie Sarita Gaytán. 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 https://civileats.com/2020/05/08/want-to-fight-rising-food-insecurity-listen-to-the-people-whove-experienced-hunger/.
  • 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 https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/21/opinion/public-charge-rule.html.
  • 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 https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/05/24/725470305/opinion-why-ditching-processed-foods-wont-be-easy-the-barriers-to-cooking-from-s.
  • 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 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/21/us-food-insecurity-human-right.
  • 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 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/01/opinion/if-congress-changes-food-stamp-requirements-kids-will-go-hungry.html.

Funded Research

Bowen, Sarah (PI), and Annie Hardison-Moody (co-PI). 2020-2022. “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). 2019-2022. “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.

Education

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