My broad interest in civic engagement in environmental protection can be divided into several sub-areas:
Sustainable consumption and green consumerism: My research in this area engages several inter-related questions: What are the relationships among sustainable practices, environmental concerns, and neighbourhood design? What public engagement activities are used to make sustainable lifestyles a default option? I have also conducted research that shows many sustainable consumption behaviours are positively associated with carbon footprint. An enduring interest of mine in this domain is to develop social practice theoretical accounts of sustainable and green consumption.
Environment, gender and social class: We are not all impacted equally by environmental problems, nor by their solutions. Environmental justice scholars have done a thorough job of documenting unequal exposures to environmental toxins. My interests in this area focus on who bears the brunt of protecting the environment. My research here has shown how women's public sphere activities (involving networking, organizing, etc) are rarely counted by social scientists focusing on who attends protests or town hall meetings as well as how women's engagement in pro-environmental behaviours is related to her economic status in ways distinct from men's. My current research seeks to explain why environmental concern and green consumption are classed.
Food consumption and production: Given the growing popularity of local food, I have approached this topic with the aim of understanding how a private practice like eating becomes imbued with citizenship ideals. My related research (with co-authors) examines questions like, why do leaders of the food movement focus on advancing opportunities for political consumption? Why do food movement leaders try to appear "apolitical" as they pursue socio-ecological change? And, in a separate project, how do ranchers maintain self-narratives as stewards of the natural environment as they are confronted with information on the emissions from beef production? Most recently, I am collaborating with Josée Johnston and Shyon Baumann in their study of distinction among producers, chefs, and other cultural intermediaries in the domain of ethical meat.