Michaela DeSoucey

Picture of Michaela DeSoucey

Assistant Professor

Teaching and Research Interests

Culture; Markets and Politics; Organization Theory; Social Movements; Globalization/Localization; Food; Consumers and Consumption; Law & Society; Qualitative Methodologies


My research and teaching centers on how varied relationships among markets, social movements, and state systems shape the cultural and moral politics of food.

My book, Contested Tastes: Foie Gras and the Politics of Food, was published with Princeton University Press in June 2016. A description is available on PUP's website: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10708.html. Contested Tastes is the winner of the 2016 Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award for the Consumers and Consumption Section of the American Sociological Association, as well as the 2017 national winner in the Culinary History category of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. 

Other recent published work includes an article examining cosmopolitanism and cultural diversity among supermarket products in the UK and France and an article offering an organizational theory perspective on restaurants and dining in the 21st century. I have begun a large-scale research project theorizing the role of 'proximity risk' in understanding social, cultural, and organizational responses to the current 'epidemic' of peanut allergy.

I have also conducted research and published articles on the construction and marketing of naturalness in food industry business-to-business magazines, the growth of a market for grass-fed beef and dairy products out of social movement foundations, the rhetoric of organizational restructuring, and local food movements’ responses to the regulation and institutionalization of the organic food label by the USDA.


  • PhD in Sociology from Northwestern University, 2010
  • MA in Sociology from Northwestern University, 2004
  • BA in Sociology & Anthropology from Swarthmore College, 2000