Michaela DeSoucey

Picture of Michaela DeSoucey

Assistant Professor

Teaching and Research Interests

Culture; Food; Consumer Markets and Politics; Organizational Theory; Identity Movements; Globalization/Localization; Qualitative Methodologies


My research and teaching has centered on how 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 Summer 2016 and has since won several 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 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 emergence of a market for grass-fed beef and dairy out of social movement foundations, the rhetoric of organizational restructuring, and local food movements’ responses to the institutionalization of the organic label by the USDA.


Michaela DeSoucey. 2016. Contested Tastes: Foie Gras and the Politics of Food. Princeton University Press.

Winner: 2017 ASA Sociology of Culture Section Mary Douglas Prize for Best Book

Winner: 2017 Gourmand World Cookbooks Awards, national winner in the Culinary History category

Winner: 2016 ASA Consumers & Consumption Section Distinguished Scholarly Publication Award

Michaela DeSoucey and Daphne Demetry. 2016. “The Dynamics of Dining Out in the 21st Century: Insights from Organizational Theory.” Sociology Compass 10:11(1014-1027). DOI: 10.1111/soc4.12417

Rahsaan Maxwell and Michaela DeSoucey. 2016. “Gastronomic Cosmopolitanism: Supermarket Products in France and the United Kingdom.” Poetics 56 (85-97). DOI: 10.1016/j.poetic.2016.03.001

David Schleifer and Michaela DeSoucey. 2015. “What Your Consumer Wants: Business-to-Business Food Advertising as a Mechanism of Market Change.” Journal of Cultural Economy 8:2(218-234). DOI: 10.1080/17530350.2013.861356

Michaela DeSoucey. 2014. “Ducking the Foie Gras Ban: Dinner and a Side of Politics in Chicago.” Political Meals (p.81-92). Edited by Regina Bendix and Michaela Fenske. LIT-Verlag, Berlin Germany.

Elizabeth Cherry, Colter Ellis, and Michaela DeSoucey. 2011. “Food for Thought, Thought for Food: Consumption, Identity, and Ethnography.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 40 (231-258). DOI: 10.1177/0891241610379122

Michaela DeSoucey. 2010. “Gastronationalism: Food Traditions and Authenticity Politics in the European Union.” American Sociological Review 75:3 (432-455). DOI: 10.1177/0003122410372226

Winner: 2010 ASA Political Sociology Section’s Graduate Student Paper Prize

Winner: 2010 ASA Economic Sociology Section’s Ron Burt Award for Best Graduate Student Paper

Honorable Mention: 2010 ASA Section on the Sociology of Culture Suzanne Langer Award for Best Student Paper

Michaela DeSoucey and David Schleifer. 2010. “Technique and Technology in the Kitchen: Comparing Resistance to Municipal Trans Fat and Foie Gras Bans.” Studies in Law, Politics & Society 51 (185-218).

Michaela DeSoucey and Isabelle Téchoueyres. 2009. “Virtue and Valorization: ‘Local Food’ in the United States and France.” The Globalization of Food (p. 81-95). Edited by David Inglis and Debra Gimlin. Oxford and New York: Berg Publishers.

Klaus Weber, Kathryn Heinze, and Michaela DeSoucey. 2008. “Forage for Thought: Mobilizing Codes in the Movement for Grass-fed Meat and Dairy Products.” Administrative Science Quarterly 53:3 (529-567). DOI: 10.2189/asqu.53.3.529

Winner: 2014 ASQ Award for Scholarly Contribution

Winner: 2009 ASA Section on the Sociology of Culture Clifford Geertz Prize for Best Article

Michaela DeSoucey, Jo-Ellen Pozner, Corey Fields, Kerry Dobransky, and Gary Alan Fine. 2008. “Memory and Sacrifice: An Embodied Theory of Martyrdom.” Cultural Sociology 2:1 (99-121). DOI: 10.1177/1749975507086276

Paul Hirsch and Michaela DeSoucey. 2006. “Organizational Restructuring: Rhetorical and Structural Implications.” Annual Review of Sociology 32 (171-189). DOI: 10.1146/annurev.soc.32.061604.123146

Gary Alan Fine and Michaela DeSoucey. 2005. “Joking Cultures: Humor Themes as Social Regulation in Group Life.” Humor 18:1 (1-23). DOI: 10.1515/humr.2005.18.1.1


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