Sarah Bowen

Picture of Sarah Bowen

Associate Professor

Teaching and Research Interests

  • Sociology of Food
  • Health and Inequality
  • Political Economy/Globalization
  • Research Methods


PI and Director, Voices into Action: The Families, Food, and Health Project. See

Funded Research

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.


(* = equally authored)
  • Bowen, Sarah. 2015. Divided Spirits: Tequila, Mezcal, and the Politics of Production. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Bowen, Sarah*, Joslyn Brenton*, and Sinikka Elliott.* The Joy of Cooking?: Feeding the Family in Unequal Times. Book manuscript under contract with Oxford University Press.
Selected journal articles:
  • MacNell, Lillian, Sarah Bowen, Sinikka Elliot, and Annie Hardison-Moody. 2017 (forthcoming). "Interactions Between Urban Food Desert Residents and their Food Environments: Bringing the Individual Back In." Forthcoming, Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition.
  • Elliott, Sinikka, Josephine Ngo McKelvy, and Sarah Bowen. 2017 (forthcoming). “Marking Time in Ethnography: Uncovering Temporal Dispositions.” Ethnography. Available online at
  • 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.
  • Gaytan*, Marie Sarita, and Sarah Bowen*. 2014. “Naturalizing Neoliberalism and the De-Mexicanization of the Tequila Industry.” Environment and Planning A 47: 267-28
  • 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. “The Importance of Place: Re-Territorializing Embeddedness.” Sociologia Ruralis 51(4): 325-348.
  • 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.


  • Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2008
  • M.S. in Rural Sociology from University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2004
  • B.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University, 2000