Kara Alexis Young

Kara Alexis Young's picture
Research Interests: 
Health & inequality, sociology of food, race, gender, social theory, in-depth interviewing & ethnography
Institute for the Study of Societal Issues

I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology where I study health and inequality, the sociology of food, race, gender, and social theory.

My dissertation Gut Feelings: The Emotions of Food Inequality examines how inequality shapes patterns of food consumption by exploring the relationship between emotions, place, and practice in the day-to-day act of finding and eating food. Through in-depth interviews and extended observations in a neighborhood with a variety of grocery stores close by and a neighborhood with none, I examine the meanings that people attach to the food and food spaces around them, how they organize their practices within the set of choices available to them, and how they feel about themselves as they move through these spaces and practices. 

I have received several honors for my research and teaching. These include the Lowenthal Graduate Student Paper Prize from the Department of Sociology at UC Berkeley, Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award and Blumer Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching. 

I am a graduate student in residence at the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine and a graduate fellow at the Berkeley Food Institute on a project called Building Equitable and Inclusive Food Systems at UC Berkeley.


PhD Date:: 
May, 2017
Dissertation Title: 
Gut Feelings: The Emotions of Food Inequality
Dissertation Committee: 
Sandra Smith (Chair), Raka Ray, Michael Burawoy, Tianna Paschel (African American Studies)