Elaine Power, PhD

PhD (University of Toronto)

MSc (University of Guelph)

BSc (University of Ottawa)
BA (Mount St. Vincent University)


Contact Information

Email: power@queensu.ca

Telephone: 613-533-6000 x74690

Office: KHS 301G


Cross-Appointed to Department of Gender Studies

Affiliated with the Cultural Studies Graduate Program


Undergraduate Courses

HLTH 430 - Sociocultural Studies of Food


Graduate Courses

KHS 875 - Qualitative Methods


Research Summary

My research is focused on issues related to poverty, class, food, and health. Drawing on literature from the sociology of food, the sociology of health, the sociology of consumption, the sociology of childhood, and cultural studies, and using qualitative research methods, I explore social, cultural, political and symbolic aspects of food, eating, the body, and health. I am also interested in expanding the repertoire of qualitative research methods in the sociology of food, particularly the use of visual methods, such as photography and video, and in using documentary film as a vehicle for "knowledge translation" to change public policy.


Graduate Student Opportunities

I am accepting new graduate students for the Fall of 2017.


Recent Publications

Current & Former Student Theses

Bronwen Williams, The “Epidemic of Obesity” in the Public Media: A Discourse Analysis

Andrea Kirkham, Size doesn’t matter… or does it?

Nike Ashabo, The Spiritual Foundations of the Health Experiences of Low-Income Black Women

Melanie Kurrein, Split in Two: How Divorce Influences Teenagers' Food Practices

Jessica Diener, Everyone Poops but No One Wants to Talk about It: The Lived Experiences Of Young People With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Simon Robinson, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: Hunger, Cause-Related Marketing & The Politics of Corporate Food Bank Philanthropy

Brad Hiebert, ‘Heroes for the helpless’: How National Print Media Reinforce Settler Dominance through their Portrayal of Food Insecurity in the Canadian Arctic

Khalela Bell, An Autoethnography of Tree Planting in Northern Ontario

Jennifer Brady, Looking back, moving forward:  A feminist history of the dietetics profession in Canada.

Susan Belyea, A Comparative Study of Food Security Policy in Canada, Cuba and Guatemala

Dian Day, The Politics of Eating Alone

Sarah Murphy, The Perspectives of Military Personnel on using Yoga to Heal PTSD


Selected Publication & Editorial Opinions

Polzer, J., & Power, E. (Eds.). (forthcoming). Neoliberal Governance and Health: Duties, Risks and Vulnerabilities.

Power, E. (forthcoming). Governing the child’s body: The obesity epidemic and mothers’ duties in neoliberal consumer society In J. Polzer & E. Power (Eds.), Neoliberal Governance and Health: Duties, Risks and Vulnerabilities.

Power, E. (forthcoming). Food Banks. In K. Albala (Ed.), Food Issues. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Collins, P. A., Power, E., & Little, M. H. (2014). Municipal Level Responses to Household Food Insecurity in Canada: A Call For Critical, Evaluative Research. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 105(2), e138-e141.

Power, E., Little, M. H., & Collins, P. A. (2014). Should Canadian Health Promoters Support a Food Stamp-style Program to Address Food Insecurity? Health Promotion International. doi: 10.1093/heapro/dau080

Power, E. (2014). Food and poverty in high income countries. In P. B. Thompon & D. M. Kaplan (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics, (pp. 830-838). Springer.http://link.springer.com/referencework/10.1007%2F978-94-007-0929-4

Beagan, B. L., Chapman, G. E., Johnson, J., McPhail, D., Power, E., & Vallianatos, H. (2015). Acquired Tastes: Why Families Eat the Way They Do. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.

Brady, J., Gingras, J., & Power, E. (2012). Still hungry: A feminist perspective on food, foodwork, the body and food studies. In M. Koç, J. Sumner & A. Winson (Eds.), Critical Perspectives in Food Studies (pp. 122-135). Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press.

Power, E. M. (2008). Conceptualizing food security for Aboriginal people in Canada. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 99(2), 95-97. Available at: http://hdl.handle.net/1974/1224

Power, E., & Dietitians of Canada. (2005). Background paper. Individual and household food insecurity in Canada: Position of Dietitians of Canada. Available at: http://hdl.handle.net/1974/1225

Power, E. M. (2005). The unfreedom of being Other: Canadian lone mothers' experiences of poverty and 'life on the cheque'. Sociology, 39(4), 643-660. Preprint available at: http://hdl.handle.net/1974/1214

Power, E. (2003). De-centering the text: Exploring the potential for visual methods in the sociology of food. Journal for the Study of Food and Society, 6(2), 9-20. Available at: http://hdl.handle.net/1974/1226

Selected Editorial Opinions

Power, E. (2015, 30 January). Opinion: Pressure on Professors. The Queens Journal.

Power, E. (2014). Health 101 basics: A community wake-up call, The Kingston Whig-Standard.

Power, E., Riches, G., & Tarasuk, V. (2012, 19 December). Corporate tax breaks are not the answer to hunger in Canada, The Toronto Star.

Power, E. (2012, 27 April). Canadian professor says food banks are 'sticking plaster on gaping wounds',BBC Scotland Investigates: Breadline Scotland 

Power, E. (2011, 25 July). It's time to close Canada's food banks, The Globe and Mail.

Website: www.NoWayToLive.ca