From the Editor

Nicki Lisa Cole

Welcome to the third installment of Consumed. This is an exciting issue for us because it is the first to feature the work of our new talented staff of writers. Cortney Anderson, a sociology major in her final year at Pomona College has written a wonderfully thoughtful reflection on studying consumption and living mindfully. This column is the first in what will be a regular “Undergraduate Beat,” designed to give you, our readers, an opportunity to hear about our field from the student perspective. Cortney is a dedicated writer and teacher who has worked for the last two years as a coordinator for the Weekly Writing Workshop, a program where college-age mentors help local 4th-9th grade students develop creative and technical writing skills. I hope you will enjoy her first column as much as I did.

Covering the burgeoning career of section member Cassi Pittman, Sarah Cappeliez, Ph.D. candidate in the sociology at the University of Toronto, provides a nuanced and engaging look into Cassi’s background, her sociological passions, and her exciting research that examines shopping experiences of members of the black middle class. Sarah herself is a sociologist focused on the cultural, identity and consumption elements of food and wine from a comparative perspective. She is currently working on her dissertation, which pursues questions of value and cultural diffusion in the case of how terroir is used in the wine sector in France and Canada. You can learn more about her research on her website.

Yaniv Ron-El, a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the University of Chicago, has curated for us a fascinating discussion between sociologists Daniel Silver and Erin McDonnell. Yaniv brings Silver and McDonnell together in a high-level discussion of Silver’s research with Terry Clark into “scenes,” and McDonnell’s recent paper on the Weberian concept of “budgetary units” published in AJS. What results is a truly thought-provoking series of observations on collective forms of consumption, with Yaniv’s keen interest in theory shining through in this smartly orchestrated discussion. Yaniv is also interested in the sociology of law and historical economic sociology, and focuses his research on consumption in the US at the turn of the twentieth century.

This issue of the newsletter has also benefited immensely the editorial assistance of Meredith Carey, a graduate student in sociology at Sam Houston State University, and as always, is beautifully laid out for you by the talented Martha Coe.

Finally, we are thrilled to announce the launch of a Digital Pedagogical Archive on our section website. This archive, spurred by the desire to share of our chair, Sharon Zukin (see her letter, which follows this one), will be a valuable pedagogical resource for anyone teaching a course on consumption. It features syllabi, assignments, and digital media resources. While the archive is small and young right now, with your help, it will grow into a crowd-sourced powerhouse of information and teaching tools. Please send submissions to

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