Ethan D. Schoolman. (2018) Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, 1-15. doi:10.1017/S1742170517000758 (print version forthcoming).
Are strong local food systems better for the environment? Surprisingly little is known about the relationship of local food to environmental sustainability. Drawing on data from the U.S. census of agriculture, I find that an increase in the strength of local food systems has been broadly associated with a decrease in spending on agricultural chemicals in the U.S. as a whole. But the magnitude of the relationship between direct marketing to consumers and changes in agricultural chemical use has dwindled over time, to the point where it is not clear whether contemporary local food systems are still incentivizing farmers to reduce their use of pesticides.
Ethan D. Schoolman. (2017) Journal of Consumer Culture, 1-20. doi:10.1177/1469540517717776 (print version forthcoming).
According to nearly all studies, ethical consumption is a regular practice mainly of people who are well educated and politically active in conventional ways. In contrast, I argue that buying local by supporting businesses in general, and not just food producers, seen as rooted in regional economic and civic life, may be widespread even among people lacking economic capital and interest in conventional politics. In addition, I find that buying local among people who do not fit the mold of the ‘‘typical’’ ethical consumer is motivated not by environmental concerns, but rather by the desire to directly benefit community members and secure public goods.
Ethan D. Schoolman. (2016) Sociological Forum 31(3): 619-641.
Efforts to explain why some people incorporate ethical concerns into everyday shopping for food and household goods, while many do not, have so far left significant variation in “ethical consumption” unexplained. Seeking to move beyond explanations that rely mainly on differences in consumers’ social class, gender, and political engagement, I draw on concepts associated with “practice theory” to argue that ethical consumption is closely tied to people’s willingness and ability to spend time, while shopping, on distinct activities associated with breaking old routines and establishing new ones.
Ethan D. Schoolman, Mike Shriberg, Sarah Schwimmer, Marie Tysman. (2016) Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences 6(3): 490-502.
Drawing on survey and focus group data, we find that that student commitment to practicing sustainable consumption in their adult lives is weakest regarding how food is produced and consumed. We
also find that evidence for IHE impact on student attitudes and practices related to any form of sustainable consumption is surprisingly lacking. We argue that IHEs have not realized their full
potential to prepare millennials to be environmentally responsible citizens of sustainable cities, particularly where participation in food systems is concerned.
Ethan D. Schoolman, Chunbo Ma. (2012) Ecological Economics 75: 140-151.
Systematic research into social inequalities in the distribution of environmental hazards, though well-established in American sociology, has largely not been conducted for developing countries.
We argue that, due in part to the China's state registry system, urban workers with an official rural residence are disproportionately exposed to environmental pollution. We also argue that
environmental inequality in China is shaped by social processes analogous to those which have been held to explain racial differences in pollution exposure in the U.S.
Ethan D. Schoolman, Jeremy S. Guest, Kathleen F. Bush, Andrew R. Bell. (2012) Sustainability Science 7: 67-80.
We investigate the extent to which sustainability research lives up to the ideal of an interdisciplinary field that draws on concepts and methods from across academia. We find that interdisciplinarity comes at a cost: sustainability research in economics and the social sciences is centered around a relatively small number of interdisciplinary journals, which may be becoming less valued over time. These findings suggest that, if sustainability research is to live up to its interdisciplinary ideals, researchers must be provided with greater incentives to draw from fields other than their own.
Selected Essays and Short Pieces
Ethan D. Schoolman. (2015) Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Consumption and Consumer Studies, pp. 45-46.
Green Horizon: The Theory and Prospects of Thomas Lyson's "Civic Consumption"
Ethan D. Schoolman. (2012) Sociological Forum 26: 460-464.
Bush (George H.W.) Administration
Ethan D. Schoolman. (2012) In Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change, 2nd Edition, pp. 164-166.
Ethan D. Schoolman. (2012) In Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change, 2nd Edition, pp. 210-212.