Dr. Elaine Power, Ph.D. (Toronto)

Associate Professor
Area of Expertise: 
Sociocultural Studies

Cross-Appointed to Gender Studies

Affiliated with Cultural Studies Graduate Program

Contact Information
613-533-6000 x74690
KHS 301G

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 training opportunities

I am interested in supervising graduate students with an orientation towards critical sociology or cultural studies, particularly as applied to food, the body, or health.

Prospective students are strongly encouraged to apply for scholarships and awards offered through the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) program, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), and other agencies that providing funding to graduate students.  Deadlines for these competitions generally fall in advance of the deadlines for our graduate programs.  Only studnets who have already appied for funding from these external agencies will be eligible for the various fellowships and awards offered by Queen's University to incoming students.

Recent publications


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, Corporate Food Bank Philanthropy: Buying Social Justice?

Brad Hiebert, Affording Market Foods: Examining Cost Comparison Skills' Effect On Health Numeracy

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


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.

Beagan, B. L., Chapman, G. E., Johnson, J., McPhail, D., Power, E., & Vallianatos, H. (forthcoming). The Family Table: Intersections Of Class, Place, Gender And Food Practices. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.

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

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.

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