People in Sociology - Faculty
Spring 2013 Office Hours: 2:00-3:30 M & 1:00-2:30 T
Paul Stock (PhD Colorado State University) is an environmental and rural sociologist with a primary focus on farmers' values and practices and alternative agriculture. More specifically, those interests revolve around agriculture, food, the environment and morality, and their intersections. He is an editor on the recent volume Food Systems Failure (Routledge, 2011) that uses the most recent international food crisis as an entry to exploring the rhetoric of how to feed the world compared with the reality of global hunger and large scale agriculture. Prior to KU, Paul worked at the Univeristy of Otago (Dunedin, New Zealand) at the Centre for Sustainability (csafe.org.nz) researching family farmers relationships to international agriculture including some comparative work with Switzerland. He also continues to write about the communal agricultural projects of the Catholic Worker movement founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in 1933. Areas: Environment, Culture, Globalization, Political Sociology, Religion, Social Inequality and Stratification
HOW DO WE EXPLAIN THE GROWING INTEREST IN ALTERNATIVE AGRICULTURE AND THE UNDERLYING COOPERATION AMONG INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS AND IS THIS SOMETHING ALL TOGETHER NEW?
One of the main themes in my work whether looking at family farmers in New Zealand, Switzerland or Illinois or small scale attempts at agricultural self-sufficiency or even the research process itself, is that cooperation is just as important as competition. Our economic models and assumptions that have become cultural values tend to assume a winner-take-all scenario. In my work I like to focus on the threads of dialogue that emphasize the cooperative and the collective even amongst those in highly competitive endeavors like international agriculture. My continuing work on the Catholic Worker movement focuses on small-scale agricultural communes and moral relationships with the environment. My master’s degree from Illinois State University focused on organic farmers’ identity as "good farmers." The understandings of what is "moral" or what is "good" are shaped by tradition, practice, relationships, context and psychology; they are not immutable categories, they evolve. Further, by examining cooperation and the historical trends in environmental and agricultural practice we can get a better handle on approaches and practices for addressing the very real political and environmental problems we face today.
Spring 2013 Courses
- Soc 385 Environmental Sociology
- Evrn 142 Global Environment II: The Ecology of Human Civilization