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Jennifer Keahey

Assistant Professor
Faculty, WEST Campus, Mailcode 3051
Faculty Affiliate
Faculty, WEST Campus, Mailcode 3051
Senior Sustainability Scholar
Faculty, WEST Campus, Mailcode 3051
Biography

I study social justice in food and agriculture using methods that produce situated and actionable knowledge. Specifically, I investigate: (1) rural livelihoods, identities, and capacities; (2) sustainability standards and certifications; and (3) stakeholder participation in research and practice.

My work informs scholarship in two key ways. First, as a development sociologist, I reunite social theory with empirical inquiry by engaging multi-paradigmatic frameworks for research and analysis. This strategy enables me to unpack the relationship between structure and agency, differentiate between sources of conflict and cohesion, and clarify the challenges and prospects of market-based sustainability. Second, I employ the principles of feminist praxis to uncover ethical issues related to epistemology and power and improve methods for engagement.

In 2010, I worked with small-scale farmers to co-develop a participatory research, training, and networking initiative in South Africa. At that time, I conducted ethnographic fieldwork with a team of community-based farmer leaders, generating in-depth understanding of the issues facing producers in rural coloured (mixed race) areas, including challenges with Fairtrade and organic market access. Our engagement resulted in a ‘participatory commodity networking’ approach to Fairtrade producer support.

I have worked in a variety of development contexts and retain an interest in post-authoritarian societies. Apart from my research in post-apartheid South Africa, I have spent significant time in post-Soviet Latvia where I developed a nationally accredited teacher training program as a Peace Corps Volunteer then returned under a Fulbright grant to examine the impacts of European integration on Latvia's local food movement. More broadly, I have consulted on Fairtrade charcoal standards in Namibia, evaluated rural income generation activities in Northern Ghana, and helped launch UNESCO's global EDUCAIDS initiative to coordinate educational responses to HIV and AIDS. 

Education
  • Ph.D. Sociology, Colorado State University
  • M.A. International Development and Social Change, Clark University
  • B.A. Anthropology and French, University of Utah
Research Interests
  • International development and political economy
  • Sustainable agriculture and fair trade
  • Development ethics and feminist praxis
Publications
Spring 2018
Course NumberCourse Title
SOC 331Environmental Sociology
SOC 339Grassroots Social Movements
SBS 339Grassroots Social Movements
POS 339Grassroots Social Movements
ASB 339Grassroots Social Movements
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
SOC 264Gender and Society
SOC 426Social Inequality
JHR 598Special Topics
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
JHR 599Thesis
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
SOC 264Gender and Society
SOC 426Social Inequality
JHR 598Special Topics
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
SOC 331Environmental Sociology
SOC 339Grassroots Social Movements
SBS 339Grassroots Social Movements
POS 339Grassroots Social Movements
ASB 339Grassroots Social Movements
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
SOC 264Gender and Society
SOC 426Social Inequality
SBS 493Honors Thesis
JHR 598Special Topics
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
SOC 264Gender and Society
SOC 331Environmental Sociology
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
SOC 331Environmental Sociology
SOC 426Social Inequality
JHR 598Special Topics
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
SOC 331Environmental Sociology
SOC 426Social Inequality
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
SOC 426Social Inequality
Presentations
  • Jennifer Keahey. Staan Saam: Intersectional and Participatory Development in South Africa. Annual Sociology of Development Conference, Cornell University (Oct 2016).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Capabilities for Sustainability: Livelihoods and Culture in the South African Cederberg. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting (Aug 2016).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Participatory Commodity Networking: An Integrated Framework for Fairtrade Research and Support. ASU Democracy Conference (Dec 2015).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Whose Knowledge Counts? Skills Development in Fairtrade Producer Networks. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting (Aug 2015).
  • Jennifer Keahey. The Sustainability of  Power or the Power of Sustainability? Emerging Farmer Participation in South Africa's Rooibos Tea Industry. Annual Sociology of Development Conference, Brown University (Mar 2015).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Fair Trade and Racial Equity in Africa. International Studies Association Annual Convention (Feb 2015).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Sustainability, Power, and Participation in South Africa's Rooibos Tea Industry. SBS Symposium at ASU West (Oct 2014).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Fair Trade and Racial Equity in Africa. Western Social Science Association Annual Conference (Apr 2014).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Paternalism or Empowerment? Racial (In)Equity in African Fair Trade. New College Faculty Colloquium at ASU West (Mar 2014).
  • Jennifer Keahey. From Dependency to Interconnectedness: Introducing the Participatory Commodity Network Research Approach. American Sociological Association Development Sociology Conference (Oct 2013).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Emerging Markets, Sustainable Methods: Political Economy Empowerment in South Africa's Rooibos Tea Sector. Sociology in Progress Lecture Series (Feb 2013).
  • Jennifer Keahey. South Africa's Rooibos Tea Industry: Social Sustainability Dimensions and Prospects. American Sociological Association Development Sociology Conference (Nov 2012).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Commodity Networking for Sustainable Development: Fair Trade and South Africa's Emerging Rooibos Tea Sector. American Sociological Association Annual General Meeting (Aug 2012).
  • Jennifer Keahey. New Methods for Sustainable Development: Participatory Commodity Networking within South Africa's Emerging Rooibos Tea Sector. Center for Fair & Alternative Trade Seminar (May 2012).
  • Jennifer Keahey and Sandra Kruger. Improving Market Access for Emerging South African Rooibos Farmers. UC Davis HortCRSP Workshop (Apr 2011).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Sustainable Market Access Development in South Africa's Emerging Rooibos Tea Sector. Africa Rising: New Enterprise Solutions to Old Development Problems Research Colloquium (Mar 2011).
Professional Associations

Senior Sustainability Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS); Associate: Center for Fair & Alternative Trade (CFAT); Member: American Sociological Association (ASA); Member: The Collaborative Action Research Network (CARN).

Service
  • Co-Chair, Feminist Development Subsection of ASA Sociology of Development (2017 - Present)
  • Webmaster, ASA Sociology of Development (2016 - Present)
  • Council Member, ASA Political Economy of the World System (2015 - Present)
  • Ad Hoc Journal, Book, and Grant Reviewer (2011 - Present)
  • Facebook Master, ASA Sociology of Development (2011-2016)
  • Member, ASU Interdisciplinary Global Learning and Engagement Advisory Board (2014 - Present)
  • Member, ASU West Campus Sustainability Committee (2014 - Present)
  • Refugee Farm Volunteer, International Rescue Committee (IRC) New Roots Farm Project (2014)
Industry Positions

EDUCAIDS Intern: Education Sector, UNESCO (2006)

Refugee Volunteer Coordinator: Catholic Community Services (2002-2003)

Volunteer Teacher Trainer: United States Peace Corps (1999-2002)