Assistant Professor, Sociology

864.294.2000
Johns Hall 106C
ken.kolb@furman.edu

  • Current disciplinary research interests

      I am currently studying what it is like to live in a "food desert." Food Deserts are geographic areas that have high rates of poverty, low rates of access to transportation, and limited access to healthy food. Residents of food deserts also indicate disproportionately higher rates of obesity and other dietary health problems. Nationwide, efforts to improve health outcomes by increasing access to healthy foods in these areas have found little success. The goal of my project is to understand why this problem is so difficult to fix.

  • Interest in connecting sustainability to research

      Food deserts are a symptom of dysfunctional food system. Fixing this problem requires examining it from economic, environmental, and social perspectives--the three legs of the stool of sustainability research.

  • Center-funded research projects

      Over the past 2 years, I have had two projects funded by the center. For the first, I conducted 100 hour-long interviews of residents of nearby food deserts (Southernside and West Greenville). For the second, during my sabbatical I worked on a local farm and interviewed leaders of local food/health related organization. Both projects have helped me better understand the subjective experience of what it is like to live in a food desert as well as the constraints/opportunities facing those trying to help them.

  • Sustainability courses taught
      • Introduction to Sociology
      • Race and Ethnic Relations in the US
      • Sociological Theory
      • The Sociology of Food Systems (MayX)
      • Identity (seminar)
      • Sociology of Emotions (seminar)
      • Masculinities (seminar)





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