Jennifer Keahey

Assistant Professor
Faculty
WEST Campus
Mailcode
3051
Asst Professor
Faculty
WEST Campus
Mailcode
3051
Asst Professor
Faculty
WEST Campus
Mailcode
3051

Biography

I am a sociological action researcher with expertise in sustainable, participatory, and emancipatory development.  As a scholar-practitioner who has worked in emerging economies and post-authoritarian states, I am well grounded in critical social theory and skilled in the use of qualitative and participatory research methods.

My scholarship advances development theory and practice in three key ways. First, I work with scholarly and grassroots communities to identify and solve problems. By documenting the crosscutting power dynamics informing development in action, my work unpacks structural, relational, and knowledge-based barriers to innovation and change. Second, I inform action research methodology by designing methods for interdisciplinary collaboration and knowledge democratization. Third, my research connects the philosophical discourse on development ethics with critical reflections of practice to improve standards for engagement.

My current scholarship is focused on the ethical and political dilemmas of development. Ethics for Development Research (forthcoming in Sociology of Development) is the first of four article projects on development ethics. This study engages a wide ranging discourse to develop a common set of principles for planning, conducting, and evaluating research across disciplines. I also am working on two book projects that problematize the politics of sustainability. The first of these is a volume on energy and democracy that I am co-editing with Majia Nadesan and Martin Pasqualetti. The second is a solo-authored comparative historical book. Engaging the cases of post-Soviet Latvia and post-Apartheid South Africa, "Transformative Societies" queries the role of cultural worldviews in generating democratic social change, with particular focus on the Indigenous value systems informing anti-authoritarian resistance movements, national transitions to democracy, and post-authoritarian sustainable development agendas.

"Transformative Societies" builds from my previous fieldwork in post-Apartheid South Africa and post-Soviet Latvia. In 2010, I worked with South African rooibos tea farmers to co-develop a participatory research, training, and networking initiative. As part of my inquiry, I conducted ethnographic fieldwork with a team of community-based farmer leaders. Our work resulted in a ‘participatory commodity networking’ approach to Fairtrade research and producer support. It also established a multi-paradigmatic foundation for sociopolitical analysis. In 2005, I conducted qualitative mixed methods research in post-Soviet Latvia. Having first worked in the country as a Peace Corps Volunteer, I returned under a Fulbright grant to examine the impacts of European integration on Latvia's organic farming movement. My study found significant growth in the number of farms undergoing organic conversion as well as a strategic shift in movement identity from organic farming to local food.

Education

  • Ph.D. Sociology, Colorado State University
  • M.A. International Development and Social Change, Clark University
  • B.A. Anthropology and French, University of Utah

Google Scholar

Research Interests

  • Globalization and development
  • Social inequality and social justice
  • Fair trade and sustainable agriculture
  • Decolonizing research and practice

Publications

Courses

Fall 2019
Course Number Course Title
SOC 426 Social Inequality
JHR 501 PS Social Justice&Human Rights
JHR 590 Reading and Conference
JHR 592 Research
JHR 593 Applied Project
JHR 598 Special Topics
JHR 599 Thesis
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Title
SOC 331 Environmental Sociology
SOC 339 Grassroots Social Movements
SBS 339 Grassroots Social Movements
POS 339 Grassroots Social Movements
ASB 339 Grassroots Social Movements
JHR 599 Thesis
Fall 2018
Course Number Course Title
SOC 426 Social Inequality
JHR 598 Special Topics
JHR 599 Thesis
Fall 2017
Course Number Course Title
SOC 264 Gender and Society
SOC 426 Social Inequality
JHR 598 Special Topics
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Title
JHR 599 Thesis
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Title
SOC 264 Gender and Society
SOC 426 Social Inequality
JHR 598 Special Topics
Fall 2015
Course Number Course Title
SOC 264 Gender and Society
SOC 426 Social Inequality
SBS 493 Honors Thesis
JHR 598 Special Topics

Presentations

  • Session Co-Organizer. Frontiers of Feminist Development. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting (Aug 2018).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Cultivating Heritage: Sustainable Development in the South African Cederberg. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting (Aug 2018).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Knowledge in Action: Negotiating Theories of Power in the Field. Action Research Network of the Americas Annual Meeting, University of California San Diego (June 2018).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Negotiating Power: Intersectional Praxis in Action Research. Annual Sociology of Development Conference, Wayne State University (Oct 2017).
  • Jennifer Keahey. The Ethics of Development Research: A Critical Review. Annual Sociology of Development Conference, Wayne State University (Oct 2017).
  • Jennifer Keahey. Gendered Livelihoods and Community Politics in Post-apartheid South Africa. American Sociological Association Annual Meeting (Aug 2017).
  • 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

Associate: Center for Fair & Alternative Trade (CFAT)

Member: American Sociological Association (ASA)

Member: Action Research Network of the Americas (ARNA).

 

Service

  • Chair Elect, Sociology of Development, American Sociological Association (2018 - Present)
  • Ad Hoc Journal, Book, and Grant Reviewer (2011 - Present)
  • Co-founder & Co-Chair, Feminist Development Subsection of ASA Sociology of Development (2016; 2017 - 2018)
  • Webmaster, ASA Sociology of Development (2016 - 2018)
  • Council Member, ASA Political Economy of the World System (2015 - 2018)
  • 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)