Associate Professor



Joshua Sbicca is Associate Professor of Sociology at Colorado State University. His research focuses on food as a site of economic, political, and social struggle. His recent work studies food systems and cultures and social movements at intersections of carcerality, gentrification, and racial capitalism. Underlying these interests is an ongoing engagement with how activists and scholars articulate and practice food justice and what this means for building broad based social movements.

His focus on food is a lens to address a broad range of sociological questions around social change, political economy, urban and rural development, ethnoracial and class hierarchies, human/nature relations, and power.

His newest work is an edited volume with Alison Alkon and Yuki Kato called A Recipe for Gentrification: Food, Power, and Resistance in the City (2020, New York University Press, Edited Volume Honorable Mention-Association for the Study of Food and Society). The book argues that food and gentrification are deeply entangled, and that examining food retail and alternative food practices is critical to understanding urban development. Through a series of case studies, from super-gentrifying cities like New York, to oft neglected places like Oklahoma City, the authors show that while gentrification always has its own local flavor, there are many commonalities. This comparative approach highlights how food retail and foodscapes contribute to gentrification, how food itself becomes gentrified, and how activists see food as a site for resistance.

His first book, Food Justice Now!: Deepening the Roots of  Social Struggle (2018, University of Minnesota Press), charts a path from food activism to social justice activism that integrates the two. The book argues that food justice is more than just a myopic focus on food, allowing scholars and activists alike to investigate the causes behind inequities and evaluate and implement political strategies to overcome them. Focusing on carceral, labor, and immigration crises, Food Justice Now! tells the stories of three California-based food movement organizations, showing that when activists use food to confront neoliberal capitalism and institutional racism, they can creatively expand how to practice and achieve food justice.

His research has appeared in journals such as Agriculture and Human Values, Antipode, Critical Sociology, Environmental Justice, Environmental Politics, Environmental Sociology, Geoforum, Journal of Rural Studies and Social Movement Studies. 


Sbicca, J., LA. Minkoff-Zern, and S. Coopwood. 2021. ““Because they are connected”: Linking structural inequalities in farmworker organizing.” Human Geography. 13(3): 263-276. Access article.

Luxton, I. and J. Sbicca. 2021. “Mapping Movements: A Call for Qualitative Social Network Analysis.” Qualitative Research. 21(2): 161-180. Access article.

Sbicca, J., I. Luxton, J. Hale, and K. Roeser. 2019. “Collaborative Concession in Food Movement Networks: The Uneven Relations of Resource Mobilization.” Sustainability. 11(10): 2881. Access article.

Shisler, R. and J. Sbicca. 2019. “Agriculture as Carework: The Contradictions of Performing Femininity in a Male-Dominated Occupation.” Society and Natural Resources. 32(8): 875-892. Access article.

Sbicca, J. 2019. “Urban Agriculture, Revalorization, and Green Gentrification in Denver, Colorado.” Research in Political Sociology. 26: 143-164. Access article.

Sbicca, J and J.S. Myers. 2016. “Food Justice Racial Projects: Fighting Racial Neoliberalism from the Bay to the Big Apple.” Environmental Sociology. 3(1): 30-41 Access article.

Sbicca, J. 2016. “These Bars Can’t Hold Us Back: Plowing Incarcerated Geographies with Restorative Food Justice.” Antipode. 48(5): 1359-1379 . Access article

Sbicca, J. 2015. “Solidarity and Sweat Equity: For Reciprocal Food Justice Research.” Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. 5(4): 1-5. Access article

Sbicca, J. 2015. “Farming while confronting the other: The production and maintenance of boundaries in the borderlands.” Journal of Rural Studies. 39: 1-10. Access article

Myers, J.S. and J. Sbicca. 2015. “Bridging good food and good jobs: From secession to confrontation within alternative food movement politics.” Geoforum. 61: 17-26. Access article

Sbicca, J. 2015. “Food Labor, Economic Inequality and the Imperfect Politics of Process in the Alternative Food Movement.” Agriculture and Human Values. 32(4): 675-687. Access article


  • SOC 105: Social Problems

  • SOC 324: Food Justice

  • SOC 364: Agriculture and Global Society

  • SOC 474: Social Movements and Collective Behavior

  • SOC 562: Sociology of Food Systems and Agriculture