I grew up as an Army brat during the Cold War and wanted to know why my Dad was always away at war or why our family was stationed overseas. Both sets of grandparents were rural people. I also wanted to know why their rural lives seemed to be changing so quickly. I found the answers to these questions in Sociology. I eventually became a Rural Sociologist. The great gift of Sociology is that it helps situate people’s lives within larger historical trends – The Sociological Imagination.
My degrees are BS: Forest Management (1976); MS; Community Development (1984); and PhD: Rural Sociology (1993). Most of my research has focused on the community impacts of the industrialization and globalization of the agrifood system, with special attention on the broiler and hog industries. More recently, my work is in the area of alternative food systems, especially sustainable and organic agriculture, as it relates to sustainability issues and climate change. I have served as President of the Southern Rural Sociological Association (2003) and the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (2008). I currently serve as the Quality of Life Representative and Chair of the Administrative Council of the USDA Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research Education Program.
I have been a member of the Sociology Department at Sam Houston State University since 1997. Today, I am a Full Professor and Director of Undergraduate Programs in the Department of Sociology.
Classes Taught: Rural and Urban Sociology, Marriage and the Family, Principles of Sociology, Senior Seminar in Sociology
Research Interests: Globalization of the Agrifood System, Commodity Systems Analysis, Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change
- Constance, Douglas H., Jason Konefal, and Maki Hatanaka, eds. 2018. Contested Sustainability Discourses in the Agrifood System. New York: Routledge/Earthscan
- Constance, Douglas H., Marie-Christine Renard, and Marta Rivera-Ferre, eds. 2014. Alternative Agrifood Movements: Patterns of Convergence and Divergence. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing, Ltd.
- Constance, Douglas H., Mary Hendrickson, Philip H. Howard, and William D. Heffernan. 2014. Economic Concentration in the Agrifood System: Impacts on Rural Communities and Emerging Responses. Rural America in a Changing World: Problems and Prospects for the 2010s, edited by Connor Bailey, Leif Jensen, and Elizabeth Ransom. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press.
- Martinez, Francisco, Gilberto Aboites, and Douglas H. Constance. 2013. Neoliberal Restructuring, NeoRegulation, and the Mexican Poultry Industry. Agriculture and Human Values 30(4): 495-510.