Assistant Professor, Sociology


Ph.D. in Sociology, University of California, San Diego, June 2016
M.A in Sociology, University of California, San Diego, June 2012
B.A in Sociology, University of California, Santa Cruz, June 2008


Rachel Soper earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from UC San Diego in 2016. She researches the alternative food movement, with particular interest in the relationship between environmental sustainability and social justice. Her fieldwork experience includes indigenous small farmers in Ecuador, indigenous farmworkers in Oxnard, Black urban gardeners in San Diego, and organic and regenerative farmers in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. 

She has taught at CSUCI since 2017. Her classes include Environmental Sociology, Race and Ethnicity, Introduction to Research Methods, Writing in the Social Sciences, and Capstone. 

Rachel currently lives in Camarillo with her husband and daughter. She enjoys exploring the area, going on long walks, and playing board games with her family. 

Select Publications

  • Soper, Rachel. 2022. “Comparative Food Insecurities: Farmworker Perception of How the Quality and Quantity of Food Changes with Migration.” International Journal of the Sociology of Agriculture and Food 28(2): 7-21. 
  • Soper, Rachel. 2021. “Workplace Preference among Farmworkers: Piece Rate, Pesticides, and the Perspective of Fruit and Vegetable Harvesters.” Rural Sociology 86(4): 728-51. 
  • Soper, Rachel. 2021. “How Health-Conscious Urban Gardeners Aim to Increase Vegetable Consumption in their Community while Simultaneously Supporting Black Entrepreneurship.” Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 10(2): 413-30.
  • Soper, Rachel. 2020. “How Wage Structure and Crop Size Negatively Impact Farmworker Livelihoods in Monocrop Organic Production: Interviews with Strawberry Harvesters in California.” Agriculture and Human Values 37(2): 325-336. 
  • Soper, Rachel. 2020. “From Protecting Peasant Livelihoods to Essentializing Peasant Agriculture: Problematic Trends in Food Sovereignty Discourse.” Journal of Peasant Studies 47(2): 265-285. 
  • Soper, Rachel. 2019. “Livelihood Interests, Organizational Discipline, and Grassroots Participation in Ecuadorian Indigenous Movement Protests.” Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies 14(1): 24-47. 
  • Soper, Rachel. 2016. “Local is Not Fair: Indigenous Peasant Farmer Preference for Export Markets.” Agriculture and Human Values 33(3): 537-548.
  • Soper, Rachel. 2015. “Globalization and the Agrarian Question: Divergent Development of Two Export-Oriented Farming Communities.” Current Perspectives in Social Theory 34(1): 235-260.
  • Soper, Rachel. 2013. “Reclaiming Development: Indigenous Community Organizations and the Flower Export Industry in the Ecuadorian Highlands.” Pp 128-149 in Indigenous and Afro-Ecuadorians Facing the Twenty-First Century, edited by Marc Becker. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.


Food and Agriculture, Environment, Development, Globalization, Social Movements, Latin America, Race and Ethnicity, Labor

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