MSU sociology faculty’s new books explore challenges, opportunities for addressing hunger, gender, race issues

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

Leslie Hossfeld (Photo by Russ Houston)

Rachel Allison (Photo by Russ Houston)

Margaret Hagerman (Photo by Megan Bean)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Food insecurity, gender inequality in professional sport, and children’s racial perception in America are the respective focus areas of three highly anticipated works by faculty members in Mississippi State’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Due for September publication by Vanderbilt University Press, “Food and Poverty: Food Insecurity and Food Sovereignty among America’s Poor” is a 246-page book that discusses the impact of food insecurity on food pantries and federal nutrition programs.

Leslie Hossfeld, professor and head of MSU’s Department of Sociology, is one of the book’s three editors who also collaborated on the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s “Persistent Poverty in the South Project.” At MSU, Hossfeld also directs the Mississippi Food Insecurity Project, which examines food access and food insecurity in the Magnolia State.

Also available in September is MSU Assistant Professor of Sociology Rachel Allison’s book, “Kicking Center: Gender and The Selling of Women’s Professional Soccer.” Published by Rutgers University Press, the 200-page work poses and analyzes the challenges and opportunities for a women’s soccer league breaking into the male-dominated center of U.S. professional sport.

MSU Assistant Professor of Sociology Margaret A. Hagerman’s “White Kids: Growing Up With Privilege in a Racially Divided America,” is a 280-page, research-based book that will be published by New York University Press in September. Over a two-year period, Hagerman conducted in-depth interviews with affluent white children and their families to observe how they make sense of privilege, unequal educational opportunities and police violence. Based on these dialogues, Hagerman provides a fascinating, detailed examination of the role that children and families play in the reproduction of racism and racial inequality in America.

Part of the College of Arts and Sciences, MSU’s Department of Sociology prepares students for graduate studies and careers in a global environment. Learn more at and

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at