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(Not) Beyond Consumption: Citizen Engagement in Food Politics

  • Author / Creator
    Sprague, Cathryn E
  • Many accounts of Alternative Food Networks (AFNs) describe them as cohesive social movements that adequately address the social and environmental externalities of food and agricultural production. Yet others question whether initiatives that focus on localized consumer driven change can provide radical transformation of social systems. This thesis takes up this debate, using data from interviews and participant observation of key actors in AFNs in Edmonton, Alberta to explore civic engagement in food politics. While this study sought to go beyond consumption, by integrating data from producers, consumers and everyday citizens, findings indicate that there is an overwhelming emphasis on consumer driven change amongst all groups, bringing into question the efficacy of such approaches. Overall, this thesis emphasizes the need to engage in a food politics that critically examines the root contextual, political, and institutional factors that underpin the negative externalities associated with our food and agricultural systems.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2014-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3NQ34
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology
  • Specialization
    • Rural Sociology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Wittman, Hannah (Land and Food Systems, UBC)
    • Kennedy, Emily Huddart (Environmental Sociology, Washington State University; formerly REES, UofA)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Parkins, John (Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, UofA)
    • Davidson, Debra (Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, UofA)