An equitable alternative to conventional agriculture? Discourses of whiteness and color-blind racism in local foods systems

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2016-01-01
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Kruzic, Ahna
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Carmen Bain
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Abstract

There has been an increasing volume of scholarship and activism that positions local foods systems as a more equitable alternative to the globalized agrifood system. One of the key assumptions that informs local foods activism and scholarship is that localism addresses the injustices associated with the placeless globalized industrial agrifood system. As a result, a discourse has emerged that assumes the local to be a site of social, economic, and environmental justice.

Though many local food movement participants presume local food systems to be more economically, socially, and environmentally just than the conventional globalized agricultural system, narratives of whiteness and color-blind racism within the local foods movement permeate the movement’s collective discourse.

This research examines movement discourses evoked by active, engaged

participants across the local food systems movement, and how discourses evoked demonstrate hegemonic whiteness and color-blind racism. Further, examples of subversion, struggle, and rejection of whitened discourses are provided. Data analyzed in this paper includes utterances data from practitioners, researchers, farmers, advocates, activists, and more from in-depth semi-structured interviews. I argue that a critique of white privilege within our local foods movements and a disruption of “local means

equitable” is necessary to build sustainable agrifood movements that dismantle injustices typically associated with the globalized agrifood system.

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Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2016