Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Community-supported Agriculture Serves As Counterexample To Market Demands Of Globalization

Date:
August 9, 2007
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
A new paper explores community-supported agriculture and its survival in the face of economic globalization. Organic food was once an economic haven for small farms who distributed their goods predominantly through local channels such as farmers' markets. Today, however, the vast majority of organic food production occurs on large-scale, industrial farms whose goods flow through global supply chains. In the United States, more than eighty percent of all sales in the organic category hail from brands owned by corporate conglomerates.

A compelling new paper from the August issue of the Journal of Consumer Research explores the community-supported agriculture movement and its survival in the face of economic globalization. Organic food was once an economic haven for small farms who distributed their goods predominantly through local channels such as farmers' markets and food co-ops.

In the contemporary marketplace, however, the vast majority of organic food production occurs on large-scale, industrial farms whose goods flow through global supply chains. In the United States, more than eighty percent of all sales in the organic category hail from brands owned by corporate conglomerates.

As Craig J. Thompson and Gokcen Coskuner-Balli (University of Wisconsin, Madison) explain: "A key premise of co-optation theory is that the capitalist marketplace transforms the symbols and practices of counter-cultural opposition into a constellation of trendy commodities and de-politicized fashion styles that are readily assimilated into the mainstream. Co-optation thesis is ultimately a tale of creeping commercialism that steadily erodes the socio-political force of a counterculture's symbolic protests."

However, co-optation theory did not have predict that the corporatization of organic food would create a thriving countervailing market system. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has staked out a viable market niche for small, independent farmers by aggressively reasserting the countercultural values and ideals that originally animated the organic food movement.

In their study, Thompson and Coskuner-Balli analyze the means through which CSA has ideologically reclaimed the founding discourses of the countercultural organic food movement and the market-mediated relationships that unfold within this ideological network. The key agents in this countervailing market system are food and farm activists who promote the CSA model through seminars and literature, CSA farmers, and devoted consumer members who act as evangelists.

"In the context of these countervailing market relationships, CSA's ideology is concretely enacted and experienced as a collective project oriented around three modes of praxis:

  1. reconstituting rooted connections;
  2. engaging in practices of decommodification; and
  3. working toward an artisan food culture," the authors write.

More generally, the investigators propose that the CSA market provides a compelling ideological alternative to consumption communities created by the institutional structures of global corporate capitalism. This alternative ideological framework, focused on communal consumption experiences, enables CSA consumers to accept the unconventional demands and transaction costs imposed by this system as socially redeeming benefits.

"For the consumers in this study, CSA's ideology and constellation of unconventional marketplace practices sufficiently diverge from status quo modes of consumption that they can credibly believe it is redressing some of the ecological and socio-economic problems fostered by economic globalization," the authors explain.

"CSA also affords consumers with reaffirming experiences of emotional immediacy, confidence in outcomes, direct participatory involvement, and personal engagement that are difficult to replicate in standard forms of socially responsible consumption, whose realpolitik consequences are diffused across the vast expanse of the global economy."

Reference: Craig J. Thompson and Gokcen Coskuner-Balli. "Countervailing Market Responses to Corporate Co-optation and the Ideological Recruitment of Consumption Communities," Journal of Consumer Research: August 2007.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Community-supported Agriculture Serves As Counterexample To Market Demands Of Globalization." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070807135621.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2007, August 9). Community-supported Agriculture Serves As Counterexample To Market Demands Of Globalization. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070807135621.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Community-supported Agriculture Serves As Counterexample To Market Demands Of Globalization." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070807135621.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Malaysia's last "fish listeners" -- practitioners of a dying local art of listening underwater to locate their quarry -- try to keep the ancient technique alive in the face of industrial trawling and the depletion of stocks. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
USDA Cracks Down On Imports From Foreign Puppy Mills

USDA Cracks Down On Imports From Foreign Puppy Mills

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) New USDA measures to regulate dog imports aim to crack down on buying dogs from overseas puppy mills. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bone Marrow Drug Regrows Hair In Some Alopecia Patients

Bone Marrow Drug Regrows Hair In Some Alopecia Patients

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) Researchers performed an experiment using an FDA-approved drug known as ruxolitinib. They found it to be successful in the majority of patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins