Establishing Nourishing Food Networks in an Era of Global-local Tensions: An Interdisciplinary Ethnography in Turkey
Kennedy, Rachael Eve
MetadataShow full item record
This dissertation ethnographically explores the social concerns related to the global, agro-industrial system's impact on many communities' potential for livelihood and health. At the core of this study is the desire to understand the complex and dynamic ways that communities strive to develop, and make sense of, networks that address these wicked problems and to understand how these strategies might aggregate to promote community resiliency. An investigation of alternative food networks (AFNs) was contextualized in one province in Western Turkey. The AFNs were articulated by an ethnographic design that utilized tools from different fields of study. Integrating actor-network theory, new social movements theory, and the nourishing networks framework allowed for robust triangulation of data. I conclude that AFNs in this province are nascent and remain fragmented. At present, AFNs have not been leveraged for community resiliency efforts. However, they hold the seeds of what may become a food sovereignty social movement. This ethnography reveals that the province has assets, including numerous affinity groups, and a durable connection to heritage with strong reverberations of a nature-culture. I illuminate the broad spectrum of submerged and visible actants and actors that prime the AFNs' development. The wide variance creates diffuse and contradictory cultural implications. Actors report they constantly negotiate cultural aspects related to AFNs. They conceptualize this work as a polymorphous phenomenon of fragmented communities and a culture of dependency; but they show fortitude by negotiating multi-phasic actions and multi-vocal resistance messaging. By way of this study I illustrate that their cultural politics take place where economy and identity interface. Actors seek legitimization. They speak of infusing heritage-based ideals into projects. They are firm that agricultural modernization must come from Turkish values. And, they are formulating and strengthening ideological-based discourses. I further clarify their development strategies by showing how AFNs are experimenting with new governance strategies and focusing on social embedding. Promotion of niche markets has begun. However, public and private resources are limited, which hinders the momentum of AFNs. Additional research is needed to better understand the processes for high functioning AFNs in Turkey.
- Doctoral Dissertations