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Alternative Food Networks; Ecovillages; Co-production; Moral Economy; De- Commodification; Ireland

By L.P. Goemans

Abstract

This study on production and consumption in an Alternative Food Network (AFN) is based on five months of fieldwork in Cloughjordan Ecovillage (CEV), Ireland. This thesis follows a recent debate in the AFN literature – namely that there is a trend to focus on either production or consumption. Thus, This study attempts to bridge this divide and counter the critique to illustrate that it is possible to achieve both. I do so by analysing the community supported agriculture (CSA) enterprise based in CEV. Specifically, I adopt a moral economy approach, which presupposes that economic action is imbued with moral sentiments. In the case of CEV these moral sentiments reflect considerations of environmental, economic and social sustainability. I demonstrate that producers and consumers work together to mutually construct the ethical considerations that inform the moral economy. Food is, thus, undergoing a process of decommodification in which both parties are equally implicated. Furthermore, the prescribed meanings inherent in the categories of ‘producer’ and ‘consumer’ are being radically reimagined, so much so that they do not adequately reflect the lived reality. The concept of co-production is offered as a third category, which describes certain consumers assuming additional responsibilities of governance

Topics: Alternative Food Networks; Ecovillages; Co-production; Moral Economy; De- Commodification; Ireland
Year: 2016
OAI identifier: oai:dspace.library.uu.nl:1874/334236
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