Urban Agriculture as a Field: Governance, communication and collective action

Keech, Daniel ORCID: 0000-0003-4112-9030 and Reed, Matt ORCID: 0000-0003-1105-9625 (2019) Urban Agriculture as a Field: Governance, communication and collective action. In: Urban Food Democracy and Governance in North and South. International Political Economy Series . Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 27-44. ISBN 9783030171865

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In this chapter, we argue that Urban Food Networks (UFNs) are a format of collective action that seeks to manage social change within the ‘field’ of urban agriculture (UA). Our intention here is to argue that a field perspective is helpful when studying UA as a facet of social life in the city. This is because fields highlight the relationships between different actors, institutions, ideas and values, and they frame UA as one way of trying to influence social routines in the city. By the same token, UA can be a reflection of dynamism in social routines in the city. City food production is organisationally complex, culturally symbolic, and politically contested. For some years, research on UFNs has been rich and this is linked partly to the wealth of micro case studies that exist. The field framework offers two distinct potentials for UFN scholarship. Firstly, it presents UFNs as an integral part of the varied picture of city food: cities include UFNs because networks of people join together to collectively respond to perceived opportunities or challenges associated with dominant food actors. Secondly, the field concept connects micro-networks with forces of influence at the macro-level suggesting that, in complex social systems such as cities, food activism is one way in which social life is re-created. Such arguments indicate the adaptability of field theory to UA in general, while an examination of UFN social media communications, reveals the empirical potentials of the concept, strengthing the potential for analytical connections between UA in ‘south’ and ‘north’.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Urban agriculture, Governance, Collective action, Urban food networks, Food activism, Field theory
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human geography. Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General) > S589.75 Agriculture and the environment
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Place, Environment and Community
Depositing User: Imogen Young
Date Deposited: 03 May 2019 08:51
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2022 16:32
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/6783

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