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The Discourse on Alternative Agrifood Movements

Alternative Agrifood Movements: Patterns of Convergence and Divergence

ISBN: 978-1-78441-090-2, eISBN: 978-1-78441-089-6

Publication date: 3 December 2014


This introduction provides an overview of the discourse on alternative agrifood movements (AAMs) to (1) ascertain the degree of convergence and divergence around a common ethos of alterity and (2) context the chapters of the book. AAMs have increased in recent years in response to the growing legitimation crisis of the conventional agrifood system. Some agrifood researchers argue that AAMs represent the vanguard movement of our time, a formidable counter movement to global capitalism. Other authors note a pattern of blunting of the transformative qualities of AAMs due to conventionalization and mainstreaming in the market. The literature on AAMs is organized following a Four Questions in Agrifood Studies (Constance, 2008) framework. The section for each Question ends with a case study to better illustrate the historical dynamics of an AAM. The literature review ends with a summary of the discourse applied to the research question of the book: Are AAMs the vanguard social movement of our time? The last section of this introduction provides a short description of each contributing chapter of the book, which is divided into five sections: Introduction; Theoretical and Conceptual Framings; Food Sovereignty Movements; Alternative Movements in the Global North; and Conclusions.


Constance, D.H., Friedland, W.H., Renard, M.-C. and Rivera-Ferre, M.G. (2014), "The Discourse on Alternative Agrifood Movements", Alternative Agrifood Movements: Patterns of Convergence and Divergence (Research in Rural Sociology and Development, Vol. 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 3-46.



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