Miller, Wendy M.
Alternative food networks (AFNs) are the focus of an ‘explosive growth’ of research in Europe (Goodman 2004), and the term covers a wide range of activities, from food banks, community gardens, and farmers’ markets, to community supported or organic agriculture. However, there is an impasse in differing positions over whether AFNs represent an exclusionary place-based ‘quality turn’ (Ilbery and Kneafsey 2000), or whether they contribute to inclusive local communities, sustainability and food security (Tregear 2011, Kirwan and Maye 2013). This research aimed to clarify these debates, through exploration of UK allotments as a benchmark for AFNs, using the case of Plymouth, SW England. A political ecology perspective of social-ecological systems (Ostrom 2008) was used to investigate the activities, relations and governance involved in allotments and AFNs, organised through the concepts of multidimensional capital assets (Bebbington 1999). This research demonstrates how activities on allotments involve human, social, cultural, natural and political capital assets, encompassing both basic food security and a quality turn towards ‘good food’ (Sage 2003). Taking the long view, it is seen that the relative importance of the different asset dimensions are contingent on wider socio-political settings. Relations on allotments illustrate the building of social capital, which extends to wider communities of interest, practice and place (Harrington et al. 2008), and which involves values of social justice that can be explained as diverse or care economies (Gibson-Graham 2008, Dowler et al. 2010). However, the politics and governance of allotments are largely influenced by neoliberal policies that favour oligopolistic and transnational food systems and restrict urban land allocations for place-based food initiatives. Present-day urban population densities are at levels far higher than envisaged for the original garden cities. Nevertheless, alliances at neighbourhood, city, regional, national and transnational scales are coalescing around the values represented in the original setting up of the UK allotment system: of self-reliance, human-scale settlements and the restorative value of the natural environment. Any realization of the potential contribution of allotments and AFNs to the sustainability and resilience of food supplies for urban populations (Armitage et al. 2008, Folke et al. 2010) ultimately depends on multilevel responses to a large range of challenges. Finally, the thesis contends that, in the present day, evidence is building up around the potential of allotments and many other AFN activities, or place-based food systems, to meet multiple policy objectives through aligned values.
Parental migration, care-giving practices and left-behind children's nutritional health in rural China : a mixed-methods approachZhang, Nan 2016 (has links)
China’s rural-urban migration has resulted in 61 million children living apart from their parent(s) in rural communities. Previous studies have failed to examine the long-term effects of parental migration on left-behind children’s nutritional health, and have not examined the gender differences (of parents and children) in those associations. This research uses a mixed-methods design that incorporates quantitative and qualitative techniques to explore links between parental migration, care-giving arrangements and left-behind children’s nutritional health in rural China. The quantitative analyses draw on a longitudinal dataset – the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) (1997, 2000, 2004, 2006, and 2009) to examine the relationships between children’s nutritional outcomes and different patterns of parental migration including being left behind in different stages of childhood, and being left behind by the father or the mother. The qualitative component consists of analyses of interviews with 32 caregivers (21 grandparents, 9 mothers, and 2 uncles/aunts), and children’s diaries (26 children aged 6-12, 21 left-behind children and 5 non-left-behind children) to explore the care-giving practices for left-behind children from the perspectives of a group of children and their caregivers in rural northern central China. Results of the quantitative analyses show negative associations between parental migration, especially maternal migration, and left-behind children’s nutritional outcomes indicated by anthropometric measures and macronutrient intakes, and this is particularly true for boys left behind during early life in rural China. The qualitative findings highlight the importance of socio-cultural factors, since there seems to be a paradox of intergenerational obligations for boys in a culture where sons are more valued than daughters. This is because parents migrate to save for their sons’ adult lives, reducing the remittances sent to support their sons who stay behind. There is less pressure to save for daughters’ adult lives and so more potential for remittances to support their nutrition. The research also recognizes the importance of grandparents as carers, and their experiences and beliefs about healthy eating for children. Grandparents, particularly on the paternal side, are expected to fulfil social obligations to care for left-behind grandchildren even without immediate financial returns. Inadequate financial support from the migrant parents of left-behind boys in rural China, in particular boys cared for by paternal grandparents, may result in greater risk of poor nutrition during the early childhood. This potentially renders such left-behind boys vulnerable to developmental delays. These findings are important for policy-makers to develop effective interventions to improve left-behind children’s nutritional well-being in rural China.
5 September 2014
Η παρούσα μεταπτυχιακή εργασία αναλύει τα αίτια, τους παράγοντες και τις προεκτάσες του προβλήματος της σπατάλης τροφίμων. Εξετάζει τη συμπεριφορά του καταναλωτή σε σχέση με το τρόφιμο και τη σπατάλη τροφίμων. Τέλος, περιλαμβάνει ποσοτική έρευνα σχετικά με τη συμπεριφορά του καταναλωτή απέναντι στο τρόφιμο, τη σπατάλη τροφίμων και τις προεκτάσεις του προβλήματος της σπατάλης τροφίμων στην Ελλάδα. This thesis analyzes the causes, factors and implications of the problem of food waste. Examines consumer behavior in relation to food and food wastage. Finally, it includes quantitative research on consumer behavior towards food, food waste and implications of the problem of food wastage in Greece.
Imagining the state through digital technologies : a case of state-level computerization in the Indian public distribution systemMasiero, Silvia 2014 (has links)
The study of e-governance in developing nations is informed by the idea that new technologies, reshaping the very nature of public services, can generate better outcomes in their provision. Beyond objective changes in governance infrastructures, the subjective perception of the state, as it is constructed by service recipients, is exposed to a parallel process of change, whose study has generated a novel research domain in the field of egovernance for development. With a view of contributing to this domain, this thesis studies the role of ICTs in processes of image formation on the state, as experienced by citizens in a developing country context. The theory on which the thesis is developed views technology as embedded in its sociopolitical context, and conceives e-governance as implicated in the reconstruction of images of the state. This vision is applied to the computerization of the main food security programme in India, the Public Distribution System (PDS), as it has been devised and implemented in the state of Kerala. Through an interpretive case study of the object at the core of computerization, known as the Electronic Public Distribution System or e-PDS, the thesis investigates the ICT-led processes of image construction by the state, and the ways in which citizens, confronted with new images, structure their perception of these. Through inclusion of front-end PDS services in existing infrastructure, and through the inscription of a clear problem-solution nexus in e-PDS, the state is found, as expected, to be using e-governance as a means to reconstruct its own image. At the same time, though, the loci of image formation that are found in citizens (direct experience, social networks, and political circuits) systematically escape control by governmental action, and seem to be, in fact, only marginally touched by the ICT-induced reinvention of governance. The thesis results, therefore, in an extension of existing theory in this respect: the capability of the state to reconstruct its image, through the usage of new technologies, is limited by the spaces of image formation which citizens experience in their daily lives.
Sustainability, resilience and governance of an urban food system : a case study of peri-urban WuhanDolley, Jonathan 2017 (has links)
While it is clear that urban food systems need to be made resilient so that broader sustainability goals can be maintained over time, it has been a matter of debate as to how resilience should be conceptualised when applied to social-ecological systems. Through a case study of peri-urban Wuhan, this research develops and applies a resilience based conceptual framework for periurban food systems analysis in order to explore the potential for an enhanced understanding of resilience that can contribute to promoting sustainability in urban food systems. The evidence of this thesis suggests that the current approach to governance of Wuhan's periurban vegetable system is building an increasingly exclusionary pattern of resilience. It is a form of resilience building which is likely to undermine broader normative sustainability goals around social justice and environmental integrity and have mixed future implications for food system resilience as a whole, particularly in relation to livelihood outcomes for peri-urban farmers and food safety outcomes for urban consumers in general. The key lessons from this research are that the concept of resilience can be used to support either a narrowing down or an opening up of normative framings of system outcomes and can contribute to obscuring or revealing the multiple processes of change unfolding across the levels of system context, structures and actors. These dualities in the way that resilience thinking can contribute to normative and analytical framings need to be explicitly acknowledged if serious unintended consequences of resilience building interventions are to be avoided. Six important principles for conceptualising resilience in urban food systems are suggested: to 1) disaggregate system outcomes, 2) differentiate function and structure, 3) analyse positive and negative resilience, 4) identify external and structural shocks and stresses, 5) analyse resilience in relation to multiple and multi-scale processes of change and 6) recognise the impacts of those processes on marginalised system actors. Finally, a heuristic framework is presented for guiding the design of resilience analyses of human dominated social-ecological systems.
Capabilities meet regulation : the compliance processes of Mexican food supply chains with United States biosecurity regulationsBorbon Galvez, Yari 2013 (has links)
This thesis explores how Mexican fresh produce supply chains have responded to US bio-security regulations designed to prevent the intentional and accidental contamination of imported food. It explores the compliance processes, which are theorised using a framework drawn from the Resource-Based View (RBV) and the Supply Chain Governance (SCG) literatures. The constructs developed herein regarding capabilities and supply chain ‘governance structures' complement previous Regulation Studies (RS) explaining compliance behaviour. The thesis analysed 12 case studies, and tested causal conditions of compliance using a multi-value Qualitative Comparative Analysis (mvQCA) method. The main results show: 1) the pathways to meet the regulatory requirements; 2) the limited diversity of capabilities associated with higher levels of compliance; and 3) the importance of tight supply chain coordination to source and exchange knowledge for compliance, regardless of how or who governs the supply chain. The thesis contributes to various academic debates. It removes the RVB assumptions that resources and capabilities are intrinsically valuable and complementary, and therefore contributes towards making the theory less tautological. It shows how SCG benefits when the effects of supply chain integration and coordination are examined independently. It differentiates between firms lacking willingness and firms lacking capabilities to comply, making it possible to define suitable regulatory strategies for each type of firm. The thesis makes a methodological contribution as it is one of the first studies applying the mvQCA in Science, Technology and Innovations Studies (STIs). The new methodology is used here to test the causal conditions of compliance, but can also be applied to innovative performance more generally. The thesis concludes by showing how US regulations were effective in achieving their regulatory aims without significant negative consequences, and suggesting that STI regulatory policies can be used to increase business engagement to prevent the intentional and accidental contamination of the food chain.
This thesis is about food practices and change among Mexican migrants living in West Queens, New York City. Public health research suggests that Mexican migration to the US has a negative impact on food practices, with diets being less nutritious over a migrant’s stay in the United States and obesity being more common among longer-term than more recently-arrived individuals. Through ethnography, I explore how migration shapes food practices and examine the nuanced process of nutritional change that is often obscured in large-scale epidemiological studies. Food practices are important not just because they shape vulnerabilities to chronic diseases but also because they serve as prisms by which to examine migrants’ lives, pressures and aspirations. The three aims of this ethnography are to explore the food practices that Mexicans engage in after migration; to examine the social, temporal and political-economic contexts shaping food practices and change; and to describe how migrants themselves makes sense of nutritional change. I explore these themes using the approach of structural vulnerability, which views health practices and outcomes as influenced by social structures, relationships and inequalities. In so doing, I provide a critique of the public health literature’s use of the concept of acculturation to explain food practices, which largely obscures the role played by structural contexts and constraints. Through participant observation, conversations and interviews with Mexican migrants in West Queens, NYC, I have identified three contexts shaping food practices and change after migration: household dynamics and labour division; time constraints and work schedules; and the ‘food environment’, referring to the availability of food items and weight loss products. Gender dynamics, documentation status and class modified the way in which these contexts were perceived and negotiated by informants, which had further consequences on food practices. In these settings, informants were often encouraged to consume high-energy foods and large portions, to replace meals with snacks, to eat prepared or convenience foods, and to experiment with weight loss products. To rationalize nutritional change and body size disparities, informants employed multiple discourses. Some discourses emphasized the role of structural contexts and constraints related to time, money and documentation status, while others emphasized the role played by cultural beliefs, habits and acculturation. An ethnographic approach informed by structural vulnerability serves to articulate how the everyday lives and social contexts in which Mexican migrants are embedded, shape experiences of nutritional change. This thesis exposes a disconnect between the way in which the public health literature conceptualizes nutritional change and how it is lived ‘on the ground’.
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