Place and civic culture: re-thinking the context for local agriculture

Article

Abstract

This article considers the qualitative concept of place – what it means, how it feels, how it is expressed, and how it is managed across time and space as (1) the appropriate context within which to study and promote local agriculture and (2) the locus of relationships, both cultural and political, that prefigure a local civic culture. It argues that civic as a description of local food and farming is conceptually and practically shallow in the absence of our ability to understand and to practice “being” in place. Using three vignettes from field research in northern Michigan, the article illustrates this interdependence by focusing on the ways in which place provides opportunities for learning, for play, for engagement, for identity formation, and for explicit political and policy initiatives – as prerequisites for civic awareness and action.

Keywords

Civic culture community development local agriculture place 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Allen, Patricia (2004), Together at the Table. Sustainability and Sustenance in the American Agrifood System, University Park, Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, Published in cooperation with the Rural Sociological SocietyGoogle Scholar
  2. Barber Benjamin R. (1984) Strong Democracy. Berkeley: University of California PressGoogle Scholar
  3. Barham Elizabeth (2003) Translating Terroir: The Global Challenge of French AOC Labeling. Journal of Rural Studies 19:127–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bingen, Jim and Laura B. DeLind (2007), “Place and Rural Vitality: The Road to Terroir in Northern Michigan?” Paper presented at the session, “Community Vitality: Values, Politics, and the Cultures of Place,” 2007 meetings of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society, May 30–June 2, Victoria, BCGoogle Scholar
  5. Bockemühl, Jochen (1985), “Elements and Ethers: Modes of Observing the World,” in Jochen Bockemühl (ed.) Toward a Phenomenology of the Etheric World. Investigations into the Life of Nature and Man, Spring Valley, NY: Anthroposophic Press, Inc., pp. 1–67Google Scholar
  6. Boyte Harry C., Nancy N. Kari (1996) Building America. The Democratic Promise of Public Work. Philadelphia: Temple University PressGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown Allison (2002) Farmers’ Market Research 1940–2000: An Inventory and Review. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture, 17:167–176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brubach, Holly (2006), “The New Puritans. Food Zealots are Putting Politics on the Plate – and the Page,” in The New York Times, New York City, pp. 42–43Google Scholar
  9. Chea, Terence (2006), “Environmentalist fighting spread of vineyards to forests,” Lansing State Journal January 22, p. 10AGoogle Scholar
  10. Cone Richard A., Emily Martin (1997) Corporeal Flows. The Immune System, Global Economies of Food and Implications for Health. The Ecologist, 27:107–111Google Scholar
  11. Dahlberg Kenneth A. (2001) Democratizing Society and Food Systems: Or How Do We Transform Modern Structures of Power. Agriculture and Human Values, 18:135–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. DeLind, Laura B. (2004), “Why Hold a Symphony in a Cow Barn?” Mosaic 4–5Google Scholar
  13. DeLind Laura B. (2006) From the Editor. Agriculture and Human Values, 23:137–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. DuPuis E. Melanie, David Goodman (2005). Should We Go “Home” to Eat?: Toward a Reflexive Politics of Localism. Journal of Rural Studies, 21:359–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Escobar Arturo (2001) Culture Sits in Places: Reflections on Globalism and Subaltern Strategies of Localization. Political Geography, 20:139–174CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gieryn Thomas F. (2000) A Space for Place in Sociology. Annual Review of Sociology 26:463–496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gould, Stephen Jay (2001), “I Have Landed,” Natural History 109, 46, 48, 50–59Google Scholar
  18. Granovetter M (1985) Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology 91:481–510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Guthman Julie (2004) Back to the Land: The Paradox of Organic Food Standards. Environment and Planning A 36:511–528CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Harvey David (1996) Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference. Oxford: Blackwell PublishersGoogle Scholar
  21. Hesser, Amanda (2006), “The Talk,” in The New York Times, New York City, pp. 37Google Scholar
  22. Jones, Emma, John Gaventa (2002), “Concepts of Citizenship: A Review,” in IDS Development Bibliography, Brighton, Sussex: Institute of Development StudiesGoogle Scholar
  23. Kemmis Daniel (1990) Community and the Politics of Place. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma PressGoogle Scholar
  24. Lockwood Jeffrey A. (1999). Agriculture and Biodiversity: Finding Our Place in this World. Agriculture and Human Values 16:365–379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lukovich Mike (2006) Political Cartoon. Lansing, MI: Lansing State JournalGoogle Scholar
  26. Lynch Kevin (1976). Managing the Sense of a Region. Cambridge and London: The MIT PressGoogle Scholar
  27. Lyson Thomas A. (2004) Civic Agriculture. Reconnecting Farm, Food and Community. Medford, MA: Tufts University PressGoogle Scholar
  28. Macpherson C. B. (1973) The Maximization of Democracy. In Macpherson C. B. (ed.) Democratic Theory: Essays in Retrieval Oxford: Clarendon PressGoogle Scholar
  29. Matthews Richard K. (1984) The Radical Politics of Thomas Jefferson. A Revisionist View. Lawrence, KS: University Press of KansasGoogle Scholar
  30. Mouffe, Chantal (1992a), “Democratic Citizenship and the Political Community,” in Chantal Mouffe (ed.) Dimensions of Radical Democracy. Pluralism, Citizenship, Community, London and New York: Verso, pp. 225–239Google Scholar
  31. Mouffe, Chantal (1992b), “Democratic Politics Today,” in Chantal Mouffe (ed.) Dimensions of Radical Democracy. Pluralism, Citizenship, Community, London and New York: Verso, pp. 1–14Google Scholar
  32. Nabhan Gary Paul (2002) Coming Home To Eat. The Pleasures and Politics of Local Foods. New York: W.W. Norton & CompanyGoogle Scholar
  33. Nabhan, Gary Paul (2004) Cross-Pollinations: The Marriage of Science and Poetry. Canada: Milkweed EditionsGoogle Scholar
  34. Nickell, David (2002), “Cultural Property and the Sense of Place.” The Land Report pp. 3–6Google Scholar
  35. Oldenburg Ray (1989) The Great Good Place: Cafés, Coffee Shops, Community Centers, Beauty Parlors, General Stores, Bars, Hangouts and How They Get you Through the Day. New York: Paragon HouseGoogle Scholar
  36. Page Brian (1996) Across the Great Divide: Agriculture and Industrial Geography. Economic Geography, 72:376–397CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Putnam Robert D. (1993) The Prosperous Community: Social Capital and Public Life. The American Prospect, 13:35–42Google Scholar
  38. Putnam Robert D. (2000) Bowling Alone. The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & SchusterGoogle Scholar
  39. Pyle Richard (2003) Reality Check. Orion, 22:70–71Google Scholar
  40. Roff, Robin Jane (2006), “Shopping for Change?: Neoliberalizing Activism and the Limits of Eating GE-Free,” Paper presented at the 2006 meetings of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society, June 7–11, Boston, MAGoogle Scholar
  41. Sale Kirkpatrick (1985) Dwellers in the Land: The Bioregional Vision. San Francisco: Sierra Club BooksGoogle Scholar
  42. Sanders Scott (1993) Staying Put. Boston: Beacon PressGoogle Scholar
  43. Stegner, Wallace (1992), The Sense of Place, Random HouseGoogle Scholar
  44. Thayer Robert L. Jr. (2003) LifePlace. Bioregional Thought and Practice. Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California PressGoogle Scholar
  45. Thomashow Mitchell (1995) Ecological Identity. Becoming a Reflective Environmentalist. Cambridge, MA: The MIT PressGoogle Scholar
  46. Thompson Paul B (1998) Agricultural Ethics. Research, Teaching, and Public Policy. Ames, IA: Iowa State University PressGoogle Scholar
  47. Urry John (1995) Consuming Places. London & New York: RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  48. Williams Terry Tempest (2004) Commencement. Orion 23(2):18–25Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

Personalised recommendations