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Organic food and the plural moralities of food provisioning

Andersen, Anne Holst (2010) Organic food and the plural moralities of food provisioning. Working paper, National Environmental Research Institute, Aarhus University. [Submitted]

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Summary

The aim of this paper is twofold. The first aim is to unfold the moral complexity of organic food consumption as part of household food provisioning. By acknowledging this complexity, and the difficulty of determining what is ‘good’ and ‘right’ in food provisioning, the idea is to allow for a better understanding of how organic food may, or may not, fit in with the various concerns of food provisioning. The second aim is to analyse how food provisioners handle this complexity so that food provisioning can proceed as an ordinary everyday activity.
The paper analyses empirical material from a study of household food provisioning in Denmark. Theoretically, it draws on French pragmatic sociology as represented by the work of Boltanski and Thévenot on moral conventions and regimes of engagement. The analysis illustrates that food provisioning involves several competing sets of moral conventions and that the status of organic food in relation to these is often uncertain and contested. However, it also identifies among provisioners different strategies for handling this moral complexity in ordinary everyday life. The paper calls for some modesty in trying to change consumer behaviour in favour of organic products. Providing consumers with more information about organic food may not make it easier to determine what is ‘good’ and ‘right’ when buying food. It may only add to the complexity of food provisioning and thus to the need for compromise and pragmatism.


EPrint Type:Working paper
Keywords:Organic consumption, food provisioning, everyday life, morality, pragmatic sociology
Subjects: Values, standards and certification > Consumer issues
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF III (2005-2010) > CONCEPTS - The Future Outlook for the Organic Market in Denmark
Deposited By: Andersen, Assistant Professor Laura M
ID Code:18795
Deposited On:17 May 2011 10:43
Last Modified:04 Jun 2013 13:45
Document Language:English
Status:Submitted
Refereed:Submitted for peer-review but not yet accepted
Additional Publishing Information:The paper is accepted for publication in Journal of Rural Studies, provided minor adjustments are made

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