Citizenship and Consumption: Mobilisation in Alternative Food Systems in France
Sociologia Ruralis 51, 3 (2011) 304-323
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Contemporary alternative food movement implement various means of action, which were previously developed by movements that were striving to construct citizenship through consumption. Drawing on the results of in-depth ethnographic studies, this article analyses the main ﬁelds of action of three French organisations: consumer education, implementation of alternative forms of trade and consumer mobilisation in protest campaigns. It shows that these actions require the movement to build representations of consumers, highlight their potential power within the framework of regulations and provide them with various tools to make the right choice. The article also presents the difﬁculties these organisations face in articulating political action and economic engagement. Consumption remains an important means for recruiting and mobilising individuals. Yet neither individuals nor movements can entirely overlook certain consumerist modes of functioning that stem from the current features of the agrofood system and the irreducible nature of the freedom of choice.
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