Transition to Sustainable Food Systems: Integrative Perspectives on Production and Consumption
Josephine Mylan (University of Manchester)
David Evans (University of Manchester)
Friday 2 September, 9:00-10:45, 11:00-12:45, 12:30-14:15 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

We invite contributions which connect perspectives in STS to the study of food and eating. We welcome theoretical and empirical papers that bridge the production-consumption divide to offer more symmetrical accounts of sustainable food systems.

Long abstract:

The sustainability of food systems represents a significant and growing societal challenge. The post war food regime (Freidman and McMichael 1989) of plenty is giving way to problems of climate change, resource depletion, and population growth. Political and academic responses to these challenges stress the need for more sustainable approaches to food production and patterns of consumption. Current academic scholarship, reflecting longstanding debates in fields of agro-food studies (Goodman, Lockie and Kitto 2000) and food consumption (Warde, DeVault, Fine), emphasises the need to understand the interconnections between sites and spaces of food production and consumption (Marsden and Morley 2014). To date however, efforts at fuller integration remain lopsided - tending to privilege one side of the production-consumption divide. This conference track invites contributions that seek to bridge this analytic divide, to develop more symmetrical approaches to sustainable food systems. We invite contributions that draw from perspectives in STS and connect to other traditions such as economic sociology, innovation studies and consumption scholarship. Themes include (but are not limited to):

o The role of technologies and materials in co-configuring and transforming practices of production, provision, preservation, eating and ridding of food

o New production-distribution-consumption arrangements such as urban farming, food box schemes, food sharing initiatives

o Efforts of different actors (e.g. collectives, major retailers) in the development, adoption and diffusion of sustainable innovations and practices

o Connections between 'natural' and metabolic processes and forms of cultural and economic organization

o The construction and negotiation of the value and quality of food