International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food

Building a Narrative: The Role of Dualisms When Interpreting Food Systems

International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food

Volume 23, issue 1 (2016), pages 1–20

Authors: Kirsten Vanderplankena, Elke Roggeb, Ilse Lootsc, Lies Messelya and Frédéric Vandermoered
Affiliation: aSocial Sciences Unit, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, Merelbeke, Belgium; bRural Development Research Unit, Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research, Merelbeke, Belgium; cResearch Group Environment and Society, University of Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium; dDepartment of Sociology, University of Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium

ISSN: 0798-1759


Abstract

Against the background of increasingly complex and diverse agri-food systems, calls are made in rural sociology to no longer describe and distinguish food systems based on dualistic oppositions. The aim of this paper is to understand to what extent food system actors use different dualisms to build their ontological narratives. Based on a qualitative analysis, we analyse the narratives of key actors in the Flemish food system on food system challenges, and their relation with specific dualistic concepts and associated meanings, experiences and practices. Two distinct narratives emerge that are embedded in opposing dualisms, what leads us to believe that dualistic oppositions are still a part of the agri-food reality and are something to take into account when different actors have to collaborate.

View Article (PDF)