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Growing food justice by planting an anti-oppression foundation opportunities and obstacles for a budding social movement

, : Growing food justice by planting an anti-oppression foundation opportunities and obstacles for a budding social movement. Agriculture and Human Values 29(4): 455-466

The food justice movement is a budding social movement premised on ideologies that critique the structural oppression responsible for many injustices throughout the agrifood system. Tensions often arise however when a radical ideology in various versions from multiple previous movements is woven into mobilization efforts by organizations seeking to build the activist base needed to transform the agrifood system. I provide a detailed case study of the People s Grocery, a food justice organization in West Oakland, California, to show how anti-oppression ideology provides the foundation upon which food justice activists mobilize. People s Grocery builds off of previous social justice movements within West Oakland, reflected in activist meaning making around ideas of social justice and autonomy. However, the ongoing mobilization process also faces complications stemming from diverse individual interpretations of food justice that may not be reflected in the stated goals of food justice organizations as well as structural constraints. Consequently, building a social movement premised on food justice opens up social spaces for new activism, but may not be a panacea for solving food-related racial and economic inequality. The findings have implications for newly forming food justice organizations, future research on the food justice movement, as well as for theories on social movement mobilization.


DOI: 10.1007/s10460-012-9363-0

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