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Place and civic culture: re-thinking the context for local agriculture

By L. B. DeLind, J. Bingen

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Abstract

This article considers the qualitative concept of place - what it means, how it feels, how it is expressed, and how it is managed across time and space as (1) the appropriate context within which to study and promote local agriculture and (2) the locus of relationships, both cultural and political, that prefigure a local civic culture. It argues that civic as a description of local food and farming is conceptually and practically shallow in the absence of our ability to understand and to practice "being" in place. Using three vignettes from field research in northern Michigan, the article illustrates this interdependence by focusing on the ways in which place provides opportunities for learning, for play, for engagement, for identity formation, and for explicit political and policy initiatives - as prerequisites for civic awareness and action.

Date 2008
Publication Title Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Ethics
Volume 21
Issue 2
Pages 127-151
ISBN/ISSN 1187-7863
DOI 10.1007/s10806-007-9066-5
Language English
Author Address Department of Anthropology, Michigan State University, 302 Baker Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA. delind@msu.edu
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Tags
  1. Agriculture
  2. Case Report
  3. Communities
  4. Culture
  5. Developed countries
  6. Michigan
  7. North America
  8. OECD countries
  9. peer-reviewed
  10. politics
  11. Social psychology and social anthropology
  12. United States of America
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  1. peer-reviewed