1st Edition

Food, Agriculture and Social Change The Everyday Vitality of Latin America

Edited By Stephen Sherwood, Alberto Arce, Myriam Paredes Copyright 2017
    250 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    250 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In recent years, food studies scholarship has tended to focus on a number of increasingly abstract, largely unquestioned concepts with regard to how capital, markets and states organize and operate. This has led to a gulf between public policy and people’s realities with food as experienced in homes and on the streets. Through grounded case studies in seven Latin American countries, this book explores how development and social change in food and agriculture are fundamentally experiential, contingent and unpredictable.

    In viewing development in food as a socio-political-material experience, the authors find new objects, intersubjectivities and associations. These reveal a multiplicity of processes, effects and affects largely absent in current academic literature and public policy debates. In their attention to the contingency and creativity found in households, neighbourhoods and social networks, as well as at the borders of human–nonhuman experience, the book explores how people diversely meet their food needs and passions while confronting the region’s most pressing social, health and environmental concerns.

    Introduction: Food Embodiments, Assemblages and Intersubjectivities in Latin America – Ebbs and Flows of Critical Food Studies 

    Alberto Arce, Stephen Sherwood and Myriam Paredes 

    1. Embodiment and Reflexivity: Gaining Insight into Food Lifeways through the Chili Cook-off in Ajijic, Mexico 

    Eleanor Fisher, Alberto Arce and Vladimir Diaz Copado 

    2. Creating Healthy Bodies in Rural Ecuador at a Time of Dietary Shift 

    Joan Gross, Carla Guerrón-Montero, Michaela Hammer and Peter Berti  

    3. Finding the Food by Hiding the Gold: Andoque Abundance, Mining, and Food in the Colombian Amazon 

    Camilo Torres and Gerard Verschoor 

    4. Encounters with the Brazilian Soybean Boom: Transnational Farmers and the Cerrado

    Andrew Ofstehage 

    5. Affective Struggles in the Desert: Bringing to Bear Water on Agriculture and Food 

    Horacio Narváez-Mena 

    6. People, Cows and Milking Machines: Public Policy and New Inter-subjectivities in Ecuador 

    Nicolas Vasconcellos  

    7. Forgive Me for Being Human: Wirikuta Nomadism and Rebellious Peyote 

    Oscar F. Reyna 

    8. Feeding Paradise? Corporeal Food Citizenship in the Galapagos 

    Christine Franke, Jessica Duncan, and Stephen Sherwood 

    9. Unfolding Agencies and Associations of Agroecology Networks in Brazil 

    Flávia Charão-Marques, Claudia Schmitt and Daniela Oliveira 

    10. Deepening Relationships through Bio-intensive Food: AgroSano in Oaxaca 

    Charlynne Curiel 

    11. Public Good: Wheat Assemblages and the Revalorization of Culinary and Handicraft in Bio-Bio, Chile 

    Paola Silva, Maruja Cortés and Alberto Arce 

    12. Affectivity in Public Procurement: The Case of New Dawn Cooperative and the Elderly in Argentina 

    María Laura Viteri 

    13. Assembling Responsible Food Markets: The Case of Cooperativa La Manzana in Southern Chile 

    Gustavo Blanco, Jilles van Gastel and Andrés Lagarrigue 

    14. 250 Thousand Families Campaign: The Existence of Flavor and Taste 

    Stephen Sherwood, Ana Deaconu and Myriam Paredes 

    15. Conclusion: The Vitality of Every Day Food 

    Stephen Sherwood, Eleanor Fisher and Alberto Arce


    Stephen Sherwood is Lecturer and Researcher in Knowledge, Technology and Innovation at Wageningen University, the Netherlands.

    Alberto Arce is Associate Professor of Sociology of Development and Change at Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Agronomy at the Universidad de Chile.

    Myriam Paredes is Professor in Rural Territorial Development at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), Ecuador.

    "Food, Agriculture and Social Change forces us to rethink how we have conventionally thought about food and agriculture. Leaky embodiments. Relationality. Ontological multiplicity. Practice. Be prepared for a wild ride. The insights and hopeful critiques you’ll be exposed to along the way make the journey a rewarding one indeed." - Michael S. Carolan, Department of Sociology, Colorado State University, USA

    "Challenging dominant patterns of socio-economic development in agriculture and food and proposing a critique of alternative views of production and consumption, the collection of essays included in Food, Agriculture and Social Change contains incisive and empirically-based analyses of the ways in which people define and carry out food production and consumption in Latin America. Stephen Sherwood, Alberto Arce and Myriam Paredes edited a book that, transcending established normative discourses and contesting abstract understandings of what agriculture and food "ought to be," demonstrates how agri-food is experienced and practiced in every-day life. The result is a dynamic and engaging edited volume that is a "must read" for those interested in agriculture and food and socio-economic development in Latin America." - Alessandro Bonanno, Texas State University System Regents’ Professor and Distinguished Professor of Sociology, Sam Houston State University, Texas, USA

    "Combining rich empirical material and provocative theoretical reflection, this book offers a fresh perspective on how food – which is simultaneously material, meaningful, relational and political – is both constituted through and constitutive of a vast array of practices in diverse social locations. By emphasizing the transformative power of people’s agency through everyday practices, this book offers a strong counterpoint to technocratic presumptions common in global development institutions that food and agricultural systems can best be changed through policy initiatives and technological innovations." - Todd Crane, Ecological Anthropologist and Senior Scientist, International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi, Kenya

    "Food, Agriculture and Social Change accounts for the everyday, vital assemblages of food, people and processes to help us not just construct a post-disciplinary social theory of food but this magisterial book places this accounting at the veritable centre of the re-production of our collective food futures. This volume provides an invaluable exploration of the processes by which food is more-than-food in its multiplicities, relationalities and intersectionalities and how this fluidity creates a rhizomatic politics that cuts across space, place and territory. Food, Agriculture and Social Change opens up a novel-and very much needed-window to the everyday politics of food and its socio-ecological vitalitisms in ways that will challenge the field of food studies for years to come." - Michael Goodman, Professor of Environment and Development/Human Geography, University of Reading, UK