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Divergent economies of agriculture in Hawaiʻi: intersecting inequalities and the social relations of agrifood Work

Shaw, Amanda (2017) Divergent economies of agriculture in Hawaiʻi: intersecting inequalities and the social relations of agrifood Work. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Identification Number: 10.21953/lse.8yzi4wbj56gn

Abstract

This thesis analyses agrifood work in Hawaiʻi from an intersectional, gendered perspective. It examines the intersecting social relations of production, investigating how different agrifood practices address, if at all, intersecting social inequalities. It asks, how do agroecological ‘alternatives’ address intersecting inequalities, if at all, in their work? Do forms of ʻalternative agriculture’ offer more ‘gender-inclusive’ forms of work when intersecting inequalities are considered? The research sought to address these questions by analysing three case studies which can be said to represent ‘outliers’ compared to the majority of Hawaiʻi’s agrifood production. It examines particular cases of small and collective agroecological growing practices, as well as examples of transnational seed production. The thesis utilised methods of participant observation, interviews and document analysis in order to understand how different how agrifood work is organised and how different participants in these practices make meaning of their work. It drew on analytical frameworks from agrifood studies of labour and justice and intersectional feminist and anti-imperialist political economic and ecological theorising. The research found that within the cases, agrifood practices are characterised by their diversity, and sought to draw out what I argue are nevertheless important tendencies within them. This entailed analysing the tensions, contradictions and possibilities these cases presented for addressing intersecting inequalities in their work. I showed that, in some ways, agroindustrial seed production offers more formal ʻgender-inclusive’ benefits but that agroecological practices create spaces to challenge gendered-norms on an individual and collective basis. At the same time, I suggested that projects for the recognition and inclusion of women and women’s work are highly limited when they fail to account for the ways gendered inequalities intersect with other differences of class and race, for example. At the same time, I argued that efforts to address intersecting gendered inequalities within agrifood work must attend to these contradictions, failures and possibilities and that doing so is not only revealing of some of the wider logics shaping agrarian ideals and agrifood practices, but potentially of how gendered colonialities operate.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2017 Amanda Friend Shaw
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Gender Institute
Supervisor: Perrons, Diane
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/3733

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