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Plez, Linnea, 2022. To fight for collective food security and social dignity : the role of participation in a community-based organization in shaping community food security: a qualitative analysis. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



The numerous downsides of the global food system lead alternative food systems to try to find other ways to produce and distribute food in rural and urban settings worldwide. Many of these alternatives have been criticized for not considering food injustices which are commonly based on systemic social injustice. Placed alongside food justice and food sovereignty, community food security is a movement characterized by a focus on the community to improve the production of, and the access to fresh foods in a way that is inclusive and long-sighted. This thesis poses the questions of why people participate in community-based organizations (CBO) and how this participation allows the community to gain control over their food. The study wants to elucidate the role of the community in community food security and the ways in which CBOs can help resolving growing food insecurity. The qualitative methods focused on a case study and produced empirical material with semi-structured interviews (8) with active members and employees of a CBO in Montreal, Canada, and observations in the CBO. This study finds that participation in the CBO is fostered by different reasons encompassing the wish to socialize, to garden or to cook, to gain skills, to be part of a community, and to act for ideological and political purposes. By participating in the CBO’s activities, the community gains more control over their food because (1) people get access to fresh foods, skills, and political awareness, and (2) the CBO provides a space where values like respect and dignity are favored, and where people can socialize, leading to more engagement, diversity, and solidarity. Community is perceived and created in different ways as well, as it can embody values for some, be a tool for gathering for others, or represent a goal. The results advance that the diversity of understandings does not alter the function of CBOs and that food is a reason for creating community, equally as community is a reason to enhance food security. The study participates in the understanding of the influence different factors have on community food security, and on the connections between community and food. It brings knowledge from urban settings to the field of rural development and alternative food systems, with the state of mind that, considering the world’s current food crisis, rurality must be brought within the city.

Main title:To fight for collective food security and social dignity
Subtitle:the role of participation in a community-based organization in shaping community food security: a qualitative analysis
Authors:Plez, Linnea
Supervisor:Alarcon Ferrari, Cristian
Examiner:Bartholdson, Örjan
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2022
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM009 Rural Development and Natural Resource Management - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:community, community food security, community-based organization, participation
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Agricultural economics and policies
Deposited On:02 Sep 2022 10:21
Metadata Last Modified:03 Sep 2022 01:02

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