Farming Styles and Food Regimes: Bridging the Micro-Macro Divide in Agro-Food Studies
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
Rural History 2019
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
Agro-Food Studies (AFS) have emerged as an interdisciplinary framework for investigating the production, distribution and consumption of food in global capitalism in innovative ways. However, AFS are split-up into two seemingly contradictory approaches: on the one hand, there is a focus on actors, both human and non-human, and their practices of "agency" within natural, social and cultural relations at the micro scale. On the other hand, there is a focus on political, economic and ecological structures (regulatory frameworks, commodity chains, ecosystems etc.) at the macro scale. The paper deals with the micro-macro divide in several ways: rst, the potentials and limitations of micro and macro approaches are highlighted; second, "farming styles" (van der Ploeg) at the micro scale and "food regimes" (Friedmann/McMichael) at the macro scale are outlined as key concepts of AFS; third, these concepts are regarded as complementary rather than contradictory, thus bridging the micro-macro divide and other epistemological dichotomies (practice-structure, actor-system, qualitative-quantitative etc.). While the farming style concept provides close ups, the food regime concept oers long shots on one and the same snippet of reality. A dialectic perspective of this kind is more than the sum of its parts. This theoretical argument is highlighted
through empirical cases, thereby revealing the added value of AFS beyond the micro-macro divide.