Theses Doctoral

Growing Toward the Sun: How the Good-Food Movement Catapulted a Small New York City Third-Sector Organization into Rapid Growth, Success, and Many Challenges

Hutchinson, Carole

This dissertation is an ethnographic study of a New York City-based third-sector organization focused on what it calls "food justice." This study concentrates on how this organization, that I call Food Rights, has built a broad multi-sector network made up of a varied set of constituents and collaborators aiming to develop and promote an alternative food system for New York City (NYC). This network model has allowed Food Rights to leverage capacity in order to reach thousands of New Yorkers who participate in many different aspects of the local food system (LFS) that correspond to its programming. These include Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), urban agriculture, emergency food, policy and advocacy efforts, and community food education. This dissertation explores the ways that Food Rights navigates the contested space of civil society and the third-sector realm through its LFS efforts--a geography where Food Rights constituents feel they have a say in how local food is grown, distributed, purchased, and prepared. It also considers the complex challenges presented by the burgeoning LFS movement in NYC. This study reveals weak contact points in Food Rights network design as well as organizational strengths that could assist it and other LFS-focused NGOs in addressing the many challenges associated with the social changes that have lead to the spatial, ideological, and material shifts that are transforming the NYC landscape into "a new ontology of food."

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Anthropology and Education
Thesis Advisors
Varenne, Hervé H.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 18, 2013