Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
RN12_04a: Food Production and Consumption
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Balint Balazs, ESSRG
Location: BS.3.21
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Business School, Third Floor, North Atrium Oxford Road

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Governing Sustainable Seafood – Developing A Flows And Practices Framework

Peter Oosterveer

Wageningen University, Netherlands, The

Governing sustainable seafood is a critical challenge considering the current pressure on limitedly available fisheries resources, increasing global demand for seafood and the involvement of multiple governance actors such as governments, NGOs and private companies. Addressing this challenge in an effective manner depends, at least in part, on the application of an adequate conceptual framework.

This presentation therefore expands on developing a conceptual framework for analysing the global social relations that condition the success of the sustainable seafood movement. First relevant debates on governance are reviewed, including the role of public and private legitimacy and authority before turning to global value chain analysis which is often used as a framework for understanding the organisation and interaction of key public and private actors. In light of the limitations of this framework the presentation elaborates on the potential for an alternative framework based on theories of flows and networks in combination with social practice approaches. This framework provides the basis for identifying the challenges facing global seafood provision and the governance responses from public and private actors. These are understood under the themes of global/local, inclusion/exclusion, public/private and convergence/divergence. The presentation then develops a new flows and practices perspective for understanding global food movements.

The Functionality of Dissimilarity: Sustainable Consumption Through Heterogeneous Networks

Robbe Geerts, Frédéric Vandermoere

University of Antwerp, Belgium

This study explores whether interaction with dissimilar others can lead to sustainable consumption. Dissimilar others are people who differ from the person in question (e.g. in terms of lifestyle or culture). Whereas most research focusses on similarity in social networks (i.e. network homogeneity), we explore the potential of dissimilarity in social networks. Specifically, using data (N=1370) from the Flemish Survey on Socio-Cultural Shifts (2010) and the International Social Survey Programme (2010) we examine the relationship between network heterogeneity and sustainable purchasing practises (e.g. buying eco-friendly products and reusable packaging).

Granovetter’s theory on ‘the strength of weak ties’ (SWT) serves as the theoretical foundation for this inquiry. It has been almost half a century since he emphasised the functionality of weak ties because they avoid the trap of information redundancy. In a similar way, our study proposes that dissimilar others can be functional in the context of sustainable consumption. Through interaction with dissimilar others, people may create a heterogeneous network often consisting of a diversity of information and social expectations with regard to sustainable behaviour. Accordingly, we expect that network heterogeneity may foster sustainable consumption. Preliminary findings indicate that sustainable consumption may indeed be positively related to social interaction with dissimilar others. Moreover, it seems that the relative influence of dissimilar people potentially diminishes as someone’s educational level increases.

We end the presentation with a discussion on the functionality of dissimilarity. Furthermore, we reflect on the theoretical implications of our findings and provide some avenues for future research.

Meat Consumption and Vegaphobia. An Exploration of the Social Characteristics of Carnivores, Vegaphobes, and Their Social Environment.

Frédéric Vandermoere, Charlotte De Backer, Robbe Geerts, Sara Erreygers

University of Antwerp, Belgium

There is an increasing consensus on the negative impact of meat consumption on the environment. At the same time a majority of the population eats meat on a regular basis. Moreover, neutral to negative attitudes towards vegetarians seem to persist. Against this background, this survey research first examines the motives of meat-eaters in Belgium (N = 996). The latter include the taste of meat, a perceived lack of meat substitutes, and the cost of a vegetarian diet. Next, meat-eaters are contrasted with non-meat-eaters in terms of different socio-demographic characteristics. Whereas convinced meat-eaters are often male and lower educated, people that never or rarely eat meat are more often female and higher educated. Furthermore, attention is paid to the social context of meat consumption. Specifically, results of a logistic regression analysis show that a person’s meat consumption is considerably lower when one of its household members is vegetarian. This also seems the case, but to a lesser extent, if people’s social circle includes a vegetarian friend or family member. Similar results were found when looking at the linear correlates of vegaphobia, the negative and stigmatizing attitude of meat-eaters toward vegetarianism and non-meat-eaters.

A Social-Practices Perspective on Vulnerability and Urban Resilience Building at the Water, Energy and Food Nexus. The Case of Cooking in Kampala, Uganda

Bas van Vliet1, Patience Mguni1, Fiona Marshall2, Jonathan Dolley2

1Wageningen University, Netherlands, The; 2University of Sussex, United Kingdom

In this paper we draw on theoretical insights and an empirical case study in urban informal settlements in Kampala, Uganda to examine how a social practices approach on the urban Water Energy and Food (WEF) Nexus could be employed to provide insights into urban resilience building. We are concerned with the socially constructed and contested nature of urban resilience and with forms of resilience building that seek to address the underlying causes of vulnerability and may challenge the status quo. For poor communities and individuals the disconnections between food, water, and energy influence a complex set of interacting vulnerabilities and coping strategies. These are shaped by a range of formal and informal livelihood opportunities and a diverse set of constraints on individual and collective levels: meaning that top-down technological and infrastructure fixes to nexus (dis)connections often fail, resist scaling up or produce negative unintended consequences. While established nexus approaches often help bring the macro-scale interconnections between sectors into focus, they tend to obscure the day-to-day community and household nexus interactions. Applying a social practices lens to analyse these nexus interactions in the practices of cooking, provides a more nuanced understanding of the vulnerabilities across scales and how nexus disconnects are reinforcing them. This reveals opportunities for nexus re-connections that reduce the vulnerability of individuals and communities and contribute to enhancing the resilience of urban systems in a more inclusive way.