Reconnecting the Nexus: Young People and the Corporeal Reproduction of the State

Authors: Ben Coles*, University of Leicester, Peter Kraftl, University of Birmingham
Topics: Political Geography, Resources, Resources
Keywords: Nexus, Young People, Political Geography, Political Ecology, Food
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Napoleon C1, Sheraton 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Notions of (dis/re)connection have long-informed debate and discourse within human geography. This is particularly the case within the scholarship surrounding consumption, especially that of food, and that surrounding the geographies of young people – particularly when it comes to questions of environment. In the former, consumers are often positioned as disconnected from the geographies of the things they consume. In the case food, they appear alienated from the sources of their corporeal reproduction, and, consequently need to be reconnected to them. In the latter, young people are said to be disconnected from the environment and thus need to be reconnected to it – often through a range of environmental education initiatives. For us, such notions raise fundamental geographical questions about what and where are to be (dis/re)connected in the first place. Drawing from a long-term, large-scale research project into Brazil’s food-water-energy (FWE) ‘nexus’, this paper examines the multiple (dis/re)connections of young people-consumers. We consider the sense of moral outrage that underlies their disconnection from the geographies of the reproduction, and the moral imperative that subsequently underlies re-connection to them. In particular we illustrate the ways in which notions of (dis/re)connection mobilise scalar discourses, enacting political, and political-ecologic objectives – specifically that of the State and the ways in which it assures its reproduction through the bodies of young people. We close with a discussion of how nexus-approaches can be employed to make the modes of these (dis/re)connections more visible, and thus often submerged machinations of the State more legible.

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