Geographers and other social scientists have been increasingly investigating the ways in which food practices both stimulate and are influenced by political, social, and ecological life (Bell and Valentine 1997; Guthman 2008; Nestle 2013). While critical food scholarship has revealed some intersectional dynamics underpinning struggles over resources, culture and identity in relation to food, relatively little has examined generational rifts.
The structural forces behind our food systems have yielded generational disparities across the globe (Hadley et al. 2009). Many young people can no longer afford to farm or fish (White 2015). Some are engaging less in traditional or indigenous foodways, and/or develop new food consumption patterns influenced by globalization and our capitalist food regime (Pingali 2004; Panelli and Tipa 2009; Bugge 2011; Best 2014).
At the same time, youth accumulate and consume differently than previous generations once did as their aspirations and motivations in many cases are shifting away from those of their parents (Edwards and Mercer 2007; Collins and Hitchings 2012; Diprose et al. 2019). Youth are widely considered both ‘learners’ and ‘makers’ of culture who reproduce and transform the fabric of society (Berckmoes and White 2014). Additionally, they are increasingly recognized as effective political agents (Jeffrey 2011; Delgado 2015). With food practices at the heart of our social and cultural identities, the ways in which young people engage in food production, consumption, and activism present important implications relating to processes of social and ecological transformation.
This virtual paper session will explore diverse youth experiences with food and the broader applications of such work for critical food geographies. This session aims to engage multidisciplinary research in order to bridge thematic and geographic divides within the literature. Submissions are welcome in relation to the following (and other) thematic streams in ‘Global South’ and/or ‘North’ contexts:
1. Young people and food movements
- Food justice
- Food sovereignty
2. Food and youth culture and identity
- New and ‘traditional’ foodways
- Expressions of citizenship and belonging
3. Young people in agriculture, hunting, gathering, or fishing
- Youth motivations and aspirations
- Intergenerational knowledge
- Rural-urban dynamics
4. Youth/nutrition transitions
- Generational changes in tastes and preferences
- Food access and health implications
- Globalization and food
Contributions are welcomed from youth, students, community organizers, practitioners, activists and researchers. Submissions are encouraged from individuals who identify as LGBTQI+, indigenous, people of color, people with disabilities, and women. Interested participants should submit an abstract (max 250 words) by October 30th to email@example.com.
Bell, D. J. and Valentine, G. (1997). Consuming geographies: We are where we eat. Psychology Press.
Berckmoes, L. H. and White, B. (2016). Youth, farming, and precarity in rural Burundi. In: Huijsmans, R. (Ed.) Generationing Development (pp. 291-312). Palgrave Macmillan, London.
Best, A. L. (2014). Youth consumers and the fast-food market: The emotional landscape of micro-encounters. Food, Culture & Society, 17(2), 283-300.
Bugge, A. B. (2011). Lovin'it? A study of youth and the culture of fast food. Food, Culture & Society, 14(1), 71-89.
Collins, R. and Hitchings, R. (2012). A tale of two teens: disciplinary boundaries and geographical opportunities in youth consumption and sustainability research. Area, 44(2), 193-199.
Diprose, K., Valentine, G., Vanderbeck, R. M., Liu, C. and McQuaid, K. (2019). Building common cause towards sustainable consumption: A cross-generational perspective. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 2(2), 203-228.
Delgado, M. (2015). Youth and food justice. In: M. Delgado (Ed.) Community practice and urban youth: Social justice service-learning and civic engagement (pp. 154-164). Routledge.
Edwards, F. and Mercer, D. (2007). Gleaning from Gluttony: an Australian youth subculture confronts the ethics of waste. Australian Geographer, 38(3), 279-296.
Guthman, J. (2008). Neoliberalism and the making of food politics in California. Geoforum, 39(3), 1171-1183.
Hadley, C., Belachew, T., Lindstrom, D., & Tessema, F. (2009). The forgotten population? Youth, food insecurity, and rising prices: implications for the global food crisis. NAPA bulletin, 32(1), 77-91.
Jeffrey, C. (2012) Geographies of children and youth III: Alchemists of revolution? Progress in Human Geography, 37(1), 145-152.
Nestle, M. (2013). Food politics: How the food industry influences nutrition and health (Vol. 3). Univ of California Press.
Panelli, R. and Tipa, G. (2009). Beyond foodscapes: Considering geographies of indigenous well-being. Health & Place, 15(2), 455-465.
Pingali, P. (2004). Westernization of Asian diets and the transformation of food systems: implications for research and policy. ESA Working Paper 04-17, Food and Agriculture Organization, 1-18.
White, B. (2015). Generational dynamics in agriculture: reflections on rural youth and farming futures. Cahiers Agricultures, 24, 330-334.
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