Research Article


DOI :10.26650/JECS2021-971786   IUP :10.26650/JECS2021-971786    Full Text (PDF)

A Field Study on Food Communities in the Context of Ecological Habitus

Gamze GürlerBirtan Bozlu

This research reveals the relationship between social actors’ cultural capital, ecological predispositions, and food consumption practices. To achieve this, a qualitative analysis was carried out on the Antalya Food Community. Alternative food communities, which are part of ecological movements, address collective demands and social problems related to the production, distribution, and consumption of food. Participation in these communities requires certain kinds of cultural capital. Food consumption strategies are closely related to ecological habitus. Ecological habitus is a concept that points to the practice of how to live better in a particular place; the concept was developed under the influence of Bourdieu (1998). Alternative food communities are said to attract middleclass individuals who have a common ecological habitus. Information from in-depth interviews and participant observations are used to explain the main motivations of the members, the ecological habitus that makes the community possible, the relation networks they produce, and the various strategies and practices developed by these members. The fact that individuals develop ecological interests besides food after joining the community shows that these communities can be seen as “learning places” (Haluza-Delay, 2008). Thus, alternative food communities go beyond being a place for food exchange due to their ecological activities.

DOI :10.26650/JECS2021-971786   IUP :10.26650/JECS2021-971786    Full Text (PDF)

Ekolojik Habitus Bağlamında Gıda Toplulukları Üzerine Bir Alan Araştırması

Gamze GürlerBirtan Bozlu

Bu araştırma, toplumsal aktörlerin kültürel sermayeleri, ekolojik yatkınlıkları ve gıda tüketim pratikleri arasındaki ilişkiyi ortaya koymayı hedeflemektedir. Bu hedef doğrultusunda Antalya ilinde varlığını sürdüren Antalya Gıda Topluluğu üzerine nitel bir analiz gerçekleştirilmiştir. Ekolojik hareketlerin bir parçası olan alternatif gıda toplulukları, gıdaların üretim, dağıtım ve tüketimi ile ilgili kolektif taleplere ve toplumsal problemlere yönelik ortaya çıkmaktadır. Bu topluluklara katılım belli türden kültürel sermayeyi gerektirmektedir. Toplumsal aktörlerin topluluklar aracılığıyla geliştirdikleri gıda tüketim stratejileri, ekolojik habitus ile yakından ilişkili olmaktadır. Ekolojik habitus, belirli bir yerde nasıl daha iyi yaşanılacağına dair pratiğe işaret eden ve Bourdieu (1998) etkisiyle geliştirilen bir kavramdır. Bu kavramdan hareketle, bu çalışmada alternatif gıda topluluklarının ortak ekolojik habitusa sahip orta sınıftan bireylere cazip geldiği iddia edilmektedir. Bununla birlikte, alan araştırmasında gerçekleştirilen derinlemesine görüşmeler ve katılımcı gözlemler ile elde edilen veriler ışığında, üyeleri gıda topluluğuna yönelten temel motivasyonlar, mevzubahis topluluğu mümkün kılan ekolojik habitus, ürettikleri ilişki ağları ve bu üyelerin ekolojik habitus ekseninde geliştirdiği çeşitli stratejiler ve pratikler açıklanmıştır. Ayrıca, bireylerin topluluğa katıldıktan sonra gıda-dışı ekolojik ilgiler geliştirmesi, bu toplulukların Haluza-Delay'in (2008) deyimiyle "öğrenme yerleri" olarak görülebileceğini göstermektedir. Alternatif gıda toplulukları, gerçekleştirdikleri ekolojik faaliyetler dolayısıyla gıda alışverişi için birer yer olmanın ötesine geçmektedir.


EXTENDED ABSTRACT


Social actors act according to certain perception schemes and predispositions in their daily lives based on past experiences. Bourdieu conceptualized this situation as habitus, which means “a kind of practical logic of what needs to be done in a given situation” (Bourdieu, 1998, s. 25). The first examples of the concept of ecological habitus, which explain the practical logic of how to live in a particular place, can be seen in Bourdieu-related studies in the post-2000 period (Gäbler, 2015; Haluza-Delay, 2008; Kasper, 2009; Kirby, 2017). As this concept implies, ecological dispositions are acquired through experience in formal education programs such as schools or within social movements (Haluza-Delay, 2008, s. 207–211). Ecological movements and groups are learning fields where ecological dispositions are acquired outside of formal education programs (Cooper & Baer, 2019, s. 174). It can be said that the main ecological dispositions of alternative food communities are based on supporting local food production and supplying fair and healthy food. Participation in these communities requires a certain amount of cultural capital. Cultural capital enables the individual to apply ecological knowledge in urban life and is also a requirement for acquiring ecological habitus.

This research focuses on the ecological habitus of alternative food communities. The Antalya Food Community, which carries out its activities using the Participatory Guarantee System, constitutes our working group. This study aims to reveal the ecological dispositions of the members of this community in urban life and the socio-cultural factors that determine the practices of the community. Based on this, we sought answers to the following questions in our study: (1) What are the motivations that steer people to the alternative food communities? (2) What are the networks of relations that shape the ecological habitus of food community members? (3) In the context of ecological habitus, which strategies do individuals construct in their practices in urban life? (4) How are the relationships between individuals’ class positions and cultural capital and their ecological dispositions embodied in daily life?

To get answers to these questions, we held face-to-face interviews with 20 of the 210 members of the Antalya Food Community in 2019 through semi-structured interviews and participated in their events and organizations. We analyzed the data we obtained through in-depth interviews and participatory observation techniques, focusing on specific themes. We focused on the motivation behind founding an alternative food community in a big city, the socio-cultural positioning of community members, and the strategies they developed in urban life within their ecological habitus.

We argue that alternative food communities can be considered as part of middle-class practices, based on Bourdieu’s (2015) class definition. As the findings of the study show, community members have high education levels and work in professions that are common among the cultural middle class. The members who have high cultural capital, initially participate in the community to gain access to healthy food. However, the members, with time and experience, by developing certain common dispositions both in the group and in their daily lives, also began to embrace ecological activities and practices of the community other than healthy food shopping. After joining the food community, the members learned about many issues such as environmental pollution, ecological risks, and dangers in food production, and developed various habits by becoming aware of the importance of fair, clean, and good food, minimum waste generation, and carbon footprint. Moreover, with the realization of the importance of living better in their environment, they began to voluntarily participate in activities outside the food community such as ecological movements, environmental actions, food workshops, seed ball events, and bread production workshops.

It is important to note that individuals lacking high economic capital but having cultural capital and who recognize ecological risks and threats to conventional agricultural products, feel the need to access healthy food in urban life. However, there is an important difference between meeting this need from food communities and chain stores, supermarkets, or online shopping. If individuals decide to meet their healthy food needs in the city through food communities, they enter into a network of relationships where they can acquire ecological habitus. These communities are more than just a place for food shopping, as they produce ecological activities and are positioned against global inequality. These communities, which are “learning places” in the words of Haluza-Delay (2008), contribute to individuals’ knowledge of ecology and make the development of ecological dispositions possible. Indeed, individuals in a common field tend to have similar dispositions (Bourdieu, 1990, p. 60), which is the habitus of that group of people. 


PDF View

References

  • Akarçay, E. (2016). Yeme pratikleri üzerinden (yeni?) orta sınıf(lar)ı anlamaya çalışmak. Sosyoloji Konferansları, 54(2), 33-60. google scholar
  • Bourdieu, P. (1990). The logic of practice. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press. google scholar
  • Bourdieu, P. (1993). Sociology in question. London, UK: Sage Publications. google scholar
  • Bourdieu, P. (1998). Practical reason, on the theory of action. California, USA: Stanford University Press. google scholar
  • Bourdieu, P. (2015). Ayrım: Beğeni yargısının toplumsal eleştirisi [La Distinction, critique sociale du jugement] (A. google scholar
  • G.Berkkurt, & D. Fırat Şannan, Trans.), Ankara, Türkiye: Heretik Yayınları. google scholar
  • Bourdieu, P., & Chartier, R. (2015). The sociologist and the historian. Malden, USA: Polity Press. google scholar
  • Bourdieu, P., & Wacquant, L. (1992). An invitation to reflexive sociology. Chicago, USA: Polity Press. google scholar
  • Carfagna, L. B., Dubois, E. A., Fitzmaurice, C., Ouimette, M. Y., Schor, J. B., Willis, M., & Laidley, T. (2014). An emerging eco-habitus: the reconfiguration of high cultural capital practices among ethical consumers. Journal of Consumer Culture, 14(2), 158-178. https://doi.org/10.1177/1469540514526227 google scholar
  • Cooper, L., & Baer, H. A. (2019). Urban eco-communities in australia -real utopian responses to the ecological. Parkville-Australia: Springer. google scholar
  • Cuellar-Padilla , M., & Ganuza-Fernandez, E. (2018). We don’t want to be officially certified! Reasons and implications of the participatory guarantee systems. Sustainability, 10(4). https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041142 google scholar
  • Ekoharita-Beta. (2019, 04 27). https://www.ekoharita.org/. Retrieved 01 17, 2020, from Ekoharita Beta site: https:// www.ekoharita.org/ekoloji-haritasi/ google scholar
  • Erbaş, H. (2017). Tarım-gıda etiği/politikası ve geleceğimiz: ekonomi-politik ve ötesi sosyolojik bir çerçeve. Türkiye Biyoetik Dergisi, 4(1), 14-28. google scholar
  • Featherstone, M. (2005). Postmodernizm ve tüketim kültürü [Consumer Culture and Postmodernism] (M.Küçük, Trans.), İstanbul: Ayrıntı Yayınları. google scholar
  • Gâbler, K. (2015). Green capitalism, sustainability, and everyday practice. Global Sustainability: Cultural Perspectives and Challenges for Transdisciplinary Integrated Research, 63-88. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16477-9_4 google scholar
  • Gimenez, E. H., & Shattuck, A. (2011). Food crises, food regimes and food movements: Rumblings of reform or tides of transformation?, The Journal ofPeasant Studies, 38(1), 109-144. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/030 66150.2010.538578 google scholar
  • Grote, U. (2014). Can we improve global food security? A socio-economic and political perspective. Food Sec., 6, 187-200. DOI: 10.1007/s12571-013-0321-5 google scholar
  • Guthman, J. (2008). Neoliberalism and the making of food politics in California. Geoforum, 1171-1183. google scholar
  • Haluza-Delay, R. (2008). A theory of practice for social movements: Environmentalism and ecological habitus. Mobilization: The International Quarterly, 13(2), 205-218. https://doi.org/10.17813/maiq.13.2.k5015r82j2q35148 google scholar
  • Hilgers, M., & Mangez, E. (2014). Introduction to Pierre Bourdieu’s social fields. In M. Hilgers, & E. Mangez (Eds.), Bourdieu’s Theory ofSocial Fields: Concepts and Applications (pp. 1-36). New York, USA: Routledge Press. google scholar
  • Home, R., Bouagnimbeck, H., Ugas, R., Arbenz, M., & Stolze, M. (2017). Participatory guarantee systems: organic certification to empower farmers and strengthen communities. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 526-545. https://doi.org/10.1080/21683565.2017.1279702 google scholar
  • Jourdain, A., & Naulin, S. (2016). Pierre Bourdieu’nün kuramı ve sosyolojik kullanımları [La theorie de Pierre Bourdieu et ses usages sociologiques] (Ö. Elitez, Trans.), İstanbul, Türkiye: İletişim Yayınları. google scholar
  • Kadirbeyoğlu, Z., & Konya, N. (2017). Alternative food initiatives in Turkey. In F. Adaman, B. Akbulut, & M. Arsel (Eds.), Neoliberal Turkey and its Discontents: Economic Policy and the Environment under Erdoğan (pp. 207230). London, UK: I. B. Taurus. google scholar
  • Karakaya Ayalp, E. (2021). Alternatif gıda ağları ve türkiye’de yurttaş temelli gıda inisiyatifleri. İDEALKENT, 12(33), 965-1005 https://doi.org/10.31198/idealkent.976618. google scholar
  • Kasper, D. V. (2009). Ecological habitus: Toward a better understanding of socioecological relations. Organization & Environment, 22(3), 311-326. https://doi.org/10.1177/1086026609343098 google scholar
  • Kaufmann, S., & Vogl, C. R. (2018). Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) in Mexico: A theoretic ideal or everyday practice?, Agriculture and Human Values, 457-472. google scholar
  • Kennedy, E. H., Parkins J. R., & Johnston J. (2018). Food activists, consumer strategies, and the democratic imagination: Insights from eat-local movements. Journal of Consumer Culture, 18(1), 149-168. google scholar
  • Kirby, J. (2017). Fleshing out an ecological habitus: Field and capitals of radical environmental movements. Nature and Culture, 12(2), 89-114. https://doi.org/10.3167/nc.2017.120201 google scholar
  • Kirby, J. (2018). Grounding and comparing ecological habitus in environmental communities. International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development, 10(2), 154-169. https://doi.org/10.1080/19463138.2018.1463227 google scholar
  • Konyar, H. (2017). Etik gıda tüketimine bağlı olarak ortaya çıkan beğeni tercihleri: İstanbul’da etnografik alan çalışması. Senex: Yaşlılık Çalışmaları Dergisi, 1, 33-47. google scholar
  • Lande, B. (2007). Breathing like a soldier: Culture incarnate. The Sociological Review, 55(1), 95-108. google scholar
  • Leahy, T., Nilan, P., & Alam, M. (2019). Learning from Greenpeace: Activist habitus in a local struggle. Electronic Green Journal, 1(42). https://doi.org/10.5070/G314237888 google scholar
  • Lenoir, R. (2006). Scientific habitus. Theory, Culture & Society, 23(6), 25-43. google scholar
  • Levenstein, H. (2013). Gıda korkusu:beslenmeye dair endişelerin tarihçesi [Fear of Food: A History of Why We Worry about What We Eat]. (A. Özbek, Trans.) İstanbul, Türkiye: İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları. google scholar
  • May, C. (2008). Organics international. PGS guidelines. How to develop and manage Participatory Guarantee Systems for organic agriculture. Bonn, Germany: IFOAM. Retrieved from http://www.ifoam.bio/sites/default/ files/pgs_definition_in_different_languages.pdf google scholar
  • Mellor, P. A., & Shilling, C. (2010). The religious habitus: Embodiment, religion, and sociological theory. In B. s. Turner (Ed.), Sociology of Religion (pp. 201-220). Chicester, UK: Blackwell Publishing. https://doi. org/10.1002/9781444320787.ch9 google scholar
  • Muramoto, J., Hidaka, K., & Mineta, T. (2009). Japan finding opportunities in the current crisis. In S. R. Gliessman, & M. Rosemeyer (Eds.), The Conversion to Sustainable Agriculture. Principles, Processes, and Practices (pp. 274-297). Florida, USA: CRC Press. google scholar
  • Nelson, E., Tovar, L. G., Gueguen, E., Humphries, S., Landman, K., & Rindermann, R. S. (2016). Participatory guarantee systems and the re-imagining of Mexico’s organic sector. Agric Hum Values, 33, 373-388. google scholar
  • Nilan, P. (2017). The ecological habitus of Indonesian student environmentalism. Environmental Sociology, 3(2), 370-380. https://doi.org/10.1080/23251042.2017.1320844. google scholar
  • Nizam, Bilgiç, D. (2021). Yeni nesil kooperatifler: Topluluk, aidiyet ve yer-temellilik. İstanbul, Türkiye: Oğlak Yayınları. google scholar
  • Nizam Bilgiç, D. (2021). Kooperatifler, belediyeler ve gıda ağları: Tire Süt Kooperatifi örneği. Journal of Business, Innovation and Governance, 4(1): 113-131. google scholar
  • Özden, F. (2020). Gıda etiği bağlamında topluluk destekli tarım modeli üzerine bir inceleme. Türkiye Biyoetik Dergisi, 7(3), 84-98. google scholar
  • Ritzer, G. (2012). Modern sosyoloji kuramları [Modern sociological theory] (H. Hülür, Trans.), Ankara, Türkiye: De Ki Basım Yayın. google scholar
  • Schwarz, O. (2015). The sound of stigmatization: Sonic habitus, sonic styles, and boundary work in an urban slum. American Journal of Sociology, 121(1), 205-242. google scholar
  • Slowfood. (2015, July). Good, clean and fair: the Slow Food Manifesto for quality. Retrieved from https://www. slowfood.com/wpcontent/uploads/2015/07/Manifesto_Quality_ENG.pdf google scholar
  • Smith, M. (2001). An ethics of place: Radical ecology, postmodernity, and social theory. New York: State University of New York Press. google scholar
  • Soysal Al, İ. (2020). The promising momentum and collective practices of the recently expanding network. İstanbul Üniversitesi Sosyoloji Dergisi, 40, 129-162. https://doi.org/10.26650/SJ.2020.40.1.0046 google scholar
  • Swartz, D. (1997). Culture and power: The sociology of Pierre Bourdieu. Chicago, USA: The University of Chicago Press. google scholar
  • Thorpe, C. (2015). İlişkisel bir sosyolojik paradigma uygulamak için eleştirel stratejiler. In C. Powell, & F. Depelteau (Eds.), İlişkisel Sosyoloji Ontolojik ve Teorik Yönelimler (pp. 167-192). Ankara: Phoenix Yayınevi. google scholar
  • Velde, K., & Holemans, D. (2019). Fair and healthy food. Green European Foundation. Retrieved from https://gef. eu/publication/fair-and-healthy-food-paper google scholar
  • Wallace, R. A., & Wolf, A. (1995). Contemporary sociological theory: continuing the classical tradition. New Jersey, USA: Prentice-Hall. google scholar
  • Wezel, A., Goette, J., Lagneaux, E., Passuello, G., Reisman, E., Rodier, C., & Turpin, G. (2018). Agroecology in Europe: Research, education, collective action networks, and alternative food systems. Sustainability, 10(1214). https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041214 google scholar
  • Wills, W., Backett-Milburn, K., Roberts, M.-L., & Lawton, J. (2011). The framing of social class distinctions through family food and eating practices. The Sociological Review, 59(4), 725-740. https://doi. org/10.1111/j.1467-954X.2011.02035.x google scholar

Citations

Copy and paste a formatted citation or use one of the options to export in your chosen format


EXPORT



APA

Gürler, G., & Bozlu, B. (2022). A Field Study on Food Communities in the Context of Ecological Habitus. Journal of Economy Culture and Society, 0(65), 181-201. https://doi.org/10.26650/JECS2021-971786


AMA

Gürler G, Bozlu B. A Field Study on Food Communities in the Context of Ecological Habitus. Journal of Economy Culture and Society. 2022;0(65):181-201. https://doi.org/10.26650/JECS2021-971786


ABNT

Gürler, G.; Bozlu, B. A Field Study on Food Communities in the Context of Ecological Habitus. Journal of Economy Culture and Society, [Publisher Location], v. 0, n. 65, p. 181-201, 2022.


Chicago: Author-Date Style

Gürler, Gamze, and Birtan Bozlu. 2022. “A Field Study on Food Communities in the Context of Ecological Habitus.” Journal of Economy Culture and Society 0, no. 65: 181-201. https://doi.org/10.26650/JECS2021-971786


Chicago: Humanities Style

Gürler, Gamze, and Birtan Bozlu. A Field Study on Food Communities in the Context of Ecological Habitus.” Journal of Economy Culture and Society 0, no. 65 (Oct. 2022): 181-201. https://doi.org/10.26650/JECS2021-971786


Harvard: Australian Style

Gürler, G & Bozlu, B 2022, 'A Field Study on Food Communities in the Context of Ecological Habitus', Journal of Economy Culture and Society, vol. 0, no. 65, pp. 181-201, viewed 5 Oct. 2022, https://doi.org/10.26650/JECS2021-971786


Harvard: Author-Date Style

Gürler, G. and Bozlu, B. (2022) ‘A Field Study on Food Communities in the Context of Ecological Habitus’, Journal of Economy Culture and Society, 0(65), pp. 181-201. https://doi.org/10.26650/JECS2021-971786 (5 Oct. 2022).


MLA

Gürler, Gamze, and Birtan Bozlu. A Field Study on Food Communities in the Context of Ecological Habitus.” Journal of Economy Culture and Society, vol. 0, no. 65, 2022, pp. 181-201. [Database Container], https://doi.org/10.26650/JECS2021-971786


Vancouver

Gürler G, Bozlu B. A Field Study on Food Communities in the Context of Ecological Habitus. Journal of Economy Culture and Society [Internet]. 5 Oct. 2022 [cited 5 Oct. 2022];0(65):181-201. Available from: https://doi.org/10.26650/JECS2021-971786 doi: 10.26650/JECS2021-971786


ISNAD

Gürler, Gamze - Bozlu, Birtan. A Field Study on Food Communities in the Context of Ecological Habitus”. Journal of Economy Culture and Society 0/65 (Oct. 2022): 181-201. https://doi.org/10.26650/JECS2021-971786



TIMELINE


Submitted15.07.2021
Accepted29.01.2022
Published Online26.04.2022

LICENCE


Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.


SHARE




Istanbul University Press aims to contribute to the dissemination of ever growing scientific knowledge through publication of high quality scientific journals and books in accordance with the international publishing standards and ethics. Istanbul University Press follows an open access, non-commercial, scholarly publishing.