A new book by Erin DeMuynck, an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Wisconsin, is titled Farmers’ Markets in the Green Entrepreneurial City: From Urban Redevelopment Planning to Lifestyle Activism.
It presents contemporary farmers’ markets as complex and contradictory sites. They simultaneously reinforce and subtly transform neoliberal ideals, policies, and practices that underpin social inequality.
The growth in popularity and number of farmers’ markets in recent decades can be linked to the increase in green and ethical discourses and spaces being incorporated into entrepreneurial governance strategies and redevelopment plans through which urban powers seek to enhance their city’s attractiveness to middle- and upper-class consumers.
The resulting engagement with farmers’ market discourses and spaces reinforces the idea among civic subjects that responsibility for social and environmental problems lies with individuals and that solutions for problems that originate at other scales can be achieved through individual-scale choices and actions.
At the same time, farmers’ markets provide opportunities for people to make connections with others, with their community, and with the environment in ways that have the capacity to produce a more collective consciousness that complicates neoliberal notions of competition, marketization, and individualism.
Thanks to Revitalization News subscriber Robin W. Smith for bringing this book to our attention!