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Reflective Action in the Academy: Exploring Praxis in Critical Geography using a “Food Movement” Case Study

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Abstract: One of the key components of critical geography is praxis—defined here as the melding of theory/reflection and practice/action as part of a conscious struggle to transform the world. Put simply, praxis is giving life to ideas about the way the world is—and could be—by acting on one's convictions in daily (work and home) life. Praxis can thus take many forms, and can occur both within and outside the academy. This paper examines how research and practice can be co-constituted by examining the “food movement” (ie the mobilization of disparate social actors in resistance to various aspects of the dominant corporate–industrial food system) in Canada as a case study. Through this lens, different forms of praxis are interrogated, not to identify a uniform “best praxis”, but rather to highlight the benefits and drawbacks of particular approaches in this one specific context. In so doing, the paper explores how critical geographers might contribute, through praxis, to the recognition and restructuring of social relations as part of the broader emancipatory project that is central to critical theory.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Food and Health Research Interest Group, Centre for Urban Health Initiatives/Department of Geography and Program in Planning, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2007-03-01

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