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Thinking race through corporeal feminist theory: divisions and intimacies at the Minneapolis Farmers' Market

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Abstract:

Race is, in part, made and remade through the practices of growing, selling, purchasing and eating food. Consequently, some food practices are also 'racial practices'. Drawing on a study in progress of the Minneapolis Farmers' Market, the paper covers two sub-themes of embodiment: racial division and intimacy. The corporeal feminist theory of Elizabeth Grosz offers the view that the body has explanatory power. This framework enables a discussion of the materiality of race rather than its representation or performance. Race emerges through the movement, clustering and encounter of phenotypically differentiated bodies. Through small segregations in which bodies move toward some vegetables and not others and through attractions that propel bodies to touch bitter melon and talk with growers, bodies shape the Market's meaning. This reflection on tendencies connecting phenotype, space and leaves is meant as a step toward a politics of bodily practice.

Keywords: embodiment; farmers' markets; feminist theory; food; race

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14649360802441465

Affiliations: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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