Women Redefining the Experience of Food Insecurity

Women Redefining the Experience of Food Insecurity : Life off the Edge of the Table

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In Women Redefining the Experience of Food Insecurity: Life Off the Edge of the Table, contributors stress the relationship between food insecurity and women's agency. By problematizing the mundane world of how women procure and prepare food in a context of scarcity, this book, edited by Janet Page-Reeves, reveals dynamics, relationships and experiences that would otherwise go unremarked, and counters constructions of women's choices as predicated on ignorance, irresponsibility or weakness.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 346 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 30.48mm | 635.03g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 2 black & white illustrations, 4 tables
  • 0739185268
  • 9780739185261

About Janet Page-reeves

Janet Page-Reeves is research assistant professor with the Office for Community Health in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. She is also a senior fellow in The New Mexico Center for the Advancement of Research Engagement and Science on Health Disparities.show more

Review quote

Applied anthropologist Page-Reeves edited these research papers addressing the question of how women in difficult and changing circumstances exercise agency and power through food-related work. As the book reveals, the answer is complicated because of the diverse ways people experience hunger, and because hunger and poverty are not simple categories. After the editor's introduction, the 12 case studies use diverse methods to address the problems women face in feeding their families. Five chapters discuss Latino migrant communities in the US, two are set in rural Canada, two in poor urban neighborhoods in the US, two in Latin America, one traces an African migrant in New York, and one discusses the gender balance of the contemporary 'food movement' in the US. One unifying theme is the issue of domination or resistance: are women making bad choices, or do they have no choice because of political and economic structures? CHOICE This collection of essays unites the work of anthropologists, sociologists, historians, public health practitioners, and the activist community in exposing the complex roots of food insecurity while also portraying a view that has long evaded the public's gaze...[The book is] well-researched and poignantly presented...In adopting the same broadly aware yet personally focused approach that characterises this volume, the authors ... effectively flip the conventional public health approach to food insecurity on its head...[The book] is a multidisciplinary framework to make sense of localised incidences of food insecurity in the context of broader structural forces and food systems trends...This volume, true to its title, redefines the experience of food insecurity within the context of quotidian female-dominated kitchen activities, and in so doing seeks to redefine the approach to remediating the very experiences that are detailed. Allegra: A Virtual Lab of Legal Anthropology This outstanding collection applies feminist perspectives to food insecurity among female immigrants and citizens in the USA, Central America, and Canada. It uncovers the constraints women face in feeding themselves and their families, the health issues resulting from inadequate food, and women's agency and empowerment in combatting hunger and building solidarity communities. Clear, comprehensive, and engaging, this book is essential reading for those seeking to understand the structural roots of hunger and their particular impacts on women. -- Carole Counihan, Millersville University, author of "A Tortilla Is Like Life: Food and Culture in the San Luis Valley of Colorado" Janet Page-Reeves' collection adds breadth and depth to ongoing popular and academic discussions of the complex nature of food insecurity. By focusing on the stories of women in diverse contexts, the collection offers new insights into how women and their families cope with multiple and varied barriers to food access. An essential read for scholars and students of the gendered dimensions of food (and other) inequities. -- Catarina Passidomo, University of Georgia Women Redefining the Experience of Food Insecurity lays several important issues squarely on the table for both trainees and their mentors: food insecurity as a managed process reflects the intersections of ethnicity, gender, and social and political contexts; anthropologists and other social scientists with their rich traditions of inquiry shine a light on lives both constrained and empowered by issues of food access; agency and structure are inseparable forces that conspire to create numbers of food insecure households rejected as too high to be real, but are real nonetheless. -- Lynn McIntyre and Laura Anderson, University of Calgary Women Redefining the Experience of Food Insecurity: Off the Edge of the Table transforms our understanding of food insecurity and hunger in the U.S. and Central America. These 12 case studies focus on low-income women who must negotiate the constraints of the food system in order to put nutritious food on the table. They strategize in order to access food stamps and charity food pantries, find bargains in low-price grocery stores, and exercise skill and imagination as they cook meals in their kitchens. Most important, each chapter goes beyond the shopping cart and the dinner table to examine what is 'off the edge of the table.' These structural constraints include neoliberal economic policies that keep wages low and reduce public assistance, a corporate food system that creates 'food deserts' in low-income communities, and ideologies that demonize uneducated consumers who make poor food choices. In these vivid accounts women emerge as knowledgeable active agents who develop food access expertise and find new sources of power and identity as creative cooks and caregivers. -- Louise Lamphere, University of New Mexicoshow more

Table of contents

Figures Tables Foreword June Nash Acknowledgments Part I: Introduction Conceptualizing Food Insecurity and Women's Agency: A Synthetic Introduction Janet Page-Reeves Part II: The Dimensionality of Food Insecurity 1. Another Time of Hunger Teresa Mares 2. Women, Welfare and Food Insecurity Maggie Dickenson 3. 'I took the lemons and I made lemonade': Women's Quotidian Strategies and the Re-Contouring of Food Insecurity in a Hispanic Community in New Mexico Janet Page-Reeves, Amy Anixter Scott, Maurice Moffett, Veronica Apodaca, and Vanessa Apodaca 4. Negotiating Food Security along the U.S.-Mexican Border: Social Strategies, Practice, and Networks among Mexican Immigrant Women Lois Stanford Part III: Disparities in Access to Healthy Food 5. 'La Lucha Diaria': Migrant Women in the Fight for Healthy Food127 Megan Carney 6. Women's Knowledge and Experiences Obtaining Food in Low-Income Detroit Neighborhoods Daniel J. Rose 7. Is the Cup Half Empty or Is It Half Full? Economic Transition and Changing Ideas of what is Food Insecurity in Rural Costa Rica David Himmelgreen, Nancy Romero Daza, Allison Cantor and Sara Arias-Steele Part IV: Women's Agency and Contested Practices 8. Salvadoran Immigrant Women and the Culinary Making of Gendered Identities: "Food Grooming" as a Class and Meaning-Making Process Sharon Stowers 9. The Social Life of Coca-Cola(R) in Southern Veracruz, Mexico: How Women Navigate Public Health Messages and Social Support through Drink Mary Alice Scott 10. 'Women not like they used to be': Food and Modernity in Rural Newfoundland Lynne Phillips Part V: Empowerment and Challenging the System 11. Labor and Leadership: Women in U.S. Community Food Organizing Christine Porter and LaDonna Redmond 12. 'I would have never...': A Critical Examination of Women's Agency for Food Security Through Participatory Action Research Patricia Williams Index About the Contributorsshow more

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