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Controversies in Science and TechnologyFrom Sustainability to Surveillance$
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Daniel Lee Kleinman, Karen A. Cloud-Hansen, and Jo Handelsman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199383771

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199383771.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 January 2022

Food Security and Gender

Food Security and Gender

(p.137) Chapter 10 Food Security and Gender
Controversies in Science and Technology

Belinda Dodson

Allison Goebel

Oxford University Press

Food security has reemerged in recent years as a global policy issue and growing area of academic inquiry, notably since the food price crisis of 2008 (Brown 2008; Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] 2008; Oxfam International 2008; Clapp and Cohen 2009). Three dominant narratives distinguish this current wave of food security discourse. First is its framing at the global scale, with threats to worldwide food production back on the agenda in ways recalling the 1970s’ Limits To Growth (Meadows et al. 1972) movement, often expressed in relation to the effects of global climate change on agricultural systems (Beddington et al. 2012). Second is the casting of food security as a matter of international political security. In addition to the food riots of 2008 (O’Brien 2012), food price increases have been put forward as one of the causes, or at least a contributing factor, of the “Arab Spring” (Johnstone and Mazo 2011; The Economist 2012). Third, and countering the global narrative, is a narrative of “food sovereignty”, which calls for alternative food networks that embed food production and consumption at the local scale and urges delinking from global, corporate agricultural production systems and commodity chains (Patel 2007; Martinez-Torres and Rosset 2010; Via Campesina 2011). Paralleling these competing understandings of food security versus food sovereignty are competing versions and practices of agricultural science: One version is high-tech, profit-motivated, and funded largely by corporations (e.g., Monsanto, Cargill, Syngenta); another version is lower-tech, environmentally and socially motivated, based on farmer participation (e.g., Bezner Kerr 2010), and commonly linked to agrarian social movements. What these seemingly competing narratives have in common, however, is a shared emphasis on food production. In the global narrative, this is usually framed in terms of increased global food demand, as a result of population growth and urbanization, in the face of environmental threats and limits to land and water resources. Framing food security in these terms, especially when done at the global scale, acts to marginalize issues of unequal access to food—a marginalization that also occurs on the basis of gender.

Keywords:   education, food crisis, globalization, hunger, inequality, labor, neoliberalism, peasantry, subsistence, wildlife

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