In this thesis, I explore the context of a health food store/consumer food cooperative with an anthropological lens through integrating the meaning generated by shoppers with larger structural processes in the United States. To accomplish this, I illustrate research I conducted in an applied internship at the Sierra Vista Food Co-op in Sierra Vista, Arizona, where I executed a multi-faceted qualitative research design that informed a market study for the Sierra Vista Food Co-op organization and also the data for this thesis. In my analysis of the data I collected throughout the Sierra Vista Food Co-op internship, I uncovered a grouping of three narrative-based concepts in shopper’s descriptions of health and wellness in relation to the store and the USDA Organic labeled products housed within, which I refer to as trust, mistrust, and information seeking. In the chapters of this thesis, I outline the themes of trust, mistrust, and information seeking for Sierra Vista Food Co-op shoppers in detail through analytical descriptions coupled with quotes from shoppers. I then illustrate a theoretical framework through which I argue that USDA Organic policy and the subsequent USDA Organic label serves to commodify consumer sentiments of trust and mistrust in the larger health food market of the United States. I frame the commodification of consumer sentiments of trust and mistrust with the concepts of bio and disciplinary power, discourse, and the body through utilizing the perspective of poststructuralism and the work of Michel Foucault (1978). Through this theoretical framework, I also demonstrate how the theme of information seeking stands as an example of a process in which Sierra Vista Food Co-op shoppers actively constitute health and wellness modalities and ultimately forms of being in the world.
|Advisor:||Hardy, Lisa J.|
|Commitee:||Smiley, Francis E., Vasquez, Miguel L.|
|School:||Northern Arizona University|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||MAI 54/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Cultural anthropology, Food Science, Nutrition|
|Keywords:||Arizona, Food, Health and wellness, Policy, Postructuralism, Power|
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