Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Food deserts: A feminist study of Washington, D.C.
by Sieloff, Courtney Kathleen, M.A., The George Washington University, 2011, 95; 1482180
Abstract (Summary)

Grocery stores tend to be the main point of purchase for how the majority of Americans attain food. By exploring the location of grocery stores within one city, it is possible to bring to light the gross discrepancy of access to a commodity needed to feed individuals and families. The implications of this access can be traced to a pattern of historical and structural inequality as well as the market forces that hold corporations to meet standard business practices. Any study on food accessibility would be remiss to not explore the impact that accessibility has on women. Recognizing that grocery shopping and most food work is mainly done by women, and that the process of selecting food, creating meals, and doing the tasks that take an item from the store to the table is important from a feminist standpoint.

The purpose of this research is to examine access to supermarkets within Washington, D.C. and to determine if access disproportionally impacts women and if this impact is negative. A literature review explores how current studies of food access are conducted, and to determine the concepts used in food access studies. Included is an examination of these studies for their treatment of gender, in addition to race and income. Because I suspect that part of the reason for supermarket location is both structurally and historically motivated, newspaper articles were reviewed covering food access in neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. over the past 50 years. To get a sense of who has access to which supermarkets, demographic data was used, specifically the Census 2000 data by census tract, to examine how the placement of grocery stores could potentially hinder certain groups of people from access to a variety of food options. Finally, policy options were reviewed and offered, as this study indicates that there is an inequitable amount of access to supermarkets and food access within Washington, D.C.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Deitch, Cynthia
Commitee: Brantley, Jill
School: The George Washington University
Department: Women's Studies
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: MAI 49/01M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Womens studies, Public policy
Keywords: Census, D.C., District of Columbia, Food deserts, Food insecurity, Gender, Washington
Publication Number: 1482180
ISBN: 978-1-124-23771-8
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