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ERIC Number: EJ788866
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0994
The Organic Foods System: Its Discursive Achievements and Prospects
Nowacek, David M.; Nowacek, Rebecca S.
College English, v70 n4 p403-420 Mar 2008
Taking the emergence of the organic foods system as a case study, the authors aim to demonstrate both how the discursive richness of the organic foods system offers a challenge to the traditional operations of the market and how activity systems theory as understood in English studies can productively be tied to and enriched by theories of social organization developed in sociology. The term "organic" serves as the central and highly contested mediational tool within the organic foods activity system, a system whose goal is to facilitate the exchange for organic foods. The authors' analysis focuses on the discursive struggle among individuals and groups to fix, however temporarily, the meaning of the term "organic." They focus on how this discourse, this struggle over meaning, could not be resolved--or even made possible--by individuals or market means alone; it required another form of social order, what sociologists have called "associative order." Focusing on these associations illuminates an important source of the discursive vitality of the organic foods system; it also draws on sociological theory to provide English studies with a more robust way of conceptualizing the power of individuals who band together to collectively influence the discourse of a given activity system. (Contains 2 figures.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A