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|Title: ||An Agrarian Imaginary in Urban Life: Cultivating Virtues and Vices Through a Conflicted History.|
|Authors: ||Mayes, C|
|Issue Date: ||2013|
|Citation: ||Mayes, C. 2014. "An Agrarian Imaginary in Urban Life: Cultivating Virtues and Vices Through a Conflicted History." Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics no. 27 (2):265-286. doi: 10.1007/s10806-013-9463-x. published online 11 Sep 2013|
|Abstract: ||This paper explores the influence and use of agrarian thought on collective understandings
of food practices as sources of ethical and communal value in urban contexts. A primary
proponent of agrarian thought that this paper engages is Paul Thompson and his
exceptional book, The Agrarian Vision. Thompson aims to use agrarian ideals of agriculture
and communal life to rethink current issues of sustainability and environmental ethics.
However, Thompson perceives the current cultural mood as hostile to agrarian virtue. There
are two related claims of this paper. The first argues that contrary to Thompson’s
perception of hostility, agrarian thought is popularly and commercially mobilized among
urban populations. To establish this claim I extend Charles Taylor’s notion of a social
imaginary and suggest that urban agriculture can be theorized as an agrarian imaginary.
Entwined with the first claim is the second, that proponents selectively use agrarian history
to overemphasis a narrative of virtue while ignoring or marginalizing historical practices of
agrarian violence, exclusion and dispossession. I do not discount or deny the significance of
agrarian virtue. By situating agrarian thought within a clearer virtue ethics framework and
acknowledging potential manifestation of agrarian vice, I suggest that the idea of agrarian
virtue is strengthened.
Keywords: Agrarian, Social imaginary, Urban agriculture, Virtue, Vice, Charles Taylor|
|Type of Work: ||Article|
|Type of Publication: ||Post-print|
|Appears in Collections:||Research Papers and Publications. Sydney Health Ethics|
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