The Radical Habitus and the Knowledge Practices of the Irish Organic Food Movement

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Jorgensen, Annette
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The aims of the organic food movement include the transformation of food production, distribution and consumption. They necessitate a range of different skills and understandings which must be accessed, created, put to use and shared by its members. This paper adopts a Bourdieusian framework, as modified by Crossley, to analyse and explain the main knowledge practices of members of the movement, namely the ways in which they access, combine and diffuse information, skills and ideas. It examines data collected through participant observation, in-depth interviews and analysis of social media interaction, over a ten-year period. The article highlights the role of the sociocultural context for knowledge practice, while at the same time acknowledging the agency of individual members in seeking out and sharing learning experiences. In particular, the argument presented stresses the ideology of the organic food movement, which is embedded in members’ habitus, and which guides their everyday interaction with each other, with food, and with knowledge in systematic and consistent ways.