Milk and biopolitics : the emergence and re-conceptualization of food sovereignty in the raw milk movement as a means of resisting biopower
Taylor, Astrid Emily (2014)
Taylor, Astrid Emily
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This investigation questions the validity of current academic discourses which seek to conceptualize food sovereignty, as it is currently defined, as a means of resisting neoliberalism. Instead, it is argued in this investigation, that the current attempts to articulate food movements and subsequently, food sovereignty, as a means of resisting neoliberalism, or as suggested by some as a means of resisting biopower, fail to do so and instead are themselves trapped in the circle of neoliberalism, which is evident in their arguments which simply act to reproduce forms of neoliberal governmentality. By drawing on Michel Foucault's notions of biopolitics, this investigation seeks to illustrate that food sovereignty can escape the circle of neoliberalism and become a means of resisting biopower and challenging neoliberal governmentality, however, in order to do so it needs to be re-conceptualized in order to be free of neoliberal governmentality. It will be argued that food sovereignty emerges and is re-conceptualized in the raw milk movement in the United States as a means of resisting biopower and challenging neoliberal governmentality. The argument will be based on the view that the raw milk movement when comprehended as a phenomenon which in its resistance of US government regulations, laws, and guidelines concerning raw milk, and subsequently, health, is resisting biopower. Furthermore, it will also be suggested, drawing on Foucault's notions of neoliberalism as understood through the Ordoliberals gesellschaftspolitik, coupled with Foucault's work on circulation, that gesellschaftspolitik is challenged by the raw milk activists participation in the cow-share, which entails an inherently anti-competitive means of obtaining dairy products, thus the cow-share serves to disrupt neoliberal understandings of the circulation of goods and in turn, challenges neoliberal governmentality.
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