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„Bridging Environments: United by Food?“ (working title)

Researcher: Dr. Renata Campos Motta

Under which conditions does ‘bridging’ occur between the countryside and the urban centers in conflicts over socio-environmental inequalities related to food production relations? What prevents it from happening? There is a significant gap in the literature in political sociology on processes of ‘bridging’ and ‘brokerage’ across sites where problems arise and are addressed, from the local to global scales. When these processes are addressed in the literature, an intersectional analysis is missing. Often, women are attributed a leading role in grassroots mobilization whereas global agents and brokers are mostly associated with dominant masculinities. I address three aspects of the research problem. The first is the different categories of actors along lines of social class, gender and ethnicity who participate in interconnected struggles. The second is the multiple scales in which linkages between rural and urban sites take place, in the context of global food chains, ranging from processes at the local level, to those that reach the national political agenda and cross national borders. The third is the influence of different themes that make bridging either possible or unlikely to happen, including how the different materialities of nature intersect with social mobilizations.

Following from the theoretical understanding that bridging conflicts depends on concrete actions from social actors while being challenged by disconnections that exclude places and actors from global chains, I will conduct extended case studies of successful wide coalition-builiding, namely, Wir haben es satt (Germany) and Marcha das Margaridas (Brazil).

CV: Renata Motta is Adjunct Professor in Sociology at the Institute for Latin American Studies from the Freie Universität Berlin and Associated Researcher at desiguALdades.net. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the Freie Universität Berlin. Her teaching and research interests include political sociology, political economy, environmental sociology, social inequalities and gender. She has authored articles in these areas for Journal of Agrarian Change, Social Movement Studies, Sociology Compass, Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais. Her newest publication is the book "Social Mobilization, Global Capitalism and Struggles over Food: A Comparative Study of Social Movements" (Routledge, 2016).

Period: January 2017 to April 2018

Contact: renata.motta@fu-berlin.de