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Title: Community supported agriculture as a model for an ethical agri-food system in north east England
Author: Charles, Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2739 6105
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2012
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Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has not spread rapidly in the UK, and in the north east of England its growth has been particularly slow. The purpose of this study was to develop an action research programme into CSA in this location to discover if it could be animated using a community-based participatory action research approach and to find out what benefits would accrue to participants of such a scheme. Participatory action research (PAR) with local collaborators took place between 2006 and 2009. Some data collection relating to the global CSA movement continued through to 2011. The thesis documents how two research groups adapted to restraints and opportunities to achieve their aims through the iterative cycle of planning, acting, observing and reflecting. The benefits to participants are understood and analysed in terms of community development and care theory. The thesis also includes an in-depth examination of action research and a comprehensive account of the history and development of CSA. The distinctive contribution to knowledge is in two regards. First, the use of PAR in facilitating stakeholder collaboration to develop CSA schemes enables an analysis of the role of PAR in animating rural development initiatives. Second, the specific socio-economic characteristics of Weardale mean that this research provides a highly original and distinctive contribution by examining how PAR might animate local food initiatives in a deprived area. The analysis demonstrates how the structure, form and practice of CSA reflect an ethic of care. PAR also stems from motivations of care and concern and is a search for knowledge and action that can contribute towards addressing situations that are deemed to be socially, economically or environmentally unsatisfactory. It is claimed that, although individual CSAs may focus their attention on achieving their immediate goals and tasks, nevertheless, CSA contains within it the potential to effect wider transformational change.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council ; Regional Development Agency, One North East
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available