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Title: "Thereby we shall live" : Tohono O'odham food sovereignty and the confluence of quantum leadership, cultural vitality, public health, and economic hybridity
Author: Reader, T.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7968 8337
Awarding Body: Coventry University
Current Institution: Coventry University
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis examines the conceptions, strategies, impacts, and implications of the effort to reassert and rebuild food sovereignty (FS) within the Tohono O'odham community - an Indigenous sovereign nation in southern Arizona (USA) - over the past two decades. Applying a theoretical framework - based in Pragmatism and Critical Theory - in which emergent, co-created knowledge is generated through a process of collaborative and democratized praxis, this thesis draws upon elements of Participatory Action Research (PAR), Indigenous methodology, and particular Tohono O'odham epistemic and pedagogical approaches to understand the theory and practice of the Tohono O'odham Food Sovereignty (TOFS) project. The results contribute to - and in many cases challenge - current understandings of the broader FS project. First, this thesis explores how TOFS deepens and creates new understandings of leadership and empowerment within the FS project, arguing specifically that: • A particular form of 'quantum leadership' - a model developed, in part from TOFS praxis - serves as a particularly insightful model for understanding collective community leadership with TOFS; • TOFS' view of quantum leadership was designed and implemented as a pedagogical tool of empowerment; and • The theory and practice of leadership development and empowerment efforts within TOFS provide a model for understandings the broader, emancipatory impulses of the global FS project. Second, this thesis demonstrates that culture is a much more central component of TOFS than it has been within the broader FS project: • In contrast with the broader FS project, assertions of cultural identity are central and essential components of the TOFS project, in specific, and Indigenous conceptions of FS more generally; and • TOFS is as much a tool for cultural revitalization as it is a goal in and of itself. Third, this thesis argues that while the broad FS project views issues of public health as somewhat peripheral, they are central to TOFS, concluding that: • TOFS utilizes an innovative, hybrid approach to understanding and addressing disease - combining elements of biomedical, social-determinants, and cultural models; and • Examinations of illness, disease, health, and wellness must be more central to understandings of the FS project more generally. Fourth, this thesis examines the ways in which TOFS efforts utilize a model of hybrid economics to both understand the Tohono O'odham food economy, as well to advocate for a new approach to food-based economic development, arguing that: • Customary/traditional economic practices have been largely ignored in the understandings of the Tohono O'odham food economy in specific, as well as within Indigenous communities more broadly; • The strengthening of a hybrid food economies has the potential to support culturally-appropriate economic development in Indigenous communities; and • The hybrid economy model provides a framework for understanding - and advocating for -what local food economies may look like within the larger FS project. Finally, by engaging deeply with the praxis of TOFS, this thesis provides an example of and advocates for three principles for how the study of food sovereignty should operate moving forward: • The academic discourse must become more inclusive of the voices of FS practitioners and advocates. • FS theory must emerge from praxis, learning from rigorous examination of the strategies, functions and impacts of FS practice. • FS studies must have potentially tangible benefits to FS practitioners.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available