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The Power of Maps: Utilizing Mapping as an Emergent Method for Food System Assessments

Carney, Molly Katherine (2021) The Power of Maps: Utilizing Mapping as an Emergent Method for Food System Assessments. Masters thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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Drawn by the hand of man, maps have been used as tools for centuries. Maps have enabled the stealing of Native lands, the building of nations, the silencing of already marginalized voices, and the further concentration of power. Burgeoning movements are reclaiming maps as tools for transformation. The power of the map is not limited to devastation; maps have the power to bring voice to the marginalized, visibility to the invisible, and to enable deep democracy processes. Such maps provide a ripe opportunity for emancipatory processes within our food system. Food system assessment maps are highly political and cultural agents which are used for funding narratives, policy recommendations, non-government and government programming, relationship building, capitalist development, and community identity. Importantly, food system assessment maps have not yet been methodologically challenged as axes of power and place. This research used a performative map space theoretical framework to investigate the phase transitions of food system information into food system assessment maps. This research investigated the performance of food system assessment maps through 25 map reviews and 4 corresponding semi-structured interviews with the mapmakers. The purpose of this research was to articulate the power of maps for food system assessment work through a critical review of methods, food system framework, territory type, and emancipatory elements. This research uncovered the work of food system assessment maps and how these mappings perform as active levers of change by actually territorializing food system outcomes. This research shows food system scholars, activists, producers, and eaters have an emergent opportunity to methodologically intervene in the production of food system assessment maps to wield the power of maps for more just food system renderings.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: Food System Assessments ; Food System Mapping; Food System Maps; Food Systems
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Social and Behavioral Science > Sustainable Communities
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2022 17:49
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2022 17:49
URI: https://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5739

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