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Creating ethical food consumers? Promoting organic foods in urban Southwest China1

Jakob Klein

The article discusses recent attempts by an environmental NGO to promote the consumption of organic foods among residents in Kunming, Southwest China. Far from being elitist, activists engaged with popular environmental culture and with widespread concerns around health and food safety, and echoed advertisers' messages that associated the ‘healthfulness’ of organic foods with ‘nature’. The article also discusses two private organic food enterprises. Like the NGO, these enterprises attempted to both engage with popular concerns and educate consumers, and it is argued that the study of environmentalism and ethical consumption in urban China should include both NGOs and profit‐oriented enterprises.

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Dollars Making Sense

Understanding Nature in Capitalism

James G. Carrier

This article addresses the relationship between enterprises in capitalist systems and people's understandings of activities concerning the environment. Two sorts activities are described, those intended to alleviate hunger and those intended to protect the environment. Both illustrate how the routine operation of those enterprises affects the ways that people perceive the world and problems in it, and how people are likely to evaluate activities that can address those problems. Such effects come about because normal commercial pressures make it likely that enterprises will present the surroundings and the problems that concern them in ways that stress certain aspects of and processes in the world, while slighting others. The result of those presentations is a simplified rendering of the surroundings that tends to encourage certain sorts of orientation and action rather than others. The relationship between these renderings and those orientations and actions is not, however, straightforward, and this article concludes with a consideration of the sorts of processes that can shape that relationship.

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Food Activism in Italy as an Anthropology of Direct Democracy

Cristina Grasseni

This article presents qualitative and quantitative findings on provisioning activism in Italy, focusing on Solidarity Purchase Groups (Gruppi di Acquisto Solidale, GAS). By using quantitative data about GAS growth, numerical consistence and economic impact and through ethnographic insights based on prolonged fieldwork, it identifies the GAS movement as an ecological, economic and political counterculture. I discuss the implications for policy efforts at the regional and state level, highlighting both potentials and shortcomings of promoting GAS as means to sustainable development. In particular, I identify the issues of trust, informality and direct democracy as distinctive of GAS practice. However, this positions solidarity economy vis-à-vis policymaking in a potentially oppositional rather than interlocutory stance.

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Book Reviews

Julia Hanebrink, David Lempert, Angela Kelly, Roaxana Morosanu, and Peter Snowdon

Displacing Human Rights: War and Intervention in Northern Uganda. Adam Branch, New York: Oxford University Press, 2011, ISBN: 978-019978-208-6, 336 pp., Hb. £45.00, $74.00.

Performing Heritage: Art of Exhibit Walks. Navina Jafa, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2012, ISBN: 978-81-321-0699-9, xxviii + 216 pp., Pb. $32.95.

Ancient Khmer Sites in Eastern Thailand. Asger Mollerup, Bangkok: White Lotus, 2012, ISBN: 978-974-480-181-4, xii + 185 pp. and C.D., Pb. $32.00.

The Anthropology of Empathy: Experiencing the Lives of Others in Pacific Societies. Douglas W. Hollan and C. Jason Throop (eds.), Oxford, New York: Berghahn Books (ASAO studies in Pacific Anthropology Volume 1), 2011, ISBN: 978-0-85745-102-6, 233 pp., Hb. £45.00.

Ethical Consumption: Social Value and Economic Practice. James G. Carrier and Peter G. Luetchford (eds.), New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-85745-342-6, 246pp. Hb. £48.00.

Tales from Facebook Daniel Miller, Cambridge: Polity Press, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-7456-5209-2, 220 pp., Hb. £50.00, Pb. £14.99.

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Precarious Provisioning: Three Explorations of Food after Progress

Patrick McEvoy

discussion of GAS groups and solidarity economy on Michele Micheletti’s (2003) work on political consumerism, James Carrier and Peter Luetchford’s (2012) study of ethical consumption, and J. K. Gibson-Graham’s (2006) community economies, while

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Corporate Social Responsibility

The Great Shell Game

Ellen Hertz

Market: Ethnographies of Fair Trade, Ethical Consumption, and Corporate Social Responsibility, Research in Economic Anthropology 28 . Emerald Publishing , https://www.emerald.com/insight/publication/doi/10.1016/S0190-1281(2008)28 . Dolan , C. and

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Soft skills, hard rocks

Making diamonds ethical in Canada’s Northwest Territories

Lindsay A. Bell

, Nick Clarke , and Alice Malpass . 2011 . Globalizing responsibility: The political rationalities of ethical consumption . West Sussex : John Wiley & Sons . Beard-Moose , Christina Taylor . 2009 . Public Indians, private Cherokees: Tourism

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Affective Solidarities?

Participating in and Witnessing Fair Trade and Women’s Empowerment in Transnational Communities of Practice

Debarati Sen

social responsibility and ethical consumption ( Vrasti 2013: 9 ). As a feminist researcher interested in women’s political lives within fair trade certified plantations I was naturally interested in the effects of fair trade-related voluntourism on women

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Proximity, Responsibility and Temporality at Resource Frontiers

Corporate-Community Relations in the Colombian Mining Sector

Laura Knöpfel

. Luetchford , J. Pratt , and D. Wood (eds) ( 2008 ), Hidden Hands in the Market: Ethnographies of Fair Trade, Ethical Consumption, and Corporate Social Responsibility ( Bingley : Emerald Group ). Pottage , A. ( 2004 ), ‘ Introduction: The

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Multiscalar moral economy

Global agribusiness, rural Zambian residents, and the distributed crowd

Tijo Salverda

garment cluster, South India .” In Hidden hands in the market: Ethnographies of Fair Trade, ethical consumption, and corporate social responsibility , ed. Geert de Neve , Peter Luetchford , Jeffery Pratt , and Donald C. Wood , 213 – 240