Degree Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2015

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Carmen Bain

Second Advisor

Anastasia Prokos

Abstract

The genetically modified organism (GMO) labeling movement in the US has increased in intensity nearly twenty years after GMOs were introduced to supermarkets in 1994 and large anti-GMO SMOs formed in the 1990s. Social movement organizations have mobilized at the national, state, local, and grassroots levels with participation in the movement taking different forms. One of the most prominent arguments of the movement is that people should have a right to choose what they purchase. This argument is based on the idea that people should be able to make informed choices about what they are feeding their families.

As the GMO labeling movement has gained momentum nationwide, online participation in the movement has increased and mommy bloggers have become involved in the movement through using their blogs to advocate in favor of mandatory GMO labeling. Mommy bloggers express their arguments in favor of labeling in the context of motherhood, being a good mother, and the health and safety of their families.

I analyzed interviews with 18 informants involved in the GMO labeling movement and conducted participant observation of two GMO labeling meetings to understand what they view as the major goals and concerns of the movement. I then compare the analysis of the interviews and participant observation to a qualitative content analysis of 15 “mommy blogs” to understand whether these mommy bloggers’ arguments in favor of GMO labeling align with the arguments made by formal organizations in the movement. I draw on feminist standpoint theories and political economy critiques of food movements as I question what the alignment of these arguments suggests about the power of gender ideologies and structures in comparison to the power of neoliberal ideologies in individual knowledge construction.

Copyright Owner

Tamera Lynn Dandachi

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

84 pages

Included in

Sociology Commons

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