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What is a Food Bank?: A cultural analytical exploration of the paradoxes and potentials of stakeholder definitions and interrelations

Brown, Hannah LU (2019) TKAM02 20191
Division of Ethnology
Abstract
Summer 2018 I worked with a recycling coalition in the United States to investigate food waste as a topic essential in promoting environmental sustainability. We banded together with QFB, a large food bank, to focus on the problem of food waste in their food rescue process. During my time at QFB I noticed paradoxes between the practices and words of different stakeholders in the QFB system: most specifically that of paid QFB employees, volunteers, and food donor organizations (FDOs). The aim of this thesis is to investigate and identify how stakeholders define QFB, and what tensions or disconnects are created by these definitions. Due to the personal nature of the small-team environment at QFB, the methods used to explore these paradoxes... (More)
Summer 2018 I worked with a recycling coalition in the United States to investigate food waste as a topic essential in promoting environmental sustainability. We banded together with QFB, a large food bank, to focus on the problem of food waste in their food rescue process. During my time at QFB I noticed paradoxes between the practices and words of different stakeholders in the QFB system: most specifically that of paid QFB employees, volunteers, and food donor organizations (FDOs). The aim of this thesis is to investigate and identify how stakeholders define QFB, and what tensions or disconnects are created by these definitions. Due to the personal nature of the small-team environment at QFB, the methods used to explore these paradoxes were observations, participant observation, semi-structured interviews, go-alongs, and autoethnography. The collected data is primarily analyzed through Marcel Mauss’ (2002) theory of gift-economy and Erving Goffman’s (1990) theory of dramaturgy. These two theorists help explain the paradoxes on a societal and personal level thereby enabling an analysis of the data from different angles. In conclusion, this thesis finds that stakeholders have a multiplicity of definitions of QFB, including but not limited to: a philanthropic hub, a dumping ground, and a business. Identifying how stakeholders define QFB illustrates the social constructions which have enabled, and even encouraged, paradoxes between practices and words to exist. This thesis concludes with a discussion on how the recognized definitions can be applied to improve long-term sustainable practices through communication between stakeholders and QFB. (Less)
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author
Brown, Hannah LU
supervisor
organization
course
TKAM02 20191
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
food bank, gift-economy, dramaturgy, philanthropy, altruism, volunteering, donations, food waste, MACA
language
English
id
8991893
date added to LUP
2019-08-14 15:51:24
date last changed
2019-08-14 15:51:24
@misc{8991893,
  abstract     = {Summer 2018 I worked with a recycling coalition in the United States to investigate food waste as a topic essential in promoting environmental sustainability. We banded together with QFB, a large food bank, to focus on the problem of food waste in their food rescue process. During my time at QFB I noticed paradoxes between the practices and words of different stakeholders in the QFB system: most specifically that of paid QFB employees, volunteers, and food donor organizations (FDOs). The aim of this thesis is to investigate and identify how stakeholders define QFB, and what tensions or disconnects are created by these definitions. Due to the personal nature of the small-team environment at QFB, the methods used to explore these paradoxes were observations, participant observation, semi-structured interviews, go-alongs, and autoethnography. The collected data is primarily analyzed through Marcel Mauss’ (2002) theory of gift-economy and Erving Goffman’s (1990) theory of dramaturgy. These two theorists help explain the paradoxes on a societal and personal level thereby enabling an analysis of the data from different angles. In conclusion, this thesis finds that stakeholders have a multiplicity of definitions of QFB, including but not limited to: a philanthropic hub, a dumping ground, and a business. Identifying how stakeholders define QFB illustrates the social constructions which have enabled, and even encouraged, paradoxes between practices and words to exist. This thesis concludes with a discussion on how the recognized definitions can be applied to improve long-term sustainable practices through communication between stakeholders and QFB.},
  author       = {Brown, Hannah},
  keyword      = {food bank,gift-economy,dramaturgy,philanthropy,altruism,volunteering,donations,food waste,MACA},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {What is a Food Bank?: A cultural analytical exploration of the paradoxes and potentials of stakeholder definitions and interrelations},
  year         = {2019},
}