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Whiteness and Farmers Markets

In their multifaceted work, Alkon and McCullen discuss relevant cultural, political, and class issues through the prism of the American farmer markets, which are predominantly white in terms of race and culture, as the writers claim. Authors argue that “white farm imagery … romanticizes and universalizes an agrarian narrative specific to whites while masking the contributions and struggles of people of color in food production” (Alkon and McCullen 945). I believe that this inference is incorrect and that the image of the conventional white agrarian narrative is neither romanticized nor does it have a property of cultural universality in today’s American society. My opinion is that over the past seven decades, this imagery has been heavily deconstructed by such societal institutions as literature, cinema, especially Hollywood, traditional mass media, and relatively new social networks. It is safe to say that, nowadays, the American countryside has a rather negative image because of all those numerous horror and slasher movies with evil, mutated, and insane rednecks as the main villains. Today, mainly other Americans living in rural areas have a positive outlook on white farmers as they communicate, interact, and trade with each other on a daily basis, while urban residents are biased about them. I do not think white American farmers need any further cultural deconstruction and defetishization; what is needed is the simplification of the legalization process of immigrant farmworkers and state financial support for novice farmers.

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Work Cited

Alkon, Alison Hope, and Christie Grace McCullen. “Whiteness and farmers markets: Performances, perpetuations… contestations?” Antipode, vol. 43, no. 4, 2011, pp. 937-959.

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