Date of Degree

5-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Program

Liberal Studies

Advisor

Marc Edelman

Subject Categories

Agriculture | Anthropology | Communication | Communication Technology and New Media | Community-Based Learning | Digital Humanities | Environmental Policy | Environmental Studies | Politics and Social Change | Social Media | Work, Economy and Organizations

Keywords

NPOs, Neoliberalism, Digital Technology, Social Media, ICTs, Environmental Sustainability

Abstract

This thesis examines the link between how community-based organizations use digital tools with the fundamentally resistance-based philosophy that these organizations have at the core of their mission. It aims to uncover how non-profit organizations (NPOs) that work in community development through food and agriculture use digital tools, and how their digital communication strategies relate to issues of resistance to neoliberalism and industrialization in the food and agriculture sectors.

Using a foundation of existing literature on food and agriculture, climate change and waste management, critical theory, and technology in pedagogy, this thesis will contextualize how non-profits resist neoliberal regimes of de-traditionalization through community development. This thesis will utilize primary research on the digital strategy of an NPO that supports public schools attempting to incorporate vegetable gardens into their curriculum. The research provides insights into how NPOs make use of the benefits of digital technologies, and how they choose a strategy for employing these affordances in ways that are compatible with their core organizational philosophy.

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