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    Growing Your Own And Growing Social Cohesion? A Study of the Social and Civic Dividends of Urban Agriculture (UA) Initiatives: Dublin and Belfast


    Kettle (Healy), Patricia (2015) Growing Your Own And Growing Social Cohesion? A Study of the Social and Civic Dividends of Urban Agriculture (UA) Initiatives: Dublin and Belfast. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    This study explores the social and civic dividends of allotment gardening in two diverse urban contexts: Dublin, Ireland and Belfast, Northern Ireland. Traditionally, allotments were associated with older men and lower socio-economic groups. A demonstrable rise in urban agriculture (UA) initiatives in recent years has seen a significant shift in the traditional demographics engaging in practice. Those investing are increasingly younger, from the middle classes, and include more and more women. Drawing on empirical investigations in both cities between 2011- 2013, this thesis argues that the revival of the urban allotment represents a form of resistance to the dis-embedding processes associated with post-modern lifestyles. Urban gardening represents an explicit attempt by urban dwellers to (re)connect with traditional forms of knowledge, the land, and practice. UA enables urban dwellers to (re)connect with others, (re)generate a sense of community, and to restore a sense of belonging in the city. The rise in demand for UA in Belfast also represents an explicit attempt by urban dwellers to engage in bridge-building across the community divide, ameliorate residual ethno-religious/national divisions in the city and transcend the politicization of everyday urban life. Indeed, in both cities, allotment gardening creates a form of social levelling that contributes to social integration and localised forms of social cohesion. The study develops an innovative typology of allotment gardeners, and introduces the concepts of agrarian habitus and aspirational habitus to explain the complex relationships between ecological goals and beliefs and actual cultivation practices. An extensive archive of photographs is drawn upon to illustrate the physical, social, ecological and aesthetic dimensions of allotment gardening. Finally, the study makes a number of recommendations for how policy makers might better integrate UA practices into everyday life in the city.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Urban Agriculture; Dis-embedding; Re-embedding; Belonging; Politics of Place; Civil Interfacing; Social Integration; Social Cohesion;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology
    Item ID: 7725
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2017 16:32
    URI:

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