Department or Program

Environmental Studies


This paper critically examines the political work done by sociotechnical imaginaries among elite and grassroots epistemic communities in the food justice space. Drawing from a review of expanding food justice literature, guided by frameworks of racial capitalism, this paper outlines how imaginaries project visions of food just futures and thereby constitute and justify associated policy trajectories. This paper demonstrates how a focus on sociotechnical imaginaries can help explore potentialities and shortfalls of currently imagined food justice discourse. Sociotechnical imaginaries are more than ideas – they bring material projects into being, justify them, and thereby open up or close down competing visions for how to govern the food system. Employing CDA, I investigate the social context of the language used and how discourse works to maintain or challenge hegemonic visions, and in turn power relations, specifically on food governance narratives through a lens of justice and racial capitalism. I underscore the need to look critically at the choices that are taken for granted, and the underlying assumptions in elite visions of food justice and technology’s role, to render them open to debate so that visions of food justice futures are not curtailed by the dominant but narrow views we see today. Put simply, the underlying argument of this paper is that we need to be attentive to the politics at play in the collective imagining of food justice.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

Jamie Haverkamp

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file


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