The social reproduction of (and through) food: Agrarian change in Uzbekistan

Lombardozzi, Lorena (2024). The social reproduction of (and through) food: Agrarian change in Uzbekistan. Journal of Agrarian Change (Early access).



Food systems—and the interplay between food production, marketisation and access—are constituent elements of the social reproduction of life. Using a social reproduction framework, this paper problematises the ontological, epistemological and methodological premises of food system studies in agrarian change. Based on primary data collected during multiple rounds of fieldwork in rural Uzbekistan and adopting mixed methods, it offers a triple contribution. First, it assesses the inequalities of food security and dietary diversity among different classes of farmers and agrarian wage workers. Along these lines, it argues that individualised food security indicators do not unveil the systemic determinants that explain unequal patterns of social reproduction through nutrition during processes of agrarian marketisation. To move beyond individual‐based theorisations, it extends the investigation to state policies, market drivers and gender norms in relation to food knowledge, provision, affordability and availability. In so doing, it unpacks the contradictions that explain the uneven conditions of social reproduction of (and through) food. Finally, by investigating the modalities of access and availability of ultra‐processed food in rural areas, it reflects on the tensions between the capitalist global food system and its interaction with the logics of state‐led development to maintain the social reproduction of rural life.

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