Today's wrenching worldwide social and cultural instability calls for more adequate theorization. Through an examination of the local-food movement in the United States, I consider one such theorization, Kajsa Ekholm Friedman and Jonathan Friedman's anthropology of global systems. The Friedmans set out an original conceptualization of transformations in the political economy of commercial civilizations and processes of identity formation in periods of hegemonic decline. I present data on the local-food movement in North Carolina and on differences in identity orientations between “sustainable-agriculture” and “food-security” activists to evaluate this conceptualization.
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