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Farmers Markets in the Post-Industrial City



A new politics of consumption is evident in the economic behavior of educated, middle-class baby-boomer women no longer willing to accept a food culture prescribed for them by the global food establishment. It is proposed that the farmers market represents a deliberate class-based response to wrestle back control of the local through supporting farmers and post-industrial downtown storeowners. These “femivores” of the marketplace are utilizing their consumer power to participate in a new, dynamic form of community-building that re-embeds the market within local narratives of social sustainability and resource management. Further, I propose that it is through the market exchange that citizens of all classes become visible and the possibility for a class consciousness tied to economic behavior arises. Moreover, the process of restructuring occurring in Midwestern post-industrial cities may be just the incubator needed to nurture these place-based socioeconomic behaviors. [Farmers market, informal economy, post-industrial city, consumer behavior, middle class]