Cultivating citizen-subjects through collective praxis: Organized gardening projects in Australia and the Philippines

Kersty Hobson, Margaret (Ann) Hill

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Community gardens or ‘organized gardening projects’ have of late received renewed impetus as a form of governmental intervention that responds to increasing concerns about (amongst other things) obesity, food security and community cohesiveness. Scholars have likewise responded with keen analytical interest, deploying manifold conceptual lenses including Foucaultian governmentality, which explores how and to what ends such interventions come about. In this chapter, we discuss empirical evidence of organized garden projects in Australia and the Philippines through a ‘realist governmentality’ approach, which examines the actual impacts of interventions on subjects, and potential ‘disjuncture’ between governmental aims and actual outcomes. We argue that these interventions can be read as enacting the disciplinary and normalizing intentions of contemporary modes of governing, in-­‐keeping with the work of governmentality theorists. However, through joint action, exposure to shared vulnerabilities, and shifts in perspectives on the self and others, these interventions exceed their governmental intentions. This occurs not through ‘disjuncture’ per se, but through the proliferation of (potential) sites and connections of cultivating ethical praxis, which overreach the spatial and ontological confines of these projects’ initial intention.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEthical Consumption: A Critical Introduction
    Editors Tania Lewis and Emily Potter
    Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
    PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
    ISBN (Print)9780415558242
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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