If they come, we will build it: in vitro meat and the discursive struggle over future agrofood expectations

Agriculture and Human Values 30 (4):511-523 (2013)

According to recent literature in the sociology of expectations, expectations about the future are “performative” in that they provide guidance for activities, attract attention, mobilize political and economic resources, coordinate between groups, link technical and social concerns, create visions, and enroll supporters. While this framework has blossomed over the past decade in science and technology studies, it has yet to be applied towards a more refined understanding of how the future of the modern agrofood system is being actively contested and understood. I seek to redress this gap by using the sociology of expectations to explain the discursive topography surrounding in vitro meat, a nascent agrofood technology whereby processed meat products are developed from stem cells as opposed to live animals. In discussing the obstacles and challenges which confront the proponents of this technology, I utilize three key concepts from the sociology of expectations: (1) hype, (2) retrospective prospects, and (3) the role of myth, metaphor, and ideology. I find that despite sluggish results and financial setbacks, the controversial legacy of previous agrofood technologies, and persistent cultural skepticism, the core ideological justifications for in vitro meat have proven to be resilient in buoying the technology through rough discursive waters
Keywords In vitro meat  Agrofood  Sociology of expectations  Technology  Discourse  Stakeholders
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DOI 10.1007/s10460-013-9427-9
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References found in this work BETA

Coming in to the Foodshed.Jack Kloppenburg, John Hendrickson & G. W. Stevenson - 1996 - Agriculture and Human Values 13 (3):33-42.
Meat and Morality: Alternatives to Factory Farming. [REVIEW]Evelyn B. Pluhar - 2010 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 (5):455-468.

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Citations of this work BETA

Moral Steaks? Ethical Discourses of In Vitro Meat in Academia and Australia.Tasmin Dilworth & Andrew McGregor - 2015 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 28 (1):85-107.

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