Social Innovation in Agriculture and Food: Old Wine in New Bottles?. Part I: Values in Social Innovations

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:00-10:30
Location: Prominentenzimmer (Main Building)
RC40 Sociology of Agriculture and Food (host committee)

Language: French and English

The concept of social innovation (SI) has long been used to describe social and solidarity economies (Klein, Laville and Moulaert, 2014) and approaches the alternative organization of these economies from a Polanyian perspective of “embeddedness” (Hillenkamp and Laville, 2013). Within the sociology of food and agriculture, the concept of alternative agri-food networks (e.g., Goodman, DuPuis and Goodman, 2012) has developed in a similar vein. In both cases there is a strong influence of social movement theory in how empirical examples are identified and explained, but relatively little learning from innovation theory (cf. Stirling, 2015). 
Considering recent upsurges in public attention and support for promoting SI, we want to develop a stronger positioning of this concept in debates around agri-food systems. This regular session invites papers that interrogate the foundational concepts of SI in agri-food systems. Independently, and as a construct, what do “social” and “innovation” mean? What is the genealogy of SI and where are its boundaries or overlaps with other concepts? What is the role of knowledge production and circulation in SI? What are the normativities, ethics and values of SI? How to cope with the contradiction between adaptation to local situations and wide-scale diffusion? How are these approaches institutionalized? We invite papers from sociology and other disciplines working on SI that draw upon empirical work to contribute theoretical and conceptual insights to this debate.
Session Organizers:
Allison LOCONTO, INRA, France, Yuna CHIFFOLEAU, INRA, France and Pierre-Benoit JOLY, INRA, France
New Technologies and Citizenship: A Discussion of Nanotechnologies Applied to Food and the Regulation of Its Risks
Tania SILVA, Universidade Federal de Sergipe, Brazil; Wilson ENGELMANN, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Brazil; Raquel VON HOHENDORF, Unisinos, Brazil
Civic Agriculture in Calabria: What Next ?
Tatiana CASTELLOTTI, CREA, Italy; Giuseppe GAUDIO, CREA, Italy
Transforming Our Agri-Food System: The Case Study of Homemakers Union Consumer Co-Op, Taiwan
Pei-Hui TSAI, Shih Hsin University, Taiwan; Yu-Hua CHEN, National Taiwan University, Taiwan