Browsing Department of Sociology by Author "Constance, Douglas H."
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ItemCAFO CONTROVERSY IN THE TEXAS PANHANDLE REGION: THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS OF HOG PRODUCTION(Culture and Agriculture, 1999) Constance, Douglas H.; Bonanno, AlessandroIn this analysis we use the case of the expansion of mega hog operations in the Panhandle area of Texas to illustrate the strategies corporate actors employ to counter environmental concerns expressed by activist groups. To facilitate the growth of hogs CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations), corporate actors exert their influence over state environmental agencies and eliminate public participation from quality of the environment evaluation procedures. In response, activist groups use the courts to challenge the corporate strategies on the grounds that hog CAFOs compromise the physical and social environment of their communities. Pro-business interests respond through narrowing the definition of environmentally sound agricultural activities by stressing their conformity to existing environmental regulations and highlighting the economic benefits related to job expansion and monetary donations to cooperating communities. We conclude that the concept of the environment is a contested terrain made up of competing socially created discourses which need substantive rather than formal evaluations. ItemCONTESTED GLOBALIZATION OF THE AGRIFOOD SYSTEM: A MISSOURI SCHOOL ANALYSIS OF SANDERSON FARMS AND SEABOARD FARMS IN TEXAS(Southern Rural Sociology, 2009) Constance, Douglas H.The Missouri School of Agrifood Studies began with a focus on the power of agribusiness corporations in relation to quality of life of farmers and their related communities. The poultry industry was the first commodity studied, with later research into other commodity sectors and then the global dimensions of this process. In this paper I continue the Missouri School agenda by focusing on the entry of the poultry firm Sanderson Farms and the hog firm Seaboard Farms into Texas. This paper combines a sociology of the agrifood system conceptual framework with two case studies of agribusiness expansion in Texas to inform discussions regarding the characteristics of the globalization of the agrifood system. The results of the research indicate that the CAFO-based economic development strategies in Texas created significant controversies as local citizens organized to challenge the initiatives. This contested process of the globalization of the agrifood system was mediated by the state, mostly in favor of the agribusiness transnational corporations (TNCs). ItemCONVENTIONALIZATION, BIFURCATION, AND QUALITY OF LIFE: CERTIFIED AND NON-CERTIFIED ORGANIC FARMERS IN TEXAS(Southern Rural Sociology, 2008) Constance, Douglas H.; Choi, Jin Young; Lyke-Ho-Gland, HollyOrganic agriculture has been advanced as a production system that improves environmental quality and supports rural community development. Recent developments in organics have called into question both assertions. Researchers have argued that the advent of national-level organic standards has contributed to the conventionalization and bifurcation of organics. Conventionalization refers to the process by which organic agriculture increasingly takes on the characteristics of mainstream industrial agriculture. Bifurcation refers to the process by which the organic agriculture adopts a dual-structure of smaller, lifestyle-oriented producers and larger, industrial-scale producers. This research examines the conventionalization and bifurcation theses through a comparison of certified organic and non-certified organic producers in Texas. We conclude that the case of organics in Texas provides mixed support for the conventionalization thesis. ItemCorporate Chickens and Community Conflict in East Texas: Growers’ and Neighbors’ Views on the Impacts of Industrial Broiler Production(Culture and Agriculture, 2005) Constance, Douglas H.; Tuinstra, RenyThis paper employs a case study approach utilizing both historical and interview methods to investigate the community impacts of the industrialization and globalization of the broiler industry in East Texas. The rapid expansion of the chicken CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) created tensions and conflicts between the growers and their neighbors. While the neighbors tended to focus on substantive issues such as odor nuisances, water quality, health concerns, property values, and community disruption, the growers tended to minimized these assertions and charge the neighbors with being jealous of their economic success. The focus on grower/neighbor perceptions of the community impacts of the chicken houses contexted within a socio-historical perspective is a unique contribution to the literature. ItemCORPORATE STRATEGIES IN THE GLOBAL ERA: THE CASE OF MEGA-HOG FARMS IN THE TEXAS PANHANDLE REGION(International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food, 2001) Bananno, Alessandro; Constance, Douglas H.Employing the case of the expansion of mega-hog production facilities in the Texas Panhandle region, this paper contributes to the globalization of agriculture and food literature by illustrating the strategies employed by transnational corporations (TNCs) to advance their economic and social interests and respond to emerging resistance. We argue that – rather than substantively addressing property, quality of life and environmental concerns raised by rural activists and residents – TNCs complement their hyper-mobility with corporate actions at the legitimative, political and economic levels which support their plans. At the legitimative level, hog-producing TNCs reacted to the challenges of local residents by presenting a “green” image which indicates conformity to good practices of environmental stewardship, narrows the definition of sound environmental actions and devalues opposition’s claims. Politically, TNCs modified existing environmental legislation to fit their agenda. By exercising direct control over the polity, TNCs were able to eliminate citizen participation from decision making processes concerning environmental issues. Additionally, they were able to further depoliticize environmental and property issues by shifting them from the political realm to the diministrative sphere. Economically, TNCs stressed the benefits that communities received from the relocation of mega-hog operations in their areas in a context characterized by a high demand for corporate investments from other regions. Additionally, TNCs employed their economic clout to exploit communities’ needs in order to gain acceptance of corporate positions. ItemDiscerning Differences among Producer Groups and Organic Adoption Barriers in Texas(Journal of Food Distribution Research, 2010) Lau, Michael; Hanagriff, Roger; Constance, Douglas H.; York, Mary; VanDelist, Brian; Higgins, Lindsey M.While nationwide growth in the production of organic agricultural products has seen rapid expansion, the number of certified organic operations in Texas has remained relatively stagnant. Evidence shows a shift in consumer’s demands toward organic products, yet Texas producers have been comparatively slow to respond to this shift. A survey was distributed to a random sample of 4,006 Texas producers as a means of understanding the perceived barriers of adoption of organic production practices in Texas,. Emphasis was placed on perceived production and market barriers to organic production and differences in perceived barriers among producer groups. The results provide guidance about the types of policy approaches that will be effective in overcoming the barriers to organic adoption. ItemThe Global Agri-food Sector and the Case of the Tuna Industry: Global Regulation and Perspectives for Development(International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture, 1994) Bananno, Alessandro; Constance, Douglas H.Employing the case of the global tuna fish industry the paper investigates the effect of globalization on political institutions and social agents. Three interrelated points are argued. First, it is maintained that while the process of globalization is pervasive, it is also flexible, i.e. the outcome of globalization are contested and no particular agent has total control. Second, in the domestic arena, the regulatory ability of the nation-state has to be redefined. Third, despite possibilities for some subordinate groups to advance, weak segments of the labor force, particularly in developing countries such as in Latin America, continue to be marginalized. A possible alternative strategy call for attempts to establish international solidarity. The latter, however, should be based on awareness of the limits of protectionist and/or domestic center strategies in the global era. ItemThe Global Economy and Democracy: the Tuna-Dolphin Controversy Revisited(International Journal of the Sociology of Agriculture and Food, 1998) Bananno, Alessandro; Constance, Douglas H. ItemThe Global Poultry Agro/Food Complex(International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food, 1991) Constance, Douglas H.; Heffernan, William D.The globalization of the food system is a topic of growing concern as various nation/states try to obtain food security. This analysis test the hypothesis of the existence of a poultry agro/food complex being constructed by transnational corporations. We focus on the concept of "global sourcing" and argue that the rise in economic power of transnational corporations limits the abilities of individual nation/st.ates to direct their agricultural policies toward national ends. We also argue that with the increasing transnational character of the large corporations the usefulness of individual nation/states or individual commodities as units of analysis decreases. We conclude that U.S., European. and Japanese transnational corporations arc indeed creating a global poultry agro/food complex based on the concept of "global sourcing'', Our findings also suggest that these same transnational corporations are very active in several other commodity sectors. ItemNeoliberal Restructuring, Neoregulation, and the Mexican Poultry Industry(Agriculture and Human Values, 2013) Martinez-Gomez, Francisco; Aboites-Manrique, Gilberto; Constance, Douglas H.The US poultry industry based on flexible accumulation has been advanced as the model of agro-industrial development for agrifood globalization. Similarly, Mexico has been presented as a noteworthy example of the negative effects of neoliberal restructuring associated with the globalization project. In this paper we use both of these assertions as points of departure to guide an investigation of the case of the restructuring of the Mexican poultry industry. Informed by a commodity systems analysis, archival data and key informant interviews are used to generate an overview of the history of the poultry industry in Mexico. A sociology of agrifood theoretical framework informed by regimes theory is employed to analyze the events of the case. We conclude that neoregulation related to the IMF and NAFTA restructuring in Mexico facilitated the diffusion of the US model of poultry production ItemThe Southern Model of Broiler Production(Culture and Agriculture, 2008) Constance, Douglas H.This paper introduces the concept of the Southern Model of broiler production as the preferred organizational form in the global agrifood system. A synthesis of existing works on the broiler industry combined with new information documenting its global diffusion is employed to develop the concept of the Southern Model. The analysis of the events presented in the case support flexible accumulation over flexible specialization interpretations of the globalization of the Southern Model. The investigation of the historical development and diffusion of the Southern Model warrants special attention from researchers concerned with socio-economic implications of the restructuring of agrifood system as part of the globalization of economy and society. ItemSUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND THE SOCIAL SCIENCES: GETTING BEYOND BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES AND INTO FOOD SYSTEMS(Southern Rural Sociology, 2008) Jordan, Jeffrey L.; Constance, Douglas H.This paper introduces the special issue of Southern Rural Sociology and lays the groundwork for the rest of the papers. The genesis of this special issue flows from the efforts of the Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (S-SARE) program to bring more social science research into its portfolio of projects. Our concern is that by providing best management practices (Band-Aids) to a fundamentally unsustainable agricultural system, the sustainable agriculture movement (and SARE’s granting program) favors the environmental component at the expense of economic and social “legs” of the sustainable stool. While focusing on the history and work of the SARE program, we provided a social science perspective on sustainable agriculture.