Reflexivity and food systems research




Reflexivity, Research, Indigenous Knowledge, Sustainability, Ethnography, Anthropology, Positionality


This commentary is the result of an imperfect fit of much of the content below for a collection on sustainability and food. Ultimately I choose to remove this as it went through the review process, realizing it was a likely a round-(w)hole–square-peg type of situation. It was perhaps a bit tongue in cheek or “obtuse” for a more “scientific” way of considering the issue of food systems sustainability. In one of the disciplines from which I write, anthropology, the reflexive turn—refuting the outright positivism of neutral and objective studies, which make claims to a knowable and absolute truth—has become a part of the intellectual landscape for generations. This has led to more scientific studies wherein anthropologists are generally more honest about the extent and limitations of their research and writing. The ethnographic texts that implied omniscient and omnipresent accounts of the cultural group have generally faded from favor toward more partial accounts that are (1) reflexive in their thorough descriptions of the methods employed, and (2) those which disclose, to a greater or lesser extent, one’s positioning. These lessons have not generally permeated larger-level discussions of global food systems. Below, I take up the idea of positioning, highlighting tensions that don’t quite make the cut of being labeled or disclosed as a potential “conflict of interest” in academic publications, but nevertheless have implications in terms of how research is conducted, written up, and ultimately becomes accepted knowl­edge in particular disciplinary and professional accounts. . . .

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Author Biography

David V. Fazzino, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology



How to Cite

Fazzino, D. (2022). Reflexivity and food systems research. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 11(2), 19–22.