Discourses, contestation and alternative consumption
The political morality of food: discourses,
contestation and alternative consumption
Anthropology and sociology have been keen to show that consumption is a
social and moral field, and that consumer practices are part of an ongoing
process of negotiation of social classifications and hierarchies. Food consumption in particular has been associated with symbolically mediated
notions of order (Douglas and Isherwood 1979). We know that particular
foods are identified with annual festivities, set apart for
; and calling out the manipulation of humanitarian action ( Redfield, 2006 ). It is also a value
signifier, capturing notions of humanity and solidarity, fired by a freewheeling
spirit that cuts across borders and is unrestrained by the trappings of state power.
It has also been conceptualised as a site where science meets morality, reconciling
individual narrative testimony of suffering with objective epidemiological data
( Redfield, 2006 ).
Témoignage as such is
( 1999 ), Distant Suffering: Morality, Media
and Politics ( Cambridge :
Borton , J.
( 2016 ), ‘ Improving the Use
of History by the International Humanitarian Sector ’,
European Review of History: Revue européenne
d’histoire , 23 : 1–2 ,
193 – 209
limited to operating in countries under Western tutelage, but even those inspired by
anti-communism were cautious about structural integration into Western security strategies. At
the beginning of the 1990s, NGOs shrugged off their scepticism for the morality of state power,
working more closely with Western military forces. Private and government funding for
humanitarian operations increased. With the help of news media, humanitarian agencies boosted
their political capital, presenting themselves as providers of public moral conscience for the
of the Three Universes of EU Border Control: Military/Navy–border
guards/police–database analysts ’,
Security Dialogue , 45 : 3 ,
209 – 25 .
( 1999 ), Distant Suffering: Morality, Media and
Politics ( Cambridge :
needed to be reinforced ( Bédard et al. , 1991 : 15–16, 22) in order to foster autonomous attitudes towards the morality and rules of international relations. Thus, in parallel with their use of visual media, educators had to introduce their class to the goals and uses of rules and conventions, and to the requirements for responsible actions in respect of differences. Eventually, they would learn to face ‘moral dilemmas’ and make decisions around them. The goal was to avoid ‘neutral, apologist or moralistic’ education in favor of ‘authentic, … critical and realistic
Gender Equality and Culture in Humanitarian Action
Ricardo Fal-Dutra Santos
), Humanitarian Ethics: A Guide to the Morality
of Aid in War and Disaster ( New
York : Oxford University
( 2015b ), ‘ Wonderful Work: Globalizing the
Ethics of Humanitarian Action ’, in MacGinty ,
Peterson , J.
H. (eds), The
Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian
might say). For example, the Declaration of St. Petersburg (1868) prohibited
explosive munitions for being ‘excessively cruel’. But they were still
permitted for big-game hunting and colonial wars. Gustave Moynier, co-founder and
first president of the Red Cross (a position he held for thirty-six years),
theorised about this distinction in the language of the time, writing that the
organisation’s founding principles were the product of evangelical morality
Visual Advocacy in the Early Decades of Humanitarian Cinema
( 2011 ),
Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism ( Ithaca, NY :
Cornell University Press ).
( 2013 ), ‘
“Every Citizen of Empire Implored to Save the Children!”: Empire, Internationalism and the Save the Children Fund in Inter-War Britain ’,
Historical Research ,
116 – 37 .
( 1999 ),
Distant Suffering: Morality, Media and Politics ( Cambridge :
Cambridge University Press ).
( 1993 ), ‘
Saving Enemy Children: Save the Children’s Russian