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Health, place, and animals: the co-production of therapeutic geographies and community supported agriculture farms

Gorman, Richard 2017. Health, place, and animals: the co-production of therapeutic geographies and community supported agriculture farms. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis aims to examine the relationships between health, place, and animals, within the context of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms. The conceptual framework of ‘therapeutic landscapes’ has been used by geographers to understand the dynamic interrelations between health and place. To more critically unpack the heterogeneity of ‘therapeutic landscapes’ and engage with their more-than-human constitutive elements, I mobilise a relational approach, informed by post-structuralist thinking, examining how ‘therapeutic spaces’ emerge relationally, co-constituted by a variety of heterogeneous agencies. Aiming to show how therapeutic affect can emerge in everyday spaces, I locate my research within CSA, an alternative system of food production. My interest in a more-than-human approach has particular relevance when considering CSAs as the place of animals in such systems is neglected within existing research. I mobilise qualitative research, exploring why animals come to be present within these alternative food networks. Animals are implicated within CSAs for diverse reasons, with the farms acting as spaces for human-animal encounters. I discuss the generative potential of situated relationships between humans and animals in leading to the production of new bodily capacities or the closing down of existing ones, affecting how people understand and experience health. I also consider non-humans’ experiences of these relationships, exploring who ‘therapeutic spaces’ are ‘therapeutic’ for. I discuss the ways in which animals can become entangled in ‘therapeutic’ relationships based around anthropocentric and parasitic notions of health. However, equally, human-animal relationships can emerge as mutually beneficial, producing new bodily capacities for heterogeneous actants in a mutual ‘becoming therapeutic together’. Overall, this thesis contributes new understandings to human geography, recognising animals as lively and dynamic co-constituents in the co-production of therapeutic geographies and community based food systems. Human-animal relations can define, enable, and enact what different actants may become, shaping their capacities to affect and be affected.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Geography and Planning
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: • Health • Place • Animals • Therapeutic Landscapes • Animal Geography • More-Than-Human • Care Farming • Human-Animal Relations • Community Supported Agriculture • Affect
Funders: ESRC/President
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 October 2017
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2017 12:30

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