The practice of supermarket shopping
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This thesis looks at how decisions in the supermarket are shaped by the tensions between supermarket companies’ persuading shoppers into making profitable purchases and shoppers’ using food to perform their tastes and values. Using actor-network theory, this project brings the concepts of hegemony and prosumption to an analysis of supermarket space. Using a qualitative research design, data was generated by conducting ten walking interviews at six supermarkets in Athens, Georgia. By analyzing the way supermarkets use space to stabilize the hegemony of the Supermarket as a form of distribution, this thesis found that supermarkets continue to be depoliticized spaces despite growing concerns over food and food production. This project also finds that shoppers use foods in the supermarket as a way to perform a micro-politics of care. This is not a political strategy to create social change based on abstract values, but a deeply embodied politics grounded in material concerns.