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The Creation of Fresh Milk in Post-War Taiwan : The Governance of Fresh Milk and Food Safety Disputes
Made-in-Taiwan Fresh Milk,Taiwan’s Dairy Industry,Materiality,Marketization,ANT (Actor Network Theory),
|Publication Year :||2020|
How was the fresh milk market in Taiwan constructed, despite the challenges of Taiwan's natural environment and the global market? Previous food culture studies and agro-food studies tend to emphasize how a market is driven either by consumers or producers, while neglecting the effects of the material. The food culture literature, for example, cares more about cultural significance than the material itself; and agro-food studies regard the material as nothing but the commodities in the market. Both theoretical approaches reinforce the assumption of dual opposition of production-consumption and of nature-society. I argue that researchers should take the material seriously, examining how the material affects the operation of the market, as well as how nature affects the market. This study uses historical data, qualitative interviews, and quantitative data to investigate the development of fresh milk market in Taiwan. I draw on the Actor-Network Theory (ANT) to analyze the marketization process of fresh milk in post-war Taiwan. The results are divided into three parts. Firstly, by applying ANT’s concepts, I sort out three historical stages of fresh milk market in post-war Taiwan , including the development of production networks, the adjustment of the product cycle of its production chain, and the changes of milk’s materiality. I highlight the diverse and heterogeneous social relations that are often neglected -if talking a traditional approach. Secondly, I illustrate four aspects of materiality (obstacle, control, assemblage, vulnerability) during the marketization process. These material aspects demonstrate that materiality is not only relational, but it also profoundly affects the fresh milk market in Taiwan. Finally, my empirical findings contribute to ANT’s theoretical perspective, showing that ' the material is crucial to the stability of a production network, and it further may affect how market looks like.' My research shows that the market is not merely affected by consumer cultures or production systems, but it is also affected by the materials involved. This study on Taiwan's dairy industry hence reveals the intricate interweaving of men and material, nature and society, highlighting the influences of non-human actors such as nature and material on social relations in a market.
|Appears in Collections:||社會學系|
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