The paper builds on recent flexitarianism scholarship by approaching this heterogeneous dietary category as a socio-cultural and political economic, rather than just a psychological phenomenon. It does this by drawing on Edmund Harris’s conceptualization of alternative food provisioning activities and subject-making as a “politics of the possible.” The paper addresses the following questions: does flexitarianism and the making of flexitarian subjectivities represent a “politics of the possible” and if so how; what are the limits of these politics and how might these limits be overcome? Empirically, the paper undertakes a qualitative analysis of UK national print news media coverage of flexitarianism and semi-structured interviews with self-identified flexitarians. Data from these two sources are interwoven in the discussion of themes that provide some evidence in support of flexitarianism as a politics of the possible, but which also draw attention to the limits of these politics. The paper concludes that only by addressing these limits can a full and critical assessment be made of flexitarianism’s contribution to a food system less dependent on animal-based foods.
Morris, C., Kelsey, S., & Harper, L. (2023). Searching for the “politics of the possible” in flexitarianism. Food, Culture and Society, Article 2175993. https://doi.org/10.1080/15528014.2023.2175993