International Journal of

Arts , Humanities & Social Science

ISSN 2693-2547 (Print) , ISSN 2693-2555 (Online)
Capitalism as a systematic structure of oppression: participatory action research in a community supported agriculture project



The aim of this paper is to present the results of a PAR that analyses how capitalism as a systematic structure of oppression could be, partially, dealt with by community supported agriculture (CSA) in a marginal rural area and how PAR could support activism in this field.

The assumption of capitalism as a coercive system has a strong literature base, as the possibility to identify an alternative through community based projects.

The research question analyzed in this paper is: what is the contribution of participatory action research to a community supported agriculture project? 

The research design has been developed through direct and on-going cooperation between the researcher and the community. At the initial stage the scholar shared the basic theoretical framework connected to the literature on CSA, as well as critical analysis of capitalism and post-growth. She then took part in all meetings (about seven formal plus several informal) with an observing participation, collecting field notes and recording. During the third step, she interviewed seven participants, dividing them into three groups: local policy makers (one), farmers (one) and prosumers (five). Finally a feedback session took place, as a first step in shaping the next phase for the following year’s action.

The results show that the reflection proposed by the researcher has offered a significant opportunity to clarify problems, potentialities and the deep meaning of the project.