Oscar Allen, Benjamin Færge D'Souza, Sarah Johannesson, Marie Gregers Møller Christensen & Zacharias Juul Wallin

Student thesis: Basic Project


This study seeks to explore to organic agriculture and what the group hypotheses to be an inconsistency between what the majority of the consumers believe organic agriculture to be, and what organic agriculture actually is. The study takes an issue in the majority of consumers buying a product with the wrong perception or on the wrong grounds because of a general misunderstanding. For an example if the consumer or citizen is to be involved in the process of reducing the impact humans have on the environment and climate, and believes that the consumption of organic foods will help in the endeavour, then you are ultimately working against that goal, if this turns out not to be true. From this the study presents the following formulation of the problem:

“What is the hegemonic discourse surrounding organic agriculture based on, and how does it affect the consumer's behavior appropriately ?”

The study goes about answering this by creating three hypotheses, and exploring them through an in depth analysis of empirical data gathered through a self made survey and focus group interview/discussion. The analysis consist of applying Fairclough's discourse theory, to the statements and general trends within the data, and exploring the wider social praxis through use of other sociological and economic theory such as: Zygmunt Bauman’s “liquid modernity”, Rational Choice, Anthony Giddens “Paradox” etc. After this the study discusses and reevaluates its hypotheses, and concludes its first hypotheses to be true, and the last two to be partly untrue and then nuances them. Which results in the study concluding that the hegemonic discourse surrounding organic agriculture is that, environmental degradation and climate change are very serious issues, and that organic consumption helps in minimizing your impact on these. Furthermore it concludes that while the majority believe this to be true, most people, especially younger ones, also think that organic culture is too expensive compared to how much better it is than the alternative. Finally it concludes that while not entirely in consistency with the actual aspect of organic agriculture, the hegemonic discourse is primarily in the right. As that organic agriculture, while not being a completely free of impact, still proposes an overall smaller impact than conventional agriculture.

EducationsBasic - International Bachelor Study Program in Social Sciences, (Bachelor Programme) Basic
Publication date19 Dec 2016
Number of pages77
SupervisorsBent Eisenreich