Mapping the Influence: A Nexus Analysis Approach to Addressing Food Access

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Health Communication




One innovative approach toward addressing community-level food access is nexus analysis. This framework suggests that social actions do not happen outside of context, but rather are embedded within unique political, cultural and economic histories. In this paper, I conduct a case study analysis of the South Memphis Farmers Market (SMFM), a community-based, resident-led farmers market located in South Memphis, TN. Drawing on an understanding that neighborhood-level institutions such as farmers markets serve as an intermediary space to examine the nexus of macro-level (e.g., how resources are drawn within a community) and micro-level processes (e.g., how residents determine what food to buy and who to buy it from), this paper traces the success of the SMFM as an illustration of positive local response to the question of “good food” access. Through its history, location and connection to its predominantly Black patrons, the SMFM was able to effectively address structural and cultural barriers as a means of improving food access. Findings from the study may offer insights to the theorization of culture and space in community-based health campaigns.


Public Health and Recreation