Intensities and forms of power by Ben Anderson

In this article, Anderson focuses on and investigates power intensities and forms and their relationship to various current situations such as anti-black violence, deficiency, lack of justification, and the state of affairs, to name a few. Anderson tries to demonstrate how these power relations and their consequences are accepted as part and parcel of human life and experiences through their particulars, i.e., power intensities and power forms, in his investigation (Anderson, 2016). When it comes to power intensities, the author tries to depict the formation process of power’s effects in the presence or absence of power intensities. To demonstrate the formation of a genre of power intensity, he uses the example of ‘negative governance’ diagnosis as a particular variety of formal non-action, whose formation mechanism is through the deficiency or removal of entirely positive events and processes of government (Anderson, 2016). He also demonstrates the formation of power intensities by diagnosing a modality of power who’s working mechanism calls for the sporadic or extreme presence of the power intensities, such as the penal state. Theoretically, both present examples life as primary to the government, through making present or absent the effects of power (Anderson, 2016).

Regarding forms of power, the author attempts to explore the specific forms of power relations in cultural geography with a focus on the order, pattern, and shape they take. For instance, the role of opposition form of power in the occurrence of sexism and racism as diagnosed by feminist cultural geographers. According to Anderson power may appear in many forms such as systems, meshwork, fluids, groups, machines, fire, currents, and relationship among others (Anderson, 2016).

Article 2: Beyond Food Security: Understanding Access to Cultural Food for Urban Indigenous People in Winnipeg as Indigenous Food Sovereignty


This research paper by Cindro and colleagues discusses the problem of access to safe, inexpensive and healthy cultural food by indigenous communities living in the inner urban cities of Canada such as Winnipeg, which is known for extensive lack of food. The research conducted on the lack of cultural food for indigenous people living in urban communities has brought to light three key issues regarding Indigenous Food Sovereignty (IFS) (Cidro et al., 2015). They include growing, reaping, cooking and eating cultural food as ritual; cultural food as a connecting factor to land through mutuality; getting knowledge on IFS to deal with food insecurity in the urban areas.

According to the indigenous people, the whole process from growing to harvesting to preparing and consuming indigenous food was a sign of spirituality and a way of connecting to nature. For instance, an interview with the Yukon First Nations people about the culture of consuming cultural foods demonstrated that consumption of traditional food reinforced their fundamental cultural values. These values included aligning people with nature, enabling membership, spiritual experience and most importantly, a way for adults to exhibit accountability to their families and community (Cidro et al., 2015). Other indigenous communities such as the Anishinabek people consumed certain plants like berries, and animals not only for nutritional value but also for medicinal purposes.

Indigenous people, especially those living in rural areas viewed cultural food as a connection to the land through mutuality. They give to the land through cultivation and acquire from it through harvesting, hunting, fishing, and gathering. Indigenous people living in urban areas keep this connection through participating in urban gardening programs or Community Shared Agriculture programs (CSAs) and getting the cultural foods from relatives who visit them in urban areas (Cidro et al., 2015).

Through the Indigenous Food Sovereignty initiative, the indigenous people in urban areas try to alleviate cultural food insecurity in urban areas as well as reconnect to their food systems under the guiding principles that food is sacred, involvement in food systems, sovereignty, and local laws and policies (Cidro et al., 2015).

Article 3: Food Stories: Consumption in an Age of Anxiety


In this paper, Jackson attempts to apply the ideas conceptualized from the political and moral economies to food geographies, where regardless of enjoying food security and wealth, consumers, both private and public have developed food anxiety (Jackson, 2010). The food anxiety is as a result of a disconnection between food producers (mostly farmers) and consumer, crises in farming and to a small extent, food scarcity. The paper reflects on consumer anxiety as an intersection of both private and public anxieties.

With an emphasis on culture and cultural politics, the appealing dominion of culture and the unforgiving realism of economic and political life were ignored as the culture was re-described as a challenging and tussling site through which political and economic conflicts were articulated and representatively resolved (Jackson, 2010). Recent research on food production has brought an understanding of its politics and economy through a deeper understanding of the existing cultures of food consumption. The proposition of moral economies of food has propelled the globalization of food supply chains, changing governance approaches, and expanding agricultural production (Jackson, 2010).

Consumers are experiencing ages of anxiety. The consumer anxieties tend to have specific social, historical and longitudinal roots. The public anxiety of food originates from some issues, such as peace of the nation, job insecurity, war on terror, and collapse of the economy among others (Jackson, 2010). Sarcastically, consumer anxieties about food have increased at a time when there is food security. However, recent food frights and crises in farming have caused a decline in consumer trust on food security and quality, such the quality of chicken meat.


The first article, have successfully proved the possessions of presence or absence of effects of power on the formation of power intensities and forms of power, such as sexism and racism, on people’s lives and experiences through governance. The presence of absence of the effects of power determines the outcome relationships between different modalities of powers. The second article has a connection with the first article in that it points out the relationship between the absence of a mode of power (cultural food) and the indigenous people living in urban areas, who feel disconnected from nature due to its scarcity.

The presence of cultural food in rural areas gives the indigenous people power to connect with spirituality and improve their wellbeing courtesy of the cultural foods and animals which are used for medicinal purposes. The third article, proves how the political and economic powers influence the trust and anxieties consumers develop towards food about food security and agricultural production, including farming crises and food frights. Though the articles are different in their approaches to cultural geography, they collectively talk about the connectedness of modalities of power with food and state of humanity.


Anderson, B. (2016). Cultural geography 1: Intensities and forms of power. Progress in Human Geography, 0309132516649491.

Cidro, J., Adekunle, B., Peters, E., & Martens, T. (2015). Beyond food security: understanding access to cultural food for urban indigenous people in Winnipeg as indigenous food sovereignty. Canadian Journal of Urban Research, 24(1), 24.

Jackson, P. (2010). Food stories: consumption in an age of anxiety. cultural geographies, 17(2), 147-165.

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