University of Western Ontario - Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Theory and Criticism

Supervisor

Dr. Regna Darnell

Abstract

In predominantly service and information-based economies, the pivotal role food plays in the maintenance of life has arguably become neglected as an object of ethical and political contemplation. We often fail to realize that the incarceration of food by the commodity form degrades the food object itself as well as guaranteeing continued dependency on the wage. In a generalized commodity society, labour power is the only thing a person has to sell in order to buy her bread. This leaves us vulnerable in the event of an environmental crisis because we do not have direct access to food sources.

The capitalist mode of distribution forms the limits of possibility for humans and other beings. This thesis argues that, without direct access to the means of subsistence, the subject is limited in her movement and interactions with others, except where the universal equivalent grants her access to go.