Elaine Bögli (Schaefer), MA


Elaine Bögli (formerly Schaefer) earned a BA in International Affairs with a minor in German from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona in 2012. Later that year, she moved to Switzerland in order to pursue a MA in African Studies at the University in Basel, focusing on Social Anthropology and Human Well-Being. During her studies, she participated in a number of practical works.  For her MA Thesis, she interned with a non-governmental organization focused on food sovereignty in the USA. Later, Elaine partook in a field course to South Africa with the Department of Ethnology at the University of Basel. Arriving in Johannesburg, she studied the economics of a local urban garden, furthering her understanding of food sovereignty. After graduating in 2014 with an MA in African Studies, her further work includes participating and interning with the Basler Afrika Bibliographien in Basel, Switzerland.


Creating a Cause: Studying Principle Creation with Outsiders Theory through a Food Justice Organization

Groups create social rules. Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance, by Howard S. Becker proposes three actors that develop rules within society: the rule creator, the rule enforcer, and the deviant. These three actors are analyzed in the thesis to determine how a cause is created within the culture of an agroecological, food justice organization. Alongside Becker’s cast of characters in a section titled Moral Entrepreneurs, social movement theory works to expand on the principles of the non-governmental organization. Using ethnographic methods, the techniques used consists of participation, observation, and interviews in order to collect the necessary data. After organizing the data, the researcher had the ability to see how a cause is created. Through the influence of the social movement of food sovereignty, rulemaking principles developed in order to enhance solidarity between local, national, and international groups against the dominating industrial complex in today’s agricultural systems. In order to enact such changes, the food justice organization is able to push their agenda by creating awareness and building mutual partnerships. Although theory and reality do not always align, the researcher had the chance to explore the possibilities of rulemaking that mark the potential for change within the agroecological ideology.