“I Hate That Food Lion”: Grocery Shopping, Racial Capitalism, and Everyday Disinvestment

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Using interview data from three mixed-income neighborhoods—one predominantly white and two multiracial neighborhoods—we find that an overwhelming majority of white, middle-class respondents did not shop in their local grocery store (n = 68). To explain this phenomenon, we propose a concept of everyday disinvestment to capture the interplay between individual-level decision-making and structural-level disinvestment under racial capitalism. We identify three practices of everyday disinvestment—avoidance, distancing, and selective engagement—as well as the rationalizations residents present for their behaviors. We argue racial capitalist ideologies of antiblackness and consumption as freedom are foundational to residents’ justifications of disinvestment from grocery stores in mixed-income communities. Everyday disinvestment not only expands our understanding of disinvestment as a mechanism of racial capitalism, but it deepens our understanding of food apartheid as a relational process.




Mayorga, S., Underhill, M., & Crosser, L. (2022). “I Hate That Food Lion”: Grocery Shopping, Racial Capitalism, and Everyday Disinvestment. City and Community, 21(3), 238–255. https://doi.org/10.1177/15356841221091811

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