Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Global and Sociocultural Studies

First Advisor's Name

Gail Hollander

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Kevin Grove

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Roderick Neumann

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Elizabeth Anderson

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Resilience, farming communities, food security, adaptation, climate change

Date of Defense



The concept of resilience has been applied to questions surrounding agricultural production and food security in the face of global climate change, gripping the attention of policymakers and scholars alike. In South Florida, the Redland represents a unique, biodiverse farming community of national importance as Florida is second only to California in terms of vegetable production and Miami-Dade is the second highest producing county in the state. With Greater Miami recognized as one of the most vulnerable regions in the world to sea level rise, this vital U.S. agricultural community is placed in doubt. Yet, little research engages directly with Redland farmers to understand their perceptions of sustainability or how they implement adaptive actions on the farm. Drawing from ethnographic, interview, and geospatial data, this dissertation serves as an empirically driven investigation of agricultural resilience that foregrounds the lived experiences of the farmers. The purpose of this study is to uncover how this agricultural community responds to unforeseen changes in ways that promote their own visions of resilience.

In this dissertation, I argue that there is an inherent multiplicity to resilience that is largely unexamined in the literature, in which adaptive actions simultaneously take multiple forms on the ground and result in very different environmental imaginaries for the future. It is through this study that I document the hegemonic discourses of resilience that are promoted by South Florida’s governing institutions along with the juxtaposing, alternative resilience narratives formed by the farmers. Rather than focus on the development of generalizable farming strategies, which dominates current scholarship centered on resilient agriculture, my study pays close attention to the creative capacities of the Redland farmers and how they develop nonconventional forms of resilience (i.e., actually-existing resilience) that contain a true potential for transformation of existing food systems.





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