ARE YOU A LOCAVORE? MAKING MASTER STUDENTS IDENTIFY LOCAVORIM BEHAVIOUR THROUGH IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS
This paper presents an in-class exercise conducted in the subject Tourism Consumer Behaviour (4 ECTS) to explore inductive skills of students ---Master Degree in Tourism Management and Planning at Universitat de València (Spain).
The aim of the exercise is to explore locavorism behaviour through in-depth interviews made by students to each other.
Locavorism is a consumer ideology (or set of normative belies shared among a group) which makes consumers (as locals and/or tourists) to prefer to buying local products. Far from being a completely new phenomenon, locavorism has been experiencing recently significant grow, because a consumer shift towards ethical issues, such as favoring local product as a way to contribute to reducing the footprint, to mitigate climate change issue and to economically support the local economy and producers.
All locavores by definition share common core beliefs with locavorism being defined by three dimensions, namely : .
- Lionization: Among locavores, a core belief is that local (vs. non-local) foods possess superior taste and quality; as an essential part of their ideology, they lionize the foods themselves as intrinsically superior. Inferences of local food superiority.
- Opposition: locavores are against wholly globalized brands, very strongly associated with fast food industry.
- Communalization: They also favoured local communities and cooperatives of production and distribution.
For the subject Tourism Consumer Behavior in the Master program, the students should gain basic knowledge on both general (process of adoption, factors affecting consumer behavior, etc) and specific understanding (in this case to better know Locavorism as a practice). After receiving theoretical classes on the former, the latter is achieved through this practice.
The in-depth interviews includes the following questions:
1. Which type of products you tend to buy and consume when behaving as a locavore?
2. Do you remember when you started to behave as a locavore?
3. Why do you actually behave as a locavore? What does it mean to you to behave as a locavore?
4. Which are the main reasons and benefits incentivising you to behave as such?
5. Have you ever had experienced problems and barriers in behaving as a locavore?
6. Do you also think that behave as a locavore can have some contraindications and produce negative effects/cost to someone?
7. Do you tend to behave locavore just when you are in your place/country of residency, or also when you travel to different places??
In total 12 in-depth interview were conducted. Specifically, students acting as interviewees were asked to fully transcribe the verbatim of the interview, and extract main topics, whilst students acting as interviewer were asked to write a short report commenting on their task as an interviewer.
The learning outcomes proposed are:
1. Understand the dimensions (i.e Lionization, Opposition and Communalization) associated with locavores’ behaviour.
2. Identify personal, social and cultural underpinnings of the locavores behaviour.
3. Apply the value proposition as benefits vs. costs to intepret the problems and barriers in preventing individuals to act as a locavore
4. Experience the role of interviewer for practicing qualitative research.
 B. J. Reich, J. T. Beck, J. Price, "Food as Ideology: Measurement and Validation of Locavorism” Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 849-868, 2018.