Food Systems PhD Candidate, Gund Graduate Fellow, CALS
In Caitlin’s current project, she is using qualitative research methods to understand the mechanisms behind radical efforts in food system change, and the ways food system change can become a possibility in society. To do this, she is exploring two different case studies, looking at a farm in upstate New York and a taste-based food education and research program in Denmark. To conduct this research, Caitlin is using multiple qualitative methods including in-depth interviews, participant observation, PhotoVoice, focus groups, auto-ethnography, and potentially document analysis and social network analysis.
“I think the strengths [of qualitative research] are that things are usually more complicated than any quick numerical summary of things, especially Food Systems, which is a really big field looking at the relationships between really big parts of society. Those play out in very particular ways in peoples’ lives and I’m a big believer in thinking about culture and lived experience as part of how we make decisions, and not just base-line population numbers.”