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Which communication channels shape normative perceptions about buying local food? An application of social exposure

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
Witzling, Laura (main author), Shaw, Bret (author), Trechter, David (author)
Online journal article
Publication Date:
USA: Springer
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
communication analysis, communication channels, communities, consumers, government policies, information needs, perceptions, Wisconsin, USA, farmer markets, access, social media, information sharing, consumer behavior, USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), social norms, Local food, normative information
12 pages., via online journal, We examined how information from multiple communication channels can inform social norms about local food purchasing. The concept of social exposure was used as a guide. Social exposure articulates how information in social, symbolic, and physical environments contributes to normative perceptions. Data was collected from a sample in Wisconsin. Results indicated that information from communication channels representing symbolic, social, and physical environments all contributed to normative perceptions. We also found that for individuals who frequent farmers’ markets, information from some communication channels was relatively less strongly associated with injunctive norms. It may be that when first-hand, experiential information is available to inform norms, individuals rely less on information available through other communication channels. Future work might further explore how farmers’ markets foster information sharing in communities, as such information may contribute to normative perceptions.