Post Your Sample Chapter Here


As we begin to work on our sample chapters (homework from Phase 1 Session 12), it will be helpful to post links here for the group and me to review. You can share this as a Google doc or other URL.

Hello, CCNY cohort – I would love to see a sample chapter or two from your projects, if you are able to share.

Barb Syrrakos, Food and Farming
June 2, 2022

Here’s a link to my work-in-progress outline, which is a Google doc.

And here’s a link to a couple of sample chapters. The lessons contained in these chapters help students start to build their understanding of Copywriting. I created the draft in Google slides. WEEK ONE Parts 1and2 - Copywriting is a Superpower - Google Slides
Thanks for viewing!

Here is one of my “concept” sample chapters for “Food and Farming for Humanists” by Barb Syrrakos.

Concept: Moral Economy

Moral economy is a concept that describes behaviors of exchange or demand-making which occur outside normal capitalist or official government channels. There is typically an economic element in play, and often a political one, but not always.
Moral economy can describe an action which a person or a group of persons take that reflects an economic injustice or deficiency compromising their sense of justice. The action is subjective and humanistic.
The concept of moral economy is an analytical tool which describes motives. We can say, then, that People X exercised a moral economy when they decided to hoard baby formula in the marketplace because of delays in supply chains. There is an implied sense of injustice and privation spurring atypical behavior which the actors see as justified.
The context can be contemporary or historical, in villages where populations are disenfranchised from main market patterns, or as part of an underground economy or an economy running parallel to capitalism.
The “moral” part refers to the imperative for a traditional sense of justice in the value of exchange or need.
In his vanguard work, British historian E. P. Thompson set the stage for moral economy studies with “The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century” (1971). He defines moral economy as
a consistent traditional view of social norms and obligations, of the proper economic functions of several parties within the community, which, taken together, can be said to constitute the moral economy of the poor. An outrage to these moral assumptions, quite as much as actual deprivation, was the usual occasion for direct action (79).
In this case, the price of bread became a catalyst for riots, as the People judged, morally, the price of bread to be too high. Thompson writes:
While this moral economy cannot be described as ‘political’ in any advanced sense, nevertheless it cannot be described as unpolitical either, since it supposed definite, and passionately held, notions of the common weal – notions which, indeed, found some support in the paternalist tradition of the authorities; notions which the people re-echoed so loudly in their turn that the authorities were, in some measure the prisoners of the people. Hence this moral economy impinged very generally upon eighteenth-century government and thought, and did not only intrude at moments of disturbance. The word ‘riot’ is too small to encompass all this” (79).
Yet again, historian James Scott, in The Moral Economy of the Peasant, describes the assessment of need which villagers made in Southeast Asia as their survivability was threatened by drought, with their metaphoric “heads just above water”. There were acts of barter, neighbor assisting neighbor lest he too should fall to the same fate, informal exchange of goods to sustain one another – all methods of the informal economy designed to buoy the population where official intervention failed or was not forthcoming. We could call it a People’s stone soup. Moral decisions were made justifying economic actions.
In the humanistic study of food and farming, the concept of moral economy can be a constructive and nuanced analytical tool employed to understand a people’s sense of privation or food justice, in any context, and consequent behavior.