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Favored flowers: Culture and markets in a global commodity chain.


Most studies of global commodity chains have focused on systems that are driven by either large producers or by large buyers. Little attention has been paid to alternative chain structures driven by intermediaries or middlemen. Even fewer studies are able to trace the commodity in question through the entire chain from producers to consumers. This dissertation examines the global fresh cut flower trade, arguing that the system that links flower growers in Ecuador and the Netherlands, among other countries, with the American consumers must accommodate continuous adaptation. By following the lives and relationships of individuals connected by fresh flowers, this study demonstrates how human agency creates the chain and individuals cooperate to constitute the cultural meaning expressed through the exchange of one commodity.