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New paradigm in understanding food security in Bangladesh: experiences from fieldworks in coastal areas of southwest Bangladesh


  • Mostafizur Rahman

    () (PhD Student, Department of Sociology, Macquarie University, NSW, Australia)

  • Mahmud Uz Zaman

    (Assistant Professor, Urban and Rural Planning Discipline, Khulna University, Khulna, Bangladesh)


Food security in extremely poor households in developing countries like Bangladesh has become exceedingly challenging because of high exposure to natural disasters, weak institutional governance, high population density and rapid urbanization. The conceptual understanding of food security has been changed over time, and the 3A’s model- availability, accessibility, and application has clearly shifted our conceptual understanding of food security in our recent time. However, the 3A’s model does not express the total scenarios of food security, in particular the links between food and non-food issues in conceptualizing food security because most of the previous researches tend to capture food security in a modernist perspective-driven by experts’ opinion and interpretations. This paper campaigns for adopting the interpretivist methodology in understanding and capturing the prevailing complexities of food security, keeping the sensitivity and voice of food insecure households, in particular the extremely poor households of Southwest coastal areas of Bangladesh. In addition, this paper reviews and critiques the prevailing complexities in conceptualizing food security due to its multidimensional characteristics. In order to explore and explain the complex understanding of food security, this paper employs both the methodology of listening and understanding and the interpretative framework for collecting qualitative data regarding the understanding of food security. This paper promotes the necessity to adopt the ‘methodology of listening and understanding’ from an Interpretivist perspective that is mainly qualitative in nature, is able to make sense of the complex understanding of food security containing both food and non-food issues by generating multi-contextual information provided by the extremely poor households in coastal areas of Southwest Bangladesh.

Suggested Citation

  • Mostafizur Rahman & Mahmud Uz Zaman, 2017. "New paradigm in understanding food security in Bangladesh: experiences from fieldworks in coastal areas of southwest Bangladesh," Review of Applied Socio-Economic Research, Pro Global Science Association, vol. 14(2), pages 37-46, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:rse:wpaper:v:14:y:2017:i:2:p:37-46

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    More about this item


    coastal areas of Southwest Bangladesh; food security; Interpretivist methodology; and methodology of listening and understanding.;

    JEL classification:

    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy


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