Scholar: Nikki Peterson
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kate Berry
Research Topic: "Examination of Neo-localism Through Local Breweries and Farmer's Markets"
Abstract: This study examines the relationship between localism and microbreweries. As a counter to the homogeneous global culture, localism emphasizes the preference and support of local, unique customs and products. A familiar aspect of localism is the loyalty created between a local, independent business and its customers. When a consumer makes a conscious decision to support a local operation instead of a large national chain, that person is expressing localism. But what are the characteristics of localism that a local business consciously conveys? One local business to consider is the microbrewery. Previous research, conducted by Flack (1997) and Schnell and Reese (2003), has demonstrated a link between American microbreweries and localism through the uses of imagery and product naming. Although their research used samples from all over the U.S., this paper reduces the scale and focuses on a smaller area: northern Nevada. Limiting the scope will (1) determine whether the methods used previously will apply to a smaller, regionally dedicated population and (2) discover connections, other than imagery, that are associated with localism. To do this, microbrewery owners were interviewed, product names and labels categorized, the extent of product distribution analyzed, and historical documents evaluated.
New Scholar: Fall 2008
Graduated With Baccalaureate Degree: May 2010
Masters or Doctoral Program Update: Nikki was accepted into the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa American Studies masters program for fall 2010.