Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.
Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.
Theses that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.
Master of Regional Planning (M.R.P.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
food security, feminism, planning, grounded theory, low-income mothers
This study reintroduces the disciplines of feminism and planning with the hope that planners will incorporate aspects of feminist theory, which has historically been overlooked by traditional western planning, into practice and subsequently better serve their communities. In an effort to demonstrate how a feminist approach can be useful to planners, this qualitative study rooted in grounded theory aims to develop an accurate portrayal of the food insecurity of low-income mothers in a rural Massachusetts county. Through an analysis of 33 interviews from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-funded Rural Families Speak project, categories of hunger, participant attitudes and opinions of different types of food assistance, and breaking stereotypes emerged. From these categories, the theory of tradition and the norm shed light on the food situations of participants and illuminated the influence of social expectations and subsequent participant reactions to such. By delving deep into the interviews and gaining a more complete understanding of the experiences of participants, planners are better equipped to function as advocates. Further implications for planners are discussed.
Ellen J. Pader