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Document Type

Dissertation - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Meredith Redlin


During March of 2012 a food scare erupted concerning the beef product lean finely-textured beef (LFTB) or, as it became pejoratively named, “pink slime.” This 2012 “pink slime” food scare resulted in major changes to the beef agrifood network including increases in U.S. ground beef imports and changes to ground beef purchasing policies in the public and private sectors. This dissertation utilized an actor-network theory-guided content analysis of videos produced by key network-buildings actors, ABC News and Beef Products Incorporated (BPI). The goal of the study was to uncover the process by which ABC News and BPI attempted to order the LFTB actor-network during the 2012 “pink slime” food scare. The analysis afforded special attention to the discourses employed and actors enrolled by ABC News and BPI to support their desired orderings of the LFTB actor-network. Finally, an actor-network conceptualization of habitus was utilized to explain the divergent network-building practices of these pro- and anti-LFTB actors.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Beef--Health aspects
Food--Safety measures
Actor-network theory
Communication -- Network analysis


Includes bibliographical references (pages 174-187)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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