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Sociologia Ruralis

Impact factor: 1.022 5-Year impact factor: 1.85 Print ISSN: 0038-0199 Publisher: Wiley Blackwell (Blackwell Publishing)

Subject: Sociology

Most recent papers:

  • Morality of Discontent: The Constitution of Political Establishment in the Swedish Rural Press.
    Bo Nilsson, Anna Sofia Lundgren.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 29, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Swedish media regularly indicate that people's confidence in politicians is low. This distrust in or discontent with politicians is often related to rural politics. This paper focuses on the populist tendencies in the representations of politicians in the Swedish rural press during the parliamentary election year of 2014. A discourse analysis of the press material illustrates three closely related and critical themes; politicians are regarded as being urban centred, as doing anything for power, and as acting in an autocratic manner and misusing their power. The discourse analysis also reveals how the critical press material is linked to a moral geography relating space to a specific moral order. Drawing on theories on rural populism, the article shows how the media's references to a rural‐based victimhood, and to an alleged inequality between urbanity and rurality, can morally legitimate and bluntly express their contempt for ‘scandalous’ politicians, and they can present their critique as rational and justified. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, EarlyView. '
    November 29, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12226   open full text
  • Fisheries policy for sustainable development: coastal models and limitations derived from participation and power organisation in Atlantic FLAGs in Spain and Portugal.
    María de los Ángeles Piñeiro‐Antelo, Jesús Felicidades‐García, Rubén C. Lois‐González.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 22, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract The incorporation of territorial development into the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) has allowed for the decentralised and participatory management of part of its funds. In fact, the criteria for sustainable development in fishing zones follow the guidelines of Community‐Led Local Development (CLLD). This work critically examines the implementation process of Axis 4 of the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) in two areas of the Iberian Peninsula's Atlantic coast as case studies, looking into the creation of Fishery Local Action Groups (FLAGs) and the analysis of the planning and execution phases of the funds. The results show, on the one hand, the limited development of this approach and the doubts about the effectiveness of area‐based partnerships as tools for local development, and on the other, the benefits for the revitalisation of the fishing sector, especially in the long term. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 0, Issue ja, -Not available-. '
    November 22, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12228   open full text
  • Responsibilities, Caring Practices and Agriculture: Farmers’ Perspectives on Recruitment and Employer–Employee Relationships.
    Susanne Stenbacka.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 14, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract With Swedish agriculture as its point of departure, this paper seeks to explore farmers’ recruiting practices and employer–employee relationships. Taking on the employer’s role means becoming subject both to formal statutory obligations and to regulations on wages, security and other aspects of working conditions. This article focuses on the more informal aspects of acting as an employer. The results show that recruiting, interacting and engaging with employees involve multiple responsibilities towards individuals and society alike. The practices of care identified are thus both private and public in nature, and exist within a framework of norms and ethical principles, a ‘moral economy’. The farmers’ strategies and decisions are understood as merged into negotiations regarding their identity, tradition, role in society and position in a global industry. Caring practices are embedded in farming practices and the focus on recruitment and employers’ experience adds to a multifaceted understanding of caring practices in which male farmers’ caring practices, too, become visible. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, EarlyView. '
    November 14, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12223   open full text
  • “The right hybrid for every acre”: Assembling the social worlds of corn and soy seed‐selling in conventional agricultural techniques.
    Matt Comi.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 12, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract This paper looks to better understand seed‐selling assemblages between top‐ten agricultural companies and conventional farmers in the US Midwest by looking to the often ignored participants connecting these groups. Data for this research is drawn from twelve qualitative, on‐site interviews with participants identifying as seed dealers or agronomists who live and work in Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri, an agricultural region dominated by the soybean and corn agriculture that has also become ubiquitous in European and global contexts over the last half‐century. This project arises out of assemblage‐thinking approaches to re‐see the social relations between agronomists and agricultural seed. This research suggests that the convergence between genetically engineering hybrid seed stock and the discursive act of marketing that seed stock together coproduces a flexible materiality which is far from discreet or static. Because of this, transitional actors, the seed dealers and agronomists who buy and sell such seeds have unexpectedly outsized clout when considering the agentic capacity of members in conventional agriculture assemblages. By engaging with community members and farmer‐clients, seed dealers co‐produce the worlds and meanings of hybrid seeds and conventional agriculture. This paper explores these relations and considers their implications for imagining more environmentally sustainable futures. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 0, Issue ja, -Not available-. '
    November 12, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12227   open full text
  • Making a difference. Constructing relations between organic and conventional agriculture in Finland in the emergence of organic agriculture.
    Tomi Lehtimäki.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 07, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract This article analyses debates on the difference between organic and conventional agriculture. Departing from earlier accounts on the subject, it is argued that rather than conceptualising the subject as a case of diminishing differences, research should also focus on examining the making of these differences. This latter approach is connected to the notion that organic agriculture, understood as an alternative to conventional forms of agriculture, needs to justify its position by showing how it is different from them. To examine this issue, the article analyses the case of the emergence of organic agriculture in Finland. By analysing guidebooks, committee reports, and research publications the article analyses the construction of differences between organic and conventional. The case study shows that the difference between organic and conventional agriculture has been at the core of the debate, necessitating advocates of organic agriculture to actively construct it in different ways. This boundary making has operated differently depending on the various registers according to which organic agriculture and food have been assessed. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, EarlyView. '
    November 07, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12222   open full text
  • Situating emotions in social practices: Empirical insights from animal husbandry in the cow‐calf industry.
    Emilie Bassi, John R. Parkins, Ken J. Caine.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 28, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Meat production and consumption is hotly debated in many parts of the world, in part because of ongoing animal welfare concerns. Drawing on several contending positions about the role of human agency in social practices, coupled with a sociology of emotion, we empirically identify a range of perspectives on the role of emotions in social practices. Drawing on a narrative inquiry method with cow‐calf producers in Alberta, Canada, we seek to clarify how emotions can play a role in the evolution of farm animal care. Results suggest a narrative of ‘emotional agency’ where primary and secondary emotions are a catalyst for challenging, re‐directing, and changing norms associated with farm animal welfare. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 0, Issue ja, -Not available-. '
    October 28, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12225   open full text
  • ‘Smart’ Farming Techniques as Political Ontology: Access, Sovereignty and the Performance of Neoliberal and Not‐So‐Neoliberal Worlds.
    Michael Carolan.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 15, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract This article draws from data collected through interviews with the following groups: big data and/or precision farm equipment firm employees from numerous countries; commodity farmers in the USA who use big data; individuals from the US‐based Right to Repair movement; and farmers associated with Farm Hack from the USA and the UK. With this as the empirical backdrop, the author interrogates the concept of ‘access’ by way of the phenomena of justice, ontology, and claims making – emergent themes to come out of the qualitative data. This in turn allows the author to conceptually, analytically, and empirically unpack the concept into the following three categories: access, property, and sovereignty. A framework then emerges to talk about these socio‐technical assemblages in terms of what they do and the political ontologies they engender, recognising, for instance, that while access can afford individuals and groups benefits it can also detract from an individual's and/or group's ability to flourish. Being able to identify those practices of agro‐digital governance that afford sovereignty can inform policies and programmes by nurturing an understanding the worlds they make possible. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 4, Page 745-764, October 2018. '
    October 15, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12202   open full text
  • Assembling Lettuce Export Markets in East Asia: Agrarian Warriors, Climate Change and Kinship.
    Chi‐Mao Wang.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 15, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Over the past two decades export‐oriented agro‐food production and contract farming have been regarded as new panaceas for rural development in Taiwan. With East Asian consumers hungry for fresh lettuce, since the early 2000s some Taiwanese farmers have ventured into lettuce production. The commodity/value chain literature has been widely employed by agrarian scholars to understand the reconfiguration of the global agri‐food economy. However, these approaches tend to treat the markets as unquestioned artefacts. Taking inspiration from a performative approach and assemblage thinking, this article attempts to unveil the processes from which markets emerge. Following Deleuze and Guattari’s propositions, I argue that agri‐food export markets are ongoing processes through which heterogeneous actants are held stable or disintegrate. With reference to ethnographic fieldwork conducted in the Maixing community, I show that the lettuce export market is a heterogeneous assemblage in which all enlisted actants can act to territorialise/de‐territorialise the market assemblage. This article furthers our understanding of the geographies of market‐making and opens up the black box of markets. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 4, Page 909-927, October 2018. '
    October 15, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12219   open full text
  • Economising the Rural: How New Markets and Property Rights Transform Rural Economies.
    Alexander Dobeson.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 15, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract How do new markets and property rights transform rural economies? Based on an ethnographic case study of the Icelandic fisheries, this article shows how the organisation of markets for fishing rights and fresh fish has transformed the rural periphery into a globally entangled site of investments, valuation and exchange. The empirical material shows, on one hand, how the economisation of the traditional small‐boat fisheries has disentangled locally bound fishers into independent market actors and investors; and on the other hand, how daily economic coping re‐entangles fishers into a new web of money‐mediated relations and debt that pushes them to economise their operations for the purpose of increasing profit‐making in order to stay afloat. While economisation has led to a general valorisation of small boats and the construction of a ‘quality’‐oriented market niche, fishing communities of the rural periphery maintain their struggle to survive in a new and volatile culture of liberal rural capitalism. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 4, Page 886-908, October 2018. '
    October 15, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12215   open full text
  • The Evolution of Problems Underlying the EU Agricultural Policy Regime.
    Tuomas Kuhmonen.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 15, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract This article conceptualises the common agricultural policy (CAP) of the European Union as a policy regime. Policy regimes are defined as meso‐level, problem‐related, dynamically stable, multidimensional governance arrangements consisting of substantive and institutional elements. Utilising the policy regime as the unit of analysis makes it possible to study the lifespan of a certain policy with many levels of abstraction (paradigm, dimensions, elements, topics). This meso‐level focus provides a meaningful way to explain or anticipate regime change and stability based on diverse sources. In this study, an empirical analysis of policy documents exposes the lifespan of the problems underlying the CAP regime. The analysis assesses the stability of the CAP state‐assisted agriculture paradigm, the smooth diversification of the CAP elements and the volatile ups and downs of the CAP topics. Policy design and delivery has become the most extensively considered problem of the CAP, whereas the other dimensions (farms, consumers, regions, markets and trade, environment, taxpayers and budget) have converged towards a more balanced setting. As problems precede policy solutions, the design and delivery of the CAP could be the next target of major reforms. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 4, Page 846-866, October 2018. '
    October 15, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12213   open full text
  • Faith Schools, Community Engagement and Social Cohesion: A Rural Perspective.
    Peter J. Hemming.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 15, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Much of the debate surrounding the impact of faith schools on wider society has focused on the extent to which they promote social cohesion in urban communities. Yet, much of the faith‐based sector in both England and Wales actually consists of small, rural, Anglican primary schools. This article takes a closer look at these schools to further investigate their influence on social cohesion and community relations, as well as wider questions concerning the significance of religion for contemporary rural life. With reference to an in‐depth case study comparison of two Anglican primary schools in western England and southern Wales, the article draws on qualitative data from staff, pupils, parents and local villagers to explore different approaches to community engagement and their consequences for social cohesion. In so doing, the article makes important contributions to the literatures on faith‐based schooling, rural education, social cohesion, and religion in rural contexts. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 4, Page 805-824, October 2018. '
    October 15, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12210   open full text
  • Reconstituting Male Identities through Joint Farming Ventures in Ireland.
    Peter Cush, Áine Macken‐Walsh.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 15, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract The analysis of this article is located in the theoretical interplay between the concepts of identity and masculinity, contributing to the ongoing debate on gendered identities and masculinities in family farming. Our focus in this article is specifically on men who established formal collaborative arrangements (Joint Farming Ventures, JFVs) with fellow farmers, including family members. We present an empirical analysis of primary qualitative data, using the Biographic Narrative Interpretive Method (BNIM), which has particular analytical purchase in the study of identity. Our analysis finds that formal collaborative arrangements in the form of JFVs are employed as resilience strategies by male farmers. The strategies strive to continue the performance of some traditional masculinity traits but markedly involve the renegotiation of hegemonic masculine identity forms, resonant with debates elsewhere on reconstituting gender norms in family farming. Our narrative analysis finds that men's entry to and operation of JFVs entail a conscious and active relinquishing of dominant decision‐making power on their farms, an openness to the views and opinions of others, and a greater willingness to help‐seek and express emotions. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 4, Page 726-744, October 2018. '
    October 15, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12212   open full text
  • The Emergence, Articulation and Negotiation of a New Food Industry Initiative in Rural Australia: Boundary Object, Organisation or Triple Helix Model?
    Alana Betzold, Anna L. Carew, Gemma K. Lewis, Heather Lovell.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 15, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract This article reports on research to track and trace the development and diffusion of a new initiative for clustering a diverse range of agro‐food businesses located in the rural state of Tasmania, Australia. The initiative is termed ‘FermenTasmania’. To structure our analysis, our research team leveraged the concepts of boundary objects and organisations, and the Triple Helix model of innovation; testing these sociological concepts and model as a means to explain the nature, structure and emerging trajectory of FermenTasmania. This paper aims to contribute two distinct, but related findings: first, analysis of the fit and utility of the aforementioned concepts and model to track the emergence of FermenTasmania; and, second, assessment of the dynamics of innovation regarding the formation of this new social entity bridging agriculture and tourism in a rural area, with particular attention to the role of place. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 4, Page 867-885, October 2018. '
    October 15, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12211   open full text
  • Retired Farmers and New Land Users: How Relations to Land and People Influence Farmers' Land Transfer Decisions.
    Ann Grubbström, Camilla Eriksson.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 15, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Access to land is a key challenge for prospective farmers in Europe. Retiring family farmers who lack a successor resort to leasing or selling their land, but the decision has implications for the community and the rural landscape for generations to come. It is thus crucial to know more about values and decisions linked to keeping, leasing or selling land, and the opportunities these provide for young farmers seeking to establish a business. It is also important to consider the choice of lessee/buyer and the relationship between the former farmer and lessee/buyer. This study is based on interviews with retired farmers, young farmers and farm advisors in Sweden. The results revealed that the lessee/buyer tends to be carefully chosen by the outgoing farmer and that non‐monetary values and motivations, such as social interaction and concern for the environment, the rural community and the agricultural landscape are important. In some cases, the relationship between landowner/former farmer and lessee/buyer resembled family ties. The decision to lease/sell sometimes appeared to be a relief for the retiring farmer. For some lessees/buyers a close relationship with the former farmer provided valuable mentorship, while others valued the greater degree of freedom in leasing/buying compared with inheritance. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 4, Page 707-725, October 2018. '
    October 15, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12209   open full text
  • International Labour Migration and Food Production in Rural Europe: A Review of the Evidence.
    Johan Fredrik Rye, Sam Scott.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 15, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Since Hoggart and Mendoza's article on ‘African immigrant workers in Spanish agriculture’ in Sociologia Ruralis in 1999 there has been a proliferation of interest in labour migration to/in rural Europe. It is now clear that the rural realm has been, and is being, transformed by immigration, and that low‐wage migrant workers in the food production industry are playing a particularly prominent role in this transformation. This article takes stock of the literature and identifies seven key issues associated with low‐wage labour migration, contemporary food production, and rural change. Most notably, since the 1990s, there has been growing demand for migrants in the segmented, and sometimes exploitative, labour markets of the European food production industries. This demand has been met across a variety of contexts, with states and labour market intermediaries playing a largely supportive role. However, migrants’ integration into rural communities has often been problematic, with the emphasis being on the need for, rather than needs of, low‐wage migrant workers. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 4, Page 928-952, October 2018. '
    October 15, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12208   open full text
  • Farmers’ Associations: Their Resources and Channels of Influence. Evidence from Poland.
    Dominika Milczarek‐Andrzejewska, Ruta Śpiewak.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 15, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract This article aims to contribute to the existing studies on the influence of interest groups on agricultural policies. The goal of the article is to assess the tangible and intangible resources of farmers’ associations in Poland, as well as the channels they use to influence agricultural policy. With this aim, an interdisciplinary model based on exchange theory was elaborated. The article draws on two empirical sources: first, in‐depth interviews with leaders; and secondly, a survey with members of these organisations. According to the leaders, farmers’ associations may influence agricultural policy only to a small degree. This results from their insufficient resources, especially those that are useful for politicians (e.g., expert knowledge). The second obstacle stems from the lack of unity and cooperation between these associations. However, members of farmers’ organisations paint a very different picture of farmers’ organisations: regardless of the type of organisation they belong to, they perceive it as very active and well‐endowed with tangible and intangible resources. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 4, Page 825-845, October 2018. '
    October 15, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12207   open full text
  • How Political Cultures Produce Different Antibiotic Policies in Agriculture: A Historical Comparative Case Study between the United Kingdom and Sweden.
    Stephanie Begemann, Elizabeth Perkins, Ine Van Hoyweghen, Robert Christley, Francine Watkins.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 15, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract The purpose of this article is to provide an understanding of how different countries formulate and regulate antibiotic use in animals raised for human consumption. A comparative case study was undertaken, analysing historical documents from the 1950s to the 1990s from the UK, the first country to produce a scientific report on the public health risks of agricultural antibiotic use; and Sweden, the first country to produce legislation on the growth promotor use of antibiotics in food animals. Sheila Jasanoff's concepts of ‘co‐production’ and ‘political cultures’ have been used to explore how both countries used different styles of scientific reasoning and justification of the risks of agricultural antibiotic use. It will be argued that national dynamics between policy, science and public knowledges co‐produced different risk classifications and patterns of agricultural antibiotic use between both countries. UK's political culture used ‘expert committees’ to remove the issue from public debate and to inform agricultural antibiotic policies. In contrast, the Swedish ‘consensus‐oriented’ political culture made concerns related to agricultural antibiotic use into a cooperative debate that included multiple discourses. Understanding how national policies, science and public knowledges interact with the risks related to agricultural antibiotic use can provide valuable insights in understanding and addressing countries agricultural use of antibiotics. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 4, Page 765-785, October 2018. '
    October 15, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12206   open full text
  • Issue Information.

    Sociologia Ruralis. October 15, 2018
    --- - - Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 4, Page 705-706, October 2018.
    October 15, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12193   open full text
  • The Effects of Regional and Distance Education on the Supply of Qualified Teachers in Rural Iceland.
    Thoroddur Bjarnason, Brynhildur Thorarinsdottir.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 15, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Difficulties in recruiting qualified teachers have been traced to insufficient services and amenities in rural areas, an urban emphasis in teacher education, few local students becoming teachers and a lack of teacher mobility. This study maps the mobility of recently graduated teachers in urban, exurban, micropolitan and other rural areas of Iceland. The graduation rate of teachers was found to be higher in rural than urban areas, yet rural teachers are less likely to remain after graduation. Relatively few rural teachers return from on‐campus studies in the either the capital area or the northern regional centre. Rural distance students are however almost equally likely as urban on‐campus students to stay in their home areas after graduation, and they are the majority of teachers in rural areas. From a policy perspective, distance education appears more effective than regional campuses in increasing the supply of qualified teachers in rural and remote areas. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 4, Page 786-804, October 2018. '
    October 15, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12185   open full text
  • Role of Social Capital in Agricultural and Rural Development: Lessons Learnt from Case Studies in Seven Countries.
    Maria Rivera, Karlheinz Knickel, José María Díaz‐Puente, Ana Afonso.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 12, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract The importance of social capital for agricultural and rural development is explored in this paper through the analysis of seven comprehensive case studies that have been carried out in the framework of the European RETHINK research programme. The case studies are based on rather different initiatives at the interface between agricultural and rural development in Germany, Spain, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Denmark and Israel. The case studies represent a broad spectrum of socio‐economic and agricultural contexts and focus on the role of social capital for development. We explore how social capital materialises in the context of rural areas, and what nuances it acquires in different rural environments. The case studies are used to better understand, and to illustrate, different expressions of social capital in different situations. Within the broad notion of social capital, we pay particular attention to trust, cooperation, sense of community, and culture and tradition. All four dimensions play a critical role in agricultural and rural development as they affect how people relate to each other, organise themselves and interact for development. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, EarlyView. '
    October 12, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12218   open full text
  • Unravelling the Global Wool Assemblage: Researching Place and Production Networks in the Global Countryside.
    Laura Jones, Jesse Heley, Michael Woods.
    Sociologia Ruralis. September 21, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract This article applies an assemblage reading to the contemporary global woollen industry to demonstrate how assemblage thinking has value as a methodology for generating insights into the local impact of global economic restructuring; bridging concerns with the relationality of rural places and translocal production networks. Putting assemblage into research practice, we trace the interactions and interdependencies between human and non‐human, organic and inorganic, technical and natural components of the global wool assemblage from the entry point of Newtown in mid‐Wales. In so doing, we call attention to those critical moments in this schema that may be usefully exposed or explored via the concept of assemblage. Here we consider the agency of non‐human actors, as well as the biological, technological, regulatory and marketing regimes that seek to produce wool as a globally mobile commodity. Through their enrolment in these sets of relations, Welsh farmers are exposed to the effects of spatially dispersed and contingent dynamics. Using the example of wool we develop a broad argument for using a framework of assemblage alongside other critical theories as a means of grasping how rural societies, places and communities are negotiating change in the context of globalisation. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, EarlyView. '
    September 21, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12220   open full text
  • Openness to Social Science Knowledges? The Politics of Disciplinary Collaboration within the Field of UK Food Security Research.
    Carol Morris, Sujatha Raman, Susanne Seymour.
    Sociologia Ruralis. September 06, 2018
    --- - |2 This article explores a form of knowledge politics played out within and between universities and research institutes as sites of certified disciplinary expertise in the agro‐food domain. It investigates the openness of this domain to the expertise of the agro‐food social sciences particularly when challenge‐led research programmes require collaboration across disciplines. A case study is provided by the multi‐discipline field of food security research in the UK involving interviews with key stakeholders. The article examines how this research fieldfield‘s disciplinary diversity is understood is understood by key stakeholders. Interview data are analysed thematically in terms of the current and potential contribution of social science disciplines, the different ways in which stakeholders imagine social science research, and whether social scientists themselves recognise and align with these different imaginaries. The article concludes by arguing that the field of food security research in the UK is open only selectively to agro‐food social science knowledges and that this is likely to have negative implications for addressing the challenges of food security. Further, if the promise of collaborative working between disciplines in agro‐food research fields is to be made good then the emphasis of agro‐food knowledge politics scholarship and the governance of knowledge‐making needs to change. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, EarlyView. '
    September 06, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12221   open full text
  • Allowing for the Projective Dimension of Agency in Analysing Alternative Food Networks.
    Ronan Le Velly.
    Sociologia Ruralis. August 20, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract This article argues for including the projective dimension of agency in research into alternative food networks. Starting from a review of the literature, I show that referring to the notion of project is useful to answer the questions raised by the use of the term ‘alternative’ and to reinforce analyses of hybridisation and conventionalisation processes. I argue that alternative food networks are characterised by a ‘promise of difference’ in the projects of the actors who promote them. To clarify this notion of project, I rely on the work of French sociologists concerning the creation of ‘organised action’. I posit that taking account of the project amounts to recognising human beings' abilities to imagine and to construct new collectives such as those that are studied in research into alternative food networks. I also underscore the need to envision the project not as a clear determinant of action, but rather as a fuzzy landmark, meaning that negotiation and arbitration are required to set the rules involved in its implementation. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, EarlyView. '
    August 20, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12217   open full text
  • Issue Information.

    Sociologia Ruralis. July 30, 2018
    --- - - Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 3, Page 473-474, July 2018.
    July 30, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12192   open full text
  • Social Innovation in Rural Regions: Urban Impulses and Cross‐Border Constellations of Actors.
    Anika Noack, Tobias Federwisch.
    Sociologia Ruralis. May 22, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Research on social innovation in rural regions is gaining momentum. However, the question where new impulses for innovation in rural regions are being created remains unanswered. This article argues that social innovation processes in rural regions can be inspired by cross‐border constellations of actors and do, at times, build on bodies of knowledge and practices widespread in urban areas. Ethnographic data from Germany's rural Eifel region in Rhineland‐Palatinate, Lower Lusatia, and the Uckermark region located in Brandenburg illustrates the way in which external urban factors and cross‐border constellations of actors can influence rural social innovation. Thereby, rural social innovation stimulates the intersection of rural and urban elements (strengthening rural‐urban relations) and the erosion of rural‐urban antagonisms. - 'Sociologia Ruralis, EarlyView. '
    May 22, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12216   open full text
  • Is Out of Sight out of Mind? Place Attachment among Rural Youth Out‐Migrants.
    Helle Dalsgaard Pedersen.
    Sociologia Ruralis. May 09, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract The article adds to the literature on youth migration within a rapidly changing rural society. Insights are presented on how multiple place attachment is reflected in the context of rural‐to‐urban migration in the lives of 14 Danish rural youth out‐migrants. Findings demonstrate that out‐migrants’ attachment to their rural childhood place must be considered ambivalent, in particular regarding how the young people identify with the places, as these are experienced as both nurturing and isolating and safe and restricted. This reveals the multidimensionality of the young people's relationship with place, as these contain both positive and negative elements, which are equally meaningful and contribute to place attachment. Further, the article contributes to the place attachment literature by offering insights into the significance of continuity in the context of migration, as old relationships and rural identities provide significant stability within the young people's lives and constitute important elements in their identities and multiple place attachment. - Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 3, Page 684-704, July 2018.
    May 09, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12214   open full text
  • ‘If You Lose Your Youth, You Lose Your Heart and Your Future’: Affective Figures of Youth in Community Tensions Surrounding a Proposed Coal Seam Gas Project.
    Julia Coffey, Steven Threadgold, David Farrugia, Meg Sherval, Jo Hanley, Michael Askew, Hedda Askland.
    Sociologia Ruralis. January 26, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract The article discusses the tensions regarding the challenge to balance agriculture with a proposed coal seam gas mine in Narrabri, a regional centre in New South Wales, Australia, which revolved around notions of youth and ‘the future’. ‘Youth’ as a symbolic category were positioned at the heart of the issues associated with land‐use in the region on both sides of the debate. Young people were described throughout the study as an abstract symbol of ‘the future’. How exactly ‘the future’ was related to youth as a symbolic category depended largely on participants’ perspectives on the proposed Coal Seam Gas (CSG) mining project. For those who supported the CSG project, the figure of youth signified hope of economic invigoration. For those who opposed the CSG project, the loss of landscape for future generations of youth was a key concern due the potential irreversible environmental impacts associated with the extractive industry in the area. We argue ‘youth’ becomes a ‘figure’ imbued with the region's affective anxieties surrounding land‐use change. The concept of affect is developed to aid understanding of the collective and embodied dynamics at play in the differing perspectives on CSG extraction and its impact for the future of Narrabri. - Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 3, Page 665-683, July 2018.
    January 26, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12204   open full text
  • True Cowmen and Commercial Farmers: Exploring Vets’ and Dairy Farmers’ Contrasting Views of ‘Good Farming’ in Relation to Biosecurity.
    Orla Shortall, Lee‐Ann Sutherland, Annmarie Ruston, Jasmeet Kaler.
    Sociologia Ruralis. January 22, 2018
    --- - |2 Abstract Responsibility for biosecurity in UK farming is being devolved from government to industry, with a greater emphasis on the veterinarian (vet)‐farmer relationship. Although social science has shown that care for animals is part of ‘good farming’, the British dairy sector sees a need to improve biosecurity. This research uses the good farmer concept to compare how vets and dairy farmers define good farming for biosecurity based on qualitative interviews with 28 vets and 15 dairy farmers in England. The results revealed two conflicting ‘good farmer’ identities: the large, commercial farmer who has the economic capital to invest in biosecurity and veterinary services; and the self‐sufficient stock keeper whose cultural and social capital lead them to manage herd health independently. These identities reflect changing ‘rules of the game’, following Bourdieu's use of the term, and increasing penetration of vets’ cultural capital into the sector. They involve different constructions of risk which need to be recognised within debates about good biosecurity. - Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 3, Page 583-603, July 2018.
    January 22, 2018   doi: 10.1111/soru.12205   open full text
  • Everyday Consumption of Russian Youth in Small Towns and Villages.
    Elena Omelchenko, Sviatoslav Poliakov.
    Sociologia Ruralis. December 05, 2017
    --- - |2 Abstract This article analyses the everyday consumption of young people who live in villages and small towns in modern‐day Russia. Based on 59 semi‐structured interviews conducted in three districts of the Leningrad region, the authors try to answer the following questions: How does everyday consumption fit in the biographical experience of rural youth? What consumption styles are implemented in small towns and villages? The conceptual framework of the analysis is the perspective of ‘the lifestyle’, which connects everyday consumption practices with the construction of youth identities. The authors come to the conclusion that the differentiation of the consumption styles of modern rural residents can be explained in the context of life strategies, construed on the basis of family capital, education, employment and orientation towards success. The article describes four basic styles that characterise the consumption of young rural residents, namely ‘family’, ‘status‐oriented’, ‘individualistic’ and ‘conformist’ styles. - Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 3, Page 644-664, July 2018.
    December 05, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12197   open full text
  • Towards Neo‐Productivism? – Finnish Paths in the Use of Forest and Sea.
    Pertti Rannikko, Pekka Salmi.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 20, 2017
    --- - |2 Abstract This article focuses on shifts in the use of natural resources by referencing a theoretical discussion of post‐productivism and neo‐productivism. Transitions from one form of nature use to another are not straightforward but entail various cycles and combinations. Neo‐productivism appears to be a versatile concept fit for describing the use of natural resources, which is becoming more complex and difficult to describe. Neo‐productivism describes a renewed form of productivism that emphasises environmental perspectives and sustainability in addition to the production of natural resources. It includes new characteristics in the material utilisation of nature, including pressures towards production increase. Our case studies present two Finnish natural resource peripheries: in the Forest Karelia, forests have been central to landscapes and incomes, whereas livelihoods in the archipelago have been dependent on sea and fish stocks. - Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 3, Page 625-643, July 2018.
    November 20, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12195   open full text
  • Depoliticisation in Livestock Farming Governance: Turning Citizen Concerns into Consumer Responsibilities.
    Margit van Wessel.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 11, 2017
    --- - |2 Abstract The Dutch livestock farming sector faces complex challenges concerning its sustainability and social license to operate. Engaging with what is widely understood as a legitimacy crisis, the Dutch government organised a two‐day multi‐stakeholder meetings to explore future directions. Participants engaged with the public as a key but absent stakeholder, in ways that contributed to the outcome of the meetings in important ways. The paper charts and analyses how and with what consequences this happened. Findings are that participants discursively constructed citizens in terms of consumer roles, with deliberations turning citizen concerns about livestock farming into questions of consumer responsibility, side‐lining citizens’ political voices and discursively displacing the possibility of politics around livestock farming. This instance of network governance presents a case of depoliticisation of an issue of concern to citizens, closely related to market players being put in the driver's seat of change, with the government in a supporting role. The article argues that this raises significant questions on the nature and role of construction of publics in network governance. - Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 3, Page 522-542, July 2018.
    October 11, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12194   open full text
  • Affective lives of rural ageing.
    Andrew S. Maclaren.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 06, 2017
    Affective and embodied knowledges have come to exert an influence on both rural studies and ageing studies. Drawing together these two contexts and considering the accelerated demographic ageing experienced in rural areas in contrast to urban areas, this paper aims to explore the affective and emotional lives of older people living in rural Scotland. This paper uses non‐representational theories as a mode of thought to attend to this aim, whilst considering the application of this theoretical perspective methodologically. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, this paper first explores the more‐than‐human nature of rural spaces that older people experience. This leads into a consideration of socialities as a contour of rural ageing and the notion of atmosphere as part of an affective and emotional element of rural living. By linking non‐representational theories with rural ageing, this paper ultimately contributes to ongoing debates within rural studies on affective rural lives. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    October 06, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12196   open full text
  • Participatory Guarantee Systems: Alternative Ways of Defining, Measuring, and Assessing ‘Sustainability’.
    Allison Loconto, Maki Hatanaka.
    Sociologia Ruralis. September 29, 2017
    Over the past 20 years, standards and certification have become the leading governance mechanism for determining what sustainability entails, how to measure it, and how to assess it. This system of sustainability standards has generally relied upon the third‐party certification (TPC) model to ensure that producers are complying with standards. Over the past ten to fifteen years, critiques of this model have emerged in both practitioner and academic circles that question the appropriateness of this model based on the type of knowledge that is privileged, the marginalisation of some actors, and the allocation of accountability to individual rather than collective actors. We draw upon case studies from Japan and Chile to examine the ways that participatory guarantee systems (PGS) institute practices for defining, measuring, and assessing sustainability that empower local actors – both producers and consumers. Our cases illustrate that expert and lay knowledges are both relevant and often have different strengths. We argue that PGS offer an alternative approach to sustainability governance, one that may be more democratic and hence, produce forms of sustainability that incorporate the lived experiences of people around the world.
    September 29, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12187   open full text
  • Designer Grapes: The Socio‐Technical Construction of the Seedless Table Grapes. A Case Study of Quality Control.
    Carlos de Castro, Cristóbal Torres‐Albero.
    Sociologia Ruralis. September 22, 2017
    This article focuses on agro‐food production in Murcia, Spain, and analyses the socio‐technical production processes of the seedless table grape. In the agro‐food industry, a focus on quality has driven an unstoppable process of bio‐technological innovation, which is also evident in the object of this study. Before these technological innovations, taste, colour and calibre as specific qualities of the grape were not considered a determinable characteristic. They had only emerged in the context of certain productive, technological and institutional conditions of possibility and the establishment of particular relationships between the agents implicated in its cultivation. By using Callon´s contribution to Actor Network Theory, the article examines how the different qualities of the seedless table grape are constructed through quality control procedures that try to stabilise the relationship between human (labour) and non‐human (technology, insects, fungi, water, sun) actors.
    September 22, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12186   open full text
  • Multi‐Scale Meta‐Governance Strategies for Addressing Social Inequality in Resource Dependent Regions.
    Ceit E. Wilson, Tiffany H. Morrison, Jo‐Anne Everingham.
    Sociologia Ruralis. September 22, 2017
    --- - |2 Abstract Social inequality in resource‐dependent regions is a growing problem. Increasingly both state and private actors are acting as meta‐governors to address the issue. In this article, we focus on housing inequality as ‘the canary in the coalmine’ for broader social inequality. While affordable housing has been the subject of growing attention in urban scholarship, relatively few studies have considered the governance of affordable housing in rural regions. We report on a case analysis of affordable housing governance in the Gladstone‐Surat Region, a traditional agricultural area of Australia that has experienced a dramatic increase in housing inequality due to significant coal seam gas development in recent years. We show that networked arrangements for affordable housing delivery were the product of strategic policy structuring, resourcing, and hands‐off framing by the state government. Private meta‐governance was exercised only in relation to process management forms of meta‐governance, with private companies facilitating local ‘arenas’ for stakeholder discussion and connecting stakeholders in a synergistic manner. The dynamics of the case‐study examined demonstrate that meta‐governance in rural regions is not just about coordinating and mobilising horizontal (e.g., regional) cooperation, but about coalescing action within multiscale ‘exogenous’ networks and structures. These findings have important implications for future efforts to address social inequality in rural areas. - Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 3, Page 500-521, July 2018.
    September 22, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12189   open full text
  • Belonging to and in the Shale Gas Fields. A Case‐Study of the Noordoostpolder, the Netherlands.
    Michiel Köhne, Elisabet Dueholm Rasch.
    Sociologia Ruralis. August 15, 2017
    --- - |2 Abstract This article analyses how belonging becomes articulated in relation to large‐scale extractive projects. It does so through an ethnographic analysis of the construction of belonging expressed in languages of valuation (the meanings that people give to natural resources discursively and in practice) in the Noordoostpolder, the Netherlands. Belonging is understood to encompass ‘feeling at home in a place’ and the political processes through which belonging becomes a discursive resource (the politics of belonging). We conclude that the ways people position themselves toward shale gas extraction are both rooted in how they give meaning to and interact with their environment and embedded in local history and ideas of political agency and voice. Only those elements of belonging that are considered objective or useful as a policy solution are used as a discursive resource in mobilisation against shale gas. The article is based on 2,5 years of ethnographic fieldwork. - Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 3, Page 604-624, July 2018.
    August 15, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12184   open full text
  • ‘Farming on the Edge’: Wellbeing and Participation in Agri‐Environmental Schemes.
    Heidi Saxby, Menelaos Gkartzios, Karen Scott.
    Sociologia Ruralis. August 02, 2017
    This article investigates aspects of farmers’ wellbeing in the context of their participation in an agro‐environmental scheme (AES), the North Yorkshire Cornfield Flowers Project (CFP) in the North East of England. Recent developments in wellbeing studies have informed data collection and analysis. Ethnographic data was gathered via observation, field notes and semi‐structured interviews with farmers and non‐farmer volunteers. The article discusses how farmers’ social activity, identity, status and place belonging are enhanced through participation in CFP, and how this might promote their continued AES work. Recognising the potential for AES participation to enhance farmer's wellbeing may demonstrate added value of AES and strengthen the argument for AES funding once the UK leaves the European Union. There is currently little existing evidence in the literature to support this since with only a few exceptions, wellbeing has been characteristically neglected in rural studies research.
    August 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12180   open full text
  • Taking Prejudice Seriously: Burkean Reflections on the Rural Past and Present.
    Erica von Essen, Michael P. Allen.
    Sociologia Ruralis. August 02, 2017
    --- - |2 Abstract Urban‐based nature conservation elites often condemn rural communities as backwards when they appeal to the value of tradition. Nevertheless, drawing from an interview study of Swedish hunters, we show that appeals to tradition express a coherent, if problematic, philosophical vision. We ask, then, two questions: (1) Do the ideas of Swedish hunters reflect a coherent philosophical vision? (2) Could this vision have a positive function in facilitating improved public dialogue over conservation policy? We examine this overlooked phenomenon of philosophical beliefs as the basis for contesting conservation policy. We also elucidate the negative consequences of this oversight for nature conservation policy debates. Finally, we discuss its positive function in nature conservation policy‐making. Overall, we argue that policymakers should strive for a better understanding and appreciation of the hunters’ philosophical vision and that the hunters themselves should strive to better articulate this vision rather than their resentments. - Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 3, Page 543-561, July 2018.
    August 02, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12183   open full text
  • Young People's Place‐Making in a Regional Australian Town.
    Catherine Waite.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 28, 2017
    The intensification of globalising flows associated with the current condition of globalisation has had a significant impact on the ways that people relate to, talk about, and construct place. In the context of non‐urban places, impacts of globalisation are felt by young people who are uniquely ‘embedded’ in local places. However, the ways that young people construct place under these conditions is opaque and complex. This article addresses Farrugia, D. (). Journal of Youth Studies 17 (3) pp. 293–307 call for greater focus on the experiences of young rural people constructing place under the conditions of globalisation. A recent focus group study in regional Australian with 16‐28 year‐old people builds on the work of rural sociologists investigating this area. Place‐making is demonstrated for analysis in this article through young people's discursive narratives combined with verbal expressions of a more experiential and embodied place‐making practice. This article illustrates that young people's place‐making ‘beyond the metropole’ endures in robust and unique ways.
    July 28, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12170   open full text
  • Defining ‘Success’ of Local Citizens’ Initiatives in Maintaining Public Services in Rural Areas: A Professional's Perspective.
    Erzsi de Haan, Sabine Meier, Tialda Haartsen, Dirk Strijker.
    Sociologia Ruralis. June 30, 2017
    In the shift towards the Big Society, it is widely proclaimed that citizen participation and citizens’ initiatives are indispensable to maintaining services that used to be run by local or regional governments. Despite the increased interest in citizens’ initiatives, research has scarcely debated what actually defines the success of such initiatives. Using focus group discussions, this study examined the meanings and norms collectively constructed by government officials and professionals regarding the success and failure of citizens’ initiatives in rural areas. Remarkably, we found that the professional perspective of successful citizens’ initiatives was not dominated by the achievement of actual policy targets or project goals, such as maintaining public services. Rather, an initiative was perceived as successful as long as citizens are continuously active and in charge. Arguably, this somewhat paternalistic professional view of successful citizens’ initiatives could be challenged by the volunteers in those initiatives.
    June 30, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12173   open full text
  • Mobilities, Fixities and Stabilities in Rural Pennsylvania's Natural Gas Boomtowns: Re‐Conceptualising Boomtown Development Through a Mobilities Lens.
    Ian Burfoot‐Rochford, Kai A. Schafft.
    Sociologia Ruralis. June 30, 2017
    The mobilities ‘turn’ within human geography and the social sciences has drawn attention to the ways in which social connections and interactions variously transcend, undo and reconfigure spatial boundaries and identities. In this study we utilise mobilities theory to analyse Marcellus Shale gas boomtown growth in Pennsylvania and the experiences of local residents living in these boomtown areas. We use data from interviews conducted in two rural counties of Pennsylvania to examine the intersection and interaction between diverse boomtown mobilities and local places. We use mobilities theory to illustrate the extent to which local experience of boomtown development is a product of the interaction between the particularities of material and ideological rural community characteristics perceived as more or less ‘fixed’, and the various externally‐originating mobilities associated with local industrial buildout.
    June 30, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12182   open full text
  • The Embodied Countryside: Methodological Reflections in Place.
    Laura Rodriguez Castro.
    Sociologia Ruralis. June 22, 2017
    This article contributes to conceptualisations of the countryside as an embodied space through a reflective engagement with the use of participatory methods with the campesinas (peasant women) of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range in Colombia. The key aim of the article is to explore how the embodied everyday experiences of the field and the methodologies associated to these are marked by place. To do so, I focus on two empirical aspects of my research. Firstly, I examine how engaging with place is pivotal to understanding the countryside as a relational and embodied space. Secondly, I demonstrate how the participatory methods I engaged with can provide place‐based insights to understanding the rural as embodied. Overall, this article contributes to the literature on how researchers perform and enact rural research, while aiming to de(s)colonise knowledge production.
    June 22, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12172   open full text
  • The Fishing Lifecourse: Exploring the Importance of Social Contexts, Capitals and (More Than) Fishing Identities.
    Madeleine Gustavsson, Mark Riley.
    Sociologia Ruralis. June 22, 2017
    --- - |2 Abstract There is an emerging call for social scientists to pay greater attention to the social and cultural contexts of fishing and fishers. A resulting literature is evolving which focuses on individual life experiences, particularly relating to entering the fishing occupation, and what these might mean for the future sustainability of the fishing industry. However, the ways in which these lives are linked and intergenerationally connected remains somewhat of a blindspot. This article considers the potential of a lifecourse approach to help us better understand how fishers accumulate, utilise and share capital(s) in getting onto and moving along the ‘fishing ladder’. Drawing on in‐depth qualitative research with fishing families on the Llŷn peninsula small‐scale fishery in north Wales (UK) the article explores how there are multiple social contexts from which ‘prospective fishers’ can begin their fishing career and which differentially (re)shape how they can accumulate capital over time. Later on in the lifecourse, fishers (re)negotiate their fishing identities in relation to the lives of others, within transitions such as parenthood as well as with older age. The article's findings offer a much‐needed temporal dimension to our understanding of fishing lives and what it means to be a ‘good fisher’. - Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 3, Page 562-582, July 2018.
    June 22, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12181   open full text
  • Climate Change and Ideological Transformation in United States Agriculture.
    Diana Stuart.
    Sociologia Ruralis. June 05, 2017
    Farmers pay close attention to their environment and are increasingly experiencing and recognising the impacts of climate change. Drawing from the work of Göran Therborn, this article examines farmers’ climate change beliefs, explores emerging contradictions between conservative ideological positions and personal experiences, and looks for signs of ideological transformation. Data from 154 personal interviews with corn farmers in the Midwestern United States reveals that many farmers believe that humans play some role in climate change and that climate change has serious and negative impacts on agriculture. Interview data also illustrates how farmers contradict themselves when discussing their positions on climate change and suggests that farmers may be losing faith in political elites. As farmers continue to experience the impacts of climate change, they may find it increasingly difficult to support conservative positions. However, this study also reveals that, despite individual beliefs, the political economy of industrial agriculture will continue to constrain the adoption of climate change mitigation measures.
    June 05, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12175   open full text
  • Sustaining Farming on Marginal Land: Farmers’ Convictions, Motivations and Strategies in Northeastern Germany.
    Sara Preissel, Peter Zander, Andrea Knierim.
    Sociologia Ruralis. May 10, 2017
    Contrary to a scholarly debate that anticipated a trend towards the marginalisation of agriculture in many rural areas of Europe, farmers have continued to utilise agro‐economically marginal land, especially in a variety of areas in Europe's northwest. We explore why and how farmers secure the development of their farms while cultivating crops on the margins, based on qualitative empirical research in Brandenburg, Germany. By bringing together farmers’ motivations and convictions with their agricultural and agronomical practices, the study identifies three farming strategies for managing farms on marginal land, focused on independence, balancing multiple aims, or optimising land productivity. We develop a concept of farming strategy as an expression of personal motivations and convictions in a coherent, targeted, long‐term plan for farming. We discuss the implications of such an understanding for system‐oriented, micro‐sociological research and for the perpetuation of agriculture in marginalised rural areas.
    May 10, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12168   open full text
  • Placing ‘Home’ and ‘Family’ in Rural Residential Mobilities.
    Mark Scott, Enda Murphy, Menelaos Gkartzios.
    Sociologia Ruralis. April 04, 2017
    This article aims to examine rural population/residential movements through a mobilities perspective to provide an inclusive analysis of the diverse processes of movement that (re)produce rural places beyond the dominant counter urbanisation narrative. We seek to contribute to the literature in two ways. Firstly, we examine a sample of rural residents who have moved house within a 10 year period to examine the full range of actually existing residential mobilities, including counter urbanisation, lateral in‐migration and local mobility within an Irish context. We suggest that counter urbanisation provides only a partial explanation of rural mobility accounting for 44 per cent of our recent movers – moreover, within the counter urbanisation group, approximately a half of this group were originally from a rural context suggesting a more nuanced ‘return‐to‐roots’ movement rather than a stereotypical urban‐rural movement. Secondly, we explore two relatively new dimensions of rural mobilities – the importance of the actual house characteristics to where respondents moved to and the pull of family networks as key mobility factors. In the Irish context explored in this article, we argue that rather than a search for greenspace and idyllic landscapes, decision‐making is often driven by a desire for more private space (internal and external) and the presence of existing family networks.
    April 04, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12165   open full text
  • Just Existing Is Resisting: The Everyday Struggle against the Expansion of GM Crops in Spain.
    Amaranta Herrero, Rosa Binimelis, Fern Wickson.
    Sociologia Ruralis. April 03, 2017
    The attempt to have coexistence between organic, conventional and genetically modified (GM) crops has generated unresolved frictions between agro‐food models based on different practices, values, worldviews and cultures. This article explores forms of everyday resistance that have emerged against the domineering power and spread of GM maize in Spain, the gateway nation for GM crops in Europe. Drawing on multi‐sited ethnographic work and interviews, we describe six practices by which social actors throughout the agro‐food system are resisting the expansion of GM maize and forming some unlikely alliances. We conclude that a myriad of practical resistance actions are taking place, from actors in both alternative and conventional food systems, as they fight for their survival against the political power and uncontrolled biological spread of GM crops. These practices challenge the regulatory concept of the possibility of a harmonious coexistence between the systems and highlight how an everyday struggle is required for non‐GM maize actors to continue to exist.
    April 03, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12166   open full text
  • Discursive Representation within the Institutional Void: The Rise and Fall of a Governance Network on Sustainable Food in Belgium.
    Maarten Crivits, Michiel P.M.M de Krom, Joost Dessein, Thomas Block.
    Sociologia Ruralis. March 24, 2017
    --- - |2 Abstract Recently, democratic theorists have turned their attention to political representation. This renewed attention is inspired by a questioning of the formalist interpretation of representative government that presumes a strict division between elected political elites and deliberative participation in the public sphere. Several scholars argue that the standard account of representative democracy based on residence‐based and electoral representation does not suffice to explain contemporary political practice. Representation, then, becomes a ‘practice’ in which the object of representation and the grounds on which it is defended, co‐determine ‘who’ and ‘what’ is considered politically legitimate and how ‘interests’ are to be represented. In this paper we explore how discursive interaction on political representation takes place in an ‘institutional void’, i.e. a political setting in which there are no clear rules and norms to which politics is to be conducted. We base our analysis on an interpretative reconstruction of the rise and fall of a sustainability governance process in the Flemish agro‐food domain called the New Food Frontier (NFF). We claim to have found several interacting political conceptions, that operated on both explicit and more tacit levels, which particularly shaped the political interventions within the institutional void of the NFF. Analysis reveals that the dominant/initial conception of the studied political process has strong affinities with Dryzek's ideas on discursive representation. Competing claims on how political representation should work were linked to neo‐corporatism and transition management. We analyze how these competing conceptions play in the organization, articulation and disintegration of the governance network. Secondly, we relate this deliberative ‘outcome’ to the broader political setting in which the sustainability governance trajectory was embedded. In this context, a re‐negotiation of the rules of the game within a new governance setting and the relationship with institutionalized politics proved to be important factors in explaining the discontinuity of the process of discursive representation. - Sociologia Ruralis, Volume 58, Issue 3, Page 475-499, July 2018.
    March 24, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12162   open full text
  • Gender Relations, Livelihood Strategies, Water Policies and Structural Adjustment in the Australian Dairy Industry.
    Margaret Alston, Josephine Clarke, Kerri Whittenbury.
    Sociologia Ruralis. March 16, 2017
    Concerns about water scarcity and consequent environmental impacts are driving major structural adjustment in the Australian irrigated dairy industry. This has resulted in government policy initiatives including water licence buybacks and grant schemes to improve water use efficiency. One consequence is the loss of many small farms and the development of larger technologically efficient farms with altered access to irrigation water. In farm families, who dominate the dairy industry, livelihood strategies, labour demands and the boundaries between traditional female and male spheres of labour are changing. We present findings from an Australian Research Council funded project examining the impacts of these changes on dairy families in the Murray Dairy region. We note that reshaped livelihood strategies and increased labour demands are further entrenching traditional gender relations and that labour is being re‐allocated in highly gendered ways. We note a ‘farmer‐manager’ role is evolving amongst male dairy farmers and a critical but less public role comprising significant input to labour tasks is evident amongst women on larger farms. Drawing on interviews with couples, most of whom were interviewed separately, we examine how gendered livelihood strategies are being reshaped at the same time as the significant contributions of women are being obscured.
    March 16, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12164   open full text
  • What Can and Can't Crowding Theories Tell Us about Farmers’ ‘Environmental’ Intentions in Post‐Agri‐Environment Scheme Contexts?
    Helena S. Darragh, Steven B. Emery.
    Sociologia Ruralis. March 16, 2017
    The termination of the Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) Agri‐Environment Scheme in England provides a unique opportunity for testing and exploring the so‐called crowding‐out theory. The theory posits that payment for the provision of public goods leads to a reduction in the intrinsic motivation for their supply. Through a small qualitative case‐study in Southwest England we explore farmers’ intentions to continue with ‘environmental behaviours’ following the cessation of ELS. Contrary to the crowding‐out theory we find that farmers will continue with longstanding ‘environmental practices’ that were financially rewarded by the ELS, but will pick and choose whether to continue with newly introduced practices depending on how they fit with farmers’ existing cultural, economic and instrumental priorities. Moreover, we argue that the crowding‐out theory is based on a set of assumptions and simplifications that do not adequately help us interpret the relationship between farmers’ motives, practices and intentions. In particular, we show that intrinsic and extrinsic motives cannot straightforwardly be separated and that definitions of what constitutes an ‘environmental behaviour’ are far more complex than is often assumed.
    March 16, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12159   open full text
  • ‘Taking the Politics out of Broccoli’: Debating (De)meatification in UK National and Regional Newspaper Coverage of the Meat Free Mondays Campaign.
    Carol Morris.
    Sociologia Ruralis. March 16, 2017
    This article addresses UK society's relationship with meat and specifically explores the extent to which a process of ‘de‐meatification’ is underway in this context and one of the mechanisms involved. It does so through analysis of reporting of the Meat Free Mondays (MFM) campaign in the national and regional British print news media. MFM offers a convenient yet powerful vehicle for trying to understand shifting meanings of meat not least because it directly challenges, and generates debate about the dominant – meat based – diet. The article concludes by arguing that a shift is taking place in the status of meat within UK society with the print news media acting as a mechanism that is working in support of de‐meatification. However, these conclusions are qualified in a number of important ways, including the anthropocentrism of the (de)meatification debate, its geographical variability and its weakly politicised character.
    March 16, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12163   open full text
  • Peripheralisation: A Politics of Place, Affect, Perception and Representation.
    Joanie Willett, Thilo Lang.
    Sociologia Ruralis. March 07, 2017
    Recently scholars have started to consider the persistence of peripheries in relation to how they are represented by others outside of the region. Drawing on Foucauldian knowledge/power processes and forms of ‘internal colonialism’, powerful core regions construct and reconstruct knowledge about peripheries as a weaker ‘other’. However this denies agency to passive, peripheral ‘victims’, compromising their capacity to contest their peripherality. We challenge this using Deleuze and Guattari's assemblages and the concepts of affect and perception to develop a conceptualisation of power which allows agency to weaker entities. This enables us to develop better tools for improving peripheral development. We use an innovative Public Engagement research method and a case‐study of Cornwall in the South West of the UK to consider an alternative model with regards to how ideas become accepted and adopted. We claim that analyses of the relationships between core and peripheral regions need to understand the complex cultural assemblages behind regional identities, because this helps us to explore the sites of possibility which offer space for development.
    March 07, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12161   open full text
  • Getting a Sense of Agriculture: Visitor Experiences from an Agricultural Fair.
    Morten Hedegaard Larsen.
    Sociologia Ruralis. February 27, 2017
    This article explores how different visitors experience the performances, promotions and each other at Denmark's most visited agricultural fair. Visitors acknowledge differences between urban and rural visitors but no tension or conflict. Embodied knowledge and tactile experiences seem like the most legitimate way to understand agriculture from the perspective of both rural‐urban and farming/non‐farming visitors, and they are also a key thematic focus in this article. Some performances even provide the visitor with a sense of trust in agriculture which, temporarily at least, can mitigate concerns about the overall food production system. Making sense of the activities at the fair seems to be achieved through embodied experiences as well as broader cultural identifications relating to and integrating images and experiences of landscapes, people and animals and their interaction. The results of this article should thus contribute to the sociological body of work trying to make sense of the changing meanings and roles of agriculture and farmers to the general public, as well as provide insights into how such meanings are created and maintained both inside and outside of the event.
    February 27, 2017   doi: 10.1111/soru.12158   open full text
  • Knowledge and Precaution. On Organic Farmers Assessment of New Technology.
    Jesper Lassen, Myles Oelofse.
    Sociologia Ruralis. December 28, 2016
    Organic farming is under constant pressure to reinvent itself by adopting new technologies. This article examines the role of precaution in organic farmers’ assessments of new technologies, and asks how their assessments draw on different types of knowledge. The article further explores how knowledge type compares to the role of knowledge and precaution expressed in the principles of organic farming as defined by the organic movement organisation, IFOAM. Results from a study of the introduction of sewage sludge as an alternative source of nutrients in organic agriculture are presented. Empirically, this case‐study builds on the analysis of five focus groups made up of Danish organic farmers. While some farmers called for precaution, supporting this with claims about lacking knowledge, others trusted the authorities and accepted sewage sludge provided it was officially approved for organic use. Our analysis suggests that when assessing new technologies Danish organic farmers rely on scientific knowledge and do not automatically draw on the experiential knowledge they possess and employ in other contexts. It is concluded that if IFOAM wishes include farmers’ experiential knowledge as a basis for decisions about precaution, there is a need to develop instruments making it possible to tap into this knowledge.
    December 28, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12157   open full text
  • Retirement as a Discrete Life‐Stage of Farming Men and Women's Biography?
    Sandra Contzen, Karin Zbinden, Cécile Neuenschwander, Michèle Métrailler.
    Sociologia Ruralis. December 28, 2016
    Retirement generally marks the end of working life and the start of a new life‐stage, providing the potential for new contents and opportunities, while requiring adaptation of existing roles. Retired Swiss farming men and women usually continue working and living on the farm, but their roles change. Drawing on conceptual approaches from gerontology research, we first aim to comprehend how farming men and women experience and understand retirement by describing major aspects of adaptation during their transition to retirement. Second, we appraise the relevance of the retirement concept for the farming population. Qualitative‐empirical evidence shows that retired farming men and women continue to devote time and energy to the farm for the sake of farm continuity and to maintain the farmers' work ethic, while transferring financial and managerial responsibility. Poor health and the inability to contribute physically to the family farm appear as major threats for ‘ageing’ farmers.
    December 28, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12154   open full text
  • Devolved Responsibility and On‐Farm Biosecurity: Practices of Biosecure Farming Care in Livestock Production.
    Vaughan Higgins, Melanie Bryant, Marta Hernández‐Jover, Luzia Rast, Connar McShane.
    Sociologia Ruralis. December 14, 2016
    International efforts to prevent the spread of biological threats to agro‐food production are increasingly being devolved from national governments to farming industries and farmers. Previous research has highlighted the farm‐level and institutional challenges in engaging farmers in biosecurity. However, little is known sociologically about what farmers already know and do to manage disease risk, and specifically how they practice biosecurity. This article addresses this issue through the application of theoretical work on the choreography of care. Drawing from a qualitative study of biosecurity in the Australian beef industry, we argue that farmers’ localised practices of caring for their herd health and farm are crucial in making biosecurity workable. These practices take two key forms: skilled craftwork, through which farmers construct and hold together different objects and elements of care; and fluid engineering, which involves efforts to construct barriers for separating on‐farm practices of care from perceived off‐farm disease risks. In engaging in these care practices, farmers make an important contribution to national livestock biosecurity principles and practices. We argue that greater recognition of localised practices of biosecure care may provide the basis for engaging farmers more effectively in a devolved form of biosecurity governance.
    December 14, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12155   open full text
  • Agro‐Digital Governance and Life Itself: Food Politics at the Intersection of Code and Affect.
    Michael Carolan.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 17, 2016
    This article seeks to answer the following questions. How are digital platforms encountered and felt by producers and consumers and how do these assemblages shape the foodscapes we imagine and enact? How do elements like digital locks, proprietary code, and ‘open’ code inform how we think about the subject of agrofood governance? Finally, what are the lives being made to live, and left to let die, as a result of digital platforms, from those employing digital locks and proprietary software to those built on open source code? To do this, the paper draws upon two case studies. The first examines London‐area producers and consumers linked to the web‐based distribution platform FarmDrop. This is followed by a case study involving US producers loosely linked to the group Farm Hack; a group that promotes technology that is collectively built and freely shared, and which desires to ‘hack’ that which is not. To conclude, the article turns briefly to Berry's (2001) thoughts on interactivity. While insightful, as the concept helps us think about the less‐than‐overt ways in which code‐based assemblages enable and disable, the aforementioned case studies allow for some refinements to what it means to do and be interactive.
    November 17, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12153   open full text
  • Hidden in Plain Sight: How Industry, Mass Media, and Consumers’ Everyday Habits Suppress Food Controversies.
    Robert Magneson Chiles.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 17, 2016
    In this article, I develop the concept of ‘suppressive synergy’ to explain how meat products retain their everyday legitimacy amongst consumers despite the controversies which surround these products. While sociologists have offered various explanations for and solutions to contemporary food controversies, absent from this literature is a more integrated explanation as to how industry, mass media, and consumers’ everyday habits reciprocally limit the public's engagement with these arguments. I investigated this empirically elusive phenomenon by conducting six focus groups plus follow‐up interviews with urban meat consumers in the US and a content analysis of meat‐related articles in the New York Times (1983–2011). Findings indicate that suppressive synergy occurs on both spatial‐temporal and cognitive‐affective dimensions. The meat and livestock industry enchants consumers with ornate products while sequestering production facilities in remote areas. Consumers, resistant to abandon their everyday habits and the cultural imperative of meat consumption, routinely avoid and dissociate themselves from meat‐related controversies. The mass media further normalises meat culture by infrequently covering these debates. This only reinforces public indifference, as the dearth of controversial stories bolsters the cultural presupposition that meat consumption is a generally benign activity.
    November 17, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12152   open full text
  • The framing of sustainability in sustainability assessment frameworks for agriculture.
    Elin Slätmo, Klara Fischer, Elin Röös.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 09, 2016
    Various frameworks for assessing sustainability in agriculture have emerged in recent years. Based on the Bacchi (2009; 2012) problem‐focused approach to studying policy we analysed how sustainability is framed as a governing concept for agriculture within three such frameworks. The results suggest that all three frameworks perceive sustainability as a fixed, definable end goal, rather than a process, and assume that if all stakeholders understand each other and are informed about the negative impacts of agriculture, sustainability will be achieved. The characteristics of the assessment frameworks, which are primarily developed by and based on expert knowledge, provide limited possibilities for farmers to influence how sustainable agriculture is viewed and acted upon, limiting the utility of the frameworks. A number of challenges that need to be solved for successful implementation were uncovered, including determination of how assessment frameworks are enacted and identification of conflicts between different goals in relation to assessment results. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    November 09, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12156   open full text
  • Small Farms Survival and Growth: Making Investments Despite Credit Constraints.
    Mihai Varga.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 04, 2016
    This article argues that we know little about how small farmers in post‐communist Europe survive and even grow while having little access to credit markets. In approaching small farmers, this paper builds on ideas of self‐provisioning, contending that the tendency among small farmers is not one of growth towards and through economies of scale, but one of internalising and de‐monetising costs, by growing in order to control upstream and downstream links in the value chain. It asks what is it that makes self‐provisioning possible in two post‐communist regions (located in Romania and Ukraine) and identifies various assets in the smallholders' environments, such as most importantly a diverse scene of intermediaries supplying smallholders with cash incomes. The implication of the research is that the existence of these assets is crucial for the smallholders' survival and growth, and these assets should be valued accordingly rather than dismissed in favour of integrating smallholders into modern, retailer‐dominated, value chains.
    November 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12149   open full text
  • The Community Reclaims Control? Learning Experiences from Rural Broadband Initiatives in the Netherlands.
    Koen Salemink, Dirk Strijker, Gary Bosworth.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 04, 2016
    Based on four illustrative case studies from the Netherlands, this article discusses learning experiences gained from rural broadband initiatives. As an example of ‘the big society’ (or ‘participatiesamenleving’ in Dutch), initiatives try to step in where the market and the government fail. The main struggle seems to be negotiating between market and government interests, while simultaneously safeguarding local interests. Many challenges and frustrations arise from counter‐tactics on the part of national market players, and governmentality‐inspired actions of regional and local authorities. Local capacity – such as social, intellectual, and financial capital – proves to be crucial in negotiating external influences, but it is easily overburdened. Case studies show that volunteer burnout is a risk that potentially has a high impact. Despite neoliberal agendas and community‐led development schemes that promote citizen initiatives, it remains challenging for communities to reclaim control over their digital futures. Members of the initiatives have to learn and professionalise in order to stand their ground in a competitive and complex broadband market, but this learning element seems to be only a by‐product of the process towards achieving the tangible result for rural development, that is, high‐speed broadband access.
    November 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12150   open full text
  • Liveable Villages: The Relationship between Volunteering and Liveability in the Perceptions of Rural Residents.
    Joost Gieling, Tialda Haartsen.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 04, 2016
    In the Dutch policy discourse it is increasingly thought that active citizenship will positively affect satisfaction with the living environment. This article challenges this assumption by examining whether and how volunteering in village life and individual perceptions of liveability are interrelated. Through a series of hierarchical regressions, we found that having the opportunity to volunteer in village life is not a significant predictor of perceived liveability. Moreover, by classifying rural inhabitants as non‐participants, nominal participants and active participants in volunteering in village life, we determined that active residents evaluate liveability less positively than the other two groups. Accordingly, determinants other than volunteering and active citizenship are better able to predict perceived liveability, although the specific variables differ for each group of rural inhabitants. This suggests that governments overestimate both the willingness of rural residents to volunteer and the benefits of becoming active in village life.
    November 04, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12151   open full text
  • Towards a Natural History of Foodgetting.
    Harriet Friedmann.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 24, 2016
    Like all species, humans change our environments to get food.Foodgetting is the dimension of human history that links us directly and indirectly with all other beings. Inescapably and at once both historical and natural, human foodgetting can be understood both as natural history and as historical nature. It implicates our species being in the evolving web of life. In its complex embodied, encultured and social relations, human nature evolves. To embrace that recognition requires thorough revision of inherited ideas. I draw on specific contributions among many thinkers engaged in this project by following a foodgetting thread through several literatures: (1) approaches to reconnecting natural with social sciences of human nature; (2) a “deep history” (Shryock and Smail 2011) of agriculture, which connects prehistory to written history, by Mazoyer and Roudart (1997, 2006), and its limits; (3) ecological resilience theory, and its model of panarchy, which resonates with emergence, dissolution, and reconstellation of food regimes and food regime transitions. This sets the stage for (4) clarifying different paths taken by food regime analysts, including my differences with co‐founder Philip McMichael. (5) I conclude by suggesting an approach to intentional change of human institutions centred on emergence, and (6) an example of emerging ways of organising territory centred on foodgetting.
    October 24, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12144   open full text
  • Context, Orders of Worth, and the Justification of Meat Consumption Practices.
    Cecilie A. H. Thorslund, Jesper Lassen.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 12, 2016
    Although animal welfare is felt to be important by consumers, behavioural patterns do not fully reflect this. Rather than relating this attitude‐behaviour gap to hypocrisy, this article, building on pragmatic sociological theory and an empirical study, focuses on context‐dependent moral evaluations. An analysis of focus‐group interviews conducted in three countries shows that meat‐related consumption practices involve several competing sets of moral conventions, and the results demonstrate that public concerns about animal welfare vary depending on whether they relate to an everyday or production context. In the former, animal welfare does not play a big role, and given this it can be argued that people are not hypocritical, since the practices and perceptions are actually united within the given context. It is concluded that the lack of civic justifications in the context of everyday life calls for new ways of making animal welfare relevant in this context in order to support consumers in moving towards products with high standards of animal welfare.
    October 12, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12143   open full text
  • Tales from a Small Island: Applying the ‘Path‐Dependency’ Thesis to Explore Migration to a Remote Rural Community.
    Lorna J. Philip, Marsaili MacLeod.
    Sociologia Ruralis. September 30, 2016
    This article explores the perspicacity of the ‘path‐dependency’ thesis for explaining pre‐ and post‐retirement migration, extending existing debates in the literature on path‐dependency retirement regions. The article presents a case‐study of pre‐ and post‐retirement migration to the Isle of Bute, Scotland. Drawing on findings from a household survey and biographical interviews with in‐migrants to the island, we ground our understanding of path‐dependency processes in individual behaviours and experiences, to demonstrate how specific attributes of particular places lay the foundations of path‐dependent migration flows. Our findings support the path‐dependency thesis, as applied to migration into rural areas, demonstrating how the Isle of Bute has followed a systematic trajectory from being a long‐standing popular holiday destination with attractive natural amenities, to a popular retirement destination with a developed recreational infrastructure and, latterly, a popular pre‐retirement destination in which personal networks influence migration decision‐making.
    September 30, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12142   open full text
  • Examining Innovation for Sustainability from the Bottom Up: An Analysis of the Permaculture Community in England.
    Damian Maye.
    Sociologia Ruralis. September 26, 2016
    This article applies the transition approach to a novel food production context, via an examination of the food production side of permaculture. More specifically, it examines attempts by the permaculture community in England to interact and influence the Agriculture Knowledge System of the mainstream agro‐food regime. Strategic Niche Management and Communities of Practice theory are combined to examine the ways in which the permaculture community has evolved and has sought to develop its agro‐ecology message and influence the agro‐food regime. Evidence of second order learning and networking with stakeholders outside the community of practice is limited. A tension between internal activities that reinforce a boundary between the permaculture knowledge system and the wider Agriculture Knowledge System are evident. Some external activities designed to cross boundaries are noted. However, activities designed to translate permaculture ideas into mainstream agriculture have had limited success. There is some evidence of interaction and lateral linkage with sub‐regimes to enhance capacity but this is usually in individual capacities. Examining the evolution of radical niche innovations such as permaculture thus reveals the way that beliefs, values and epistemologies make the process of sustainability transition challenging and complex, particularly when different knowledge systems clash with one another.
    September 26, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12141   open full text
  • ‘Shut Up for Five Years’: Locating Narratives of Cultural Workers in Scotland's Islands.
    Kathryn A. Burnett, Lynda Harling Stalker.
    Sociologia Ruralis. August 18, 2016
    Recent research and active promotion suggests that islands and remote rural locations in Scotland do offer ‘attractive places to live and work’. The purpose of this article is to explore the narratives of cultural workers, and to derive from this a further nuanced appreciation of what in‐migrants to islands might express as meaningful in reference to an idea of ‘locating narratives’. We look at how the narratives vary depending upon the connection and identity the cultural workers each articulate. The narratives or social stories the participants tell contribute to our understanding of in‐migrants' experiences on remote islands. This research offers a timely contribution to debates on how we might better understand ‘good work’ in terms of decisions to locate on islands, as nuanced through cultural work identities.
    August 18, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12137   open full text
  • From Generation to Generation: Changing Dimensions of Intergenerational Farm Transfer.
    Hannah M. Chiswell.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 26, 2016
    The transfer of managerial control between generations on the family farm has long been understood as a critical and often problematic phase, with implications for both the individual farm business and more broadly, the sustainability of family farming systems. Drawing on empirical data from interviews with prospective successors and farmers in Devon, England, the article provides a contemporary analysis of the transfer of managerial control on family farms. Although in line with traditional conceptualisations, findings reaffirm how many prospective successors were delegated tasks of increasing responsibility, with limited access to the higher responsibility financial management tasks, an emergent cohort of younger prospective successors enjoyed a contrasting progression towards managerial control, involving varied involvement across all aspects of farm management. With reference to late modernity and the individualisation thesis, the article explores how unconstrained by tradition the emerging cohort described a wealth of off‐farm experiences, including what the article terms short‐term diversions, which the analysis reveals have informed and shaped their progression towards managerial control. In view of these findings, the article offers an alternative and up‐to‐date conceptualisation of the transfer of managerial control in the form of the succession matrix, before considering the potential applications and some avenues for future research.
    July 26, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12138   open full text
  • Development of Organic Agriculture in Bulgaria (1990–2012): Actors, Relations, and Networks.
    Petya Slavova, Heidrun Moschitz, Zdravka Georgieva.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 26, 2016
    This article analyses the development of organic agriculture (OA) in Bulgaria. It especially examines the actors, relations, and structures that shape organic sector policies. The Bulgarian case shows that sectorial agricultural policies can originate without the direct representation of farmers. Due to the dominance of consultancy NGOs and academic institutions in the policy network, OA first appeared as a political rather than as an economic or social and agricultural topic. However, this specificity contributed to the weak development of the organic sector in the country. Ultimately, farmers became engaged in the policy network for the benefit of the sector when the EU implemented organic subsidies. The article is based on both qualitative and quantitative data and applies the policy network approach as the analytical framework. Our analysis contributes to enriching this approach by exploring the role of the state in terms of both political willingness and administrative capacity and shows that in a post‐socialist context, the policy outcome also depends on the synchronisation of these two roles of the state.
    July 26, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12134   open full text
  • Exploring the Rural Eco‐Economy: Beyond Neoliberalism.
    Terry Marsden.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 26, 2016
    Rural areas become central sites for the development of the post‐carbon transition, yet this is a highly contested and contingent process whereby neo‐liberal models of development and framings compete with the emergence of the alternative circular eco‐economy. The article argues for a grounded conceptual and empirical approach in tracing this overall process of sustainable place‐making. It explores three key highly contested dimensions: reflexive governance, distributed eco‐economies, and re‐financialisation, arguing that such explorations are critical in developing more sustainable rural‐urban functionalities for the necessary post‐ carbon and post‐neoliberal transition.
    July 26, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12139   open full text
  • Who Framed Climate Change? Identifying the How and Why of Iowa Corn Farmers’ Framing of Climate Change.
    Matthew Houser.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 20, 2016
    Agricultural production systems both contribute to and are threatened by climate change. Farmers could reduce agriculture's contributions and vulnerability to climate change by adopting mitigation and adaption practices. A growing number of studies have begun to examine developed countries farmers’ beliefs related to climate change and how they affect farmers’ support for adopting these practices. To build on this work, this analysis uses qualitative data from 53 Iowa corn farmers to offer a nuanced depiction of the farmers’ perception of non‐anthropogenic climate change. Goffman's concept of framing, with contributions from more recent social movement scholarship, is used to reveal how farmers are constructing climate change as largely a result of inevitable ‘natural cycles’, the effect this has on their support for mitigation and adaptation and to explore why this particular framing resonates with them.
    July 20, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12136   open full text
  • Local Breeds – Rural Heritage or New Market Opportunities? Colliding Views on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Landraces.
    Ulla Ovaska, Katriina Soini.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 20, 2016
    In this research, Finnish actors engaged in the conservation and sustainable use of local breeds on different levels and sectors were interviewed to find out how breeds are valued by different stakeholders and what kinds of policies and practices are preferred in their conservation and sustainable use; and which also gives rise to some ethical concerns. Four storylines based on sustainable use vs. conservation and service‐based vs. production‐based dimensions were derived from the research data. The research revealed a broad diversity of perceptions of the aims and means of conservation and sustainable use. Some stakeholders brought up different possibilities regarding the different means of in situ conservation. Yet, many were strictly in favour of conservation and against sustainable use. Moreover, in questions of ownership, stakeholders differed in their opinions. The colliding views diversify the conservation and sustainable use of landraces but simultaneously constitute a challenge to finding common aims and means to it. Communication between stakeholders should be improved to enable actors, at the implementation level, to make long lasting commitments regarding the conservation and sustainable use of local breeds. Furthermore, animals should be regarded as conservation actors, in addition to people and organisations.
    July 20, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12140   open full text
  • Eastern European Rurality in a Neo‐Liberal, European Union World.
    Nigel Swain.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 06, 2016
    The article first argues that we live in a neo‐liberal world in that neo‐liberalism has become the economic orthodoxy which informs policy‐making, but that the commitment of the European Union and its Common Agricultural Policy to neo‐liberalism is somewhat ambiguous. It then examines the impact of that ambiguous Common Agricultural Policy on Eastern European rurality in the decade or so since the New Member States joined. In many respects it has resulted in scenarios similar to developments in western Europe, but in one respect a phenomenon that is present throughout the European Union has been amplified dramatically in its eastern half. Overall, the weaknesses that many have identified in the Common Agricultural Policy have been reproduced in the east, but in a more extreme form.
    July 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12131   open full text
  • International Lifestyle Migration in the Andes of Ecuador: How Migrants from the USA Perform Privilege, Import Rurality and Evaluate Their Impact on Local Community.
    Stefan Kordel, Perdita Pohle.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 06, 2016
    Using the example of Vilcabamba in Ecuador, this article explores the ways that migrants from the USA materialise their quest for better lives by relocating to small communities in the Global South. Taking a lifestyle migration approach, we explore the ways migrants interpret and perform rurality in their post‐migration lives according to their economic and symbolically privileged status. Empirical data gathered from biographical narrative interviews with immigrants and guideline‐based interviews with experts show that migrants construct their own, mostly idealised, meanings of rurality; for instance, through the enactment of a healthy way of life close to nature, and social community spirit. Performing their privileged status through everyday practices, lifestyle migrants transfer their mostly Western understandings of rurality, derived from notions of the rural idyll, to other socio‐cultural settings. Consequently, they foster various transformations of local society, economy and public space. At the same time, however, via critical self‐reflection, they exhibit an ambivalent attitude to these transformations.
    July 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12133   open full text
  • Repeasantisation in The United States.
    Jon Nelson, Paul Stock.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 06, 2016
    This article adopts Van der Ploeg's theory of repeasantisation to demonstrate that, even in the largely industrialised agricultural state of Kansas, USA, there are unexpected interstices within neoliberalised agriculture where industrial farmers can exercise and produce autonomy. This study draws from interviews across a range of production strategies including conventional industrial farmers, entrepreneurial, and self‐styled organic farmers. A central claim of this article is that entrepreneurial farmers demonstrate peasant principle practices and therefore a process of repeasantisation is occurring in the USA. Most importantly, this emerging repeasantisation offers a glimpse at the kinds of sustainable agriculture that might be possible in the future. The article concludes that repesantisation strategies may offer hope for societal and ecological repair.
    July 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12132   open full text
  • The ‘Good Farmer’: Farmer Identities and the Control of Exotic Livestock Disease in England.
    Rhiannon Naylor, Alice Hamilton‐Webb, Ruth Little, Damian Maye.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 05, 2016
    Exotic livestock disease outbreaks have the capacity to significantly impact individual livestock keepers, as well as devastate an entire industry sector. However, there has been limited research undertaken to understand how farmers think about and carry out exotic livestock disease control practices within the social sciences. Drawing on aspects of Social Identity Theory and Self‐Categorisation Theory, this article explores how the ‘good farmer’ identity concept influences farmers’ exotic livestock disease control practices. Using findings from an in‐depth, large‐scale qualitative study with animal keepers and veterinarians, the article identifies three context specific and at times conflicting ‘good farmer’ identities. Additionally, a defensive component is noted whereby farmers suggest an inability to carry out their role as a ‘good farmer’ due to government failings, poor practice undertaken by ‘bad farmers’, as well as the uncontrollable nature of exotic disease.
    July 05, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12127   open full text
  • Affect and Taste: Bourdieu, Traditional Music, and the Performance of Possibilities.
    Loka Ashwood, Michael M. Bell.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 02, 2016
    In his famous Distinction, Bourdieu set forth musical and artistic taste as reflections of class positions developed early in life. With classical music as an explanatory tool, Bourdieu argued that cultural capital becomes deeply embodied and difficult to change. In temperance of Bourdieu's use of class, we suggest an affective theory of taste through the case of traditional music, based on a performance of possibilities inspired by our experiences in two pubs, one English and one Irish. Commonly played in pubs, traditional music can draw on rural lore to share its message with singing patrons of mixed class backgrounds. We use traditional music to argue that place shapes diverse social ties at all levels of economics, education, and age. We do not dispute that class powerfully shapes taste. But through what we term the joy of transcendence – formed through distinct and relative experiences, bonds, and friendships, enacted through place – participants can find pleasure in opening the cages of class and connecting across difference.
    July 02, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12135   open full text
  • Rural Second Homes: A Narrative of De‐Centralisation.
    Winfried Ellingsen.
    Sociologia Ruralis. June 06, 2016
    The dominant political narrative in Norway over the past half century maintains that the country is facing major challenges due to centralisation and urbanisation of the population. Responding to this assumption, this article argues that a significant segment of the population is in fact spending more time in rural areas when we consider the impact of second home mobility. This argument is based on a theoretical review of the ontological trajectories of settlement and mobility. Set in a rural‐urban perspective, it addresses key demographic trends contrasting the sedentarist perspective for the registration of the population with the alternative view of time spent in rural locations. Based on the scope of the demographic shift and the apparent limitations of registration, it is argued that second home mobility re‐assembles the rural in demographic as well as economic terms and should therefore be an integral part of studies of rural development.
    June 06, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12130   open full text
  • Governing Social Innovation: Exploring the Role of ‘Discretionary Practice’ in the Negotiation of Shared Spaces of Community Food Growing.
    Alex Franklin, Imre Kovách, Bernadett Csurgó.
    Sociologia Ruralis. May 23, 2016
    Despite the extensive areas of under‐used green and brownfield land that remain in public ownership, little academic attention has thus far been given to the role of the public sector in utilising this resource for shared forms of community food growing. Building upon recent calls for more research targeted towards the governance of social innovation, but also the spaces and places in which it occurs, this article presents an in‐depth qualitative account of one such public sector‐led attempt at instigating the co‐production of community food growing. Guided by social innovation theory and Lipsky's (1980) street level bureaucracy, the discussion pays particular attention to the discretional practice of front line public sector workers. Whilst at one level public sector‐led initiatives lack sufficient intention or scope for bringing about the transformation of existing social orders, their contribution to propagating individual and smaller scale occurrences of social innovation in the context of community food security should nevertheless not be overlooked. It is by adopting a more micro‐level, situated and process orientated approach to the analysis of alternative forms of collaborative public sector‐led community food growing, that it becomes possible to evidence the presence of innovative practice as it unfolds on the ground.
    May 23, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12126   open full text
  • Uncommon Ground: The Role of Different Place Attachments in Explaining Community Renewable Energy Projects.
    Bregje van Veelen, Claire Haggett.
    Sociologia Ruralis. May 23, 2016
    For rural communities, energy projects can provide a host of benefits, and yet also be a source of significant conflict. Place attachment has become an increasingly popular concept for understanding local responses to large scale renewable energy installations. However, there has been significantly less attention paid to how place attachment influences local responses to community‐led developments. This study contributes to the body of research on place attachment by examining its role in shaping opinions on two locally initiated projects. Interviews were conducted with residents in two rural communities in the Scottish Highlands, where community organisations are developing renewable energy projects. The findings show that place attachment was an important motivator for the development of these projects, but that different types of place attachment also formed a key source of disagreement. Finally, the implications of these findings for rural communities engaging in community‐led development initiatives will be discussed.
    May 23, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12128   open full text
  • Flying Under the Radar? Risks of Social Exclusion for Older People in Rural Communities in Australia, Ireland and Northern Ireland.
    Jeni Warburton, Thomas Scharf, Kieran Walsh.
    Sociologia Ruralis. May 23, 2016
    Risk individualisation is increasingly apparent in policy and practice discourses on social exclusion. For older people who live in rural communities, potentially compounding risk factors associated with social exclusion emerge from the intersection of ageing and rurality. When linked to the diversity of individuals, rural settings, and national jurisdictions, this raises intriguing questions concerning how rural communities perceive and manage related risk. The article draws on comparable data from Australia, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to explore rural community stakeholders’ perceptions of the construction of, and responsibility for, risk of old‐age social exclusion. Data derive from interviews and focus groups with 84 stakeholders from 13 settings across the three jurisdictions. Analysis illustrates an almost universal narrative around the individualisation of risk of old‐age social exclusion, where rural communities serve a role in risk mitigation more than construction. The narrative's policy, sociocultural and contextual drivers, together with its implications, are discussed with reference to the contrasting national contexts.
    May 23, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12129   open full text
  • Entrepreneurship of Women in the Rural Space in Israel: Catalysts and Obstacles to Enterprise Development.
    Michael Sofer, M.A. Tzipi Saada.
    Sociologia Ruralis. April 22, 2016
    This article examines 100 women and their enterprises in moshav‐type co‐operative rural settlements in the rural‐urban fringe of Tel‐Aviv metropolitan area, Israel, and analyses the catalysts and obstacles to development and expansion of such enterprises. Most of the businesses are small, in the personal and service sector, and based on experience in past employment. The majority are located in homes or unused farming structures and constitute the major source of household income. Major catalysts of development include the search for alternatives to waning farming income, self‐fulfilment, and professional development; main obstacles are shortage of capital and lack of self‐confidence in the ability to manage a business. The location is advantageous for fulfilling family obligations and saving costs, but problematic because of distance from central markets and intense local competition. The businesses play a crucial role in the survival strategy of rural households and help improve the quality of life and wellbeing in the region.
    April 22, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12125   open full text
  • Placing Science for Natural Resource Management and Climate Variability: Lessons from Narratives of Risk, Place and Identity.
    Peat Leith, Frank Vanclay.
    Sociologia Ruralis. March 11, 2016
    Making salient, credible and legitimate knowledge for natural resource management (NRM) and adaptation to climate change is achievable when scientific knowledge is grounded in place. Making scientific knowledge locally relevant can be assisted by an understanding of the way ‘placed knowledge’ comes into being. Taking two prominent conceptions of place (Massey and Ingold), we ground these empirically using narratives from graziers in the eastern Australian rangelands. We examine placed conceptions of risk and uncertainty and the ways they are linked to narratives of identity, local environmental change, and understandings of place. Paying heed to narratives enables a reframing of risk and uncertainty into locally‐meaningful forms. This fosters dialogue between various epistemic communities in ways that acknowledge and respect different ways of knowing and differences in the content of knowledge. It provides an analytical basis for scientists and institutions to reflect on the applicability of their information and technology in particular contexts. With this approach, scientists, policymakers and other rural community stakeholders can develop their awareness of how placed narratives link social practices and locally‐legitimate understandings of good farm management and biophysical systems. This will help to ‘place’ science for NRM, agricultural extension and rural development.
    March 11, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12124   open full text
  • Beyond Coping: Smallholder Intensification in Southern Ukraine.
    Brian Kuns.
    Sociologia Ruralis. March 01, 2016
    This article empirically investigates rural, small‐scale household farming in post‐Soviet southern Ukraine, focusing on a particular group of households that have managed to intensify their production beyond subsistence without help from large farms. Large‐farm support for small‐scale household agricultural production in the former Soviet Union is generally considered necessary for small‐scale household farming, so the absence of this support is noteworthy. The conditions of this intensification are explored and mapped out. Further, this intensification is related to discussions in the peasant study literature on the general viability of intensive smallholder production. While the investigated farms do present some sustainability concerns, this paper concludes that this production is not less viable than large‐scale agricultural production. The main future challenge is how upcoming agrarian reforms will affect smallholders, particularly with respect to formalising informal resource use.
    March 01, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12123   open full text
  • Wildlife Management Conflicts in Rural Communities: A Case‐Study of Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) Management in Ērgļu Novads, Latvia.
    Joanna T. Storie, Simon Bell.
    Sociologia Ruralis. February 19, 2016
    Wildlife conflicts are often characterised by conflicts between groups due to an incompatible understanding of the management of the resource. Latvia has experienced an increase in wild boar numbers and associated damage due to improved habitat, caused by land abandonment and actions taken by hunting organisations to maintain boar populations. In Ērgļu Novads, an administrative district of Latvia where the damage is particularly intense, wild boar management is a contentious and emotive issue among different groups within the community. This study sought to investigate the ecological, economic and social dynamics of the conflict using qualitative interviews with members of different interest groups, conducted according to a conceptual framework developed by White et al. (2009) to analyse biodiversity management conflicts. Results showed high wild boar numbers, poorly written contracts between landowners and hunters and a lack of trust between various stakeholder groups, such as landowners, hunters and the authorities, causing conflicts, as well as a lack of effective dialogue preventing the elaboration of solutions. The study identified the need for all stakeholders, including the authorities, to listen more seriously to those most affected by the damage.
    February 19, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12122   open full text
  • Reconciling Windfarms with Rural Place Identity: Exploring Residents’ Attitudes to Existing Sites.
    Rebecca Wheeler.
    Sociologia Ruralis. February 08, 2016
    There is a wealth of literature exploring attitudes towards windfarms and the various debates surrounding them. However, for the most part, this literature has focused on responses to proposed sites, rather than exploring the long‐term impacts of windfarms on local residents. This paper presents the findings from qualitative research in three English villages, which investigated how existing local windfarms are perceived and experienced by local residents, and how such new structures are incorporated into conceptualisations of rural place over time. The results show that, whilst concerns remain in some instances, the windfarms have (perhaps surprisingly) become a familiar and unremarkable – or even valued – part of the landscape for many people. Here, the varied interpretations of existing windfarms, and the place‐based processes underlying them, are discussed with particular reference to rural identities and local contexts. The potential implications of the findings for managing future rural change are also considered.
    February 08, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12121   open full text
  • Rural Marginalisation and the Role of Social Innovation; A Turn Towards Nexogenous Development and Rural Reconnection.
    Bettina B. Bock.
    Sociologia Ruralis. February 08, 2016
    Rural development in Europe is a long‐standing issue that has been supported through EU policies in various ways. The effects of rural development have been uneven, and differences between well‐to‐do and marginal rural areas have been increasing both across and within countries. This process is reinforced by the current financial crisis. Recently, social innovation has been introduced as the new panacea for realising development and growth while, at the same time, warranting social inclusion and counteracting social inequality. A central question of this article is whether social innovation may help to effectively fight rural marginalisation, why that could be the case and what conditions then must be met. Three examples of rural social innovation are used to distil specific features of social innovation and compare them with other concepts and approaches to rural development. Rural social innovation is distinctive in its dependence on civic self‐reliance and self‐organisation due to austerity measures and state withdrawal, and its cross‐sectoral and translocal collaborations. This article concludes that it is time to go beyond earlier ideas of exogenous versus (neo‐)endogenous development and introduces the idea of nexogenous development with socio‐political reconnection as an engine of revitalisation.
    February 08, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12119   open full text
  • Publicising Food: Big Data, Precision Agriculture, and Co‐Experimental Techniques of Addition.
    Michael Carolan.
    Sociologia Ruralis. February 01, 2016
    This article draws upon data taken from the following: 18 interviews of Iowa farmers who utilise big data when making farm management decisions; 14 interviews of those engaged within big data industry, those involved in the sale and promotion of large‐scale data acquisition, predictive analytic software, and/or precision agriculture technologies for conventional agriculture applications; and 19 interviews of regional food system entrepreneurs, those looking to create and encourage the adoption of technological platforms that enhance the capacities of regional food systems. A central aim of this article is to help reshape the debate around agro food‐based technologies, from one that asks what technology is to one that looks at what these socio‐technical forms engender. As described, alternative foodscapes are not looking for alternatives to technology but rather to technologies that engender specific effects. The empirical findings are organised around three themes that emerged out of the qualitative interviews. The technological assemblages investigated all exhibited the following three engendering qualities, which are (1) anticipatory, (2) moralising, and (3) a movement that multiplies absent presences. Precisely how these qualities were expressed, however, varied greatly across foodscapes.
    February 01, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12120   open full text
  • Transition to Sustainable Fertilisation in Agriculture, A Practices Approach.
    Suvi Huttunen, Peter Oosterveer.
    Sociologia Ruralis. February 01, 2016
    It is argued that sustainability transition in agriculture requires a shift from a regime oriented towards increasing agricultural productivity to a regime in which the environmental and social effects of production are regarded as central. Practice theories represent an emerging perspective on analysing sustainability transitions and provide a way to focus on farming activities and their changes. Focusing on practice elements – materials, meanings and competences – we explore the prospects of applying practice theory when analysing differentiation and change in agricultural fertilisation practices. Empirically, the article is based on semi‐open qualitative interviews among Finnish farmers. We identified five different fertilisation practices. The differences and changes in practices could be explained by the diverse and hierarchically organised purposes in farming which contributed to different elements and their linkages in the performance of the practices. Consciously cultivating changes in meaning are especially important in facilitating the change in practices.
    February 01, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12118   open full text
  • Urban Allotment Gardens During Precarious Times: From Motives to Lived Experiences.
    Maria Partalidou*, Theodosia Anthopoulou.
    Sociologia Ruralis. January 25, 2016
    Food production was mostly perceived as an agricultural issue grounded in a rural hinterland. However, with the social, political and economic crisis especially in the European South urban agriculture is rapidly developing and becoming increasingly important for city dwellers. Drawing on a case‐study of a municipal allotment garden in Northern Greece this article set out to explore the motives of urban dwellers for engaging in urban gardening. We elaborate a typology of gardeners using statistical analysis and Maslow's hierarchy of human needs. We then move from motives to placemaking and argue that despite the recent surge of gardens as places of production and satisfaction of basic level needs, new needs are emerging from lived experiences. Meanings, emotions and memories are embedded in the garden. Self‐actualisation needs are fulfilled, new skills are developed and virtual communities are also grown. This symbiotic relationship of agriculture and the city has yet to reach its full potential in helping city dwellers to overcome what they are deprived of due to the crisis, not only material goods and social benefits but moreover a sense of belonging and self‐respect.
    January 25, 2016   doi: 10.1111/soru.12117   open full text
  • Norwegian Agro‐Food Attracting Private Equity Capital; Varieties of Capitalism – Varieties of Financialisation?
    Bjørn Klimek, Hilde Bjørkhaug.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 28, 2015
    Due to the (relatively) small scale of the Norwegian food industry, Private Equity capital is deeply involved in the structural development of the sector through acquisitions and takeovers. The Norwegian social‐democratic model of agriculture, with its attempts to maintain farming all over the country, struggles with comparative disadvantages in productivity and Private Equity capital is investing in direct competition with farmer co‐operatives. An outline of the socioeconomic characteristics of the Norwegian model as well as those of Private Equity illuminates why they both fit well together. Thus, we argue in this article that it is the Norwegian model of agriculture, with its non‐market based elements, that today attracts finance capital and discuss whether this involvement of finance capital can be considered as a process of financialisation. Findings based on analysis of case‐studies of Private Equity buyout in the agro‐food industry suggest that the economic motives of Private Equity takeovers are based on a combination of typical industry capitalism with investments in productivity and efficiency, rather than merely financialisation. Findings are interpreted in a variety of capitalism framework combining social theory on financialisation with business school theories on Private Equity transactions.
    October 28, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12112   open full text
  • Public Policy and Calculative Practices of Risk: Making Matters of Concern and ‘Non‐Communicable’ Threats, from Farm to Fork.
    Stephanie Lavau.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 23, 2015
    This article considers the ways in which calculative practices of risk assessment and management generate matters of concern for public health policy. Campylobacterosis has become the most frequently reported zoonotic disease in the EU, responsible each year for thousands of hospitalisations, several dozen deaths, and significant public health costs and productivity losses. Whilst receiving much attention as a risk to consumers of poultry, it receives little attention as an occupational risk for those working on poultry farms and in processing factories. Informed by ethnographic fieldwork, documentary analysis, and interviews on how biosecurity is practised in poultry production in the UK, I identify particular configurings of risk in the governance of food safety and occupational health and safety that preclude this as a matter of concern for public policy. I argue that calculative practices of risk assessment and management, whilst making some matters present as risks, simultaneously make others ‘non‐communicable'.
    October 23, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12113   open full text
  • Forms of Food Transition: Sociocultural Factors Limiting the Diets' Animalisation in France and India.
    Estelle Fourat, Olivier Lepiller.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 23, 2015
    Animal‐source food consumption is considered a key element in studying and characterising shifts in food diets. But it is most often studied from the macro‐nutritional and macro‐economic perspectives of the ‘nutrition transition’ model. This article advocates the need for a socio‐anthropological examination of the animal‐source food consumption, involved in the transition phenomena. Based on a review of the literature on two different cases (India and France) our study sheds light on social and cultural factors of ‘de‐animalisation’ processes, and advocates an alternative approach to transitions in food. This has led us to examine different forms of animal‐source food consumption and their evolutions at smaller social scales, taking into account sociocultural factors such as the symbolic dimensions of food, the eaters' viewpoints, the processes of sociocultural differentiation, the sociocultural identities, the contexts of choice and consumption or the role of critical reflexivity in the evolution of diets, particularly in the phenomena of ‘de‐animalisation’. Finally, this article raises a number of further questions for researchers interested in the issue of diet transition process.
    October 23, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12114   open full text
  • Complex Shades of Green: Gradually Changing Notions of the ‘Good Farmer’ in a Swedish Context.
    Fred P. Saunders.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 23, 2015
    There are ever‐growing demands on farmers to consider the wider environmental implications of production, not least in the Baltic Sea Region where concerns about agricultural‐related eutrophication are significant. In Sweden, farmers are being nudged through voluntary agro‐environmental measures, enticed by the market and compelled to make the transition from a productivist agriculture to a multifunctional one. Drawing on the ‘good farmer’ concept, inspired by Bourdieu, this article studies Swedish conventional and agro‐environmental organic farmers' views and reflections on the changing relationship between farming practices and the environment. The article finds that despite 25 years of agro‐environmental policy in Sweden, some conventional farmers are still mired in a narrow productivist mindset. That said, the study concludes that we should be wary of conceiving the ‘good farmer’ too strictly in productivist terms, given that the ‘rules of the agricultural game’ in Sweden are leading to a more divergent farmer habitus. Farmers are looking for opportunities within the multifunctional agricultural field, which increasingly demands and expects all farmers to embed social and environmental goals into production considerations.
    October 23, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12115   open full text
  • Creating a Man for the Future: A Narrative Analysis of Male In‐Migrants and Their Constructions of Masculinities in a Rural Context.
    Marit Aure, Mai Camilla Munkejord.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 12, 2015
    Most research on rural masculinity focuses on sedentary and agricultural lifestyles. Based on fieldwork and interviews with 18 male newcomers, this article explores constructions of masculinities among in‐migrants engaged in several occupations and entrepreneurial activities in Finnmark, in Northern Norway. Building on the concept of hegemonic masculinities, we show how a specific combination of compact geography, a changing labour market and the Nordic dual‐earner family model and welfare state create a rural space of opportunities in which male in‐migrants construct themselves as men for the future. The respondents emphasise the importance of intensive fatherhood, being a supportive spouse, and commitment to leisure activities as well as their professional identities. Contrary to studies of rural masculinities emphasising ‘macho’ traits, our analysis demonstrates the prevalence of novel nonhegemonic masculinities among in‐migrants in northernmost Norway.
    October 12, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12111   open full text
  • Opportunity or Threat: Dissecting Tensions in a Post‐Carbon Rural Transition.
    Mick Lennon, Mark Scott.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 06, 2015
    The deployment of renewable energy technologies represents a highly visible and contested indicator of rural change in terms of the function and appearance of rural places. In this article, we examine how notions of rurality and place intersect with macro‐level objectives for reducing carbon emissions, and how competing storylines underpin opposing and supporting coalitions in the deployment of wind energy projects. The article explores a series of recent controversial proposals for mega‐wind energy projects in the Irish midlands driven by energy companies seeking to take advantage of an Irish‐UK intergovernmental agreement to export green energy from Ireland to assist the UK in meeting its renewable energy targets. To examine these issues we develop and apply an interpretive approach to policy analysis inspired by the work of Laclau and Mouffe on the role of signifiers, antagonistic narratives and the constitutive outside. We identify how opposing and supporting discourses talk ‘past one another’ by framing narratives through different spatial referents (national versus local) and competing conceptualisation of the rural ‘resource’. This inhibits the potential to imagine alternative post‐carbon rural trajectories.
    October 06, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12106   open full text
  • The Framing of Public Knowledge Controversies in the Media: A Comparative Analysis of the Portrayal of Badger Vaccination in the English National, Regional and Farming Press.
    Rhiannon Naylor, Will Manley, Damian Maye, Gareth Enticott, Brian Ilbery, Alice Hamilton‐Webb.
    Sociologia Ruralis. September 20, 2015
    Science has a powerful role in society. It can fuel innovation, shape policy and influence public opinion. However, science can also be highly controversial and subject to substantial disagreement and debate. Such debates are often evident in the media which regularly reports on areas of disagreement and debate. This article draws on the case‐study of bovine tuberculosis (bTB), which has become a highly politicised issue in recent years, to explore media representation of public knowledge controversies. The disease has received substantial policy and media attention, particularly in relation to badgers and their role in its spread. This article focuses on the ways in which the various debates associated with bTB and its control are presented in the press, with a specific emphasis on badger vaccination. An in‐depth discourse analysis compares regional, national and farming press, and identifies a number of complex dualisms against which the debate is framed. These dualisms help to explain the unclear policy direction and constant divisions between those who do and do not support badger vaccination, and the continued status of bTB control as a public knowledge controversy.
    September 20, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12105   open full text
  • Technology and Restructuring the Social Field of Dairy Farming: Hybrid Capitals, ‘Stockmanship’ and Automatic Milking Systems.
    Deborah Butler, Lewis Holloway.
    Sociologia Ruralis. September 02, 2015
    Using Automatic Milking Systems (AMS) as an example we use the work of Bourdieu to illustrate how technology can be seen as restructuring dairy farming practices, what it is to be a dairy farmer, and the wider field of dairy farming. Approaching technology in this way and drawing upon the ‘thinking tools’ of Pierre Bourdieu, namely field, capital and habitus, the article critically examines the relevance of Bourdieu's thought to the study of technology. We expand on Bourdieu's types of capital to define what we have called ‘hybrid’ capital involving human‐cow‐technology collectives. The concept expresses how new technology can shift power relations within the dairy field, affecting human‐animal relations and changing the stock person' habitus. Hybrid capital is produced through a co‐investment of stock‐keepers, cows and technologies, and can become economically and culturally valuable within a rapidly restructuring dairying field when invested in making dairy farming more efficient changing farmers' social status and work‐life balance. The article shows how AMS and this emergent hybrid capital is associated with new but contested definitions of what counts as ‘good’ dairy farming practice, and with the emergence of new modes of dairy farmer habitus, within a wider dairy farming field.
    September 02, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12103   open full text
  • Great Expectations or Small Country Living? Enabling Small Rural Creative Businesses with ICT.
    Alistair R. Anderson, Claire Wallace, Leanne Townsend.
    Sociologia Ruralis. September 02, 2015
    Small businesses are prototypical rural business, but limited by distance. However, creative businesses are less constrained by space and hold great promise for rural development. Indeed, the rural is an attractive creative aesthetic milieu. Moreover, new broadband technologies seem to offer a solution to address connectivity; the social and spatial problem of being rural. Consequently, we ask how does broadband enable small rural creative firms. We sought out the practices and experiences of creative business owners, finding that broadband offered useful technical, creative, and business linking. However many were frustrated by poor technical performance. Furthermore, the accelerating pace of ICT worried respondents, who feared being left behind. Nonetheless for most–without broadband their rural location would have been impossible. We found that broadband has fostered creative rural businesses, but as new ways of making a small country living rather than stimulating a rural creative milieu. The digital promise of a creative transformation of the rural has not been realised in Scotland.
    September 02, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12104   open full text
  • Eroding the Community in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA): Competition's Effects in Alternative Food Networks in California.
    Ryan E. Galt, Katharine Bradley, Libby Christensen, Julia Van Soelen Kim, Ramiro Lobo.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 23, 2015
    The effects of competition within alternative food networks (AFNs) remain largely unexplored. Using a study of farms that operate Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programmes in California, the state in the USA with the most CSAs, we empirically examine the effects of competition within alternative food networks. We conducted a statewide survey of CSA farmers in California, which collected data from 111 CSAs. For this analysis we construct a perceived competition index composed of variables that measure farmers' perceptions of competition with numerous market outlets and their being constrained in raising their prices due to competitive pressures. Our analysis shows that perceived competition is negatively correlated with CSA farms' profitability, farmers' satisfaction on a number of fronts, various indicators of the social embeddedness of CSA, and two community food security strategies. We conclude that competition is a real, although differential, phenomenon experienced by many CSA farmers in California, and that this competition impacts CSA in ways that undermine some of its commonly held values, especially fair farmer compensation and strong member‐farmer relationships.
    July 23, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12102   open full text
  • Cultivating Market Relations – Diversification in the Danish Organic Production Sector Following Market Expansion.
    Martin Thorsøe, Egon Noe.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 03, 2015
    Understanding how the market influences the development of organic food networks is relevant as the consumption of organics grows in many parts of the world. This article investigates how market relations influence the decision‐making of farmers. We explore the different strategies employed by organic farmers for building trust, ensuring consistency in food quality and at the farm level. By analysing 14 qualitative interviews conducted with Danish organic farmers we identify four market agencements – assemblages of actors endowed with agency. The four agencements are: (1) A standardising market agencement, (2) a personalising market agencement, (3) a specialising market agencement and (4) an aestheticising market agencement. Each of the four market agencements supports a different approach to producing and selling organics. Hence, the Danish organic market is diversified in terms of the qualities that are transferred, the relations of trust underpinning the market, and the production strategies of the farmers. Moreover, developments in the market have enabled some producers to develop large‐scale organic production, while enabling other farmers to develop niches emphasising new product qualities and consumer relations. Consequently, we argue that organic farmers do not only produce goods for pre‐existing, predefined markets, but that they also cultivate new market relations.
    July 03, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12086   open full text
  • Buying Access to Social Capital? From Collaboration to Service Provision in an Agricultural Co‐operative.
    Sharon Flanigan, Lee‐Ann Sutherland.
    Sociologia Ruralis. June 16, 2015
    Recent years have seen a proliferation of state supports to increase agriculture and rural economic development through co‐operative ventures. Implicit or explicit in these activities is the mobilisation of social capital to achieve economic aims. To date, few studies have addressed the long term evolution of social capital‐based relationships. In this article, we assess the evolving role of social capital in an agricultural co‐operative, using the development of machinery rings in Scotland as a case‐study. Drawing on Bourdieu's conceptualisation of capital exchange, we explore the establishment, formalisation, and commoditisation of different capitals embedded in the rings. Findings demonstrate that a range of capital types was important at each stage of machinery ring development, enabling them to evolve in relation to the changes affecting the agriculture industry in Scotland. Early adoption of advanced information technologies enabled the mobilisation of network resources and successful service provision across increasing geographical scales. Through formalisation, the rings became sources of human, social, and economic capitals – access to which could be purchased by new ring members. This formalisation process ultimately led to the establishment of the rings as economically viable businesses, but also a shift in identity from farmer collaboration to commercial service provision.
    June 16, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12092   open full text
  • Transition and Adaptation: An Analysis of Adaption Strategies Amongst Danish Farm Families from 1980–2008.
    Stefan B. Andrade.
    Sociologia Ruralis. May 22, 2015
    This article analyses how Danish farm families adapted to harsh and changing conditions in the period after the great western agricultural crisis in the early 1980s. Drawing on Bourdieu's concepts of habitus and adaptation, I analyse the creation and consolidation of different class fractions amongst farm families due to different adaptation strategies. The data contain information about the population of self‐employed farmers and their families who were between 30–35 years old in 1980 (n = 9,123). Using sequence analysis, I examine farm families' adaptation strategies for maintaining their agricultural production annually from 1980–2008. The result is a five‐farmer typology that, together with logit regression models including background covariates, reveals how the farm families' adaptation strategies relate to educational level, financial situation, family composition and whether the farmer can receive help from a spouse or other close family members.
    May 22, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12091   open full text
  • Empowering Local Action through Neo‐Endogenous Development; The Case of LEADER in England.
    Gary Bosworth, Ivan Annibal, Terry Carroll, Liz Price, Jessica Sellick, John Shepherd.
    Sociologia Ruralis. April 21, 2015
    Neo‐endogenous rural development depends on ‘bottom‐up’ activities that integrate external influences to increase local potential. This local focus calls for local knowledge, local resources and the engagement of local people to be central to development processes. Based on data from an evaluation of LEADER in England, we explore the scope for local control and the effective means of creating local empowerment within the neo‐endogenous model. Interviews were held with policy actors and beneficiaries of funding across 20 of the 64 Local Action Groups in England. These highlighted a great diversity of projects generating an equally diverse range of outcomes. However, capturing their full value was problematic, suggesting that new approaches to evaluation should be explored to increase local control of the development process. Findings also indicate that the negotiation between top‐down and bottom‐up, and local and external influences is an ongoing process. Through this process, local learning has empowered local actors to develop flexible approaches tailored to their localities, but local empowerment is more effective when top‐down parameters are clearly established.
    April 21, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12089   open full text
  • New Wine in Different Bottles: Negotiating and Selling the CAP post‐2013 Reform.
    Gerry Alons, Pieter Zwaan.
    Sociologia Ruralis. April 08, 2015
    This article investigates the policy discourses at European level and in France, Germany and the UK during the debate on the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) post‐2013 reform. The neoliberal discourse that has provided the intellectual justification for reform during the last decade is now increasingly combined with a ‘public goods’ discourse related to the multifunctionalist discourse of the 1990s. Innovating on earlier discursive analyses of the CAP debate, this article distinguishes between discourses used during the uploading (negotiations) and the downloading (implementation) phases. In doing so it uncovers the effects of domestic‐international interactions on the application of different competing discourses. The member states' domestic legitimating discourses applied to ‘sell’ the eventual CAP agreement tend to align with existing domestic policy paradigms rather than with dominant discourses at the EU level, indicating that discourses are prone to strategic usage.
    April 08, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12088   open full text
  • Assets and Affect in the Study of Social Capital in Rural Communities.
    Martin Phillips.
    Sociologia Ruralis. March 27, 2015
    Shucksmith (2012) has recently suggested that rural research might be refreshed by incorporating theoretical insights that have emerged through a renewal of class analysis. This article seeks to advance this proposed research agenda by exploring the concept of asset‐based class analysis and its association with the concept of social capital. The article explores connections between social capital, class analysis and understandings of community, noting how all have been associated with long running and unresolved debates. Attention is drawn to the problems of modernist legislative approaches to these debates and the value of adopting more interpretive perspectives. A distinction between ‘infrastructural’ and ‘culturalist’ interpretations of social capital is explored in relation to ‘asset‐based’ theorisations of class and culture. It is argued that an infrastructural conception of social capital might usefully be employed in association with a disaggregated conception of cultural capital that includes consideration of emotion and affect, as well as institutional, objectified and technical assets. These arguments are explored using studies of rural communities, largely within Britain.
    March 27, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12085   open full text
  • What Farmers Know: Experiential Knowledge and Care in Vine Growing.
    Anna Krzywoszynska.
    Sociologia Ruralis. March 24, 2015
    This article contributes to the critical debate on the choreographies of care in farming (Law) through an exploration of the inter‐dependence of care and situated expertise in the context of vine work. It argues that care as the totality of those activities which enable the maintenance, continuation, and repair of the farming ‘world’, to paraphrase Fisher and Tronto's classic definition, depends on experiential knowledge. According to Dreyfus and Dreyfus attentiveness, responsiveness, and adaptation to the material environment are characteristic of high levels of expertise. Attentiveness, responsiveness, and adaptation are also what characterises good care (Tronto; Mol). Through an autoethnographic account of acquiring competence in vine work, the article illustrates how through practical engagement with the material and social environment of the farm key elements of the logic of care (Mol) are acquired. In conclusion, the article indicates some consequences of putting experiential knowledge at the heart of multi‐scalar and multi‐temporal cares farmers are increasingly asked to attend to.
    March 24, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12084   open full text
  • Power in the Field. Explaining the Legitimisation of Large‐Scale Farming in Romania.
    Antoine Roger.
    Sociologia Ruralis. March 16, 2015
    Examining the development of Romanian agriculture, one may wonder how a few large‐scale agribusinesses have managed to legitimise their position and to deflect open criticism even as they control a disproportionate share of arable land. Clarification may be provided by Pierre Bourdieu's concept of field, which involves the simultaneous characterisation of sets of objective positions and symbolic struggles over the definition of hierarchical principles. This analytical framework allows us to shed light on the economic field and its relationships with other fields, which each have their own structure and are each influenced by specific struggles. Large‐scale agricultural holdings in Romania find support within the political and the scientific fields, each of which provides supports within the bureaucratic field. The coincidence of different fields prevents any questioning of the economic model on which the development of large‐scale farming is based.
    March 16, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12087   open full text
  • Worthy of Recognition? How Second Home Owners Understand Their Own Group's Moral Worth in Rural Host Communities.
    Maja Farstad.
    Sociologia Ruralis. March 02, 2015
    Second home owners are conspicuous stakeholders in many rural areas, and their understanding of what would be the morally right position for them to occupy in the host community matters not only to themselves but also to the local authorities and potentially affected residents. Based on interviews with 23 owners of second homes in rural municipalities in Norway, this article examines second home owners' understanding of their own group's moral worth in their rural host communities and their expectations of receiving – or not receiving – distributional goods and other forms of recognition. Both the humble and the reward‐collecting perspective on second home owners' position are based on the perception of the rural community as weak and dependent upon second home owners' presence. Second home owners with a humble perspective think this unbalanced relationship is unpleasant, which weighs against the suggestion that second home owners be granted greater political power.
    March 02, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12083   open full text
  • The Constitution of Trust: Function, Configuration and Generation of Trust in Alternative Food Networks.
    Martin Thorsøe, Chris Kjeldsen.
    Sociologia Ruralis. February 25, 2015
    Alternative Food Networks (AFNs) are often mentioned as a way to reconfigure the link between producers and consumers and build trust in the food system. This article explores the function, configuration and generation of trust in AFNs. The structure is twofold. First we discuss the theoretical underpinnings of trust, in both recent AFN literature and in sociology, and develop a conceptual framework for analysing trust in AFNs. Second, we explore the function, configuration and generation of trust in the Food Communities of Copenhagen and Aarhus (in Danish: ‘Fødevarefællesskaberne’). The Food Communities are a network of urban consumers sourcing organic products from regional producers. Empirically, the article demonstrates how trust functions as a mechanism that creates coherency and which facilitates co‐operation in the food network. Furthermore, the Food Communities are characterised by high levels of systemic and personal trust. Several mechanisms, such as managing expectations, establishing trustworthiness, and developing a common normative basis, are employed and contribute to the generation and maintenance of trust.
    February 25, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12082   open full text
  • The Making and Re‐making of a Regional Product: The Case of Zeeland Madder.
    Sofie Joosse.
    Sociologia Ruralis. January 13, 2015
    Regional products play an increasingly important role in European economies and policies. The economic value of these products is considerable, and they are frequently regarded as significant generators of rural and regional development. But what processes underlie the formation of a regional product? While scholars have rightly called for attention to be paid to the contextual nature of regional products, this article aims to take a progressive step in this discourse and explore if, given the contextual nature of regional products, specific patterns can be identified that serve to make products regional. To this end I investigate the qualification of a reinvented agricultural product, madder (Rubia tinctorum), which is grown to produce dyestuff in Zeeland, The Netherlands. Based on the case of Zeeland madder and a comparison with other regional products I identify five qualification patterns, namely essentialism, strategic positioning, identity work, internal mobilisation and localising control. These patterns cross the divide between economy and culture and show how both elements become interwoven in the process of making products regional. Moreover, the patterns usefully highlight the hybridity of regional products, that is, their association with alternative food networks and conventional food networks.
    January 13, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12076   open full text
  • The LEADER Initiative has been a Victim of Its Own Success. The Decline of the Bottom‐Up Approach in Rural Development Programmes. The Cases of Wales and Andalusia.
    Francisco Antonio Navarro, Michael Woods, Eugenio Cejudo.
    Sociologia Ruralis. January 13, 2015
    The LEADER approach has been at the heart of European rural development policy for the last 20 years, encompassing the principles of bottom‐up endogenous development and community empowerment. Initially delivered through autonomous local action groups (LAGs), since the 2007–2013 programming period, LEADER has been integrated with other measures in broader regional rural development programmes. It has been claimed that these changes have diluted the participatory principles of this programme. We examine the extent and impact of participation in rural development through LEADER, how this has changed over time, and the factors driving changes, through surveys of LAG managers in two case study regions in Spain (Andalusia) and the UK (Wales). The findings show that LAG managers are very positive about the breadth of participation in their own group and its role in decentralising decision‐making, but critical of the structure, operation and management of LEADER in rural development programmes. In particular bureaucracy and the increased influence of regional and local government are perceived to have limited the autonomy of LAGs and to have deterred the participation of marginalised groups. The principles of this initiative are perceived to have been diluted and LEADER appears to have been a victim of its own success.
    January 13, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12079   open full text
  • The Contribution of the Creative Economy to the Resilience of Rural Communities: Exploring Cultural and Digital Capital.
    Elisabeth Roberts, Leanne Townsend.
    Sociologia Ruralis. January 13, 2015
    This article develops understanding of cultural and digital capital in order to evaluate the contribution of creative practitioners to rural community resilience. Online practices today impact on creative work in rural locales in a number of ways. However, exactly how they extend ‘reach’ and contribute to rural creativity deserves greater attention. We examine how broadband Internet access and online practices impact on rural creative work and, in turn, how this enables creatives to participate at different levels in their rural communities, thus contributing to research into both rural community resilience and rural creative economies by providing in‐depth qualitative analysis. Through interviews undertaken in rural Scotland, the article outlines the implications of poor rural Internet connectivity for creative economies and explores the impact of this on the role of creatives in their rural communities and their ‘community‐focused’ creative activities. Our findings suggest creative practitioners are using digital technologies and adaptive approaches to overcome barriers to connectivity and to remain in rural locations. Creatives are invested in their communities and their rurality on a number of levels, contributing to community resilience through building cultural capital in diverse ways, and to ‘ripple effects’ from online activities.
    January 13, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12075   open full text
  • Affective Topologies of Rural Youth Embodiment.
    David Farrugia, John Smyth, Tim Harrison.
    Sociologia Ruralis. January 08, 2015
    This article explores the affective, embodied dimensions of young rural people's relationship with space and place. Relationship with space and place has been recognised as a significant dimension of rural youths' subjectivities but it has been primarily understood through representational perspectives which focus on young people's perceptions, images, or discursive constructions of their local places. In contrast, this article draws on non‐representational approaches to subjectivity and space to highlight the embodied, sensuous entanglements between young people's subjectivities and the spaces they have inhabited and experienced. Qualitative data gathered as part of a project exploring youths' subjectivities in regional Australia shows that young people's experience of their rural locale, as well as their relationship to the city, reflect an affective topology of relations of proximity and rhythmic tempo which emerges from the relationship between the space of their bodily hexis and the spaces and places they are situated within. These non‐representational, embodied processes are intrinsic to rural youths' subjectivities and structure how young people approach and navigate their futures.
    January 08, 2015   doi: 10.1111/soru.12077   open full text
  • Practices of Participation and Voluntarism among Older People in Rural Wales: Choice, Obligation and Constraints to Active Ageing.
    Laura Jones, Jesse Heley.
    Sociologia Ruralis. December 30, 2014
    Rural ageing is a significant issue for policy makers and academics, with the increasing proportion of older residents in rural areas placing heightened demands on service provision at a time of economic austerity. In this context, participation and volunteering in older age has been drawn into policy focus. Alongside broader discourses of social capital and active citizenship, the prospect of active ageing has emerged as a key component in the delivery of community‐based services under neoliberal welfare agendas. However, moves to formalise participation among the elderly are at risk of undermining everyday practices of voluntarism. Furthermore, the diversity of the older population means that the willingness and capacity of rural communities and individuals to undertake forms of voluntarism will vary considerably. These issues arise in rural Wales, where notions of participation have become intertwined with Welsh Government initiatives for community regeneration. Through empirical research, this article considers the different motivations of older people for engaging in forms of community participation, as well as constraints to these activities. In concluding, we reflect on the implications for local civil society in Wales.
    December 30, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12073   open full text
  • Introducing ‘Seeds of Change’ into the Food System? Localisation Strategies in the Swiss Dairy Industry.
    Jérémie Forney, Isabel Häberli.
    Sociologia Ruralis. December 03, 2014
    The Swiss dairy‐farming sector faces challenging times after the removal of milk quotas. In this context, several cooperative and federative structures have developed new strategies to improve the situation of dairy farmers. Local products play an important role in these strategies. Based on ethnographic work, this article looks at the social construction and negotiation of ‘the local’ in three case studies. Firstly, we show what diverging geographical and moral definitions of the local emerge from the development of these localised food networks. Then we look at how the various moralities of the local in turn contribute to the transformation of the actors' position in the broader food system. Finally, we argue that apparently narrow economic strategies might open new paths for more transformative developments based on alternative values such as regional development, solidarity and identity.
    December 03, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12072   open full text
  • Still Being the ‘Good Farmer’: (Non‐)retirement and the Preservation of Farming Identities in Older Age.
    Mark Riley.
    Sociologia Ruralis. December 03, 2014
    Recent discussions in this journal have observed the importance of ‘good farming’ ideals and the subject position of ‘good farmer’ to farming practices. This article explores how farmers (re)negotiate their position as a good farmer in older age. Drawing on Bourdieusian‐inspired discussions of good farming, the article explores the experiences of farmers in Hampshire and West Sussex,UK, over the age of 65, who continue working on their farms. It is seen that remaining ‘in place’ is important to the maintenance of their farming identity, facilitating as it does their ability to continue to draw on the symbolic capital of their farms and their farming history. Alongside this, the way that they perform, and talk about, their day‐to‐day tasks and the symbolically important activities on the farm allows them to counter many of the culturally dominant scripts of ageing. Significant in navigating older age is the embodiment of cultural capital and how farmers both utilise and narrate their ageing bodies. It is concluded that while it does not lead to new symbols of good farming per se, moving into older age does (re)shape how such symbols are developed and utilised.
    December 03, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12063   open full text
  • Get Real: Climate Change and All That ‘It’ Entails.
    Michael Carolan, Diana Stuart.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 20, 2014
    This article builds on Carolan's three natures scheme, where he distinguishes between the strata of ‘nature’, nature and Nature, by overlaying his previous framework with further analytic distinctions. Doing this, the authors argue, adds an important layer of analytical and conceptual robustness that his earlier scheme lacks. After building on this framework, attention turns to the phenomena of climate change. A selection of agrifood studies on this subject is used to help illustrate the utility of the revised model. The literatures reviewed involve the following: those looking at attitudes among farmers toward climate change; the bark beetle outbreaks in British Columbia; and food regimes. With this move the authors seek to illustrate the explanatory and descriptive utility of the revised model, specifically in its ability to provide a sustained defence of a type of realism that relational social theorists implicitly ascribe to. They also show how their conceptual labours – and the ecologically embedded relational realism it brings to the fore – can help further inform the aforementioned literatures by highlighting some of their conceptual and analytic blind spots.
    November 20, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12067   open full text
  • Building Virtual Bridges: How Rural Micro‐Enterprises Develop Social Capital in Online and Face‐to‐Face Settings.
    Leanne Townsend, Claire Wallace, Alison Smart, Timothy Norman.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 20, 2014
    In rural UK, businesses are often isolated and have much to gain from healthy networks, yet studies show that many rural business owners fail to network effectively. Information communications technologies offer new ways to network that might benefit rural businesses by expanding their reach. This study looked at online and face‐to‐face networking behaviour among rural micro‐enterprises in Scotland in relation to the development of bonding and bridging social capital. Given the challenges of remoteness faced by many rural businesses, online networking is particularly useful in developing bridging capital, but is an unsuitable context for building the trust needed to gain tangible benefits. The article therefore highlights the importance of face‐to‐face interactions in developing trust and bonding social capital. Rural business owners face distinctive challenges with respect to online communications, which are explored in this article.
    November 20, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12068   open full text
  • An Application of Boundary Organisation Theory to Develop Landscape‐scale Conservation in Formal Agri‐environment Schemes.
    Jeremy R. Franks.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 15, 2014
    Recent reviews of UK biodiversity conservation have emphasised the need to adopt a landscape‐scale approach. This study reports the problems encountered by farmers currently participating in landscape‐scale conservation options in a UK agri‐environment scheme. Many of these problems were overcome with the assistance of independent organisations working as intermediaries between farmers and between farmers and government agencies. Findings from two surveys of farmers not involved in landscape‐scale conservation in agri‐environmental schemes reveal the problems they expect to encounter to be similar to those faced by farmers with experience of successful collaboration. It is therefore likely prospective collaborators would also benefit from the assistance of similar independent intermediary organisations. Boundary organisation theory is used to compare organisations' structures and working practices against the characteristics of successful independent intermediary negotiating organisations. It is concluded that the boundary organisation theory framework can be usefully applied to identify organisational strengths and weaknesses, and to assess competences to assume the role of an independent intermediary negotiating organisation.
    October 15, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12059   open full text
  • Twenty Years of Rural Entrepreneurship: A Bibliometric Survey.
    Maria Lúcia Pato, Aurora A.C. Teixeira.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 09, 2014
    Entrepreneurship has become a dynamic field of research in the last two decades. However, ‘rural entrepreneurship’ has been largely overlooked. It seems therefore timely to present a quantitative survey of the literature in this particular area. Based on 181 articles on rural entrepreneurship published in journals indexed in Scopus, we found that rural entrepreneurship is an essentially European concern, whose most prolific authors are affiliated with institutions in the UK and Spain. Organisational characteristics, policy measures and institutional frameworks and governance have attracted considerable attention in recent years, being considered emergent topics of research. In contrast, theory building has not attracted much research over the period in analysis, which suggests that the theoretical body of rural entrepreneurship is still incipient, hindering the establishment of its boundaries and of a suitable research agenda. Empirical literature on rural entrepreneurship has focused mainly on developed countries, most notably, the UK, the USA, Spain, Finland and Greece. Given the potential rural entrepreneurship represents for less developed and underdeveloped countries, more research on the topic targeting these countries is an imperative.
    October 09, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12058   open full text
  • Convergence on Sustainable Lifestyles? Mechanisms of Change and Resistance in a French Allotment.
    Géraldine Farges.
    Sociologia Ruralis. May 22, 2014
    This article aims to contribute to understanding convergence on sustainable lifestyles in relation to recent governmental promotion of sustainability. We analyse the effects of inducement to pro‐environmental practices in amateur gardeners on an allotment, a group of plots of land collectively managed in an urban context. We examine the conditions in which allotment gardeners integrate practices and norms on sustainability. Through a one‐year ethnographic research project consisting of observations and repeat interviews with gardeners, we demonstrate that while they adopt new cultural techniques for their plots, the meanings of their gardening practices differ, as do their relationships with the environment. We identify three ideal types of gardeners and show that the diffusion of pro‐environmental practices is not systematically related to shared concerns and that the meaning of practices can be interpreted differently by policymakers and lay individuals.
    May 22, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12052   open full text
  • Risky (Agri‐) Business: Risk Assessment, Analysis and Management as Bio‐political Strategies.
    Karla Mason.
    Sociologia Ruralis. May 22, 2014
    This article explores risk assessment, analysis and management as strategic responses to the threat of animal disease outbreaks. Such strategies, and the techniques, technologies and practices they give rise to, are conceptualised here as thoroughly bio‐political strategies which induce particular disciplinary effects. These effects are critically explored along three key analytical dimensions: space, place and mobility. This analysis is carried out through a deconstructive reading of both the discourses and practices associated with risk assessment, analysis and management. Whilst the deployment of these strategies acts to classify, categorise, control, order, render visible, distribute (or fix) in space, a heterogeneous array of agents (human and non‐human) and objects, as the article argues, these strategies do not merely delimit or inhibit. Rather, their deployment effects a proliferation of opportunities for resistance, negotiation, transgression and misappropriation, not to mention technical failure. Such strategies are therefore characterised as much by congenital failure and indeterminacy as by efficacy and completion.
    May 22, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12053   open full text
  • The Relationship between ‘Non‐successor’ Farm Offspring and the Continuity of the Irish Family Farm.
    Anne Cassidy, Brian McGrath.
    Sociologia Ruralis. May 22, 2014
    Studies of farm families have largely neglected the position of farm offspring who, through necessity or choice, live their lives away from the farm. This article explores how Irish farming offspring who will not or are highly unlikely to be farm successors frame their relationship with the farm, as well as their attitude to and role in the succession process and the continuity of the farm within the family. Particularly, the concern is to know how attachment to/detachment from the farm and home life are shaped and the implications for how they construct their identities. The article is based on a qualitative narrative study of 30 young adults from farm backgrounds attending university. It is argued that the ‘non‐successors’ in this cohort have a deep attachment to the farm as an enduring place in their lives. This has key implications for the desire to retain the farm within the family. The article demonstrates that while there is acceptance of enduring gendered cultural scripts surrounding succession, non‐successors demonstrate their attachments in key terms, namely through a collective and secure sense of ownership; a sense of responsibility in maintaining the intergenerational legacy and continuity; and the articulation of the farm as a repository of memories.
    May 22, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12054   open full text
  • Farm Women and Agritourism: Representing a New Rurality.
    Wynne Wright, Alexis Annes.
    Sociologia Ruralis. May 14, 2014
    This article examines how farm women represent rurality and agriculture within the context of farm tourism. We draw upon qualitative data analysis of a farm women's agritourism network in southern France centred on sheep milk production for Roquefort cheese. Through the use of choreography, staging, performances, and their bodies, we found that women represent rurality and agriculture in multiple and seemingly contradictory ways. At times they paint portraits of rural life that reproduce human‐nature and masculine‐feminine binaries affiliated with tradition and cultural heritage. At other times, they choreograph, stage, and perform modernity by accentuating materials, ideals, and roles more accurately articulated as a product of contemporary society. The result is a complex amalgam of agriculture and rural life representations constructed for tourist consumption. We conclude by discussing the opportunities such representations hold for enabling farm women to access cultural influence in agriculture.
    May 14, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12051   open full text
  • The Lifeworlds of Organic and Conventional Farmers in Central‐southern England: A Phenomenological Enquiry.
    David Kings, Brian Ilbery.
    Sociologia Ruralis. April 28, 2014
    Little comparative research has investigated the ‘lifeworlds’ of organic and conventional farmers. Using phenomenology, this article explores and describes the ‘lifeworlds’ of farmers in central‐southern England with the aim of identifying their understandings and experiences in relation to their choice of farming system. On‐farm ‘lifeworld’ interviews and observations (examined in terms of movement, rest and encounter) showed that, in contrast to conventional farmers, organic farmers often have less tidy farms, perceive the farm and ‘natural’ environment as one and the same, place more importance on their dwelling and experience greater feelings of isolation. Most of the organic respondents' understandings of farming were more closely linked to the ‘natural’ environment, biodiversity and agricultural sustainability than the conventional farmers, whose agricultural understandings were often concerned with creating pheasant cover and providing ‘good environments’ for foxes.
    April 28, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12047   open full text
  • The Role of Tacit Knowledge in Developing Networks for Sustainable Agriculture.
    Nigel Curry, James Kirwan.
    Sociologia Ruralis. April 27, 2014
    Whilst objectivist epistemologies have been dominant in productivist agriculture, the local, cultural and environmental contexts of sustainable agriculture are more fully informed by constructivist epistemologies. Within constructivism, tacit knowledge – an intuitive knowledge that cannot be formalised – is explored empirically. Six types of tacit knowledge were identified as a result of working closely with a sustainable food network: the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership. Customs cohere around integrating food with other sustainable activity; developing a complex unregulated organisation requires savoir‐faire. The unique character of Brighton has developed an operational folklore, and network identity is important, particularly in relation to conventional agriculture and to the city as a whole. A confidence in people's roles has helped define network development and using different discourses, communicating the network in diverse contexts, is important for understanding the network. All these tacit knowledge elements have a strong influence over the network but have to be assimilated knowledge rather than learned.
    April 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12048   open full text
  • Adolescent Migration Intentions and Population Change: A 20‐Year Follow‐Up of Icelandic Communities.
    Thoroddur Bjarnason.
    Sociologia Ruralis. April 27, 2014
    Prior research has demonstrated that migration intentions are a moderate to strong predictor of individual‐level migration across a wide range of countries, but their value for predicting community‐level population change remains unclear. Analyses of census data 1972–2012 and a population survey of Icelandic adolescents in 1992 show that each percentage point difference in adolescent migration intentions is associated with 1.36 per cent change in the surveyed cohort and 1.25 per cent change in the total population over a 20‐year period. Roughly half of the predictive value of migration intentions can be attributed to remoteness and long‐term population change prior to the survey. On average, communities only experienced long‐term population decline when more than half the adolescent population had intended to leave, but lower levels of adolescent migration intentions are associated with changes in the age composition. These results strongly suggest that adolescent migration intentions signal future population development.
    April 27, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12050   open full text
  • Help‐seeking among Male Farmers: Connecting Masculinities and Mental Health.
    Philippe Roy, Gilles Tremblay, Steven Robertson.
    Sociologia Ruralis. April 16, 2014
    In many ways, male farmers can be considered to be a vulnerable group in relation to mental health, experiencing high rates of suicide, psychological distress and low use of health services. This study highlights important connections between rurality, farming and masculinities in the context of men's mental health. In‐depth interviews with 32 male farmers from Quebec, Canada were completed focusing on stress and coping strategies. Findings include informal and formal strategies. Many participants had previous positive experience of formal help and would be willing to use such help again and to recommend it to others in need. Those without such experience are sceptical about services but recognise the courage it requires to seek help. Pride and lack of knowledge about services are the main barriers to help‐seeking, but it can be legitimated in certain contexts, such as divorce or other psychosocial crisis, and by alignment with particular male ideals. Role models at national or local levels can also help farmers prioritise their own and their family's wellbeing over stigmas and rigid, traditional masculine ideals. Furthermore, gender‐based strengths and recommendations for practice are also discussed.
    April 16, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12045   open full text
  • Agricultural Biotechnology in Central and Eastern Europe: Determinants of Cultivation Bans.
    Jale Tosun.
    Sociologia Ruralis. April 10, 2014
    By the joining of the European Union (EU), the Central and Eastern European states had to align their agricultural biotechnology regulations to EU standards. In some cases, this meant the adoption of stricter regulations such as for the co‐existence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and conventional crops. In other cases, harmonisation with EU rules entailed the need to give up more restrictive national regulation, for example: to allow the cultivation of a limited number of GMOs. This article examines why some Central and Eastern European states joined the group of Western European countries that instituted bans on the commercial cultivation of GMOs in the EU. This study contributes to the literature in two ways. First, it contends that the prohibition of the commercial cultivation of GMOs in some Central and Eastern European member states must be interpreted in light of the EU‐wide public and political contestation of GMOs. Second, this piece of research shows that the ideological composition of governments matters in explaining the regulation of agricultural biotechnology. This second contribution allows for going beyond the predominant focus on public opinion when analysing the regulation of GMOs in the EU.
    April 10, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12046   open full text
  • Diversification and Re‐feminisation of Norwegian Farm Properties.
    Reidun Heggem.
    Sociologia Ruralis. March 25, 2014
    Female potential successors of farm properties are increasingly choosing not to take over the farm, with the result that rural areas are becoming masculinised. The question asked in this article is, how will the current shift in European and Norwegian agriculture towards increased diversification affect the recruitment of young women to rural areas? This study employs quantitative methods to answer this question. The findings are a significant and positive relationship between the potential recruitment of women, a higher level of education among farm property owners, and farm property owners’ involvement in farm diversification associated with farm tourism and Green Care. The article concludes that there are more options for a farm‐based life than there used to be, and that this increases the probability that daughters are wanted as successors of their parents’ farm properties. This outcome is of importance for recruitment of women to rural areas and for rural viability.
    March 25, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12044   open full text
  • Mobilities and the English Village: Moving Beyond Fixity in Rural West Yorkshire.
    Bryonny Goodwin‐Hawkins.
    Sociologia Ruralis. March 05, 2014
    ‘Rural idyll’ nostalgia situates the English village as timeless, bounded and static. It is contrasted to urban modernity and dynamism. The urban moves; the rural is held still. This has been echoed by limited scholarly engagement with rural mobilities. Against spatio‐temporal boundedness, this article emphasises the centrality of rural mobilities and conceptualises movement as occurring in, of and through the village. Drawing upon ethnographic research undertaken during 2011–2012 in ‘Lyng Valley’, a post‐industrial rural district in West Yorkshire, Northern England, I illustrate the village as on the move in both the past and the present. Arguing for rural mobility as continual and intrinsic, I challenge the concatenation of mobility with urbanity.
    March 05, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12043   open full text
  • ‘Like the Stem Connecting the Cherry to the Tree’: The Uncomfortable Place of Intermediaries in a Local Organic Food Chain.
    Juliette Rogers, Magalie Fraszczak.
    Sociologia Ruralis. January 16, 2014
    Producers' platforms are wholesale sales outlets for ‘local’ foods developed in the French organic sector to reclaim the success of mainstream organic distribution for its founders. This article examines four platforms in southeastern France (akin to ‘food hubs’ in North America) to understand the sociological stakes for the establishment of a local organic intermediary sales structure. The two‐year study used semi‐directive interviews and participant‐observation of platform and institutional actors, who widely consider platforms to be ‘short food supply chains’ (circuits courts). The question of direct interaction between farmers and buyers was touchy for platform participants, manifesting itself in a discomfort with ‘intermediaries’ and in a debate over who should assure deliveries. By evoking the ‘short chain’ label platforms assimilate themselves with direct sales, distinguishing themselves as the ‘real’ organic, as opposed to newcomers profiting from the organic ‘trend’. In the process, actors frame and adapt to organic sector evolutions in a way that is consistent with their awkward position as activists making a living off their cause.
    January 16, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12041   open full text
  • Eco‐National Discourse and the Case of the Finnhorse.
    Nora Schuurman, Jopi Nyman.
    Sociologia Ruralis. January 06, 2014
    In eco‐national discourses, animals and other nonhumans are represented as national through their position as native breeds or species. In this article, we investigate the definition of the animal as a representative of a ‘national breed’ and its support to nation‐building. This article is a case‐study of the contemporary representation of the Finnhorse as a ‘national breed’ in the context of Finnish discourses of national identity. The materials analysed consist of documents and reports seeking to develop and ‘rebrand’ the Finnhorse, as well as the representation of the breed in contemporary Finnish popular music and culture. The materials are analysed using discourse analysis. According to the study, nationality is a central part of the representation of the Finnhorse, and nature is an essential element in defining the animal as native, therefore claiming its nationality to be natural. The Finnhorse is often also portrayed in the context of nostalgia. In the new contexts of contemporary equine activities, the horse is also provided with a role in rural development.
    January 06, 2014   doi: 10.1111/soru.12040   open full text
  • More New Wine in the Same Old Bottles? The Evolving Nature of the CAP Reform Debate in Europe, and Prospects for the Future.
    Cordula Rutz, Janet Dwyer, Jőrg Schramek.
    Sociologia Ruralis. December 18, 2013
    Europe's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), its evolving role and financial and political significance have long been hot topics among rural stakeholders. This article analyses a ten‐country study examining the nature and key points of discussion concerning the new reform of the CAP, finally agreed in September 2013. The study examined stakeholder views on the Commission's November 2010 Communication, the Impact Assessment and the October 2011 draft legislative proposals for the 2014–2020 period. Case‐studies for each country and comparative analysis were used to stimulate discussion at an international policy conference in early 2012. The article updates Erjavec et al.'s analysis of the changing discourse in Brussels, contrasting its move from a neoliberal to a more neo‐mercantilist position, with the nuanced, heavily path‐dependent attitudes and negotiating stances in the Member States, even when key interest groups express consistent views across national boundaries. In this context, we see why what looked from Brussels like a consensus‐oriented package still failed to offer a clear way forward for the Council and Parliament. Taking stock in October 2013, we note the outcome – a potentially greener and slightly more cohesion‐sensitive policy, with weaker differentiation between its pillars but much increased national differentiation – and its future implications.
    December 18, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12033   open full text
  • Understanding Relations between Science, Politics, and the Public: The Case of a GM Field Trial Controversy in Belgium.
    Michiel P.M.M. Krom, Joost Dessein, Nathalie Erbout.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 18, 2013
    In 2011, a Belgian field trial with genetically modified crops triggered fierce public protests and debates. Opponents of the trial protested against its performance and some advocated its destruction, in response to which scientists and the government defended a scientific freedom to perform the trial. This article investigates why the different stakeholders came to occupy such mutually exclusive positions towards the trial. Based on analyses of qualitative interviews with key stakeholders, document analyses, and field observations, the article argues that the different stakeholders were involved in an ontological politics. This politics centred on the question of which ontologically different, co‐existing versions of the trial should be attended to in institutionalised scientific and political appraisals of the trial. The article concludes that the institutional handling of the trial as if it represented a single reality that merited only epistemological struggles contributed to turning a multifaceted debate into a dichotomous one, figuring field trial proponents and opponents. As such, the opposition between the different stakeholders was not antecedent to the institutional handling of the trial – as different stakeholders claimed – but rather an outcome of it.
    November 18, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12031   open full text
  • Cultivating Back‐to‐the‐Landers: Networks of Knowledge in Rural Northern Italy.
    Andrew Wilbur.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 07, 2013
    Back‐to‐the‐land migration offers a unique and insightful opportunity to explore how individuals from non‐agricultural backgrounds adopt, adapt and perceive the demands of farming. There is considerable variation in the forms of study and methods of preparation that back‐to‐the‐landers undertake before trying to create a livelihood from the land, not to mention highly disparate results from their efforts. This article considers the value that new farmers in Italy attach to different forms of knowledge, in particular the discrepancies between formal scientific and local knowledges. The utility of different forms is discussed in relation to the individual experiences of farmers, as well as formal networks that exist to impart technical knowledge of agriculture. Two case‐study organisations, Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) and Associazione per Esperienze (APE) are analysed with regard to their abilities to assemble and transmit specific forms of knowledge to new and aspiring farmers, thus strengthening the viability of back‐to‐the‐land as a lifestyle choice and farming as a vocation.
    November 07, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12024   open full text
  • Leisure Activities and Rural Community Change: Valuation and Use of Rural Space among Permanent Residents and Second Home Owners.
    Kati Pitkänen, Czesław Adamiak, Greg Halseth.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 04, 2013
    Rural communities are getting more diversified in terms of people's backgrounds, sources of livelihood and interests towards the rural landscape. A common way to discuss rural community change has been to contrast in‐migrants and seasonal residents with long‐term rural residents. In this article, we aim to challenge this segmentation. We ask what it is to be a dweller in the modern countryside and how much the residential status has to do with people's interests and use of space. Based on a postal survey in a case study area in Finland, we look into the differences in the valuation of different leisure activities performed in rural space between second home owners and permanent residents. After dividing permanent residents and second home owners into further subgroups based on their spatial and temporal possibilities to engage in rural leisure, we found that there are no specific activities or groups of activities typical for certain groups of rural leisure space users. Differences between local residents and second‐home owners are rarely explained by this simple dichotomy, rather the differences are better explained by spatial and temporal accessibility.
    November 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12023   open full text
  • Sustaining Food Production through Multifunctionality: The Dynamics of Large Farms in Italy.
    Sabine Rooij, Flaminia Ventura, Pierluigi Milone, Jan Douwe Ploeg.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 04, 2013
    Theoretical approaches to multifunctional agriculture often posit a dichotomy between ‘productivist’ and multifunctional agriculture. However, this theoretical dichotomy runs counter to the tendency among many ‘productivist’ farms to now rely, to varying extents, on newly‐developed multifunctional activities. In this article we identify four of the main controversies within the complex theoretical and political debates about multifunctional agriculture. These concern whether or not multifunctionality is: (1) a survival strategy mostly followed by small and marginal farms, (2) at the expense of food production, (3) primarily driven by governmental programmes, and (4) only relevant at the farm‐level. We use the results of a representative survey among 795 larger farmers across Italy in order to empirically evaluate these arguments. The research results show that larger farmers are also investing in new, multifunctional activities, alongside investments in food production; in fact, these farmers are keeping pace with, or moving ahead of, farmers who only invest in food production. They consider investments in new activities to be a ‘life‐jacket’ that strengthens their agricultural activities. The results also show that government programmes are not decisive factors for farms engaging in or further developing multifunctional activities. The main drivers are family centred, with some farmers also having ‘broader’ motivations and seeing the wider benefits of multifunctional agriculture.
    November 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12025   open full text
  • Social Capital and Socio‐demographic Changes: From Non‐differentiation to Multifocalisation.
    Renato Miguel Carmo, Sofia Santos.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 04, 2013
    This article examines how different socio‐demographic trends interrelate with alterations in the traditional forms of social and interpersonal relationships. We will focus on two Portuguese municipalities using the concept of rural community as an analytic starting point for framing and examining the different dimensions of social capital. The survey's data shows that the generalised nature of mutual knowledge and trust, that used to characterise more traditional communities, tends now to depend on new social categories and groups that live and interact in these places. The study contains a multivariate, multiple correspondence analysis, which shows three different profiles of social capital coexisting in the two areas.
    November 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12027   open full text
  • Problematising the Suicides of Older Male Farmers: Subjective, Social and Cultural Considerations.
    Bridget Garnham, Lia Bryant.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 04, 2013
    The literature on suicide reveals an academic praxis that largely overlooks the group potentially at highest risk of suicide, namely older male farmers. Within the broader literature on suicide, a small and constrained body of articles has provided empirical evidence and review of the individual risk factors for older male suicides. The rural studies literature on suicide has predominantly focused on the risk factors of suicide for farmers and rural youth and the ways in which masculinities are implicated in suicide. This article engages with these literatures for what they might reveal about the suicides of older male farmers but also critiques their limitations and makes suggestions about potentially revealing avenues for empirical investigation. It argues that the suicides of older male farmers, both real and within discourse, raise complex questions concerning reasons for suicide, embedded within subjective, social and cultural contexts. Examination of cultures of farming masculinity, rural cultures of ageing and the ways in which old age and suicide are problematised may therefore provide critical insights into the suicides of older farming men.
    November 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12029   open full text
  • Placing Housing in Rural Development: Exogenous, Endogenous and Neo‐Endogenous Approaches.
    Menelaos Gkartzios, Mark Scott.
    Sociologia Ruralis. November 04, 2013
    This article aims to address the disconnect between housing and rural development research. We do this by examining models of rural development (exogenous, endogenous and neo‐endogenous) in the rural housing context. Drawing on in‐depth documentary analysis of planning and rural development policy and research in the Republic of Ireland, we demonstrate a series of policy failures in implementing exogenous and pseudo‐endogenous approaches to housing policy in rural areas. Subsequently, we propose a neo‐endogenous framework for a more effective integration of housing and rural development theory and practice. In an international context Ireland represents an insightful case for studying the relationship between rural development and housing, due to the emphasis on housing development in rural areas, which in essence has represented a ‘quick fix’ for development, as evidenced by the country's liberal planning regime during an extraordinary housing boom period until the more recent property crash. While the article focuses on Ireland as a case‐study, lessons and a framework for a neo‐endogenous model of rural development and housing are also drawn internationally.
    November 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12030   open full text
  • Narrated Agency and Identity of Settlement Farmers in the Changing Circumstances of Modern Society.
    Asta Kietäväinen.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 21, 2013
    Social change is often narrated as a sequential process from traditional society to industrial or urban society. In this kind of a narrative, the countryside and agricultural livelihoods are often interpreted as undeveloped and as a contrast to the urban. Furthermore, rural development has often happened unnoticed. This article intends to discuss the sociological knowledge produced by studies that highlight the own experiences and knowledge of rural actors, farmers. The aim is to understand and interpret the narrated identities of farmers, and their agency in the changing circumstances of farming. Farmers act and face societal changes individually, while utilising cultural patterns of action that emerge from their own background. If they perceive the general circumstances and societal structures as constant and unchangeable, then their ability to react to external changes can be limited. In the success stories farmers defined their life through agency. This strengthened their possibilities of expressing different identities and redefining them in a flexible way in a changing environment.
    October 21, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12028   open full text
  • Bounded Biofuels? Sustainability of Global Biogas Developments.
    Arthur P.J. Mol.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 17, 2013
    Compared to liquid biofuels biogas has hardly drawn any attention from social sciences researchers lately. Although the share of biogas and liquid biofuels in the energy portfolio of many countries are comparable, biogas systems are strongly place‐based and are non‐controversial in terms of sustainability. But is that a fundamental distinction between the two biofuel systems; or is it just a matter of time before biogas becomes globally integrated and subject to sustainability controversies? In using a sociology of networks and flows frame, the current state of and developments in biogas systems around the world are analysed. It is concluded that biogas systems are most likely to further globally integrate, but that it remains to be seen whether that will result in similar sustainability controversies as with respect to liquid biofuels. One determining factor is whether governance arrangements manage to condition the sustainability of globalising biogas developments.
    October 17, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12026   open full text
  • The End of the French Model for Animal Health? A Sociological Analysis of the Bluetongue Vaccination Campaign (2007–2009).
    Boris Ollivier.
    Sociologia Ruralis. September 09, 2013
    This article examines the preparation and implementation in France of a vaccination campaign (2008) to protect livestock against bluetongue disease (BT) and questions the long‐term stability of structural relationships in the animal health sector. Using three approaches from the sociology of risks – exogenous or endogenous nature of crisis, responsibility of expertise – we show that post‐bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) reforms, by claiming a clearly separated role for each party (risk assessment, risk management, farmers' responsibility), have left the issue of relationships between actors by the wayside. We argue with the bluetongue case that such radical partitioning is unworkable. Discussing the decline of the French ‘health tripod’ (State, farmers, veterinarians), we emphasise that it has been idealised as a model that each party has a major interest to maintain. Our sources are based on 35 interviews, analysis of professional press and ministry of agriculture's internal notes.
    September 09, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12019   open full text
  • The Emergence of Diverse Organic Consumers: Does a Mature Market Undermine the Search for Alternative Products?
    Thomas Bøker Lund, Laura Mørch Andersen, Katherine O'Doherty Jensen.
    Sociologia Ruralis. September 04, 2013
    This study uses qualitative and quantitative data as well as household panel data regarding actual purchases of organic food in order to make a psychographic profiling of organic consumers and examine recent developments of organic demand in Denmark. It is shown that contemporary organic consumers have become a heterogeneous group, since three distinct positively minded segments are identified. These positively minded segments hold a very high share of all organic food sales on the Danish market and are also driving demand forward. The Danish organic market can be said to have matured insofar as positively oriented segments that differ in their food involvement, shopping behaviour and levels of ethical concern have appeared, while marketing and distribution strategies have co‐developed with these trends. We discuss our findings in the light of the attitude‐behaviour gap that is said to exist in regard to organic consumption and the consequences that are thought to follow from the detachment of consumers from organic producers according to the much debated conventionalisation thesis.
    September 04, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12022   open full text
  • Co‐regulation in Practices: The Hygiene Package in French Slaughterhouses.
    Laure Bonnaud, Jérôme Coppalle.
    Sociologia Ruralis. August 28, 2013
    In Europe, the food safety policy combines the regulatory interventions of member states with private standards. The Hygiene Package, which came into force on the 1 January 2006, is characteristic of this model. The aim of our article is to show that whilst we can learn about co‐regulation by examining the standards and principles on which it is based, we will gain an even better understanding by examining its actual implementation. From a sociological standpoint, we look at how the Hygiene Package was received and implemented in French slaughterhouses. (1) After setting out the structure of slaughterhouses in France and the ways in which veterinary services are organised, (2) the article looks at how inspection services have been affected by the introduction of the Hygiene Package, particularly with regard to the changes in relationships within the inspection service, between veterinarians and official auxiliaries and (3) it then examines the evolution in roles and responsibilities between veterinary services and food business operators.
    August 28, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12021   open full text
  • The Wild Side of Agro‐food Studies: On Co‐experimentation, Politics, Change, and Hope.
    Michael S. Carolan.
    Sociologia Ruralis. August 12, 2013
    Noting that the field of agro‐food studies has undergone numerous ‘turns’ over the years, this article first seeks to make sense of this evolving literature by examining aspects of the metaphysical foreground upon which this ‘turning’ takes place. Doing this highlights a coalescing of sorts within the field; a movement the author describes as being less toward a specific theoretical framework as it is around a general way of doing agro‐food scholarship. This style of scholarship embraces relationality, process, and multiplicity while emphasising the generative capacities of what agro‐food scholars do for enacting novel political, ontological, and normative practices. The reminder of the article co‐experiments with what it means to be open to these productive capacities as researchers, in terms of making the un‐thought thinkable and un‐doable routine. In doing this the article offers an account of agro‐food imaginaries that is hopeful precisely because it is unsettling.
    August 12, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12020   open full text
  • Healthy, Happy and Humane: Evidence in Farm Animal Welfare Policy.
    Bettina Bock, Henry Buller.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 10, 2013
    There has been a dramatic expansion and diversification of knowledge, expertise and expectation associated with farm animal welfare and we witness its increasing adoption within legislative and policy strategies. This article examines how the understanding of what constitutes farm animal welfare and how it should be enhanced, has shifted since it first entered the modern political arena in the sixties. It explores farm animal welfare as a critical and shifting area of imbrication of ‘science’ and ‘society’ and charts this process in particularly the UK and The Netherlands. We demonstrate how public and scientific debates about what constitutes animal welfare, what counts as evidence of animal suffering and how welfare enhancement should be encouraged, has unveiled the tensions underlying its construction as a policy problem between social and animal science, productivity and integrity, as well as production and consumption and has turned animal welfare into a matter of societal choice. The article unravels the social construction of animal welfare science and reveals its limited capability of delivering ‘facts’ or ‘evidence’ in any truly objective manner.
    July 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12011   open full text
  • Agriculture ‘East of the Elbe’ and the Common Agricultural Policy.
    Nigel Swain.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 10, 2013
    This article explores some of the ambiguities inherent in applying a model of Western European agriculture (the model implicit within the tried and tested modalities of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)) to the very different agrarian structures of Central and Eastern Europe. It identifies first the dramatic and long‐standing differences in agrarian structures between these two European regions before considering some of the policy consequences of applying an agricultural support model based on the former to the latter as the CAP (albeit in a slightly modified form initially) was extended to the Accession States. The effect was to exacerbate what many see as perverse features of the CAP. A greater degree of reflexivity on the part of policymakers might have avoided some of these anomalies, but the research agenda of the last half century has left much relating to the CAP unexplored, including agriculture ‘east of the Elbe’.
    July 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12016   open full text
  • Using Evidence in Policy: The Importance of Mediating Beliefs and Practices.
    Sally Shortall.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 10, 2013
    This article argues that to understand the use of evidence in policy, we need to examine how meanings and practices in the civil service shape what is accepted as knowledge, and how differences between the beliefs and values of the academy and the polity can impede the flow and transfer of knowledge. It considers the importance of social context and shared meanings in legitimating knowledge. Who counts as legitimate knowledge providers has expanded and here the role of stakeholder groups and experiential knowledge is of particular interest. How hierarchy, anonymity, and generalist knowledge within the civil service mediate the use of evidence in policy is examined. The difference in values and ideology of the civil service and the academy has implications for how academic research is interpreted and used to formulate policy and for its position in knowledge power struggles. There are particular issues about the social science nature of evidence to inform rural policy being mediated in a government department more used to dealing with natural science knowledge. This article is based on participant observation carried out in a UK Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
    July 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12015   open full text
  • Disparity and Diversity: Their Use in EU Rural Policies.
    Elena Saraceno.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 10, 2013
    EU rural policies have, in the past, used the twin concepts of disparity and diversity in alternative ways but have never really acknowledged the different assumptions that underlie them in terms of rural development and policy implementation. This, it is argued here, is the result of three different processes. The first is that by which scientific knowledge passes through several mediation stages as concepts that are adopted by policymakers leading to the subsequent modification of their original meaning. The second is that by which European Union (EU) rural policies are hosted in a variety of different policy areas for which they are not the main concern, leading to a degree of ambiguity that may nevertheless serve a political purpose. The third is that experience has shown that even though the concept of diversity might initially appear more suited to addressing the different needs of European rural areas in modern advanced economies, it has nevertheless proved particularly difficult and costly to implement. As a consequence, the simpler concept of disparity, with its one‐size‐fits‐all approach, has maintained its dominance as a policy concept; a dominance that has been considerably reinforced over the last decade. In the first section of the article the concepts of diversity and disparity are analysed and contrasted in their assumptions and policy implications. This is followed by an assessment of how these concepts are employed in EU rural policy. The final section discusses the governance implications of both concepts in rural policy and their link to the wider agenda of EU policies today.
    July 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12017   open full text
  • Academic Freedom, Democracy and the Public Policy Process.
    John Bryden, Klaus Mittenzwei.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 10, 2013
    This article is framed by the 900‐plus year old debate on the importance of academic freedom for democracy and human progress outlined by Karran. In particular, it discusses some contemporary threats to academic freedom in relation to the role of researchers and research institutes in the public policy process. Using a series of recent case studies of attempts to interfere with the publication of research findings in key sensitive policy areas of genetically modified foodstuffs, climate change, and agriculture, it is argued that while academic freedom plays a crucial role in relation to the development of public policies, it is currently under threat. This matter is discussed within a framework that allows the understanding of the relationship between researchers and the intervening State, the corporate and non‐government sectors with economic or social interests in any particular intervention, the media, and citizens. We apply the framework to recent cases in several controversial areas of policy that illustrate problems that have arisen. Moreover, we hypothesise that the problems have become more acute since the start of the era of privatisation and new public management with research agendas and targets often being increasingly set by policymakers. Finally, we draw some conclusions about the role of researchers and institutes in relation to agricultural and rural matters in modern democracies, arguing that freedom of speech and expression is an essential element in the policy role of researchers. At the root of this is the intensifying debate between representative and participatory democracy.
    July 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12012   open full text
  • Climate Change and the Co‐Production of Knowledge and Policy in Rural USA Communities.
    George C. Homsy, Mildred E. Warner.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 10, 2013
    Climate change requires action at multiple levels of government. We focus on the potential for climate change policy creation among small rural governments in the USA. We argue that co‐production of scientific knowledge and policy is a communicative approach that encompasses local knowledge flowing up from rural governments as well as expertise and power (to coordinate and ensure compliance) flowing down from higher level authority. Using environmental examples related to land use policy, natural gas hydro‐fracturing, and watershed protection, we demonstrate the importance of knowledge flows, power, and coordination in policy creation. Co‐production of knowledge and policy requires respect for local knowledge and a broader framing of issues to include both environmental and economic perspectives. While we see potential for local action, we caution that polycentric approaches lead to externality problems that require multilevel governance to ensure coordination and compliance.
    July 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12013   open full text
  • Scientific Knowledge and Rural Policy: A Long‐distant Relationship.
    Bill Reimer, Matthew Brett.
    Sociologia Ruralis. July 10, 2013
    This article examines the extent to which social science evidence is considered by community leaders in small towns and rural areas. It uses secondary analysis of 18 transcriptions from interviews in rural regions within two Canadian provinces to examine what types of support (if any) are used by respondents to justify their claims and assess the extent to which they depend on systematically collected and analysed evidence. The results indicate that the respondents seldom provided justification for their claims and when they did, scientific evidence was infrequently used. Instead, the respondents most often used examples from their personal experience or public meetings as support. Comparative analysis of the two rural region showed that the pattern of support was different in each – with respondents from British Columbia (BC) relying more on personal examples and those from Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) relying more on public presentations or the internet. The results suggest that much work needs to be done to make social science evidence available and useful to those in small towns and rural places. According to those results, the most strategic way to begin is through existing networks, community groups, and local examples.
    July 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12014   open full text
  • On Being Let Loose in the Field: The Execution of Professional Ethics.
    Ruth McAreavey.
    Sociologia Ruralis. June 20, 2013
    In recent years concerns over litigation and the trend towards close monitoring of academic activity has seen the effective hijacking of research ethics by university managers and bureaucrats. This can effectively curtail cutting edge research as perceived ‘safe’ research strategies are encouraged. However, ethics is about more than research governance. Ultimately, it seeks to avoid harm and to increase benefits to society. Rural development debate is fairly quiet on the question of ethics, leaving guidance to professional bodies. This study draws on empirical research that examined the lives of migrant communities in Northern Ireland. This context of increasingly diverse rural development actors provides a backdrop for the way in which the researcher navigates through ethical issues as they unfold in the field. The analysis seeks to relocate ethics from being an annoying bureaucratic requirement to one where it is inherent to rigorous and professional research and practice. It reveals how attention to professional ethics can contribute to effective, situated and reflexive practice, thus transforming ethics to become an asset to professional researchers.
    June 20, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12010   open full text
  • Consumer Responses to the Carbon Labelling of Food: A Real Life Experiment in a Canteen Practice.
    Gert Spaargaren, C.S.A. (Kris) Koppen, Anke M. Janssen, Astrid Hendriksen, Corine J. Kolfschoten.
    Sociologia Ruralis. June 10, 2013
    The emerging debate on the climate impact of food is expected to result in the carbon labelling of food in the future. As yet, consumer responses to carbon labels are not well researched. A real life experiment was developed to study consumer responses to new carbon labels for food. A ‘light’ and a ‘comprehensive’ carbon labelling regime were stepwise introduced into the food practice of ‘having lunch in a canteen’. The resulting shifts in the behaviour and attitudes of regular canteen visitors were measured with the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods. Despite their overall positive attitude towards climate change policies, the canteen visitors show clear resistance to some of the changes suggested, especially when new courses of action run counter to the dynamics of the existing routinised practice. Using practice theory as our reference, we discuss the role of information provision next to other policy instruments for facilitating behavioural changes towards low carbon food consumption.
    June 10, 2013   doi: 10.1111/soru.12009   open full text
  • Exploring Counterurbanisation in a Post‐Socialist Context: Case of the Czech Republic.
    Martin Šimon.
    Sociologia Ruralis. October 11, 2012
    Urban‐rural research in post‐socialist countries has focused on urban transformation, the impact of international migration and the spread of suburbanisation; little attention has been paid to counterurban migration. The aim of this article is to propose a typology of counterurban migration strategies based on quantitative research in rural areas in the Czech Republic. Firstly, the article discusses the differences and similarities of counterurbanisation in western and post‐socialist countries by bringing together counterurbanisation and post‐socialist research literature. Secondly, detailed information about the counterurbanisation migration stream is provided on the basis of extensive field research. Thirdly, the article presents four basic types of counterurbanisation migration strategies, two lifestyle‐oriented types and two economic‐oriented types, based on household motivation, preferences and household employment location. The research demonstrates both general and specific features of counterurbanisation stream in the Czech Republic.
    October 11, 2012   doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9523.2012.00576.x   open full text