Center for Rural Research


Center for Rural Research

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Burton R.J.F.,Center for Rural Research | Paragahawewa U.H.,Agresearch Ltd.
Journal of Rural Studies | Year: 2011

Evidence is emerging from across Europe that contemporary agri-environmental schemes are having only limited, if any, influence on farmers' long-term attitudes towards the environment. In this theoretical paper we argue that these approaches are not 'culturally sustainable', i.e. the actions are not becoming embedded within farming cultures as part of conventional 'good farming' practice. We propose (following Bourdieu) that, in order to culturally embed the environmental values, beliefs and knowledges that underlie such schemes, policy-makers need to devise approaches that allow the creation of cultural and social capital within farming communities - rather than simply compensating for economic capital lost. We outline the theoretical basis of our position and discuss how the contemporary agri-environmental approach of paying for specified environmental management services restricts the ability of such schemes to generate cultural and, thereby, social capital. Finally, we outline two possible ways of accounting for cultural capital in scheme creation: either through the development of measures of cultural capital that enable its incorporation into contemporary economic models or through a major revision to the way we construct and apply agri-environmental schemes. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Burton R.J.F.,Center for Rural Research | Peoples S.,Agresearch Ltd. | Cooper M.H.,University of Otago
Journal of Rural Studies | Year: 2012

Improving animal welfare is an important part of the development of the agricultural industry, particularly at a time when intensification and the encroachment of factory-style production systems is making the maintenance of human-animal relations increasingly difficult. Animal science deals with the issue of improving stockmanship by focusing on the relationships between attitudes and behaviour, under the premise that improved attitudes will lead to improved behaviour. From an analysis of 42 interviews with owners, sharemilkers and workers on dairy farms in New Zealand we present a different view, seeing behaviour instead as part of a self-reinforcing culture in which animals, humans and the physical structure all contribute to the development of farm specific ways of doing and being. We further suggest that changing one stockperson's attitude alone is insufficient to ensure a change in the culture as other actors - including animals and non-human actors - reinforce any existing culture that has developed, making both attitudinal and behavioural change difficult. We conclude by discussing the key importance of designing farm systems and structures that promote positive interactions between animals and humans and suggest that this, rather than simply promoting knowledge and attitudinal change, is likely to be the most effective way of maintaining stockmanship in the face of an industrialising agriculture. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

van Auken P.M.,University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh | Frisvoll S.J.,Center for Rural Research | Stewart S.I.,U.S. Department of Agriculture
Local Environment | Year: 2010

Despite a contemporary socio-culture revolving around cultural consumption of imagery, metaphors, representations and gaze, photo-elicitation is a rarely used method for social scientists and planners to acquire knowledge. In this paper, we discuss participant-driven photo-elicitation, a process in which participant photos are paired with in-depth interviews. Based upon a review of the literature on photo-elicitation and our own transnational fieldwork experiences with it, we argue that this method has four primary advantages: photos can provide tangible stimuli for more effectively tapping into informants' tacit, and often unconscious, consumption of representations, images and metaphors; produces different and richer information than other techniques; and may also help to reduce differences in power, class and knowledge between researcher and researched. Finally, we argue that this method has unique potential to empower participants' involvement in activities related to local planning for sustainable community development and natural resource management efforts. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

Burton R.J.F.,Center for Rural Research | Schwarz G.,Johann Heinrich Von Thunen Institute
Land Use Policy | Year: 2013

Increasing interest is being shown in result-oriented agri-environmental schemes. Such schemes have the advantage of encouraging farmers to innovate to produce environmental goods - thus promoting the development of new skills and knowledge and, theoretically, ensuring that farmers are paid for provision rather than for performing management behaviours that may, or may not, lead to provision. In Europe a number of projects have trialled result-based payments over the last decade and calls for a stronger connection between agri-environmental payments and outcomes are growing. However, while the amount of information available on result-oriented schemes is increasing, there is currently no overview of the approach in the literature. This paper seeks to address this gap through a review of existing literature. It discusses why we might consider the use of result-oriented schemes, outlines two key 'problem areas' (the increased risk schemes represent to farmers, and the difficulties of developing and monitoring indicators), and, finally, proposes a framework for examining the strength of results orientation based on three dimensions - proportion of result-oriented payments, sensitivity of payments, and duration of schemes/payments. Although economic and ecological arguments are outlined, our focus in the analysis is on how the result-oriented approach is likely to institute cultural/social change, and how to optimise schemes to ensure cultural embeddedness. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Farstad M.,Center for Rural Research | Farstad M.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Rye J.F.,Center for Rural Research | Rye J.F.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Journal of Rural Studies | Year: 2013

Dominating strands within the research literature on second homes explain social conflicts between rural hosting and visiting second home populations by describing their differing perspectives on rural development. Such presentations suggest that locals are likely to welcome new developments in order to enhance the economic viability of their rural communities, whereas second home owners advocate conservation of the rural idyll that attracted them in the first place. In this paper, we argue that these simplified differences conceptualised in the contemporary second home research literature are faulty. By analysing 42 qualitative in-depth interviews with second home owners and locals in four Norwegian municipalities, we demonstrate how both locals and second home owners are protective of their rural idyll and, at the very same time, open to rural development. More exactly, locals and second home owners alike generally welcome new activities only when they do not take place in their own vicinity. As such, both categories' interests reflect a " Not in my backyard" (NIMBY) line of logic. Hence, we argue that the major lines of conflict concerning land use in second home municipalities do not run between locals and visitors but between those initiating different kinds of new developments and those appreciating the hitherto existing qualities and appearance of the areas of development localisation. Nevertheless, the influx of second home owners is still influencing the potential for land use conflicts due to the high number of actors present in the same location. In effect, crowding a rural area with second home developments generates more " backyards" and thus guardians of these. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Frisvoll S.,Center for Rural Research | Frisvoll S.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Journal of Rural Studies | Year: 2012

The article critiques Halfacree's conceptualisation of rural space for masking the workings of power within 'black boxes' such as structural coherence and trial by space. One consequence is that rural change's social activities and also their social and personal consequences are cloaked, thereby rendering the localised fault lines of rurality analytically out of reach. Halfacree's conceptualisation is developed further by attaching a conceptual extension comprising three hubs: an immaterial hub, a material hub, and a personal hub. This is done as an attempt to give Halfacree's tool for deconstructing the social production of rural space analytical sensitivity to the actors engaged in the processes implied by social production. In order to demonstrate the analytical potential of the extended Halfacree approach, the conceptual model is applied to a case study: data from two communities undergoing rapid change, as they shifted from being dominated by primary industry to becoming tourism destinations. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Rye J.F.,Center for Rural Research | Rye J.F.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Andrzejewska J.,Jagiellonian University
Journal of Rural Studies | Year: 2010

Since the 2004 EU enlargement established one European common labour market, a large number of Eastern Europeans have taken up seasonal employment as hired farm workers in Norwegian agriculture. Much attention in the public has been given to the potential for 'social dumping' of these migrating workers, as they are considered prone to exploitation by farmers looking for cheap and docile labour, and subject to low-wages and poor labour conditions. In response to these threats, Norway implemented labour regulations ('transitional rules') that established minimum standards for wage levels and labour conditions, combined with registration and supervision of the incoming labour force. Nevertheless, reports from the field indicate that many of the westward migrating labour force experience work conditions that are far poorer than prescribed by the labour regulations, as these are not implemented at the farm level. In this paper, we discuss the social processes that result in this mismatch between state regulations (e.g. transition rules) and the actual experiences of migrant workers building on dual labour market theory. Analysing qualitative in-depth interviews with 54 farm migrants, we argue that there are two sets of factors underlying the poorer working conditions observed on the farms: Firstly, the structural disempowerment of migrant workers, which gives them weak negotiating positions vis-à-vis their employers (farmers); and secondly, the migrant workers' frame of reference for wage levels, in which poor payment levels by Norwegian standards are found acceptable or even good when judged by Eastern European wage levels. While a number of works have described the exploitation of farm migrant labour, we demonstrate in this paper how national immigration and agricultural histories, structures and present policies configure the labour-capital relations at farm level in the Norwegian case. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Brandth B.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Haugen M.S.,Center for Rural Research
Journal of Rural Studies | Year: 2011

This article deals with how diversification and transformation of farming into tourism may influence the social identity of farmers. Based on a study of 19 farms run by couples engaged with agritourism, it shows how the development of tourism on the farms can be understood in a perspective of repeasantization; and how the couples draw on their farm resources, culture and place to sustain the farm. As hosts offering local food, stories, and various activities, they mediate a strong farm identity. The article also explores how farm identities change through three processes by which the 'new' work of tourism destabilizes identities. One is a shift in the meaning of farmer identity. Another is the gradual change towards a new master identity, and thirdly there is a multiplicity of identities that shift as they relate to various social memberships and settings. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Stock P.,University of Otago | Burton R.J.F.,Center for Rural Research
Sustainability | Year: 2011

Our contemporary social and ecological problems, including climate change, peak oil and food security, necessitate solutions informed by multiple backgrounds that singular disciplines seem unable to provide, and possibly, are even incapable of providing. The increasing occurrence of multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary (MIT) research projects speak to the recognition of that necessity. But as the literature and our own experiences bear out, just calling a project "beyond disciplinary" or integrated does not necessarily yield the intended outcomes or make progress toward alleviating the hurdles of bridging disciplines. Here we examine the distinctions between three categories (multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary) of integrated research and offer reflections on how sustainability researchers can categorize their research to improve common understandings. © 2011 by the authors.

Burton R.J.F.,Center for Rural Research
Landscape Research | Year: 2012

Studies of landscape aesthetics based on photographic assessment indicate that farmers have a unique perspective-seeing beauty in the same ordered and controlled arable agricultural landscapes that almost all other publics find monotonous and boring. This paper uses Bourdieu's theory of capital to explore why farmers hold this perspective. Interpretations farmers place on 'tidy' features such as straight lines and evenly coloured fields were explored through a cross-cultural study between Germany and Scotland. Results show how farmers 'read' agricultural landscapes for signs of skilled farming, and how their interpretation is dependent on knowledge of the connection between efficient farming practices and the appearance of forms and colours in the fields. The implications of agricultural landscape aesthetics for the development of cultural and social capital are discussed. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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