ESRS abstracts

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ESRS 2003 Abstracts

working group 1.1

paper no 11

paper title

Farm families in transition: some theoretical assumptions


Charles B. Hennon Bruno Hildenbrand  


Family Studies and Social Work

Miami University

Institute of Sociology

Friedrich Schiller University






We are organizing this group of scholars in the working group to discuss research and theoretical developments in the area of farm-family transitions. Specifically, we encourage the exchange of information concerning (1) how qualitative methods can bring new understanding to farm-family functioning and the transitions experienced over several generations or years; (2) how this information supports theory building about family responses to ecological (physical and social) opportunities and constrains; and (3) how different farming paradigms (e.g., yeoman, entrepreneur) and farm-family types (e.g., marginally performing, modernizers out of necessity, innovative entrepreneurs, part-time farmers) can lead to diverse strategies for responding to issues of modernity and changing agricultural conditions.

working group paper no
paper title The continuity of family farming and the emergence of rural leisure: The Basque case
authors Guadalupe Ramos    
institution Department of Sociology

University of the Basque Country

The future of the agriculture and rural world depends on the potential successors of the farms. Traditionally, a single child of the family farm inherits the whole farm. The way which farms are passed was an important factor in the continuity of the farm household because it affected the preservation of the unity of the family property.

However, at the present time the equality of inheritance occupies first place on succession rights of the family farm. It supposes the break up the farm in small units that do not guarantee profitability. Thus, the heritage is an obstacle to the entrance of the young farmer into agriculture.

One of the aspects that has an influence on the egalitarian practice of farm succession, has been the rise in interest in the qualities of rural life and of leisure in the rural areas. The farm households are demanded for people who identify the rural life as synonymous to a quality of life. In this way, the members of family farm that do not work in agriculture reclaim their inheritance part for residential uses or leisure zones. This demand has an affect on the decision of the youth (children of farmers) to work or not in the farm activity because they have to take on economic and family changes.

This paper will focus on the aspects that influence the decision of the young farmers in the Basque Country to continue or not in the family farm. Especially it seeks to be an introduction to the influence of the current interest in the rural life on their decision.

working group 1.1 paper no
paper title Family farm transitions: Intergenerational relationships across three farm generations
authors Kjersti Melberg    
institution Rogaland Research    
address Stavanger, Norway    

This paper focuses on social, economical, practical and emotional transitions in three generations of Norwegian farm couples. With their tightly interconnected relationships, farm families present a unique opportunity for studying bounding and transitions across generations. The main hypothesis of this study is that the different generations of farm couples will exhibit differences in their distribution of working, caring and domestic tasks based on the degree to which gender roles are defined by more traditional or more modern standards. Empirical implications of the model are tested against 2002-data from a representative sample of Norwegian farm couples, and also a qualitative sample of Norwegian farm families. The main hypothesis is that living arrangements with and relationships between family members across generations are closely bound up with family farm transitions. The research questions are: Are there any differences in work distribution between the generations and genders within different farm paradigms? Which transfers of economic, practical and emotional support between the generations takes place? Farm family type is defined by the farm wives’ degree of involvement in off-farm work and by their hours spent in domestic work. The results of our analyses suggest that members of traditional farm families seem to be most sensitively attuned to one another.

This work is part of the research project ("Farm changes under pressure: farm family transitions in a generational perspective") funded by the Norwegian Research Counsel. Thanks to professor Knud Knudsen and professor Kari Wærness for useful comments

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Working Group 1.2. Food consumption and farming

Convenors: José-Ramón Mauleón

Gianluca Brunori



"Diversification in different contexts"

Egil Petter Stræte, Centre for Rural Research, Trondheim, Norway

Terry Marsden, Dept. for City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University, UK


Within agro-food sector in Western countries there is an increasing interest for alternative food, i.e. organic, local and regional food, artisanal food, short supply chains, slow food etc. Innovation in food processing is a significant element both in alternative food strategies and in conventional food strategies. Systems of innovation constitute a context for processes of innovation. These systems include both industrial structures and infrastructure supporting firms. In regional or national systems there may develop certain sets of conventions and cultures that influence innovation. These elements constitute a context for interaction and learning both within firms and between firms and other actors. A main question in this paper is to discuss how these cultures and conventions influence the capability to innovate alternative food processing strategies: How is innovation of alternative food done in different contexts? How is alternatives developed within the same context as the conventional? Do the alternatives create new innovation systems? How do actors in infrastructure interact with both conventional and alternative actors? Questions like these are discussed in a comparative study of the dairy sectors in Norway and Wales. The milk supply chain in both countries is explored and an ‘alternative’ case in each nation is studied more in depth.




"Factors influencing market access and competitiveness of food SMEs in europe’s lagging rural regions (LRRs)"

Dr. Maeve Henchion and Ms. Bridin McIntyre

Marketing Department, The National Food Centre, Dunsinea, Castleknock (Ireland)


Supply chain management is increasingly recognised as having a strong influence on market access and competitiveness in the food sector. A significant component of the food production sector in lagging regions consists of small-scale enterprises located in rural areas. Such enterprises frequently integrate with other sectors in the local economy, such as distributors, and tourism operators, thereby enhancing local activity. Thus the assessment and development of food supply chains from small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) is crucial, from the perspective of SME performance and for the health of the region.

This paper firstly examines the current and future factors influencing the operation of food supply chains as they relate food SMEs in selected LRRs in Europe. The paper then examines the impact of a selection of these factors on market access and competitiveness from the perspective of three supply chain members in Ireland, namely the producer (e.g. farmer), the intermediary (e.g. distributor) and the commercial customer (e.g. retailer) using depth interviews.

Through the use of the Delphi technique, consumers were identified as the most important influence on food supply chains, followed by retailers across the 12 European LRRs studied. Primary producers were seen as being in a very weak position. These factors influence the potential for alternative/short supply chains, barriers to entry, and the basis of competitiveness.

In Ireland, food safety requirements may reduce the competitiveness of some SMEs in conventional channels and increases the attractiveness of alternative channels. C&IT (communications and information technologies) has a significant impact on supply chain access to the multiple retail sector. Many suppliers respond to retailers’ demands for EDI (electronic data interchange) capabilities by supplying via intermediaries. New product development (NPD) is important in maintaining access to chains, however lack of support for NPD was identified as a concern of many entrepreneurs. Institutions supporting food SMEs from LRRs need to develop their skill base, support the development of alternative supply chains and facilitate increased networking to improve market access and competitiveness.



"Corporate responsibility and greening of the food system - A case of Finland"

Tiina Silvasti, PhD researcher, University of Helsinki, Department of Social Policy


It is often claimed that power in argo-food system is concentrating on big food processing and retailing companies. In spite of that, trade and corporate retailers are neglected in agro-food studies in Finland.

According to leading Finnish retailers, economic globalization and aims for sustainable development have lead them to pay more attention to social and ethical responsibility. Alongside economic values also interests in environment have reached high level of importance.

Kesko is Finland’s leading trading sector marketing and logistics company. Kesko Food, one of its divisions, operates in cooperation with K-food retailers, and is responsible for store concept development, purchasing and logistics services, and chain marketing and retailer resources. K-food stores are market leaders in the Finnish grocery trade. Kesko Food is also aiming for market leadership in the Baltics, where it operates as a retailer and wholesaler of groceries.

As the first food retailer in Finland Kesko published Corporate responsibility report. According to the Confederation of Finnish Industry and Employers, the substance of corporate responsibility is determined on base of the company’s own values and goals, expectations of clients and investors and legislation. Motives are to ensure long-term profitability, to manage reputation risk, and to develop the corporate and product image. Corporate responsibility consists of three pillar: economic, environmental and social. Some other retailing companies have published environmental reports.

This study attempts to investigate the role of corporate retailers in the course of so-called greening of food system. On the basis of preliminary analysis of corporate responsibility and environmental reports companies seem to be more interested of their economic performance than environment or social accountability. What does so-called "corporate responsibility" mean for rural areas (fewer groceries and concentrating agriculture)? How are conflicting aims of economic growth and environmental protection put into practice? Corporate retailers are worried about employees in developing countries (which is an important issue), but do they pay attention to fallen number of Finnish farms and decline in rural jobs and following socioeconomic change in rural areas? Who are those included in the area of corporate responsibility and are there someone excluded too?



"The role of the small specialty food producers in the "construction of quality". The case of the production of a traditional sheep cheese in a mountain region of Tuscany, Italy".

Adanella Rossi and Raffaella Cerruti. Section of Agricultural and environmental economics, Department of agronomy and management of the agroecosystems, University of Pisa. e-mail:

The valorisation of typical agricultural and food productions, a strategy aimed at transforming local knowledge into a resource available to the territory (Ray, 1998), is now recognized as a key factor for the development of the rural areas. The evolution of the nature and the motivations of the food consumption and the relationship of the consumers with the typical products has remarkably widened the market of these products, but at the same time the mechanism of transmission and acknowledgment of their specific quality has become more difficult. The quality and, more specifically, the typicality, are the outcome of a process of social construction, through the interplay of all the actors involved, directly or indirectly, from initial producer to final consumer. Focusing the attention on the producers, it is observed that they refer to a concept of quality which is not always consistent with the one of the consumers. Recent studies show that producers usually define quality in terms of "specification" of production method and of attributes determining the "attraction". (Ilbery and Kneafsey, 2000). The reduced scale of production, the personal involvement and the handcraft working are the concrete expressions of this conception of quality.

The aim of this paper is to focus on producers’s perceptions of quality, on their links with the traditional knowledge, the cultural identity of the regions of origin, and on the interplay of these perceptions with those of the distributors and above of consumers. In particular, it draws the case of the production of "pecorino a latte crudo" in a mountain region of Tuscany, focusing on three steps of the supply chain, important in conferring the typicality to the final product: the production, the channels of commercialization and the initiatives of valorization. By observing the different choices at those levels, the analysis underlines the main elements in which the conceptions of quality expressed by the subjects are articulated, the relationship between production processes and local tradition, external conditionings and the processes of negotiation that can have influenced the process of construction of quality.



"Contribution of the short food chains to rural development in the Basque Country".

José-Ramón Mauleón, Department of Sociology 2, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao (Spain). E-mail:


Spanish consumers increasingly buy food in big supermarkets. Most of the food marketed by these retailers tends to come from big agri-food firms and farmers since they are in the best conditions to cope with the requirements impose by retailers in terms of price, deliveries, amount, and characteristics of the product. As a consequence, the consumption in supermarkets is the last phase of an agri-food system which contribute to the diminution of small farmers; the real foundation of rural communities. On the contrary, the short food chains constitute one of the best alternatives for Rural Development. The paper analyses the market share of different channels of commercialisation, and recent experiences of short food chains in the Basque Country.




1. A new incarnation – the role of the OGA in changing the production and marketing of organic produce

David Frost – (David

ADAS Pwllpeiran Research Centre & Organic Centre Wales, University of Wales Aberystwyth

Carolyn Wacher

Institute of Rural Studies & Organic Centre Wales, University of Wales Aberystwyth

Although there is a widespread assumption that organic farming developed in response to the intensification of agriculture in the second half of the twentieth century, a number of scholars have sought to show that the origins of the movement date to the 1920s and 1930s. They argue that that there is continuity in the development of the organic movement and that the ideals and values of the early organicists are the origin of current organic farming discourse.

A detailed history of the organic movement indicates however, that a number of social movements converged to contribute to its development. Particular cultural and socio-demographic changes in the last three decades of the twentieth century produced a new ex-urban organic movement with a new organic discourse. The Organic Growers Association (OGA) played a key role in the revitalisation of the Soil Association and organic agriculture generally in the 1980s and 1990s. Drawing on the personal experiences of the authors, plus analysis of contemporary records, this paper will present an analysis of the OGA and will evaluate its legacy. This will include a consideration of recent moves to introduce fair trade principles to the production and marketing of organic produce.



2. Preaching Conversion: The Organic Conversion Information Scheme in Wales

David Frost - (David

ADAS Pwllpeiran Research Centre & Organic Centre Wales, University of Wales Aberystwyth

Organic farming shares many characteristics with other new social movements that emerged in the late twentieth century concerned with environmental conservation and animal rights. In common with these, organic farming has to confront the issues of incorporation and integration that arise when seeking mainstream political support.

In the UK, the Organic Conversion Information Scheme (OCIS) and the Organic Farming Scheme are examples of the incorporation and integration of the organic farming movement into government policy.

Delivery of the first phase of the Organic Conversion Information Scheme in Wales between 1996 and 2001, involved the setting up and development of a database of all farmers in Wales who requested advice and information under the scheme. This paper, after a brief history and background, presents an analysis of OCIS in Wales using information from the database and other sources to examine trends in conversion to organic farming among the Welsh farming community. It concludes with a consideration of the implications of the scheme for the wider social movement.



3. Organic Farming: Effects on endogenous development, local resources and network creation – the case of Basilicata

Stefano Grando (

University of Rome

The research aimed at understanding the effects of organic farming diffusion on rural development paths in internal Mezzogiorno. More in details, it analyzes how the presence of organic farmers fosters the exploitation of endogenous resources and the establishment of links, synergies and networks in surrounding areas. To address these issues, interviews were conducted (through questionnaires) with organic farmers belonging to the northern part of Potenza province, in Basilicata. Findings have been analyzed in a two-fold theoretical framework, provided by both endogenous development model and horizontal networks approach. This led to a classification of organic farmers into three "styles of production" ("traditional", "pragmatic" and "idealist"), establishing different relational patterns with their natural, socio-cultural and economical environment.

First group seems not likely to promote endogenous development, or to establish peculiar links as a consequence of the organic choice. The main conversion’s effect is the mere possibility for them to survive (thanks to subsidies) in marginal areas. Second group shows a much more pro-active attitude related to the choice of farming organically. They promote re-discovery and exploitation of local resources and their careful introduction from other areas. They are also part of local networks, based on integration and differentiation. Nevertheless, these processes seem to be still at an early stage, and not always/not clearly related to their being "organic". A key point, at this respect, is the presence of a critical mass of local organic farmers. Third group reveals the highest level of consciousness of peculiarities and potentials of organic farming. They bring enthusiasm and new ideas in the area, potentially acting as catalysts and examples for colleagues. Nevertheless, some problems hamper them from playing this role: their networks are not locally-based, so that their relations with local actors are weak, or sometimes sharply conflictual.

Evidences from internal Mezzogiorno suggest that the presence of organic farmers does not entail automatically peculiar effects on endogenous development paths and network creation. Further characters are to be taken into account.


4. The nourishing earth: does organic food production meet the objectives for sustainable food consumption?


Georgina Holt – (

Centre for Agricultural Strategy,

The University of Reading

As the corporate-controlled share of the organic market continues to grow, and multiple retailers put downward pressure on organic premiums, many organic farmers and consumers are disillusioned with the direction that the organic movement has taken. At the same time, new markets are emerging that offer alternative outlets for farmers considering diversification and alternative products for consumers interested in sustainable patterns of food consumption. The growing ‘environmentally friendly’ food sector encompasses products from integrated and low input farming systems, but without restrictions on the scale of production and distribution. By contrast, although the local food sector encompasses products from both conventional and organic production systems the emphasis is on the means by which these arrive to consumers rather than the means by which they are produced. Further, the development of the ‘environmentally friendly’ market seems likely to remain within the mainstream food industry, whilst development of the local food market is currently fuelled by a myriad of grassroots initiatives. The purpose of this paper therefore is to explore the extent to which each of these markets (organic, environmentally friendly and local) has the potential to deliver social and environmental capital benefits to society. The paper presents findings from a series of interviews with stakeholders in the development of the markets, including key organisations involved in food policy and marketing and consumers. The paper reviews the different perspectives on drivers and barriers for development of the markets and identifies the issues that underlie the debate regarding sustainable food consumption.



5. A framework for analysing the economic and social sustainability of organic agriculture and its contributions to rural development, with special reference to the European Union.

Patricia L. Howard – (

Dept. of Social Sciences,

Wageningen University,

Proponents of organic agriculture argue that many social benefits arise from organic farming. Some arguments are technologically deterministic - social benefits are an outgrowth of the organization of farm level production in organic farming systems. Others argue that such benefits derive from the political struggle to redefine relations between farmers and all others involved in the food chain. In this paper, I argue that the latter perspective fails to address the most central questions about social and economic sustainability and rural development. Rather, the central dynamics of organic farming are founded in the relation between organic and conventional farming and the ‘competition’ between the two. The substitution of chemical inputs in organic agriculture generally results in higher demand for labour in comparison with conventional agriculture, which has many far-reaching consequences in this relationship. Costs of production are higher in comparison to conventional farms across most farm types; there is a shift in labour supply towards unpaid family labour and low-paid, temporary unskilled labour; labour relations differ little from conventional agriculture and in fact higher labour costs in organic agriculture can readily increase the tendency to exploit labour in the sector, and the amount of drudgery increases. Changes in the intensity, quality, and timing of labour require adaptations at whole farm and whole farm-household level, involving new labour divisions, trade-offs in terms of the activities that people engage in, and new physiological and psychological workloads. Differences in resource access (land, labour and capital) and market competition influence the socioeconomic differentiation process in organic agriculture, and increased labour demand may lead to a disincentive to convert or an inability to convert on the part of labour poor farm households, or higher costs for those households. Differentiation occurs not only at farm level. Regional dynamics are also highly influential, and conversion rates are likely to differ between regions that differ according to factors such as wage and employment levels. The significance of prevailing socioeconomic conditions is overlooked by most of those who research social sustainability and rural development within organic agriculture. I provide an alternative framework for analyzing these that is centred on a labour/social relations of production perspective, and illustrates its application (including empirical data) especially with reference to Europe.


6. The Concept of Eco-regions (Bioregionen) in Austria and Sustainable Regional Development


Markus Schermer,

Centre for Mountain Agriculture, University of Innsbruck

The concept of Eco-regions ("Bioregionen" in German) is gaining increasingly importance in the rural development debate in Austria. The idea comes from different directions, proposed by actors in the organic movement as well as in regional development. In recent years both approaches have gained widespread recognition and appears now combined in the Eco-region concept. The term is not yet properly defined, although a number of regional actors use it. The common understanding is to link sustainable economic, social and environmental development of a region with organic farming.

In order to assess the present status a survey was conducted. Over 30 initiatives in 23 (micro-) regions of Austria were identified, which combine organic farming with territorial development. The survey shows that there is considerable variation among the various expressions. The range extends from regions of origin for products in supermarket chains to an orientation towards self-sufficiency. The actual expression of an Eco-region responds to the regional problem analysis of the proponents. Furthermore the concept illustrates at present a process rather than a result.

The paper analyses the data generated in the survey in order to find a pattern for the different approaches. Starting off form the concept of "culture economies" as elaborated by Ray (2001) a preliminary typology is derived. The divagating approaches of different actor groups (farmers, retailers, tourism managers, regional developers) are illustrated by examples. Essentially the concept is used to improve the regional power status of the proponent. Organic actors in particular aim to retain more influence over the food chain.

A common vision is regarded as essential, as otherwise the concept runs at risk to loose its meaning. The preliminary typology should assist to elaborate such a commonly agreed goal for Eco-regions.


Ray C. 2001: Culture Economy, CRE Press, Newcastle upon Tyne



7. Mapping farmers’ perceptions of conversion to organic farming.

A case study in Austria

Ika Darnhofer - (

Institute of Agricultural Economics,

University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences


When exploring the degree to which the organic movement has managed to effect change in the broader structures of rural society, farmers’ perceptions and actions play an important role. The case study attempts to elucidate the extent to which the issues of the organic movement are present in farmers’ management decisions.

Interviews included on the one hand farmers considering conversion to organic farming, focusing on the changes they expect from conversion; and on the other hand organic farmers, focusing on the extend their farm system is different as a consequence of conversion. To graphically represent the (expected) changes in farm organisation, the perceived interactions between operations, as well as the relationship to the farmer’s values, the interviews with twelve pig farmers were summarised using cognitive maps.

Preliminary analysis shows that key concerns are securing farm income while avoiding excessive work load. Thus, although pigs were considered attractive as they offered the opportunity to add value to on-farm production, they were also seen as labour-intensive and as such in conflict with increased desire for leisure time and the ability to leave the farm for vacations. A strong debt aversion also meant that farmers were only willing to engage in pig rearing if the necessary adaptation of the stables to organic standards could be done at low costs. Issues that are key considerations for the organic movement, such as closed nutrient cycles (supply of pig manure for field crops, use of on-farm feeds), or local marketing of the produce were seldom mentioned.

However, most farmers also testified of a change in their appreciation of organic farming: they now acknowledge that organic farming "works" and accept characteristics of organic farming such as lower yields or more weeds. Farmers also appreciate the higher level of skills required in organic farming.


8. The meaning of organic food consumption in everyday life – a Danish casestudy

Martin Harring Boll – (

Department of Manufacturing Engineering and Management

/Innovation and Sustainability

Technical University of Denmark

The dramatic growth of the organic sector in Denmark during the last 15 years has been accompanied by a standardization and specialization of production, processing, marketing and distribution of organic products. This structural change from alternative small-scale production to industrial production, processing and marketing, has made the organic products accessible for a broader range of consumers, but as a function of this, the concept "organic" will inevitable change in society. This can undermine 1) the organic agriculture as a sustainable alternative to established production, and 2) the consumers trust in the organic sector.

Therefore the two leading research question are:

What values, meanings and beliefs are being associated with consumption of organic food in everyday life?

How does this correspond to the dominating discursive understandings of the consumer among the actors marketing organic products?

The study is based on three case studies, representing different ways of meeting organic products in daily life; from the anonymous purchase through supermarkets, to the closer relations through the organic box schemes and the serving of organic products in public catering.

The central hypothesis of the project is that consumption of organic food, to a great extent, should be understood from a social point of view, expressing the subjects orientation towards different notions of "common good". A leading question is how this orientation is handled, negotiated and understood in everyday life.

When study is based on qualitative interviewing methods, and a frame of analysis is developed in order to grasp the antagonistic, social and cultural dimensions of consumption of organic food. The theoretical frame consists of everyday life – theory, consumption theory, sociological risk theory and anthropological exchange theory.

On the conference I will present the results from the supermarket – and the organic box-scheme case. My Ph.D project is developed in cooperation with the Danish Consumer Council and the Department of Environment, Technology and Social Studies, Roskilde University.

9. Ecological Modernisation in the Danish Organic Foodsector

Dorthe Elle Ilsøe (

Roskilde University

This paper will introduce a casestudy of the organic sale in Danish supermarkets based on qualitative interviews with supermarket actors and consumers; and discourse analysis.

The Danish Foodsector has experienced an ecological modernization on parts of the production since the 1990´ties, where supermarkets and retailers began to sell and promote organic products. But today the sale is stagnating and this casestudy analyses the experiences made in the supermarkets and discuss them in relation to the experiences made of the consumers and the interplay between them.

The supermarkets reproach the consumers fore demanding organic products in inquiries, but at the same time not acting according to their attitudes and now the frontrunners seems to retire to a more traditional role as shopkeepers focussing on the sales statistics. This has been the background fore asking what kind of possibilities the consumers experiences in their daily life and what kind of responsibility we can put on them?

The material shows that the consumers have been active players in the present development, but that the strong focus on the market and consumer demands also reveals a range of problems, for example does everyday life dimensions as lack of time and money, habits, problems in establishing stable orientations towards the food production, lack of selection etc. make barriers fore a growth in the sale of organic products. But the consumers who buy organic products also tries to send a message to the politicians and the food producers, but they don’t experience a more broad political support or alliance.

The concept of ecological modernisation states that environmental improvements and changes can be made inside the ruling institutional organisations and on ordinary market terms and create cultural changes end reforms in the institutions, but the case of organic production in Denmark also reveals certain problems and limitations and future strategies will therefore be discussed focussing on creating new arenas, alliances and network to strengthen the development of the organic food production and policy, build on the ideas of sustainable development taking the present experiences into account.



10. Organic marketing initiatives and Ecological Modernisation

Mette W Hansen,

Thorkild Nielsen,

Maria Bruselius-Jensen ,

Niels H Kristensen – (

The modern Organic Movement represent a wider span and variety of perspectives than formulated the founders and pioneers of the movement. The development from being a part of a subculture (Kristensen and Nielsen 1997, Belasco 1989) till now becoming part of mainstream society and culture. Theories of ecological modernisation (Frouws & Mol 1997, Hajer 1995, Hajer 1996, Spargaren 2000) point out characteristics for ecological modernisation. Environmental awareness is seen as a sphere that formerly has been excluded from economic institutions, but now slowly being integrated in modern economic institutions as a more equal partner. They claim that environmental awareness will initiate a restructuratioin of economic processes with ecological criteria and goals.

The importance that established institutions incorporate environmental challenges seen as widely integrated in society structure and social action is an important part of this perspective. This understanding is closely relying on the belief that the dominating social institutions can learn and that this learning process can create informed change. The institutions have to develop a non-reductionistic view on nature and integrate nature in the learning systems. Hejer see this as a moderate social project where existing social and political institutions internalise a ecological rationale and develops new international institutions that facilitate the control of nature.

We are critical to this perspective on the basis of the empirical studies from the organic movement. Studies of Organic Marketing Initiatives (OMI's) in Europe and Danish cases, indicate that the political and social institutions are very selective in the internalising of ecological criteria. By the findings from these studies the modernisation process will be discussed and redefined.


11. How do farmers perceive their place in their community? Is organic-producer status the answer to regaining rural credibility?

Sue Simpson –

School of Geography and Archaeology, University of Exeter

This paper is based on the results of PhD research into the uptake of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme that was carried out in four English Nature Natural Areas in southern England. It utilises material gathered during the course of depth interviews to identify perceptions among the interviewees of their changing role, and standing, within their communities. In recent years farmers have come under considerable, and wide ranging, public criticism over a number of high profile issues surrounding food safety and environmentally damaging land management practices. Over a similar period farmers have also experienced a major crisis in the livestock sector, as a result of Foot and Mouth disease and a general decline in farm incomes. These combined circumstances have led farmers to investigate ‘alternative’ strategies to generate income. Organic conversion has been seen by a large number of producers as a viable survival strategy leading to a situation whereby the Organic Aid conversion grant scheme has consistently over-subscribed since its inception. This paper discusses the ways in which these ‘new’ entrants into the organic movement perceive their community status might be affected by their move from conventional to organic production. These perceptions of ‘public image’ are then compared with those articulated by both long-standing organic and conventional producers




12. Reality bites - Some observations of the relationship between organic production and rural areas

Tuija Mononen – (

University of Joensuu

In my paper, I will explore the development of organic production in eastern and northern Finland and it’s consequences to rural areas. My case area, eastern Finland is peripheral both from the European and Finnish point of view. Agriculture is diverse, and climatic conditions set some limits on production. This area is mainly rural with long distances and limited markets.

However, there has been some successful development of organic production. The regional mill started buying and processing organic cereals in the beginning of 1990’s. At the moment, it is the second biggest mill processing organic cereals in Finland. Elopakari, part of the, the nation wide bakery chain Vaasan & Vaasan Oy located in same municipality, is baking organic bread. In northern part of the case area, (owned by Valio, the largest dairy company in Finland) is processing organic milk to organic butter. In the end of March 2003 Kainuu dairy gave a press release, that it would stop producing organic butter.

Transporting organic milk started in the area in 2002. However, there is no local dairy processing organic milk, and the milk lorry (owned by Valio?), comes from another part of Finland. There are many organic farmers willing to be part of this supply chain, but because of the long distances between dairy and organic farms, transporting all organic milk from area seem to be impossible.

Although organic production may be seen as one way to resist globalisation process, it seems that, at least in northern and eastern Karelia, organic production must follow industrial and productivist logic of production. Once again, we are face the complex situation of ideology vs. reality.





13. The impact of ecological modernisation on organic farmers values

Kirsten Branholm Pedersen (

Birgit Land – (

Bente Kjærgård (

Department of Environment, Technology and Social Studies

Roskilde University

The paper focuses on the discourse on ecological modernisation of agriculture and how the discourse affects organic farmers values and hence the favoured path of development within organic farming. Aiming at reconciling both the call for environmental protection and for economic growth, ecological modernisation may favour a more conventional path of development i.e. towards capital intensive, specialised and large-scale units.

In particular the paper will explore if the discourse of ecological modernisation has affected the discourse(s) on organic farming towards a more conventional path similar to the path of development within conventional agriculture.

By the beginning of the new millennium organic farming seems to be at a crossroads. While the demand for and supply of organic products rose steadily during the nineties, the demand for organic products are now stagnant and hence there are a surplus of organic products. The changes in the demand for organic products are taking place at the same time as the dairies as well as the retailers are questioning the future demand for organic products and not least the raison d’être for the higher prices on organic products.

To highlight how the discourse of ecological modernisation influence values attached to organic farming, the paper will study the ongoing discourse on organic farming in the two magazines ‘Organic Farming’ and ‘SPIR’ that are published by the Organic Farmers’ Association. The first will be the point of reference for analysing discourses on organic farming and how values are negotiated within the organic farmer’s movement. The second will be the basis for analysing the discourses and values the organic farmers’ movement draw on when addressing consumers, farmers and firms. The findings from the discourse analysis will be validated by a focus group interview with representatives from the Organic Farmers’ Association and other representatives from the organic movement.

The paper will include a discussion on the discourse on ecological modernisation in the wider society and the conditions for organic farmers to resist conventionalism and preserve / stick to the values attached to organic farming.







Naoimh Mc Mahon

Trinity College Dublin

The organic movement has been hailed as a way of implementing change in agriculture from an industrial system to a more ecological sensitive one. In this paper I examine from a cultural perspective the extent to which and the ways in which the political and personal convictions of biodynamic farmers are the basis for trying to influence the ideas and activities of the people around them. Through intensive semi-structured interviews I examined how they relate to their own activity and the wider community. Although they do want change in agricultural practices on a wider scale they are not involved in persuading other farmers to become involved in organic methods. I highlight a number of reasons for this, looking at the type of self that is involved in biodynamic farming and the way in which experiences have opened and closed potential for further activity.

They are concerned with creating and maintaining purity in how they act in relation to the purity of their souls, the purity of the idea of ‘organic’ and the purity of the polluted countryside and their activity as biodynamic farmers is part of this. These understandings of reality have led to a reduction in their engagement with the general rural community and government schemes, as they do not want to be involved and therefore tainted by the impure industrial agricultural philosophy or methods. To examine their ideas of purity it is useful to examine how they do not see themselves, in other words, what Others have they constructed and what negative attributes have they given them. These farmers create these Others as impure; tainted by big business and materialism. In relation to their activity, the central concern is that they maintain the purity of their ideas. The way they farm is a private choice to limit the damage caused to the environment, their health and their families’ health, and, to be able to live close to nature. They do not see their role as trying to change the rural community other than by example. They also reduce the contact they have with Others because they do not want to be made feel different or ‘weird’ by the wider community.



15. The Formative Years of the Organic Farming Movement in Ireland. Sociological perspectives.

Oliver Moore - (


The primary function of this paper is to fill a perceived gap in the academic literature on the organic movement here in Ireland. Notwithstanding the existence of academic work on the movement’s institutionalization, as well as the movement’s relation to the development of rural cosmologies, a thoroughgoing history of the organic movement hasn’t previously been done. Methodologically, we have used archival and documentary research, in addition to the available academic literature.  From this we have selected our initial interview candidates, and from this used a snowball methodology to select further candidates. In doing this, we have outlined the formative years of the organic movement in Ireland.


16. Effects of organic and conventional farming practice on non-agrarian land use in Austria’s mountainous grasslands


Julia Neuwirth -

Josef Hambrusch

Institute of Agricultural Economics,

University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences


Whereas in the past Austria’s mountainous grassland was used predominantly by agriculture for primary production, nowadays it fulfils society’s demands for additional functions, such as conservation and protection of nature, landscape, water resources as well as of hunters’ or tourists’ interests. Is organic or conventional farming the more suitable way to satisfy these multifarious social claims? – this is the main point the paper deals with.

The study is based on interviews with 250 livestock-farmers from three Austrian federal states in 1998, 2000 and 2001. These surveys provided data on management practises of 919 pastures and meadows. Complementary information on non-agricultural uses was derived from land use plans.

Statistical methods were used to examine influences of management practices on non-agrarian land use. To avoid interfering effects, both topography and the degree of development (lot infrastructure and shape) have been excluded.

Organic and conventional farmed grasslands differ in fertilizer and pesticide application. Minor inputs of mineral fertilizers and total renunciation of pesticides on organically farmed grasslands correlate positively with spatial-structural secondary uses, nature conservation and touristic concerns as well as with danger zones and safety areas. Non-agrarian uses increase with decreasing intensity of grassland management. But conventionally managed feedlots and hayfields also contribute to multifunctionality: they correlate with hunting interests and their reduced use of organic fertilizers aids nature conservation.

Thus grassland management measures are important for non-agricultural uses. But also natural conditions, such as shape, altitude etc., affect both intensity of management and non-agricultural uses. This is why also conventional farming is also able to perform multifunctional services. Therefore we concluded, that the way of managing is only one of many determining factors for multifunctionality of mountainous grasslands in Austria.


17. Poster Contribution: The environmental impact of Organic Farming in France: development of an evaluation tool based on a sample of regular consumers of organic food.

Laoura Maratou - (

Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique –



As the second sub-project part of a multidisciplinary French national research program (INRA -CIAB), the societal exigencies are being estimated through research in consumer perceptions regarding the environmental impact of Organic Farming. The framework of our analysis was the conditions of Organic Farming (OF) for arable crops in France, OF practices and their environmental impact. The research issue was to evaluate consumer expectations ("real demand") and consumer wishes ("theoretical demand") regarding OF. The conceptual context of our survey was an innovative adaptation of the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) multiple criteria decision theory. Our methodological rationale was field research in France, combining panel data from three focus group sessions and five individual semi-structured interviews, based on a sample of regular consumers of organic food. The consumers identified spontaneously the environmental components and farming practices, a part of which was completely new. The analysis was on their perceptions regarding the environmental influences of OF and their evaluation-hierarchy of satisfaction for both the "real" and "theoretical" demand for OF. Finally, we observed the discrepancy from the findings of the first sub-project (agronomist experts, I.N.R.A. Nancy-Colmar).

Working Group 1.4: Alternative Food Networks in Rural Development

Consumers attitudes towards some regional food products of Tuscany.

G. Balestrieri (*), R. Cerruti (**)

(*) Department of Economics, University of Pisa


(**) Section of Agricultural and environmental economics, Department of agronomy and management of the agroecosystems, University of Pisa



We report the preliminary results of a research project, still in progress, on the role of consumers in the construction of quality of some traditional and origin labelled food products of Tuscany. We are carrying on this research under a grant of the Regional Agency for Development and Innovation in Agriculture (ARSIA), a branch of the Regional Government of Tuscany. To determine the attitudes of consumers towards typical products we employ qualitative analysis based on focus groups, departing from the conceptual framework of mainstream quantitative market analysis. Our results seem to confirm the existence of an active role of consumers in the process of social construction of quality of typical products. The analysis is cast into the wider environment of EU policy directions for rural areas, which currently include product differentiation strategies aimed at creating niche markets for typical products. Such strategies are supposed to give to peripheral regions opportunities in terms of their imagery and popular perceptions surrounding the traditionality and authenticity of their products.


Working Group 1.4: Alternative Food Networks in Rural Development

Supply Chains and Networks of Food SMEs across Europe's Lagging Rural Regions: Concepts, Reality and Rural Development

Joanne Brannigan and Philip Leat

Food Marketing Group, Research Division, SAC



This paper derives from an EU Fifth Framework project entitled 'Supply Chains Linking Food SMEs in Europe's Lagging Rural Regions' (SUPPLIERS, QLK5-CT-2000-00841). SUPPLIERS is concerned with the development, innovation, competitiveness and sustainability of small and medium sized food enterprises (food SMEs) in lagging rural regions (LRRs) of the European Union (EU) and Poland. It has the overall objective of assisting the sustainable development of small-scale food enterprises through the development of new tools and models for supply chain integration leading to improved market accessibility and competitiveness.

Selected findings of the project's conceptual framework are presented, which embraces, amongst others, economic and social networks and conventions theory and, short, frequently customised, chains as opposed to longer industrialised chains. It also draws on the findings of three major surveys, involving food producers, supply chain intermediaries and commercial customers. A total of 1,100 food enterprises have been surveyed in 11 LRRs, in the UK, Ireland, France, Finland, Greece and Poland, covering a wide range of farm, fish and food products. The paper reports on: the role that food SMEs have played in developing their supply arrangements, both vertical and horizontal; the character and extent of the networks within which they are embedded; and the conventions by which they operate. A clear distinction is made between the formal networking of larger enterprises and the informal and trust based relationships of smaller enterprises. Key factors in determining the type of chain developed, and their associated networks, are identified.

The adoption and use of Communication and Information Technology (C and IT) in food network development is considered, with the drivers of adoption identified and the purposes and benefits examined. The role of institutions in aiding food network development is considered, and the positive and negative impacts of different types of food supply networks for rural development are determined.

In conclusion, the paper considers the extent to which different supply chain and network configurations can help realise the economic potential of food supplied from LRRs whilst facilitating rural development.

Working Group 1.4: Alternative Food Networks in Rural Development


Nature, risk, responsibility: Theoretical considerations in the context of artisan food networks in South-West Ireland

Margaret Desmond and Colin Sage

Department of Geography, University College Cork, Ireland

A substantial body of social science literature conceptualises ‘manufactured risk’ within the food sector as a residual effect of industrial processes driven by the imperative of the ‘domestication of nature’. Such risk is mediated through notions of safety and quality. Our research, in contrast, seeks to explore a particular form of food ‘risk’ which is not a side effect of the production process but rather is based upon the intrinsic ‘raw nature’ of the product itself. In conventional food systems notions of risk are framed and managed by regulatory controls that serve to deliver ‘quality assurance’ of uniform and standardised food products. Many artisan food producers, on the other hand, work with ingredients in which nature remains untamed by processes such as pasteurisation or irradiation. Our research embraces the notion of responsibility as a collective endeavour where all parts of the production and consumption network are engaged in conventions and norms that minimise hazards and control risk. Drawing on an array of theoretical perspectives and on empirical work involving the producers of raw milk cheese, the paper will outline an alternative approach to understanding the prevalence and management of risk in food.



Working Group 1.4: Alternative Food Networks in Rural Development

The spread of the New Farmers Markets as a tool for supporting local food: evidence from Scandinavia

Anne Moxnes Jervell

NILF (Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute)

Oslo, Norway


The "New Farmers Market" model has experienced a rapid growth and diffusion since its initiation in the US in the mid 1970s. It reached Britain in the mid nineties, has recently been successfully introduced in Sweden and is launched by Norsk Landbrukssamvirke with 8 pilot markets in Norway in 2003. Local produce, freshness and direct contact between producer and consumer is at the core of this marketing channel concept. The successful markets seem to serve both producers, consumers and local communities and are able to attract support from government, businesses and organizations.

The development of local food systems can be hampered by the lack of marketing channels. Studies of small-scale farm-based food processors point to marketing, and especially finding a market channel, as the most important and difficult competitive instrument for small-scale rural producers. Traditional commercial channels are perceived as unprofitable for the and small-scale food producers lack access in a highly concentrated retail sector. Most farm producers depend on some form of direct marketing, while the prevalence of organized channels is relatively small.

Even if there is a perceived lack of organized channels the motivation for selling locally and directly is often positive. Direct customer contact adds-value, ensures freshness and quality and increases the opportunity to differentiate products in relational sales. On-farm shops may add cultural and recreational value to the food product, thus enhancing sales and improving profits. On the other hand: on-farm sales demand investment, relying only on on-farm sales may inhibit product development and firm growth, partly because it limit volumes, partly because of the demands sales make on managerial time.

The "new" Farmers Market is one of the more successful organized initiatives. It represents a low-threshold channel for new producers and products, serves the development of quality products and local food networks and strengthens the social ties between farmers and their local consumers. The paper describes how the model has is implemented in the Swedish and Norwegian cases and discusses the potential of the Farmers market as a tool for developing local food in different contexts.

Working Group 1.4: Alternative Food Networks in Rural Development

Alternative food and alternative knowledge: experimentation, education and exchange of information among small-scale food producers and their networks.

Annette Jorgensen

Postgraduate Student, Department of Sociology, NUI Maynooth, Ireland

This paper seeks to explore the role of knowledge within networks of alternative food producers, distributors and consumers in the south west of Ireland. Using an ethnographic approach it attempts to uncover which forms of knowledge are employed in alternative food circles, and how such knowledge is constructed and disseminated. Striving to create artisan products or farm without the use of chemicals may lead to technological innovation, and forming links with neighbours can provide access to traditional skills. Additionally, practice such as direct selling may be aided by acquiring an understanding of local customs. Such newly acquired knowledge can be passed on to colleagues, friends and customers at formal meetings or through informal social interaction. By paying attention to such everyday practices, this project addresses the question of the nature of local knowledge, and it considers whether ‘alternative’ skills and understandings, and unconventional practices for knowledge diffusion, can empower those producers and consumers who are seeking to construct alternatives to the industrial, and in their view, non-sustainable, food system.




Working Group 1.4: Alternative Food Networks in Rural Development

The reconfiguration of producer-consumer relations within alternative food networks: the case of Farmers’ Markets

James Kirwan

Countryside and Community Research Unit, University of Gloucestershire

Francis Close Hall, Swindon Road, Cheltenham GL50 4AZ, UK

Farmers’ Markets (FMs) are an example of an alternative food network (AFN) within the UK agro-food system that are heralded as having the potential to deliver a wide range of economic, social, and environmental benefits. They provide an outlet for small speciality food producers and are founded upon the reconnection of producers and consumers, with a concomitant reconfiguration of the relations between them. Drawing on Ph.D. research, this paper critically examines the characteristics of these relations in order to better assess the capacity of FMs to contribute to rural development. The data are drawn from semi-structured interviews with producers and focus group discussions with consumers, and are largely qualitative. Their analysis is informed by a combination of theoretical insights that include embeddedness, regard, and Conventions Theory (CT). This has enabled an intellection of the socially and locally embedded nature of the exchange process, as well as the additional reciprocal benefit of regard between the producers and consumers concerned. A composite alterity is identified for FMs, the maintenance of which it is argued is crucial to their continued functioning as a successful AFN. However, there is inherent flexibility within the constituents of this alterity, which is assessed within CT as a ‘bubble of FM alterity’. The use of CT also allows for the conceptualisation of FMs in relation to the wider agro-food system, and the paper concludes by drawing out the implications of this study for our understanding of AFNs as contributors to rural development.







Working Group 1.4: Alternative Food Networks in Rural Development


Coalitions and contention in the "local food movement"

Ralph Mackridge

University of the West of England, Bristol, UK

Re-localising the food chain food has recently attracted policy interest from all levels of government in the UK as well as being favoured by environmental NGOs and public interest groups. The language used to valorise and promote locally produced food appears to be widely shared. In various local/regional parts of the UK "local food" has gained a significant status in the policy and practice of rural development, with publicly funded support networks and a range of practical enterprises.

Interest in local food is more than as a top-down policy issue, as it appears to have growing support among sections of the public, both as a desirable way of sourcing their food, and also as the expression of range of values. Many local producers stress a social or environmental dimension of their products more than conventional selling points.

"Local food", then, is not simply food that is distributed and consumed close to its place of production, but appears to have gained an "emblematic" status in the way that it has carries a range of values, histories and aspirations, as well as in the way that it has attracted widespread policy attention and the growing allegiance of groups of consumers. There appears to be the emergence of a "local food discourse coalition" that seeks to address a variety of issues in health, economic development and rural community, but which at the end of the day is dependent on the willingness of producers and consumers to engage in the market.

This paper will present preliminary findings of a project exploring the development, dynamics and possible contradictions of this coalition and the emblematic status of "local food" within the context or rural development and sustainability.



Working Group 1.4: Alternative Food Networks in Rural Development

Alternative or conventional? An examination of specialised livestock product chains in the Scottish-English borders

Damian Maye

Coventry University, UK


The conventional and ‘placeless’ nature of the UK’s food supply system is well documented. However, recent health scares (e.g. BSE, FMD) have increased public (and political) concern about where food comes from and how it is produced. This has encouraged a ‘turn’ to an alternative food supply system based on such features as quality, traceability, embeddedness and locality. Alternative food chains offer real opportunities for small-scale producers marginalized by global supply chain processes and located in ‘lagging’ farming regions. Despite conceptual interest in the turn to alternative food chains, little critical examination of these processes has been presented. Thus this paper, based on a large EU-funded research project, presents findings from survey work conducted with producers of specialist livestock products in the Scottish-English borders. Using supply chain diagrams, the paper explores the personalised, embedded, customised and differentiated nature of these ‘alternative’ food chains. Crucially, it questions the simple conceptual distinction between conventional and alternative, not least because many of these ‘alternative’ producers are forced to use conventional nodes in the food supply system (e.g. abattoirs, processors). Thus many barriers still exist and it is too early to talk in terms of an alternative geography of food.




Working Group 1.4: Alternative Food Networks in Rural Development

Face To Face, One at a Time: Success stories in growing and marketing local and regional foods in Maine

Nancy Ross

Unity College, Unity, ME 04988, USA

Maine is a rural state with few population centers. What does it take, in this context, to be a successful grower and marketer of food outside of the commodity system and within one’s own region? I interviewed 31 farmers and farm families identified as state-of-the-art local food producers by several long-time analysts of the Maine agricultural scene. I also interviewed store and restaurant owners, chefs, and buyers who did business with the farmers. The growers represent almost every product produced in the state, from potatoes to dairy, livestock to grains, blueberries, apples, vegetables, mushrooms, wine, and cheese. Their marketing strategies run the gamut from community supported agriculture to trade show merchandising.

I wanted to learn what common values, approaches, and outlooks these different farmers shared and to understand how farmers and others evaluated their accomplishments. My goal was to find out the reasons behind success and see what polices might support, advance, and replicate success in local food production in this setting. This paper identifies and analyzes four critical elements of successful farming and marketing within a region: connection to the local community, knowledge about and relationships with customers, vision and planning, and product quality. The paper also describes policy needs and opportunities, including brokerage services between farmers and wholesale customers; infrastructure, such as meat slaughtering and grain milling facilities; working capital; training and financing for new farmers; farmland preservation; business planning assistance; and health insurance for farmers and farm workers.




Working Group 1.4: Alternative Food Networks in Rural Development

The Role of Regional Quality Food Production in Rural Development in Ireland

Deirdre O’ Connor and Monica Gorman

Department of Agribusiness, Extension and Rural Development

Faculty of Agriculture, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland


In the context of a constantly evolving policy environment and changing market conditions, the demands facing rural areas in terms of adjustment are considerable and pose many challenges for rural development policy in the formulation of appropriate development strategies. In relation to Ireland, the most recent published strategy statement on rural development identifies the maximisation of the potential of the food sector as a vital stimulant to rural development. Allied to this, there is growing awareness that the development of regional quality food production is a strategy with considerable rural development potential. This purpose of this paper is to examine its role in the context of Irish rural development. Given the parallel development of both the "mainstream" and "speciality" food sectors, the starting point of this paper is an overview of the evolution and the development of both of these components of the food industry. This is followed by a discussion of producers’ and consumers’ perception of regional quality food in Ireland and of the role and contribution of this sector in the arena of rural development. The next issue for consideration relates to the arguments for public intervention in the sector both as a means of ensuring policy coherence and as a way of correcting for market failure. The paper concludes by examining the critical role which public policy and institutions in Ireland could play in a range of initiatives such as "brokering" producer-consumer contacts; facilitating producer groups; in the development of appropriate marketing strategies and quality assurance schemes and in raising consumer awareness of regional quality production.


Working Group 1.4: Alternative Food Networks in Rural Development

Conceptual and methodological issues in studying the role of Alternative Food Networks in Rural Development

Henk Renting

Rural Sociology Group, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

In recent years an interesting debate has emerged concerning the (potential) role of new food supply chain initiatives (termed Alternative Food Networks by others) in delivering wider goals of sustainable agriculture and rural development. This debate is exemplified by special issues of journals like Sociologia Ruralis (October 2000 and October 2002), Journal of Rural Studies (January 2003) and Environment & Planning A (February 2003). The innovative nature of the debate lies in its contribution to new conceptual approaches for understanding the distinctive characteristics of new producer-consumer linkages within a generally anonymous and globalised agro-food system, but also in the fact that it is increasingly based on a rich variety of emprical case-studies and data-sets. This paper aims to further advance the debate on AFNs by raising a number of key conceptual and methodological issues in studying their role within wider sustainable rural development. More specifically two issues will be addressed: 1. how can the ‘consumer-side’ of AFNs be included more convincingly in the study of new food supply chains, both conceptually and methodologically? 2. To what extent is there evidence that AFNs actually represent the emergence of a new model or paradigm of rural development? In the discussion of these two issues ample reference will be made to a range of empirical case-studies of AFNs throughout the European countryside.


Working Group 1.4: Alternative Food Networks in Rural Development

The Local Food Sector in Scotland

Bill Slee

Professor of Rural Economy, University of Gloucestershire, UK


This paper examines the characteristics of the local food sector in Scotland and examines the constraints on its further development. It is based on a project undertaken by the author and others for SEERAD, the Health Education Board for Scotland and others in 2001-2.

In spite of a renaissance of local food systems in some parts of the UK, Scotland has a relatively weakly developed local food sector. Although much recent interest in local food has focussed on the creation of new products (and new-old products) for an affluent and privileged clientele, the local food sector can also include components of much older local production and distribution systems. Some of these systems may generate considerable advantages to excluded groups, groups characterised by poor diets, as well as providing wider social capital enhancing and environmental benefits. In spite of these positive attributes, there has to date been very limited support of local food systems in Scotland.

This paper attempts to explore and understand the diversity and dynamics of local food systems in Scotland and examine the institutional factors which mediate the further development of the local food sector in Scotland.



Working Group 1.4: Alternative Food Networks in Rural Development

Less Favored Areas, Specific-Character Products and Rural Development: Short Cheese Supply Chains in North Aegean Region, Greece.

Kizos Thanasis, Vakoufaris Hristos, Koulouri Maria, Spilanis Ioannis.

Department of Environmental studies, University of the Aegean, Department of Environmental Studies, Laboratory for Local and Island development, Xenia Building, Mitilini 81100 Greece, 00302251036229

Rural development is linked, among others, to a local production base capable of creating synergies with other local activities in production – distribution networks. International, European and local development strategies recognize that in the contemporary competitive and globalized context of food trade, local specific-character products can serve as an important possibility for the differentiation and acquisition of added value and the emergence of new markets through alternative food networks of Less Favored Areas’ (LFA’s) enterprises. This paper deals with specific character cheese products of the North Aegean Region in Greece, a LFA island Region and examines the distribution networks (short supply or ‘conventional’ chains) of a number of cheese products, characterized or not by official designations of specific character. Results demonstrate that the ‘symbolic’ value of a product rather than its official specific character designation is of great importance for its end value. This symbolic value is not necessarily acquired through official designations and/or actual specific characteristics, but refers to non material characteristics. Firms that can exploit this ‘symbolic value’ are in general more successful in terms of added value acquired and highlight the weaknesses of the majority of North Aegean cheese enterprises to distribute their products to the markets where symbolic value corresponds to greater added value for them. These results of island LFA enterprises raise general LFA enterprises and rural development issues and illustrate the difficulties these enterprises face in coping with both competition and geographical disadvantages.

Working Group 1.4: Alternative Food Networks in Rural Development

What is good food? Struggles around 'quality' in relation to food.

Hilary Tovey

Department of Sociology, Trinity College Dublin.

Rural sociologists, and sociologists of food, have become increasingly interested in the issue of 'food quality'. At a simple level, we could say that this has grown out of sociological interest during the 1990s in rising consumer concerns about food, and in what are often known as 'food scares'. However, food quality is not identical with food safety, although governmental and commercial or food industry discourses on food quality reduce it to an issue of food safety; and clearly it is easier for regulating bodies to regulate for health and safety issues than for quality issues. Even 'quality labels' such as the labelling system for 'Quality Irish beef' are often used in commercial food promotion to stand for traceability and conditions of production (both understood as aspects of safety), and the organic label also seems widely used by both commercial promoters and non-committed consumers as a safety label.

There has been some debate recently among rural and food sociologists over how to interpret the 'food scare' phenomenon: is consumer resistance to some aspects of industrialised food production a sign that a new 'politics of food' is developing? Proponents of the idea of a new politics of food suggest that it involves a coalition between groups of consumers and a particular type of food producer - small-scale, local, organic or 'alternative' producers. The discussion to date has largely identified these consumers as resisting what they see as 'unsafe' practices in industrial food production. It has tended not to differentiate between producer-consumer relations which are based on judgements of food quality and those based on judgements of food safety. Arguably, these produce rather different kinds of 'food politics'. This paper argues, building on Arce and Marsden's claim (Economic Geography 1993), that a fundamental project in the sociology of food must be to 'reconceptualise value in everyday situations/social practices' (1993:296). Conceptualisation of value includes conceptualisation of quality, and a focus on quality may highlight social differentiation in the value construction of food and the importance of actors' cultural and knowledge negotiations in defining the meaning of food. In this context, the paper looks at struggles over the meaning of 'good food', using data from a study of 'alternative' food producers in south-west Ireland.





Egon Noe, Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Dep. of Agroecology, Research Centre Foulum, PO Box 50, 8830 Tjele, Denmark. Telephone: +45 8999 1207. Fax: +45 8999 1200. E-mail:


Farm management, knowledge and multidimensional agriculture - some reflections from the perspective of farm enterprises as heterogeneous self-organising systems.

Once upon a time agriculture was multidimensional. Agriculture was the social, cultural, natural, political and economical horizon of the daily life of most people. The history of modernisation is the history of specialisation into a one dimensional food production, and in agriculture based countries like Netherlands and Denmark into bulk production. And in recent decades there have been a strong specialisation into one-commodity farms. Chancing conditions in terms of technical features and market is commonly seen as the major rationale and driving force of this specialisation. But the growing amount of knowledge and how this knowledge is produced and circulated may be an even stronger factor of explanation of this development and thereby a key to understand the challenges and barriers of the development of multidimensional agriculture.

Based on empirical investigations and theoretical reflections I will discuss the barriers and potentials for management of multidimensional agriculture, from the perspective of the farm. The discussion will follow two lines of argumentations. 1) A historical look at production and reproduction of knowledge and skills involved in agricultural production: Describing the move from farming based on local intrinsic reproduced knowledge and skills, forward to one-dimensional farming based scientific (acontextual) knowledge and manuals, and towards multidimensional based on contextual knowledge and skills. And here, I will argue, agricultural science had played a central role in the development process towards one-dimensional agriculture. 2) An analysis and discussion of the complexity of multidimensional agriculture from the perspective of a farm enterprise, viewed as a heterogeneous self-organising system. The key question is: how can the farmer/farm enterprise mobilise and reproduce the necessary knowledge and skills (e.g. in terms of labour and consultants) into the management process of the multidimensional agriculture without losing the internal coherence and strategy of the enterprise.

The perspective is manly valid for the Northern industrialised countries but I will argue for some generality that accounts for developing multidimensional agriculture in other parts of the world as well.

Yuna Chiffoleau

Researcher in Sociology

INRA SAD / UMR Innovation, 2 place Viala, 34 060 Montpellier Cedex 2, France


Learning to innovate through networks : the development of environment-friendly viticulture

Over the past decade, there has been growing interest in Europe in environment-friendly agriculture as a policy slogan, a marketing project and a consumer requirement. To what extent is such innovation embedded in and changing farmers’ values, practices and networks ? The aim of this paper is to present, on the basis of a case study, the evolution of a producers’ group involved in the development of environment-friendly viticulture in Languedoc (South of France). A longitudinal network approach is proposed that goes beyond the linear model of innovation and can explain the learning processes around technical and organisational changes. Different kinds of networks are highlighted : some function as a social niche, others assume the contours of knowledge-based strategies required by the management of diverse domains of change. All of these underline the importance of thematic local leaders that go further than "traditional" leadership. We conclude by stressing the development of relevant forms of social capital intertwining these different networks, both at individual and territorial levels, to respond to the challenges of multidimensional agriculture.

Key-words : social networks, innovation, learning processes, environment-friendly viticulture, Languedoc



Gaëtan Vanloqueren, AGRO, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium

Pierre Stassart, SEED, Fondation Universitaire Luxembourgeoise, Belgium

Philippe Baret, AGRO, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium


Multifunctionnality : realities and local stakes construction

The multifonctionnality of agriculture, despite a growing importance in both agricultural debates and international negotiations, struggles to establish itself, at the local level, as a systemic conciliation and evaluation framework of the relationships between the agricultural sector and the surroundings society’s expectations towards it. One possible starting point to conceive these relationships as progressively harmonic might be the land on which they are taking place, the territory, rather than one of its functions: agricultural production. Bringing into play this type of approach requires the creation of negotiation places that will allow actors to find solutions that could not having been brought separately neither by sciences nor by general national agricultural policies. How can we build horizontals partnerships involving various categories of the territory’s actors around the construction of collective common goods –such as landscape preservation, water management or hunting’s contribution to land management ? We tackled this question with three French study cases that combine organic agriculture or territorial contributions with various modes. This approach of multifonctionnality invite us to look differently at various currents stakes as Natura 2000 zones or CAP reorientation towards its rural development pillar and to question ourselves on the way to build multifonctionnality as a simultaneous local and global stake. Intermediate objects, like "debate-igniters" communication tools (slide projections), put to the test of territorial hybrid forums (overcrossing professional frontiers) should be taken into account. This empiric study

prove that negotiation at that territorial level has economic, social and environmental advantages. This put a prospective question about the methodological tools that can afford new articulation around the multifunctionnality of the territory .



ALBALADEJO Christophe, GIRARD Nathalie, LABATUT Julie

INRA SAD Toulouse, France


The rise of civil society relationships in rural areas : how to qualify collective action to help rethinking rural extension. The case of the saffron production in Quercy, South West France

Since 1997, individuals living in the Quercy region (South West of France) - mainly farmers but some of them carrying on or having been carrying on other activities (school teacher, garage mechanic, soldier,…) – are engaged in the revival of the saffron production. Actually this revival project of an ancient production (given up two centuries ago in this area), consists in great part of a construction by the local actors themselves. This project is facilitated by an extension worker of the Chambre d’Agriculture du Lot and associate an agricultural cooperative and restaurant owners.

The participation in this collective action is corresponding with what we can call a "chosen sociability" and the construction of "selfhood" with and through the group. This is contrasting with collective actions in rural areas based on the implicit identification with a "community" (to be farmers, to be quercinois, etc.). On the other hand, contrary to most of quality signs projects, the participants already don’t manifest the fear to be excluded from a label or even to be prevented from their own’s way of producing. The study of this project allowed us to understand the rise civil society relationships in rural areas, besides professional apparatus, community identities and also administrative proceedings compelling people to work together.

We realised 10 long interviews at the main actors of this project in 1999, and then again 10 long interviews once the collective institutions have been functioning and the project engaged in quality proceedings (2002). We tried to describe the dynamics of collective action and to understand the raisons of commitment in it action through the diversity of individual trajectories and the stories of their personal experiences in this project. We are intending to contribute at the analysis of the emergence of new forms of sociability and collective action in rural areas. The study of the method developed by the local extension worker led us to a reflection on the transformation of the function of agricultural and even rural project facilitators.


Berit Verstad

Faculty of Social Sciences and Natural Resources

Nord Trøndelag University College

Kongens gt.42

Serviceboks 2501

7729 Steinkjer



Tone Nergård

Faculty of teacher education

Nord Trøndelag University College


7600 Levanger




The Farm as a Pedagogical Resource : An evaluation of the co-operation between agriculture and primary school in the county of Nord-Trondelag, Norway

This paper brings forward the results of the evaluation of the ongoing project "The Farm as a Pedagogical Resource", which is a co-operative project between agriculture and the primary school. For the school this is a way of using the near surroundings as an arena for learning, and making several of the aims in the curriculum more concrete. For the farmer this is additional income and a new way of using the human and farm resources. The farmer and the teacher have to attend a preparatory course. During this course they elaborate their idea of co-operation into concrete terms by making an annual plan for their common activities at the farm, which is integrated both in the farming activities and in the syllabus. The financing of the farm as a new classroom shall be incorporated in the school budget, there is no fresh money attached to the project.

During the autumn of 2002 we interviewed all the participants in the project, 17 farmers and 14 teachers. The preliminary results show that both farmers and schools benefit from participating. The pupils like to take part in the activities at the farm, and these experiences can make some of the school content more meaningful and concrete. The farmers experience more understanding from society. The project is a positive way of involving the locals in farming. However one of the bottlenecks is to get the project into the economic plan of the municipality.

Lecturer Ion Viorel, Project Manager*; Assist. prof. Bucata Lenuta Iuliana*;Streza Anca Ileana*; Prof.Paun Stefan, General School Inspector of Giurgiu County.

Institution: *University for Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine-Bucharest, Romania


Innovative Vocational Training for Romanian Rural Inhabitants

The system of vocational training has to adapt itself to the new economic realities and must offer a palette with a diversity of courses in domains adequate to the present labor market, to the young people and to the disadvantaged categories

The Romanian rural environment has a greater number of social disadvantages as compared with the urban society. Consequently, there is obvious a general trend of village leaving (of the rural environment), especially by young people and those who are enrolled in town educational forms, are no more returning in their places of origin.

So, there is very important to establish the necessities of vocational training for the inhabitants of the rural environment (qualification and re-qualification), the enrichment of the varieties of specializations for these ones, the establishment of new modalities of vocational training, the promotion of cooperation between the vocational training units and the employers.

From another point of view, there is an important lack of qualified training personnel; many times the courses are thought only by replacing trainers, under graduated or owning incomplete pedagogic background formation.

The paper comprises the presentation of the following aspects:

1. The offer and the necessity of vocational training courses for the inhabitants of the rural environment (the presentation of the analysis upon the results from questionnaires);

2. Innovation modalities for vocational training;

3. The present situation of teaching in rural schools the disciplines of Biology- Agricultural Sciences;

4. Vocational training of Biology-Agricultural teachers for rural schools , in an innovative system at the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine-Bucharest, Romania;

5. Cooperation perspective between the employer- School Inspectorate of Giurgiu County and the unit of vocational training- University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine-Bucharest, Romania.

The paper was realized with the support and participation of the Rural School "Daitza"-Giurgiu County.

Joachim Ewert, Mercy Brown

Department of Sociology, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa


How important are worker skills for quality production?A critical examination of ‘skills’ and ‘training’ in the transformation of the South African wine industry

Although opinions may diverge on a number of other issues, there is general agreement at the top level of the South African wine industry that the sector needs to produce better quality wines if it wants to survive and sustain itself in the increasingly competitive world wine market. ‘Better quality’ is mainly defined in terms of the ‘premium’ and ‘super premium’ price categories in international markets, especially those of the UK. In order to achieve this, the official discourse of the industry stresses the need for specialization of wine production, a ‘market orientation’, a focus on ‘terroir’, ‘branding’ and the building of ‘international supply chains’. Although not at the top of the agenda, key people in the wine industry do recognize the need for ‘social responsibility’, ‘empowerment’ and - ‘human resource development’. The industry strategy emphasises the building of social capital and new institutions in order to drive and facilitate the changes required.

However, the building of trust and new institutions take time – especially in a country like South Africa with its particular political history and the social divisions that remain. Farmers and cellars cannot wait for this to happen and have to respond to the demands of the market as rapidly as they can. This is not only now, but has been a matter of urgency for the last ten years. In the early nineties, the protected world of the majority of South African wine farmers came crashing down overnight when the lifting of sanctions, deregulation, democratization and the loss of political support all happened at the same time. Also, it remains to be seen whether farmers and cellars will willingly buy into whatever targets are to be set by the new industry body.

So, the question is: in the meantime, how have farmers and cellars responded to these momentous changes? How have they translated the imperative for ‘quality production’ into new cellar and farming practices? More specifically, what exactly is required in terms of new vineyard practices and how are these transmitted to farm workers? What are the skills involved and who provides the training? How difficult or how easy are these skills to acquire, given that the great majority of farm workers on Cape wine farms are not very educated, and grew up under a mass production regime where production was all about quantity and the management style very authoritarian, leaving little room for worker discretion?

The paper tries to answer these questions. It does so by looking at structural changes in the industry and how these impact on cellar and farm level – especially in the co-operative sector. This serves as a backdrop to an analysis of first, the old training regime, and secondly, the efforts made by individual farmers and cellars in order to attain the kind of quality levels required in the new era. The paper concludes with an assessment of the viability of more collective training initiatives that have been muted or are starting to emerge at the sectoral and regional level of the South African wine industry.



Marcelo de Paula Xavier

Master Candidate in Agribusness

Cleber Carvalho de Castro

PHD Candidate in Agribusnes

Marcelo Capre Dias

PHD Candidate in Management


Economic and Technical Regulation in the Brazilian Agribusiness: an analysis from the milk chain in Brazil

In the last decades, Brazilian agribusiness has passed through technical changes wich have enhanced the competitivity of several national products for the international markets. Nevertheless, many problems are still being faced by the agents of the various productive chains, in Brazil. So that these agents must search for ansewrs wich the traditional approach of the laissez faire has not being able to furnish. In this sense, the present study aims to analyse the process of technical and economic regulation in the Brazilian agribusiness and the theoretical fundaments that support this process. To do so, the authors start from the criticism of the neoclassic approch and then they establish the principles of the regulation thougths through the keynesian approach. From this conceptual set, they analyse the role of international regulartion organisms such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Codex Alimentarius, both of them related to the United Nations. At national level, the authors analyse the role of the Brazilian Council for Economic Affairs (Conselho Nacional de Direito Economic) and the Ministry of Agriculture (Ministério da Agricultura, Pecuária e Abastecimento) as economic and technical regulation organisms, respectively. At the end, the necessity of regulation instruments to the Brazilian agribusiness is advocated, considering technical aspects of the productive chains, international trade aspects and market concentration issues.








Jávor Kata

The transformation of the ways to spend one's spare time in a
Southern Hungarian village (Zsombó)

The examined village is considered to be an innovative and vigorously
modernising settlement among Hungarian villages. This, however, does
not mean the complete absence of the traditional ways of spending
one's spare time, or that the process of their vanishing should be a
linear one.
One method of the transformation of the traditional festive
and social events in the village is the survival of an earlier custom in a
form that has become disfunctional. A good example is the custom in
which the near relatives provided hot meals for women in confinement
no more than one or two decades ago. By now this has been replaced
by the acquaintances "taking a look at the baby". This custom
embodies, instead of assistance, a kind of contact-building
representational function. Besides the relatives, anyone considering
himself or herself a friend of the family may go to "take a look" at the
baby, and now, instead of helping the mother, it is the baby that is
given gifts. The visiting of the baby may last out as long as a year, and
at times a family may expect up to forty visiting couples. Although the
number of visitors is in fact a matter of prestige, after a while too many
of them may prove financially quite burdensome for the young couple.
In the past the most important events for social recreation
and entertainment were the wedding parties. The proportions of these
wedding parties had been growing steadily from the 1960es, and by
the 1980es they often featured as many as 250-300 guests. Since a
family was typically invited to several weddings a year, they had the
occasion to "have their fling". By now, the number of guests has
decreased to about 100-150, while the decreasing number of childbirth
as well as the drastically diminishing inclination of the young people to
marry has resulted in the fact that, instead of the two or three
invitations to weddings per year, a family may expect an invitation
every two or three years.
Alongside this devaluation of the role of the wedding party,
charity balls held in the community centre of the village and having little
regard for the inner rhythm of village life are becoming increasingly
popular. One is supposed to take part in such events with his or her
friends at pre-booked tables. This upgrades the role of friends as
opposed to kinship, formerly the most important social institution of the
In this presentation we examine the former and present
social occasions for entertainment and recreation in the village,
attempting to pinpoint in them the tendencies of change.

Kata Jávor néprajzkutató, MTA Néprajzi Kutató Intézet
1014 Országház u. 30.

Dr. Peter MacDonald

Dr. Michael Clow

Department of Sociology

St. Thomas University

Fredericton, New Brunswick



The Effects of Agriculture on Forestry: The Need for Comparative Study

Agriculture and forestry have had historically close ties in both Scandinavia and Eastern Canada. It appears this connection continues in Scandinavia, consequently influencing the design and evolution of the mechanized tree harvesting systems which have emerged in these countries since 1950. The case of Eastern Canada forms a clear contrast. Here the close nexus of agriculture and forestry was sundered in the 1950s; we argue this contributed to a sharply different path of development in mechanized tree harvesting systems compared with that of Scandinavia. This paper explores the historic agriculture-forestry nexus in Eastern Canada, how it came to dissolve in the post World War II era and the path of mechanization which evolved under these new conditions. We raise questions about the apparently contrasting case of Scandinavia and seek to engage our European colleagues in examining the strangely understudied history of the industrial revolution in the woods which swept through the forests of both continents.

Maja Štambuk

Croatian rural society in the 20th century


Using the B. Kayser’s analytical scheme for the identification of rural changes (composition, decomposition, recomposition) we briefly describe the process of development of Croatian rural society from a traditional into a modern one.

The present-day Croatian rural household originated in the mid-19th century (with the abolition of servitude in the Austria-Hungary), rounding off the long-formed rural social system. At that time, the phase of composition continued more intensively, especially in the social, functional, economic and cultural sense. This developmental phase has lasted in Croatia somewhat longer than in other European countries – until the 1920s when the urbanization and industrialization processes began together with the general social and political changes. That was also the beginning of the period of major changes in the traditional rural social system. Note that all these changes were happening about a hundred years after the industrialization had begun in the first industrial country of Europe – England. The urban and industrial development took over the majority of non-agricultural rural activities and functions. Rural family slowly but inevitably lost many of its production and non-production functions. All of that had contributed to the process of agrarization and rustification of the village, or decomposition. Villages became rural ghettos.

In Croatia, the process of village rustification lasted for a very long time and in some rural areas is still taking effect – not only because of the belated urbanization and industrialization processes, but also due to the social system that was unfavorable to the agrarian and rural society.

Only in some rural areas has Croatian begun its phase of recomposition. In others, the processes of falling behind and weakening are still taking effect.

Judit Molnár

The process of depopulation of a rural region on the Hungarian side of the Hungarian-Slovakian borderland located between the rivers of the Sajó and Hernád

(demographic changes in the 20th century)


University of Miskolc, Dept. of Human Geography

3515 Miskolc-Egyetemváros, Hungary




The 20th century can be called a century of permanent changes due to the significant historical, economic and demographic changes occurred in that period. The geographic space has been permanently changing as well. Borderlands are characteristic segments of this geographic space. This study was carried out along the Hungarian-Slovakian border to study the demographic processes of 58 Hungarian settlements located between the rivers of the Sajó and Hernád. Borderlands are strongly affected by the historical events, because many of those create, change or dissolve certain border fragments. The knowledge of the historical background is always essential to understand the recent processes. The historical aspects are here in this study as well. However, the main emphasis has been put onto the recent demographic processes. It is believed that the historical events are also reflected in the demographic changes.

Although the study is mainly based on statistical data, the author has gained a more thorough understanding of this area in the frame of an ongoing, more detailed and complex empirical study aiming to characterize the socio-geographic environment of the borderlands. This study is a part of that bigger framework.

The paper summarizes the demographic processes from the World War II, with having higher emphasis on the changes occurred within the last twenty years. The effects of the historical, political and social events on the population changes, natural changes and migration and on their structural changes can be observed. The demographical erosion and its consequences are demonstrated. It is also attempted to highlight the potential future problems and trends and to identify some alternative solutions which may help to manage those problems.

2.1 Rural history and rural development in 20th century
Tibor Valuch

The Romanian Villager and Europe. Old European Representations and News Romanian Realities

Emilia Pavel, Mihai Pascaru, Mihaela Cîţu, „1 Decembrie 1918” University Alba Iulia

The paper first proposes several opinions of the several opinions of the foreing travellers in the Romanian territories in the 19th Century about the life of rhe Romanian villagers. Afterwards, some data of national research made in Romania by famous institutes and some data of the authors research are combined to offer an image the Romanian villager has about Europe today and about the European integration. Special attention is paid to aspects of organisational innovations such as the association. The final part of the study is dedicated to the linguitic abilities of the contemporary Romanian villager, i.e. abilities consideres by the authors important for adopting inovations and for the good knowledge of the rural European realities.

Maja Štambuk

Croatian rural society in the 20th century


Using the B. Kayser’s analytical scheme for the identification of rural changes (composition, decomposition, recomposition) we briefly describe the process of development of Croatian rural society from a traditional into a modern one.

The present-day Croatian rural household originated in the mid-19th century (with the abolition of servitude in the Austria-Hungary), rounding off the long-formed rural social system. At that time, the phase of composition continued more intensively, especially in the social, functional, economic and cultural sense. This developmental phase has lasted in Croatia somewhat longer than in other European countries – until the 1920s when the urbanization and industrialization processes began together with the general social and political changes. That was also the beginning of the period of major changes in the traditional rural social system. Note that all these changes were happening about a hundred years after the industrialization had begun in the first industrial country of Europe – England. The urban and industrial development took over the majority of non-agricultural rural activities and functions. Rural family slowly but inevitably lost many of its production and non-production functions. All of that had contributed to the process of agrarization and rustification of the village, or decomposition. Villages became rural ghettos.

In Croatia, the process of village rustification lasted for a very long time and in some rural areas is still taking effect – not only because of the belated urbanization and industrialization processes, but also due to the social system that was unfavorable to the agrarian and rural society.

Only in some rural areas has Croatian begun its phase of recomposition. In others, the processes of falling behind and weakening are still taking effect.

Valuch Tibor:



The activity structure, income and consumption in Hungarian villages in the collectivization period





The history of the rural way of life in Hungary after 1944 can be divided into two periods. The first lasted until the second half of the 1960s and was dominated by the survival of traditions, modernization at a moderate pace, and a decisive degree of self-sufficiency. The second, which began towards the end of the 1960s, was marked by departure from traditions, a declining role for self-sufficiency, and an increasing orientation towards consumption. This paper looks at the historical features of the first period of change, primarily in the household and activity structures, through an examination of housing, furnishings, dress and nutrition. The characteristics of the historical peasant way of life were already changing before collectivization, but the completion of the collectivization process accelerated the pace of change.

Zoltán Völgyesi


(from the middle of the 20th century until today)


A few notices concerning the notions I use:

Agrarian town: a type of town, in which agriculture remained the leading branch of economy until the middle of the 20th century and consequently the agrarian population dominated the local society. Agrarian towns in the Hungarian plain owned large fields and territories of farms and had a significant number of population, and in the second half of the 20th century they are towns of a population of approximately 20-30 thousand.

Local élite: the social layer having the highest status in the local community, whose members stand out from it according to certain characteristics, such as income, qualification, social position, and prestige, and are leaders giving cultural models and forming the local public opinion. In fact, they are élite belonging to the middle class.

Historical élite: local élite before the Second World War, families that had a leading role in the local communities, and lost their status of élite due to social and political changes at the end of and after the war.


In my research, I considered the decline of historical élite, the procedure of local élite formation after the transition period of 1945-1947, and the effects of the political transformation after 1989 on the composition of local élite.

The scene of my research is one of the eastern regions of Hungary that became industrialised relatively late, namely Hajdúság near the town Debrecen. In my research, I used methods of history, anthropology and sociology. I made most of my interviews in Hajdúnánás, a small town in Hajdúság. I was interested to see how the life of historical élite families changed after 1945, what life strategies and what mobility patterns they had. I also attempted to answer the question whether descendants of historical élite families were able to get back to the local élite.

Based on my research, it is not characteristic of descendants of historical élite to return to the local élite. There was a sharp break in the local élite: from the end of the 1940’s there was an almost total exchange of élite. There was such a huge burden on the members of historical élite families losing their status of élite that almost all of them left their home town, Hajdúnánás.

However, reconversion of descendants of historical élite families is very characteristic: despite their temporary loss of status these families were able to form such strategies that helped their descendants get into higher statuses in the community. In the communist era it was the most frequent behaviour to aim for intellectual occupations and acquire statuses that go with them.

In my lecture, I will attempt to compare the composition, origin and mentality of the ‘historical élite’, the local élite of the communist era and the present day élite.

Zoltán Völgyesi PhD


Landscapes of leisure.

Tourism and part-time residency as dominating themes in contemporary Finnish archipelago policy discourse.

Kjell Andersson

The Swedish School of Social Science

University of Helsinki

Fishing and transportation were until the 1970s the dominating themes in the Finnish archipelago policy, which emerged after World War II. In the end of the 70s, beginning of the 80s, however, the situation began to change: tourism and leisure were more and more regarded as industries and social phenomena vital enough to sustain and support the archipelago communities to a considerable extent. Today, part-time residency and tourism dominate the archipelago policy discourse completely. The aim in this paper is to analyse the contemporary Finnish archipelago policy discourse, both in it self, in relation to similar national and global discourses, and in relation to the economic development in the Finnish archipelago. The most interesting feature in this respect is perhaps that the Finnish archipelago policy discourse clearly is divided into a "part-time residency narrative" and a more traditional "tourist narrative". The data upon which the analysis is based consist of both interviews and policy documents.

The Entrepreneurial Representation of Regional Identity in Ireland

Dr. Ethel Crowley,

Research Fellow,

Institute for International Integration Studies,

Arts Block,

Trinity College Dublin,

College Green,

Dublin 2.

Ph: 01- 608 1871

Fax: 01- 677 1300


In a constructionist approach to social research such as that taken here, the main analytical focus is on how one version of the truth becomes dominant over another, rendering one story-line common sense and another virtually unthinkable. According to this approach, there is no ultimate truth because every social actor who contributes to debates on social issues ultimately is making specific claims for particular reasons. The various constructions of ruralities visible in public discourse are not solely abstract metaphors, but have a very concrete impact upon the present and future of real places and the people who live in them. Power struggles arise because of these competing sets of claims about reality. This is allied to a concern about structural power relations, because there is an inherent recognition that not all inputs are equal in their social impact and some inevitably become more influential than others. The urbanisation of Irish society means that the previously dominant construction of rural areas as remote and backward is now being overtaken by one of peaceful retreats from the hectic pace of urban life. The Irish countryside is no longer dominated by farmers, but is now subject to several competing constructions. The countryside is taking on a new cultural and symbolic significance, which reaches far beyond a particular geographical area. This paper is an analysis of the entrepreneurial construction of one region in the south-west of Ireland, in this era of global consumerism. This paper will investigate the sales strategies and imagery used by LEADER, and its effectiveness in marketing the region as ‘a place apart’. It begins by discussing the construction of local places in the light of globalisation processes. It then goes on to outline some of the main development approaches inspired by the European Union (EU), and the ramifications of these for European regions. The focus of this paper is how rural areas have been constructed in order to match the aspiration towards a multi-functional countryside that is currently much-vaunted in EU policy-making circles.

Jorn Cruickshank



Social science contributes in different ways to how society understands the rural and to how we work out policies on the subject. Often rural studies aim at understanding the rural better, to bring the lay discourses more into the academic discourses on rurality. In Norway such studies often take quantifiable socio-economic indicators as a departure point, looking for reasons why people move from rural areas to cities and densely populated areas. Other approaches may be on entrepreneurs or business development as engines in regional development, or how public planning and policy should adjust to local needs. All these approaches have in different ways influenced Norwegian rural-/regional policy.

What is much less common in Norway, than for instance in Britain, is to see studies where the ambition is to understand how we come to perceive the rural in a certain way and also how we value and make policies from what we perceive. It is my intention to understand how dominating conceptions about the rural is constructed, and to show how such conceptions are not connected to absolute historical necessity. I will study how academic, political and lay discourses on rurality in Norway together construct dominating conceptions of the rural. I will show how regional policy is influenced by the dominating discourses, but also reveal how power works to suppress other competing discourses that maybe would have led to other policies. The aim of the paper is to present a preliminary research design for how such a study can be performed.

Ciara Cullen

National University of Ireland, Galway


2.2 Cultural representation of European rurality (discourses, rural images and related topics)

Protecting landscapes, habitats or communities? competing discourses of 'place' in the West of Ireland.

The 'West of Ireland' has long been more than a mere geographic or regional entity. A peripheral and marginal socioeconomic region, it nevertheless forms the essence of what many Irish people regard as 'true Irishness' as expressed in terms of landscape, culture and language. In this regard, the West of Ireland can be regarded as a 'place image' (Shields 1992) evoking an authenticity other parts of Ireland have difficulty in laying claim to. Over the last two decades, the West has undergone tremendous cultural as well as physical change, though many parts remain largely undeveloped and suffer high levels of emigration. This is manifest in the existence of numerous local development agencies located in the West. These changes in the 'landscape' or "place image" are manifest in a number of interesting discourses, some of which might be regarded as 'competing discourses'. This paper looks at examples of three current 'place' discourses, namely those which are involved with (1) the aesthetics of landscape and authenticity (and thus the tourist industry), (2) environmental protection and (3) community development which are frequently in conflict with one another. It is proposed that traces of the first two of these discourses are often generated from outside the West and that competing discourses are generated by those living within the region. Through discourse analysis and practitioner ethnography results will be presented which suggest that such competing discourses of place have segmented the West rather than unified it.

ESRS 2003 Abstracts

working group 1.1

paper no 11

paper title

Farm families in transition: some theoretical assumptions


Charles B. Hennon Bruno Hildenbrand  


Family Studies and Social Work

Miami University

Institute of Sociology

Friedrich Schiller University






We are organizing this group of scholars in the working group to discuss research and theoretical developments in the area of farm-family transitions. Specifically, we encourage the exchange of information concerning (1) how qualitative methods can bring new understanding to farm-family functioning and the transitions experienced over several generations or years; (2) how this information supports theory building about family responses to ecological (physical and social) opportunities and constrains; and (3) how different farming paradigms (e.g., yeoman, entrepreneur) and farm-family types (e.g., marginally performing, modernizers out of necessity, innovative entrepreneurs, part-time farmers) can lead to diverse strategies for responding to issues of modernity and changing agricultural conditions.

working group paper no
paper title The continuity of family farming and the emergence of rural leisure: The Basque case
authors Guadalupe Ramos    
institution Department of Sociology

University of the Basque Country

The future of the agriculture and rural world depends on the potential successors of the farms. Traditionally, a single child of the family farm inherits the whole farm. The way which farms are passed was an important factor in the continuity of the farm household because it affected the preservation of the unity of the family property.

However, at the present time the equality of inheritance occupies first place on succession rights of the family farm. It supposes the break up the farm in small units that do not guarantee profitability. Thus, the heritage is an obstacle to the entrance of the young farmer into agriculture.

One of the aspects that has an influence on the egalitarian practice of farm succession, has been the rise in interest in the qualities of rural life and of leisure in the rural areas. The farm households are demanded for people who identify the rural life as synonymous to a quality of life. In this way, the members of family farm that do not work in agriculture reclaim their inheritance part for residential uses or leisure zones. This demand has an affect on the decision of the youth (children of farmers) to work or not in the farm activity because they have to take on economic and family changes.

This paper will focus on the aspects that influence the decision of the young farmers in the Basque Country to continue or not in the family farm. Especially it seeks to be an introduction to the influence of the current interest in the rural life on their decision.

working group 1.1 paper no
paper title Family farm transitions: Intergenerational relationships across three farm generations
authors Kjersti Melberg    
institution Rogaland Research    
address Stavanger, Norway    

This paper focuses on social, economical, practical and emotional transitions in three generations of Norwegian farm couples. With their tightly interconnected relationships, farm families present a unique opportunity for studying bounding and transitions across generations. The main hypothesis of this study is that the different generations of farm couples will exhibit differences in their distribution of working, caring and domestic tasks based on the degree to which gender roles are defined by more traditional or more modern standards. Empirical implications of the model are tested against 2002-data from a representative sample of Norwegian farm couples, and also a qualitative sample of Norwegian farm families. The main hypothesis is that living arrangements with and relationships between family members across generations are closely bound up with family farm transitions. The research questions are: Are there any differences in work distribution between the generations and genders within different farm paradigms? Which transfers of economic, practical and emotional support between the generations takes place? Farm family type is defined by the farm wives’ degree of involvement in off-farm work and by their hours spent in domestic work. The results of our analyses suggest that members of traditional farm families seem to be most sensitively attuned to one another.

This work is part of the research project ("Farm changes under pressure: farm family transitions in a generational perspective") funded by the Norwegian Research Counsel. Thanks to professor Knud Knudsen and professor Kari Wærness for useful comments

working group paper no
paper title  


working group paper no
paper title  




From agriculture to heritage: past, present and history in central Portugal

José Manuel Sobral – Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa




The last decades saw a decline in Portuguese agriculture, once the most important economic sector in Portugal. This decline is visible in the rural regions themselves, who saw the migration of their population to the core countries of the European Union or to the seaside. For many people, tourism became an important strategy for coping with that decline, and rural tourism as been actively promoted by national and local authorities since the 80’s.

The author has studied a parish in central Portugal at that time, when tourism was absolutely marginal. Now it has become an important activity along with the traditional wine production. The promotion of tourism has been supported by a "traditional" representation of the main village as a heritage site, mainly because of the importance of local ancient manors. Indeed, local history is reduced to the history of local elites, and silence is made on the history of the majority of the population and on its conflictive view of local society.

Although the representation of local history and identity is mainly connected with the presence and the symbols of the landed elite, it is argued that this cannot be seen only as expressing a process of symbolic domination. Locals actively appropriate this representation as the most important part of their local identity, searching symbolic and economic profits for themselves.


Keywords: agriculture, tourism, heritage, history, symbolic domination, identity.

Scott Willis


Terroir: the thin end of the wedge?

This paper sketches a transformation that has taken place not merely on a geo-political stage, but also on the ontological landscape as much as on the physical landscape. In the midst of the CAP reform, Enlargement, and jockeying of positions prior to the next WTO round of trade liberalisation, one concept has taken on significance well beyond the geographical spaces of an enlarging Europe. This concept, terroir, and the implications of its regulatory form (Geographical Indications) are examined in an antipodean context.

After almost two decades of economic liberalization in New Zealand, the agricultural sector has experienced extreme structural modification. As a result, economic and ontological strategies in rural areas have multiplied or fragmented. If the traditional agricultural practices have come under great strain, the other side of this is the emergence of a variety of rural entrepreneurial practices, strongly integrated with major trading partners such as the E.U.

Initially, this paper deals with a selection of the dominant cultural representations of rural identity through time and reveals a subtle transformation that perhaps marks an increasingly active consumption of the rural landscape. Production practices too, in the specific rural zone discussed, evidence a marked and increasing awareness of markets and consumer perceptions. But the concept of terroir, favourite of anti-productionist campaigner José Bové, has a much more ambiguous presence in New Zealand, where neo-liberal concerns continue to dominate.

The second half of the paper questions whether an entrepreneurial rural space, and processes of re-territorialisation in conjunction with heightened sensitivity to ‘the consumer’ in increasingly integrated systems, contribute towards a rural re-imagining that does not insist upon a simple cynical appropriation of terroir for marketing purposes. A discursive field is revealed, reaching well beyond the rural idyll in New Zealand.





Fernando Bessa Ribeiro

University of Tras-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Portugal


Projected the European Rural Modernisation:

The Individualisation of the Landed Property in Mozambique


With the exhaustion of the revolutionary experience, Mozambique adhered to a process of economic liberalisation based in the enlargement and prevalence of the market changes. If goods, services, money and work are governed, in good measure, by market mechanisms, such is not verified until now with the land. Strongly influenced by the traditional values and practices of the rural African Communities, contrary to the private ownership of the land, just as it is understood in the modern sense, the legislation in force prevents the normal operation of the market in this important economic sector. Today, in Mozambique, the debate on the land legislation and its role has an enormous social and policy relevance. In it are implicated political parties, head elite, social activists, NGO`s and the main international institutions and their consultants.

This paper analyses this change taking Karl Polanyi`s idea of the great transformation, in which are defined with accuracy ways as markets were constituted and their effects were implemented in the black Africa. Undertaking this task, I proceed with the presentation of the most important institutions and social actors involved, defining the causes that explain the different positions assumed in this fundamental process for the future of the rural territory and rural society in Mozambique. When showing up the institutions and actors involved, I try to identify and analyse possible local, regional and populist movements that oppose globalisation .

Ciara Cullen

National University of Ireland, Galway

2.3 Globalisation and counter-globalisation: Social individualisation in rural areas


"The environment always wins out": The Europeanisation of the Irish small farmer

Over the last decade, Ireland has implemented a series of controversial nature conservation and agri-environmental measures. Within Ireland these measures are regarded as being largely due to pressure from the European Union. This paper explores the ‘Europeanisation’ of environmental discourses in Ireland by looking at the measures themselves and how their 'top down' implementation has been managed. The discourses have been studied through interviews with key officials and discourse analysis of the key texts. It is argued that the modernisation of rural dwellers and farmers has occurred largely through processes generated by dictats from Europe and has often resulted in conflict and resistance. A long term ethnographic case study of a small island community off the west coast of Ireland is used to follow the process of this very particular form of modernisation. Initially suspicious and antagonistic, the community interpreted centrally produced environmental discourses as issues of power and disciplining, framed within specific historical contexts. However the research shows that over the last five years, the community has been educated and thus disciplined in the ‘ways of Europe’ through a number of agri-environmental schemes and training courses and while reluctant, has accepted Europe’s influence over agricultural practices on the island.

Krzysztof Gorlach, Zbigniew Drąg

Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland



Individualism in a Globalising World:

Polish Rural Youth on EU Enlargement


Globalisation has many faces. The authors claim that, in the case of Central and Eastern European countries, the globalisation seems to wear the face of Europenisation. Therefore it means that the European enlargement discourse seems to be the basic process shaping the situation of agriculture and rural areas in Poland. However, the authors claim that rural youth seems to be the "strategic" category in the process. It might be presented an argument that young people living in rural areas will shape the Polish agriculture as well as some other types of economic and social activities in the nearby future. Then, what are the Polish rural youth major goals, systems of values and preferences shaping their paths and types of activities?

The second part of the paper has been based on the results of national survey carried out in Poland in 2002 among rural youth. More than 600 of young people between 16 and 30 years old have been included in the sample. The authors found striking differences concerning the opinions among investigated youth due to their level of cultural and social capital as well as the so-called level of individualism.

Geoffrey Lawrence

Lynda Herbert-Cheshire

The University of Queensland, Australia

Regional Restructuring, Neoliberalism, Individualisation and Community:

The Recent Australian Experience


Since the early 1980s Australian governments have embraced neoliberal policies as a means of improving the nation`s global economic competitiveness. Such policies have included the floating of the dollar, the deregulation of the banking, the removal od statutory marketing regulations in agriculture, the introduction of user-pays principles for extension and research, and the reduction – in relative terms – of government expenditure on rural and regional services and infrastructure. The impacts of such policies have been both profound and eneven, ranging from socio-economic polarization, population loss, and the growth of anti-city sentiments, to the creation of new (post-modern) industries in areas such as tourism, recreation and leisure – particularly close to the coast. Underpinning these changes has been the endorsement of individualist and community "self-help" approaches to the problems arising from neo-liberalism.

This paper examines the process of regional restructuring in Australia and applies Beck`s notion of individualization to examine current responses to rural change under the neoliberal regime. It argues that while many such responses are individualistic, and based upon policies of personal responsibility, self-advancement and entrepreneurship, others are imbued with the language of community, social capital and collective action. The existence of individualism and community within the same policy agenda may appear contradictory, yet it is suggested that neoliberalism brings together these two opposing discourses through a process of what Nikolas Rose calls "governing through community". This paper draws on the work of both Beck and Rose to explore how neoliberalism underpins community self-help approaches to regional development in Australia, arguing that such strategies do little to counter the negative forces of globalisation in the non-coastal regions of non-metropolitan Australia.

Joseph J. Molnar

Departament of Ag. Economics and Rural Sociology

Auburn University, USA

Tilapia: A Fish with a Global Reach


Globalization – understood broadly as a process resulting from the closer integration of product, labor and capital markets, common technologies, increasingly similar patterns of food consumption, and changes in the international trade regime – has become a major restructuring force for food systems in the developed and developing world. Globalization – as one source of social and economic restructuring – is having significant impacts on aquaculture industries, as well as the nations and locales where fish are grown. Tilapia is a truly globalized fish due to the widespread introductions of the organism and its various subspecies in the tropics, and increasingly, in temperate areas. This aspect of globalization is not without controversy. The fish also is becoming a globally available commodity due to industrialized production and processing facilities that make tilapia a reliably supplied restaurant and consumer item. The purpose of this paper is to examine some of the implications of the rise of tilapia as a cultured fish in the developing world and a widely accepted consumer item in the developed nations. I argue that tilapia`s integration into the world system has been largely beneficial, although the realization of its potential as an enterprise for small and medium scale commercial farming is just beginning to accelerate.

Patrick H. Mooney

University of Kentucky, USA



Globalisation, Counter-globalisation and Food Security:

Frame Bridging and Food Security in Post 9-11 America



The concept of food security was once primarily associated with global hunger and focused on less developed nations. The dominant framing of domestic food security in core regions assumed that56 disruptions in the food supply would be due to accidents, natural disasters, environmental imbalances, economic downturn, social inequalities, or perhaps civil disturbances. In the latter 1990s, a counter globalisation movement for "community food security" gained momentum with a focus on the development of local or regional food supply systems that accented environmental concerns from a sustainability standpoint. Few analysts examined the issue from the viewpoint of intentional (or terrorist) attacks on our food production, processing or distribution systems. However, the events of September 11, 2001 transformed the frameworks within which we think about domestic food security. Clearly, our food supply represents a potential target for terrorist activity. The paper re-examines food security in light of the threat to food production, processing and distribution systems from terrorist attack. What new role does the community food security movement play in post 9-11 America? How are globalization and counter globalization processes related to the (in)security of food production, processing and distribution systems.

Beatriz Nussbaumer

(Buenos Aires, Argentina and Humboldt University, Germany)

Gunter Lorenzl

(Humboldt University, Germany)


The Impact of Out-migration on the Rural Culture. The Case of El Parque Chaqueno Argentina


This work is focused on the transformation of rural culture by means of out-migration. It comprises the analysis of the cultural transformation of the rural place as well as the different strategies of the remaining communities in trying to maintain their rural identity. The research has been undertaken in six communities found in the arid and semi-humid ecoregions of the Parque Chaqueno in Argentina. A combination of qualitative and quantitative research methods was selected, comprising inquiries to peasant families band structured interviews to different actors of the communities. One of the most important distinctive characteristics of rural communities is their relation to nature. The complex relationship between the adaptation and development of a certain society to a given environment is the foundation stone for the origin of rural cultures. Our results show that this relationship is affected by out-migration through two main processes:

Firstly, considering that culture is based on vertical and horizontal transmission of technical traits, knowledge and traditions, out-migration represents a disruptive process of cultural evolution. The second process relays on the impact of out-migration on the life-strategies of the remaining families in the rural communities. The findings attempt to postulate that out-migration, although not as a single and independent force, has a strong influence in transforming rural culture. The role of peasants in extending the appropriate management knowledge to next generations should be considered not only as a strategy for sustainable development support but also as keeping cultural diversity.


2.3 Globalisation and counter-globalisation: Social individualisation in rural areas


Social Individualisation in the Bío Bío Highlands, Chile: The cultural effects of the resettlement process


Claudio González Parra, University of Concepción, Chile,

Jeanne Simon, Regional Center of Ethnic Studies (CREE),

Claudia Baquedano, University of Concepción,


Globalisation arrived in the 1980s to the previously isolated indigenous Pehuenche communities with the engineers who decided that the Bío Bío river offered ideal conditions for hydroelectric dams. Twenty years later, one dam is functioning and the second dam is virtually completed. As a result, over 70 Pehuenche families have been resettled to new communities while the remaining communities have had to learn to live with the "modernity" that the dam construction process implies. This paper compares the resettled communities with non-resettled communities, analysing the cultural changes in their alimentation, common resources, relation to the land, language use, traditional ceremonies, among others. We found that all the communities have experienced important cultural changes, but that the social individualisation has been greatest in the resettled communities.

Bill Pritchard

David Burch

University of Sydney, Australia

Crisis and Response in EU Agricultural Policy: Recent Transformations in the European Processing Tomato Industry


Our recent research on the globalisation of the processing tomato industry reveals international restructuring to be a highly contested and fragmented process. Transformations in the European processing tomato industry exemplify these tendencies. A crisis of regulation led to comprehensive changes in the EU subsidy payment regime for the processing tomato industry. Enacted for the 2002 season, these regulatory changes have shifted the basis of support in favour of larger agribusiness entities, which will drive cost efficiencies within the sector and encourage socio-political restructuring within southern European agricultural institutions. However, although these regulatory changes will improve the transparency of support arrangements in the European processing tomato sector, it would be incorrect to interpret them as representing a shift towards a liberalized market regime. The aggregate measure of support to the European processing tomato industry remains largely unchanged by the reforms, implying that these developments correspond to shifts to the process by which support is delivered; not the ideology of agricultural support. Seen from a global perspective, these reforms reinforce the "distinctiveness" of the European processing tomato industry, and provide important evidence on the limits to agri-food globalisation.

Georg Wiesinger

Federal Institute for Mountainous and Less-favoured Areas, Austria


Rural Poverty and Social Change


The question arises whether there is any fundamental difference between rural and urban poverty. It is frequently argued that rural poverty refers to a spatial unit rather than to the affliction of certain social groups or to specific circumstances of life. After all, there is women`s and children`s poverty, poverty due to unemployment, etc., in rural as well as in urban areas. Should investigations therefore focus on marginalised social groups and the main causes for social exclusion rather than on spatial categories? While there is much truth in this line of argumentation, it is equally true that the different socio-economic environment in rural as compared to urban areas can play a decisive role. Some poverty-causing features can only be found in rural areas, and others are of particular importance in those areas.

The presentation refers to the findings of a comprehensive survey on rural poverty in Austria, which was conducted in order to get a better understanding of its specific causes and impacts. The most important reasons for rural poverty turned out to be insufficient individual mobility, long-term unemployment, poor labour market conditions, low income levels, lack of inexpensive housing, deficiencies in certain old-age pension schemes, a lack of educational and care institutions, a lack of equal opportunities for women in many respects, weak infrastructure and, last but not least, the threat of stigmatization due to a lack of anonymity in rural social systems.

In addition to implementing appropriate measures, combating rural poverty and social exclusion requires a fundamental understanding of its specific structural causes and impacts. This would be an essential step away from stigmatization and towards sustainable social inclusion of poor and marginalised social groups, as well a major challenge for all members of so-called civil society, including local authorities, NGO`s and various associations.


Michael Woods

Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences

University of Wales, Aberyswyth, Wales, UK

Globalisation, Citizenship and the Strategies of the Rural Movement:

Contesting the Global from the Rural


Grassroots rural protests have become a regular occurrence in many developed countries. From pro-hunting demonstrations in Britain and France, to the mobilisation of farmer action across Europe, North America and Australia, to anti-development protests, social justice campaigns and the extremist "radical ruralism" of the American patriot movement, it can be argued that a new social movement is emerging around a defence of "rural identity". This paper draws on examples of the confederation paysanne in France, Farmers for Action in Britain and the Rural Coalition in the US and Mexico to examine how the strategies of rural campaign groups seek to negotiate an increasingly globalised rural polity and economy, articulating through their actions and rhetoric a new multi-layered rural citizenship. In this way, it is argued, it becomes possible to imagine a global "rural movement" based on the assertion of localism and counter-globalisation.


Brazilian Soybeans’ Production and the International Subsidy Public Policies: an analysis of the impact of the Farm Bill


Marcelo de Paula Xavier

Master Candidate in Agribusness

Cleber Carvalho de Castro

PHD Candidate in Agribusnes




The history of the American protectionism to their agriculture has begun in the great depression of 1930 and, since then, is influencing the agriculture commodities´ markets. To Brazil, this kind of interventionist public policies represent, according to the neoclassic theory of microeconomics, a substantial loss of exports´ revenues, due to the decrease of the commodities international prices. In 2002, the American government, contrary to the campaign promises, has sanctioned the greatest package of agriculture protection laws (Farm Bill 2002) of all times. This study makes an analysis of the impacts that the Farm Bill 2002 will have over the competitivity of the Brazilian soybean producers, showing its positive and negative effects for the national producers. One final conclusion is that Brazil has to assume a proactive posture in the future negotiations that it will take part.














1. Title: Emerging inland tourist destinations in Spain in conjunction with the development of active and adventure tourism, 1992-2001

Authors: Antonio Lacosta (Geography Dept. University of Zaragoza Spain)

Gemma Canoves (Geography Dept. Autonomus University of Barcelona Spain )



Adventure sports began to develop in Spain in the 1980s, in close relation to predominating urban life-styles and new forms of tourism associated to the rediscovery of nature. The importance of the phenomenon is mainly economic; in so much as it constitutes a diversifying and up-grading element in Spanish tourism. Nevertheless, it also has spatial implications, as increasing demand and the parallel proliferation of active and adventure tourism enterprises have led to the appreciation of tourist and territorial resources on which little value was placed hitherto. As a result, a certain degree of demographic and functional revitalisation has taken place in inland and mountain areas that were, until recently, totally emarginated in traditional mainstream tourism patterns. This paper therefore aims to comment upon the characteristics, functioning and territorial implications of these activities and, at the same time, indicate the growth in size and the spatial distribution of active and adventure tourism enterprises in Spain between 1992 and 2001.

Key words: Active tourism, adventure tourism, enterprises, location patterns, tourist specialization, rural destinations



2. Title: The role of social networks in developing integrated tourism in rural areas: two Spanish examples.

Authors: Maria D. Pitarch, Javier Esparcia, Almudena Buciega (University of Valencia, Spain)


Integrated tourism in rural areas has a multiplier effect on the local communities resulting in a higher standard of living for the local population. These effects can be seen not only in economic terms, but also from a social, cultural and environmental point of view. This paper compares two rural areas of Spain, Alta Ribagorça (in Catalonia) and Valles de Aitana (in the Autonomous Region of Valencia). Integrated tourism is currently at a different stage of development in each of these areas. In the first area, which has a much longer tourist tradition, the emphasis has been placed on its wide variety of highly attractive tourism resources. The second area, which is in the initial stages of development, is characterised by the influence of the highly developed coastal areas nearby. In both cases, the existence of a well-established network of actors appears to be a key factor in the integrated development of tourism, with all that that entails. This paper shall pay special attention to this aspect: the integration of social actors in the role of revitalising rural areas and highlighting the value of the area’s social, cultural and environmental resources.



3. Title: Farm diversification in dairy areas: an example of farm-based tourism in Manche (France) and Dorset (England).

Author: Annabelle BOULAY

School of Earth Sciences and Geography, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 2EE England




In the past two decades farming in the European Union (EU) has come under increasing pressure to survive as the profits from sales of agricultural commodities have fallen despite the substantial financial inputs from the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Those farmers who have remained have had to seek alternative sources of income in order to survive. The sociocultural, political and economic reasons involved in farm diversification ought to be analysed critically at this particular time for European agriculture with the implementation of Agenda 2000 promoting farm diversification within its rural development policy.

This paper focuses on recent research looking at farm diversification with particular reference to farm-based tourism in two European dairy areas: Manche, France and Dorset, England. In both study areas, with attractive coastal scenery, tourism represents an important potential for diversification. Manche offers a great tourist potential with tourist attractions such as Mont Saint Michel, Utah Beach and the presence of the cross-channel ferries to Cherbourg which encourages English visitors. Whether it takes the form of Bed and Breakfast, recreational activities or adding value to farm enterprises through either direct marketing or by processing, farm-based tourism has not only managed to assure an income to the farmers, but it also has established a link between the farming society and the non-agricultural society. However, although farm-based tourism plays an important role in rural development, research shows that farm-based activities have their drawbacks as they can be time consuming, and/or concentrated in particular seasons so they do not result in a regular income to the farmers. They may also require the farmers to possess a range of skills not normally associated with traditional farming activities.

Key words: farm diversification, farm-based tourism, and rural development.


4. Title: Agro-Tourism in the south of Portugal: a complement to agriculture

Author: Maria Antonia Pires Almeida


With Portugal’s European Integration in 1986, several changes where inserted in the legislation in order to adapt Portuguese agriculture to European standards. A new vocabulary was produced and new concepts invaded the fields, originating a totally different approach to a profession that had remained the same for centuries. Farmers had already began a process of becoming entrepreneurs. Specially in the south, the twentieth century had produced mechanized and intensive culture oriented farms, managed by graduated agronomists, veterinarians and agricultural technicians. But concepts such as landscape, environment, agricultural multi-functionalism, bio-diversity, along with subsidies to abandon many of the traditional productions, introduced new functions in the rural world: space for recreational activities (specially hunting), natural reserve, reforestation... Not that those functions were a novelty: but they were traditionally reserved to a very small and privileged group. And farm managers were forced to embrace new specialities to their jobs: grants manager, nature gardener and preserver, host, traditional and regional food cook, nature and tourist guide, horse-ridding school manager (sometimes teacher), bicycle renter, hunting organizer (and zoology teacher to people who have never seen a live rabbit or deer).

In this paper there will be a presentation of some agro-tourism experiences in a municipality of the Alentejo, where this activity was introduced as a complement to traditional activities such as forestry, agriculture and cattle-breeding. To conclude, there will be a comparison to the biggest portuguese agricultural enterprise, the Companhia das Lezírias, where these activities were developed to a larger extent.





5. Title: Wind Farms as Possible Tourist Attractions

Authors: Dr Robert Nash, Kumaran Krishnan, Andrew Martin, Don Carney

Scottish Centre of Tourism

Aberdeen Business School

Robert Gordon University

Garthdee Phase 2

Aberdeen AB10 7QG



The report presents a synthesis of secondary data, best practice and primary data that has been collected in the Grampian region of Scotland (Northeast Scotland) over a three week period from 28th October – 19th November 2002.

The paper addresses issues relating to wind farms, wind farm perceptions and wind farm development. The history of wind farming is outlined and some myths and misconceptions associated with wind farming are discussed. Attitudes of tourists to the development of such farms are further developed.

The paper then addresses some of the issues associated with tourism in the Grampian region of Scotland and current visitor trends and profiles are introduced.

In the second section the paper suggests several possible scenarios for the development of wind farms as tourist attractions. These suggestions are then discussed in relation to impressions of wind farms and likely facilities on site.

Key Words: Wind Farm, Tourism, Scenarios.






6. Title: Urban pressure and cultural tourism in Hungary: The Valley of Arts case

Author : Bernadett Csurgó

Institute for political Science of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences


My paper presents main trends of rural tourism and leisure policy. It focus the new and old urban pressures in Hungary and analyse a special form of cultural tourism the Valley of Arts in the Northern-West Balaton region around Kapolcs.

This paper reviews the main social changes processes in rural areas effected by urban pressure.

For example:

There are some traditional villages’ areas where intellectual families have been migrated who have been emigrated because of city lifestyle. The rural offers a new post-modern lifestyle of them.

The immigrant are mostly pensioned and German speakers, they are motivated by the low price of real estate and better livelihood and their main targets are the villages at the west side of Hungary.

There are many settlements, which attract lot of industrial investors from stranger countries the main targets are the towns.

Lot of urban unemployment moves back their home villages to found own agricultural farm and enterprise. This way of moving back to villages was advanced by the reprivatisation and land restitution.

The number of inhabitants of the villages was improved by special program of the local government population was focusing to improve the population. For example they offered free building sites for young families.

Not only the higher class position people immigrating to the villages, the urban underclass too. Urban citizens, who don’t get job and livelihood in the city, move to the city agglomeration villages even if these are really separated.

The gypsy population’s improving (in number and in rate too) is an important source of the rural populations improving. It shows up mainly in small village areas.

In addition there is a special phenomenon of the urban pressure: the cultural tourism in rural areas.

The Valley of Arts in Hungary is one of the best example for the cultural tourism and for the presence of urban actors in the rural area. The born of the Valley of Arts is a result of the restructure and the variegation of the rural. This is a part of the process of suburbanisation and anti-urbanisation, which has been started at the ‘80’s respecting the urban elite and middle classes. The Valley of Arts Festival has been given birth by a popular Hungarian composer István Márta. The origin of the festival goes back to the early ‘80’s. István Márta bought a small peasant house in a little village Kapolcs in Veszprém County far from Budapest.

This festival has become popular with its exhibitions, art, dance and theatre performances, concerts, literature meetings, traditional markets and displays of original village life. Kapolcs has been renewed and transformed by urban elite.

My paper analyses the actors and processes of this urban pressure phenomenon in Hungary.


7. Title: Leisure as work and work as leisure

Authors: Veska Kozhuharova, Prof.

Stanka Dobreva, Senior Research Associate

Department of Communities and Social Stratification

Institute of Sociology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

13 a Moskovska Str.

Sofia 1000 Bulgaria



There cannot be a clear-cut distinction between free and working time in the village. Economically active people are supposed to be at leisure when not at work. But then, in a rural community people are rarely busy doing nothing. There is always plenty of work to do in the household and the subsidiary family farm (FSF). The children require lot of attention too. There are also the local branches of the various political and non-political organisations. Some time is even left for leisurely pastimes. Hence the need for a redefinition of what it is to be economically active in the village. A more versatile concept can come in very handy, indeed. The thing is that village people themselves tend to confine the term to the rather uncommon situation of having a permanent job, a salary and all the social benefits. Hence the similarly controversial notion of unemployment. Paradoxically, toiling in a profitable FSF is not normally considered work. Even more unlikely is for a domestic product to be considered income, most of the things eaten and drunk up in a rural family being home-made, of course. Hence the somewhat paradoxical problem of what the rural unemployed, accordingly, the rural pensioners, do in their spare time. No doubt, you cannot have a cut-and-dried definition of what it is to be at leisure if you are a villager. But then, you can at least stipulate a variable the answer to the problem could be conditioned on.

The key is village people’s own perception of fun. Indeed, most villagers spend time in the FSF but not all of them see it as pastime. Again, even though village people would normally argue that the FSF "is not a big deal", many of them, especially older women, would, furthermore, see it as fun. It may not make a sense at first when a respondent claims that the FSF is his or her only hobby. At a closer look, though, what seems to be a methodological hitch turns out to be an answer to the problem.

Indeed, neither work, nor leisure is there for its own sake. Moreover, nearly half

of the respondents claim that they enjoy the business of farming altogether. Again, it is

hard to tell rural work from rural leisure. But then, is there such a thing as free time per se at all?



8. Title: Spiritual life in the Bulgarian Village: a factor for survival

Authors: Veska Kozhuharova, Prof.

Stanka Dobreva, Senior Research Associate

Department of Communities and Social Stratification

Institute of Sociology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

13 a Moskovska Str.

Sofia 1000 Bulgaria



The Bulgarian village has entered its second decade of permanent crisis. The crisis is basically economic one but it has also serious moral implications. Indeed, economic slump-down, the disintegration of the former system of farming, and, accordingly, the resultant impoverishment and unemployment have brought about a deep value crisis in the village. In sharp contrast to the previous century-long period of modernisation, the Bulgarian village has been increasingly secluding itself. Villagers are growing self-sufficient. No wonder, consumption of both goods and services has fallen sharply. Another natural effect of this self-imposed isolation is that people ceased to travel like they used to. And not only that people stay more at home. They do not have a cultural life any more, like they too used to.

In a nutshell, political and economic change, however positive in itself, has resulted in an inversion of values and loss of orientation in the village. Indeed, everything has turned upside down. People cannot tell right from wrong anymore. What used to be right is now wrong, and vice versa. Hence a growing feeling of pessimism and disenchantment with traditional values. No real interest in local public life is there any more. Unfortunately, these new attitudes are readily adopted by the younger generations. Not unexpectedly, though – it is the young ones who find it impossible to get a decent job or bright prospects in the village.

Still, it is not all gloom and doom. Regardless of the economic and social crisis, the remedy has always been there – values themselves. A most inspiring fact has suggested itself to the observer – villages with genuine public and cultural life are themselves very much alive. And the key to the emergence and sustenance of such a local ethos are no other than the outstanding local personalities. It is them that keep the faith alive and serve as role models for the village youth.

By no means is the impact of charismatic local leaders simple and direct. Rather, it is through prompting specific attitudes and practices they wield influence. Here is what they do:

1/ They encourage local self-organisation. Traditional feasts and festivities are a good occasion for this. Indeed, shared local customs and memories is a great thing for the young generations to identify with.

2/ They encourage their fellow-villagers – or at least those engaged in amateur cultural activities – to express themselves. Fortunately enough, a number of regional or national festivals are still there for the purpose.

3/ They encourage people to organise on a family level. It turns out, that even distant relatives willingly get together on various occasions to rediscover the charm of togetherness.

No doubt, the sustenance of the process of revival and vitalisation of the once thriving local traditions rests with the capacity of local cultural leaders to kindle and keep alive the enthusiasm of a younger generation of followers. After all, enchantment with culture is the only cure for depression and despair, the only way rural marginalisation and disintegration can be remedied.





XXth Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology

18-22 August, 2003, Sligo, Ireland

Work, Leisure and Development in Rural Europe Today

Working Group 2.5 Rural Tourism and Rural Development


Paper Title: Promoting Integrated Tourism in Peripheral Rural Areas: learning from the experience of consumers and customers in Western Ireland

Authors: Mary Cawley*, Desmond A. Gillmor**, Róisín Kelly*

Affiliation: *Department of Geography, National University of Ireland, Galway

** Department of Geography, Trinity College Dublin


Tourism has for some time been viewed as providing a lifeline for mountainous and coastal rural areas where agriculture is in decline and few alternative employment opportunities exist. Both national and international governments like the European Union have promoted tourism development through grant payments and programmes such as LEADER, for more than a decade. Enhancing the links to the local natural, social, economic and cultural environments has been advocated as a method of minimizing risk to sensitive physical, social and cultural resources whilst at the same time promoting economic sustainability. This paper presents preliminary results from an EC-funded FAIR5 project, on Supporting and Promoting Integrated Tourism in Europe’s Lagging Regions (SPRITE), based in the Department of Geography at NUI, Galway. Integrated tourism is discussed initially as a concept with reference to key ways in which local linkages may find expression. These include the scale of tourism, its degree of embeddedness, endogeneity and sustainability, and the role of networking between tourists, tour operators and local people and organizations in promoting links to the local. Findings are then presented relating to the operation of integrated tourism in practice, in the context of the experience of tourists and selected tour operators in coastal and mountainous areas of counties Galway and Mayo in Western Ireland. The results reveal that tourism has strong links to the natural environment in the study area but that there are existing and emerging threats to integration in the physical and social domains. These findings highlight some of the challenges that must be overcome in seeking to promote integrated rural tourism.

Working group 2.5 Rural Tourism and Rural Development


Alenka Verbole ( )

Kovács Dezső (

Alexandros Koutsouris ( )


New forms of rural tourism: the case of south salento (Italy)

University of Bari (Italy), Faculty of Agriculture, Bernardo de Gennaro

University of Bari (Italy), Faculty of Agriculture, Vincenzo Fucilli

Tourism is considered a catalyst of rural socio-economic development. In The European Union, in particular, tourism has been widely promoted as a strategy for economic growth.

In Italy mass tourism has been concentrated, for long time, on coastal areas, leaving aside internal and rural zones. In spite of this, in recent years, rural tourism demand is in rapid and constant growth. Nevertheless, the lack of a consolidated tradition in rural tourism and the absence of a clear juridical definition has led to a restrictive equation which identifies tout court rural tourism with farm tourism. It can be noticed that, also as a consequence of the realisation of LEADER programme initiatives, the concept of rural tourism has found tangible realization and a diffusion not imaginable before.

Some aspects, that before the diffusion of the rural tourism as a way of rural development, were perceived as negative and as characters of disadvantage (i.e. remoteness, lack of services and infrastructures, low inhabitants density) are now perceived as positive factors and elements of competitiveness, at least in comparison with other – mass tourism – resorts.

The paper will deal with innovation in rural tourism (new form of tourism in a rural area) and with the role of local actors in the development of rural tourism.

A case study, in the framework of the LEADER experience, will be described. The LAG "Capo S. Maria di Leuca" in the south of the Apulia Region (Salento Italy) realized a complex Rural Tourism initiative which firstly consisted in restructuring of 10 ancient houses in the historic area of a small commune (Specchia 5.063 residents in 1999). Secondly, refurbished houses by local craftsmen and with traditional techniques are now rented to international tourist.

The exploration of the cultural, economic and social effects of the initiative will complete the case study analysis (the historic area before the completion of the initiative was abandoned while now is re-lived by citizens). The dimension of small scale and pilot rural tourism initiative discussion within the context of rural development will complete the paper.


Harvesting the Holy Dollar

Irony is everywhere in the secularisation of Irish society. There is, for example, still plenty of money to be made from religion. Hypocrisy and charlatanism are undoubtedly important here, but there is no need for us to exaggerate their contribution. The shrewd seer and the pious publican, it needs to be stressed, are motivated by more than mammon. As the history of the Protestant ethic in the Old and New World (from Cromwell's Parliament to Bush's White House) continues to teach us, spiritualism and materialism are not the polar opposites they are so often taken to be. The same can be said of Catholicism too, of course, whether we take as our example the indulgent wealth that so bothered Luther, or the kind of entrepreneurial crusading that got an international airport built at Knock – which would have to be the perfect example of what happens when a poor, remote village is transformed into a religious shrine of global significance. Far from being a thing of the past, such transfigurations continue to occur. Indeed, pilgrimage on a mass scale is becoming ever more globalised. Sacred sites have become tourist attractions, those promoting them catering to a peculiarly sanctified niche market. Rural Ireland is already reaping the rewards, with certain small communities finding the answer to their prayers in the seasonal influx of devotees from around the country, across the border and abroad. The evidence would seem to suggest that, far from being a one-way, linear process, secularisation proceeds by means of serendipitous counter-currents – commodification of the sacred being a prime example.

Ph.D. Jorde Jakimovski, Institute for sociological, political and juridical Research, Skopje, Macedonia, E-mail:

Boban Ilic,Project Coordinator-Modernization of the Agricultural sector in Macedonia German Technical Cooperation - GTZ





The Macedonian village has gone through a process of dynamic transition during the past several decades.

In addition to positive changes, several negative processes occurred as well. The intensive deagrarization and uncontrolled rural exodus contributed to a massive rural devastation and inhibition of the agrarian population. The social structure of the rural population in the Republic of Macedonia has been changed and reduced to several social categories. Non-agricultural individuals and individuals with dual jobs (farmer+worker) are predominant in rural households now.

The rural population is on the edge of demographic aging.

It is important to mention that the female labor force in agriculture is older relative to the male labor force. As the female labor force ages, homemaking generally deteriorates, the land is not thoroughly cultivated and less cattle is raised on farms

The absence of an appropriate rural development policy – the process of infrastructure building (communal, social services)- is a major negative element in the general development policy of the Republic of Macedonia. Many villages nowadays are out of reach of social and economic development and their social and economic life dies steadily.

As a result of an objective and realistic consideration of living problems, "unemployment" has been emphasized as the most significant factor. It is a fact that a large portion of the rural population is insufficiently employed in agriculture and lives on the edge of poverty. Thus, when talking about rural development, one should consider the possibilities for diversification of the rural economy, i.e. diversification of the revenues of rural households.

There is a strong determination that the most serious problem in agriculture is the "insecure market for agricultural commodities".

The unorganized and insecure marketing of agriculture commodities creates a notion of risk in agricultural production and is certainly a negative element in the comprehensive development of rural areas in the Republic of Macedonia.

However, the village needs infrastructure development as a precondition for diverse economic and cultural development, which would secure a higher living standard for the population.

Special attention should be paid to development of the service sector and securing a suitable environment for investment (domestic and foreign) in the development of small enterprises.


Alex Koutsouris, Maria Partalidou, Olga Iakovidou

Dept of Agricultural Economics & Rural Development, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos, 11855 Athens, Greece;; Dept of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54006 Thessaloniki, Greece,, Dept of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54006 Thessaloniki, Greece;;

Rural tourism, in its various forms, is among the most debated strategies for (sustainable) rural/local development in the EU. On parallel, it has been acknowledged that securing the quality of services and products is a necessary and ‘wining’ strategy for rural areas; quality is a vital attribute for the management and sustainable development of rural tourism, as well. The most important concept of quality in rural tourism refers to comfort of the accommodation, beauty of the landscape, closeness to cultural and architectural sites, appropriateness of building restoration etc. Higher levels of quality can be accessed through categories of standards. Therefore, assigning thresholds to the position of such attributes implies that the rural tourism firm cannot be qualitative excellent, if does not comply with standards of comfort, hygiene, of the conventional tourist supply and authenticity.

Delivering quality at all stages of rural tourism activities is a major issue in order to achieve a competitive advantage for rural tourism and its differentiation from mass tourism. A further key-question vis-à-vis sustainability of tourism in rural areas and endogenous development concerns the mechanisms which, on the one hand, will animate and, on the other, will establish and control such standards. The present paper intents to critically present the construction of the "Quality Convention for Tourism" (QCT) and related developments at the Lake Plasiras area, Greece, as well as its expansion in the Pindos mountains. It concerns the establishment of new groups and the construction of conventions among local actors through a process of negotiations with the local Development Agency (AN.KA) and afterwards the ‘Pindos’ Centre of Strategic Planning in the role of an animator/ facilitator.

It follows that the process of realisation of the group’s vision (social convention) takes place through the common action of the group; such an activity results in the incorporation of innovations, notably the setting of quality standards, within the group/system. Therefore, the construction of conventions is a way for new structures to emerge and, thereafter, to autonomously develop themselves. It is a way to activate actors in the search for new opportunities and the creation of networks. This strategy is envisaged to promote sustainable rural development with quality in rural tourism being the lever of such developments.

XXth Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology

18-22 August, 2003, Sligo, Ireland

‘Work, Leisure and Development in Rural Europe Today’

Working Group 2.5 Rural Tourism and Rural Development


WG convenors:

Alenka Verbole

Alex Koutsouris

Kovács Dezső



The tourist paradox and rural tourism


Dr. Kovács Dezső

Szent István University Gödöllő



In my paper I discuss the issues of the tourist paradox and how rural tourism can help to overcome this tourist feeling.

The tourist paradox refers to the strange condition and desire that ‘ many tourists enjoy the greatest satisfaction when they feel they have ceased to be (regarded as) tourists in the host environment." They do not necessarily intend to become full members of the host society, but rather aspire for the status of guests, because this allows them to gain authentic experiences in the host environment.

The ’best solution’ to the tourist paradox could be found in a kind of tourism which allows the tourist to become part of a host family or community and thus become authentic witness, participant or even actor of things that take place in a given time and place. Rural tourism allows tourists to break away from the ‘social isolation’ that participants of large-scale tourist trade suffer from in the form of the usual hotels, air conditioned buses, the distance and the lack of opportunity to meet local people.



Comparing Rural Development Strategies in a Changing Irish Landscape

Walter F. Kuentzel

357 Aiken Center

School of Natural Resources

University of Vermont

Burlington, VT 05405


Rural Irish communities have embraced a variety of economic development strategies in the face of change brought about by agricultural restructuring during the last 50 years, EC membership beginning in 1972, and globalization pressures of the 1990s "Celtic Tiger" boom. Research that evaluates rural development policy often isolates a single strategy or a single community and describes development effectiveness with data on employment, economic diversification, economic output, and various social outcomes. Little research, however, has compared different development strategies as engines of community change. This study explored longitudinal data from three Irish communities: Cashel, Millstreet, and Ballaghaderreen. These communities traditionally were agricultural market towns that recently have embraced tourism, electronics manufacturing, and export agriculture respectively as development strategies. This study compared the trajectory of development by analyzing each town’s demographic profile, the development of each town’s business structure, and indicators of social well-being such as the "live register" (social welfare recipients). The study also used times-series analysis to examine relationships between development strategies and development trajectories in each of the towns.

The results showed positive trends for Millstreet, mostly static trends for Ballaghaderreen, and slightly negative trends for Cashel. However, there was little direct relationship between the development strategies employed and the development trends in any of the towns. For Millstreet and Ballaghaderreen, change appeared to be related to the town’s ability or inability to mobilize the support and resources of central government. For Cashel, change may be related to a degree of complacency. The Rock of Cashel has been a top 10 tourism attraction in Ireland for many years. Because of this, the town has been less aggressive at attracting other industry. They have also struggled with bringing tourists from the Rock down into the town center.


Emerging inland tourist destinations in Spain in conjunction with the development of active and adventure tourism, 1992-2001

Antonio Lacosta (Geography Dept. University of Zaragoza Spain )

Gemma Canoves (Geogarphy Dept. Autonomus University of Barcelona Spain )


Adventure sports began to develop in Spain in the 1980s, in close relation to predominating urban life-styles and new forms of tourism associated to the rediscovery of nature. The importance of the phenomenon is mainly economic; in so much as it constitutes a diversifying and up-grading element in Spanish tourism. Nevertheless, it also has spatial implications, as increasing demand and the parallel proliferation of active and adventure tourism enterprises have led to the appreciation of tourist and territorial resources on which little value was placed hitherto. As a result, a certain degree of demographic and functional revitalisation has taken place in inland and mountain areas that were, until recently, totally emarginated in traditional mainstream tourism patterns. This paper therefore aims to comment upon the characteristics, functioning and territorial implications of these activities and, at the same time, indicate the growth in size and the spatial distribution of active and adventure tourism enterprises in Spain between 1992 and 2001.

Key words: Active tourism, adventure tourism, enterprises, location patterns, tourist specialization, rural destinations


The present paper examines tourism entrepreneurs in the Norwegian and Swedish countryside in light of the structural changes that have taken place in these areas. Local means of livelihood, previously dominated by agriculture and forestry, are being replaced by large, capital-intensive and personnel-extensive units. In this paper, we focus on the social context of entrepreneurship, and argue that the social and cultural capital of a place is central to understanding the breeding ground for businesses. Our empirical point of departure is a number of interviews studies conducted within the tourism industry in rural regions of Sweden and Norway.

The rural areas of Sweden and Norway follow a tradition of autonomy, where enterprise and independence are the defining characteristics. Independence is the modus operandi, or life mode, of the small, traditional mills and farms, and it embodies a material necessity. At the same time, this life mode is also characterized by solidarity; a tradition of co-operation and a sense of community that has been essential to the material survival of its members. In many cases, a combination of self-interest and mutual understanding is discernable in these regions, which creates a fertile breeding-ground for the establishment of various businesses. In comparison to industrial communities and urban areas, where collective solutions and large-scale systems have dominated the lives of its inhabitants, people in countryside regions have been forced to provide their own solutions. Helplessness was never a successful strategy in rural areas. On the other hand, entrepreneurship in countryside regions could be compared to global businesses, where place, tradition and the relation to social and cultural capital are of marginal interest, but instead function as satellites with no relation to material traditions.

In the restructuring of the rural means of livelihood, entrepreneurship and small businesses have become a new mode of independence in places that combine the tradition of independence with solidarity and a sense of community. The new life mode has become a means of maintaining independent ideals and the idea of the good life when the traditional means of livelihood are disappearing. In this way, the tourism entrepreneurs in the countryside regions are building a bridge between traditionalism and modernism, where the modern and the traditional exist side by side. The entrepreneurs show great inventiveness, and utilize modern business methods in order to preserve traditional and independent values in their rural existence. In communities where the labor market for women is limited, and where support systems that normally enhance women’s working life are weak, new possibilities for making a living emerge. The reformation of the rural areas also brings a tendency where men commute to work in urban areas. The absence of the men requires the presence of the women in these communities, and entrepreneurship becomes a strategy of combining their livelihood with care of dependents.

In our opinion, the support and develop entrepreneurship in rural regions requires knowledge of the conditions of small business as a social phenomenon in relation to local social and cultural capital. There is an economic as well as a social rationality here that appear to be on a collision course. Businesses in rural areas lack many of the traditionally favorable economic conditions for successful entrepreneurship and therefore represent business-making against all odds. It can however be conceptualized from a social perspective.





The report presents a synthesis of secondary data, best practice and primary data that has been collected in the Grampian region of Scotland (Northeast Scotland) over a three week period from 28th October – 19th November 2002.

The paper addresses issues relating to wind farms, wind farm perceptions and wind farm development. The history of wind farming is outlined and some myths and misconceptions associated with wind farming are discussed. Attitudes of tourists to the development of such farms are further developed.

The paper then addresses some of the issues associated with tourism in the Grampian region of Scotland and current visitor trends and profiles are introduced.

In the second section the paper suggests several possible scenarios for the development of wind farms as tourist attractions. These suggestions are then discussed in relation to impressions of wind farms and likely facilities on site.



Dr Robert Nash

Scottish Centre of Tourism

Aberdeen Business School

Robert Gordon University

Garthdee Phase 2

Aberdeen AB10 7QG

Kumaran Krishnan

Scottish Centre of Tourism

Aberdeen Business School

Robert Gordon University

Garthdee Phase 2

Aberdeen AB10 7QG

Andrew Martin

Scottish Centre of Tourism

Aberdeen Business School

Robert Gordon University

Garthdee Phase 2

Aberdeen AB10 7QG

Don Carney

Scottish Centre of Tourism

Aberdeen Business School

Robert Gordon University

Garthdee Phase 2

Aberdeen AB10 7QG

XXth Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology

18-22, August, 2003

Sligo, Ireland

Work, Leisure and Development in Rural Europe Today

Working group 1.6 – The future of farm-based rural development: Farming or leisure?

Agro-Tourism in the south of Portugal: a complement to agriculture

Maria Antonia Pires de Almeida

With Portugal’s European Integration in 1986, several changes where inserted in the legislation in order to adapt Portuguese agriculture to European standards. A new vocabulary was produced and new concepts invaded the fields, originating a totally different approach to a profession that had remained the same for centuries. Farmers had already began a process of becoming entrepreneurs. Specially in the south, the twentieth century had produced mechanized and intensive culture oriented farms, managed by graduated agronomists, veterinarians and agricultural technicians. But concepts such as landscape, environment, agricultural multi-functionalism, bio-diversity, along with subsidies to abandon many of the traditional productions, introduced new functions in the rural world: space for recreational activities (specially hunting), natural reserve, reforestation... Not that those functions were a novelty: but they were traditionally reserved to a very small and privileged group. And farm managers were forced to embrace new specialities to their jobs: grants manager, nature gardener and preserver, host, traditional and regional food cook, nature and tourist guide, horse-ridding school manager (sometimes teacher), bicycle renter, hunting organizer (and zoology teacher to people who have never seen a live rabbit or deer).

In this paper there will be a presentation of some agro-tourism experiences in a municipality of the Alentejo, where this activity was introduced as a complement to traditional activities such as forestry, agriculture and cattle-breeding. To conclude, there will be a comparison to the biggest portuguese agricultural enterprise, the Companhia das Lezírias, where these activities were developed to a larger extent.

Rural Tourism Development and Workings of Power


Dr Alenka Verbole

Paper to be presented at the


XX Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology (ESRS)

18-22 August, 2003

Sligo, Ireland







Local places, greens, faces or words: rural tourist product promotion


Patricija Verbole, MSc.


Rural tourist products are not just a farmhouse, meal, steep mountain path, or apple tree, although such elements are crucial to choose from. It is the personal experience that makes rural holidays unique: the sight, smell and sound of the pristine nature, the sight of an authentic, idyllic farmhouse, tasting delicious homemade food, sweating on the mountain path undisturbed, closely interacting with local people and learning local folk stories, legends, adventures tales from the lives of famous and ordinary local people. High quality experience is what makes tourists become regulars and the best promoters rural tourist providers could wish for. In this paper, tourism promotion is looked at as to a convenient tool to influence quality of tourists’ experiences through an induction of messages that enable tourists to develop care and interest in rural natural and cultural heritage, and people - tourists are an integral part of rural tourist product that highly influence the extent to which tourism impacts rural environments, and consequently tourist experience. The author argues that tourists need to be aware, knowledgeable and mindful; they need to care for local heritage and people to be able to minimize their negative impacts on rural environments and increase the experience quality. To effectively influence tourists’ beliefs, attitudes, and eventually their behaviour towards more sustainable patterns, it is essential how messages are developed and communicated with tourists. Innovatively, applying persuasive communication theories and principles to tourism field, the author develops a theoretical framework for design, implementation and evaluation of persuasive pro-environmental messages in print tourism promotion materials. In this paper, author presents findings of her study on environmental messages, photos and words published in alpine tourism promotion, explaining why such messages are unlikely to be effective in inducing readers, rural tourists to caring and environmentally protective behaviour. Author concludes her paper with guidelines on how to develop print rural tourism promotion that would be effective in bringing fragile elements of the rural idyll closer to rural tourists’ harts, and thus minimize negative and maximize positive impacts tourists have on rural environments, on own and other tourists’ experiences.


XXth Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology

18-22 August, 2003, Sligo, Ireland

‘Work, Leisure and Development in Rural Europe Today’


"Tourism Development: Hard Core or Soft Touch?"

Fiona Williams and Marsaili MacLeod

SAC, Aberdeen

An areas’ tourism product is subject to the influence of many factors, but often it is the effectiveness with which factors are deployed rather than their abundance that are important considerations. It is the supply-side elements of tourism development, and in particular, approaches to management and marketing that provide the focus of this paper.

The authors explore through the medium of case studies how the motivations of tourists are encouraged (via promotion) and ultimately met (via provision) in terms of the supply-side of tourism. More importantly, what form does tourism development take in order to meet the requirements of tourists and is this development appropriate, in terms of scale, and benefit to the rural locality.

A common research proposition is that small-scale endogenous tourism developments (that are characteristic of soft tourism approaches) are more beneficial and appropriate in the periphery than large-scale developments controlled from the core (characteristic of ‘hard’ tourism). It is anticipated that peripheral areas (relative to core areas) will place greater reliance on natural and cultural features that necessitate ‘softer’ development for purposes of protection and therefore endogenous approaches to development will consequently be of greater benefit.

In order to investigate this proposition, this paper draws upon empirical evidence from twelve European case study regions (both peripheral and more accessible), based on the findings of the EU FP5 project entitled, ‘Aspatial Peripherality, Innovation and the Rural Economy (AsPIRE)’. The tourism product, and its marketing and management, are contrasted and compared with a view to examining how differential approaches to tourism development in rural areas reflect not only the natural and cultural assets associated with the rural product, but the nature and effectiveness of actors in the tourism realm.

ESRS-conference, Sligo, Ireland, August 18-22 2003

Working group 2.6 "Recreating Local Rural Development in the Era of Globalisation"

Convenor: Karl Bruckmeier (University of Göteborg, Sweden)



1. Partnership at Municipal Level: Challenging Local Development Policy. Ella Mustakangas & Hilkka Vihinen (MTT Economic Research (MTTL), Luutnantintie 13, 00410 Helsinki, Finland)

Increasing fragmentation, the dispersion of social reality into distinct perspectives and expert areas emphasise the need to shift local policies from ‘government to governance’. This challenge is faced by Finnish municipalities trying to connect the partnership approach into their local development policy. However, meagre resources and traditional municipal practices make it difficult. In essence, policy implementation via partnership tests the relationship between the municipality and its villages and highlights painfully the isolation of rural entrepreneurs from local development activities. The aim of this paper is to analyse the situation in rural municipalities as efforts are made to integrate the partnership approach into local development policy. The findings are based on a study conducted in four municipalities in southern Finland. The paper shows that there is a gap between the local industrial projects and the small-scale village projects in the local development policy. In addition, partnerships have seldom any functioning connections to the statutory municipal duties. The paper discusses the difficulties surrounding local partnerships, but directs the attention to the potentials of anchoring the partnership more profoundly in the local development policy. Three possible paths are discussed: to provide special personnel for partnership building, to launch comprehensive strategy and to build integrative local programme.

2. Livelihood Strategies and Missing Enhancement of Rural Pluriactivity -Survival Struggle of Small-scale Fisheries in the Finnish Archipelago Sea. Pekka Salmi (Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Laasalantie 9 FIN-58175 Enonkoski , Finland) Juhani Salmi (Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Reposaari Unit, FIN-28900 Pori), Timo Mäkinen (Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, PO Box 6, FIN-00721 Helsinki)

Throughout the centuries fishing, shipping, and agriculture have been combined and interlinked in the Archipelago Sea Region. The pluriactivity nature of the livelihoods is still important, but the combinations have changed. Along with the transformation to a service-oriented welfare society, primary production from sea and land has currently less importance for the households - people are increasingly dependent on wage work especially in the public sector. In spite of this change in economic weight, fishing and fishermen are valued among the local communities and the survival of commercial fishing is locally strongly highlighted in the political arena. The locals have claimed that increased leisure use of the Archipelago Sea Region and the growing emphasis on nature protection threaten their livelihoods and the way of life. This paper focuses on the survival struggle of small-scale commercial fisheries in an archipelago context. The material is collected during a EU funded project, which studies aquaculture and coastal economic and social sustainability (AQCESS). The study areas are situated in the Archipelago Sea, SW Finland, and in the Åland islands. The empirical material comprises of personal interviews conducted with fishermen and other stakeholders in the study area. We study the diversification of household economy, fishermen’s attitudes towards their work and support from other stakeholder groups. In addition we discuss the difficult compatibility of rural pluriactivity and sectored management regimes.

3. Abstract: Multifunctionality and Plot Farming - Adjusting to Capitalism in the Russian Karelian Countryside. Leo Granberg, Jouko Nikula, Ilkka Alanen, Inna Kopoteva (Alexanteri Institute, University of Helsinki. Address: P.O.Box 4, 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland)

This paper analyses some aspects of rural transition in Russian Karelia. The analysis is based on a field research in a large semi-urban municipality with 4300 inhabitants, near the Capital Petrozavodsk. The main questions are how far, in what way and with which consequences have the enterprises in the municipality been able to adapt themselves to the new market economy. Two cases are especially in focus: an earlier state farm and a new middle-sized enterprise. Results show that diversifying activities is adopted as the main strategy in stead of specialization, contrary to the results from Estonia. The role of plot farming to the success of the privatized state farm is discussed, as well as the role of state policy of different levels to local development efforts.

4. Rethinking NORD II -Sociocultural Aspects of Local Rural Development in Northern Sweden. Christina Höj Larsen (Human Ecology Section, Göteborg University, Box 700, SE-40530 Göteborg, Sweden)

As a result of the marginalisation of rural communities and rural lifestyles the action of governmental (national and regional) bureaucratic institutions and of rural inhabitants is drifting apart. This problem is examined in Jämtland, Northern Sweden. The rural resource centre "Eldrimner" for the transfer of applied and practical knowledge in small-scale production and processing of rural products is working in this region. The paper examines how this innovative project uses special local knowledge from other regions in Europe to build and promote local identity and how small-scale refinement is used to strengthen tourism and local production. Also the gap between local working patterns based on practical needs and the regional bureaucratic institutions is examined. It is pointed out that the sector-specific regional institutions are not prepared for integrated projects in rural development, and that planning, implementation and monitoring of rural development regulations is restricted by bureaucratic traditions within the institutions. The paper uses results from the pan-European research project NORD II ("The Nature of Rural Development, Part II") on the rural development instruments of the EU conducted during 2001-2002 (the national reports and comparative report can be found in the Internet: and Whereas the NORD II study concentrates on policy-related aspects of the rural development regulation this paper analyses socio-cultural aspects of rural development connected to the European regulation.

5. Social representations of livability in a village in southern Sweden – conflicting interests. Petra Vergunst (Wageningen University, Social Sciences - Rural Sociology. Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands)

In this paper some of the social representations of liveability in a Swedish village will be explored. It is expected to contribute to both the societal debate on rural development and to provide an input to rural development policies. In addition, it could be of particular interest in the context of interactive policy-development, as it might provide policy-makers with a better understanding of the interests of other groups of stakeholders. To investigate this topic, the Swedish term ‘den levande landsbygden’ which denotes liveability, will be analysed. Liveability is considered to be the principle goal of rural development. Yet, different local actors are expected to have different interests which are inherently linked to different social representations. Discourse analysis will be used to clarify some of the social representations that heavily influence the actions of these stakeholders. The discussion will concentrate on the example of the (changing) role of agriculture in rural development. Taking the framework of liveability (Vergunst, "Liveability and Ecological Land Use, Uppsala 2003) as point of departure, the expected results will be a discussion of the social representations implied in the metaphor liveability and of the role of agriculture in the pursuit of liveability in particular.

6. Hobbits and other beings – rural area as a space for experimentation. Wacław Idziak

(Technical University of Koszalin, Racławicka 15-17, 75-620 Koszalin Poland)

In Polish villages, especially in those where there have been state owned farms since the 1990s, local communities are lost in present days. They are switching with big difficulties from agricultural-dominated economics to existing in the global information society and from central management in local development to endogenous growth. With lack of financial capital and other resources, and in a very dynamic reality, adaptation to new conditions needs experiments and use of non-material development factors. The paper describes the application of participative action research (PAR) to the induction of innovative forms of local development based on the specialization of villages and creating theme villages, with use of non-material development factors. It shows how local communities are joining the process of planning and development of theme villages. They are created with use of such development factors like: the prose of J.R.R. Tolkien, neolith, fairy-tales, bridge, wind, juggling. The research shows that the application of PAR and experimental use of non-material development factors supports the process of shifting of local communities to the global information society and the "glocalisation" of rural development. Moreover, it turned out that local development can have island-character and can be held with minimal institutional and financial support from the government.

7. LEADER as a Symbol of Rural Development Policy. Giorgio Osti (Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Uomo, Università degli Studi di Trieste, Piazzale Europa 1, I-34127 Trieste, Italy)

The paper is focused on the analysis of four Italian LEADER projects (phase II). Such a Community Initiative has become the symbol of a new method to promote rural development in Europe. In that there is much rhetoric; moreover, the funds for the projects are few. However, LEADER worked well and the main local actors usually attended the Local Action Groups. Thus, LEADER remains a good test to understand what is arriving in rural development policies. The four cases are localized in Northern Italy. They are analysed according to the following criteria: the composing of the Local Action Group in order to see which body are included or excluded; the degree of trustfulness among the Directory Board members in order to outline the kind of partnership is set up in the leading group; the style of intervention in the field in order to understand which idea of rurality and development is present in the mind of local actors. These criteria respond to a general vision of (western) European rural areas. Interest groups without an agricultural background have definitively achieved influence in rural areas; however, farmers associations are able to maintain presence at every territorial level of power. In the rural areas there is not a stable and unified community, according to Tönnies representation. However, it is wrong to imagine these areas as completely fragmented or alienated by external forces. Rather, it is a matter of verification to discover in which lines a local identity is formed. The rural economy is dual: on one side, the tourist-quality (short) filiere, on the other, an industrialised (long) filiere. Even if this is a sketchy representation, LEADERr moved surely toward the first one. Thus, the problem is: which rural development policy for the second one?

8. The Role of Communication in Rural Development - Case Study of the Construction of a Common Development Strategy in the Chianti Area, Italy. Gianluca Brunori, Adanella Rossi, (Section of Agricultural and Environmental Economics, Department of Agronomy and Management of the Agro-ecosystems, University of Pisa)

In the current development context, characterised by new global competition and new roles of the territorial systems, new societal demands, increasing importance of the human/territorial immaterial resources (social, cultural, symbolic capitals), the actors' ability to communicate, that is to develop relations and through them to develop new knowledge, innovation and new organisational solutions in order to manage the change, becomes fundamental. The development potential and the competitiveness of rural areas appear more and more dependent on the local communities' ability to develop new knowledge and new inter-relations, through which to build and narrate specific identities, to share and valorise symbols, to integrate different interests in common perspectives and strategies. The paper reports the first findings of a European research project on the role of communication in rural development. In addition to the theoretical framework which has inspired the project, it proposes one of the numerous case studies developed, the experience going on in Chianti (Tuscany, Italy). Chianti is an important enological area and a well known landscape but also a larger geographical and administrative area, characterised by different paths of development, which has been recently interested in a new development opportunity, the possibility to be recognised as a "rural district" (as introduced by the recent Italian Law of orientation). In that context, the case study analyses the process of organisation which is developing among the local stakeholders, having different values, interests and power, in order to define a common strategy of development for the area. In particular, it deals with the communicative dynamics related to the construction of common meanings, identity and perspectives at the basis of the collective process of re-organisation and change.

9. Rural Anticipation of the Welfare State - Czech Republic in Comparison to Post-socialist Europe. Eva Kučerová (Department of Humanities, Czech University of Agriculture Prague, Kamýcká 129, Praha 6 – Suchdol, Czech Republic)

Although empirical findings (Szelenyi et al.) show the deterioration of living standards in post- communist countries in the 1990s, there are significant differences in the public opinion about the "welfare state"-project in countries where more rigorous liberal reforms were implemented and countries with much slower progression towards the liberal model of capitalism. The Czech Republic (also other post communist countries) with its economic development is still on the symbolic cross-ways to make a decision about how to approach the welfare state. There is a very actively discussed model of an "active approach" (non state subjects) to social policy with a residual role of the state. The model should have a chance to more effective implementation in (small) rural communities where social problems can be better identified and resolved. The questions to be asked are that of the potential of social policy actors to participate in the process and the attitudes and approaches to social policy models in rural communities. It should be asked how the opinion of actors can be evaluated in the process of making a new system of social policy which still remains a „reform from above". The paper follows a preceding qualitative study of the author with a quantitative survey of public opinion on participation and responsibility in social policy actors’ action and acceptance of the welfare state model based on the liberal model of capitalism. The first part provides a review of international studies on rural poverty in post- socialist states. The main part of paper presents results of a quantitative investigation in one Czech rural community where significant social problems for the Welfare state project (unemployment, illness, education, age, living conditions) have been studied.

10. Abstract: WTO and EU Regulation - New Visions for Rural Development in Europe?

Parto Teherani-Krönner (Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany; Faculty of Agriculture and Horticulture, Rural Sociology – Unit: Gender Research in Rural Areas)

Environmental concerns and animal welfare are influential aspects in the present debate on rural development in Germany and Europe, together with the linkage of EU agriculture to the global market and the ongoing WTO negotiations. The EU is the most important actor in the world wide agricultural trade. The WTO Regulation – with the aim of market liberalization - plays an important role in the restructuring of and recreating local rural development in the era of globalisation, in the EU as well as in developing countries. EU agricultural products even receive export subsidies for the competition on the world market. One of the consequences is the dumping prices that have enormous negative effects on the rural development in a number of developing countries. Poor countries cannot cope with the system of the CAP in rich European countries. Women and men farmers are not able to protect their food security and sovereignty against the trade liberalization and dumped commodities entering their markets. Where people cannot make their living on their farms they have to leave and no vision for rural development can grow. EU subsidies that intend to protect rural areas and development in Europe should not make rural life impossible in countries of the South. The new arrangements at the EU level with the Agenda 2000 as well as the MTR will redirect the subsidies in a way to protect agricultural production but in an indirect and hidden way. This will allow a shift from agriculture to rural development with diversification of rural activities in the countryside. The new type of protection can be seen as a hopeful start to recreate rural development and new visions. But one should take into mind that it will probably not exceed 10 % of the expenditures of the EU budget for agriculture. The new EU regulations are discussed as a topic and innovation that attracts the attention of agricultural discourses and those who are interested.

11. For an evaluation of the dynamics of globalization in the local rural system of values: a preliminary comparison of power and authority concepts. Nicole Mathieu, Sophie Lalignant (CNRS Nanterre, UMR LADYSS and Université Paris 1, France).

Our contribution will interrogate the "renewed" interest of holistic approaches of local societies facing the Globalization era and the sustainable development. After a review of the holistic use in American literature on agriculture, resource management (Mary V. Gold 1999) intertwined with sustainable development, globalization or "fourth type agriculture", and on the holistic management definition based on the work of the biologist Allan Savory, we argue why the topic of the local rural development in the era of globalization is enlightened by the social anthropological point of view in Louis Dumont’ sense as a "holistic system of values". A holistic knowledge of the local rural system is required to try to appreciate the interaction and the depth of the globalization on local rural areas. More precisely the aim of the paper is to explore how the globalization policy and strategies take (or not) into account the local system of values in the development of the local rural society. This aim needs to focus on the link existing between the constructed around the idea of Globalization social values and the way they are integrated in local practices. Our reflexion will be based both on an interdisciplinary perspective and on long field works and local monographies in different parts of France belonging to distinct types of rurality. Understanding how these new processes of global regulation interact with the local rural development implies to introduce and discuss the notions of ‘power’ and ‘authority’ facing those of ‘local’ and ‘global’.

12. Farmers' Response to the Policy on Less Favoured Areas. Nakamichi H. (Policy Research Institute of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan) , Yoshizawa S. (Chuo University, Japan), Ohno A. (Kitami Institute of Technology, Japan), Onai J. (Sapporo Gakuin University, Japan)

The Japanese Government introduced the direct payment system for less favoured areas from April 2000 onwards. In this system, farmers normally receive only half of all subsidies for applied farmland and the rest goes to a village association group that must be organized when applying for the subsidy. The Government expects that the half paid to the association group would be used for village activities. We report here about the influence that this system gave to the farming and forestry management in Japanese less favoured areas. We examine activities of two contrasting sample villages. Then we summarize the results of a sample survey in a mountain village of Romania in the summer 2002 about farmers' opinions on participation in the European Union. We surveyed farmers in the same village in 1999 and we summarized its results in the World Congress of Rural Sociology in 2000 in Brazil. In this presentation, we summarize the present situation of farming and its environmental circumstances of this sample village of less favoured areas in Romania. Taking into account these samples, we analyze the farmers’ response to the Direct Payment System in less favoured areas. The key goal of our analysis of less favoured areas is how to achieve the "affluence of human being and nature". For this purpose, we would like to show our proposals for direct payments.

13. Abstract: The effects of Mechanization and Intensification of Cotton Cultivation in southern Mali - the case of Niaradougou. Syna Ouattara (Department of Social Anthropology, Göteborg University, Box 700, SE-40530 Göteborg, Sweden)

This paper analyses the consequences of mechanization of cotton cultivation in a West African country, Mali. Exporting cotton is the most important source of revenue for Mali, representing approximately 49 % of the country's total export. During the later years of the 1990's the cotton cultivation in Mali has undergone a great deal of change. Most importantly, new techniques of cultivation have been developed to increase harvest. The paper considers how the peasants of Niaradougou, located north-west of Sikasso, are dealing with the new situation. Other than the mechanization and intensification of the cotton cultivation, this report discusses the socioeconomic as well as ecological consequences thereof. The results support the conclusion that mechanization and intensification have not brought significant improvements for the peasants and also created new problems or left older ones unsolved: as well ecological as economic problems remain and the everyday life of the peasants has not changed much. The search for new ways of rural development has even become more important.

14. The Livelihood Framework applied in Asian and African Countries – A Secondary Analysis. Ylva Engwall, Per Knutsson, Karl Bruckmeier (Human Ecology Section, Göteborg University, Box 700, SE-40530 Göteborg, Sweden)

The livelihoods approach to analysing, planning and evaluating rural development policies, projects, and programmes is seen as an innovative and holistic approach to rural development. The approach is characterised by the integration of scientific and local knowledge, participation of rural population in development activities, transdisciplinary thinking and methods, thus mirroring recent paradigmatic changes in rural policy thinking. The livelihoods approach and different livelihoods frameworks that have been elaborated so far are applied in local studies and policy papers. Hitherto the approach is mainly used in Thirld World countries and only to some extent in European rural research and evaluation. The paper explores how far the livelihoods approach is meeting the requirements for transdisciplinarity and holism. The paper does so by analysing the practical application of the livelihoods approach in different contexts of Asian and African countries. The guiding theme of the paper is the analysis of the actual meaning of "knowledge integration" in the concept. This is exemplified with two thematic areas, migration policy and gender research.

Dairy sheep breeding in W. Lesvos, Greece: in search of a new relationship with a sensitive environment.

Nikos Beopoulos, George Vlahos



Sheep and pastures, as well as the barren and arid landscape are the basic characteristics of a large zone in Western Lesvos. Dairy sheep breeding, imposed by natural constraints as the only possibility in agriculture is a determinant for survival. Increase, since the 1970’s, of the number of sheep as a result of national and EU policies, contributed to a relative population stability although it revealed the difficulties in maintaining a balance between this activity and the sensitive natural environment. The last years, there is a lot of criticism against this productive activity referring mainly to its impacts on soil erosion or even, when natural predisposing factors exist, to desertification phenomena.

In 8 communities of the above mentioned zone, we conducted a survey, in a sample of people living in or on the fringe of this area, in order to examine their perceptions on the uses of the territory and its "quality". In the case of livestock farmers, the main actors in the management of the natural environment, through an approach to the methods and practices used we tried to analyse also their strategies and attitudes. The sample included also individuals that reflect the multiplicity of uses and users of the territory. Their close relationship with the rural world was the common pattern. We included among the interviewees local civil servants, local action groups and local administration representatives, since they all aim to the promotion and implementation of policies.

Analysis of the way these accusations or hopes are expressed, concerning the current situation and development of sheep breeding, permits us to understand perceptions and relations among various groups but also their relationship with the natural environment of Western Lesvos.



Institut für Agrarsoziologie und Beratungswesen

Inst. f. Agrarsoziologie u. Beratungswesen, Senckenbergstr. 3, 35390 Gießen


Jaap Frouws






Prof. Dr. Hermann Boland

Dipl.-Geogr. Carmen Retter

Senckenbergstr. 3

35390 Gießen

Telefon 0641-99-3708-0

Telefax 0641-99-3708-9



Gießen, 27. Juni 2003




Clarifying the social influence on individual decision-making

Despite the undergoing changes of the countryside its appearance is steadily characterised by agricultural land use. Farmers with their individual and strategic land use decisions determine the way of land use. Their decisions are influenced by various factors – the specific situation of the farm and the family, influence of the village, political changes etc. Focus of this study is the relationship between village communication and individual land use decisions. Results of in-depth interviews suggested that farmers were unable to communicate the extent of their colleagues’ influences on their behaviour, as cultural factors appear to influence decision-making largely at a sub-conscious level. To overcome this barrier, a cognitive mapping technique (generally deployed to elicit tacit knowledge) was used. In a behavioural experiment 36 farmers were faced with two hypothetical decision-situations concerning their attitudes towards nature conservation and innovation in general. The farmers were then asked how they perceived their colleagues, their former colleagues as well as the non-farming villagers and how these groups would respond to the hypothetical situations. The results presented offer detailed insights into the extrinsic perception of the farmers and its consequences on their decision-making.

Hermann Boland and Carmen Retter

Dr. Michael Clow


St. Thomas University

Fredericton, N.B.


Much More Difficult Than We Think:

The Very Problematic Character of Agriculture

Almost all thinking on agriculture underestimates the ecological disruption created by the human establishment and operation of artificial agricultural ecosystems. Agriculture, even organic agriculture, is a far more problematic exercise than commonly understood. This paper seeks to move beyond the ‘standard model’ of economy-ecology relationships and develops a specific model detailing the interaction of the labour process of agriculture and the biosphere. This model allows a broader understanding of how agriculture tends to undermine the natural environment upon which it depends and the inherent difficulties — both biophysical and social — of developing an alternative, environmentally sustainable, agricultural system.




Cecilia Díaz Méndez (Universidad de Oviedo, España), Faustino Alvarez Alvarez (Universidad de Oviedo), Cristóbal Gómez Benito (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia)


THE MEANING OF THE ENVIRONMENT FOR RURAL SOCIAL AGENTS: farmers, ecologists and agrarian unions.

This paper introduces different discourses some social actors share about the environment in Spanish rural areas: farmers, unions and environmental pressure groups. Most of these discourses show confrontation rather than dialogue, specially, farmers who feel threatened by the social changes they are witnessing in their environment. We think the interpretation and analysis of the different discourses show the need for a basic social consensus and understanding in the process of decision making in order to guarantee the legitimacy and effectiveness of the measures.

ESRS 2003 Abstracts

working group 1.1

paper no 11

paper title

Farm families in transition: some theoretical assumptions


Charles B. Hennon Bruno Hildenbrand  


Family Studies and Social Work

Miami University

Institute of Sociology

Friedrich Schiller University






We are organizing this group of scholars in the working group to discuss research and theoretical developments in the area of farm-family transitions. Specifically, we encourage the exchange of information concerning (1) how qualitative methods can bring new understanding to farm-family functioning and the transitions experienced over several generations or years; (2) how this information supports theory building about family responses to ecological (physical and social) opportunities and constrains; and (3) how different farming paradigms (e.g., yeoman, entrepreneur) and farm-family types (e.g., marginally performing, modernizers out of necessity, innovative entrepreneurs, part-time farmers) can lead to diverse strategies for responding to issues of modernity and changing agricultural conditions.

working group paper no
paper title The continuity of family farming and the emergence of rural leisure: The Basque case
authors Guadalupe Ramos    
institution Department of Sociology

University of the Basque Country

The future of the agriculture and rural world depends on the potential successors of the farms. Traditionally, a single child of the family farm inherits the whole farm. The way which farms are passed was an important factor in the continuity of the farm household because it affected the preservation of the unity of the family property.

However, at the present time the equality of inheritance occupies first place on succession rights of the family farm. It supposes the break up the farm in small units that do not guarantee profitability. Thus, the heritage is an obstacle to the entrance of the young farmer into agriculture.

One of the aspects that has an influence on the egalitarian practice of farm succession, has been the rise in interest in the qualities of rural life and of leisure in the rural areas. The farm households are demanded for people who identify the rural life as synonymous to a quality of life. In this way, the members of family farm that do not work in agriculture reclaim their inheritance part for residential uses or leisure zones. This demand has an affect on the decision of the youth (children of farmers) to work or not in the farm activity because they have to take on economic and family changes.

This paper will focus on the aspects that influence the decision of the young farmers in the Basque Country to continue or not in the family farm. Especially it seeks to be an introduction to the influence of the current interest in the rural life on their decision.

working group 1.1 paper no
paper title Family farm transitions: Intergenerational relationships across three farm generations
authors Kjersti Melberg    
institution Rogaland Research    
address Stavanger, Norway    

This paper focuses on social, economical, practical and emotional transitions in three generations of Norwegian farm couples. With their tightly interconnected relationships, farm families present a unique opportunity for studying bounding and transitions across generations. The main hypothesis of this study is that the different generations of farm couples will exhibit differences in their distribution of working, caring and domestic tasks based on the degree to which gender roles are defined by more traditional or more modern standards. Empirical implications of the model are tested against 2002-data from a representative sample of Norwegian farm couples, and also a qualitative sample of Norwegian farm families. The main hypothesis is that living arrangements with and relationships between family members across generations are closely bound up with family farm transitions. The research questions are: Are there any differences in work distribution between the generations and genders within different farm paradigms? Which transfers of economic, practical and emotional support between the generations takes place? Farm family type is defined by the farm wives’ degree of involvement in off-farm work and by their hours spent in domestic work. The results of our analyses suggest that members of traditional farm families seem to be most sensitively attuned to one another.

This work is part of the research project ("Farm changes under pressure: farm family transitions in a generational perspective") funded by the Norwegian Research Counsel. Thanks to professor Knud Knudsen and professor Kari Wærness for useful comments

working group paper no
paper title  


working group paper no
paper title  




Ecological Modernization in the rural arena: towards new modes of regulation

J. Frouws

The paper explores the potentials of the ‘ecological modernization’ (EM) of farming and the countryside for realizing rural sustainability, from a politico-sociological perspective.

First, EM-theory is critically discussed, especially its approach of issues of governance and environmental regulation, and then tested for its applicability to agro-ecological developments.

Then the recent development of agri-environmental regulation in the Netherlands is analysed from the point of view of its effectiveness and legitimacy. Next, both the underlying and competing agro-ecological discourses are being assessed. Finally, we try to outline a new regulatory regime of rural ecological modernization in terms of social actors, institutions and policy instruments.


Urban pressure and rural land use

Paper for the XX Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology.

Sligo, Ireland 18-23 August 2003.

Greet Overbeek

Agricultural Economics Research Institute

P.O.Box 29703

2502 LS The Hague

The Netherlands

Tel. +31.70.3358100/Fax. +31.70.3615624

The use and organisation of the limited space is an important issue in the Netherlands. Plan concepts, based on an authorisation of functions, have attempted to keep the spatial pattern of separated red urban areas and green rural areas. A central element in those concepts was a strong agricultural sector that protected the green landscape against urbanization and a restricted mobility of citizens. Due to the increasing demand for space new ways of cooperation have to be explored between actors in rural and urban areas. Relevant within this is the changing demand to the green landscape, favouring quality of life issues over food production. The aim of the European study ‘Building new relationships in rural areas under urban pressure’ is to identify new services related to the landscape and to get compensation payments by new relationships with the urban society. In this paper we will analyse the protection and development of the green landscape in the Netherlands and study areas nearby a metropolitan area and a tourist coastal zone.

Rural restructuring – redefinition of rural identities?

Katriina Soini, MTT, Environmental Research, FIN - 31600 Jokioinen.

Traditionally the management of agricultural environment has been an inherent part of farming and rural way of life, not an end in itself. For this reason the redefinition of the environment in the current rural policy, which calls the farmers and the local communities for managing rural environment and landscape, raises socially and culturally interesting questions.

This paper is to deal with the implications of a study on landscape and biodiversity perceptions of the farmers and the rural communities. The study pointed out that environmental management is still considered rather a marginal and a ‘top-down’ issue in the daily activities and decision-making of the farmers. Landscape and biodiversity issues were considered as important in their everyday life as far as they were considered as local, but not necessarily in a global perspective. The redefinition of environment is also related to the social change of rural areas. The farmers, the main actors of rural land use, have become the minor group of many rural communities. However, shared meanings and knowledge are needed when environmental management is headed for. The conditions for social learning across the social classes of the local communities become critical.

My argument is that regardless of the bottom-up approach so strongly highlighted, the current rural environmental policy is rather seeking to separate the environment management from the everyday routines and social life than trying to integrate it into farming and local culture. When formulating and implementing policy it should be taken into account that the local culture and farmers identity change slowly. In addition, the identity of agricultural environment and landscape originally resulted from production. As an object of active planning and regulation both the landscape and the rural people are in danger of losing an essential part of their identity.


Environmental Quality Assurance Schemes (QAS): The implications for farmers of pursuing multi-dimensional agriculture.

Laura Venn, Paul Hooper, Mark Stubbs* & Craig Young.

Department of Environmental & Geographical Sciences.

*The Business School

Manchester Metropolitan University, UK.



The growing concern over the adverse impact that many modern farming practices have had on the environment, allied with the increasing consumer expectations placed upon farmers to deliver food that is deemed to be safe and produced responsibly has meant that social and environmental responsibilities have become a fundamental dimension of food and farming in the UK from both a policy and market perspective.

This new form of multi-dimensional agriculture recognises the broader contribution of farming to the economy, environment and community, thus requiring new systems that are capable of integrating these broader responsibilities into farm management.

This paper explores the emergence of Quality Assurance Schemes (QAS) in the UK Agro-Food industry as an example of a voluntary mechanism designed to assist farmers and producers in adopting the broader economic, social and environmental responsibilities associated with multi-dimensional agriculture. Founded on the principles of quality assurance: QAS encompass a range of assurances relating to food safety, animal welfare and environmental protection.

The findings presented in this paper reflect on empirical research conducted in 2002 with QAS participants and stakeholders, focusing on the breadth and depth of environmental standards integrated into QAS in the UK. Results focus on the industry’s adoption of voluntary systems for environmental governance, the implications for farmers of membership and the issues that affect the efficacy of QAS in raising environmental standards on farms.



Towards a new planning perspective

Kees Volker

Dutch governance has a positive reputation in international planning literature, based on the contribution of planners to develop unifying concepts. These concepts can be found in what is called the Dutch planning doctrine, covering views and principles regarding the urbanisation process, modernisation of agriculture and the future of the remaining open rural spaces. In recent years, however, the 'Dutch planning paradise' has come under increasing criticism. It is argued that the concepts and practices of the planning community are no longer in tune with social and spatial realities. This issue has in fact been debated among professional planners since the 1960s. But now also in the social and political arenas, the legitimacy of the planning principles is being challenged. The rural area is no longer the focus of the policy making process and there is no guiding doctrine any more. With a rapidly changing market economy and a new network society there are countless junctions for negotiations and decision making. As a consequence, with respect to the future of valuable landscapes and sustainable socio-economic perspectives of urban and rural areas, there is a clear need for structural renewing of the 'naming and framing' of planning and a fundamental reflection on the competencies of planners.

This paper discusses a theoretical framework that is compatible with the position planning currently holds within society and that is adequate in light of intensifying urban-rural relationships and the diversity of claims on valuable landscapes. Derived from discourse theory in environmental planning, the framework stresses the importance of a debate among discourses. It is through discourses that the landscape becomes a reality and policy begins with the exchange of ideas springing from various practices. The policy making process itself is the outcome of discourse coalitions and their institutionalisation.

The paper includes two case studies. The first one focuses on the extension of glass houses in an open rural area that should be free from further urbanisation, being put on the provisional list of world heritage monuments (UNESCO). The second case concerns the wild hamster, an endangered bio-diversity species that is under the protection of the Habitat Directive of the EU and that is living in arable landscapes. It is analysed which discourses occur in the cases, whether a discourse coalition is reached en how this relates to policy practices. Factors are identified determining success or failure of multi-actor and multi-level governance in the field of landscape development.

XX Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology

18-22 August, 2003, Sligo, Ireland

Working group 3.2: Social Natures in the European Countryside

Convenors: Paul Milbourne and Terry Marsden (Cardiff University, UK)


How Natural is Rural Nature? Actors and institutions involved in the production of nature in two Portuguese rural areas


Elisabete Figueiredo, Environment and Planning Department. University of Aveiro, Portugal


The present work intends to be a critical reflection of the conditions under which nature is produced in a changing rural world, that of Portugal in particular.

In recent years, rural areas have become increasingly understood to be spaces of outstanding environmental quality, instead of areas of food production and sources of labour force. This new function, while widely recognised socially and institutionally, is relatively strange to the residents of the rural areas, who are frequently not taken into account in the delineation and implementation of measures seeking to preserve the rural environment. It is, thus, essentially the State and the urban residents that sustain the new vision of the rural world as an amenity, i.e. an environment and a nature to preserve and protect. This exteriority of the rural nature production processes places the rural areas in general and those of Portugal in particular (due to their specific characteristics) in a subaltern position relative to society as a whole. In parallel, the institutionalisation of the rural areas as natural areas, by the State and urban residents, tends to create a new rural-urban dichotomy that may have important repercussions in terms of the future directions of rural development processes.

Taking into account the aforesaid issues, we seek to analyse for two Portuguese rural areas– the Montesinho Natural Park and the Serra da Freita – the conditions of the production of the rural nature at both institutional and social level. Furthermore we want to forward some points of reflection on the role of environment and nature in new rural development policies, programmes and measures.

The principal conclusions of the empirical analysis carried out for the two study areas are as follows.

Ø Rural areas are mainly regarded as natural spaces, being in demand and consumed by urban populations precisely because of their (real or idealised) environmental quality.

Ø The State tends to represent the point of view of the urban residents of the rural areas in its policies, programmes and measures for rural development.

Ø There exists a clear rural-urban dichotomy with respect to the perceptions and ways of production of rural nature, the consequences of which for rural development are still far from being known in their multiple dimensions.



Bunny-huggers and Toffs: Media representation of the pro and anti hunting lobbies

Sam Hillyard, Institute for the Study of Genetics, Biorisks & Society, University of Nottingham, UK


The paper explores the representation of the pro and anti-hunting lobbies and their respective ideologies in selected national and specialist medias. It details and critically assesses the stereotypes surrounding each group and investigates how each group conceptualises its opposite. The paper then compares and contrasts these images with descriptions of both groups appearing in the national press.

The analysis of the special medias will include how the different interest groups have mobilised and appealed to rhetoric and ideologies of ‘nature’ and ‘natural’ rural ways of life. For example, how have pro and anti-hunting groups differ in their idealisation of nature and therefore its regulation and protection. The paper is based on the analysis of a database of articles on the hunting debate and ‘Liberty and Livelihood’ March of September, 2002. It includes two national newspapers’ coverage of the Hunting Bill (The Guardian and Daily Telegraph) and two, specialist magazines or similar medias representing (1) the anti-hunting and (2) the pro-hunting lobbies. The paper also reflexively comments on its methodology and systems of data classification and analysis.



Paradigmatic Changes and Different Constructions of Conservation and Rationality in Finnish Fisheries

Mika Tonder1, Pekka Salmi1, Joanna Birch2 & Elizabeth Oughton2

1Finnish Game and Fisheries Research Institute, Laasalantie 9, Enonkoski, Finland.

2Department of Geography, University of Durham, UK.


Traditionally, Finnish fisheries governance has been based on two dominant paradigms: conservation of fish populations and rational use of fishing waters. Regulation has been carried out through legislation and by social regulation, where the main power has belonged to stakeholders. Modernization of society has created new social groups, which have set new challenges for fisheries administration. Implementations of new paradigms and administrative actions have sometimes been problematic, actors are characterized by many different interests and constructions concerning the use of natural resource.

Traditionally fisheries and environmental administration have acted separately, but empowerment of those in the environmental sector has brought these two sectors of natural resource management closer to each other. An example of this may be found in the conservation of the Saimaa ringed seal in southeast Finland. The implementation of a modern conservation paradigm into fisheries governance has created polarisation among actors. Local stakeholders are worried about their traditional entitlements to govern and use natural resource, whilst the environmental administration sector considers conservation measures as a legitimate response to modern natural resource management. The Saimaa ringed seal case is an example of how the transition of Finnish fisheries governance has transformed its decision-making has to follow more and more an interest-based administration and a managerial position of the state, instead of traditional stakeholder based administration.

In this paper we firstly set the development of Finnish fisheries governance within a context of historical development of Finnish society. Secondly, we examine fisheries governance in terms of environmental endowments and entitlements that may be connected to paradigms of fisheries governance. Finally we aim to indicate how constructions of different social groups reflect paradigms of fisheries management and changes within them. This study has been based on 40 semi-structured interviews as well as literary sources, legal texts and committee reports. The material has been analyzed by qualitative content analysis, where constructions, paradigms and critical stages of development are formed together with theoretical consideration.




Bringing Back Nature? Social Forestry in the Post-industrial British Countryside

Lawrence Kitchen, Paul Milbourne and Terry Marsden, Department of City and Regional Planning, Cardiff University



Those rural areas of Britain characterised by ’nature industries’, such as coal mining, can be seen to be associated with particular productivist understandings of nature. Following the collapse of the coal mining industry over the last couple of decades, many of these areas have been transformed into ex-industrial communities, characterised by high levels of social exclusion and surrounded by despoiled local natures. More recently, projects of social forestry have been initiated in some of these ex-industrial rural spaces in an attempt to regenerate local communities and their associated environments. Through this regeneration process, new sets of nature-society relations have begun to emerge. This paper explores this transition from industrial to post-industrial natures in particular forest case-studies in the English and Scottish countryside. Drawing on in-depth research in six rural communities, the paper provides a critical perspective on shifting relations between nature and society in these spaces, highlighting the ways that nature is drawn into broader economic and social processes.



Challenging the Definition of Nature: The case of a new management regime on protected nature in Norway

Karoline Daugstad, Centre for Rural Research, Norwegian University for Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway



Nature and landscapes are ascribed different values according to context, time period, management regimes, professional disciplines etc. Nature protection and management as a national responsibility for the environmental authorities is a system based on evaluation and designation of some landscapes or "natures" before others.

Until the last decade, the authority to value and decide what should be protected under the Nature conservation act, has been reserved for the national environmental authorities. During the last years there has been an increased governmental focus on de-centralisation of the authority for management of protected areas in order to legitimate decisions on nature protection and decrease the conflict level between central and local actors. This development can be seen as the end of the national monopoly of defining "correct" landscape values in potential protected areas. It can also be seen as a situation that will accentuate the tensions between protection (in the sense of strong restrictions on human impact) and local actors’ need for economic use of natural resources (typical rural small-scale tourism).

In this paper I will elaborate on the following questions: Will a new management regime with an increased emphasis on the local level affect what is perceived as "good" or "real" nature? Will the concepts of nature, nature protection and management, which have traditionally been defined in an academic sense and mainly based on natural science, have to be redefined following a new nature management system? How many humans influence and in what form can be allowed in protected areas? These questions will be discussed with reference to two specific cases: The restoration and "re-naturation" of Hjerkinn training ground for military test shooting, and the debate on access and future use of the tourist cabin Snøheim. Both cases are within or adjacent to the new established Dovrefjell – Sunndalsfjella National Park and are focus of interest for local actors as well ac national interests.


Co-construction of Agency and Agri-environmental Management

Minna Kaljonen, Finnish Environment Institute, Helsinki, Finland



"The principle of agri-environmental policy is fine, if it only had more common sense and flexibility." This argument was put forward by the many South Ostrobothnian farmers from Western Finland that I interviewed for my study on the implementation of agri-environmental policy. The critic concerns some very practical problems of following the codes of good agricultural practice at the farm. At the same time, it is also social action that defines farmers’ position in the field of agri-environmental policy. In this paper I will look more closely on these ifs and buts and analyse how different forms of knowledge have become relevant stakes in the politics of agri-environmental management. I suggest that the notion of co-construction of agency will help us to open up this translation process and scaling between local and universal knowledge. Most importantly it makes visible the different forms of resistance, which stem from the farming practices themselves. In the end, I will discuss the challenges this way of conceptualising agency poses for the development of agri-environmental management and policy.




Wind Farms and Natures in Rural Development: A Scottish case study

Arnar Árnason1, Jo Lee1, Ronald Macintyre1, Andrea Nightingale2 and Mark Shucksmith1

1Arkleton Centre for Rural Development Research, University of Aberdeen, UK

2School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, UK



This paper presents an account of the contrasting visions of nature that have emerged in a particular rural Scottish locality where a wind farm is being developed. Wind farms are becoming a key part of both energy policy and rural development, and yet are also sites of contestation over the meaning and value of nature. Anti-wind farm campaigners often use arguments centred on the importance of untouched and pure nature in rural landscapes, while pro- campaigners can refer to the ecological soundness of renewable energy and the production of ‘nature’ itself as that energy. Cross cutting these debates, however, is a political economy context of global capitalist exploitation of rural areas and people, and the efforts of rural communities to secure benefits of ‘development’. To understand these arguments we discuss how ‘nature’ is not a pre-existing physical context, but rather is a term that can be used to value certain aspects of our surroundings and ourselves (or environment and personhood). Whilst subscribing to a broadly social constructionist position, therefore, we emphasise the importance of the production of meaning through relationships with the environment. We end by outlining a research agenda that will examine the social impacts and possibilities of renewable energy projects in European rural areas.


Alaska-Husky-drivers, hunters, environmental managers and local traditionalists.

Conflicts about outfield management in relation to social and political change in a rural area in Norway.

Frode Gundersen, Institute for Economics and Social Science Agricultural University of Ås Norway and Tor Arne Benjaminsen, NORAGRIC, Agricultural University of Ås, Norway.

E-mail :

The paper will discuss how relative new type activities in the outfield in a typical rural community by newcomers affects the cultural, social and political activity in a rural community. The paper will present a case study of a discourse in the municipality of Gausdal in Southern Norway about the impact on Alaska-Husky dog sledge activity in a state common for the moose population in the region. The municipal and regional authorities responsible for the management of the outfields regard the issue as not very difficult to handle. But this issue have dominated and in periods paralysed both the municipal authorities and the activity in the local political party organisations for the last 20 years. The municipal authorities, the regional environmental authorities, the wild-life managers, local political parties present the issue as a bizarre conflict but these actors are not able to reduce the tensions between the opposing actors.

The conflict can partly be interpreted as a conflict between modern newcomers that partly live "outside" the local society and partly have been active as innovators and entrepreneurs for new type of sports and commercial use of the outfields of the community. The opponents are mainly two groups; the first group are representatives of an established agricultural elite which are sceptical to the newcomers and their new activities in the outfield. Their position is a claim or invention of tradition. The other group are the moose and small-game hunters and their local organisations. They are against the dog-drivers because the impact for the moose populations but they are also sceptical to the new competing activity which represents another culture. The authorities have a neutral attitude to the to groups and have wanted to solve the conflict. Then as a result some of the central officials also have been taken into the conflict. The dramatic character of the issue must be seen in the light of the decline of the established formal organisation in the community especially the local political parties. The conflict has mobilised groups and networks that have been on the outside of political parties and formal organisation. The question has been connected to other issues than Alaska-husky dog sledge activities and wildlife management. The paper will first present the arguments from the different groups involved in discourse in the last 20the years. The paper will second present the social characteristics of the actors and their relations to different established formal organisations and political parties in the community. Third, the paper will relate the conflict in Gausdal to the invention of tradition, the introduction of new recreation activities, new strategies of environmental and the fragmentation and weakening of the role of formal organisation and political parties in the rural society.


Nature as eco-spectacle: whale-watching and swimming with dolphins in New Zealand.

Paul Cloke, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol, UK and Harvey Perkins, Department of Geography, Lincoln University, New Zealand


This paper argues that the non-human agency of animals can be a significant co-constituent in the formation and performance of places. Using research undertaken in Kaikoura, New Zealand, the touristic practices of watching whales and swimming with dolphins are considered as a staged and performed spectacle of nature in which the experiences of tourists depend on "special" encounters with animals, even those these encounters are highly commodified. In this context, the production and consumption of spectacular nature relies heavily on a co-incidence between the specific performance of cetaceans and the anticipatory images and expectations which have already been consumed.


Abstract for the working group 3.2. "Social natures in the European Countryside"

Convenors: Paul Milbourne; Terry Marsden



XXth Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology

"Work, Leisure and Development in Rural Europe Today",

18-22 August, 2003, Sligo, Ireland

Abstract for the working group 3.2. "Social natures in the European Countryside"

Convenors: Paul Milbourne; Terry Marsden



Minna Kaljonen

Finnish Environment Institute, Research Programme for Environmental Policy

(Ph.D. student: University of Tampere)

P.O.Box 140

00251 Helsinki


tel. +358 - (0)9 - 40300396


Co-construction of Agency and AAgri-environmental mManagementanagement

Minna Kaljonen1

"The principle of agri-environmental policy is fine, if it only had more common sense and flexibility." This argument was put forward by the many South Ostrobothnian farmers from Western Finland, that I interviewed for my study on the implementation of agri-environmental policy. The critic concerns some very practical problems of following the codes of good agricultural practice at the farm. At the same time, it is also social action that defines farmers’ position in the field of agri-environmental policy. In this paper I will look more closely on these ifs and buts and analyse how different forms of knowledge have become relevant stakes in the politics of agri-environmental management. I suggest that the notion of co-construction of agency will help us to open up this translation process and scaling between local and universal knowledge. Most importantly it makes visible the different forms of resistance, which stem from the farming practices themselves. In the end, I will discuss the challenges this way of conceptualising agency poses for the development of agri-environmental management and policy.

The finding of agriculture’s impacts on the eutrophication of Finnish lakes or Baltic Sea is produced in a certain context by certain scientific communities that have their own validation criteria. For this finding to create any action, it must circulate into other places. If this general assertion is to affect agricultural practices, it must be backed by knowledge about locally varying natural conditions and then transformed into statements about agriculture’s impact on these conditions. At the same time, however, it will have to adapt to the social conditions of farming and tie in with the fertilisation methods. A successful agri-environmental management has to be capable of dealing with this hybrid of social and ecological elements.

1 Correspondence:

Finnish Environment Institute, Research Programme for Environmental Policy

(Ph.D. student: University of Tampere)

P.O. Box 140

00251 Helsinki


tel. +358 - (0)9 - 40300396In this paper I will analyse how the agri-environmental management practices are co-constructed in the implementation of agri-environmental policy. The focus is on the ways in which the different forms of knowledge are used for elaboration of different forms of resistance.

The farmers "The principle of agri-environmental policy is fine, if it only had more common sense"

"I’m sure farmers don’t have anything against sensible environmental regulations, but all the potter around the detailed regulations is vain and irritating"

The notion of co-construction of agency will provide fruitful methodological framework for analysing this translation process further.

tarkastella kuinka erilaisia tiedon lajeja käytetään resurssina vastustaa tai uudelleen muotoilla muualla – ympäristötuen takaisissa verkostoissa - määriteltyä toimijuutta/identiteettiä.

I will also analyse how agency is a co-constructed in the implementation of agri-environmental policy.

The analysis is based on a case study from South Ostrobothnia from the Western Finland.

Keskustellessani viljelijöiden kanssa maatalouden ympäristöpolitiikasta, he tuovat kerta toisensa jälkeen esiin, että ympäristöpolitiikan "in principle agri-environmental policy is fine, if there only was more common sense". Tai he sanovat: "ei viljelijöillä varmaan järkeviä säädöksiä vastaan mitään ole, mutta semmonen turhanaikanen nyysääminen kyllä tökkäsöö". Tämä kritiikki koskettaa hyvinkin konkreettisia käytännön ongelmia. Samalla se on myös sosiaalista toimintaa, joka määrittää viljelijöiden asemaa maatalouden ympäristöpolitiikan kentällä. Tässä alustuksessa tavoitteenani on avata maatalouden ympäristönhoidon ja –politiikan välistä jännitettä sekä etsiä analyyttisiä apuvälineitä toimijuuden tarkasteluun. Olen hakenut virikkeitä ns. toimija-verkkoteoriasta, joka tarjoaa mahdollisuuden määritellä toimijuuden avoimesti ja tapauskohtaisesti. Samalla se avaa silmät tieteen ja teknologian rooliin valtasuhteiden muodostumisessa.

The diminishing of environmental impacts is taken out of the context of a farm and turned into a contest over agro-technical details. In this manner language, and knowledge, is reserved to a certain group of experts, excluding the other ways of knowing. Environmental policy is creating an intensifying cycle of dependency (Wynne 1996).

Malgorzata Marks

University of Lodz

Paper proposed for WG 3.3: Rural areas – new sites of consumption?

Conditions of rural tourism development on the example of suburban community


Village becomes more and more attractive place of rest and recreation. Both less rich people and richer ones using more diversified offer are interested in rural tourism. Reduction of vacation brake and lengthen of work time tendency is conductive to organise short one or two days trips to area situated near the permanent residence. That is why growing demand for rural tourism becomes the impulse to create new function of rural areas – tourist function. For many local self – governments tourism can be the source of profits. Apart from economic aspect (growth of community budget and household income) provides also social-cultural profits. Having the contact with tourists, local community is activated to enterprising activities. Direct contact with tourists can have the influence on the change of attitudes and behaviours and also the way of perception and attitude to their own place of living sown as an attractive one (since attracts tourists) healthy (ecologically pure) or bringing calculable financial profits. Tourism development in the village can also activate demand for souvenir handicrafts and cultural entertainment, what leads to maintaining and consolidating rural tradition and local identity.

In spite of big demand and consciousness for profits not every community sees the change of tourism development or does not want to develop it for other reasons on its area.

The basic aim of this paper is to answer the question what influence the success of development of tourist function in rural community area.

On the authority of investigation made in 2002 realised in suburban community situated in central Poland I point at 5 in my opinion the most important factors which condition the development of rural tourism. These are 1. Attractiveness of natural environment conditions. 2. Local government interest in the direction of this development.
3. Acceptance and engagement of inhabitants. 4. Proper level of tourist demand and information about community offer. 5. Proper preparation of tourist base.

Proposition for Working group 3.3: Rural areas – new sites of consumption?

Annabelle Morel-Brochet and Nicole Mathieu

Rethinking rural areas as inhabited sites and places: mobility, multiresidence and sustainable rurality

Pursuing the COST Action 12 on Rural Innovation and the Budapest declaration, the proposed paper will focus on the new processes acting in rural areas linked with the extension of an "anti-urban" representation among population living as well in towns and countryside. Rural areas are seen as valuable places because of "natural" and "social" properties which give them a superior quality of life. A new model for inhabitance is emerging conciliating rural amenities with urban’ through the possession of two homes (in the centre of a big town and in the countryside) and a mobile way of life adjusting the place of living (in space and time) with pleasure and dreamed quality of life. Though rural areas are conceived as "disagrarised" spaces the model enhances an "agrarian" style life where the "house" equipped with Internet becomes both a place for working and living. This has a consequence on the spatial modes of consumption, and leads to the question of their compatibility with sustainable development. Through the analysis of two periurban areas case studies (Vexin Français and Pays de Caux) this paper will give some answers to the question: rural areas – new sites of consumption? facing the sustainable "human habitat" challenge.


Andrzej Pilichowski

University of Lodz



Paper prepared for WG 3.3: Rural areas – new sites of consumption?


New actors of socially constructed rural space


In the paper the new issues of socially constructed rural space are taking into consideration.

The stress is lay on socio-cultural perspective, i.e. – place has a value and characterize by specific kinds of human activity. Space is understand as integral component of social structure and action.

The example of study group – new habitants (newcomers) of rural regions in central region of Poland, author wish to give an answer on reasons of their choices and to show the significance to this kind of space. The hypothesis are under verification: economic and socio-cultural (with a special inside on ecological issue).

According to the author particulary fruitfull might become socio-cultural interpretations of rural space organised around the sociology of consumption.

Village space and appropriation conflicts in Panormo: The consumption of littoral areas

Paper proposed for the

XXth Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology

Woking group 3.3 : Rural areas – new sites of consumption?


The demographic, economic and social upturn presented in many rural areas in Greece during these last few years lines up with the wider turn taken by modern society towards rural areas. To this ‘return’ to the countryside contribute the increasing unemployment and deterioration of the quality of life in big cities, in contrast with the promotion of the assets and ‘endowments’ attributed to rural areas. Research of country side’s entertaining, environmental, residential, cultural, ecological and other qualities is growing on modern man, who is more and more seeking, discovering, consuming, and investing in the assets of rural.

We could therefore be speaking about a change of the way in which modern society perceives and estimates the countryside. As part of these needs, new roles and functions seem to be designated to rural areas. Modern country side becomes more and more of a place ‘utilised’ and ‘consumed’ by city dwellers, a phenomenon especially observable in Greece, where distances are relatively small and relations between citizens who live in another municipality and their village of origin somehow remain vivid. In general, diffusion of people and places in Greece is manifested more intensively than in other European countries.

The various expectations/demands of modern country side ‘users’ indicate the several ways in which these actors are identified to the village, appropriate its space and affect, in a direct or indirect manner, its development profile. In this manner, Panormo, a littoral village situated in northern Crete, becomes the theatre of multiple interests, investments and various expectations. Its case will help us highlight the way in which the different expectations concerning its ‘use’ or ‘consumption’, as manifested by different groups of villagers - permanent or temporary dwellers, investors whether they are natives who live elsewhere or outsiders, younger or elders – suggest, through the oppositions and actions of these groups, the evolution and functions of this particular rural area.


New DEMANDS and consumptions of rural areas

Consequences in terms of Rural Development

Sandra Valente and Elisabete Figueiredo

In recent years, the rural areas in Portugal have become increasingly recognised, including by public institutions, as an important cultural and environmental resource for modern society instead of as a backward backyard of the urban areas. A special aspect of this tendency is the increased demand among the urban populations for rural areas. In the case of Portugal, this increased demand is of particular relevance for rural development policies and plans, since it has considerable potential for revitalisation of the many areas that have undergone and are still undergoing considerable out-migration and land abandonment. On the other hand, the demands of urban dwellers may be not be compatible with the existing and projected utilization of the rural zones, leading to conflicts between residents and visitors and imposing serious constraints on the aforesaid revitalisation prospects.

The present work concerns the Serra da Freita, a remote mountain complex in central Portugal. The existing demographic indicators reveal a clear tendency of a declining and ageing resident population. A pronounced lack of local facilities and services is accompanied by a vast cultural heritage and a landscape of outstanding beauty, i.e. the main attractions to the visitors. This study investigates the differences that exist between the resident population of the Serra da Freita and its visitors in terms of their perceptions, representations and needs regarding rural development as well as environment.

The main conclusions of the 200 questionnaires and 9 interviews that were carried out, are as follows.

The motives for visiting the Serra da Freita relate, first and foremost, to the area’s particular cultural and environmental characteristics.

The residents and the visitors have widely different views on the socio-economic development of the area. The former emphasise the need for economic growth, with a special focus on the creation of employment and services, whereas the latter highlight the need to maintain the cultural and natural values of the Serra da Freita as well as to create facilities for tourism.

Although we fully recognise the importance of the new, environment and entertainment functions of the rural areas in the modern Portuguese society, we firmly believe that it is urgent to give due importance to the resident population and its legitimate needs in rural development policies and plans - if only, because an adequate management and conservation of the rural areas is unthinkable without the collaboration and involvement of the resident populations.

20th Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology

(Sligo, Ireland, 18-22nd August 2003)


Working Group 3.4 Geographies of Work and Employment in Rural Europe

Convenors: Judit Timár and Caitríona Ní Laoire



The winners and losers on Estonian post- decollectivisation countryside

Ilkka Alanen

Academy Research fellow, Academy of Finland/University of Jyväskylä, Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy/Institute for Sociology, P.O. Box 35 (MAB)FIN-40351 Jyväskylä, FINLAND

Telephone +358 14 602931, Telefax +358 14 602921, E-mail:

The employees of former collective farms may be broken down into three rough categories: 1) the management, 2) the Soviet middle-class and 3) "the rest." The management consisted primarily of the key officials based at the farm headquarters, as well as the managers of the various production units. The Soviet middle class was divided in two groups: highly educated workers (with college or secondary education) and skilled workers (elite workers). The category of "the rest" mainly consisted of less educated people, but it also included other groups of workers marginalised for a variety of different reasons (such as chronic illnesses, single parenthood or alcoholism). A characteristic feature shared by all members of this category was the low wage level. Estonian Workforce Surveys indicate that the preferential status of the elite workers declined rapidly after decollectivisation. However, the most decisive factor with regard to the immediate coping of the people was the success or failure of the new production unit established after decollectivisation. The influence of other factors, such as age, education or gender, only explain the different degrees of coping in the long term, as well as the incidence of long-term unemployment and impoverisment.


Masculinity and rurality at play in stories about hunting

Linda Marie Bye

Department of Geography, Norwegian University for Science and Technology, 7491 Trondheim, Norway, e-mail:

Hunting has essentially been a place dominated by rural men. In resent years it has however become more popular among urban men as well as women. Wildlife activities like hunting and fishing are also prime sites for construction of gendered and spatial meanings. The paper focuses on how competing masculinities and ruralities come at play in young rural men’s stories about hunting, and how young rural men construct place- and gender identities. Especially it brings into focus to possess that are challenging "the traditional rural masculinity" by looking at commercialising and rural girls interest in hunting. The study shows how different masculinities and ruralities are performed in use of we/us and they/those as descriptive and analytical conceptions, and argues that gendered practice are directly involved in social practise, simultaneous as social practices are constructing and reconstructing our understanding of gender. The paper uncovers the interactions between "the masculine" and "the rural" in relation to "the urban" and "the feminine". It shows how "the traditional rural masculinity" is reconstructed in meeting with urban men, and how gendered places becomes relevant in meeting with female hunters. The paper is based on individual interviews with young male hunters brought up and settled in a forest community in the middle of Norway.

Rural communities, skills and the new rural economy

Graham Day and David Jones

University of Wales Bangor

The transformations which have been taking place in many rural areas make it increasingly difficult to know what we mean by the rural economy. The previous dominance of traditional land-based industries has been replaced by a far more diverse, and unintegrated, combination of activities, which require new kinds of skills and competencies. In this paper we will consider some of the implications of efforts to match the need for skills among new rural employers with the capacities and experiences of the rural population, using evidence from north-west Wales, where it has been argued that the economic change and diversification which has occurred in this region has not necessarily enabled the established workforce to seize new opportunities, because they lack the requisite skills and experience. The mismatch between skills and opportunities contributes to a pattern of population movement into and out of the area which has destabilised local communities, and produced a number of important social and political effects. The difficulties are greatest in the most remote rural districts. Various agencies are attempting to improve the fit between skills and opportunities, as a means of assisting rural recovery and regeneration, but there are important questions which need to be resolved about the meaning of the new rural economy, its links with prevailing notions of rurality, and the goals of rural regeneration.


"You know them and they know you": the doctor-patient relationship and work in Scottish rural communities

Dr Jane Farmer1, Mrs Lisa Iversen2, Ms Clare Guest1, Dr Neil Campbell2, Dr George Deans2, Dr John MacDonald3

Department of Management Studies, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK

Department of General Practice & Primary Care, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen. UK

3. High Vennel Surgery, Wigtown, UK.

Health services researchers and health geographers have explored work from the viewpoint of rural health professionals, concluding it is ‘like living in a goldfish bowl’ with high on-call commitments and professional isolation. This study set out to compare patients’ decision-making in rural and urban areas because evidence showed they manifested differing patterns of health care demand. In so doing, evidence has emerged about rural patients’ ‘relationships’ with health professionals, principally their GPs. Findings reveal insights into the impact of rural professional’s work at a time of great demographic change and ‘service redesign’. In 2001, a random sample of 330 male and female patients of eight Scottish rural and urban general practices was selected and invited to participate in the study. Of 117 (34%) positive responses, 27 participants took part in four focus groups and 51 interviews were held. Vignettes, describing symptoms around heart disease and cancer formed the basis for discussion. Participants were asked to describe their decision-making process and intended actions in response to the vignettes. Rural participants’ discourses often revealed a rich knowledge of local GPs and their circumstances. Different reactions to the GP as a professional and a community member were noted. Narratives of ‘shared experiences’ involving participants and GP in situations such as farming accidents showed how participants developed a ‘picture’ of their GP’s ‘character’. Participants conveyed perceptions of ‘acceptable’ and ‘unacceptable’ behaviour. In contrast, urban participants’ discourses often portrayed ‘detached’ or ‘consumerist’ attitudes. Overall, findings seem indicative of ‘embedded’ relationships, with their consequent positive and negative features, between patients and GPs in rural areas. Findings validate studies of health professionals’ views, highlighting the pressurising aspects of rural work, while at the same time indicating the apparently influential role that individual professionals can still have in rural areas due to relative isolation from other services.


Let's create jobs - but for whom? Conditions of local employment development in a Hungarian backward rural region

Éva G. Fekete

Department of Miskolc, Centre for Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences,

One of the most serious problems of the backward rural regions is unemployment. Rural development aims to create jobs. The Cserehát region which is home of 80 thousand people, suffers from unemployment of more than 25 per cent. Job making is the most important goal in this region and the EU is ready to support it. In spite of this harmony between the local and the EU objectives, implementation in practice is far from being efficient. First of all, when there are some jobs available, there is no employee to fill up vacancy. What are the reasons? Are these new jobs not fit to local conditions or do people not want to work? Both of these possibilities can be true and neither of them. A survey conducted in 2002 helped to recognise that the meaning of job changed and the value system and the culture of backward rural areas played important role in forming attitudes to jobs. There is a gap between post-modern possibilities of nature-related regions and modern meaning of jobs. According to the survey, young people living in the Cserehát region wish to have urban-type jobs, but young urban people of higher education seem to be interested in living and working in the Cserehát. Alternative employment techniques as self-employment, part-time job, multi-functional job etc. are unknown and, as a result of it, not required by local residents. After outlining the main results of this research


The role of informal networks in the development of entrepreneurship

in Greek rural areas

Dimitrios Goussios and Marilena Ioannidou

1. Ass. Professor, University of Thessaly, Department of Planning & Regional Development.

Rural Space Laboratory Director. Email: Tel. ++30 24210 74463/4

2. Phd Candidate. University of Thessaly, Department of Planning & Regional Development.


Small sized geographical units - polarized around a small town- have exhibited a real economic potential during the last decades in the greek countryside. This potential is mainly based on a) the agricultural business modernisation on a family scale; b) the rural income stabilization supported by CAP c) the increase of multi-activity of farmers and rural household members and by consequence the stabilization of rural population. Under these circumstances a large number of rural households, in these areas, are characterized by the reduction of working hours in agricultural activities and the availability of a small capital for possible investments.

These factors have created more favourable conditions for the increase of differentiation of local economies and employment within spatial systems of small towns in the greek countryside. Such differentiation is mainly observed during the last decade, with the enlargement of entrepreneurial initiatives in the secondary and tertiary sectors.

This paper is based on research on entrepreneurs in the rural area of the small town of Farsala at the region of Thessaly. It investigates the transformation of the socio-cultural relations to informal networks of economic cooperation among rural businessmen. It evaluates the potential of these informal networks to overcome the institutional and organizational inefficiencies observed in the rural areas as it concerns the entrepreneurship’s support. In addition, examines the informal procedures and methods that follow entrepreneurs in such areas, in comparison to the official methods and procedures, planed and proposed to small/medium enterprises by political authorities and policies.


Lone parenthood and paid work: tales from two rural English Counties

Dr Annie Hughes and Dr Corinne Nativel (Kingston University)

School of Earth Sciences and Geography, Kingston University, Penrhyn RD, Kingston upon Thames, KT1 2EE. ( or Tel. 020 –85472000.

This paper presents some initial findings from an ESRC funded project entitled ‘Lone Parents and Paid Work: case-studies from rural England’. This research was conducted in two rural case-study areas; Somerset and Cumbria. It involved the completion of two hundred questionnaires by lone parents living in these areas and sixty in-depth interviews with policymakers, interested professionals and lone parents.

The research is premised on the recognition of a three-fold gap in the literature. Firstly the existing sociological work on the dual role of mother-worker has consistently failed (with the exception of international comparisons) to explore the spatiality of lone parenthood or how it is enmeshed in local patterns of socio-economic and cultural organisation. Secondly, the majority of literature which has explored local labour market disadvantage amongst lone parents (and other disadvantaged groups) has focused almost exclusively on urban areas. Thirdly, the modest work which has dealt with rural labour market disadvantage remains rather generalised and essentially predicated upon the lack of access to public services, transport and technology.

This paper explores the complex relationships between lone parents and paid work, revealing the myriad ways in which rural lone parents engage with the labour market. In particular, it examines the diverse labour market experiences of lone parents and identifies the multitude of factors which contribute to their varying levels of participation in the rural labour market. As such, the research evaluates the particular difficulties rural areas present when combining employment with the sole care of children. In addition it uncovers the diverse, often diverging interconnectivities between social welfare, wellbeing and participation in paid work amongst rural lone parents.

In so doing, this paper deconstructs the social (and somewhat hackneyed) category ‘single parent’, in turn emphasising its internal complexities and multiple positionings.

Livelihoods, insecurity and the European countryside

Benedikt Korf* and Elizabeth Oughton**

*Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Contact:

**University of Durham (Contact:

The new paradigm of multidimensional rural development needs to reflect its broadness in the methodology of social scientific research. In this paper, we apply two analytical concepts that have been widely used for rural development studies in less developed countries, for research on the geographies of work and employment in the European countryside: Using Sen's livelihood capabilities approach and Chambers' concept of participatory rural appraisal (PRA), we introduce two case studies on livelihoods and insecurity in rural Europe. Both approaches are qualitative in nature and address people's survival strategies and livelihood practices with a focus on micro-level analysis at individual, household and community level while reflecting their embeddedness in wider social, political and economic structures.

In our first case study from rural England, the central analytical component is the individual within the household. We investigate the life histories of micro businesses, their livelihood insecurities, their embeddedness in the household economies and unveil the myth of Schumpeter's dynamic entrepreneur. The second case studies the social structures of a village in a high intensity farming site in rural Germany and analyzes the social position of the farm household within the village community. Our observations reveal a gradual process of social and political alienation of farm families from the wider community as the majority of households is not involved in farming anymore. Both case studies indicate that popular perceptions about social structures and the role particular actors play within these might be partially misleading. The two analytical approaches advocated in this paper are useful in unveiling such myths, because they study the perceptions, capabilities and livelihood opportunities of people as a focus of analysis.


Rural gender identities and new geographies of employment

Jo Little (University of Exeter) and Carol Morris (University of Gloucestershire)

This paper examines the changing nature of rural women’s employment. Drawing on recent data collected in the UK, the paper updates our knowledge of women’s involvement in the rural labour market in the context of wider trends in the feminization of employment and the restructuring of the rural economy. Specifically, the paper considers how some rural areas are starting to display much higher levels of employment amongst rural women and a greater diversity of employment opportunities. It also argues that, within such trends, local variations in women’s employment are becoming increasingly apparent with some areas recording much lower rates of labour market participation and relatively poor conditions of work and pay. In seeking to explain these changes the paper argues that we need to look beyond the detail of the labour market itself in a broader consideration of constructions of rural femininity. The research demonstrated the emergence of diverse and fractured versions of rural femininity in the context of paid work and suggested that variations in the involvement of rural women in the labour market were partly a result of the ways in which rural feminine identities were negotiated, contested and performed within the home, community and workplace.


Being a young farmer in contemporary Ireland: geographies of farm work, tradition and economic survival

Dr. Caitríona Ní Laoire

National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis, NUI Maynooth, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland. Email:

Agricultural restructuring processes in Ireland during the past twenty years have involved processes of rationalisation of labour, expansion of holdings and concentration of production. As these processes persist into the 21st century, many farmers struggle to maintain the viability of their holdings. While there is an economic imperative to expand or go out of production, there is, simultaneously, great socio-cultural importance attached to 'staying on the land'. This paper explores some of the tensions between these economic and socio-cultural pressures in the lives of young farmers. The paper draws on in-depth interviews with young farmers in different types of farming regions across Ireland. Firstly, the competing economic and socio-cultural pressures are explored, and secondly, the ways in which these tensions are reconciled, or not, in young farmers' lives, are discussed. The impact of these competing pressures and the strategies adopted for coping with them, vary according to household circumstances and local and regional factors. The geographies of farm work and farm survival that are produced by these interactions are explored in this paper.


Different meanings of rural work at the scale of the household in Hungary

Judit Timár

Békéscsaba Department, Centre for Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Email:

As a result of new capitalism and uneven development some Hungarian rural areas have to face all the problems of growing backwardness: from collapsing local economy through high unemployment to decreasing living standards.

Hungarian human geographers have been paying increasing attention to understanding the changing nature and causes of spatial inequalities and rural underdevelopment at the national, regional and local scale. Households represent a missing scale in the – mainly empirical – studies. Even in international literature, the theorisation of the geographical scale started to address the processes of social reproduction and consumption and, in connection with it, the relevance of household as a scale only in the past years.

This paper, adopting the critical concepts of the production of scale and that of space, seeks to reveal interrelationships between changing rural household strategies and gendered work in the context of regional inequalities. The most important results of the empirical study carried out in six villages in two border regions on different levels of development can be summed up as follows:

Extra work (paid employment, self-employment?) has become the most important means of household surviving strategies but it reproduces gender inequalities of social reproduction in rural areas.

Regional inequalities produced by a capitalist mode of production are reproduced at the scale of the household.


Behavioral and attitudinal characteristics of the rural unemployed in Russia during the transition

Stephen K. Wegren

Department of Political Science, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275-0117,

During Russia’s transition from a command to a market economy, a contraction in rural employment occurred within the context of a general contraction in employment in the Russian economy at large. However, the increase in rural unemployment outstripped national unemployment. While total employment in the national economy decreased about 11% during 1992-2000, the total number of persons employed in agriculture declined from 10.1 million in 1992 to 8.4 million persons in 2000, a decrease of more than 17%.

This paper is motivated by the fact that while a large amount of attention has been given to socio-economic consequences of the market transition and Russia's unemployment problem in general, absent in the scholarly literature are detailed analyses about the rural unemployed. This paper fills that void and furthers our understanding of the attitudes and behaviors of rural households which have an unemployed member. The paper is organized around two main questions: how have the rural unemployed fared during reform; and how have the rural unemployed adapted during reform? Using survey data from 800 rural households in five different Russian regions, the paper investigates behavioral responses of households with an unemployed member, organized around three subject areas.

The first part of the paper looks at the utilization of the land market and the use of land. It is hypothesized that households with an unemployed member will utilize the land market to increase the household plot since food production from that plot accounts for a large percentage of household non-monetary income.

A second section of the paper concerns household food production. It is hypothesized that households with 'surplus labor capacity,' (at least one unemployed person), would produce more food than households in which all of the adults are employed and therefore have greater time constraints.

The third section of the paper uses the individual as the unit of analysis to compare levels of satisfaction, sources of economic assistance, and different forms of participation between the employed and unemployed. It is hypothesized that unemployed persons will be less happy and less participatory than employed persons.

To the extent that the three hypotheses are disconfirmed, explanations will be provided to explain these findings.

The Conclusion sets forth some general explanations about the link between rural unemployment and rural poverty in Russia.


Changing working conditions in forestry, connected to rural areas in Germany/Central Europe and their impact on gender labor possibilities

Eva Wonneberger

Wald Institute

Fundamental structural transformations are changing the working and living conditions in rural areas. Forestry was Part of the traditional structures in Rural Areas and was mainly a Male-dominated Sector. Nowadays Forestry becomes more an enterprise than a territory administration with power representations as it was in former days. On the other hand meanwhile Society asks für recreation and Nature conservation more than ever in our Country which is very densely populated.

Also the changes in forestry and the underlying changing working conditions in the public and private sector require new considerations and taking the implications into conscious account.

There are old unqualified jobs in forestry diminishing, new working fields for forestry contractors emerging and new tasks around certification, evaluation, teaching, guiding and environmental questions and this means traditional fields of activity in agriculture and forestry are changing.

Working places in rural areas


Working places around Wood-


Working places in Forestry

New working fields in educating people - Youngsters and elderly – about Nature, Ecology and ressources of woods become more important and also there are different possibilties of organising these jobs in private working conditions or public admistrations.

The development of new and the preservation of existing employment potentials become political issues and the gender question is one part in it.

Different scenarios shall be thought of: one would be the way of changing forestry into an issue of globalisation which gives the wood prices for the sector the main influence. The other possibility would be the reintegration of local wood-production in regional economy. Both ways shall be looked at on their impact on working conditions and possibilities of women.

The question to ask for, when we look at working condition, new jobs and gender equality will also be, how is the quality of these new jobs in the sense of compatibility with family live and care orientation of women. This shall be discussed from a critical female approach.

20th Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology

Institute of Technology, Sligo, Ireland

18-22 August 2003

Working Group 4.1 Demographic Change and Rural Restructuring

Convenor: Mary Cawley, Department of Geography, National University of Ireland, Galway, GALWAY, Ireland. E-mail:; tel. –353-91-512147



PaperTitle: The Impacts of In-migration in Rural England

Authors: Aileen Stockdale (University of Aberdeen) and Allan Findlay (University of Dundee).

Abstract: This paper examines the demographic and economic impacts associated with the repopulation of rural England. It incorporates data from a household survey and qualitative interviews. It is argued that the changes affecting rural England are not solely caused by in-migration, but that in-migration itself is a product of national and global advancement. An assessment of migration impacts therefore needs to be viewed within the context of rural restructuring – a view which is taken in this analysis. Using this approach it is concluded that in-migration generates considerable job creation potential, that housing affordable to ‘locals’ represents a significant issue, and migrants become actively involved in local community events. Unfortunately, decision-makers and residents alike possess stereotypical images about migration that are not always conducive to maximising development opportunities or minimising actual threats.

Paper Title: Demographic change in rural areas under urban pressure in Valencia (Spain)

Authors: Javier Esparcia, Maria D. Pitarch, Almudena Buciega, University of Valencia, Spain

Abstract: During the last decades the Spanish rural areas in the urban fringe are experiencing deep spatial, economic, social and cultural changes. Urban expansion is a main factor producing those changes, but this expansion and the change processes itself can have different characteristics and nature. We try to analyse some of these changes in two study areas in the region of Valencia (Spain), taking into account the temporal perspective of the last three decades. We choose one "rural" area clearly dominated by a metropolitan urban pressure (Metropolitan Area of Valencia), in which new "demands" and "functions" are related mainly to industrial and commercial new locations and residential development too; all of this is having a very clear and deep impact in the demographic structure, but also in the traditional land-use and the composition of active population.

The second study area we choose is dominated by the newcomers linked to tourism and second homes owned mainly by retired people coming from central and northern Europe (Marina Alta, North of Alicante). Here again traditional agricultural bases of the rural economy changed deeply with these new functions. To analyse this apparently high impact on the structure and composition of the demographic structure in these traditional small rural communities, as well as those changes in the traditional rural economic structure, are the main objectives in this study area.


Titre du communication: L’accueil de nouvelles populations dans les territoires ruraux éloignés des influences urbaines

Auteur: Jean-François MAMDY, Professeur, E.N.I.T.A. de Clermont-Ferrand, Département « Territoire et Société »

Résumé: La communication s’appuie sur une recherche initiée depuis déjà cinq ans sur l’accueil de nouvelles populations dans les territoires ruraux éloignés des influences urbaines. Le constat de départ est l’arrivée significative de nouvelles populations dans le Massif central, un vaste espace rural enclavé de moyennes montagnes, peu urbanisé, faiblement peuplé et marqué par une agriculture omniprésente. Le phénomène récent d’immigration rompt avec les tendances du passé : exode rural, dépopulation, déclin économique. Le repeuplement n’est cependant pas général, certains territoires continuent de perdre leurs forces vives. L’objet de la communication est l’analyse plus qualitative que quantitative des flux d’arrivants : on tente de comprendre leurs projets, leurs trajectoires, leurs attentes. On s’intéresse également aux territoires qui souvent par réaction se positionnent et agissent parfois en développant des politiques d’accueil.

La première partie de l’exposé traite des nouveaux arrivants, les classifie en catégories par analyse descriptive, les regroupe en grands profils et tente de les caractériser.

La deuxième partie s’efforce d’éclairer la logique des acteurs en analysant les motivations, les trajectoires sociales, les comportements et les choix, les attentes. Des clés de lecture par type de profil, trajectoire, lien au territoire, permettent de dégager des régularités et des différenciations.

La troisième partie est tournée vers les territoires, leurs acteurs, leurs stratégies. L’analyse des politiques d’accueil territorial montre une grande diversité de configurations : des territoires attractifs, d’autres pas, des territoires actifs et déterminés, d’autres réticents. Cependant un diagnostic de l’accueil territorial invite à la réserve. L’accueil n’est généralement pas perçu comme une priorité, les populations sont souvent réservées, voire réticentes. Les actions collectives favorables aux nouveaux arrivants (habitat, économie, services…) ne sont pas toujours conçues pour eux, mais pour les autochtones. Les territoires recherchent de préférence les créateurs d’activités et les résidents aisés plutôt que les populations en difficulté…

L’intérêt de la question est lié à son actualité (l’importance croissante des mobilités professionnelles et géographiques), au décalage souvent important entre le discours dominant médiatisé du retour à la campagne et les réalités locales, le mouvement volontariste des institutions d’appui et d’accompagnement des partants urbains et les attentes réelles ou imaginaires des populations aspirant à changer de vie.

Paper title: The interdependence between social and demographic change in the Hungarian Rural Space

Authors: Bálint Koós, Katalin Kovács and Monika Váradi

Department for Regional Development Research, Centre for Regional Studies, HAS, 1385 Budapest 62. Pf. 833. Hungary. Tel: 36-1-413-6066, Fax: 36-1-321-2574


Abstract: In the last decade, significant social and economic restructuring have been taking place in the Hungarian rural space. The most important driving forces behind these changes have been transition-related factors such as the uneven pace and consequences of the collapse of the economy and its regeneration and the intervention policies and also the abilities of the post-socialist governments unwilling and being unable to balance the effects of market forces. The impacts of these factors on different social groups, both urban and rural, inspired major domestic migration movements from urban to rural areas. Urban middle-class aspirations have resulted in a marked suburbanisation around the larger towns (particularly around the capital city of Budapest but also in the surroundings of the larger rural centres), whilst hopes towards a better livelihood motivated the urban poor when changing the location of their residence. All these processes have influenced strongly the demographic and social structure of particular rural spaces. In addition to the general picture on migration and demographic processes effecting rural areas, the paper discusses the extremes, the demographic and social restructuring of the rapidly growing Budapest conurbation zone and the tendencies taking place in a peripheral rural district of South West Hungary.


Paper title: Suburban Dublin: an investigation of civic, social and cultural life

Authors: Mary P. Corcoran, Jane Gray and Michel Peillon, National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis and Department of Sociology, National University of Ireland, Maynooth.

Abstract: Cities, neighbourhoods and communities are changing. New modes of urban living are taking shape such as the reclaiming and reshaping of inner-city neighbourhoods, the spreading of suburban estates, and the increasing concentration of commuters in peripheral towns, and in the countryside. The suburb has emerged as the dominant urban form in Ireland over the last half-century. Indeed, it can be argued that Ireland is becoming increasingly ex-urbanised, as many of these new forms of suburban living appear to be both post-rural and post-urban. We know little about life in such emergent suburban forms, and less about how those who live in these places organise their individual, familial, and civic lives. This paper will report on an ongoing research project that is investigating the texture and strength of suburban civil society in and around the city of Dublin. The methodological approach includes a standardised questionnaire survey, focus groups and life-history interviews.

Our main goal is to identify and investigate those networks that link and bond people in Dublin’s growing suburbs. This is accomplished by studying three interrelated dimensions of everyday suburban life:

· place attachment and community sentiment

· family forms and kinship networks;

· the density of associative life and the emergence of collective forms of action.

The paper will problematise the ‘post rural and post urban’ character of suburban Ireland. Our focus is on residential locales which while spatially connected to the urban core are no longer tied to the city because people who live in them do not necessarily work or socialise there. In this sense, we are seeing the emergence of a new form of rurban living that is structured through planning policy (or lack thereof), the valorisation of homeownership, the aesthetisication of " country life" and the diffusion of a consumer lifestyle.

Paper title: Investigating change in urban hinterlands

Author: Marie Mahon, Department of Geography and Environmental Change Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway

Abstract: This research has been concerned with studying the nature of change within locations on the fringe or hinterland of urban areas. That there is change taking place within such locations is apparent from patterns of population increase. What is not definitively known is the range of underlying reasons for this increase, nor how the altered population profile may be impacting upon certain dynamics and processes within such locations.

Three such locations, situated within the West of Ireland were selected for specific study in this regard. The research method was that of semi-structured household questionnaires.

This paper will present some preliminary findings for one study location in terms of socio-economic profiling of respondents; length of residence of non-indigenous population and decisions around migration to the area; the degree to which respondents are ‘linked in’ to local social structures or to those that are external to the location. It is hoped that these findings will provide an overview of how the context and conditions for change take shape within a location.


Paper title: Ageing rural society and service provision in rural Scotland

Author: Dr Lorna Philip, Lecturer, Department of Land Economy, University of Aberdeen, AB24 4HU, E-mail:

Abstract: Life expectancy has increased significantly in recent decades throughout the UK. Older people comprise a larger proportion of the population than ever before and the quality of life of older people is becoming a key policy concern in Scotland and the UK more generally. Of particular interest are the specific experiences, life circumstances and needs of older people living in rural communities. Older people living within rural communities emphasise and appreciate the qualities of rural life such as the natural environment, perceived safety, a sense of community, neighbourliness and trust, a culture of support and mutual aid, and satisfaction with rural services (Wenger, 1999; Black et al, 1994). Yet they are also reported to experience multiple disadvantages. These include loneliness, isolation, loss of insentience and restricted mobility through poor physical health, lack of private transport, and poor public transport provision, and difficulties accessing health and social services, particularly specialist caser. For many, these problems are compounded by low incomes and can result in poverty and social exclusion (Black et al,1994; Shucksmith et al, 1996).

The economic, social, demographic and structural changes undergone by rural areas over recent years have exacerbated the difficulties faced by older rural residents. This paper will draw upon recently completed research about older people’s lives in rural Scotland (Philip et al, 2003) to illustrate how rural service provision will have to adapt to the ageing of the rural population. Specific examples from the themes of housing, accessibility, health and social care and social and community lives will be provided by means of illustrating how rural services accommodate, or still need to change in order to accommodate the needs of the older population.


Black S, Chapman P, Clark G and Shucksmith M (1994) Rural Disadvantage and Older People in Scotland Department of Land Economy, University of Aberdeen.

Philip LJ, Mauthner N, Gilbert A and Phimister E (2003) Scoping Study of Older People in Rural Scotland The Scottish Executive Central Research Unit, Edinburgh.

Shucksmith M, Chapman P, Clark G with Black S and Conway E (1996) Rural Scotland Today: the best of both worlds? Avebury, Aldershot.

Wenger GC (1999) ‘Older People’ in Rural Audit: A health check on rural Britian The Rural Group of Labour MPs, London.

Paper title: Consequences of rural to urban migration. A micro-level analysis

Author: Johan Fredrik Rye, Centre for Rural Research, Norway, Universitetssenteret Dragvoll, 7491 TRONDHEIM, Norway


Telephone: + 47 73 59 89 75 / + 47 99 27 30 88


Abstract: Rural depopulation is considered a problem for rural societies, as it depletes the countryside of human capital and symbolises the decay of the rural. In this paper, however, rural to urban migration is analysed from the perspective of the rural migrants rather than the rural societies: Does rural to urban migration also represent a problem for the individual migrant in terms of the long term effects of their decision to migrate? The research question is addressed by assessing rural migrants’ long term achievement in terms of economic and cultural capital (Bourdieu 1984) compared to rural non-migrants. The longitudal approach is made possible by analysis of micro-level data from the Norwegian censuses (1960, 1970, 1980 and 1990) and with the National Migration Register. This renders it possible to trace the links between geographical and social mobility for the entire Norwegian rural year class of 1965 during a time span of thirty years (N = 8000). While previous research has concluded unambigiously - depending on data sources, methods used, and the national context for the studies - this paper suggest that rural to urban migrants in Norway end up with a higher stock of economic and cultural capital than those staying in rural areas. However, this descriptive finding may not be caused by the migration decision in itself, but also by the characteristics of the migrants.



Paper title: Rural areas seen from the perspective of out-migrated young students

Author: Agnete Wiborg, Nordland Research Institute, N-8049 Bodø, NORWAY

Tel.:+ 47 75 51 76 36 E-mail:

Abstract: The relationship between people and places and the meaning of place is changing in the context of modern society characterised by increased mobility. There is also increased emphasis on the individual related to making individual choices and construction of individual identity. This affects rural areas’ ability to attract young people. By taking interviews with students from rural areas in Norway studying in a small town in Northern Norway as the empirical point of departure, I want to discuss how the students describe their relation to their home place and how their home place is incorporated in their lives as a symbol and arena for social interaction. I also discuss how they perceive their future in relation to their home place. Their descriptions of their home place will in different ways say something about what kind of life they want to live, what possibilities and limitations they in this context associate with rural areas, and how their home place in rural areas is incorporated in their lives in different ways. The recruitment of young people with higher education to rural areas is important for rural development, therefore it is also important to understand how they think about rural areas as potential places for working, settling down and/or for other purposes like leisure and holidays. This paper intends to give a contribution to understanding one group of young people and how they perceive different aspects of a life in rural areas.


Paper title: Social and economic services in rural areas in Austria. From a comprehensive provision to withdrawal of services?

Author: Ingrid Machold, Bundesanstalt für Bergbauerfragen, Wien

Abstract: The paper is based on the assumption that living conditions in rural areas are strongly influenced by a basic supply of social and economic services at a local and regional level. Such basic supply of services include educational facilities, medical services, public transport, post offices, groceries and other facilities for "daily needs" and their easy access for all groups of population.

In Austria the supply of services in rural areas has been fairly well so far. But the discussion about a sufficient provision of services reached a new stage and only recently a series of small post offices in remote rural areas were closed. Besides economic considerations, growing mobility of great parts of the rural population and population change lead increasingly to the closure of services in many rural areas.

This paper presents first results of an ongoing research project about the development of different types and aspects of social and economic services in rural areas in Austria. Firstly it describes the regional distribution of basic services in rural areas with regard to demographic changes, secondly it sheds light on qualitative effects of a declining service provision and discusses how local people in distinct life stages react to restructuring processes, whether and how they have to reorganize their daily routines and what solutions they find (individual and collective).


Paper title: Demographic Change and Rural Restructuring in Russia from 1991 to 2001

Authors: Valeri V. Patsiorkovski , Institute for Socio-Economic Studies of Population Russian Academy of Sciences, 32 Nakhimovsky Prosp., 117218, Moscow, Russia

David J. O'Brien, Department of Rural Sociology, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO 65203 USA

Abstract: Russian government statistics show a slight increase in the rural population from 1991 to 2001. In the early 1990s the birth rate and life expectancy in the countryside declined but both of these indicators increased slightly at the end of the decade.

Our surveys during this time period (seven in all, including a four-wave panel study from 1995-1999), however, show more dramatic changes in the structure of rural households than is shown in official figures. The number of households with "employed couples without children", for example, declined by fifty percent, but the number of households with "employed couples with children under 18, with other adults" and other types of "mixed adult" households increased more than two times.

These demographic changes are indicators of Russian rural household efforts to reorganize to maximize the utility of household labor in small-scale enterprises. This restructuring is producing a new system of social stratification in the Russian countryside, which is reflected in growing differences in sources and levels of income between households, as well as differences in subjective quality of life.

In the Soviet period households had two main sources of monetary income; salary from large enterprises and transfer payments (pensions). Household production was used almost exclusively for consumption. By the end of the 1990s, households with high levels of labor became less dependent on salary income and received more income from household enterprises. In 2001 employed couples with children received 39% of their income beyond consumption from sales of household production and other types of small-scale businesses, such as construction, mechanical repairs or retail sales. The corresponding figure for households with employed couples with children and other adults was 32%. Single person households received only 12% of their income from self-employment (half of their income was from transfer payments). As a result, households with higher levels of household labor report significantly higher levels of satisfaction with individual life domains and life in general.




Paper title: Development and decline in small towns: demographic change and rural development in the West of Ireland

Author: Helen McHenry, Western Development Commission, Dillon House, Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon, Ireland.

Abstract: The weak urban structure of the west of Ireland has been well documented. There are few medium and large towns, but there are a significant number of small rural ‘market’ towns. These semi-rural towns, (with a population of between 1,500 and 5,000) are the focus of this paper. Many towns of this size in the Western Region have suffered population declines, or have failed to show significant growth even as the population of the region has become more urbanised. These towns could be considered as being in danger of ‘falling through the cracks’ between regional and rural development policies. Yet, in recent public policy, there has been an increasing focus on the relationship between towns and their rural areas and the importance of interactions between the two for the vitality and development of both (e.g. the European Spatial Development Perspective, ‘Our Countryside: the Future’ the White Paper for Rural England and the National Spatial Strategy in Ireland).

The association between weak urban structures and population decline in the west of Ireland forms a starting point for the paper. The paper briefly outlines the issues associated with population change in the west of Ireland and highlights the rural nature of the region before considering the future for smaller towns and their role in maintaining and developing their rural hinterlands. As rural economies shift from being mainly based on agriculture and natural resources to ones where industry and services are increasingly important, the potential for these places is examined and the following questions addressed. In the future can the small towns maintain their population and that of their rural hinterlands? Can they contribute to the development of their rural hinterlands, broadening their functions and diversifying the service bases? Are those that fail to experience population growth condemned to economic decline or can they find another role?

In order to answer these questions the demographic changes taking place in these towns are examined with particular reference to changes in population and age, sex and migration patterns. Case studies are used to illustrate and to understand differing patterns of development and decline among smaller towns in the region, showing how the demographics of the case study towns both reflect and respond to the changes being experienced by these towns. Key demographic and other characteristics of the towns making the more successful transition to the post agricultural economy are highlighted, as is the potential for policies such as the National Spatial Strategy in Ireland to enable small towns to remain integral parts of successful rural economies.

Paper title: Economies, demographic changes and regional development: the case of Minho, Portugal (1960-2001)

Authors: Manuel Carlos Silva, Social Sciences Institute at Minho University – Portugal (e-mail: , José Cunha Machado, Social Sciences Institute at Minho University – Portugal (e-mail:, António Cardoso, Social Sciences Institute at Minho University – Portugal (e-mail:

Abstract: Rural Minho which until the seventies was characterized by a strong presence of little agriculture, has known since then some notable transformations and restructurings, being questioned until what level the initiatives and strategies of actors at a familiar, communitarian and regional level, which have not only contributed for inverting the situation of relative privation and poverty in many cases, but also potential some regional rural development and mainly attained to improve the conditions of life and obtain greater levels of welfare.

The regional development at rural surroundings, not being disconnected of international and national context as well as of the conjunction of local familiar and communitarian strategies, depends of several factors of economic, demographic, political and cultural order. So, in a first moment, we will consider the different factors and development models. Next, we will characterize the rural development of Minho as dependent and not equal, trying to show in a comparative and specific analysis between the littoral zone and the interior zone, how the economic and demographic factors allow, in great measure, understand and explain the differentiate level of rural development at the Minho – Portugal region, as well as the occupational variation, the differentiated employment and re-affectation of natural and human resources, namely in the environmental and touristic aspect. The regional development impacts, generating some dynamic of social transformation, are felt as positive and negative according to the interests and the social representations of the actors in presence.

Nevertheless the relative persistent autonomy and the relating strategies of defensive resistance, by the rural social actors, inclusively through de pluri-activity and pluri-income, the competitiveness of the farming and cattle raising market, mainly in the Common Agricultural Politic context, the differentiate accumulation of economic capital and the social-demographic configuration of the region have forced to a restructuring of the farming and cattle raising explorations with differentiated effects by social group and by regional zone, namely between the littoral zone and the interior zone.


Paper title: Early Retirement and Setting up of Young Farmers Schemes in Greece: Evidence from a Continental and an Island LFA (Less Favored Area)

Authors: Kizos Thanasis, agricultural studies, Ph.D. environmental studies, researcher in the Laboratory of Local and Island Development, University of the Aegean, Department of Environmental Studies, Xenia Building, Mitilini 81000, email:, tel. 0030-2251036229, corresponding author.

Koutsou Stauriani, Ph.D. in agricultural studies, teaching at University of the Aegean, Department of Geography, Mitilini,

Abstract: Early Retirement and Setting up of Young Farmers Schemes aim at farmers’ renewal in quantity (increased percentage of young farmers in total farmer population) and quality (better trained and educated farmers) terms and farms’ improvement (equipment, investments, land). In agricultural sectors like the Greek one, where farmers’ population is aging and farms are not increasing in size and efficiency, farmers and farms in Less Favored Areas (LFA’s) could especially benefit from these schemes. In this paper, the implementation of the schemes’ in two Greek LFA Prefectures (NUTS-3) is examined: a continental (Kilkis) and an island one (Lesvos), in order to illustrate implementation differences and highlight weaknesses. Data for implementation until 1999 reveal that although beneficiaries’ numbers are increasing rapidly, inconsistencies with the schemes’ targets are inherent in both case studies, regarding mainly farm improvement targets, which indicates certain general inconsistencies with broader CAP targets.



Paper title: The economic and social impact of recent developments on rural and agricultural policies and institutions in Mexico

Author: Jose G. Vargas-Hernandez, School of Public Administration, Carleton University

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to explain and analyze conditions, implications and impacts that have had rural and agricultural policies and institutions in Mexico on growth and rural welfare under the framework of the neoliberal economic development model during the last sixteen years. By achieving this purpose, we also can identify several disfunctionalities between the existing agricultural economic structure and the implementation process of the recent changes on agricultural policy reforms. We contend that these severe disfunctionalities have been created, induced or at least further deepened by the recent changes on macroeconomic strategy and policies and institutional structure.

Our work hypothesis states that most of the existing disfunctionalities in the rural and agricultural sector in Mexico, have had until now a direct influence on the low levels of effectiveness and productivity of farm economy, and thus, affecting the equity of social development and the stability of the political system.

We start by describing the most outstanding events within a historical perspective and analyzing the implications and impacts of state policy and institutions, that led to the consecutive models of rural and agricultural development after the Mexican revolution. The Agrarian Reform distributed land and met partially the challenges of the landless. The import-substitution industrialization (ISI) favoured more the manufacturing sector and the urban dwellers and neglected the rural and agricultural sector. Although production of basic grains and other food stuffs achieved self-sufficiency by the sixties, shortages started to appear during the seventies mainly due to an increasing population and lack of investments in farming. The food crisis was solved by increasing imports. The new project called "shared development" failed to attract private investment to the agricultural production. A turning point in rural and agricultural policy after the Mexican crisis of 1982, under the framework of imposed structural adjustment and economic stabilization policies, brought commercial liberalization and international competition to the sector through constitutional reforms of land tenure and the opening of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

We resume the analysis by identifying in the agricultural economic structure of Mexico, the main factors that blockade growth and productivity. We categorize those factors in two types. A first type of factors are grouped is the physical and geographical environment, considered as limiting factors and obstacles that are difficult to change because they are part of the nature endowment. The second set of factors refer to the agricultural and institutional policies which are more dependent on political will. We show that in the case of Mexico they have been erratic. After analyzing the overall impact of these policies and institutions on economic growth, social welfare and equity and political instability, we turn to offer some considerations for the formulation of alternative policies. Finally, we make some concluding remarks.

Paper Title: Demographic Change and Rural Restructuring: perspectives from Ireland

Author: Mary Cawley, Department of Geography, National University of Ireland, Galway. E-mail:, Tel. –353-91-512147

Abstract: This paper begins with a discussion of concepts relating to demographic change and rural restructuring as a feature of Western society since the 1970s, with reference to the meaning of the ‘rural’ in post-Fordist society, key trends in population growth and decline in the countryside and the implications for the lived experience of the resident population. Broad geographical patterns of population change, movement and redistribution are identified and the underlying explanatory factors that have been proffered are discussed. A review of published literature relating to the changing distribution of population between urban and rural areas in Ireland during the last two decades, the causes and impacts, follows. Similarities and differences between the Irish evidence and the wider experience are identified and explanations are suggested.

Needs not Numbers -Minority Ethnic Groups in Rural Areas - Issues for the study of demographic structure and for service provision

Lead researcher: Philomena de Lima, Inverness College

Research assistant: Mr James Mackenzie

There are about 3 million people in Britain who are members of minority ethnic groups. It is well-known that the vast majority live in the big English cities but small numbers are scattered throughout rural areas. The paper will examine the demographic context of the minority ethnic population in rural Scotland and the issues posed for service provision. The paper will focus on current research on minority ethnic group access to further and higher education in the north of Scotland, mapping of rural ‘race ‘ equality issues in Britain and on previous research by Philomena de Lima on the service needs of minority ethnic groups in four rural areas of Scotland. Three key issues will be addressed: methodologies for researching the needs of small and very diverse minority populations, the identified issues and needs of these populations, issues of cultural change and adaptation by service providers such as educational institutions to meet the needs of this client group and to respond to nationally transmitted policy requirements.


de Lima P 2001. Needs not Numbers: an exploration of minority ethnic communities in Scotland London, Community Development Foundation.

de Lima P ( Forthcoming ) Outside the City Limits – Mapping Rural Racism in Britain, London, CRE


Philomena de Lima, School of Social Studies, Inverness College ( UHI Millennium Institute), 3 Longman Road, Longman South, Inverness IV1 1SA. Tel 01463-273519



Migration trends of female youth with special attention to north areas of Montenegro


PhD Sreten Jelić,

Tatjana Jovanović

Faculty of Agriculture

Belgrade - Zemun



Migration trends of rural population in last a few decades of XX century in our country have been very significant so they had a strong effect to changes in social structure of our society.

Process of industrialization and changes in property relations bring to depopulation of village especially in mountain areas and horizontal mobility on relation village-town and agriculture-industry.

Those processes arouse generation on new social structure of society.

In this work special attention is given to the migration trends of female youth from village to town and in that scope to socio-demographic structure of rural population, structure changes, some trends and appearance that happened in our country until today that influence on development of village and stay of female youth as part of active labor and also to development of rural families and households. Migration from rural to urban areas caused high concentration of population in urban areas and decrease of population in rural areas. So, migration trends of female youth from villages to towns had big influence on village development i.e. its stagnation.

Role of agriculture and it's position in society, hard living and working conditions, underdeveloped infrastructure, gave high impel to female youth for running away from village to town because of education and work. Those trends can be seen, also, in North part of Montenegro in Pljevlja community where we explore, on example of a few villages, migration trends from 1960 till today. Attained data show that female youth migrated toward Pljevlja (31,40%), Sarajevo (27,27%) Belgrade (5,78%), to the other cities in Yugoslavia (13,22%), toward Germany and Switzerland (11,57%) and only 11,57% stayed in villages.

To improve status of female youth in villages in mountain areas it is necessary to undertake certain measures and offer new paths for development of village in context of city development, improvement of village infrastructure and service, open small plants for food processing and employ in it female youth everywhere that is possible. It is necessary to transform village so it stop to be just an agricultural settlement with only local development and infrastructure. Hence, revitalization of village, development of individual farms, increase of husbandry area are means for development of village and agriculture, rural settlements and rural way of life. This is a lasting process that means redefinition of development strategy in which center will be radical changes of village and agriculture in purpose of their faster development.


The Multifunctional Role of Migrants in Greek Countryside: Implications for Rural Economy and Society

Charalambos Kasimis and Apostolos G. Papadopoulos




Over the past fifteen years Southern European countries have changed status to become migrant receivers and permanent migrant destinations. For countries such as Greece the recent wave of mass migration originates primarily from Central and Eastern Europe.

It is estimated that migrant population grew approximately to 10 per cent of the national population and over 15 per cent of the economically active population. The extensive, illegal and uncontrolled entry of this population into the country increased rapidly the settlement and employment of migrants in rural areas.

This paper aims at revealing the various aspects of the multifunctional role of migrants in the ‘new rural environment’ of Greece. It draws from both the qualitative and quantitative findings of a research programme the purpose of which was the empirical, interdisciplinary study of the economic and social implications of the settlement and employment of migrant labour in rural Greece.

The paper is structured around the implications of migrants’ employment for the operation and restructuring of the farm, the division of labour of household members on and off the farm and the countryside’s social and economic cohesion.




African immigration in rural areas in Mediterranean Spain: The case of the province of Girona

Dr. Cristóbal Mendoza

Universidad de Guadalajara

Farming is a major African employer in Spain. Moreover certain nationalities (for instance Gambians) almost exclusively find jobs in agriculture. Not only is crucial for Africans, but it represents their main port of entry into Spanish labour markets. This is because of two reasons. For one, the complicated immigration procedures favours obtaining agricultural work permits (over other economic sectors). Second, the low "interest" of Spaniards for farm work makes the sector a suitable niche for immigrants (Mendoza, 1998 and Hoggart and Mendoza, 1999). Certainly this "easy" labour integration often collides with a more difficult social adjustment in rural areas. This paper adds some light on both labour and social integration of Africans in rural areas of Girona, using data collected in fieldwork in 1995 and 1998. Specifically, I carried out two-hour 151 interviews with Moroccans, Gambians and Senegalese, as well as with 32 employers of different economic sectors in Girona.

Girona farming, as other provinces in Mediterranean Spain, is mainly based on small family-owned holdings which heavily rely on large supplies of (cheap) labour in the harvest season. Certainly the characteristics of the sector (fruit production, small size, family-owned) hamper large-scale mechanisation. Yet, it is also true that, since the fruit production started on large scale in the 1960s, Girona farming has been favoured for a great availability of (relatively low-paid) workers. Thus local women were hired in the 1960s. Later, (male) migrants from Southern Spain substituted female workers, and recently these have been substituted in turn by African immigrants in the province. These changes in the workforce composition have not provoked major problems in labour relations. Basically this is because well-spread rejection for farm jobs by Spaniards (locals or migrants). For women, tourism was seen as a better way of obtaining decent wages, as soon as Girona (and its Costa Brava) boomed as a major destination centre for other Europeans. For Southern Spaniards, the development of their own origin regions provoked that seasonal migration was only considered to be a marginal choice for them.

On the other hand, lack of conflict between workers lies in heavy labour segmentation by origin. The main sources of labour in Girona fields are three. First, family members carry out different tasks throughout the year. No differences are observed by gender. Men and women (or sons and daughters) accept (or reject) work in the sector in similar ways. Second, holdings have a permanent semi-skilled paid workforce which in many cases comes from old internal in-flows. In other words, Spaniards (either locals or not) are in the few (relatively) well-paid skilled jobs. Third, Africans who constitute the bulk of workers in the harvest season are generally found in the least skilled, worst paid jobs. Yet there still are migrant flows from Southern Spain to Girona in the peak season. However, their working conditions greatly differ from Africans, since the Spanish Employment Agency (INEM) covers the trip and employers provide accommodation to them for the whole peak season. In this way, the few employers who still chose Spanish migrants secure a "permanent" (at least for the season) workforce.

The counterpart of this relatively smooth labour integration for Africans is a far more complicated social adjustment. For the bulk of immigrants, the unstable characteristics of their seasonal jobs do not allow family reunion. Moreover, around a third of the 151 interviewees need to move places to secure a job. Yet, because of the abundance of low-skilled jobs in the Girona economy, some African immigrants prefer not to move residence, but to obtain a job in restaurants, hotels or construction sites in neighbouring municipalities. However, since winter is the low season for all the main industries that employ immigrants, legally resident Africans (specially Moroccans) occasionally decide to move back to their origin countries in this time. The point to stress here is that unstable work conditions make "settlement" in Spain difficult. For locals, in small villages, the presence of Black or Arab neighbours is sometimes not seemed as desirable (certainly multi-cultural approaches are far from being the norm in rural areas). Suddenly the advantages of cheap labour for the economy are hidden by prejudice and occasionally rejection. Employers are situated on the middle of both sides. They recognise the need for immigrant labour (they even lobbied the Government Agency in Girona to ease immigrant hiring procedures), but at the same time employers want immigrants to stay on a temporary status in the country. The violent racial conflicts that shook the prosperous farming community of El Ejido (Andalusia, southern Spain) is a sad reminder that more work is needed in the field of racism and social integration for immigrants and ethnic minorities in rural Spain.

International migration in Spanish rural areas: current situation and perspectives

Ricard Morén-Alegret & Miguel Solana Solana

Migration Research Group

Geography Department

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The authors are currently coordinating a three year research project on the changing settlement patterns of population and ways of life in small towns and rural areas in Spain during the last three decades. On the one hand, this paper offers a state of the art based on a wide literature review, highlighting those issues that have been more studied and those underesearched or forgotten. Secondly, it explores the economic activities in these territories and the employment patterns of ‘foreign immigrants’ through the analysis of relevant statistical data. Thirdly, the trade union presence (and absence) in these areas is tackled. Finally, some considerations that maybe useful for carry out future research are suggested.



Prof. Djura Stevanovic, PhD, Faculty of Agriculture, Belgrade – Zemun

Borka Visnic, Institute for Sociology of Rural Development, Belgrade


Serbian society after Second World War is characterized by strong migration tendencies and social mobility. The traditional village life is " throw from the bases" , in mountain areas specially.

The migrations from village to town are emphasized advantages of employment offered by industry and others non-agricultural activities, as advantages of urban way of life, too.

In paper is specially analyzed migration of rural farms members abroad. Although to work abroad are going inhabitants from all professions, migration of peasants are very important and numerous. These migrations are resulted by many factors, among them are most important bad economic status of agriculture, as a wish to improve material status of farm and household, too.

Then in paper is analyzed influence of industrialization in agriculture to deagrarization and internal and external migration of peasants.

Contrary to strong beliefs, in paper we proved that, if it is about internal migrations, industrialization of agriculture does not contribute to leaving from villages, but this process, in our conditions, stops. This fact we explained with many positive consequences of industrialization of agriculture on family farms (changes in mode and labor structure, educational level, organization of family farm, improvement of material status, transformation of family, family roles and relations, changes in way of life, system of values, life aspirations, social status of agricultural profession…)

However, if it is about external migrations of agricultural inhabitants, this rule does not matched with this conclusion.

To so called "temporary work" abroad almost is the same number of members from industrialized or less industrialized farms.

At the end, in paper are on synthetic way analyzed causes and consequences of internal and external migrations of agricultural population in Serbia.

Key words: internal and external migration, agricultural population, industrialization of agriculture, deagrarization, way of life

Working group

4.3 Networks, communities and social identities in rural areas: Moving frontiers?


Political identification in the Czech rural municipalities

Jaroslav Čmejrek

The paper deals with the role of the political identification in the Czech rural area which is different from the national (parliamentary) level of political life. There is a relationship between a municipality’s size and the number of parties within it. In the rural municipalities with a population up to 2 000 inhabitants we meet an incomplete party spectrum. A comparison between municipal election preferences and parliamentary ones implies double political identification of some rural voters. The role of independent candidates and their associations in the rural municipalities is also very important.


The hidden countryside – A discussion of social networks as local factors for rural diversification in the Baltic States

By Lise Herslund, Institute of Geography, University of Copenhagen and Danish Forest and Landscape Research Institute.



The paper seeks to capture differing meanings and kinds of social networks in a rural area in Latvia and Estonia. The question is how transition has affected the degree and quality of rural social relations and the potential of these networks to act as resources for rural diversification. Based on a large questionnaire and interview survey of rural households groups are identified according to what social relationships they rely on in their adaptation to changes and improvement of their economic situation. Most rural inhabitants live of transfer incomes and subsistence farming combined with odd jobs. This group can be characterised by isolation from official institutions and are therefore difficult to reach with information and support. The few entrepreneurial activities like sawmills, grocery shops, gas stations etc have to a large degree relied on wider networks to other businessmen or friends to find markets, supplies and for financing. Both groups rely on social networks that often date back to before independence. The entrepreneurs had higher positions in the collective farms and therefore more contacts to outside the local area. Background and social positions but also age and settlement type (flat/farm stead) seem important distinguishing factors for the kind of networks used and peoples sense of belonging to the rural area. Many older subsistence farmers describe the area as a place of good friends and many to visit where the entrepreneurs and younger people feel isolated and describe the area as full of poor and drunkards. The sawmills lack qualified labour and the shopowners find it difficult to earn money as people in the countryside are getting older and live of social transfers. Times are changing and new ideas and ways are needed in order to survive. Wider networks to official institutions, foreign and urban markets shows important as a means of learning.




1000 София, ул. Московска 13-а

тел. (+3592) 980-90-86/ факс 980-58-95



13-a Moskovska str. Sofia 1000

tel. (+3592) 980-90-86/ fax 980-58-95



DR. Galina Koleva

Institute of Sosiology,

13-A Moskovska St.

Sofia 1000, Bulgaria

E-mail: <>


The perspective of the rural social-group actor is essential for the understanding of the village as a specific social system. The problem has both a theoretical and practical relevance to the current situation of transition in Bulgaria. In the past decade or so the village has gone through a process of intensive transformations. Social change has affected almost every aspect of rural life – relationships and institutions, mobility and stratification, etc. So change is the first focus of analysis. The other important perspective here is stability. Hence the need for a better understanding of the functioning of rural middle class strata, the middle class actors being an underlying factor for development and stability in the village.

The restructuring of the existing social relationships and networks, and the role entrepreneurs have been playing in the process, are a basic focus of the analysis.

The report also emphasises that rural entrepreneurs are indispensable if the village is to make full use of its own human potential.

The analysis is based on data from a case study of a Bulgarian village.



XXth Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology

18-22 August, 2003, Sligo, Ireland


Work, Leisure and Development in Rural Europe Today.



Congresses of the European Society for Rural Sociology (ESRS) in 1999 (Lund) and in 2001 (Dijon) discussed rural issues in the context of late modernity, and of the evolution of society as a whole and, particularly, in its relations with nature and technology. The Budapest Declaration (2002), which focused on rural innovation, attempted to open up a new approach to understanding the rural milieu in contemporary Europe. The XXth Congress of the ESRS grounds itself in the work of these meetings, now focusing on the issues of "work", "leisure" and "innovation" in the context of Rural Development (RD).

A new paradigm of multidimensional rural development has emerged. Rural development entered the social-scientific debate primarily as a concept originating from the political sphere, linked to a set of policy interventions by the State. Nowadays, while rural development involves many different actors, and 'the rural is no longer the monopoly of farmers', the survival strategies developed by European peasants and other rural households are still important driving forces in it. Other issues for new conceptions of rural development to address include how the rural is culturally represented in national and European contexts, processes of re-territorialisation, re-interpretation of rural images, and processes of de-traditionalisation and of the reinvention of rural traditions.

Today, globalisation processes involve all European states, but these have followed divergent historical paths into modernity, feeding into an undisputable heterogeneity of rural societies. Both previous and imminent EU enlargements are perceived as means of filling development gaps, but it remains crucial to theorise about differences between core European, Nordic, Mediterranean, Celtic, Central and Eastern European rural regions. While the "Europeanisation" of the post-communist states sparks new rural issues and problems everyday, the socio-economic and political weight of farmers in the European core and in the "Green ring" countries is decreasing. The reaction of states, institutions and other RD actors with respect to EU policies recreates diversity. Thus, EU policies for the development of rural society should no longer be dominated by a singular perception of what is rurality. Otherwise severe difficulties will be experienced within the poorer rural societies.

If RD entered scientific debate primarily as a concept from the political sphere, particularly linked to state policies and action, another way of understanding it would be to relate it to people’s livelihood practices, including their struggle against the destructive impact of the 'modernisation scenario' on rural areas and communities. Such a struggle is conducted on economic and cultural as well as political terrains, leading to innovative reorganisations of conventional understandings of work and leisure and their interrelationships within developing rural localities. Both conservative and innovative behaviour by different actors within civil society can feed into social conflict or co-operation. Searching for, revaluing and trying to maintain a distinctive cultural heritage (both material and immaterial) is as much a part of ongoing local and regional processes as is the drive to reinvent rural culture, and both can be seen as simultaneously contesting and taking advantage of current, one-world homogenising patterns. A new, multidimensional concept of RD should include such cultural as well as economic and social processes.

‘Rural innovation’ is a central component of multidimensional RD. For social scientists, it raises pertinent questions, such as: how does it emerge? Is it primarily economically, or culturally driven? What are its (differentiated) effects on the local economy and rural society? Does it create synergies and/or dysfunctions, does it lead to benefits and/or harm? Focussing on innovation may help us, as rural sociologists, to re-connect issues (such as farming versus health, food, environment) often studied in separation from each other; to re-direct our attention to procedures, processes and meanings (e.g. governance, sustainable RD); to link together actors seen as key players in the new ‘RD coalitions'; to emphasise to those concerned with RD that change is not neutral (in both its origins and outcomes) with respect to inequalities of power and gender at local as at other levels of social life; and to re-vision European rurality.

In this context, we see a focus on changing patterns of work and leisure as a good way into deepening our understanding of today’s European rural societies, renewing the rural policy agenda, and fostering action in loco, particularly with the help of action-research and cross-disciplinary approaches.

Among affluent European countries both the social value of work and work/leisure relationships appear to be under change. Traits of late modernity, such as the predominance of neo-liberal ideology, rapid evolution of communication technologies, market deregulation, and migration have contributed to eroding the one-employment-for-life concept and to the emergence of new notions of work (e.g. under labels such as part-time, flexible, short-term, home- and telework, etc.). Young workers may no longer be "unemployed": they are rather in temporary (in)activity. Old workers and professionals enjoy their (early) retirements by developing leisure activities and/or suffer from the constraints and problems of the third and fourth age. Rural societies are not dissociated from these trends: for instance, businessmen linked to travel, sports, leisure activities, ‘rural hotels’ or mansions for elderly care invest in rural areas; young farmers and their spouses offer rural tourism, cultural heritage tours and/or environmental services; migrants from Northern Africa and Eastern Europe look for seasonal farm work and off-farm trades; retired people and teleworkers may (re)turn to their rural family houses; and now the few rural doctors available are excited about the potential offered by tele-medicine. At the same time, rural responses to changing working lives and to changing resources for work (including the provision of leisure to others) may exhibit distinctive features, which are relevant for understanding both rural development and rural innovation.

Stressing the importance of multidimensionality of RD, the aim of the Conference is to inquire into new rural realities, economic, social and cultural development practices based on rural resources. The key questions are here: how do the new realities change rural working lives and rural leisure? what are the social, economic and cultural consequences of the appearance of urban "colonisers"? how have "classical" economic activity forms such as farming reacted to new realities? what changes and new elements are shaping food? is state policy for RD bringing about an expansion of work in the lives of rural people, or a change in their work habits which may be experienced as oppressive or exploiting? what is the new interface between environment, nature and society at the time of rural restructuring?

The ongoing re-interpretation of RD in previous ESRS Congresses and elsewhere indicates a new research agenda for rural sociology. We call on European rural sociologists and other interested scientists to organise working groups to discuss issues around Work, Leisure and Rural Development. The organisers of the XXth Congress of ESRS encourage cross-disciplinary discussions between sociologists, political scientists, geographers, historians, anthropologists and other social scientists as well as debates between researchers and those who implement or practice development throughout European rural society.

We call on European rural sociologists and other interested scientists to attend the conference and present a paper.

Please send, by 1 April 2003, your abstract for a paper (no longer than 300 words) to working group convenors.

The list of working groups can be found here:


Plenary sessions:

Science and practise in rural development

speakers :

Marc Mormont

Karl Bruckmeier

Norman Long (invited)

Reidar Almas

Jose Portela



The enlargement of the EU


Hilary Tovey

Imre Kovach

Philip Lowe

Mark Shucksmith

Jose Reis

Scientific Committee

Alenka Verbole (

Imre Kovách (

Jose. F. Portela (

Assessing Social Capital in Rural Communities

Elina Vehmasto

Research Scientist



In this paper, besides physical and economical resources, social capital has been seen as a essential condition for development of rural societies. Social capital of community is basic rural resource necessary in generating attractive living and working environment for the present and new inhabitants. Further more, social capital is essential for the enterprises to utilize the other resources of the area: including economical, material and natural resources. Due to the fact, social capital has been seen as the base for the economical and social well-being of a community.

The aim of the research project, behind the paper, is to introduce indicators to assess the state of social capital been built up within a rural community.  Another objective is to find out and to describe how a development project can promote the local capacity building. The empirical data from the field research, together with theoretical knowledge, have been used to construct the assessment method as well as to outline the good practices for capacity building. The pilot area of the project belongs to the District of Häme, situated in Southern Finland. There exist tree case municipalities, where observations have been made during the local planning processes.

Social capital is build and used simultaneously in everyday interactions between individuals. It originates with people forming social networks based on trust, mutual reciprocity and norms of action. In order to capture the phenomena, five dimensions of social capital have been taken to the framework of the research, namely: 1) trust, 2) identity, 3) partnership, 3) commitment and 5) collective learning.

Mobility, sociability and sociocultural and territorial mutations

Proposed paper for the

XX th Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology

Woking group 4.3. : Networks, communities and social identities in rural areas

Luc Bossuet 



The development of spatial mobility and the growing access to the information is a proven fact. For the individual, this situation results in a multiplicity of contacts with different cultures, in the restructure of relational systems, in the diversification of practices according to places and, finally, in a specific appropriation of often visited places according to representations and usages that are peculiar to them. These dynamic have as an effect the diffusion of borders between territories and social groups that are the users. In these conditions, it is difficult to define what is rural, comprehend its structure and elaborate keys of lecture, which will be easily usable to understand the process of social and territorial recomposition, which is taking place.

Facing this reality, the paper aims to give answers, even partially, which will be based on an empirical study carried out in a village situated in the south west of France, and marked by important social, economic and political mutations.

Initially, the accent is put on the local history through the migrations of the village’s population as well as on its actual dynamism. Secondly, we will present the regular migrations of its habitants and their involvement in the village’s life. Finally, we will demonstrate the structure of the local group, on the basis of the contemporary socio-political conflicts, which reveal the existing different conceptions.

This presentation has a triple objective. The first aims to show that independently of the individuals’ attachment and fixation to this locality, their conceptions of ‘rurality’, associated to the occasions of exchange sought for, participate in the redefinition of the relations among villagers. The second seeks to highlight how the external and village relational networks define the territory of each individual and each group, determining thus their local involvement and their power to influence the local group. Thirdly, the social capital of each group is analysed as a collective resource at the origin of the redefinition of the local identity and village dynamism.

Local community ties in a global marine cluster

Grethe Mattland Olsen

Møre Research Foundation Volda

In modern life, a flexible notion of work is both an end in itself, as well as a consequence of changes in work. Rapid change in both the coastal economies and also in young persons ambitions according to career and place to settle down, can be important reasons for this.

The study focuses upon 120 households, in which at least one bread-winner is in a key –position in the maritime cluster in North West of Norway. The 120 persons were selected by local private and public businesses and enterprises.

Preliminary analysis of the data indicates two main categories: Local bound employees with a strong attachment to the localness of the industry and the local society. Another group could be described as global-in-a-local-context, who might very well travel far away in order to develop their personal career. The first of these two groups will remain stable in an economic downturn, while the other group will easily migrate to other parts of the world – though the local community ties still remain important. This in contrast to the suburban non-attached pattern in larger societies.

The project is within the framework of applied research, thus guidance for policy makers is expected, and the two groups presents policy makers as well as businesses with very different kinds of challenges for a sustainable development in the region.


Abstract to Working Group 4.3 Network, communities and social identities in rural areas: Moving frontiers?


Living conditions and rural identities in North Western Norway


Barbro Vartdal

Møre Research Foundation Volda

Volda Norway


This paper will focus on social changes in the rural areas of North Western part of Norway The paper is based on 17 in-depth interviews with people in socalled keypositions in the labour market in the North Western Norway. These 17 people were selected by local, private and public businesses and enterprises.

The paper raise the important issue according to what is the perceived advantages according to settlement in this rural area of Norway. The main focus will be on rural identity, social and cultural aspects according to what makes an area or region attractive for ‘young adults’.

The overarching theoretical perspective will be changing rural societies in late modernity. The paper will theoretically be related to theories of modernisation and rural sociology, the housholdperspective will be central. Keywords in this study are changing rural identity, everydaylife, familyties, nature and social network.


Title: Dwelling, commuting and belonging in the ‘mobile’ rurality

Author: Jesús Oliva


Departmento de Sociología

Universidad Pública de Navarra

31006 PAMPLONA (Spain)

Tno. +34 948 169 496 – Fax: +34 948 169 169




Our societies are becoming increasingly nomadic. The widespread of automobility, commuting, migrations, telecommunications, second homes, tourism, etc., are changing social practices, lifestyle strategies, labour and consumption patterns and more significantly the senses of dwelling, belonging and social identity. Some of these changes favour a new rural living for some rural groups that usually become migrants to urban areas (women, young people, etc.). The private car, telecommunications and commuting have made the former isolated rural areas more bereable for them. On the other hand, these processes have led to the ‘ruralisation’ of different urban people in some areas (for example middle classes and poor inmigrants). Finally, rural areas have also become increasingly demanded by holidaymakers, tourists, etc. As a result, these processes are bringing about a new ‘mobile’ rurality in which different visions and practices of the place are socially reconstructed by diverse rural dwellers (sometimes in a conflictive way). On the basis of different researches and fieldworks developed in Spain we explore the metaphorical understanding and meanings about locality, other and belonging in different social actors (newcomers and oldtimers, women and young people, urban commuters, farmers and tourist business people etc.). While a common view in rural studies and politics have paid more attention to the processes of an stable, inmobile, ‘solid’ rurality, we suggest that it is necessary to consider the increasingly mobile, fluctuating and unstable experience of "the rural’ that take place in the societies of the begining of XXI century

The Study of Community Matrix and the Measuring of Social Exclusion in the Country

Mihai Pascaru, "1 Decembrie 1918" University Alba Iulia, Romania

The study intends to define the human information as a product of the knowledge objectified by communication and destined to underlie the human action. When the human activity is reported to community, we consider we could talk about community matrix. The community matrix can show us to what distance a human community is on the axis between the society of inter-knowledge and the mass society.

In order to accomplish our investigations we proposed a short questionnaire referring to: □ what extent do the people questioned know some aspects of other members’ life and activity in that community; □ what extent they establish communication relationships; □ what extent they participate together in the achievement of some actions. We referred to all the three elements of the community matrix (knowledge, communication and common action).

We propose the use of an index given by the relation between the real score obtained by the questioned subjects and the possible maximum score. This index may have theoretical values between 0 and 1 or between 0% and 100%. The acquaintance level, communication frequency and common action frequency will first lead to obtaining a score by each person investigated. Each subject of the investigation can be classified according to the score obtained, that means he or she will take a certain place in the hierarchy of the persons investigated. Therefore, we shall distinguish the last in the score of acquaintance, communication and common action or community matrix on the whole, i.e. the socially excluded persons.

The study of community matrix can develop the "social capital" concept and the research upon networks, communities and social identities in rural area.


Abstract to Working Group 4.3 Network, communities and social identities in rural areas: Moving frontiers?


Living conditions and rural identities in North Western Norway


Barbro Vartdal

Møre Research Foundation Volda

Volda Norway


This paper will focus on social changes in the rural areas of North Western part of Norway The paper is based on 17 in-depth interviews with people in socalled keypositions in the labour market in the North Western Norway. These 17 people were selected by local, private and public businesses and enterprises.

The paper raise the important issue according to what is the perceived advantages according to settlement in this rural area of Norway. The main focus will be on rural identity, social and cultural aspects according to what makes an area or region attractive for ‘young adults’.

The overarching theoretical perspective will be changing rural societies in late modernity. The paper will theoretically be related to theories of modernisation and rural sociology, the housholdperspective will be central. Keywords in this study are changing rural identity, everydaylife, familyties, nature and social network.

Role of the Workplace in the Everyday life of a Post-Soviet Mill Community

Case of Pitkäranta Pulp Mill in Karelia, Russia.


Minna Piipponen, University of Joensuu, Karelian Institute

P. Box 111, FIN-80101 Joensuu


In my paper, I examine the role of the workplace and industrial employees’ work-related social ties in post-Soviet conditions through an empirical case study of the Pitkäranta (Pitkyaranta) pulp mill in Karelia, Russia. By focusing on the relationship between the mill and its employees – the core of the mill community – I study the Pitkäranta employees’ community orientation around their workplace.

Pitkäranta is a small mill town in Russian periphery. Since the Second World War, its mill community developed as a part of the industrialisation of the Soviet Republic of Karelia. In the 1990s, it has lived through the post-Soviet restructuring and reorganisations of the forest industries in the Republic of Karelia, in Russia. The employees of the mill adapt to these reorganisations in arranging their relations to the colleagues among their other daily social contacts, as well as in elaborating their relationships to its working collective and to the role of workplace in their everyday coping.

The paper is based on data that was collected in the framework of the project "Civic Culture and Nationality in North-West Russia and Estonia" funded by the Academy of Finland in 1999-2001. In addition, this paper is related to my ongoing Ph.D. research on post-Soviet mill communities of North-western Russia in which I study industrial employees’ community orientation around the workplace by taking a network perspective. Since 2002 the Ph.D. work has taken place in the framework of the project "Russia, Finland and Globalization in a Micro Perspective". The project is funded by the Academy of Finland and led by researcher Markku Lonkila, University of Helsinki.




ESRS Conference in Sligo in august 2003

Working group: New realities of gender relations

Convenors: Bettina Bock & Sally Shortall,,

Overview of abstracts

1. Gender relations and micro-business coping behaviour: Learning from the Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak.

Katy Bennett and Jeremy Phillipson, University of Newcastle, UK,,

The coping behaviour of micro-businesses during the crisis sparked by Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in 2001 revealed that the households of business owners were pivotal to their survival. In many ways, business households acted as a buffer to the consequences of FMD as they absorbed periodic falls in business income, uncertainty, lack of work and underemployment and the tensions and strains created by the crisis. Whilst business families have received considerable attention in research that examines how small firms are socially embedded and the consequences of this for business growth and decision making, this paper explores business households and how these enabled small firms to cope with the FMD outbreak. Paramount to coping behaviour were work and consumption activities that shape households, such as reigning in levels of household spending or household members with paid employment elsewhere using their savings and wages to prop up a business household. How households enabled businesses to cope depended on who formally owned the business with coping behaviour embedded in gender relations. The paper examines not only the gendered dimensions of business coping behaviour but also the implications of coping for gender relations and is based on qualitative and quantitative research on both farming and non-farming micro-businesses in Cumbria and the North East of England.

2. The gendered body in agricultural work

Berit Brandth, Department of Sociology and Political Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway,

This paper will combine insights from the sociology of the body with the study of gender identity in agriculture. The sociology of the body has pointed to the increasing tendency for people in high modernity to place importance on the body as a constitutive of self-identity. In this respect, emphasis has been more on leisure and consumption than on the hard work, thrift and sobriety connected to the Protestant work ethic. Studies of gender in agricultural work has largely left unexplored the meaning of the social body. Based on interviews with two groups of women farmers, practicing farming in a ‘traditional’ and in a ‘modern’ way, this paper will focus on the relationship between the working body and gender identity. Agricultural work is to a large extent qualified physical work constructed around the image of the able, working (male) body. The paper will concentrate on women’s various uses and experiences of the body at work. Questions that will be dealt with are: How does the power of discursive constructions of farm women influence their identity and bodily practice as capable farmers? How do agricultural machines that extend bodily capacities, affect the social meaning of the female body?


3. Womens role in agricultural politics

Mary Carroll, IFA Equality Officer, Ireland,

IFA is the national representative voluntary organisation of Irish Farmers. Its membership comprises approx 60,000 full members and their families, organised in 925 branches, 29 county executives and 17 National Committees. The participation rate of women in the decision making structures of IFA is low with approx 5% across all committees. Because of the scarcity of women at all levels in the association the IFA have now embarked on a three year equality programme, to specifically increase participation by farm women. For a successful approach to this initiative, opinion and information gathering is vital, and this paper is a result of extensive consultation with farm women, the IFA membership and the IFA organisation. There are insights into what are the barriers for women getting more involved and there are also useful general recommendations for increasing the recognition of the role of women in agriculture, and encouraging policy makers to be more aware of their core contribution to agriculture. Recommendations include changing membership structures, training and development and networking. Changing culture and attitudes is an essential aspect of building diversity, and this will take time, but a start has been made. There is a feeling of ’consultation fatigue’ and that it is time for action to be taken.

4. Evolving Gender Relations and Emerging Livelihood Strategies for Irish Farm Families

Monica Gorman, Department of Agribusiness, Extension and Rural Development, University College Dublin, Ireland,

This paper argues that the European model of multi-functional agriculture offers a viable development trajectory for Irish farm families. As farm families currently confront the challenges of household viability, the strategies that are emerging are an expression of such multi-funtional agriculture. The family nature of the farming business and the dynamics within the farm family / household have a large bearing on the livelihood strategies pursued, with gender roles and relations being particularly pertinent.

Multi-functional agriculture requires a whole family response and household capacity for multifunctional agriculture is strongly influenced by internal dynamics. For most farm families, it is not a case of being, but becoming rural entrepreneurs and this process is a gradual one that involves learning, feedback and adaptation and a shift to a more equal relational model than is typical of traditional farming family structures.

The paper focuses on internal processes within the household and relations with external actors which influence the manner in which the household perceives its livelihood options, and the livelihood strategies it pursues. It draws on research with farm couples in early 2003, which investigated their views on how they are responding to the challenges posed by the current reforms in agriculture.


5. Escaping the greybeards? Women’s migration away from rural Norway

By Gro Marit Grimsrud, Eastern Norway Research Foundation,

The drift of young women away from rural areas has been an item on the Regional Policy agenda in Norway for about 20 years. This paper is about a project that originated because regional authorities were worried about the scale of out-migration of women from the rural areas. The focal question in the commissioned research project was to which extent a rural masculine culture (the "greybeard culture") could account for the exodus of women.

The quantitative part of the analysis, however, showed that the exodus of women is perhaps a thing of the past. The region concerned did in fact lose more men than women in the youngest cohorts. Although it was a surprise to the commissioners, the observed change in the pattern of migration could be expected as a result of structural changes in the labour market and education. This result is not in support of the thesis stating that women have to leave these areas because of poor job opportunities.

In the second part of the project women with different migratory backgrounds were interviewed in order to find any evidence of the greybeard culture pushing them out of the rural municipalities. Interesting differences between permanent residents, returnees, newcomers and those who left and settled in the cities, were found. The research project so far indicates that traditional gender power relations can act as a basis for collective behaviour and in this way have a selective influence on those who would like to settle in rural areas and those who actually do so. It also seems that newcomers contribute significantly to changing patriarchal structures by apparently being permitted to act contrary to established norms and rules.

6. The countryside a rural idyll or a boring place? Young peoples’ images of the rural.

Marit S. Haugen and Mariann Villa, Centre for Rural Research, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, N-7491 Trondheim Norway,

Based on a study of essays written by rural and urban college students this paper will present young people’s images of rural Norway. It will elaborate their images and ideas of rural life and the rural population. One central question is what images of rural Norway are dominant and whether there are gender differences and differences between those living in urban and rural areas. Rural youth tend to leave rural areas in favour of urban or more densely populated places. The rural image might be of importance when people make their decisions about where to settle down. Movies and media in general tend to present a picture of ‘the rural’ either as an idyll or more commonly the converse, as peculiar, boring and old-fashioned. The image of rural people tends to reflect these stereotypes. Do young people endorse such images reinforcing centralisation and rejection of rural life as a future option?


7. Vanishing farm daughters

Majda Černič Istenič, University of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Faculty, Agronomy D epartment, Jamnikarjeva 101, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia, Phone: +386 1 423 11 61, Fax: + 386 1 423 10 88, E-mail:

Slovenian women in their active life period very rarely own a farm. Although they spend a lot of their time and money for farm functioning they are often excluded from decision making process concerning farm business as well. But, they are not very dissipated because of this. These facts refer to the survey Rural women in Slovenia carried out in December 2001 on representative sample of 343 women aged from 20 to 50 years. The aim of proposed paper is to discuss the reasons why farm women don’t complain openly because of their subordinate position in the farm family. It is supposed that this voluntary subordination is a part of their survival strategy, which has some negative side effects for farming in the future. For example, farm daughters are in Slovenia today actually completely absent from farm decisions, activities and duties.

8. Gender relations and the informalisation of farm employment: women contract workers in south African export fruit

Andrienetta Kritzinger, Department of Sociology, University of Stellenbosch


Since the mid-1990s South African export fruit producers have had to respond to a range of pressures and counter pressures. These involve changes in the global value chain linking the fruit sector to UK and European supermarkets, changing market conditions and the extension of employment regulation to South African agricultural workers. In light of these changes an important consideration on the part of producers has been to cut non-wage labour costs whilst still maintaining quality as well as production and social standards set by supermarkets and labour legislation. Similar to employers’ strategies in other economic sectors within industrialised as well as developing countries in recent years, fruit producers have increasingly moved towards the employment of various categories of flexible labour. A general trend within South African export fruit farming over the last couple of years, for example, has been the downsizing of their permanently employed on-farm labour and the increasing employment of contract labour. While contract workers do not have a direct employment relationship with the producer and are employed through a third party agent or contractor, they share an important feature with other categories of flexible workers, that is, the precarious and vulnerable nature of their employment. Within the context of the above and based on data obtained through semi-structured and in-depth interviews conducted with a group of women contract workers, this paper explores the gender dimension of the South African fruit contracting sector. It examines the marginalisation of women contract workers within the hierarchy of employment linked to the global value chain. It examines the precarious nature of their employment in terms of recruitment practices, wages and conditions of employment and the extent to which the nature of their employment compromises their ability to sustain livelihoods. It also explores the consequences of women’s employment for childcare and the strategies women develop to cope with insecurity and risk associated with contract employment.

9. What choice do farm women really have?: how family farming and commodity production affect farm women's work lives

Dr. Susan Machum, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, St. Thomas University, Fredericton, N.B., E3B 5G3, Canada, Fax: 506-450-9615,

Phone: 506-452-0457,

While studies of women's work have demonstrated women have excellent multi-tasking skills, the fact remains there are only twenty-four hours in a day. Being engaged in one set of work activities, excludes participation in another. This paper explores how farm women's work choices are often constrained by family obligations, farm commodity requirements, their level of interest in farming, and other job opportunities. As farm women negotiate work days and career choices in a restructuring rural economy, they are concerned not only with their own personal satisfaction but the with viability of their family farm enterprises. How farming is structured and the socio-economic conditions under which foodstuffs are produced create real opportunities and constraints for farm women's direct and indirect participation in food production. Drawn from case study research investigating women's work on dairy and potato farms in New Brunswick, Canada, this paper offers lessons relevant to the European context about the choices women - and men - engaged in family farming face and the impact of social policies on women's contributions to industrial agriculture.

10. Lack of opportunities or non-utilised possibilities: the case of Czech rural women

Věra Majerová, University of Prague, Czech Republic,

The economic and social situation of Czech rural women underwent changes since the end of World War2 in 1945. However, we cannot say that these were really profound changes Is this a local phenomenon ( typically Czech or typical for the former socialist countries ) or a more general relationship between the economic and social position of both sexes ?

Women employment was traditionally high in the Czechoslovakia, and that both in agriculture and in other sectors of national economy. In the period before collectivisation of agriculture ( prior to 1949), women used to work in private farm households in the same way as men. The traditional division of labour assigned to women mainly manual labour in plant and animal production. Simultaneously, they did the household chores, were responsible for child care as well as the care for the elderly parents and relatives. Their engagement in the public or political life of the village was, for many reasons, very low. The female role lay in sustaining the stability of family, the outside activities were mainly reserved to men. Women took part in the church life, cultural and charity activities, to a lesser extent also in sports activities. Any higher economic and social ambitions of women were sure to clash with the limits of the local community and could have been fulfilled only at the price of leaving the rural community – for bigger communes or towns. Part of the studying youth always left village and settled somewhere else, young women followed their husbands. The town and bigger communes naturally supplied more opportunities for both men and women.

Forceful collectivisation has broken the traditional patterns of family life in private farming and approximated labour in agriculture to industrial labour and rural life to the urban patterns. Employment level of rural women did not decrease. Work in agriculture had its positive and negative features. It supplied women with employment in the place where they lived or in the proximity of it, the incomes were – for that time – relatively good, there were possibilities of changing shifts and certain social advantages ( placing children in nursery schools, kindergartens and children summer camps, catering also for family members, recreation possibilities and other ). Incomes of women have always been lower that those of men, but women had a higher illness rate ( including nursing of ill children) and, in average, also a lower qualification. The division of labour into male ( qualified, technologically demanding ) and female ( physically demanding, with high share of manual labour ) persisted.

The changes after 1989 have changed profoundly the economic and social life of village. Privatisation and the subsequent transformation of agricultural enterprises contributed considerably to the decrease of labour force in agriculture. Finding and keeping a job in rural areas is at present very difficult ( in agriculture as well as outside it ). Do women really belong among the endangered social groups, or are they just not fully utilising the offered opportunities ? The contribution analyses, based on empirical data, the present economic and social situation of women in Czech rural areas.

11. The evolution of agrarian entrepreneur strata during the post-socialist transition in Hungary. Changing productive and reproductive roles?

Ildikó Asztalos Morell, Märladalens University College, Sweden,

An agrarian entrepreneurial stratum grew up in the period of post-socialist transition on the Hungarian country-side. This stratum, mixed in its origins, realised a marked concentration of capital during the past years. This paper examines the gender specific conditions to the evolution of an entrepreneurial class under capitalist transition. Based on 40 interviews the paper seeks to investigate the gender specific conditions for men’s and women’s participation in production and reproduction within the households. In which way did gender specific expectations create differential conditions for men’s and women’s participation in the family’s attempt to mobilise resources for the accumulation of capital and securing the survival of the farming unit. The paper will lift up the ways how these family’s formed gender specific patterns to combat the demands rising from the logic of capital accumulation with the logic of providing for the needs of the family. Women in the study showed high participation rate in the production process of the farms despite of the fact that a large part of the interviewed families were in their "reproductive" or child-raising period. The study investigates the various coping models for matching productive and reproductive demands in these entrepreneurial families.


12. Women perspectives in Family farming – Choice or necessity?

Anita Ilak Persuric, Institute of Toursim, Croatia,

What is the situation the overall situation of Croatian Women in the society? That is the starting question while discussing the perspectives of women in family farming.

As a fact we can say that women are over half of the total population, less than half of them are in the working population and with a minor position in power and political spheres.

Unemployment stayed a main feature of the Croatian "transitional period". Economic crises occurred through low possibilities for women employment, along with political pressure of re-traditionalism of women’s role. Diminished social welfare added work for child, sick and elderly care on women. That especially counts for unemployed women and housewives (including farm women).

The legal position of women in family farming is mayoral not regulated. This way as not paid workforce (but helping members with no rights on pension and health care) on family farms they help to sustain the existence of the farm.

We will discuss some patterns how women are engaged in family farming and why they decided to work there – was it a choice or a necessity.

13. Role models in agriculture – A comparison of seven Swiss farm families

Ruth Rossier and Bettina Gilomen, FAT, Switzerland,

Family businesses predominate in Swiss agriculture. Safeguarding the farm’s survival and thus maintaining the essential basis for gaining a livelihood is therefore in the interest of the entire family, with diverse roles and interests within the family having to be considered. The interaction between family and farm is still important in running a family farm, as is the economic, political and social context in which the farm family is embedded.

In recent years, a high degree of flexibility has been required of farm families, because the framework of agricultural policy has changed dramatically since the 1990’s with the introduction of direct payments and the enforcement of various agrarian reforms (Agricultural Policy 2002 and 2007). In this context, a study dealing specifically with family influence on farm development options was conducted at the FAT, because the family represents the innovative potential of the family farm. The results were methodologically based on the sequential analysis of open interviews with farm families about their family and farm histories (Hildenbrand 1999). This study gave rise to the hypothesis that the family concept of a farm family has a key influence on farm development strategies (Rossier 2001). The family concept defines the action orientation and organisational pattern of a farm family. One of the findings of the study is that rigid gender role allocation limits farm development options because it restricts full and efficient freedom of action, whereas family concepts with flexible role sharing within the family are better able to exploit and implement existing development potential.

This article examines in depth the perception of men’s and women’s roles in agriculture. The study covers role sharing between men and women in housework, agricultural work and non-agricultural employment. What is the predominant role model in Swiss agriculture? How do men and women perceive their role? A new aspect here is that the study examines the role of women as well as of men, and deals with the consequences for both the family and the family farm. An analysis of the perception of men’s and women’s roles tells us nothing, however, about the satisfaction of men and women in their particular role constellation.

Initially the family concepts and development options of seven farm families are introduced. Then, the various role models of the farm families discussed are examined with regard to the consequences for the farm. Finally, the perception of men’s and women’s roles in agriculture is explained and related to farm development options. To conclude, the role perception is discussed on the basis of the seven examples, compared with the pertinent literature, and conclusions are then drawn on the different role models on family farms in Switzerland.


14. New realities for gender relations in five European countries

Constantina Safiliou-Rothschild, Institute for Environmental Policy, Pireas, Greece,

The paper is based on the findings of a cross-cultural research on the dynamics of integration and exclusion of women smallholders in Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, France and Greece undertaken in 1998-2001. The findings show that in some countries and in some regions within countries, important changes have already taken place in gender relations within farm households. Some of these changes have more often taken place among smallholders rather than among larger farmers, especially when husbands cease being full-time farmers and become engaged instead in full-time nonfarm occupations.

The research shows that there are two distinct clusters, one consisting of the Nordic countries of Sweden and Finland and the other includes France, the Netherlands and Greece. In the Nordic cluster, gender relations seem to be much more determined by the prevailing gender equality ideologies and policies and less by the EC agricultural or rural development policies. In the case of Finland, this overwhelming influence of egalitarian ideology is responsible for the fact that rural women’s institutional integration in agriculture without necessarily active farm participation raises new questions. In the other European cluster, the CAP and rural development policies seem to be at least as (if not more) influential than egalitarian ideologies and policies. The paper will examine in detail the similarities and differences between the three cluster countries.

To the extent that the more systematic implementation of rural development policies will lead to the creation of more job opportunities for women, further changes in gender relations can be expected. The data from this research suggest that these changes could be more important in countries like France and the Netherlands in which at present many women are active at the farm level but excluded institutionally from the agricultural profession.

Abstract for the XXth Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology,

18-22 August, 2003, Sligo, Ireland, Working group: New realities of gender relations



15. Gender and rural development money – a gender budget analysis of public money spent on rural development in a Dutch region

B. Bock & P. Derkzen, Wageningen University, Rural Sociology Chairgroup,

This paper reports on ongoing research in the East of the Netherlands, focusing on rural women’s participation in the so-called ‘Reconstruction policy’. This policy aims at the spatial reorganisation of rural areas with a high prominence of intensive husbandry farms, in order to prevent the future spreading of animal diseases. As part of this research we have analysed the budgetary plans and programmes destined for the development and revitalisation of these regions. Making use of the gender budget analysis method we reveal the gender specific effects of these (planned) expenditures. This refers to the impact of expenditures on the position of men and women, the extent to which men’s and women’s needs and priorities are responded to and the balance between male or female beneficiaries of projects.

Gender budget analysis is a rather new method receiving a lot of attention from academics, practitioners and politicians likewise. The idea is that revealing the often unforeseen and unplanned gender specific effects of public spending in economic terms, will increase the gender awareness of politicians and convince them of the need and benefit of gender mainstreaming. But gender budget analysis might also be useful for women (groups) participating in policy development and implementation. The above mentioned project has shown that rural women participating in the new ‘interactive’ regional committees responsible for distributing rural development money have difficulty to operate effectively. This is among others due to the fact that they try to defend rather soft’ issues dealing with quality of life in rural areas and have to compete with recognised economic interests. The Gender Budget Method might help them to check more systematically if quality of life is taken into account by analysing which needs and priorities programmes allow for and how they affect the position of women and men. Moreover, it might support them in presenting their ideas convincingly to others.




Women who are off-farm breadwinners and the implications for on-farm gender relations

Sally Shortall, School of Sociology, Queen’s University Belfast.


This article examines the fundamental changes that are occurring on farms in Northern Ireland. The income of the agricultural industry shows a dramatic fall every year, and the majority of farms are not viable without some other source of income. This article will demonstrate that it is women’s off-farm work that now maintains the farm. The shift to occupying the breadwinner role, and supporting what has been such a traditional industry, allows us to shed an empirical light on the well-established body of research on conjugal relationships, domestic divisions of labour and women’s income. What off-farm employment by women means for gender role expectations and the division of labour within the farm family will be examined.

Community Agency: A Comparison of Rural Communities in

Ireland and Pennsylvania


M.A. Brennan, A.E. Luloff, and J.C. Bridger

Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802




Rural development and government policy interests in America and Ireland need to better understand the role of local community agency in the process of rural community and economic development. Such local level action can facilitate the retention of decision-making capabilities in rural communities, while significantly contributing to the social, economic, and community well being of local residents. Community agency is also vital in protecting, retaining, and maintaining traditional rural cultures and communities in both nations. This is particularly critical for rural communities where poverty and extralocal development interests have threatened and eroded local cultures and economies. This paper will present both qualitative and quantitative data drawn from a study that compared several communities in both nations. Following an interactional framework, the process leading to the emergence of community agency, social participation, and collective action in Ireland and America will be explored and compared. From this, implications for policy and theory will be presented.


Bill Edwards, Michael Woods, Jon Anderson & Greham Gardner.

Institute of Geography & Earth Sciences, University of Wales, Aberystwyth

Recognition of the role that civil society plays in creating opportunities, enhancing the quality of life and sustaining a sense of ‘community’ has been widely recognised in rural settings. This has led to a situation in which many recent policy initiatives have sought to incorporate, often through partnership working, third sector and other groups into regeneration initiatives in the countryside. However, surprisingly little is known in details about the range of civic/civil associations which either independently instigate or collectively participate in the maintenance and regeneration of rural areas.

Drawing on evidence from a recently completed ESRC project exploring aspects of ‘community governance’, this paper examines the aims, organisation and impact of local civic societies and community groups in shaping, maintaining and modifying the trajectory of development in their local places. It explores the mobilisation of local civic/civil engagement under different ‘regimes of practice’; examines the experience of participants and evaluates the outcomes of such engagement in different rural settings. This evidence allows a conceptual re-positioning of the role of civil society in the broader policy and developmental trajectory of rural areas.

ESRS 2003 Abstracts

working group 1.1

paper no 11

paper title

Farm families in transition: some theoretical assumptions


Charles B. Hennon Bruno Hildenbrand  


Family Studies and Social Work

Miami University

Institute of Sociology

Friedrich Schiller University






We are organizing this group of scholars in the working group to discuss research and theoretical developments in the area of farm-family transitions. Specifically, we encourage the exchange of information concerning (1) how qualitative methods can bring new understanding to farm-family functioning and the transitions experienced over several generations or years; (2) how this information supports theory building about family responses to ecological (physical and social) opportunities and constrains; and (3) how different farming paradigms (e.g., yeoman, entrepreneur) and farm-family types (e.g., marginally performing, modernizers out of necessity, innovative entrepreneurs, part-time farmers) can lead to diverse strategies for responding to issues of modernity and changing agricultural conditions.

working group paper no
paper title The continuity of family farming and the emergence of rural leisure: The Basque case
authors Guadalupe Ramos    
institution Department of Sociology

University of the Basque Country

The future of the agriculture and rural world depends on the potential successors of the farms. Traditionally, a single child of the family farm inherits the whole farm. The way which farms are passed was an important factor in the continuity of the farm household because it affected the preservation of the unity of the family property.

However, at the present time the equality of inheritance occupies first place on succession rights of the family farm. It supposes the break up the farm in small units that do not guarantee profitability. Thus, the heritage is an obstacle to the entrance of the young farmer into agriculture.

One of the aspects that has an influence on the egalitarian practice of farm succession, has been the rise in interest in the qualities of rural life and of leisure in the rural areas. The farm households are demanded for people who identify the rural life as synonymous to a quality of life. In this way, the members of family farm that do not work in agriculture reclaim their inheritance part for residential uses or leisure zones. This demand has an affect on the decision of the youth (children of farmers) to work or not in the farm activity because they have to take on economic and family changes.

This paper will focus on the aspects that influence the decision of the young farmers in the Basque Country to continue or not in the family farm. Especially it seeks to be an introduction to the influence of the current interest in the rural life on their decision.

working group 1.1 paper no
paper title Family farm transitions: Intergenerational relationships across three farm generations
authors Kjersti Melberg    
institution Rogaland Research    
address Stavanger, Norway    

This paper focuses on social, economical, practical and emotional transitions in three generations of Norwegian farm couples. With their tightly interconnected relationships, farm families present a unique opportunity for studying bounding and transitions across generations. The main hypothesis of this study is that the different generations of farm couples will exhibit differences in their distribution of working, caring and domestic tasks based on the degree to which gender roles are defined by more traditional or more modern standards. Empirical implications of the model are tested against 2002-data from a representative sample of Norwegian farm couples, and also a qualitative sample of Norwegian farm families. The main hypothesis is that living arrangements with and relationships between family members across generations are closely bound up with family farm transitions. The research questions are: Are there any differences in work distribution between the generations and genders within different farm paradigms? Which transfers of economic, practical and emotional support between the generations takes place? Farm family type is defined by the farm wives’ degree of involvement in off-farm work and by their hours spent in domestic work. The results of our analyses suggest that members of traditional farm families seem to be most sensitively attuned to one another.

This work is part of the research project ("Farm changes under pressure: farm family transitions in a generational perspective") funded by the Norwegian Research Counsel. Thanks to professor Knud Knudsen and professor Kari Wærness for useful comments

working group paper no
paper title  


working group paper no
paper title  




Local Development in rural areas, facing globalization? Territorial culture sin Portugal and “social networking”.

Luis Moreno, University of Lisbon – Faculty of Arts and Centro de Estudos Geograficos (CEG)

Despite some preceding pioneer experiences until the eighties of XXth Century, only in the nineties come into general view in Portugal the phenomenon of local development (LD) in rural areas, as a movement of people and organisations involved in partnerships to participate in the fostering of territories usually lessened in what concerns to public attention, resources and investments.

Taking into account the traditionally feeble civil society in Portugal, the influence of the LEADER programme in this country was particularly intense, because it has multiplied the provacative effects over the well-established social, political and economic interests, leading to a social innovation process characterised by new forms of governance. However, differentiated socio-cultural and territorial conditions have brought to ways and situations substantially distinct in the North and in the South of the country, especially about the features of the associative movement.

In this paper – which is based on an academic research carried out between 1996 and 2002 – we analyse some conditions of both conflict and co-operation in the processes of rural development mediation, involving different kinds of stakeholders: from the central and local Estate, associations and universities, mainly.

The enlargement of a national movement of <civic and solidary organisations> as stated by ‘animar’ – Portuguese association-network for LD (only in rural areas until 1997) – it is also examined. Since 1993 this entity has realized a lobby work and has provided information and some training for a participative and inclusive <alternative> development. We evidence that the effects are geographically (de)limited in Portugal but they have been “extended abroad” through the participation in transnational civil networks for an alternative globalization which putatively may improve rural-urban equity (the conceived way of thinking and acting both globally and locally).


Brkic Srecko, Tratnik Miroslav and Zutinic Durdica

Faculty of Agriculture University of Zagreb,

Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology

10000 Zagreb, Svetosimunska St. 25, Croatia




The Croatian farmers have experienced significant changes in their position since early nineties of the last century. The changes resulted in political affirmation of the farming community that had been pushed on the margins, both in economic and socio-political sense, since the end of the Second World War. Their chances to articulate their interests have generally been very limited on the local, regional and national level. The farmers came into a spotlight by organising protests and blocking the highways in Central and Eastern Croatia in late nineties, which consequently caused some political parties to start fighting for their support.

Our research was conducted among the farmers who have/have not participated in the protests, and it was aimed at determining their attitude towards the protests, their views of social and economic position of the farmers, and at learning the essential motivation for the protests.

Although the initial cause for the protests was wheat purchase price, other numerous reasons were also included, such as current economic, social and political problems facing the farmers. The research results indicate high level of dissatisfaction with the current agricultural policy (71.2% finds it very bad or mostly bad), while the material and social position of the farmers is considered as very poor.

ESRS August 2003, Sligo, Ireland.

4.7 Rural NGOs, civic associations and rural civil society

Pawel Starosta


Perspectives on Civil Society in the Polish Countryside

The aim of my presentation is to outline the basic theoretical model of the civil society and than confront it with the empirical reality of the Polish countryside .

My concept of the civil society, involves three dimensions: structural, normative and mental ones.

In the structural dimension I assume that public sphere placed between the state, economy and natural communities is the basic one within which the civil society operates.

Than, intermediate groups, especially voluntary associations are the most typical structures for the civil society order.

Mental dimension of the civil society takes into account also the personality model of the citizen as a member of a given community. It is a general knowledge that every social system creates specific personality models. They are used in the process of socialization and upbringing in order to strengthen a given social order.

In this respect the member of the civil society is defined in literature as a fully aware and autonomous in its activity .

In every type of social order one draws attention to the fundamental systems of norms, the system which constitutes the basis for regulation of individuals’ and groups’ behaviors as well as for the integration of the whole society.

The specially significant issue in this case is the durability of the normative system expressing itself in the degree of respecting legal norms by both the ruling and the ruled. Nearly all civil society theoreticians stress the strong position of the legal norms as the regulators of social life within the frames of such a type of social order.

According to results of empirical data we can conclude that in the Polish countryside could be characterise in the following way

1/ After the period of increasing civic engagement, that was observed up to the middle of the 1990s, a fall in the social interest in participating in the public sphere can be now seen. In this respect, Polish countryside scores far below the developed democratic countries. Polish rural peoples are aware of the little role, which they play on the political scene. Only one third of Poles state that organizations have a significant influence on the Polish political affairs.

2/ Rural Poles do not perceive voluntary associations and social self-organizations as important elements of democratization processes. On the contrary, they perceive democracy as an effortless expansion of individual rights to various privileges. Rights and privileges, according to this philosophy, belong to the individuals whereas the sphere of public responsibility belongs to the state.

3/ A small role of associations on the political scene of rural communities is also proved by a low rate of their representatives in the structures of local power. The representatives of associations constitute only 14% of the total number of councilors in rural communities

4/ The weakness of associations results from their financial situation. Dynamic development of mass organizations, not only political ones, was possible due to the support, which they received from the state. After the systemic changes, the state limited its engagement in this sector considerably.

5/ The weakness of the voluntary sector does not only lie in the deficit of financial resources but also in unclear division among the parties, political organizations and other associations and foundations. The latter ones are very often conceived to support the former. The weakness of the third sector is also the unequal distribution of financial resources within the associations and organizations. Therefore, we face the process of financial oligarchy in the third sector, which obviously does not lead to the increase of social support of civic associations.

Pawel Starosta

Clerical Involvement in Populist-type Collective Action in Rural Ireland

Tony Varley

Clerical involvement in agrarian campaigning and community development has long been a feature of rural Ireland. To explore the patterns and consequences of such involvement (especially the leadership offered by Catholic priests) I will begin by outlining two models of populist-type collective action. Effective collective action, according to the radical populist model, requires transformative change, membership-led organisation and (given the likelihood of the State’s refusal to concede radical demands) oppositional tactics. Pragmatic populists, on the other hand, believe that effective collective action requires being prepared to settle for incremental change, leadership-led organisation and a heavy reliance on integrationist tactics. With these two models in hand, I will proceed to review clerical involvement in a number of rural movements and campaigns. The influence exerted by clerical involvement on aims and ideologies, organisation and tactics as well as outcomes will be traced and assessed. How well the emerging patterns conform to our two populist models is then considered.


European Society for Rural Sociology

20th Biennial Conference 2003

Work, Leisure and Development in Rural Europe Today

Institute of Technology, Sligo, Ireland

18 – 22 August 2003


Convenors 4.8: ICT in rural development – is the Net working? (Working Group)

Sarah Skerrat

Martyn Warren


Sérgio Paulo Ferreira (Porto University – Faculty of Arts – Master in Sociology) Porto / Portugal

Title: "Periphery as a Central Place"

Preliminary results from a Study on Social Representations, Discourse and Social Practices on the Internet

How do Young People use it / see it in Peripheral Areas (Rural North East of Portugal)?


What can be said of the Internet young users in peripheral areas such as the rural North East of Portugal? Information Society, namely in Portugal, reveals a recent phenomenon (1996-2003), particularly assuming that the existing regional asymmetries introduce the danger of a gradual increase of a "digital divide" between rural and urban areas, and also in intra-rural contexts.

This paper aims to explain some of the structural trends, which are related to the specific conditions that define the Portuguese North Eastern peripheral areas, and afterwards highlight their consequences on the Information Society.

Special attention will be devoted to the social representations, discourse and social practices of young people integrated into different contexts due to their territorial handicaps, such as the lack of communication infra-structures (roads, telecommunications), demographic change (the aging and the isolation of rural villages, desertification), social and economic restructuring (high dependency levels on traditional economic activities, low incomes and household’s buying power) and education levels (illiteracy and low instruction levels). Bearing this in mind, these variables could act together to produce a social divide that varies significantly among the different local rural areas.

It is felt that there is a hypothesis that young Internet users in peripheral areas are a "risk group" facing social, economic, cultural and educational inequalities, which delay an effective integration into the Internet society of information and knowledge, thus creating difficulties in the future of rural development.

The research methodology was based on questionnaires applied to Bragança Region’s secondary schools (North East of Portugal), with additional individual and group interviews, and relevant personalities in this area. This paper is also based on complementary results of a survey done in Montesinho Natural Park, promoted by António Morais (sociologist), mainly because there is a need to take advantage of the technological innovations in order to rethink the purposes and the range of action of the natural parks. Therefore ICT must function as a transformation element within the population living in the park, going beyond a mere biological notion of the role of natural parks.



The study is presently conducted by a sociologist with a scholarship attributed by FCT – Science and Technology Foundation - Portugal, within the context of his Master in Sociology at Porto University – Faculty of Arts (FLUP).

Please send confirmation of the acceptance of the present paper to

I also need a prediction of the costs required for the conference (conference fees, accommodation, meals), for a non-member of ESRS.

This information is needed for a possible sponsorship given by FCT – Science and Technology Foundation / Portugal.


European Society for Rural Sociology - 20th Biennial Conference 2003
Work, Leisure and Development in Rural Europe Today

Conference Working Group 4: Rural society, social structures and development

Abstract submitted to (4.7) ICT in rural development – is the Net working?

Title of paper: Domestic use/non-use of computers and the internet in rural Sligo

Name of presenter: Rosemarie Gilligan, University College Dublin

This paper presents the main findings of a qualitative study carried out on fifteen households located in County Sligo between 2001 and 2002, to explore their use/non-use of computers and the internet at home. The study took a broad social shaping approach to its work and engaged with the concept of domestication (Silverstone et al., 1989). Rural households interviewed were from different socio-economic backgrounds and age groups, thereby ensuring a cross representation of the rural community in this part of Ireland.

Focusing on domestic consumption of information and communication technologies (ICTs) from a rural perspective, the findings of this study offers an additional dimension to the body of existing literature on domestic use/consumption of ICTs, as previous academic studies in this field have by and large focused on urban areas in their case studies (see Bakardjieva & Smith, 2001; Ling & Thrane, 2001; Frissen, 2000; Haddon, 1999; Aune, 1996; Silverstone et al., 1989). Furthermore, as the fieldwork was undertaken in County Sligo, the results should also be of particular interest to this year’s conference participants, as Sligo will host the conference and participants will have the opportunity to experience first-hand everyday life in this region.

Some of the main findings are as follows:

The computer and internet offer more opportunities to work from home and moreover to carry out professional and skilled work when living in rural/isolated areas.

Results show that while work use figures strongly, the computer is also used for a variety of reasons including educational purposes, drawing, playing games, preparing flyers and cards and accessing the internet.

The internet is primarily used by interviewees for sending and replying to e-mails and getting information, thus showing the strong information demands of household members in this study.

Certain services offered on the internet appear to be more useful and valuable to people living in rural regions, e.g. booking a flight online.

Online shopping offers those living in rural areas a wider selection of products as for example, large chain stores are not present in rural regions.

Lack of IT skills, cost of computer technology and no need for a computer, are some of the barriers experienced by non-users interviewed to accessing computers and the internet.

Interviewees experienced a lack of adequate customer and technical support, and in particular on-site support.

Some interviewees felt that computers and the internet are changing the way that we work and live, and that there is less human contact and interaction in daily life.

Some interviewees suggested that the computer can be a block to good socialising in the home and in some ways can be anti-social.

The car is considered by far to be the most important possession to interviewees. This shows us that despite the rhetoric of the information society, the car is more valued by interviewees.

The paper will also present examples from its findings which highlight the way that people living in County Sligo adopt and use (or not) ICTs. Through these examples, it will make some suggestions as to whether or not, factors influencing adoption and use of ICTs could be considered as ‘cultural’. By examining such factors this may show us how a local rural culture influences use of ICTs, while at the same time emphasising how this culture is perhaps unique to the rural region in question, for example, County Sligo in this case study. As a result, people living in different rural regions may have different experiences with ICTs, as their rural culture may be somewhat different.

Author: Rosemarie Gilligan is a PhD student in the Department of Library and Information Studies, University College Dublin. E-mail:

Keywords: domestic use/non-use of ICTs, rural users of ICTs, rural communications, rural culture.


Aune, M. (1996) ‘The Computer in Everyday Life: Patterns of Domestication of a New Technology’ in Lie, M. and Sørensen, K (eds.) (1996) Making Technology Our Own? Domesticating Technology into Everyday Life, Oslo: Scandinavian University Press, pp. 91 – 120

Bakardjieva, M. and Smith, R. (2001) ‘The internet in everyday life: Computer networking from the standpoint of the domestic user’, new media & society, Vol.3, No. 1, pp. 67 – 83

Frissen, V, (2000) ‘ICTs in the Rush Hour of Life’, The Information Society,

Vol 16, No. 1, pp. 65-75

Haddon, L. (1999) ‘European Perceptions and Use of the Internet’.  Paper for the 2nd International Conference on Uses and Services in Telecommunications, Arcachon, France, 7-9 June 1999

Ling, R. and Thrane, K. (2001) ‘"It actually separates us a little bit, but I think that is an advantage": The management of electronic media in Norwegian households’, paper to 3rd International Conference on Uses and Services in Telecommunications, Paris, 12-14 June 2001

Silverstone, R., Morley, D., Dahlberg, A. and Livingstone, S. (1989) Families, technologies and consumption: the household and information and communication technologies, CRICT discussion paper, Brunel University,UK



XXth Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology

18-22 August, 2003, Sligo, Ireland

‘Work, Leisure and Development in Rural Europe Today’

Working Group 4.8 ICT in rural development – is the Net working?


Connecting rural SMEs to the digital economy: some

empirical evidence from Ireland and Scotland

Seamus Grimes and Marsaili MacLeod


The relative absence of critical analysis of policy developments in the EU context has resulted in a rather superficial understanding of the gaps between the political nature of the information society rhetoric in the EU, and the reality on the ground in terms of the extent to which rural regions are participating in, and deriving benefits from, opportunities presented by the digital economy. Promoting the effective exploitation of new information and communication technologies within the context of the information society has been a major area of EU policy commitment and investment. Within that policy there has been a focus on the capacity of ICTs to enhance the competitiveness of lagging regions, and in particular, rural SMEs. Despite widespread hype expectations of electronic commerce the significant regional disparities in broadband connectivity throughout Europe indicate that there are still considerable advances to be made both in terms of providing the enabling infrastructural investment and, equally importantly, in stimulating the demand for digital development, before participation in e-commerce becomes a real option for many rural SMEs. The authors argue that without a deeper understanding of the e-adoption process in rural SMEs, taking into consideration issues of human and social capital, entrepreneurship and innovation, and the suitability of rural products and services to e-commerce, the potential of ICTs to facilitate rural development may be overestimated. These issues will be examined in the case of rural SMEs in both Ireland and Scotland, based on the on-going EU-funded AsPIRE project, which examines the extent to which SMEs in peripheral rural areas have succeeded in exploiting new technologies to overcome some of their locational disadvantages.

Postcards from Arran: Non-technical influences on network inclusivity.

Failure of regulatory bodies to hasten the deployment of ICT in rural areas is clearly a potential impediment to competitive behaviour and a lost opportunity for service enhancement. However, this paper suggests that rural concerns are too readily framed in terms of inadequate provision without addressing other aspects of local society and economy that determine how effectively technology is integrated into existing development networks.

ICT has been introduced to Arran within the context of a keenly felt crisis in tourism on the island, with Internet marketing perceived to be a ‘fix’ of sorts by many local actors. However, conflict has arisen over the manner of representation achieved through this new medium. The model of development espoused by the area tourist board (ATB) – essentially aiming to foster day tourism (now worth £9bn annually to the British economy) - has been challenged by informal actors, some of whom now host ‘rogue’ promotional web sites whose content differs markedly from the ATB’s own vision of the island. Beyond mere aesthetics, their actions appear to reflect a more deep-set dissatisfaction with the recent re-organisation of regional government structures. Moreover, their efforts may yet jeopardise the very real efforts being made by the ATB to increase local revenues.

Simon Oakes

Flood Hazard Research Centre

Middlesex University





Institute for Research in Economics and Business Administration (SNF),

Bergen, Norway.

Presenting business online offers opportunities also for marketing and trade within regional production. However specifically how these firms can use the Internet in commercialisation of their products seems so far not to have received much research attention. A key issue for strategic ICT-use concerns the levels of awareness within firms of the value and opportunities created by the use of this technology. Some firms have obviously a culture for experimentation, others seem to be far more sceptic about this new technology. This paper is concerned with actual performance based on analysis of website content among small niche food producers in rural areas within the agricultural based food industry. Small-scale food producers included in the Norwegian Industrial and Regional Development Fund (SND) "Verdiskapingsprogram" and of the Godt Norsk branding initiative are the empirical basis for the study. The aim of this analysis is twofold: firstly to identify the range of methods of doing business by using the web. Secondly, to identify what seems to be the weakness and strength concerning the performance and actual content. By including the territorial dimension, the paper also seeks to move beyond the limits of the individual firm and add some comments about how business performance related to web-strategies is tied to the presence and absence of appropriate culture and spatial conditions in general, and to rural location in particular.



ICTs and Social Exclusion

The British Government has given priority to tackling social exclusion, which it explains as a ‘shorthand term for what can happen when people or areas suffer from a combination of linked problems such as unemployment, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime, bad health and family breakdown’ (SEU, Preventing Social Exclusion, 2001) admitting that this is a deliberately flexible definition.

This paper explores how ICT can contribute to the goals of ‘preventing exclusion, reintegrating those who become excluded and ensuring basic minimum standards’. Its empirical focus is on a District Council that has been awarded Beacon status for ‘ICT and social exclusion’ and therefore has a responsibility for spreading good practice.

Like the government, this paper uses a flexible (and broad) definition of social exclusion; it investigates how the technology can be conceptualised as enabling the re-integration of individuals and areas so that they are no longer socially excluded; it addresses both the exclusion of individuals or social groups, and geographic areas. It stresses that certain rural areas should be viewed as socially excluded areas per se and that this is overlaid by exclusion from some of the benefits that ICTs could bring.




Hilary Talbot

PhD Student

CURDS, University of Newcastle.


Education of ICT experts for rural purposes

Ivan Vrana

Czech University of Agriculture in Prague

Head of Department of Information Engineering

Kamýcká ul., 165 21 Praha 6 – Suchdol

Czech Republic



Rural and agro-food sector comprises several segments: food production, food processing and food trading, agro-tourism and landscape development are just few examples of segments in a rural life. Each of these segments has its specific technological processes. It is clear that these individual processes can be performed in an easier and more economic way by using ICT (e.g. process control systems, financial systems, expert systems, e-trading systems, internet communication, etc.). Everybody agrees with this fact. But people, who whished to implement ICT applications in the rural and the agro-food sector, besides being experts in the ICT issues, in the same time they should also communicate with farmers, tradesmen, offices and local authorities. That is why, these IT professionals should understand terminology and also problems and ways of thinking of „farmers" in order to make their ICT implementation effective and „tailor made" to the rural and agro-food sector needs and requirements. This fact justifies the requirement to provide a certain part of IT experts also with a „rural" knowledge and, vice versa, to provide a certain part of rural and agro-food experts with a good IT knowledge.

The paper describes a way of successful accomplishing of this task in the Czech University of Agriculture in Prague. The five-year Informatics study programme in Master degree level was introduced within the Faculty of Economics and Management of the Czech University of Agriculture in Prague in the year 1990. This study programme has an enrolment of about 500 students, who become experts in ICT, economics and rural disciplines. The existing curricula and their composition are described in the paper, as well as experience with building the Informatics study programme. Experience of graduates of this study programme and their chances to get employed are mentioned, too. Currently, on demand of the Athens University of Agriculture, the new initiative started to build an international ICT university education, which should be focussed at rural sector needs. The two-year pilot trial will be launched for Greek students (bachelors from the Athens University of Agriculture) in the University of Agriculture in Prague. The scope of this project can be extended to further countries and an international cooperation is expected. The implementation of the ICT instruments to all facets of the rural society can be easier and more effective in this way.

ESRS conference, Sligo 2003

Virtual Villages: a new force in rural development?

Martyn Warren and Sarah Skerratt

The village community website is a comparatively recent phenomenon, but nevertheless exists in large numbers. The form of such websites varies considerably, as does the purpose: they can be designed as a service for the current residents and/or former residents and their descendants; as a representation of the village and its qualities to non-residents; as a way of promoting local tourism or other industries.

The operation of such websites raises a number of questions of interest to social scientists, including the local appropriation of a global technology; the relationship between online and offline communities; whether village websites reinforce or undermine territorial ‘community’; how their representations of rurality/village/community differ from offline ‘reality’; to what extent they can be a positive force in rural development. The study of such sites also raises important methodological issues, including the extent to which ethnographic approaches can be adapted to internet-based research.

This paper describes work in progress on a systematic study of village websites in the United Kingdom. It concentrates on the research process and the lessons learnt through that process, while also presenting some preliminary findings about the nature of the sites and their webmasters, and about the latters’ perceptions of the current operation and future potential of the medium. Drawing on ethnographic principles, a multiple-method approach is employed, involving email surveys, face-to-face interviews, participant observation of a specific discussion group, and participant validation at various stages. The paper concludes with a number of challenges for discussion in the workshop.

Working group 4.8

Teaching of Social Sciences for Rural Development

Věra Majerová

Day 1.

The peripherisation of rural sociology in Turkish Sociology from a historical perspective.

Mehmet Ecevit

Nadide Karkıner

8,30 - 9,00

In this paper, rural studies will be examined in Turkish sociology from a historical perspective. The periphery position of rural sociology is mostly related to the historical development of Turkish agriculture and its politics. Is rural sociology going to be periphery sociology in Turkish sociology in the framework of theory, methodology and research? It will be not only examined the accumulation of rural sociology in modernisation, industrialisation, globalisation and capitalisation, but also its relation with locality, originality, continuity, historicity and universalism. The conceptualisation of centre would be possible with the critics of capitalism, globalisation and local structures in Turkish agriculture.

Rural sociology teaching methods in higher education

Agnes Nemenyi

9,00 – 9,30

The paper deals with the teaching methods applied in rural sociology. At the same time the plan of a textbook which is prepared for students in sociology is presented.



Rural Bridges

Vera Majerová, Daniela Stehlik

9,30 – 10,00

The proposal of international project entitled „Rural Bridges", has brought together rural sociologists of European as well as overseas countries. The project is based on exchange of videotapes for the purpose in teaching of rural sociology. Teaching project is prepared by authors from Czech University of Agriculture, Prague and Centre for Social Science Research, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Qeensland, Australia.




10,00 – 10,30

Experience with rural sociology teaching at Czech University of Agriculture Prague

Lucie Kocmánková - Menšíková

Blanka Hašová

10,30 – 11,00


The Rural sociology as a detached scientific discipline has become a very significant field of interest in recent Czech society. The rural sociology is being added to teaching programmes at all types of universities because of this. The Czech University of Agriculture in Prague has done so as well. We, as rural and regional development Ph.D. students, are involved and participate in the teaching of rural sociology. The teaching consists of lectures, which are given by professors or other academics, and consecutive seminars where the theoretical concepts of qualitative and quantitative approach in sociological empirical research are applied in a practical way. We focus on methods and techniques of sociological research, on the creation of questionnaires, and on further techniques of data collecting and data processing. At the same time, we try to motivate the students towards an independent scientific way of working where we stress oral presentations and written skills, individual activity, and interest in public affairs, as well as in the processes of recent rural areas development. Professional knowledge thus gained should contribute to a scientific handling of the diploma thesis. In parallel, the students should form the basis of successful assert in their future jobs. In a very specific way the knowledge gained should contribute to the development of regional agencies which present a wide basis for assert of rural sociology graduates.


Ecological crisis, rural development and education for change - certain aspects

Savo Trifunovic

11,00 – 11,30

Nature is the basic of human activity. Man has, by his actions, disturbed the ecological equilibrium and endangered the survival of mankind. Environmental degradation has its counterpart in alienated man. A solution should be sought in the creation of the "knowledge civilisation" and moral man; being not a priori given but dictated by the age we live in. Process of globalisation and Bologna’s Process determine new approach to change. Permanence, flexibility, diversification, transparently, creative compromises, change are some fundamental categories (processes) of education in"society who learn". They are processes requiring a change of man, consciousness and foundations of the existing economic, political and value systems. The greatest problems education for change (in our society) is our sense, mind, our models opinions and behaviours. Food and a healthy environment are important but insufficient conditions for development. Even when there is an abundance of food, an occurring problem is generally of social (economic and political) character. Owing to this, the process of moderate, balanced organic development should replace the process of insatiable growth at any price in order to provide equal opportunities for each man regarding demonstration and realisation of human potentials. We must know that "little is beautiful". Too,"work local, think global" because "tomorrow is late" We have need of new ethics and ecological perspective in education and in process of work. Growth must be to exchange with development. Educational for change must educate healthy persons with democratically orientation, with ethically to generations in future. Serbian society is in transition. Today, rural sociology in Serbia is undeveloped. She is in ruins. But we want to go in "Europe of Knowledge". We must learn from developed countries because of that. Too, we must teach and co-operate with social scientists, make educational networks and make collaboration among people. That can help to us. From the ecological and moral point of view, population, food, capital, education, unrenewable natural resources and environmental contamination as some of main and long-lasting problems of the ecological crisis and rural development have been underlined in the paper. The author has stressed ecological-ethical problems and education for change as some dimension of the attitude towards the ecological crisis and rural development.

Political Sciences and Rural Development

Jarolav Čmejrek

11,30 – 12,00

The paper deals with the role of political theory and science in the educational process connected with rural development. Political science has been focussed on political process on a national (parliamentary) level, while local political life has been out of interest for a long time. Peculiarities of the political process in rural areas represent the main problem in the field. Political theory has to be combined with an empirical approach to political aspects of rural development and with research projects results.


12,00 – 13,00

General discussion

13,00 – 14,00

XXth Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology

Working Group 5.2 Impacts of European integration process on the rural development and agricultural sectors of accession countries – change and continuity

Sligo, Ireland, 18-22 August 2003


Evaluation and measurement of Hungarian rural development policies

on sub-regions’ level

(Case Studies on Rural Development in Hungarian Sub-regions)


by Borbély, Ákos* * - Csillag, Péter* * - Elek, Sándor* - Németh, Ákos * *

Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Budapest University of Economic Sciences and Public Administration, H-1093 Budapest Fõvám tér 8.



In contrast to practice of the EU Hungarian rural development policy is based not on NUTS 3 (region) but NUTS 4 (sub-region) and NUTS 5 (settlement) level. However the definition of rural sub-regions and settlements is similar to the EU and OECD practice.

In our paper we will present some results of case studies on rural development in three selected Hungarian rural sub-regions (Tapolca, Kunszentmiklós and Nyírbátor). These case studies have been prepared in 2002 in the framework of the IDARA research project. When selecting sub-regions our main principle was that sub-regions should be located in different regions of Hungary and be differently development. The case studies consist of relevant processed statistics, data collected at appropriate level and in-the-field interviews, and are focused on institutions of rural development and evaluation of rural development measures.


* Associate Professor; Tel: +36 1217-5068, Fax: +36 1218-0789, E-mail:

* * PhD Student, Tel: +36 1217-5068, Fax: +36 1218-0789


Krisztián Ritter

Ph.D. student

Institute for Rural Development and Extension Services

Faculty of Economical and Social Sciences

Szent István University, Gödöllő

2100 Gödöllő, Páter K. u. 1. Hungary

Phone: +36-28-522000/1992


The role of the agriculture in the national economy has drastically decreased in the last decade in Hungary, although agriculture's share in the economy is still significant. In 2001 no more than 6-7% of the Hungarian workforce is employed in this sector (from 17% in 1990). In the East-Middle-Europe region this percentage is the lowest, although it is the same in the EU. The contribution of this sector to the GDP has decreased also measurably. Agriculture and forestry combined account for ~ 4-5% of Hungary's GDP in 2001, (15,3% in 1990) but it is still higher than ~1.7% in the European Union.

In the one hand, in spite of it's decreasing importance in the national economy, agriculture plays still an important role (production, employment and environment maintenance) in the life of the rural areas in Hungary. On the other hand, this decreasing importance causes heavy and pressing problems, especially in the ex-agricultural areas and regions. Recession in the agricultural sector was worse than for the overall economy. One of the biggest problems is the low competitivity or/and low profitability of the agriculture and small farms. Unemployment is characteristic sign of the underprivileged areas, and that affects mainly the villages and the people who have lost their job in agricultural sector. For these people alternative incomes and other sectors could help. At the same time however, besides the agricultural sector there is no other employer than local governments in these areas, and areas like these are avoided by both in- and outland capital.

Despite the controversy around this theme, in my opinion the agricultural development is not equal to the rural development. Clearing up the differences between these two concepts is fundamental and very necessary. There is no question about the importance of the agriculture in rural development, but it can not solve the problems of rural areas by itself, while the complex rural development could be the solution for any of these areas. The main factor is the development, based on local internal resources, with the aim of reaching to be competitive and marketable in the EU, in accordance with the main EU principles, of course.

In this paper the author writes about the new role of the agriculture in the national economy and in the life of the countryside in Hungary; about the relationship between the agriculture and rural development – analyzing the main features and characteristic of the Hungarian rural policy and rural development and considering the possibilities of the agriculture as a solution or help for rural people; and about the main tasks of the rural development in the "ex-agricultural" areas. The author also collects the main economical and social problems and the main possibilities in these areas. The definitions like "agricultural" and "rural areas" can’t be missed from the paper of course. All these topics are analysed from the point of view of the integration process.

Keywords: Agriculture, Agricultural area, Competitiveness, EU, Local resources, Multifunctionality, Profitability, Rural area, Rural development, Sustainability,

XXth Condress of the European Society for Rural Sociology

18-22 August, Sligo, Ireland



WG 5.2. Impacts of European Integration Process on the Rural Development and Agricultural Sectors of Accession Countries




Rhetoric and Political Reality: Hungarian Experiences in Introducing Rural Development Policies



What are the major challenges brought about by recent social and economic changes in the Hungarian rural space development policies should address; what are the major state policies addressing these challenges and what has been the role and weight of RD policies among them – these are the main issues the paper is going to discuss. The scope of consideration extends from the achievements of the Hungarian RD policy introduced as a new and most relevant actor in 1998 to its future prospects folding from the analysis of recent programming documents. Special attention is going to be paid to the gap between rhetoric and political reality and the way political forces exploit the steatchy term of „rural development".


Katalin Kovács Ph.D.

Department for Regional Development Research, Centre for Regional Studies, HAS

Tel: 36-1-413-6066, Fax: 36-1-321-2574,

Postal address: 1385 Budapest 62. Pf. 833. Hungary



Work, Leisure and Development in Rural Europe Today

XXth Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology

25-30 August, 2003, Sligo, Ireland

Working group 5.2 Impacts of European Integration Process on the Rural Development and Agricultural Sectors of Accession Countries - change and continuity


Mariana Draganova, Ph.D.

Institute of Sociology, Sofia, Bulgaria



In terms of the EU integration process, in Bulgaria, the structural adjustment of agriculture and rural development has made some progress. The preparation of the National Agriculture and Rural Development Plan (NARDP) in 2000, within the framework of SAPARD programme is a part of the common strategy in the pre-accession period. Its key concepts are integrated approach to rural development and the diversification of rural areas. For the period 2000-2006 NARDP defines two major priorities:

w "To develop efficient agricultural production and a competitive food processing sector through improved market and technological infrastructure and strategic investment policy, ultimately aiming at reaching EU standards".

w "Sustainable development of the rural areas consistent with best environmental practices, by facilitating alternative employment, diversification of economic activities and establishment of the necessary infrastructure. This will lead to improved living conditions, increased income generating capacity and employment opportunities for those living in the rural areas" (NARDP). The process also includes renovation and development of villages, protection and conservation of rural heritage and cultural traditions.

The paper will focus on the progress in the activities and ongoing projects on diversification of rural economy, including the underdeveloped rural regions. By the end of 2002 the total number of approved projects is 272. The biggest share of approved projects are under measure 1 "Investments in agricultural holdings" (71 percent), 20 percent are under measure 2 - "Improving the processing and marketing of agricultural and fishery products" and 9 percent under measure 3 – "Development and diversification of economic activities, provision of multiple activities and alternative income". For the present, the firms in agriculture and forestry prevail, while in traditional sectors like commerce, services and crafts small family firms are dominant.

It is important the political will of the state, this ambitious plan, created in a definitely modern vision and approach towards rural communities to be implemented in specific policies and measures of central institutions in co-ordination with and participation of local authorities and voluntary organizations of rural actors. The only goal should face to mobilization of all available and potential resources for overcoming the under and uneven development of the Bulgarian countryside, for improving the quality of life and living conditions of rural people.



Working Group 5.3: "Changing Politics of Food, Agriculture and the Environment"


SESSION 1: Introduction and Policy Reform


Lutz Laschewski

Widening the agenda - new issues and approaches in studying contemporary agricultural policy and politics: a European perspective

Current agricultural debates about, for example, the BSE crisis, Green genetics, food safety, organic farming, multifunctionality and rural development are widening the agenda and the field for potential actors at all levels of agricultural policy making. Further, the views of political scientists are changing too. Because of that many, often implicit propositions about agricultural policy making that seem to be characteristic for agricultural policy research are questioned.

The paper discusses main approaches that have been applied to study agricultural policy and some of their major propositions such as:

that agricultural policy decision making in the European Union is only about agriculture (but not e.g. about European integration), and is made by state actors.

that agriculture policy is mainly about managing food quantities and farm restructuring,

the existence of an unchallenged scientific consents about environmental impacts of farming or health risk associated with food production,

and a dualistic perception of agricultural governance that has to choose between liberalized markets or state regulation.

By questioning those propositions suggestions are made for a redefined agricultural policy research agenda in the European context.


Hilkka Vihinen

The politics of a policy: the concept of politics in the study of agricultural policy

The aim of the paper is to raise the question of how well current agricultural policy can be explained in the terms of interest politics, and how modern political science could contribute to a better understanding of the politics of this policy. The article first discusses briefly the mainstream approaches to interpreting the politics of agricultural policy in two scientific fields, in agricultural policy and in political science. It is argued that the mainstream approaches in the study of agricultural policy have an instrumentalist view on politics in the sense that they conceive politics as a means for superior purposes. As an alternative, the article offers the concept of politics as a freedom which emphasises acting in a situation. Politics-as-an-action is a broader concept of politics which recognises diverse actions and actors as political, attempting to understand better what is taking place in current politics.

The paper finishes with some findings of the politics of agricultural policy in two EU

countries, in the Netherlands and in Ireland, using the concept of politics-as-an-action.



SESSION 2: Policy Reform


Wayne Moyer and Tim Josling

Comparing the discourse of agricultural politics in the US and EU

This paper will discuss the recent interplay between changing agricultural policy discourse, decision-making procedures, farm politics, international trade negotiations and policy reform, and examine the implications for the future. More specifically, the EU and US moved in the 1990s from a Dependent Agriculture Paradigm to divergent new paradigms; Multi-Functional Agriculture in the EU; and Competitive Agriculture in the US. The MacSharry and Agenda 2000 reforms in the EU and 1996 FAIR Act in the US reflect these changes in thinking. However, policy reform has lagged the paradigm shift because of existing decision rules and procedures previously created to institutionalize the old Dependent Agriculture paradigm. Indeed, the poor farm economy led the US to take a step backward toward the Dependent Agriculture paradigm in the 2002 farm bill. But, the necessity of reaching a new agricultural trade agreement for a successful Doha WTO Round and likely future budget constraints put pressure on both the EU and US to further reform their agricultural policies. How much further will future reform go in reflecting the new paradigms of the 1990s? Are the paradigms themselves evolving? How much and what kind of a shift from market support and direct income subsidy toward rural development can we expect to see in the years ahead? Will EU and US farm support policies diverge further or converge?



Peter Feindt

Agricultural policy reform: caught between radical discourse and institutionalised incrementalism

In January 2001, the German government appeared to take radical measures in response to the BSE crisis. Following the resign of the federal minister and some major organisational rearrangements in the administration, a complete turnaround in agricultural policy was announced. The new minister Renate Kuenast especially pleaded for more organic agriculture and regional food chains. Two and a half years later it is time for a first major review.

Based on a policy content analysis and an institutional analysis as well as 40 in-depth interviews with key actors in the German agricultural policy system conducted in 2003, the proposed paper shows that despite a radical rhetoric and a major divide in public opinion, the actual policy change has been fairly incremental. The open question is if this finding can be explained best with reference to institutional barriers in an overly complex, multi-layer decision system, or by the patterns of vested interests, or by the discursive formations in agricultural policy.

It is argued that a complex approach is needed to count for the difficulties of any major reform in agricultural policy in Germany and Europe. A proper research design will have to integrate economic, technical, institutional, discursive and political barriers that sum up to a kind of iron cage of agricultural policy. The possible impact of external pressure arising from the current Doha round of the WTO will be discussed. Based on the German case study, some methodological conclusions for the design of comparative studies are suggested.

SESSION 3: Governance of the Agri-Food System


Johanne Allinson

Contemporary agri-food policy decision making and delivery in the UK: the role of the retailers

Prior to the 1980s the industrialised UK Agri-Food System (AFS) was regulated primarily by the state through a variety of interventionist approaches and mechanisms. By the 1980s, concern about the impact that those approaches and mechanisms to the regulation of an industrialised AFS were having on general public expenditure on food, the domestic and EU public purse and the environment began to grow. Since then, following the emergence of such concerns and more neo-liberal influences, the multiple grocery retailers have, informally, emerged as regulators of the UK AFS. Indeed, multiple grocery retailers are responsible for the majority of food retail sales in the UK and provide food consumers with assurances about the availability, safety and quality of their food. Thus, they are often seen as the most appropriate bodies to regulate the AFS. Following Foot and Mouth Disease their positions in this regard have not diminished. In fact, as a result of a number of changes to the structure and regulation of the UK AFS, their positions as regulators of the UK AFS have been strengthened. For example, supermarkets are very much involved in the work of the (UK) Food Chain Centre and there is a current emphasis on ‘joined up working and thinking’ in and throughout the UK AFS. It is therefore suggested that multiple grocery retailers now face a range of opportunities to occupy a more prominent role in the governance of the UK AFS.

This paper very briefly summarises the political economy literature about the historical mode of regulation of the UK AFS between the close of WWII and the present day, focusing on the diminishing role of the state and the growing importance of multiple grocery retailers. It then briefly draws from research that explored how and why multiple grocery retailers have been able to directly influence the organisation and regulation of supply linkages in the UK AFS since the 1980s. Following this, there is analysis of how agri-food policy and the UK AFS regulatory frameworks were revised post FMD 2001, with particular attention to the diminishing role of the state and the growing importance of multiple grocery retailers, the market and consumers in this regard. The paper then closes with a critique of the role played by multiple grocery retailers in the delivery of contemporary UK AFS policy and regulation.


Joseph Murphy

Understanding governance and coalitions: transatlantic networks and the regulation of GMOs

A de facto moratorium on the authorisation of new genetically modified
organisms (GMOs) came into force in the European Union (EU) in June 1999.
This resulted in a high profile trade conflict with the United States
(US). Analysis of this issue has tended to focus on its political and
legal aspects. Will the US make a formal complaint to the World Trade
Organisation? Is the de facto moratorium defensible under trade law? This
paper will argue that such debates fail to take account of various
transatlantic networks and their impact on the regulation of GMOs in the
EU and the US. Four of these networks will be discussed - the
Transatlantic Business Dialogue, the Transatlantic Economic Partnership,
the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue and the EU-US Consultative Forum on
Biotechnology. These networks will be analysed using ideas from governance
theory and two policy analysis frameworks which focus on the roles played
by coalitions in policy making processes - Sabatier's advocacy coalition
framework and Hajer's discourse coalition framework will be applied. This
analysis will provide new insights into the changing politics of food,
agriculture and the environment, particularly in a trade conflict/trade
liberalisation situation.


SESSION 4: Rural Policy Design


Wijnand Boonstra

Balancing of Power: Rural Governance in the Netherlands

The Dutch countryside is experiencing an increasing amount of claims, from different social actors. Dominant policy perspectives about rural governance in the Netherlands stress the need for the creation of policies, which can connect state - with regional civil society, and cater for social co-ordination of these demands and claims. Recently, the Dutch state has made clear the intention to attune policies to a regional level by the creation of several new political arrangements.

In this paper this policy perspective and the shift in governance is taken as an entry point for an analysis of power struggles within the field of rural governance. Theoretical concepts from different perspectives on rural governance are used, such as policy arrangements, governmentalities and institutions, to investigate social co-ordination within ‘new’ regional political arrangements.

These new political arrangements function as interfaces between the representatives of the different development trajectories, and as such constitute the field of possible action for social actors within the countryside.

This raises questions concerning the functioning of these political arrangements. First, according to which perceptions of actors are these regional arrangements structured? Or in other words, what is considered to be the role and function of arrangements of rural governance according to the actors involved? Second, how does the functioning of these arrangements structure the social action of rural stakeholders?

From interviews and participant observation in three regional planning committees, there appear to be three contrasting perspectives concerning the role and function of regional political arrangements. They are perceived as:

Legislative instruments of the state to govern regional civil society

Autonomous political arrangements as sites of conflict between state and regional civil society

Semi-autonomous political arrangements used for negotiation between state and regional civil society

With the use of three cases, in the provinces of Friesland and Utrecht, it is showed how these perspectives are (re) produced within the practice of rural development.

The paper is finalised by a discussion on the functioning of political arrangements of new rural governance. From the analysis it appears that obscurity on the rules and resources to be used within new political arrangements is apparent. Thus one could argue the need for a clearer institutional framework, also in relation to democratic governance. While at the same time allowing for sufficient institutional flexibility in order to cope with the fast changing political, social and economic countryside.


Philip Lowe and Jeremy Phillipson

Farming, Multifunctionality and the rural economy: sources of resilience and vulnerability as revealed by the Foot and Mouth crisis

The 2001 epidemic of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) triggered a rural economy crisis extending far beyond farming. The lessons from the crisis went beyond those posed specifically for the future of farming, a theme which has dominated the official inquiry process and policy debate in the aftermath of the outbreak. Crucially, the crisis exposed realities and challenged basic assumptions about the nature of the rural economies and the policies designed to support them, drawing attention to the interface between rural development and agriculture in the UK in a profound way. What FMD revealed above all was how much the rural economy has changed in recent years and how out-of-date are official and public conceptions. The initial institutional response to the outbreak was to see the problem wholly in disease control terms and from the perspective of the agricultural sector. This narrow view set in train a process of decision-making that wreaked havoc on non-agricultural businesses and rural communities. The consequence was severe losses in the wider rural economy which greatly outstripped those inflicted on the farming sector.

Yet, while highlighting agriculture’s diminished role, the FMD crisis also revealed the continuing and dependencies of the rural economy on farming and the farmed landscape and its continuing vulnerability to an agricultural crisis. As such FMD further demonstrated more clearly the nature of agriculture’s multifunctional role within rural economies and the need for a careful orchestration of its position within rural development. However local rural economies did not face ‘melt down’ and the crisis highlighted unexpected sources of resilience rooted in the coping strategies of rural firms and households. These sources of robustness exposed the inadequacies of a narrowly agro-centric perspective of rural economies.

The paper draws on research examining the impact of the FMD crisis on firms and farms in the North of England. It concentrates on examining what the results reveal about the interdependencies and relationship between agriculture and the wider rural economy, focusing in particular on the impacts of the outbreak and sources of resilience and vulnerability. The UK approach is considered against a review of European experiences relating to the relationship between agriculture and rural development – highlighting both rural and agrarian positions - and the evolving European debate about the multifunctional role of farming. The UK position, in contrast to some other European states, has been characterised by a historic separation of rural development policy from agriculture. Though in recent years there have been moves to reintegrate the sector as an important component within rural development the FMD outbreak revealed starkly the ongoing challenge and need for integration.

The paper argues for regional and rural development approaches that recognise agriculture’s responsibilities and obligations within the wider rural economy and, more broadly, for the strengthening of the rural economy agenda within prevailing perspectives on multifunctionality and rural development.




SESSION 5: The Politics of Implementation


Michal Lostak and Helena Hudeckova

Mastering social action in changing institutional structure: winners and losers in the implementation of the SAPARD programme

The paper addresses the first experience with the SAPARD Programme in the Czech Republic. Theoretical section outlines the background of SAPARD programme referring to gradualist and shock approaches in coping with social change. Both approaches are connected with theoretical fundaments of economic (shock approach and methodological individualism, concept homo-oeconomicus) and sociological (institutions, norms and rules, social embeddedness, methodological collectivism and Durkheim’s social fact) theories. An analysis in an empirical section shows that SAPARD is based on gradualist assumptions related to coping with the anomie in social change. Such anomie might be an outcome of the Czech EU membership. This section also compares various measures implemented under the frame of SAPARD programme. The comparison is used to show who was the winner and loser (and why) in competing for funding related to these measures. Also the issue how the SAPARD projects applicants master their action as for preparing and submitting projects is addressed. The question concerns the great gap between SAPARD funding aiming to agriculture (almost every project submitted was agreed) and to rural development (the proportion of successful applications was 22% or 41% depending on measure). The paper asks, if this proportion in the favour of agricultural projects reflects the change in political discourse (pressures to support farming instead of originally outlined support for rural development which was also the late-motive of EU summit in Copenhagen) – i.e. external pressures which are not dependent on individuals and their ability to act, or if this situation is related to inability to act of rural people when facing acting farmers (who know how to work up projects). In order to answer these questions, the paper also highlights the experience with SAPARD implementation as it is viewed by shareholders (Czech SAPARD decision-makers).



Apostolos G. Papadopoulos and Constantinos Liarikos

The rural development policy network in Greece: issues of policy integration and policy implementation

Rural Development Policy is a relatively recent policy in the EU context, characterized as the "second pillar" of the CAP. For Greece, as for other Southern European member states rural development is a new policy domain. Rural development contains two different but interconnected policy objectives or visions: the first addressing the structural needs of the agricultural sector in a reformed CAP (sectoral function), while the second is addressing the development of the countryside through the use of a multisectoral, integrated approach (territorial function). The environmental concerns are relevant both for the sectoral and the territorial functions. In Greece, rural development policy leans more towards its sectoral functions, while the territorial functions are only recently developed.

In this paper, by reconstructing the Greek Rural Development Policy Network, I will illustrate the national and regional aspects of rural development policy in Greece. New institutional and regulatory mechanisms (steering and monitoring committees, regional structures etc.) have been created in response to the demand for a bottom up and integrated development of rural areas. There is, also, a relative differentiation of policy measures at the regional level which allows for the territorialization of CAP. However, I will argue that the Network is still significantly centralized and politicized.

The analysis of policy implementation and policy integration will provide the basis for the evaluation of specific rural policy measures. Some important conclusions are: There is only formal integration of RD policy measures, while there is low complementarity of measures. There is an agricultural bias of the rural policy measures and most of them do not add up to a new type of rural development. In parallel with the formal networks there are informal networks which facilitate the proposal for and the implementation of rural policy projects. There are difficulties in the cooperation between the central and regional/local governments regarding the design and implementation of RD measures.





SESSION 6: Consumer Politics


Pekka Jokinen

Sustainable food production and the politics of the localisation of food

It has been suggested that as a counter force to uniform transnational system, cultural and political negotiations over the quality and environmental criteria of food have begun to take shape. Consequently, demand for "fresh and different local food" is developing. Moreover, even though the market is Europeanised and globalised, political responses to problems are increasingly searched and developed locally. "Local food" carries, indeed, an imprecise meaning good for sustainability in public and policy discussions. This is an important notion – though still also rather unclear.

Local food system can be defined as a changing domain, where diverse interests and various demands are crossing. However, it is not self-evident which groups and interests are the most active and powerful in the cultural formulation of local food. It is not well known either what kind of (competing) cultural meanings are associated with local food and with food production and consumption in localities. It is also unclear whether the ideas on local food do feature in local sustainability thinking. Overall, local connections between food policy, rural livelihood and environmental policy are strong.

This paper addresses the (re)localisation of food by discussing the socio-political essence of local food. It focuses on dynamics between main local actors and networks, which are promoting interests of local food. It also aims to clarify institutional boundaries in the local food system. It is not assumed that food policy and management are purely supranational phenomena. Instead, it is supposed that the promise of sustainability emerges no less at the local level actions than in international grand decisions. Local food production and agri-environmental management are framed by trans-local agricultural and (agri-)environment policies and strategies. However, they leave room for novel socio-economic combinations between farming and environmental management.





Christopher Ritson, Sharron Kuznesof and Mary Brennan

Food risk uncertainty and the social amplification of risk

A feature of Government policy towards the agro-food sector over recent decades has been the increase in emphasis given to food consumption issues relative to producer objectives. In particular, partly as a consequence of recent ‘food scares’, a much more sophisticated appreciation of the significance of consume perceptions related to food safety issues has been apparent.

The " Social Amplification of Risk" provides a framework for understanding why and how food safety issues can result in consequences beyond those which might be expected on the basis of scientific evaluation. It is argued that certain circumstances surrounding hazard events can interact with psychological, social, cultural and institutional processes leading to intensification (or attenuation) of risk perception through the communication system. The amplified perception then shapes behaviour so as to lead to secondary socio-political and economic behaviour which may have costs attached to it which are far greater than those directly associated with the hazard involved (Kasperson et al (1999). The kind of circumstances surrounding food hazard events which may intensify risk perception have been researched (Kuznesof and Ritson 1996, Frewer,1999), and can be incorporated into the Social Amplification of Risk framework.

Drawing on evidence from recent consumer research, this paper will argue that the awareness of the circumstances which can lead to intensification of risk perception does itself influence the behaviour of food risk communicators. However, a failure to recognize the interdependencies of the factors influencing perception can cause the way food risk messages are presented to contributed to the degree of intensification.

This argument will be supported by research which reports on scientific views of the public's potential reaction to uncertainty in food risk communication, (Frewer et al 2003)) and on consumer reactions to food risk uncertainty (Frewer et al 2002), where attempts to introduce certainty into food risk communication can interact with other factors influencing food risk perception, increasing the intensification process.



Walter Sehrer

In search of sustainable food consumption "careers" - research under the new German agrarian policy

In November 2000 the first German cow is diagnosed of BSE. Chancellor Schröder announces a fundamental change of course in agrarian policy. A path shall be trotted away from the big farming factories towards a different consumer-friendly agriculture. This turning point in agrarian policy is popularised by the title "Agrarwende". Animal powder feeding in consequence becomes more and more prohibited. In January 2001, the ministry of agriculture eventually gets restructured and is from now on called "ministry of consumer care, nutrition and agriculture". It is led by a woman named Renate Künast from the Green Party. Her objective: 20 % ecological farming till the year 2010. For the consumers new quality standards are set by new labels, especially one for making ecological farming more accessible for the broader market - this is called "bio bio". The new slogan in German agrarian policies may be shortly described as "production of first class instead of mere mass". However, this politically intended "ecologicalisation" in farming will not become a successful story, if it will not be supported by an equivalent change of food consumption patterns. The consumers also have to orientate and transform their nourishment behaviour according to the guidelines of sustainable development. Therefore, it is the main question of a research project to identify the opportunities and barriers on the way towards the development of sustainable consumption patterns. Are the measures and changes on the production side, the changes in supply, financial incentives, public information campaigns and so on - are all these steps enough for drastic enough behaviour changes or are they not? The research project tries to follow and explicate where along the actors chain (farming, manufacturing, retail trade, consumer counselling, consumption) the critical points lie in setting the course for the intended "Agrarwende". In my presentation, however, I like to focus on the latter part of our research - the consumer. We try to find the driving forces and different forms of food consumption in order to define positive opportunities for optimising the interrelation between supply and demand for a more sustainable development in the nutrition sector. Methodologically, a qualitative approach is followed investigating the connections between the plurality of different lifestyles, the embedding of nourishment in the guide-lines of daily life, aspects of symbolising and distinctions (e.g. the production of "safety fictions") in an increasingly risky field (health and nutrition scandals), the framing of food communication by the relevant discourses in a media-led society, certain biographical turning points (illness, change of residence, pregnancy, unemployment), household-organisations (traditional versus partnership oriented) as well as economic and structural factors like price correlations or deficiencies of supply. In the end, we want to reconstruct and define different "sustainable food consumption careers" as gateways for a successful "Agrarwende" - meaning the development of a more ecological food and agrarian system.

Working Group 5-4

Science, Policy and Practice in Agricultural and Rural Development


Provisional Program (order of papers may change)

Each paper will be presented during 20 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of debate.


Chair : Christian Deverre (INRA, Avignon, France)

Introduction to the Working Group : Christian Deverre

From Risky to Responsible : Expert Knowledge and the Governing of Community Led Rural Development : Vaughan Higgins (Monash University, Churchill, Australia) & Lynda Herbert-Cheshire (University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia)

Rural development policy and practice in the ‘advanced’ Western nations is based increasingly on community-led strategies that seek to manage risk and facilitate change at the local level with minimal direct state intervention. It is assumed widely that such development strategies enable local people to have a greater say in transforming the fortunes of their communities, and are therefore a means of empowerment. Drawing upon the literature on governmentality, this paper argues with specific reference to Australia that such a view depoliticises the significant role played by expertise in defining, governing and setting limits on community-led rural development. We suggest that the notion of risk provides a crucial focal point for exploring sociologically the expert knowledges, categories and techniques through which communities are encouraged to think of and manage themselves as ‘self-governing’, ‘empowered’ and ‘responsible’. Additionally, foregrounding the concept of risk enables a critical analysis of the power-knowledge effects of expertise on rural development practice. Thus, we argue through the use of two case studies that while the use of various forms of rural development expertise creates opportunities for some communities, it enhances inequality for others who either fail to conform to the risk-minimising forms of conduct prescribed by experts, or who pursue alternative forms of development. The paper concludes by considering the implications of these arguments for rural development policy and practice in Australia and examines their relevance to the European context.


Theory Approach in the Evaluation Practice : the Case of the Mid-Term Evaluation of the Basque Rural Development Plan : Beatriz Izquierdo Ramirez (University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain)

The objective of this paper is to explore the potential of new evaluation models such as the theory of change approach and the potential advantages that the use of this model is able to introduce in the evaluation practice. We consider that evaluation is more than an impact study and therefore, it should be transformed into a form of collective learning exercise designed to reinforce the ability of local and regional communities to find solutions to their problems and needs. We have tried to reflect these premises through the mid-term evaluation of the rural sustainable development Plan 2000-2006 that we have carried out since last year. Our aim was to introduce changes in the culture of evaluation in the Basque country (specially amongst the stakeholders) as well as to improve its quality and social utility. Therefore, we have showed special interest in encouraging the active participation of potential users in the evaluation and have provided the stakeholders with information on all the possible uses of evaluation. The mid-term evaluation of the Basque Rural Development Plan is in progress at this moment, although we would be able to show some of the preliminary results as well as to describe the process followed in the evaluation.


New « Contractualization » in Finnish Rural Policy : Simo Palviainen (University of Joensuu, Finland)

For several years, I have been studying Finnish environmental, rural and agricultural politics and policy. Their focus has recently been directed towards governmental organizations and policy. Furthermore, the "meeting space" between local actors and political institutions is at stake. I am preparing my doctoral thesis on the subject and my studies are being carried out as action research.

At the moment the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is planning a new rural contract based on a new form of contractuality. At the moment the process is still unfinished and the desire is to institute the contract in the year 2007.
The nucleus of the concept is closely related to Jürgen Habermas´s theory of communicative action. The main idea concerns the negotiative processes between actors, regardless of the positions or power arrangements between the principal and the contractor (agent). The idea is to satisfy both sides as much as possible and build a strong and lasting relationship (contract) between the parties. It is also extremely important that local actors feel that the process is both equitable and fair. In order to bring about a contract such as this a trust must be established as well as a successful communicative negotiation process, equality and a sense of fairness. Together, this all can lead to more sustainable solutions. Local actors will take more responsibility for the implementation of the contract and the need for sanctions consequently diminishes.

The Role of Scientists and Scientific Knowledge to Build an Alternative Way of Cattle Breeding : Hélène Brives (INRA, St Laurent, France)

Abstract not yet completed

From Tetrax Tetrax to Little Bustard : How to Manage Wild Birds Through Human Activities ? : Nathalie Perrot (INRA, Avignon, France)

Abstract not yet completed

Styles of farming and the problem of generic policies for pig production practices in the east of the Netherlands : Monica Commandeur (Wageningen University, Netherlands)

Proposition: the variety in styles of farming should be a relevant factor for policy development of the task environment (government, supply and food industry and interest groups).

Arguments: in a survey conducted in 1998 among pig production farmers in the east of The Netherlands farms were differentiated in various styles of farming, according to the ambition levels and the rationale of the farmers. The attitude towards product and price competition, towards participation and continuity in family farming, and towards autonomy and independence revealed the ambition levels of the farmers. The orientation on markets and family labour and the orientation on production and caring for animals revealed the rationale of the farmers. In the survey five styles of farming were defined and given metaphoric names as a reference: entrepreneur, craftsman, steward, stockman, and shifter.

Each style of farming appeared to entail a specific coherence in farming practices. Government regulations, bank loans, contacts with the industries, the specificity of education, research and extension advice, and the activities of interest groups are all perceived differently by farmers in the various styles of farming and they lead to different responses. Based on the study of styles of farming, interventions from the task environment can be evaluated specifically for the various styles of farming, and the impact of intended interventions can be better predicted then through studies of the average farmer.


Chair : Hélène Brives (INRA, St Laurent, France)

The VEL & VANLA Environmental Co-operatives as Field Laboratories : Marian Stuiver, J.D. van der Ploeg & C. Leeuwis (Wageningen University, The Netherlands)

This article frames the nutrient management project of the environmental co-operatives VEL & VANLA as a field laboratory. A field laboratory is defined as a heterogeneous collection of interlinked scientific studies performed by several actors within a specific field, but with some protection against outside interference and disturbance, as in laboratories.

The nutrient management project of VEL & VANLA highlights several characteristics of field laboratories. First, within VEL & VANLA, dairy farmers and scientists are performing joint research using different sources of knowledge. Second, the actors do research and are engaged in changing the location, thereby developing new knowledge and practice. In the case of VEL & VANLA this means developing the fields and farms towards sustainability. Third, the actors thoughtfully experiment with several research methodologies to gain understanding on a variety of issues. So within the field laboratory of VEL & VANLA there is heterogeneity in themes, disciplines and methodologies. Simultaneously a systems perspective is created as an interpretative scheme that links up all the different activities. Finally within VEL & VANLA alignment between practices, research and the institutional context is essential as a means to carry on with the research activities.

Can Agronomical Sciences Be Recycled into Environmental Sciences ? : Christian Deverre (INRA, Avignon, France)

Since their origins and for a long period, agronomical sciences have been closely associated with the process of agricultural modernisation and especially with the transformations of the physical conditions of the soils (« improvements » of fertility, irrigation, drainage…). These transformations have been supported by the normative recommandations of rural economy concerning the definition of agrarian structures appropriate for this process of modernisation. Jointly, these sciences have offered very efficient tools to agricultural policy for restructuring the countryside along with the objectives of improving production and productivity.

With the developpement of environmental concerns and policies in the countryside, agronomists are facing new challenges and some of them seem to be optimistic about the ability of their science to contribute to the process of ecological modernisation of agriculture. Nevetheless, it is possible to identify several sources of difficulties for this enterprise. First, agronomy is the « science of the cultivated field » and it might not be easy to change the scale of concern so it covers the new objects of environmental action (watersheds, habitats…). Second, the close association of agronomy and rural economy seems to be weakening and the later does not provide the same help in defining the economical conditions of the integration of production and environmental protection. Third, new disciplines, rooted in ecology, are arising which compete with agronomical sciences in the understanding of the interactions between human activities and natural cycles and in the definition of the rules of « good farming ».

Ecological Questions, Economic Strategies : the Struggle for the Definition of a New Agrarian Culture : Ana Velasco Arranz (Instituto de Estudios Sociales de Andalucia, Cordoba, Spain)

The term "sustainable," with which the new century began after the Johannesburg Summit, is polysemic and ambiguous. Moreover, "sustainable" is often diluted with various adjectives. In this sense, in our field of inquiry we find synonyms for sustainable agriculture like: integrated agriculture, eco-compatible, conservation, alternative, ecological, biological, organic…

In effect, faced with the necessity of preserving the environment – and with the new practices and techniques used in the agricultural sector – a diversity of attributes are accompanying the term agriculture. Additionally, new configurations are emerging to redefine the activity, prompting questions like: What does "agriculture" mean today? What elements are confronting a new professional identity? What is a farmer today? Similarly, we can observe that an agricultural sector dominated by technology creates undesired risks and consequences that are difficult to control. New uncertainties are appearing, and the sector and its actors are confronted with the need to protect their image.

In my dissertation I propose a consideration of the significance of this diversity of vocabulary – sustainable, integrated, ecological, conversation, etc. – and a reflection: to what extent this range of attributes is a manifestation of the primary sector’s disintegration as economic sector, a deterioration that little by little weakens the primary sector vis-à-vis industry and the service sector?

Changing Political Discourse and GM Strawberries : a New Role for Concerned Social Scientists : Reidar Almas & Reidun Heggem (University of …, Norway)

In the last decade we have observed a massive resistance towards genetic engineering in the food sector among European consumers. It has seemed like the attitudes have been quite strong and polarised, not very susceptible to change. Consumers have not differentiated much among different applications of genetic modification, but rather rejected the new food technology overall. We ask to what degree this rejection is based on a principal foundation? What happens to consumer’s attitudes when genetically modified foods have got obvious beneficial attributes?

In a project funded by the European Commission "Sustainable production of transgenic strawberry plants", philosophers and sociologists have focussed on such issues. This future strawberry, which is supposed to be resistant towards the mould Botrytis Cinerea, is supposed to have environmental as well as economic benefits. Analysing interview from UK, Denmark and Norway, we find three distinct groups: "the early adopters", "the opponents" and "the utilitarians". The utilitarians seem to base their attitudes on a cost-benefit analysis of environmental benefits and benefits for own health. When such benefits are present, they are becoming more positive. These results shows that peoples concerns about food safety and environmental protection will have an important impact on the future acceptance of GM foods. They accept a certain risk if another problem (pesticides use in agriculture) is reduced. If so is the case, the moral pendulum may be swinging the other way.

If researchers doing genetic food engineering accept that fact, and still think they could invent some technological solutions for the betterment of mankind, shouldn’t they be more eager to develop technologies that the public at large would probably like? Accepting these terms, what would then be the role of social scientists? After being for a decade or more in the role of critical social scientists, pointing at all the ethical problems and risks of genetic engineering, could social scientists take on a new role? Could we take part in such research teams together with biologists and geneticists, doing follow up social research on technology development as the project described earlier?

Nature in the History of Antropology : Elsa Faugère (INRA, Avignon, France) & Marine M’Sili (University of Marseille, France)

La question de la place, du statut et du rôle des objets dans les analyses en sciences sociales et notamment en sociologie occupe une place non négligeable dans les débats et controverses actuelles de ces disciplines. Ce que l'on a appelé "la nouvelle anthropologie des sciences", dans le sillage de Michel Callon et Bruno Latour, a de toute évidence joué un rôle central et moteur dans cette focalisation sur les non humains. L'originalité et l'intérêt de leurs approches, même s'ils sont contestés par certains social scientists, semblent n'en demeurer pas moins indéniables. Bousculant certaines habitudes solidement ancrées dans les sciences sociales contemporaines - notamment celle de ne s'intéresser qu'aux acteurs humains - ils ont, semble-t-il, contribué grandement au renouvellement de ces sciences. Pourtant, un paradoxe émerge : la prise en compte des objets, des non humains est loin d'être une nouveauté. L'étude de ceux que les premiers anthropologues appelaient (et appellent encore) "la culture matérielle" occupait une place considérable dans tout un champ important de l'anthropologie, française notamment, donnant même naissance à un courant appelé "technologie culturelle" ou "anthropologie des techniques".

Le but de cet article est de revisiter ces anciennes approches anthropologiques afin de tenter de mieux comprendre comment, depuis le XIXème siècle, l'anthropologie (et dans une moindre mesure, la sociologie) ont pris en compte les objets dans leurs analyses de la vie sociale. En quoi la manière dont les objets sont pris en compte et étudiés par "la nouvelle anthropologie des sciences" constitue une rupture ou au contraire une continuité avec les approches anthropologiques (et sociologiques) précédentes ? S'agit-il principalement d'une importation chez les sociologues de préoccupations anciennes chez les anthropologues ? Ou s'agit-il véritablement d'une rupture radicale dans l'ontologie de base des sciences sociales ?


Conclusions : Hélène Brives, Christian Deverre, Nathalie Perrot