Developed by leading authors in the field, this book offers a cohesive and definitive theorisation of the concept of the 'good farmer', integrating historical analysis, critique of contemporary applications of good farming concepts, and new case studies, providing a springboard for future research.
The concept of the good farmer has emerged in recent years as part of a move away from attitude and economic-based understandings of farm decision-making towards a deeper understanding of culture and symbolism in agriculture. The Good Farmer shows why agricultural production is socially and culturally, as well as economically, important. It explores the history of the concept and its position in contemporary theory, as well as its use and meaning in a variety of different contexts, including landscape, environment, gender, society, and as a tool for resistance. By exploring the idea of the good farmer, it reveals the often-unforeseen assumptions implicit in food and agricultural policy that draw on culture, identity, and presumed notions of what is 'good'. The book concludes by considering the potential of the good farmer concept for addressing future, emerging issues in agriculture.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of food and agriculture and rural development, as well as professionals and policymakers involved in the food and agricultural industry.
Table of Contents
1. The ‘good farmer’: cultural dimensions of farming and social change
2. The origins of the ‘good farmer’
3. How symbols of ‘good farming’ develop: the historical development of ‘tidy farming’
4. Theorising the ‘good farmer’: from common sense category to analytical construct
5. Morality and the ‘good farmer’
6. The gendered ‘good farmer’
7. The ‘good farmer’ in communities of practice
8. Future challenges for the ‘good farmer’
Rob J. F. Burton is a Principal Researcher at Ruralis – Institute for Rural and Regional Research, Trondheim, Norway.
Jérémie Forney is an Assistant Professor at the Anthropology Institute, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland.
Paul Stock is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, USA.
Lee-Ann Sutherland is a Research Leader in the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Department at the James Hutton Institute, Aberdeen, UK.
"A brilliant summation of twenty years of 'good farmer' scholarship, the volume retraces paths taken while pointing to terrain missed. The book offers a rich exploration into how moral identities are created and maintained among and between food producers. It is sure to become a key text among agrifood and rural studies scholars." — Michael S. Carolan, Colorado State University, and Fulbright Distinguished Research Chair at University of Ottawa, Canada
"The book not only invites us to go beyond the normative connotation of the 'good farmer’ but to engage in a theoretical informed, critical reflection on how the concept is being used by various groups. It is also a very timely reminder that to build sustainable food systems, we need to better understand the cultural dimension of agricultural practices." — Ika Darnhofer, BOKU, Vienna, Austria
"This outstanding collection brings together the leading scholars who have developed and applied the concept of the ‘good farmer’. It provides a rich and timely summary of work to date and nuanced examples of exciting new thinking and future trajectories. This book will be a much-valued addition not only to the shelves of social scientists, but anyone looking for a richer understanding of the dynamics of agriculture and rural change." — Mark Riley, Liverpool University, United Kingdom
"For fifteen years, the idea of the ‘good farmer’ has rapidly emerged as one of the most useful concepts in rural sociology and agrifood scholarship, yet it has never been subjected to a comprehensive theorisation and review. That moment has arrived. This book provides comprehensive and engaging insights by four of the leading scholars using this concept. The result is a benchmark work that will help establish the idea of the ‘good farmer’ as a foundational concept in rural sociology, geography, anthropology and agrifood studies." — Hugh Campbell, University of Otago, New Zealand