Journal of Rural Studies

Published by Elsevier
Online ISSN: 0743-0167
Publications
Article
"After more than a century of decline, noticeable increases in the rural population of France became apparent in the 1982 census. The spatial patterns of these changes are interpreted by comparing a set of demographic variables in the 1968-1975 and 1975-1982 intercensal periods. Migration to rural areas near many of the major cities (rurbanization) and to the southern part of France is the main demographic explanation. Using factor analysis and a hierarchical classification system the underlying demographic associations are established and the nation is differentiated into seven types. A method for estimating the probabilities of any one type occurring is also demonstrated. The timing of the demographic changes and the fundamental societal forces which have influenced them suggest that government policy has played a minor part in the evolution."
 
Article
A partially constrained Poisson regression model approach was used to examine 31,356 district-level flows into and between rural areas in England and Wales between 1980 and 1981. Using a 13 category classification of origin districts the extent of population decentralisation into 23 remote and 55 most remote rural districts was considered. Firstly, it is shown that there were substantial differences between the migration patterns involving rural districts in the north and south of England and Wales. Secondly, those individual districts attracting unusually large and unusually small numbers of migrants were, identified and districts within Cornwall were shown to be especially attractive destination areas. Thirdly, the 50 largest standardised residual flows were examined and it is clear that moves between districts with high proportions of employees in the armed forces were especially large. The results suggest that military redeployment was of considerable importance in explaining the patterns of rural in-migration in England and Wales between 1980 and 1981. Little evidence of a major redistribution of population from the largest urban centres to the rural periphery was identified.
 
Article
"The demographic component of the decline in U.S. farm numbers is analysed by tracking the size of farm operator age cohorts.... Cohort profiles indicate an inverted U-shape in the relationship between farm numbers and cohort age. Successive cohorts have been smaller than their predecessors, and withdrawal rates of older operators have fallen in recent years. Projections based on entry-withdrawal patterns for 1987-1992 suggest decline in farm numbers from 1.93 million in 1992 to 1.48 million in 2002 and 1.29 million in 2007. Imbalance between withdrawing older operators and younger new entrants could encourage a broadening of the pool of farm entrants and changes in farm ownership, operating and financing arrangements."
 
Article
PIP The growing numerical significance of women in the US nonmetropolitan labor force has not been matched by parallel efforts to document the changing quality of their employment. In this paper. Lichter uses the labor utilization framework of Clogg and Sullivan to examine the prevalence and spatial convergence of various forms of female underemployment during 1970-1985. Data from the March annual demographic files of the Current Population Survey reveal that underemployment has been a significant aspect of the employment experiences of nonmetropolitan women during this period. There has been little evidence of spatial or sex convergence in labor market outcomes. Roughly 1 of every 3 rural female workers today is a discouraged worker, jobless, employed part-time involuntarily, or working for poverty-level wages. Moreover, rural women continue to suffer substantially higher levels of economic underemployment than urban women and rural men. This study reinforces the view that rural women remain a seriously underutilized labor resource in the US.
 
Article
This paper summarizes the evidence for the existence of a trend toward population deconcentration in Australia at the macro and meso (national and state) levels. It seeks to relate processes of population dynamics identified at macro, meso and micro levels to several hypotheses which have been put forward to explain the turnaround. A preliminary explanatory model which links causal mechanisms operating at different levels of the spatial and urban hierarchy is outlined. A companion paper which documents a case study from a turnaround area in rural South Australia has also been prepared (P.J. Smailes and G.J. Hugo (1985) A process view of the population turnaround: an Australian rural case study. Journal of Rural Studies 1, 32-43).
 
Article
The authors examine recent trends in Australia in turnaround migration, or the movement of the population from urban to rural areas. "The paper assesses the major changes which have occurred in population trends within the non-metropolitan sector of the nation, South Australia and, in particular, a study area in the lower north region of South Australia. The analysis of the case study region draws upon a survey undertaken in 1968-1970 and partially replicated in 1980 and 1990. It appears that for Australia in general and for the study area the turnaround is continuing but at a slower pace and in a more spatially concentrated pattern."
 
Article
"This paper provides empirical evidence of local-level demographic and socio-economic changes during the 'population turnaround' decade of 1970 to 1980. The study covers a contiguous area occupied by five small country towns and their trade areas, centred around 80-90 km north of Adelaide [Australia]. These communities were surveyed in detail in 1968 and 1970 in order to make forecasts of demographic change by 1980. In 1980, a replicatory resurvey provided data on various processes of population change operating at grass roots level."
 
Article
The impact of international labour migration on rural areas of origin in less developed countries has been extensively studied in the context of the well-established, regional, labour-market systems focused on Western Europe, North America and the Middle East. There is little comparable research on the most recent international-migration system to emerge, that founded on the appreciable economic and demographic inequalities within Eastern Asia. This paper provides a case study of the impact at origin of recent labour migration from rural Thailand to East Asian destinations. It does so through survey information on 63 villages and detailed biographic interviews with recently returned workers. It is concluded that work abroad is regarded by migrants as a strategy of life support; it is sometimes life-enhancing, but only rarely life-changing.
 
Article
"The term counterurbanisation is frequently used to describe the redistribution of a population away from major cities and metropolitan areas and towards more rural areas. The widespread nature of this phenomenon has attracted much attention, yet the concept remains relatively under-developed, and even the basic definition lacks rigour. It is not surprising, therefore, that there has been a lack of cumulative evidence as to the extent of the process and little agreement as to its significance. In essence, ambiguity surrounds the types of movement that should be admitted, the necessary motives for movement and the appropriate measures for both. This paper offers some preliminary suggestions for a more structured approach to the problem. It draws on original survey data from Devon [England], a county which has experienced substantial net in-migration, both to examine the contribution of three alternative definitions of counterurbanisation and to consider how these issues relate to motivation."
 
Article
"This paper reopens the debate between Weekley (1988) and Rowsell (1989) over why pockets of depopulation have persisted within parts of rural Britain which have experienced net growth through counterurbanisation. It argues that Weekley has not fully appreciated the context for local population losses, namely the emergence of a new structural relationship between people, households, and dwellings, and the growing tension between production and consumption interests in rural locales. Moreover, the paper disputes claims that depopulation is triggered by the actions of either the landowner or the planner. Drawing on case study material informed by critical realism, it argues that planners and landowners have been drawn into an asymmetrical power relationship. This has tended to buttress landed interests and, in so doing, reproduce mechanisms which protect the less populous communities from growth and change."
 
Article
"This paper addresses the issue of rural population decline in the Republic of Ireland during the past two decades having regard to size of place and estimated net migration for key age groups. The analysis is pursued at the level of some 160 Rural Districts. The results of the analysis confirm expected relationships between peripheral locations, small population size and a depletion of the young working age groups. The method used, however, permits the links between size of place, population change and the composition of that change to be identified with some precision."
 
Article
The change from depopulation to population increase in the more remote rural areas of England is analyzed using data from a survey of 300 households in North Devon. The heterogeneous nature of the migrants and their reasons for migration are stressed. "The reasons for leaving the former area of residence tended to relate to lifestyle, personal or environmental factors whereas the reasons for choosing North Devon were more often about jobs and house prices. This complexity and diversity clearly makes difficult the quest for a single theory of the repopulation process."
 
Article
PIP This paper examines the reasons for migration in the South Pacific region and the impact of migration on rural development. Consideration is also given to the policies that have been or should be developed in order to encourage rural development and thereby reduce migration flows from rural areas.
 
Article
In recent years, there has been something of a resurgence in rural studies, which has become somewhat more mainstream than previously in the academic space of social science. Increasing numbers of people have taken on important dualistic questions of society/space, nature/culture structure/agency and self/other from the perspective of rural studies. However, it is the ‘cultural turn’ in wider social science which has lent both respectability and excitement to the nexus with rurality, particularly with new foci on landscape, otherness and the spatiality of nature. With a conceptual fascination with difference, and a methodological fascination with ethnography, cultural studies have provided a significant palimpsestual overlay onto existing landscapes of knowledge. This paper seeks to convey some of the excitements and challenges which have been generated by this resurgence. Cultural studies of the rural have emphasized important new perspectives on real and hyperreal countrysides, but have also served to re-emphasize existing unresolved issues about politics, ethics and morality in rural research.
 
Article
An omnibus section in the 1890 Census, ‘Progress of the Nation’, analyzed the course of US settlement since the first Census in 1790. The essay concluded that the American frontier was fast diminishing as the post-Civil War settlement of the West expanded; and that the frontier was thus no longer worth measuring. Frederick Jackson Turner made the document the starting point for his famous 1893 essay on the significance of the frontier. Turner invoked ‘Progress of the Nation’ to declare that the frontier was gone.Researchers have neglected ‘Progress of the Nation’ as a primary source, exploring it mostly as it influenced Turner. Yet its main approach — tracking the distribution of population densities at decade intervals — yields a precise method for understanding low-density frontier settlement.We use the 1890 Census's density-based method to chart the frontier's historical and contemporary evolution. We show that a vast frontier endures. The frontier never closed; instead it changed. After spending nearly the entire 19th century shifting quickly west, the frontier gradually moved east, to the point where large stretches of the Great Plains have now reverted to frontier.We also demonstrate that the modern-day West owes its distinctive form to land-use and urbanization patterns that appeared as early as the 1840s and were evident in ‘Progress of the Nation’. The region, with its big cities enveloped by a huge frontier, embodies its own 150-year-old settlement tradition.
 
Article
Throughout this century the demise of the West Indian estate agricultural system has been occurring unrelentlessly. At different times and to varying degrees, the reasons for this have included: local labour problems; absentee landownership; major fluctuations in commodity prices on the world market; and inadequate supportive government policies in many of the region's newly independent nations. The decline of this farming system is most evident in Grenada, where the political events of the past 20 years have hastened the process. Initially, it was the confiscation of some estates through a programme of ‘land for the landless’. Then, between 1979 and 1983 it was People's Revolutionary Government promoting state farms at the expense of individual estates. More recently, the government has been divesting parcels of acquired land to ‘potentially suitable’ small farmers, via a model farm scheme. This paper traces developments on 112 estates since 1940.
 
Article
The notion that Gypsies, in an idealised form, have a place in the rural idyll has been sufficiently influential within Geography that it currently features in our undergraduate texts concerned with the meaning of place. The position of real Gypsy-Travellers in the countryside is of course more complex, and this paper seeks to move the debate forward by examining how the group, who are still marginalised in geographical research, were portrayed by rural residents in the post-War period, and what these representations of a travelling other reveal about the nature of the rural self. The route in is through local print media reports about Appleby New Fair, a horse fair in Northern England which is one of the largest Gypsy-Traveller gatherings in Europe and a major tourist attraction. Analysis of this source highlights the contested position of Gypsy-Travellers in the country, and the lines of differentiation in rural society that these challenges to their position reveals. In so doing, the paper not only adds crucial texture to our appreciation of spatialised understandings of difference but also highlights the possibilities of radical openness in rural society, which contrasts with more common reactionary attempts to bound rural space.
 
Article
In the New Zealand government's indicative planning of national development in the 1960s and 1970s the nation's livestock industries (sheep/beef and dairying) were expected to make a major contribution to foreign exchange earnings. This paper focuses on aggregate farmer responses in the policy environment and the policy implications of information on changes in the nation's livestock system. Evidence on four matters is presented: (1) changes in national farm production that took place under the emerging policy regime, (2) the rise in export earnings attributable to agricultural policy, (3) changing aggregate farmer investment patterns throughout the period of state intervention, and (4) the geography of farm production response to government incentives. Policy-maker assumptions about farmer responses are discussed and an assessment made of the policy implications at the time. The paper concludes that while the national planning objective of significantly raising livestock numbers was achieved in the sheep/beef sector (especially in hill country areas), the physical results did not translate into substantially increased total export earnings or real returns per commodity unit. Government policy had the unintended effects of misleading farmers about market prospects for livestock products and inhibiting technological and organisational change in farming. Assistance that was aimed at strengthening farming's contribution to export earnings gradually undermined the credibility of pastoralism as a national project.
 
Article
This paper forms the first of two papers examining the state-led expansion of New Zealand's livestock industries between 1960 and 1984 from a political economy perspective. The paper identifies the mixture of economic, ideological and political-administrative features that distinguished New Zealand society at the time and sketches the evolution of the agricultural policy framework under the structural conditions. Specifically, the paper establishes the form of New Zealand capitalism, emphasising the broad regulatory order and the place of agriculture in the New Zealand economy, it outlines the nature of New Zealand pastoralism and analyses the evolution of state policy relating to the livestock industries. The analysis shows three clear phases to policy: input assistance to start off a fresh round of investment in livestock production in the 1960s; output and input assistance to revitalise the sector in the early 1970s after a period of zero growth; and price support to curtail wholesale contraction of national farm output in the face of price falls in the early 1980s. A case is made that the policy matrix outlined formed the main context in which farmers made investment decisions.
 
Article
In view of the crucial role of young people in society, especially as far as the future of sparsely populated rural areas is concerned, an analysis is made of absolute and relative changes in the 15–24-year age cohort in Finland and their effects on demographic and regional structure, employing GIS methods. The main material for this consists of georeferenced population data based on 1×1 km grid squares produced by Statistics Finland for the period 1970–2000. An example is taken of one rural municipality where the georeferenced data were supplemented with qualitative interview material obtained in 1999. The results show that the number and proportion of young people in the population of Finland have declined since 1970, although not consistently, at the same time as the total population has continued to increase. The dichotomy between the sparsely populated rural areas and the built-up areas has been accentuated by a distortion of the population structure and gender ratio, in that the young people, and particularly young women, have been inclined to move into the growth centres and to the more densely populated areas in general. The georeferenced data clearly point to a worsening regional imbalance in the areal distribution of population in Finland, although the interview material suggests that the young people still living in the countryside do not regard their position as hopeless but are prepared to weigh up their future on the basis of the alternatives open to them.
 
Residential history of LS Members over decade by area-type
Percentage of all LS Members who were members of the middle classes in either 1981 or 1991, by place of residence in 1991
Article
This paper examines the issue of whether the English countryside has been ‘captured’ by the service classes. It examines this issue with regard to three questions: the role of the service classes in deciding dominant rural images; their role in controlling change processes in the countryside; and their share of the rural population. For the first two, doubts are raised about the importance that is being attached to middle class ‘capture’ ideas. The demographic takeover of the countryside is examined empirically, using census data on individuals from the Longitudinal Study. This shows that notions of a demographic dominance by the service classes are exaggerated and largely apply to SE England. Extending class membership to include those who have ever been in a class indicates that there is a comparatively slight tendency for migration into rural areas to be associated with downward social mobility amongst service class members. Inward movement was more closely allied to longer term service class membership. In gender terms rural areas were not distinguished from other zones in the same region in terms of the likelihood that female in-migrants would stay in full-time employment or leave the paid workforce.
 
Article
Data from the US Census of Agriculture suggest important changes since 1978 in regional patterns of farmland values. This study examines these patterns with the aid of county-level maps showing average values per hectare for the Census years 1978, 1982, 1987 and 1992 and changes between these years. Farmland price increases are geographically associated with general proximity to major population centers and the presence of aesthetically attractive natural landscapes, while these two attributes in combination are generally absent in areas not experiencing price increases. The widespread phenomenon of non-commercial farming as a factor in farmland price increases is examined. It is hypothesized that such site factors as climate and soils which traditionally have helped explain higher farmland prices in some regions are of diminishing importance, while situational factors such as proximity to major population centers are in the ascendancy. The changing importance of site versus situational factors is assessed using analysis of variance tests comparing the influence on farmland values of the predominately situational differences between metropolitan, nonmetropolitan-adjacent and nonmetropolitan-nonadjacent settings, versus the predominately site differences between major agricultural regions.
 
Article
Rural bioenergy production is currently a much debated question worldwide. It is closely connected to questions of environmental protection and rural development in both developing and industrial world. In Finland, rural bioenergy production has traditionally meant the production of wood fuels for heating purposes. The utilisation of forest biomasses is undiminished even today, and other biomasses are scarcely used for energy production. The purpose of this article is to discuss the possibility of widening the bioenergy production palette to include biomasses other than forest-based woody ones. This matter is approached from an environmental aspect using the concept of ecological modernisation. Empirical data is collected from two Finnish rural periodicals. The central analytical tool used in the analysis is discourse analysis. Four different periods of discursive variety, based on the contents of the analysed articles, could be identified from the data. In the first periods bioenergy talk was expert-driven and questions on non-wood bioenergy were dealt with varyingly. During the last period, a broad interest in rural bioenergy production evolved and more recognition was given to farmers' role as real energy producers. This raises hopes for a better future for rural non-wood bioenergy production in Finland.
 
Article
The electoral success of the Green Party in 1989 suggested substantial support for pro-environment policies within the British population. Ecological analysis of that electoral performance suggests that Green support was greatest among the affluent middle class in the south of England. Analysis of 1987 electoral survey data, however, indicates not one but three separate dimensions to environmental concern within the country, with clear implications for mobilisation of the pro-Green electorate.
 
Article
This paper examines the differential response of two rural districts of England (Fenland and Waveney) to changes in council house provisioning in the 1980s. It is situated in a decade when major policy shifts in social housing policy were occurring at the national level with local governments devising new social housing strategies in response. Against a fast moving legislative background, the study examines the extent to which Stoker's categorisation of policy-making behaviour helps us to understand the diversity of policy-making influences at work in rural areas. In displaying a resentment of outside influence and a vision grounded in local considerations that offered minimal support for housing association activity, both Fenland and Waveney both exhibited attributes of what Stoker (The Politics of Local Government, second ed., 1991, Macmillan, London) called a ‘traditionalist’, Conservative stance. However, contrasts in the social housing policy of each authority over the decade revealed the limitations of this categorisation. In Fenland, pressures for housing growth led to increasing problems for those on low-incomes. Nevertheless, the District's social housing policy was dominated by fiscal conservatism and a reluctance to maintain financial support for either construction or the maintenance of council housing. By contrast, the social housing policies adopted by Waveney were characterised by a paternalistic desire to maintain a higher level of support for council housing combined with a more overtly critical attitude of central government policy. By identifying different dimensions of ‘traditionalist’ Conservative behaviour, the paper underscores the need for further studies on the role played by local leadership and key actors in policy-making processes.
 
Article
Australia, dubbed ‘the lucky country’ by Donald Horne in 1964, still carries a residual image of prosperity and egalitarianism. This paper seeks to show how the morale of its rural people has been impacted by a decade of crisis conditions brought about by natural events, political decisions and adverse terms of trade for export-dependent staple products. At the same time, counter-urbanisation trends have continued in the more accessible and environmentally attractive rural areas, producing two sharply differentiated zones within rural Australia. Using South Australia as a case study, the paper illustrates the results of these trends in terms of rural poverty and demographic change. It then uses qualitative data from responses to a postal survey of 2000 rural households to analyse their perceptions of change over the crisis decade, identifying ten recurrent themes and relating them to the observed patterns of depressed incomes and demographic change. Respondents' own words are used to tell the story.
 
Article
Nigeria, with a population of about 100 million, remains highly dependent upon the agricultural sector with approximately 70% of the population still living in rural areas and deriving their livelihood from the land. Agriculture, therefore, has a crucial role to play in national development. In fulfilling this role, however, the farm sector has not measured up to expectations. Its contribution to GDP has been decreasing for over two decades and the position of the country has shifted from self-sufficiency in agricultural production in the early 1960s to now being a major importer of food and raw materials for domestic industries. It is the contention of this paper that agricultural policy has frequently been misconceived and misdirected within the national development strategies which have been prepared throughout the post-independence period. In particular, it is argued that centralist decision-making has failed to take account of the realities of life in rural areas and to address itself sufficiently to the diversity of conditions — social, cultural and physical — that exist in Nigeria. As a consequence, policy has become unhinged from the needs, aspirations and conditions of the farm population.
 
Article
Jordan is a highly centralized country, both in economic and political terms. Amman dominates the economy, the royal family the government. Rural transformation has settled the previously nomadic population and moved agriculture away from subsistence to a market orientation. Rural Jordan is well served with social facilities, e.g. clinics and schools, but lacking in economic growth. Most rural people have access to electricity and other elements of infrastructure; they simply lack economic opportunities. The 1986–1990 Plan is committed to more equitable development among the regions and to popular participation in decisions. The Plan establishes a regional planning system aimed in part at rural development. The system coordinates national, provincial, subregional and local planning. Territorial divisions stem from two chief organizing principles, division by type of physical environment and strength of spatial interaction. The subregional and local levels are the key ones for popular participation. The plan also includes economic incentives to get businesses started outside Amman. A question in rural areas is whether control by the central government will be replaced by exploitation by local elites.
 
Article
The paper explores the extent to which Western European agriculture is integrating into a broader social and economic environment. It examines how the deployment of farm household resources of land, labour and capital to agriculture —a process we term engagement/disengagement — is related to alternative sources of income and activity in different study areas. It also seeks to explain situations of stability in the deployment of resources to agriculture, presenting some preliminary thoughts as to why so many farms continue in a relatively stable fashion despite a recession and the uncertainty of agricultural policy. It is farm households with strong agricultural structures in all contexts which are those tending towards further engagement in agriculture. The fact that such households are more prolific in the north of Europe means that engagement in agriculture also tends to be concentrated in the north. Farm households with poor agricultural structures, but located in areas of strong labour markets, are those most likely to be disengaging from agriculture. We find that there is a very large block of stability and low disengagement with regard to the changing deployment of resources to the farm business in peripheral areas, where poor agricultural structures or the agricultural recession discourage engagement, but where there are few other alternatives for earned income. Thus, contrary to our initial expectation, the dominant pattern of engagement in agriculture in the European south is one of stability rather than disengagement.
 
Article
Rural industry, having benefited from market oriented reforms, has surpassed state owned industry and become the largest industrial sector in China since 1993. Using multiple indicators, this study reveals a highly unbalanced spatial distribution and an increase in inequality of rural industrial development. It also classifies the level of development at the provincial level from 1989 to 1994. The relationship between rural industrial development and internal and regional characteristics is analyzed by multiple regression analysis. A very high correlation between rural industrial development and regional market indicators resulted in the conclusion that rural industry is a market economic sector and its development is driven by market forces in China's dual economy. The spatial patterns of rural industrial development reflect the viable, even optimum, location patterns created by the experience of the market economy. Although government policies attempted to reduce the inequality of rural industrial development among regions, the widened gap between rich and poor in the period 1989–1994 demonstrated the strong impacts of the concentrating effects of market forces.
 
Article
This paper examines changes over a 21 year period in an area in highland Bolivia in order to show how people and their activities have changed and the extent to which these changes imply a restructuring of such areas that is similar to what is taking place in the First World. It will be suggested that these changes are a response to increasing commercial opportunities and new needs, in part related to the liberalisation of social and economic life in the post-agrarian reform period. As populations engage in a greater variety of forms of work in different locations in order to get by so their use of rural areas changes.
 
Article
This paper examines the environmental impact of the 1992 reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union within British arable agriculture. It demonstrates how policies that were expected by some to have positive environmental outcomes did not do so. One reason for this failure is to do with the design of the policy instruments and the fact that environmental objectives were not explicit. It is suggested that the environmental arguments remain peripheral to policy making within the European Commission. It is also the case that there were important unexpected impacts of other non-policy factors, especially trends in world market prices for arable products in the period following 1992. A weak policy thesis in which the CAP sits alongside market forces, other policies and the socio-economics of agriculture provides a powerful explanation of land management in agriculture. However, it is also the case that the policy remains strong if measured by its core principles. The paper suggests in conclusion that future policy reforms should recognise the complex and inter-related factors influencing farmer behaviour. This is likely to mean a combination of measures designed to capture the potential for increasing biodiversity in a range of contrasting farm systems and individual farm circumstances. Policy goals should be explicit and the policy mechanisms designed to achieve those goals tightly focused.
 
Article
In 2001, the foot and mouth disease epidemic in the UK gave rise to widespread individual and community trauma and has had negative health, economic and social impacts on the people who live in affected rural areas. Many found strength by sharing their experiences with friends and relatives; others expressed their feelings in poems and art. Using insights from linguistics, cultural studies and rural studies, this paper analyses three poems written by a former farmer, a poet and a vet from the three most affected regions: Devon, Northumberland and Cumbria. It examines how an analysis of this type of ‘grounded poetry’ can provide new insights into individual and community trauma, how it can complement other work on FMD in rural studies and how it can be used to improve social policy decisions regarding future outbreaks of animal disease.
 
Article
The farmers' role within the EU has recently been under reconstruction: in addition to primary agricultural production farmers should fulfil multiple functions such as maintaining the rural landscape, conserving nature and providing services. One essential feature of this new role is the demand for entrepreneurship. Farmers should be capable of competing in the worldwide, global agricultural market. They are also encouraged to diversify into business activities beyond agriculture. How do farmers see themselves in this situation? Is their self-perception compatible with this new reconstruction of the farming economy and the farmers' role? Research, thus far, seems to indicate that traditional or production oriented identities are still dominant among farmers. But there is also some evidence that new identities, such as the entrepreneurial identity, are emerging. In our study we are especially interested in how Finnish farmers have met the demand for adapting to the role of an entrepreneur. We approach the issue of the farmers' changing role from a social psychological perspective by utilizing the concept of identity. Our empirical evidence comes from two nation-wide postal questionnaire data sets, both containing samples from three subgroups: conventional farmers focusing solely on primary agricultural production, diversified farmers who also had other business besides agricultural production, and rural non-agricultural small-scale businesses. The results show that Finnish farmers do not experience “entrepreneur” as something distant from themselves and as not fitting in with their world of ideas, as the work of some researchers would depict. Instead, the majority of Finnish farmers, especially diversified farmers, conceive of themselves both as entrepreneurs and as producers.
 
Article
This paper assesses the impact of the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in terms of its implications for the discipline of rural studies. In particular, it focuses on the position of agriculture in rural economy and society, the standing of the government after its management of the outbreak, and the performance of the new devolved regional tiers of government. After a brief review of the history and aggregate impact of the outbreak, the general themes of the paper are explored from a range of Welsh case-study evidence, showing the impact on farm structures and the environment, rural communities and their social life. The major conclusions are that the unanticipated magnitude of effect of the outbreak should direct more attention to the nature of the space shared as a public good by agriculture and rural tourism; that the loss of trust in administrations as a result of the specific management of the outbreak reveals scope for new approaches in the study of governance and partnership at a rural level; and the opportunity for the devolved administrations to emphasise a difference in perspective, on both the outbreak and rural issues in general, highlights potentially widening fault-lines in the constitutional reform process, especially as discussion over the future of European rural policies proceed.
 
Article
In this paper, we draw on the concept of ‘lifescape’ (Somé and McSweeney, ILEIA Newsletter, ETC Leusden, The Netherlands, 1996; Howorth, Rebuilding the Local Landscape, Ashgate, Aldershot, 1999) to capture the spatial, emotional and ethical dimensions of the relationship between landscape, livestock and farming community and to elucidate the heterogeneity of agricultural emotional landscapes. In so doing, we illustrate complex and contradictory spatial, emotional and ethical relations between humans and non-humans. Farm animals may exist simultaneously as ‘friends’ and sources of food, leading to a blurring of socially constructed categories such as ‘livestock’ and ‘pet’ (Holloway, J. Rural Stud. 17 (2001) 293). Livestock as ‘economic machines’ for converting roughage to meat, milk and by-products (Briggs and Briggs, Modern Breeds of Livestock, fourth ed., Macmillan Publishing Co. Inc., New York, 1980) represents one strand of these relations; the sight of farmers crying and farm animals being blessed during the 2001 Cumbrian foot and mouth outbreak, yet another. As (Franklin, Anthropology Today 17 (3) (2001) 3) indicates, ‘the farmer weeping beside the blazing pyre of dead sheep is a complex portrait of a breach in the relationships between animals and humans’. By drawing on experiences of the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic, for farmers and the wider rural community in North Cumbria, we try to articulate the ambiguities of this breach.
 
Article
On marginal farms, and in agriculture in general, sustainability is largely guaranteed by a broad range of survival strategies, closely interlinked and embedded in the household structure of typical family farms. This paper reports results of a socio-economic study carried out among Belgian farmers, focusing specifically on the opportunities offered by different forms of diversification. Analyses from in-depth interviews indicate the possible role of new activities in the survival of many farms. The curative potential of this strategy is, however, strongly conditioned by the availability of capital within the household. Therefore, off-farm employment is often the most accessible strategy, not only for the survival of the household, but also for supplementing the income necessary to maintain the farm activities.
 
Article
This paper presents a general evaluation framework of land consolidation projects (LCPs), based on Flemish and Portuguese case studies. The changes in land use are estimated first. Next, the economic and non-economic effects are determined using appropriate simulation models. Simulation models that estimate the effects on farmers' income for both arable and dairy regions are described with, respectively, a Portuguese and Flemish application.
 
Article
A new form of rural governance is emerging in more peripheral parts of the UK. As European Structural Fund monies come to play a greater role in financing development projects, so new ways of making decisions about rural development are being initiated. The rural development component of the Structural Funds (Objective 5b) requires that development objectives be prioritized by means of a ‘programming approach’ which brings together a wide range of actors in new institutional arrangements. This reconfiguration of rural development is examined in this paper using case study material from the Northern Uplands — the largest Objective 5b area in England. The paper concludes by drawing out a set of further research questions the Objective 5b programme raises regarding the tensions between centralization and localization, the role of rural communities in their own governance, and the new techniques and technologies of rural governance.
 
Article
This paper begins with a brief description of European Community rural development policy under Objective 5b of the Reformed Structural Policy and its implementation within Scotland. This is followed by a discussion of the various methods used, both by the U.K. Government, and by the European Commission, to delimit areas for policy purposes. In order to assess the targeting of European rural development assistance within Scotland, nine fragility indicator variables are selected on the basis of the criteria laid down for Objective 5b status. Synthetic fragility indices are then generated for the rural Districts and parishes of Scotland using both a simple procedure based on Z scores and Factor Analysis. The results suggest that the use of fairly large, and in many cases heterogeneous, administrative units as building blocks for the Scottish 5b areas has resulted in a poor fit between the boundaries and the distribution of fragility. It is shown that between 5000 and 6000 square kilometres of upland Scotland, at present without 5b status, are above the fragility threshold implied by the present boundary.
 
Article
Funding for Rural Development Partnerships has signalled a shift in rural policy, towards actively involving the rural population in determining the direction and implementation of change. However, early experience with partnerships has indicated that the funding bodies have retained significant control. One reason for this is that they are constrained by their accountability requirements. Furthermore, with not all members of the partnership accountable to the same degree, the funding bodies bear a significant proportion of the risk of new ventures which can result in conservative decisions. A study of the EAGGF component of an EU Objective 5b Programme in the South West of England highlights the tensions that can arise in a partnership from existing accounting arrangements. The lack of a trusting relationship between state and citizens resulted in excessively formal accountability requirements, creating difficulties for applicants, and producing risk-averse decisions by state administrative bodies. However, the case study demonstrates that through the development of networks, both accountability and thereby project responsibility and risk could be more widely spread, creating opportunities for locally shaped, novel and flexible development.
 
Article
Scholars have generally recognized neither the existence of contemporary non-aboriginal claims to customary property rights in the United States of America nor their importance as a source of rural protest. This is a study of claims to usufructuary rights that are a truncated form of non-aboriginal customary property law. In this case, when the claims of residents of a small community to customary usufructuary rights to adjacent forest resources for subsistence and livelihood uses came into conflict with claims made under formal law, they repeatedly defended their claims by means of social protest. These findings suggest the need for greater attention to the local processes defining and defending customary claims to property and their role as a source of social action.
 
Article
This paper uses a study of women's participation in the Australian sugar industry to illustrate and critique the process and usefulness of reflexivity in rural research. I begin by situating the use of reflexivity within the feminist literature. Following this, I describe the way in which I used reflexivity to examine different identities I inhabited throughout the study. These identities were: ‘farmers’, daughter’, ‘Italian-Australian’, ‘nice country girl’ and ‘woman’. The paper concludes with a brief reflexive examination of some of the challenges I face in taking up a new identity—that of ‘academic feminist’ in rural sociology.
 
Article
This comparative study employs the concept of physical rigour to map and measure recreational routes and zones available to the public. The comparison is made for 15 representative countryside districts in four national settings (Great Britain, West Germany, France, and Benelux). Three of the districts are national parks, while the others are 40 × 25 km settled areas chosen to typify the physical and human landscape of their region. Statistical measures of access availability are computed for five levels of access rigour, grading from passive through to arduous. Road or ‘passive’ access is most prevalent in settled districts of West Germany and France, while footpaths providing casual access are most plentiful in West Germany and Benelux. Off-route lands open to the public are most common in sparsely settled upland areas. Polynomial regressions show that both amplitude of relief and type of land cover influence the availability of access types. However, land-use intensity is the strongest determinant of the access regime in all except mountainous areas. Although not investigated statistically, regional and national variations in access availability may be related to the history of land apportionment and to legal/customary constraints on public access. These help to explain exceptionally low degrees of access in Great Britain.
 
Article
This paper investigates the role of location in determining the presence of on- and off-farm pluriactivity. Gravity models are developed to define degrees of access to markets from farm locations, and farm household survey data from the Grampian Region of Scotland are used to test the ability of the models to explain the observed location of pluriactivity. Proximity to markets is shown to be an important factor for both tourist and non-tourist on-farm diversification, and is reflected in the location of farms with on-farm non-agricultural activities. However, there is no evidence of a relationship between access to labour market opportunities and the presence of off-farm employment at the sub-regional scale. Personal preferences concerning work location and household responsibilities may be more important in determining the presence of off-farm work than proximity to labour market opportunities. Possible refinements to the technique and policy implications are discussed.
 
Article
This study examines the digital divide in rural Jiangsu, one of the most developed areas in China. First, it reveals that only a small portion of rural enterprises have access to the Internet, and the penetration rate of the Internet in rural enterprises of China is much lower than that in urban enterprises revealed by previous studies. Second, a significant digital divide exists between Southern Jiangsu on the one hand and Middle and Northern Jiangsu on the other hand. Indeed, the Internet penetration rate in Zhangjiagang is very close to that in urban enterprises. Thirdly, this study finds that large and old enterprises are more likely to have access to the Internet. Fourthly, Internet access demonstrates very strong and positive relationships with enterprises’ economic and innovative performance, though it is not clear whether or not the better performance at rural enterprises with Internet access comes from their usage of the Internet. The implication of the study is that governments should promote Internet usage among rural enterprises.
 
Article
Rights of access to land for outdoor recreation are of current concern to many western governments. They require a balance to be struck between collective rights to the land and individual rights of exclusion. Theories of land rights have limitations in informing the appropriate apportionment of such rights for recreational access since they emanate from such a disparate range of cultural and philosophical positions and invariably they are based on the productive attributes of the land. Collectively, such theories do offer a number of characteristics that might inform land rights apportionment for access: historically determined justice, contemporary justice through citizenship, distributional equity, intergenerational equity and economic efficiency. These characteristics are explored in the context of the development of recreational access rights in New Zealand. Whilst notions of justice can be seen to be transgressed in land rights structures imposed through European settlement, these structures themselves were founded on notions of equity as a direct result of the loss of access rights in 19th Century England. The reassertion of Maori land rights compromises both distributional and intergenerational equity but may make a contribution to economic efficiency as well as re-establishing historically determined justice. The case study illustrates inherent dilemmas in rights apportionment for access to land for outdoor recreation where ultimately it may not be possible to achieve any consensual outcome.
 
Article
The marginality of rural life, understood in structural, economic, political and geographic terms, has been an underlying theme in both historical and contemporary studies of the Russian countryside. Much less attention has been paid to marginality as relational and the moral discourses of (un)belonging and (un)deservingness through which moral centres and peripheries are constructed within rural Russian contexts. This paper explores the ways in which both fixed, structural and constructed, personalised explanations of hardship are employed by rural people and how these relate to processes of integration into or exclusion from ‘caring’ and ‘moral’ communities. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Burla village, western Siberia, in 2008–10, and focusing primarily on the activities of the Centre for Social Assistance to Families and Children located there, the paper discusses the ways in which affiliation with the ‘moral centre’ facilitates access to both formal and informal forms of care and assistance from which those at the ‘moral periphery’ are more often excluded.
 
Article
Public recreational movement within the countryside is conceptualized in terms of physical and legal barriers, and by specifying five levels of access rigour. The conceptual scheme is designed to have applicability in a broad spectrum of environmental and cultural settings, but is presented with reference to Europe and North America. Specific measures of access availability are then developed, related to recreationists within the five rigour groups. The measures are intended to allow rapid evaluation of extensive study areas, and therefore employ evidence from topographic maps. In general, passive or car-restricted access is available only within 100 m of all-weather roads, and casual access is provided by tracks and footpaths within 3 km of roadheads. Vigorous access occurs on paths beyond this 3 km point, while rugged access occurs along waterways or off the beaten track. Beyond 3 km from footpaths or waterways, or in very ill-favoured terrain, access is considered to be arduous. The applicability and potential use of the access measures is demonstrated using four Canadian study areas, including a national park. Access availability for these areas is compared using both ‘access profiles’ and access maps. The paper concludes with a discussion of the scheme's value for inventory, for assessment of the adequacy and equity of access, and for international and regional comparison.
 
Top-cited authors
Clare Hinrichs
  • Pennsylvania State University
Yansui Liu
  • Chinese Academy of Sciences
Rob Burton
  • Centre for Rural Research Norway
Clive Potter
  • Imperial College London and Cornell University, New York
David Goodman
  • University of California, Santa Cruz