Farmer Autonomy and the Farming Self

Paul Stock & Jérémie Forney

Abstract Drawing on interviews in Switzerland and New Zealand, we explore the concept of autonomy as part of a farming self. The farming self encompasses the dialectical relationship of autonomy as both value and tool that help us understand farmers within a wider set of economic, environmental and interpersonal relations. Farmers describe autonomy as a value in three related but slightly different ways. First, autonomy invokes a particular lifestyle connected to farming. Second, autonomy is understood as the equivalent of being one's own boss. Third, farmers describe autonomy negatively by enumerating the constraints that limit the first two iterations of autonomy in their farming operations. Beyond the value of autonomy for farmer identity, the farming self captures autonomy as a tool: a tool of identification, a tool to mitigate, navigate and translate the experiences of being a farmer in a wider network of agricultural relations
Keywords Farmers
New Zealand
Farming self
Citation Stock, P., & Forney, J. (2014). Farmer Autonomy and the Farming Self. Journal of Rural Studies, 36(October 2014), 160-171.
Type Journal article (English)
Date of appearance 19-8-2014
Journal Journal of Rural Studies
Volume 36
Issue October 2014
Pages 160-171
URL https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2014.07.004