Social sciences and farmers in Switzerland: the story of a strange absence
Résumé Switzerland is known to offer substantial support to its national agriculture. However and despite the political importance of agriculture, very few social science research programmes on farming and agriculture exist. Indeed, Switzerland has never had an institutionalized and established “rural sociology”. In a national context where the viability of agriculture depends largely on public money, discussions and criticism of the agricultural policy take different shapes, mainly addressing environmental and economic effectiveness. This paper reviews what work the social sciences have produced on agriculture and farming populations in Switzerland, with the aim of understanding better what should be done now, in a context of deep changes within the political and economic frames of agriculture. These concerns are not limited to Switzerland and have strong echoes in other national contexts. They are related to the understanding of farmers' role in production and consumption networks, in a context of multifunctionality and neoliberalism. In conclusion, it will be argued that because of some of its characteristics, Switzerland may prove to be an interesting case study for some of the debates in the wider rural social sciences.
Citation Forney, J. (2013). Social sciences and farmers in Switzerland: the story of a strange absence. Geography Compass, 7(12), 843-852.
Type Article de périodique (Anglais)
Date de publication 3-12-2013
Nom du périodique Geography Compass
Volume 7
Numéro 12
Pages 843-852
URL http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gec3.12084/abs...