Self-perceived roles in life and achieving sustainability on family farms in north-eastern Australia

Lankester, Ally (2012) Self-perceived roles in life and achieving sustainability on family farms in north-eastern Australia. Australian Geographer, 43 (3). pp. 233-251.

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Abstract

Rural production landscapes in Australia are experiencing a rapid rate of change as a result of, among other factors, climate change, biodiversity loss and changing societal values. Consequently, there is increasing pressure on producers to increase their sustainability. Understanding how producers perceive themselves in the context of this changing landscape is limited but important for the design of policy effective for achieving sustainability. This paper is based on a case study in the north-eastern Australian rangelands that included face-to-face interviews with 28 beef producers and a telephone survey with another 91 producers. The study investigated male and female beef producers' self-perceived roles in life through a lens of different farming discourses and the relationship between these roles and beliefs aligned with sustainability. Results revealed that although producers' self-percieved roles in life were being constructed through a mix of more or less 'traditional' discourses, tradition was still a strong influence. Producers who strongly identified with roles linked to 'less traditional' discourses were more likely than those who strongly identified with production-orientated roles to agree with beliefs that favoured nature conservation, learning and adapting to change. Increased opportunities for producers to participate in alternative discourses would appear important for fostering a self-identity that is open to learning, difference and change.

Item ID: 24148
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: self-identity, discourse, beef industry, adaptation, learning, adoption, farmer
ISSN: 0004-9182
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2012 05:29
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160403 Social and Cultural Geography @ 60%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960999 Land and Water Management of Environments not elsewhere classified @ 50%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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