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Small Farmers in Four Southeast European Countries. A Qualitative Analysis of Life Strategies in Twenty-Five Agricultural Households

Small Farmers in Four Southeast European Countries. A Qualitative Analysis of Life Strategies in... AbstractThis paper brings an extended Bourdieusian theoretical framework to the analysis of the life strategies of small farmers in four SEE societies (Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia). Practices and strategies of farming households are situated in two partially overlapping fields, the formal economy and the informal economy. The paper is based on a qualitative analysis of twenty-five interviewed households. It covers the structural conditions of the households’ participation in both fields of ‘play’, an analysis of household capital (economic-agricultural, social and cultural) and an interpretation of practice (i.e. the strategy dimension). The framework is extended to include an exploration of the households’ reflexivity and agency. The findings suggest that various structural limitations impede the households from developing successful practices in the formal field (unless the households have exceptional levels of agency), and that the most common life strategy is food self-provisioning, along with reliance on practices in the informal field enabled by social capital. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Südosteuropa de Gruyter

Small Farmers in Four Southeast European Countries. A Qualitative Analysis of Life Strategies in Twenty-Five Agricultural Households

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
ISSN
0722-480X
eISSN
2364-933X
DOI
10.1515/soeu-2017-0035
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractThis paper brings an extended Bourdieusian theoretical framework to the analysis of the life strategies of small farmers in four SEE societies (Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia). Practices and strategies of farming households are situated in two partially overlapping fields, the formal economy and the informal economy. The paper is based on a qualitative analysis of twenty-five interviewed households. It covers the structural conditions of the households’ participation in both fields of ‘play’, an analysis of household capital (economic-agricultural, social and cultural) and an interpretation of practice (i.e. the strategy dimension). The framework is extended to include an exploration of the households’ reflexivity and agency. The findings suggest that various structural limitations impede the households from developing successful practices in the formal field (unless the households have exceptional levels of agency), and that the most common life strategy is food self-provisioning, along with reliance on practices in the informal field enabled by social capital.

Journal

Südosteuropade Gruyter

Published: Sep 26, 2017

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