University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Keeping the Name on the Land: the Family Farm and its Survival Through Periods of Postwar Agricultural Change

Perkins, Clare (2015) Keeping the Name on the Land: the Family Farm and its Survival Through Periods of Postwar Agricultural Change. PhD thesis, University of Worcester.

PERKINS PHD THESIS.pdf - Submitted Version

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PhD is about the family farm in the United Kingdom. It investigates the reasons behind their survival since the end of World War Two and the current day. The research is situated in a gap in knowledge within agricultural geography that exists due to an inadequacy to explore effectively the family farm and its continuation. This is related to two strands of research. First, analysts of the era between the mid-1940s and early-mid 1980s argued that the inability of the family farm to access funding through external connections to fund technology would result in their extinction. Second, activities such as farm diversification, which have been suggested by proponents of agricultural phases since the early-mid 1980s such as 'post-productivism', have failed to provide real options for family farmers to survive without food production.
This PhD acknowledges the role of the family farm itself, technology and external connections to its persistence. It creates a theoretical framework grounded in an appreciation of the everyday and mundane, which justifies concentration on a single family farm located in Ceredigion, Wales, UK. The study implemented ethnography and multi-sited ethnography by living and working on a family farm and using the complementary methods of participant observation, focused discussions and in-the-field interviewing. The study found that family farmers utilise their own creativity, resources and abilities to engage with technology and external connections in diverse, multiple and unexpected ways. These practices were related to motivations such as maintaining a good way of life, producing food and supporting the local community. In turn, these motivations were connected to a deeply embedded emotional longing to survive and keep the name on the land.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:

A thesis in partial fulfilment of the University's requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
A print copy of this thesis is held on Level 4 at the Hive.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: agricultural geography, farming, family farming, Wales, technology, external connections, farm diversification
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Science and the Environment
Depositing User: Janet Davidson
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2016 09:39
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2020 17:09

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