University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

From ‘As Good as Gold’ to ‘Gold Diggers’: Farming Women and the Survival of British Family Farming

Price, L. and Evans, Nick (2006) From ‘As Good as Gold’ to ‘Gold Diggers’: Farming Women and the Survival of British Family Farming. Sociologia Ruralis, 46 (4).


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The survival of family farming in British agriculture has long been a topic of interest for
rural researchers and is undergoing something of a current renewal of interest. However,
insights from feminist approaches remain underutilised despite the crucial role farming
women continue to play in family farming. This article addresses the unity of farm,
family and business by interpreting it as a patriarchal way of life. An ethnographically
informed repeated life history methodology is employed to study in detail the family
members of seven farms in rural mid-Wales. Findings show that the recent survival of
the family farms investigated has been heavily dependent upon compliance with a
patriarchal ideology that demands that women be ‘as good as gold’. However, it is
discovered that a new view of women is emerging in the world of British family farming,
that of ‘gold digger’. Women entering relationships with farming men are increasingly
being considered a threat to farm survival by virtue of their entitlements if the relationship
breaks down. The necessity to study the intricacies of personal relationships in
family farming has important implications for most future research into this form of
agricultural business arrangement.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: Family, Feminism, Rural studies, Farm, Farming
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Science and the Environment
College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Humanities
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Nick Evans
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2007 10:56
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2021 09:26

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