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Doing gender (in) equality in Swedish family farming

gendered labour and resources in agrarian change

Andersson, Elias (2014). Doing gender (in) equality in Swedish family farming. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Umeå : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2014:74
ISBN 978-91-576-8096-9
eISBN 978-91-576-8097-6
[Doctoral thesis]

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Economic and social conditions on Swedish farms have altered in recent decades, restructuring the sector, but the family farm is still the primary production unit. Sweden is often described as a role model in gender equality, but a gender-unequal situation in farming has been identified, posing a political challenge.

This thesis critically assessed how gender inequalities are reproduced within Swedish family farming by analysing how the 'doing' of family farming, in terms of labour and material relations, is shaped and reproduced. This approach focused the analysis on relations of and in production, by placing labour and property at the centre. Other approaches yielded novel information. The theoretical frameworks of labour process theory, political economy, feminist standpoint theory and material feminism, provided conceptual space to examine the reproduction of gender inequalities.

In mixed method research, two types of survey data, interviews with farmers and literature on occupational health and safety in agriculture were used to analyse gendered access to arable land and farming conditions; the Swedish agrarian structure and the gendered organisation of the labour process; the gendered understating of agricultural health and safety; and the temporalities of Swedish family farming.

The results showed how gender inequalities are reproduced in the temporal and spatial organisation and structuring of the labour process and through unequal distribution of resources. Unequal access to arable land contributes particularly to the gendering of farm management, farm diversification and farm ability to provide household income. A spatial stratification was observed, with larger gendered differences in more productive areas. The farm labour process forms the diverse experience of time, space, economy and labour of men and women in family farming. The different spheres and socio-economic modes of the labour process puts men and women in unequal positions, with differing materialised experiences of family farming and farm work; its risks, problems and consequences.

The findings highlight the persistence of family farming in the Swedish agrarian structure and the importance of gender mainstreaming in e.g. policy, education and risk prevention work. More research is needed on the gendering effects of renegotiation of the family farm concept and situated agrarian change.

Authors/Creators:Andersson, Elias
Title:Doing gender (in) equality in Swedish family farming
Subtitle:gendered labour and resources in agrarian change
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2014
Number of Pages:117
I.Andersson, E. & Lidestav, G. (2014). Gendered Resource Access and Utilisation in Swedish Family Farming. Land 3(1), 188-203.
II.Andersson, E. & Lundqvist, P. Gendered time in Swedish family farming: Operationalising an agrarian typology using the Swedish Farm Accountancy Data Network (submitted manuscript).
III.Andersson, E. & Lundqvist, P. (2014) Gendered agricultural space and safety: Towards embodied, situated knowledge. Journal of Agromedicine 19(3), 303-315.
IV.Andersson, E. Managing flexibility and expectations: Lived experiences of spatial-temporal relations in Swedish family-based dairy farming (submitted manuscript).
Place of Publication:Umeå
Publisher:Department of Forest Resource Management, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-8096-9
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-8097-6
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:E Economics, development, and rural sociology > E10 Agricultural economics and policies
E Economics, development, and rural sociology > E12 Labour and employment
E Economics, development, and rural sociology > E50 Rural sociology and social security
E Economics, development, and rural sociology > E90 Agrarian structure
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 504 Sociology > Sociology (excluding Social work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 509 Other Social Sciences > Gender Studies
Agrovoc terms:family farms, gender, men, women, social structure, labour, ownership, working conditions, socioeconomic environment, agricultural sector, households, sweden
Keywords:family farming, agriculture, gender, inequalities, labour process, temporality, material feminism, political economy, embodiment, materiality
Permanent URL:
ID Code:11533
Faculty:S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(S) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Forest Resource Management
External funders:Stiftelsen Lantbruksforskning
Deposited By: Elias Andersson
Deposited On:25 Sep 2014 11:51
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 11:08

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