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Research article2014Peer reviewed

Balancing family traditions and business: Gendered strategies for achieving future resilience among agricultural students

Grubbstrom, Ann; Stenbacka, Susanne; Joosse, Sofie


This paper emphasises the future generation of farmers, a group that has been relatively neglected in previous research. Based on focus group interviews, it highlights Swedish agricultural students gendered strategies to create a successful farm business in the future, along with the opportunities and obstacles they foresee in generational succession and their future farming activities. The interviews are analysed within the framework of resilience theory, focussing on adaption and renewal. Students highlight the importance of balancing emotional bonds to family and traditions with business goals. It is shown that strategies of renewal are guided by social values. The solitary farmer is replaced by a networking farmer that gathers knowledge in local and international settings. The view of how a partner contributes is, on the one hand, traditional while also showing signs of gender role transformation. We argue that a functioning 'work love balance' reinforces resilience processes in farming. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Agricultural students; Resilience; Generational succession; Farming; Gender

Published in

Journal of Rural Studies
2014, Volume: 35, pages: 152-161

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Human Geography
      Sociology (excluding Social work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
      Economic Geography

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