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Is there a Female Principle in Organic Farming? An Interpretation of Data for Norway

BJØRKHAUG, HILDE (2006) Is there a Female Principle in Organic Farming? An Interpretation of Data for Norway. [Bjørkhaug, H. (2006): Organic farming in Norway: a way to express the female principle? In Reed, M and G. Holt, Sociological Perspectives of Organic Agriculture: From Pioneer to Policy. Wallingford: CABI.] In: HOLT, G and REED, M (Eds.) Sociological Perspectives of Organic Agriculture: From Pioneer to Policy. CABI PUBLISHERS, chapter 12, pp. 195-209.

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Summary

It is often claimed that due to different value orientations, men and women practice agriculture in different ways. In particular, the idea that women practice a more environmentally friendly or ecological style of management is a key assumption of this difference. Indeed, the female management principle corresponds on many points to the ideology of organic farming. This paper explores whether female farmers in Norway represent different management values and attitudes to male farmers, or whether male and female organic farmers together represent a more feminine way of farming than conventional farmers do. Using quantitative data collected from a survey of organic and conventional farmers in Norway, the paper analyses attitudes and motives of male and female, and conventional and organic farmers, and examines the relationship between attitudes and farm management structure. Findings show that there is a higher proportion of female farmers in organic than in conventional farming in Norway. This can be explained by the theory of organic as a feminine value, but could equally be a strategy to demarcate a feminine arena within the agricultural sector. In the final analysis, the paper provides further elaboration for the theory of a feminine principle in organic farming by reaching beneath the concept of stereotype to discuss the diversity of femininities and masculinities in both organic and conventional farming.


EPrint Type:Book chapter
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Values, standards and certification
Farming Systems > Social aspects
Research affiliation: Norway > Centre for Rural Research
Deposited By: Bjørkhaug, Hilde
ID Code:10053
Deposited On:27 Nov 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:34
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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