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Studying conversion as a human activity system

Padel, Susan (2002) Studying conversion as a human activity system. In: Powell, Jane and et al., (Eds.) Proceedings of the UK Organic Research 2002 Conference, Organic Centre Wales, Institute of Rural Studies, University of Wales Aberystwyth, pp. 101-104.

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Summary

This report was presented at the UK Organic Research 2002 Conference. Farmers convert to organic farming for a variety of reasons including environmental concerns, problems with conventional systems, and personal and financial reasons. They also vary in their management styles. These personal characteristics are rarely considered as explaining variables in comparative studies of farming systems, because of the contrasting methods used to evaluate personal objectives and attitudes as opposed to farm activities. Farming should be seen as a human activity system, in which people actively manage some natural resources, for the purpose of producing output, influenced by their subjective values and attitudes. The Farming Systems Research (FSR) approach aims to consider the social, cultural, ecological and economic context of farming, but provides little methodological guidance on how these aims can be achieved in a rigorous way. In this paper reference is made to the tradition of qualitative social inquiry, especially case studies, whereby inductive research is undertaken in real world situations without deliberate manipulation. The paper provides an example of case studies of converting dairy farms integrating structured data on farm activities with unstructured ones of personal characteristics.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Colloquium of Organic Researchers; COR; research methods, farming systems research, soft systems
Subjects: Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Systems research and participatory research
Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Specific methods
Research affiliation: UK
UK > Colloquium of Organic Researchers (COR) > COR 2002
UK > Univ. Aberystwyth > Institute for Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS)
Deposited By: Powell, Ms Jane
ID Code:8374
Deposited On:17 Oct 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:33
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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