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Empowered by stigma? Pioneer organic farmers' stigma management strategies

Lähdesmäki, Merja; Siltaoja, Marjo; Luomala, Harri; Puska, Petteri and Kurki, Sami (2018) Empowered by stigma? Pioneer organic farmers' stigma management strategies. Journal of Rural Studies, 65, pp. 152-160.

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Pioneers of organic farming often faced social challenges as their innovative ideas on agriculture not only encountered opposition in the conventional farming community, but led to stigmatization of organic farmers as social deviants. In this study, we examine what kind of stigma management strategies pioneer organic farmers engage with in order to cultivate an alternative positive image of themselves. Our research is based on the interviews with 14 pioneer organic farmers. Based on a qualitative analysis of interviews, we provide a model of those strategies that the creation of from a stigmatized to valued identity requires. Our study increases the understanding of the institutionalization process of organic farming by demonstrating how pioneer organic farmers overcame the negative attributes associated with their farmer identities while actively building a new agricultural category which was different from that of conventional farming.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:organic farmer, stigmatization, stigma management, Finland
Subjects: Farming Systems > Social aspects
Knowledge management
Research affiliation: Finland > Univ. Helsinki > Rural Research
Finland > Univ. Vaasa
Deposited By: Autio, Ms. Sari
ID Code:35204
Deposited On:02 Apr 2019 15:06
Last Modified:02 Apr 2019 15:06
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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