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A semiotic polyocular framework for multidisciplinary research in relation to multifunctional farming and rural development

Noe, Egon; Alrøe, Hugo Fjelsted and Langvad, Anne Mette Sørensen (2005) A semiotic polyocular framework for multidisciplinary research in relation to multifunctional farming and rural development. Paper at: XXI ESRS Congress, Hungary, 22-25 August 2005. [Unpublished]

[thumbnail of 2005-Noe-et-al-SemioticPolyocularFrameworkForMultidisciplinaryResearch-draft.pdf] PDF - English


The concept of multifunctional farming rises out of a problematization of the role of agriculture in society and, in particular, in relation to rural development. Hitherto multifunctional farming has primarily been used as a notion on the relationship between agriculture and society concerning the range of commodity and non-commodity goods that farms provide for society. But the agro-economic achievements together with societal development have led to a point where praxis is questioned and discourse potentially reopened. In an indirect way, the notion of multifunctionality reflects, that aspects not captured by the distinction between commodity and non-commodity need to be reintroduced.
This paper offers a new framework (theoretical and methodical) suggesting a poly-ocular multidisciplinary approach and constructivist semiotic understanding of multifunctionality, which supports dialogue and interactions between the approaches, involved. Each research perspective has its own construction of the object of ‘farming’ and the ‘environment’ of farming; and thereby also its own perception of the functions and problems of farming. It therefore comes as no surprise that problems of communication are experienced between different perspectives, or that confusion on shared notions can cause frustrations and difficulties for multidisciplinary studies of multifunctionality. The present framework introduces a notion of multifunctionality, which enables the explicit handling of different perspectives by way of a distinction between the ‘immediate object’, as it appears to the observer, and the ‘dynamical object’, which represents the potentiality of the object in itself. From such semiotic point of view, the notion of multifunctionality becomes genuinely multidisciplinary. Multifunctionality cannot be reduced and included in one perspective, but has to be observed as a second order observation that involves reflexive communication between different perspectives and disciplines.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Subjects: Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF II (2000-2005) > V.1 (SYNERGY) Coordination and synergy
Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > AU, DJF - Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
Deposited By: Alrøe, PhD Hugo Fjelsted
ID Code:5394
Deposited On:29 Mar 2007
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:31
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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