Rural Support Networks in the UK and Canada: The Influence of the Patrilineal Culture of Family Farming

Linda Price

Research output: Working paper


Rural support organisations have emerged since agricultural restructuring of the 1980s. The paper draws on research from the UK and Canada to suggest that the support in both countries is derived from a patrilineal culture that still dominates family farming. The paper begins by outlining a conceptual basis for arguing that such a culture can be understood as comprising of male and female relational gender identities capable of explaining farm relationships, farm survival and adjustment strategies and community engagement. These components, it is argued, are facets of the patrilineal farming culture which must be understood if its impacts on all its members are to be appropriately comprehended and supported.

The paper has two key aims, therefore. Firstly it suggests that a more nuanced understanding of farming „culture? which is persistently patrilineal in nature is now required which is capable of addressing the realities of farming individuals?
lives as they perceive them. The conceptualisation of such a culture is informed
by drawing on insights from gender theory, agricultural geography and rural studies. This conceptual discussion provides the context for the paper?s second aim which is to demonstrate how rural support in both the UK and Canada is derived „from? and is influenced by such a patrilineal culture . Findings are
presented identifying five key themes from this conceptualization which influence the support of such organisations. Thus, it is suggested, that the nature of rural support can be better understood and the appropriateness of the support interrogated when such conceptualization is taken on board.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherQueen's University Belfast
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

Bibliographical note

Editor(s) / Output Media: Dr. Jenny Muir
Commissioning Body / Publisher: ISEP, SPACE
ISBN: Working Paper Series


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