References of "Journal of Rural Studies"
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See detailWhen farmers learn through dialog with their practices: A proposal for a theory of action for agricultural trajectories
Brédart, David ULg; Stassart, Pierre M ULg

in Journal of Rural Studies (2017), 53(C), 1-13

Using pragmatic sociology, we studied feed autonomy in mixed livestock-crop farming in the western region of Belgium (Hainaut Province). In this paper we first describe feed autonomy as an innovation ... [more ▼]

Using pragmatic sociology, we studied feed autonomy in mixed livestock-crop farming in the western region of Belgium (Hainaut Province). In this paper we first describe feed autonomy as an innovation structured around the withdrawal of soybeans and corn from cattle rations. In so doing, we approach feed autonomy as an opportunity for farmers to change their relationships with the soil, plants, animals, and other human beings and reconnect harmful situations to their courses of action. We then show (1) how this withdrawal is accompanied by adaptation in breeding practices (through reconfigurations of cognitive processes and practices) and (2) how events that interrupt the farmer's normal course of action require the farmers to develop their attentiveness to, i.e., their abilities to heed various elements to allow for variability and guide their actions. We therefore propose a theory of action in which learning is the result of surprises, of what destabilizes the farmer and raises doubt in her/his mind about her/his practices. To do that, we take inspiration from John Dewey's work and his notion of experience. Our results question the conceptualization of the trajectory that represents the process of change as a series of sequences with the event as a trigger. Indeed, we understand change to be a constant process of adjusting goals and means that is punctuated by events that become events only when attention is given to them. So, the event itself is no longer the trigger, and understanding adaptation in a trajectory's direction hinges more on the attention that is paid to the event. [less ▲]

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See detailStories on research, research on stories
Petit, Sandrine; Mougenot, Catherine ULg; Fleury, Philippe

in Journal of Rural Studies (2011), 27(4), 394-402

This article deals with a group of researchers involved in Participatory Action Research projects on biodiversity and who volunteered to take part in a “storytelling” experiment. Their "stories" were used ... [more ▼]

This article deals with a group of researchers involved in Participatory Action Research projects on biodiversity and who volunteered to take part in a “storytelling” experiment. Their "stories" were used to describe this new type of research collective comprising various partners, including researchers and managers, focused on obtaining directly useable results. These relatively unstructured groups constitute a forum for debate where scientific knowledge is combined with management know-how to produce tools for use outside the collective. The originality of this work lies in the fact that the descriptions of these collectives cannot be separated from the method used to produce those descriptions. The scientific community is not in the habit of expressing itself via stories. Stories are a flexible and open-ended means of instilling order in a changing world and their "capabilities" are in themselves an interesting result. In our opinion, the action-research collectives described and the stories produced are homologous. At the end of this experiment, we perceived the collectives and stories, in metaphorical terms, as archipelagos of relationships and meaning. [less ▲]

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See detailTowards pagan agroecology: special section on subjectiving the objective: participation , sustainability and agroecological research
Bell, Michael; Stassart, Pierre M ULg

in Journal of Rural Studies (2011), 27(4), 347-350

Science has a strongly religious character, it has often been observed. Scientists are typically priest-like, serious and full of methodological rectitude about the rituals of procedure for gaining access ... [more ▼]

Science has a strongly religious character, it has often been observed. Scientists are typically priest-like, serious and full of methodological rectitude about the rituals of procedure for gaining access to starry truth. The laity rise and come to us to receive wafers of wisdom and sips of insight. The objective knowledge incarnate we dispense is everywhere the same: same wafer, same wine. Indeed, universality is science’s whole point. But what kind of religion is this? It is a faith that exalts monologue over dialogue, oneness over manyness, the general over the locally speci␣c. It is a faith that offers transcendence, not immanenceda feeling of control over space and time and of release from the biases of the local and momentary. It is a faith that contends that a single truth exists and is the core of life. It is a faith whose moral power comes from its claim that it has escaped politics thereby. Not all religion, however, exalts in such unity, offers such a mood, or claims such a generalized authority. There have long beendindeed, longer beendfaiths aplenty that discovered the divine in the here and now of the particular, an immanent and dia- logic supernature that is us and not other, admitting and embracing the political character of the gods and of truth. Zeus and Hera are always squabbling, the ancient Greeks taught, favouring some people and places over others as a result [less ▲]

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See detailReflexive audiovisual methodology: The emergence of "minority practices" among pluriactive stock farmers
Stassart, Pierre M ULg; Mathieu, Valérie; Melard, François ULg

in Journal of Rural Studies (2011), 27(4), 403-413

This paper proposes a new way for sociology, through both methodology and theory, to understand the reality of social groups and their ‚Äúminority practices.‚Äù It is based on an experiment that concerns ... [more ▼]

This paper proposes a new way for sociology, through both methodology and theory, to understand the reality of social groups and their ‚Äúminority practices.‚Äù It is based on an experiment that concerns a very specific category of agriculturalists called ‚Äúpluriactive‚Äù stock farmers. These stock farmers, who engage in raising livestock part-time alongside another full-time job, form a minority category within the agricultural profession. We address the question of how to analyze and represent the practices of this kind of ‚Äúsocial‚Äù group or category through participatory filmmaking. Our research shows that beyond the collaborative production and screening of the film done in close cooperation with the stock farmers themselves, a second unexpected dynamic emerged around the sequences that were cut in the final editing round. These cut sequences reveal hesitations and disagreements among the breeders about their own practices in relation to their work and to animal welfare. These hesitations are not considered weaknesses, but rather as proof of the emergence of this group of stock farmers as ‚Äúpractitioners‚Äù. In the realm of intervention research, the participatory film-making process is attractive because it enables the farmers to raise new questions on their own, discuss them, and eventually resolve them, while also encouraging the researchers to identify the conditions that must be met in order to achieve this fragile linkage. This process and its outcomes force us to revisit the theoretical question of what constitutes a pragmatic definition of a practice. [less ▲]

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