Sociologia Ruralis

Cover image for Vol. 57 Issue 2

Edited By: Bettina Bock

Impact Factor: 1.698

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2016: 31/79 (Geography); 35/143 (Sociology)

Online ISSN: 1467-9523

Virtual Issues

Sociologia Ruralis invites you to read the following Virtual Issues:

Published: 03 May 2017

Published: 27 Feb 2015

Published: 07 Aug 2014

Published: Jul 2012

Published: 01 Feb 2010
Edited By: Henry Buller

Published: 01 Feb 2010
Edited By: Henry Buller

Published: 01 Feb 2010
Edited By: Henry Buller

Virtual special issue about Central and Eastern Europe for the occasion of the 27th ESRS Congress in Kraków, Poland

Published: 3rd May 2017

Introduction by Professor Krzysztof Gorlach
Sociologia Ruralis is pleased to take the opportunity of the coming ESRS Congress in Kraków in July 2017 to present a virtual special issue that includes ten articles published within the last 35 years. They discuss the experiences of rural life in Central and Eastern Europe during communism as well as in the time of major transitions towards market economy and democracy after 1989. Coming to Kraków will offer you a chance to see rural Małopolska (one of the 16 regions in Poland) and to experience the significance of the main themes of the conference – diversity, justice and knowledge – in rural Poland.

Central and Eastern Europe or – in other words – “the other” Europe features regularly in Sociologia Ruralis. The ten carefully selected articles written by both Central-Eastern European and Western scholars reflect the major changes that Central and Eastern Europe has experienced since World War II: the effects of communist agricultural policies, the changes in agrarian structures and modernisation of its predominantly peasant agriculture both in the form of collectivisation and the development of small family farms. More recently major processes of economic and political changes have been analysed, including the privatisation of agriculture, the preparation for EU membership, the effects of pre-accession funds as well LEADER initiatives. Moreover the issues of agri-environmental legislation and the ‘Europeanisation” of rural East-Central Europe have been heavily discussed, next to the realignment with the Common Agricultural Policy and the ‘Neo-liberal World’ more in general .

1. Wierzbicki, Z. And Rambaud, P., 1982, 'The Emergence of the First Agricultural Trade Union in Socialist Poland', 22(3-4)

2. Galeski, B., 1982, 'Solving the Agrarian Question in Poland', 22(2)

3. Gorlach, K., 1989, 'On Repressive Tolerance: State and Peasant Farm in Poland', 29(1)

4. Pilichowski, A., 1993, 'Poland's Agrarian Structure: A Sociological Perspective', 33(1)

5. Kovach, I., 1994, 'Privatization and family farms in Central and Eastern Europe', 34(4)

6. Kovach, 1., 2000, 'Leader, a New Social Order, and the Central- and East- European Countries', 40(2)

7. Sikor, T., 2005, 'Property and Agri-Environmental Legislation Europe', 45(3)

8. Gorton, M., Lowe, P. And Zellei, A., 2005, 'Pre-accession Europeanisation: The Strategic Realignment of the Environmental Policy Systems of Lithuania, Poland and Slovakia towards Agricultural Pollution in Preparation for EU Membership', 45(3)

9. Swain, N., 2013, 'Agriculture 'East of the Elbe' and the Common Agricultural Policy', 53(3)

10. Swain, N., 2016, 'Eastern European Rurality in a Neo-Liberal, European Union World', 56(4)

RURAL SCOTLAND - Virtual Special Issue on Rural Scotland: from Clientalism and Paternalism to ‘Places of Possibility’

Published: 27 Feb 2015

Sociologia Ruralis is pleased to take the opportunity of the ESRS Congress in Aberdeen in August 2015 to compile a special issue of articles featuring rural Scotland from the last 50 years. Attending the Congress will offer you a chance to see rural Scotland for yourself and to experience the rural as ‘Places of Possibility’ while sharing the latest European rural research.

Scotland has often featured in Sociologia Ruralis. The ten selected articles reflect the changes which rural Scotland has experienced since the 1960s: for example, from rural depopulation to rural growth; increasing confidence and activism among rural people associated with a growing awareness of local history and culture, community development and control of the land; the opportunities offered through external networks and ICT; and the changing role of the state in what had often been a clientalist and paternalistic countryside. Farming life has been another recurrent theme, both in relation to the CAP, changes in the wider rural economy and the pursuit of multifunctionality. Finally, Scotland is notable for the unusually close relationship between researchers and policy and practice communities, hopefully to the benefit of both.

1. Forsythe D.E., 1980, Urban incomers and rural change: the impact of migrants from the city on life in an Orkney community, 20(4)

2. Gray J., 1996, Cultivating farm life on the borders: Scottish hill sheep farms and the European community, 36(1)

3. Ray C., 1997, Towards a theory of the dialectic of local rural development within the European Union, 37(3)

4. Burnett K.A. 1998, Local heroics: reflecting on incomers and local rural development discourses in Scotland, 38(2)

5. Stockdale A., 2002, Out-migration from rural Scotland: the importance of family and social networks, 42(1)

6. Atterton J., 2007, The ‘Strength of weak ties’: social networking by business owners in the highlands and Islands of Scotland, 47(3)

7. Shucksmith M., 2010, Disintegrated rural development? Neo-endogenous rural development, planning and place-shaping in diffuse power contexts, 50(1)

8. Thompson N. And J. Atterson, 2010, Twenty-first century clientelism? State and community on the Isle of Rum, 50(4),

9. Sutherland L.A., R.J.F. Burton, 2011, Good farmers, good neighbours? The role of cultural capital in social capital development in a Scottish farming community, 51(3)

10. Townsend L.A., C. Wallace, A. Smart, T. Norman, 2014, Building virtual bridges: how rural micro-enterprises develop social capital in online and face-to-face settings, Early View


Published: 07 Aug 2014


The United Nationals declared 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming to highlight the importance of family farms and smallholders farmers (International Year of Family Farming - IYFF). Throughout the world family farms constitute the majority of all farms, which underlines their importance for food security. FAO promotes the year of family farming as follows: “Family Farmers: feeding the world, caring for the earth” ( In Rural Sociology family farming has always been an important subject of research and many publications in Sociologia Ruralis deal in some way or other with family farming. This virtual issue gathers a selection of publications on family farming in Sociologia Ruralis between 1969 and 2013. Taken together they reflect the development of thought through continuously returning questions (survival, succession, gender) as well as shifting points of attention. Evident is also that the interest in family farming as such somewhat decreased after the 90s. In brief, we can see that the initial debate on family farms’ persistence during capitalism and modernization in Europe and the global North more generally, has given way for discussions on the definition and particular characteristics of family farming, the role of women, part-time farming as a survival strategy, the renascence of family farming in Central and Eastern Europe, the importance of (multifunctional) family farms for rural development and the turn towards sustainable, high quality food production. Finally, we recently witness a returning interest in family farm succession (see also early view).


Social implications of farm mechanization, a final report on cross national research
Anton J. Jansen

Patriarchy and Property
Harriet Friedman

Family Goals and Survival Strategies
David Symes and John Appleton

The Persistence of Family Farms in United States Agriculture
Nola Reinhardt and Peggy Bartlett

Farm Families Between Tradition and Modernity
Karl Friedrich Bohler and Bruno Hildenbrand

Ageing and Succession of Family Fams: The Impact on Decision-making and Land Use
Clive Potter and Matt Lobley

Power Analysis and Farm Wives
Sally Shortall

Defining and Operationalizing Family Farming from a Sociological Perspective
Göran Djurfeldt

Family Farming and Capitalist Development in Greek Agriculture: A Critical Review of the Literature
Charalambos Kasimis and Apostolos G. Papadopoulos

Pluriactivity as a Livelihood Strategy in Irish Farm Households and its Role in Rural Development
Jim Kinsella, Susan Wilson, Floor De Jong and Henk Renting

Gender Identity in European Family Farming: A Literature Review
Berit Brandth

‘Good Farmers’ as Reflexive Producers: an Examination of Family Organic Farmers in the US Midwest
Paul Stock

Subsistence and Sustainability in Post-industrial Europe: The Politics of Small-scale Farming in Europeanising Lithuania
Diana Mincyte

Peasantry and Entrepreneurship As Frames for Farming: Reflections on Farmers' Values and Agricultural Policy Discourses
Miira Niska, Hannu T. Vesala and Kari Mikko Vesala

Resourcing Children in a Changing Rural Context: Fathering and Farm Succession in Two Generations of Farmers
Berit Brandth and Grete Overrein


Published: Jul 2012

Responses to the New Rural World:
A Virtual Issue of Sociologia Ruralis on the themes of Crisis and Opportunity of the XIII World Congress of Rural Sociology, Lisbon, July 2012

Crise Économique, Initiative Collective et Developpement
P. Rambaud

The Interdependence of Rural and Urban Environmental Problems in Advanced Capitalist Societies: Models of Linkage
Frederick H. Buttel & William L. Flinn

Food Matters and the Matter of Food: Towards a New Food Governance?
Terry Marsden

Contingent or Structural Crisis in British Agriculture?
Ian Drummond, Hugh Campbell, Geoffrey Lawrence & David Symes

Rural Community Life and the Importance of Reciprocal Survival Strategies
Henk Meert

Taming Nature, Taming Workers: Constructing the Separation Between Meat Consumption and Meat Production in the U.S.
Lourdes Gouveia & Arunas Juska

Rural Development: From Practices and Policies towards Theory
Jan Douwe Van Der Ploeg, Henk Renting, Gianluca Brunori, Karlheinz Knickel, Joe Mannion, Terry Marsden, Kees De Roest, Eduardo Sevilla-Guzmán & Flaminia Ventura

The Final Foods Industry and the Changing Face of the Global Agro-Food System
John Wilkinson

Knowing food and growing food: Beyond the production–consumption debate in the sociology of agriculture
David Goodman & E.Melanie. DuPuis

‘A World Free From Hunger’: Global Imagination and Governance in the Age of Scientific Management
Lynne Phillips & Suzan Ilcan

Biotechnology and the Politics of Truth: From the Green Revolution to an Evergreen Revolution
Sally Brooks

The Third Food Regime: Neoliberal Globalism and Agricultural Biotechnology in North America
Gabriela Pechlaner & Gerardo Otero

Creating Sustainable Rural Development through Stimulating the Eco-economy: Beyond the Eco-economic Paradox?
Lawrence Kitchen & Terry Marsden


Published: 01 Feb 2010

Edited By: Henry Buller

Ontology Matters: The Relational Materiality of Nature and Agro-Food Studies
David Goodman

Food, Environmentalism and Rural Sociology: On the Organic Farming Movement in Ireland
Hilary Tovey

Local Development and Heritage: Traditional Food and Cuisine as Tourist Attractions in Rural Areas
Jacinthe Bessière

'Back to Nature': Changing 'Worlds of Production' in the Food Sector
Jonathan Murdoch, Mara Miele

Agro-Food Studies in the 'Age of Ecology': Nature, Corporeality, Bio-Politics
David Goodman

Reconsidering 'Traditional' Food: The Case of Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
Kees de Roest, Alberto Menghi

Food Matters and the Matter of Food: Towards a New Food Governance?
Terry Marsden

'The Invisible Mouth': Mobilizing 'the Consumer' in Food Production–Consumption Networks
Stewart Lockie

Alternative Strategies in the UK Agro-Food System: Interrogating the Alterity of Farmers' Markets
James Kirwan

Possible Food Economies: a Methodological Framework for Exploring Food Production–Consumption Relationships
Lewis Holloway, Moya Kneafsey, Laura Venn, Rosie Cox, Elizabeth Dowler, Helena Tuomainen

From Farm to Table: The Organic Vegetable Commodity Chain of Northern California
Daniel Buck, Christina Getz, Julie Guthman

Organic Farming in Late Modernity: At the Frontier of Modernity or Opposing Modernity?
Pernille Kaltoft

Productivism, Post-Productivism and European Agricultural Reform: The Case of Sugar
Neil Ward, Peter Jackson, Polly Russell, Katy Wilkinson

Settling Shared Uncertainties: Local Partnerships Between Producers and Consumers
Claire Lamine

Gender, Consumption and the Relocalisation of Food: A Research Agenda
Jo Little, Brian Ilbery, David Watts


Published: 01 Feb 2010

Edited By: Henry Buller

Mobilities, Vulnerabilities and Sustainabilities: Exploring Pathways from Denial to Sustainable Rural Development
Terry Marsden

Disintegrated Rural Development? Neo-endogenous Rural Development, Planning and Place-Shaping in Diffused Power Contexts
Mark Shucksmith

Knowledge in Sustainable Rural Development: From Forms of Knowledge to Knowledge Processes
Karl Bruckmeier, Hilary Tovey

Towards a Theory of the Dialectic of Local Rural Development within the European Union
Christopher Ray

Rurality as a Created Field: Towards an Integrated Rural Development in Latvia?
Talis Tisenkopfs

Impact and Potential: A Comparative Review of European Rural Development Practices
Jan Douwe van der Ploeg, Henk Renting

Rural Development: From Practices and Policies towards Theory
Jan Douwe van der Ploeg, Henk Renting, Gianluca Brunori, Karlheinz Knickel, Joe Mannion, Terry Marsden, Kees de Roest, Eduardo Sevilla-Guzmán, Flaminia Ventura

Getting Close to the Action: The Micro-Politics of Rural Development
Ruth McAreavey

The Political Economy of Rural Development: Modernisation Without Centralisation?
Johan Fredrik Rye

Rural Development and Embeddedness: The Importance of Human Relations for Industrial Restructuring in Rural Areas
Arnt Fløysand, Peter Sjøholt

Disintegrated Rural Development? Neo-endogenous Rural Development, Planning and Place-Shaping in Diffused Power Contexts
Mark Shucksmith

Social or Economic Goals, Civic Inclusion or Exclusion? An Analysis of Rural Development Theory and Practice
Sally Shortall

Social Learning in LEADER: Exogenous, Endogenous and Hybrid Evaluation in Rural Development
Chris High, Gusztáv Nemes


Published: 01 Feb 2010

Edited By: Henry Buller

Gender and Work in Norwegian Family Farm Businesses
Hilde Bjørkhaug, Arild Blekesaune


Women Working off the Farm: Reconstructing Gender Identity in Danish Agriculture
Helene Oldrup

Bending Borders of Gendered Labour Division on Farms: the Case of Finland
Tiina Silvasti

Women's Gendered Identities and the Restructuring of Rural Alberta
Barbara Heather, Lynn Skillen, Jennifer Young, Theresa Vladicka

Towards an Understanding of Gender and Capital in Constituting Biotechnologies in Agriculture
Lia Bryant, Barbara Pini

Rural Women, Feminism and the Politics of Identity
Berit Brandth, Marit S. Haugen


Australian Farm Women – Shut out or Fenced in? The Lack of Women in Agricultural Leadership
Margaret Alston, Jane Wilkinson

Women and Social Mobility in Rural Spain
Clemente J. Navarro Yáñez

Fitting in and Multi-tasking: Dutch Farm Women's Strategies in Rural Entrepreneurship
Bettina B. Bock

'Outback' Romance? A Reading of Nature and Heterosexuality in Rural Australia
Jo Little, Ruth Panelli

A Matter of Life and Death? Men, Masculinities and Staying 'Behind' in Rural Ireland
Caitríona Ní Laoire

Of tractors and men: masculinity, technology and power in a French farming community
Lise Saugeres