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ERIC Number: EJ871806
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jan
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0743-0167
Entrepreneurs and Producers: Identities of Finnish Farmers in 2001 and 2006
Vesala, Hannu T.; Vesala, Kari Mikko
Journal of Rural Studies, v26 n1 p21-30 Jan 2010
The farmers' role within the EU has recently been under reconstruction: in addition to primary agricultural production farmers should fulfill multiple functions such as maintaining the rural landscape, conserving nature and providing services. One essential feature of this new role is the demand for entrepreneurship. Farmers should be capable of competing in the worldwide, global agricultural market. They are also encouraged to diversify into business activities beyond agriculture. How do farmers see themselves in this situation? Is their self-perception compatible with this new reconstruction of the farming economy and the farmers' role? Research, thus far, seems to indicate that traditional or production oriented identities are still dominant among farmers. But there is also some evidence that new identities, such as the entrepreneurial identity, are emerging. In our study we are especially interested in how Finnish farmers have met the demand for adapting to the role of an entrepreneur. We approach the issue of the farmers' changing role from a social psychological perspective by utilizing the concept of identity. Our empirical evidence comes from two nation-wide postal questionnaire data sets, both containing samples from three subgroups: conventional farmers focusing solely on primary agricultural production, diversified farmers who also had other business besides agricultural production, and rural non-agricultural small-scale businesses. The results show that Finnish farmers do not experience "entrepreneur" as something distant from themselves and as not fitting in with their world of ideas, as the work of some researchers would depict. Instead, the majority of Finnish farmers, especially diversified farmers, conceive of themselves both as entrepreneurs and as producers. (Contains 6 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland