Being a poor farmer in a wealthy country: A Swiss case study

Contzen, Sandra; Crettaz, Eric (2019). Being a poor farmer in a wealthy country: A Swiss case study Sociologia Ruralis, 59(3), pp. 393-418. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/soru.12230

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Many Swiss farming families face socioeconomic disadvantage despite Switzerland being a wealthy country with instruments of agricultural policy financially supporting almost all farmers. However, official poverty statistics exclude Swiss farmers and scientific knowledge is rare about how such situations are experienced. This article scrutinises the situation of Swiss farming families living in poverty or material deprivation by intertwining qualitative and quantitative methods to enrich both types of data and interpretations. By statistically comparing farmers with the self‐employed in other economic sectors, it uses a novel way of comparing the farming with the non‐farming population. The article shows that the poverty among farmers resembles that of the self‐employed with no or few employees in other economic sectors and describes the lived experiences of poverty and material deprivation. It concludes that adaptive preferences make farming families resilient to socioeconomic disadvantage, while possibly leading to a loss of their livelihood in the long run.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL > Resource-efficient agricultural production systems

Name:

Contzen, Sandra and
Crettaz, Eric

Subjects:

H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)

ISSN:

0038-0199

Publisher:

Wiley-Blackwell

Language:

English

Submitter:

Simon Lutz

Date Deposited:

08 Oct 2019 12:33

Last Modified:

28 Apr 2020 11:49

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/soru.12230

ARBOR DOI:

10.24451/arbor.8386

URI:

https://arbor.bfh.ch/id/eprint/8386

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