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

Contzen, Sandra (Bern University of Applied Sciences) ; Crettaz, Eric (Haute école de travail social HETS Genève, HES-SO)

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 nonfarming 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.


Article Type:
scientifique
Faculty:
Travail social
Branch:
Travail social
School:
HETS - Genève
Institute:
CERES - Centre de recherche sociale
Subject(s):
Travail social
Date:
2019-04
Pagination:
25 p.
Published in:
Sociologia Ruralis
Numeration (vol. no.):
2019, vol. 59, no. 3, pp. 393-418
DOI:
ISSN:
0038-0199
Appears in Collection:



 Record created 2020-04-19, last modified 2020-04-27

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