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Fighting for the Farm Cover

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Fighting for the Farm

Rural America Transformed

Edited by Jane Adams

In North America industrial agriculture has now virtually displaced diversified family farming. The prevailing system depends heavily on labor supplied by migrants and immigrants, and its reliance on monoculture raises environmental concerns. In this book Jane Adams and contributors—anthropologists and political scientists among them—analyze the political dynamics that have transformed agriculture in the United States and Canada since the 1920s. The contributors demonstrate that people become politically active in arenas that range from the state to public discourse to relations between growers and their contractors or laborers, and that politics is a process that is intimately local as well as global.

The farm financial crisis of the 1980s precipitated rapid consolidation of farms and a sharp decline in rural populations. It brought new actors into the political process, including organic farmers and environmentalists. Fighting for the Farm: Rural America Transformed considers the politics of farm policy and the consequences of the increasing alignment of agricultural interests with the global economy. The first section of the book places North American agriculture in the context of the world system; the second, a series of case studies, examines the foundations of current U.S. policy; subsequent sections deal with the political implications for daily life and the politics of the environment.

Recognizing the influence of an array of political constituencies and arenas, Fighting for the Farm charts a decisive shift since the early part of the twentieth century from a discursive regime rooted in economics to one that now incorporates a variety of environmental and quality-of-life concerns.

From British Peasants to Colonial American Farmers Cover

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From British Peasants to Colonial American Farmers

With this book, Allan Kulikoff offers a sweeping new interpretation of the origins and development of the small farm economy in Britain's mainland American colonies. Examining the lives of farmers and their families, he tells the story of immigration to the colonies, traces patterns of settlement, analyzes the growth of markets, and assesses the impact of the Revolution on small farm society.

Beginning with the dispossession of the peasantry in early modern England, Kulikoff follows the immigrants across the Atlantic to explore how they reacted to a hostile new environment and its Indian inhabitants. He discusses how colonists secured land, built farms, and bequeathed those farms to their children. Emphasizing commodity markets in early America, Kulikoff shows that without British demand for the colonists' crops, settlement could not have begun at all. Most important, he explores the destruction caused during the American Revolution, showing how the war thrust farmers into subsistence production and how they only gradually regained their prewar prosperity.

From the Ground Up Cover

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From the Ground Up

Perspectives on Post-Tsunami and Post-Conflict Aceh

Patrick Daly, R Michael Feener and Anthony J S Reid

The tsunami that struck a dozen countries around the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004 evoked international sympathy on a scale beyond any previous natural disaster. The international relief effort broke all records both in scale and diversity, with seven billion U.S. dollars donated from all over the world through public and private agencies for Sumatra alone. Simply as a reconstruction effort, therefore, the disbursement of those funds and the rebuilding of housing, infrastructure, and economy posed major national and international challenges. However this was not simply a reconstruction effort. Aceh at that time was a war zone, with Indonesia’s military engaged in a major operation to crush a separatist rebellion that had been simmering since 1976. Even though the funds had been donated for tsunami relief, any real reconstruction of Aceh had to consider the impact of the conflict on the well-being of the population, as well as governance and administrative capacities. This volumes serves the purpose not only of discussing some of the lessons of the Aceh reconstruction and peace processes, but also of maintaining critical links between Aceh and the international community after the initial tranches of aid expire.

Growing Up Hard in Harlan County Cover

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Growing Up Hard in Harlan County

G.C. Jones

G.C. "Red" Jones's classic memoir of growing up in rural eastern Kentucky during the Depression is a story of courage, persistence, and eventual triumph. His priceless and detailed recollections of hardscrabble farming, of the impact of Prohibition on an individualistic people, of the community-destroying mine wars of "Bloody Harlan," and of the drastic dislocations brought by World War II are essential to understanding this seminal era in Appalachian history.

The Human Cost of Food Cover

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The Human Cost of Food

Farmworkers' Lives, Labor, and Advocacy

Edited by Charles D. Thompson, Jr., and Melinda F. Wiggins

This book addresses the major factors that affect farmworkers’ lives while offering practical strategies for action on farmworker issues.

Improving Health Sector Performance Cover

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Improving Health Sector Performance

Institutions, Motivations and Incentives - The Cambodia Dialogue

Hossein Jalilian and Vicheth Sen

There is growing international evidence that the effectiveness of health services stems primarily from the extent to which the incentives facing providers and consumers are aligned with "better health" objectives. Efficiency in health service provision requires that providers and consumers have incentives to use healthcare resources in ways that generate the maximum health gains. Equity in at least one sense requires that consumers requiring the same care are treated equally, irrespective of their ability to pay. Efficiency in the use of health services requires that consumers are knowledgeable about the services on offer and which are most appropriate to their needs. Although these principles are enshrined in the design of every health system in the world, they have proven extremely difficult to apply in practice. Healthcare providers have financial obligations to their families as well as professional obligations to their patients. Health service consumers generally lack information about both their health and health services so that they under-consume or over-consume healthcare. The papers in this volume are selected from an international conference organized by the CDRI, Cambodia, that tried to deal with some of these issues. With participation of international and local experts, it aimed at collecting major experiences and innovative solutions from inside and outside the country to improve health sector performance, with particular focus on institutions, motivations and incentives.

Les defis du developpement local au Senegal Cover

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Les defis du developpement local au Senegal

This book is an uncompromising analysis of Senegal's decentralisation policy in rural areas. It discusses the state's inability to promote local development, despite this being its main raison d'?tre in a context of poverty. To identify reasons for the shortcomings, the author goes beyond policy statements and explores, sociologically, the compatibility of the behaviour and the cultural context of actors with the pursuance of local development objectives. Yet, there are indeed solutions to the actors' lethargy and to the weak coverage of the initiatives undertaken. The solutions can be found in the methodical and civic mobilisation around more ambitious actions that are more adapted to receptive localities, though opened to modernity and perfectly anchored in the culture for positive results. Rosnert Ludovic Alissoutin holds a PhD in Law. Since 1995, he has been working as a consultant on development issues in Senegal and Africa, particularly local development issues. The particularity of his approach lies in the rejection of scientific exclusivism and recourse to a multi disciplinary, open and flexible analysis of the complexity of human development. It is this perspective that informed his doctoral thesis on La Gestion de l'eau en milieu aride, which discusses legal, anthropological, geographical, and sociological issues. For additional information on his profile and work, visit his website: http://www.ralissoutin.com.

Light on the Devils Cover

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Light on the Devils

Coming of Age on the Klamath

When Louise Wagenknecht’s family arrived in the remote logging town of Happy Camp in 1962, a boundless optimism reigned. Whites and Indians worked together in the woods and the lumber mills of northern California’s Klamath country. Logging and lumber mills, it seemed, would hold communities together forever.

But that booming prosperity would come to an end. Looking back on her teenage years spent along the Klamath River, Louise Wagenknecht recounts a vanishing way of life. She explores the dynamics of family relationships and the contradictions of being female in a western logging town in the 1960s. And she paints an evocative portrait of the landscape and her relationship with it.

Light on the Devils is a readable and elegant memoir of place. It will appeal to general readers interested in the Pacific Northwest, personal memoir, history, and natural history.

Linked Arms Cover

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Linked Arms

A Rural Community Resists Nuclear Waste

Through character development, snappy dialogue, and vivid scenes, Linked Arms tells the story of a rural people’s successful struggle to keep a major nuclear dump out of Allegany County in western New York. Five times over a twelve-month period hundreds of ordinary people—merchants, teachers, homemakers, professionals, farmers, and blue collar workers—ignored potential jail terms and large fines to defy the nuclear industry and governmental authority by linking arms in the bitter cold to thwart the siting commission through civil disobedience. The hearts and minds of the resisters emerge in the narrative, as we find out why these people found civil disobedience compelling, how they organized themselves, and what moral dilemmas they addressed as they fought for their convictions. While becoming more engaged in the resistance, they confronted critical issues in contemporary America: democratic decision making, environmental policy, legal rights, corporate responsibility, and the technology of nuclear waste. Some of the book’s highlights include: conversations that took place between Governor Cuomo, Assemblyman Hasper, and the protestors, which thoughtfully probe who should bear the financial burden of a failed and dangerous technology; the scientific and technological issues discussed between Ted Taylor, a nuclear physicist who was one of the key people in the Manhattan project, and the leaders of the resistance; and the citizens’ initiation of a lawsuit that eventually reached the Supreme Court and abrogated the central provision in the 1987 congressional law that mandated states build low-level nuclear dumps across the country. These dialogues and vignettes illustrate how the civil disobedience and dogged determination of the people of Allegany County changed the course of history.

Livestock/Deadstock: Working with Farm Animals from Birth to Slaughter Cover

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Livestock/Deadstock: Working with Farm Animals from Birth to Slaughter

The connection between people and companion animals has received considerable attention from scholars. In her original and provocative ethnography Livestock/Deadstock, sociologist Rhoda Wilkie asks, how do the men and women who work on farms, in livestock auction markets, and slaughterhouses, interact with—or disengage from—the animals they encounter in their jobs?

 

Wilkie provides a nuanced appreciation of how those men and women who breed, rear, show, fatten, market, medically treat, and slaughter livestock, make sense of their interactions with the animals that constitute the focus of their work lives. Using a sociologically informed perspective, Wilkie explores their attitudes and behaviors to explain how agricultural workers think, feel, and relate to food animals.

 

Livestock/Deadstock looks at both people and animals in the division of labor and shows how commercial and hobby productive contexts provide male and female handlers with varying opportunities to bond with and/or distance themselves from livestock. Exploring the experiences of stockpeople, hobby farmers, auction workers, vets and slaughterers, she offers timely insight into the multifaceted, gendered, and contradictory nature of human roles in food animal production.  

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