The value of the 1941-1943 National farm survey as a method for engagement with farmers in contemporary research
Copyright © 2014 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)
Reason for embargo
This article proposes the use of National Farm Survey (NFS) data and maps as a resource to support interviews with farmers and their families, across a wide range of geographical topics. The paper explores the origins of the NFS and evaluates its use as a reconstructive tool. Drawing directly on its use in recent empirical research into family farm succession as an example, the paper details the methodology, including the development of a Geographic Information System and the integration of the NFS data and maps into interview questions, as prompts and starting points. Using empirical data the paper evinces the benefits of deploying the NFS as a resource, including improving response rate, establishment of rapport, capturing of participant interest, facilitation of detailed responses and the stimulation of new trajectories and topics during the interview. Critically, use of the NFS in the proposed way means, in contrast to its previous applications, it is unencumbered by its inherent problems and inconsistencies, and interestingly, these problems can even become a source of strength for the researcher.
John Oldacre Foundation
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Chiswell, H. M. (2014), The value of the 1941–1943 National Farm Survey as a method for engagement with farmers in contemporary research. Area, 46: 426–434. doi: 10.1111/area.12136, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/area.12136/abstract. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Vol. 46, Iss. 4, pp. 426 - 434