'It's definitely a good time to be a farmer': Understanding the changing dynamics of successor creation in late modern society
Wiley for Rural Sociological Society
Reason for embargo
Currently under an indefinite embargo pending publication by Wiley. No embargo required on publication, as to be paid open access
This paper considers the implications of the wider systemic shift from modernity to late modernity, on the process of intergenerational farm transfer. The paper argues that the shift from the collective to the individual, indicative of late modern society, is particularlypertinent in the context of intergenerational transfer, which has long been rooted in collective thinking. Drawing on the perspectives of incumbent farmers and potential successors, the paper utilises results from semi-structured interviews with 29 farmers and 19 potential successors in Devon, England. Using a thematic analysis, the paper provides a nuanced understanding of the impact of the systemic shift and the associated emphasis on the individual on successor identification. Although the paper reaffirms understanding of successor creation as a collective process, determined by factors such as gender and birth order, it also identifies an emergent cohort of younger potential successors, for whom succession was the outcome of an evaluation of farming as a career. It concludes that, within the case study area, modernization is changing the way in which farm children are identifying themselves as ‘the successor’. The paper suggests how this increasingly judicious approach to succession, leaves reproduction of the family farm increasingly vulnerable to negative externalities.
This is the author accepted manuscript.
Awaiting citation and DOI
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