How farmers matter in shaping agricultural technologies: social and structural characteristics of wheat growers and wheat varieties
AbstractScience and technology studies (STS) research challenges the concept of technological determinism by investigating how the end users of a technology influence that technology’s trajectory. STS critiques of determinism are needed in studies of agricultural technology. However, we contend that focusing on the agency of end users may mask the role of political-economic factors which influence technology developments and applications. This paper seeks to mesh STS insights with political-economic perspectives by accounting for relationships between availability of diverse technologies, variations in political-economic structures, and farmer interests and characteristics. We present the results of an analysis on the recent development of three wheat varieties: (a) a wheat variety that was modified genetically to tolerate the herbicide glyphosate, (b) wheat varieties with characteristics selected to serve specific markets, (c) and emerging research and development of perennial wheat varieties. Using data obtained through a survey of wheat growers in Washington State, we analyzed whether farmer interest in these three clusters of wheat varieties was associated with distinct individual characteristics and attitudes and whether those characteristics and attitudes are consistent with political economic structures. Although our analysis did not allow us to assess the degree of direct influence that farmers have on the technological development trajectory for these types of wheat, we were able to document variation in technological alternatives and farmer characteristics related to different political-economic trends. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal Agriculture and Human Values.
Volume (Year): 28 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/10460
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Alessandro Bonanno, 1998. "Liberal democracy in the global era: Implications for the agro-food sector," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 223-242, September.
- Frederick Buttel, 2005. "Ever Since Hightower: The Politics of Agricultural Research Activism in the Molecular Age," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 275-283, 09.
- Max Pfeffer, 1992. "Sustainable agriculture in historical perspective," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer, vol. 9(4), pages 4-11, September.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn) or (Christopher F Baum).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.