Open Access Repository

The Social and Intellectual Construction of Farming Styles: Testing Dutch Ideas in Australian Agriculture

Vanclay, F, Howden, P, Mesiti, L and Glyde, S 2006 , 'The Social and Intellectual Construction of Farming Styles: Testing Dutch Ideas in Australian Agriculture' , Sociologia Ruralis, vol. 46, no. 1 , pp. 61-80 , doi:

[img] PDF
0601_Vanclay_fa...pdf | Request a copy
Full text restricted
Available under University of Tasmania Standard License.


Van der Ploeg’s ‘styles of farming’ approach attempts to explain the social nature of
diversity in agriculture. For over 10 years we have attempted to apply this concept to a
range of farming situations in Australia. This article reviews the issues posed by Vanclay
et al. in 1998 and provides insight into what have been the developments in the concept
of farming styles. We utilise the results of three studies in Australia: a study of farming
styles in broadacre cropping and grazing farmers in the Riverina region of New South
Wales; a study of grape growers in the Sunraysia district of Victoria and a separate study
of grape growers across south-eastern Australia. While this research was intended to
validate the existence of styles and to provide evidence of the usefulness of the concept
and its application in rural industries, we were unable to replicate or validate van der
Ploeg’s original conceptualisation and methodology.We conclude that farming styles are
more of an intellectual construction than a social construction. Nevertheless, we believe
that the concept of farming styles is a useful heuristic and a new framework for understanding
farming styles is presented.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Vanclay, F and Howden, P and Mesiti, L and Glyde, S
Journal or Publication Title: Sociologia Ruralis
ISSN: 0038-0199
DOI / ID Number:
Additional Information:

"The definitive version is available at"

Item Statistics: View statistics for this item

Actions (login required)

Item Control Page Item Control Page