Who is down on the farm? Social aspects of Australian agriculture in the 21st century

Margaret Alston

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    78 Citations (Scopus)


    Globalization, international policy manipulations such as the US farm bill, and national policy responses have received a great deal of media coverage in recent times. These international and national events are having a major impact on agricultural production in Australia. There is some suggestion that they are, in fact, responsible for a downturn in the fortunes of agriculture. Yet, it is more likely that these issues are acting to continue and exacerbate a trend towards reduced viability for farm families evident in economic and social trends since at least the 1950s.Nevertheless, globalization and Australia's policy responses have left farm families more vulnerable in the global world. What then do we know about their impact at farm gate level?Just who is doing the farming in Australia in the 21st century and how are these people responding to major world politics? This paper will focus on the social aspects of agricultural production in Australia noting social trends and drawing attention to the changing social relations of agriculture. The dominance of farm families, the role of corporate agriculture, ethnic diversity, the importance of women, and the practice of farm transfers will be canvassed in this paper.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)37-46
    Number of pages10
    JournalAgriculture and Human Values
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


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