The objectives of the Association are to: foster the development of rural sociology; further the application of sociological inquiry to the improvement of the quality of rural life; and provide a mechanism whereby rural sociologists can generate dialogue and useful exchange.
Catherine Phillips at the University of Wollongong, Australia, has written a book on seed saving. Saving More Than Seeds advances understandings of seed-people relations, with particular focus on seed saving. The practice of reusing and exchanging seeds provides foundation for food production and allows humans and seed to adapt together in dynamic socionatural conditions. Read more at the publishers website
Newcastle University’s reputation as a driving force for research into rural economies and societies has been recognised with the award of a Queen’s Anniversary Prize. Read more
The Asian Rural Sociology Association has a new website, please visit it at http://www.arsa1996.org/
Call for papers: The 2nd Energy & Society Conference (Midterm conference of ESA RN 12, in cooperation with ISA RC 24) will be held in Krakow 4th – 6th June 2014. The conference theme is Energy Transitions as Societal Transitions: Challenges for the Present and the Future. Abstract deadline 15th of December 2013. Continue reading
Rural sociologist and IRSA Council member, Professor Mark Shucksmith (Newcastle University, UK), recently participated in a BBC Radio3 live discussion on ‘Who Controls the Countryside?’. The discussion was recorded at The Sage Gateshead before a full house on Sunday 27th October and was broadcast on Thursday 7th November. You can listen to the recording, or download it, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03g2yf
Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations – commonly referred to as CAFOs – have become an important, if not controversial, component of industrial farming throughout the world. CAFOs are often praised for the efficient way in which animals can be raised, slaughtered, and their protein delivered to a hungry world. But they also raise concerns about environmental pollution and, in particular, animal cruelty. What do we know about CAFOs? Are they the future of animal protein production, or will they be irrelevant in a world of test-tube meat? Continue reading
The 5th International Conference of the Asian Rural Sociological Association (ARSA) will be held in Vientiane in Laos, September 2014. Deadline for panel proposals is December 5 2013, and the deadline for abstract submission is January 15, 2014.
Download pdf for more information, or visit the ARSA website.
The latest special edition of the International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food (IJSAF) features a collection of papers on private food standards:
- Editorial Introduction by Ransom, Bain and Higgins: Private Agri-food Standards: Supply Chains and the Governance of Standards
- Hatanaka and Konefal: Legitimacy and Standard Development in Multi-Stakeholder Initiatives: A Case Study of the Leonardo Academy’s Sustainable Agriculture Standard Initiative
- Challies: The Limits of Voluntary Private Social Standards in Global Agri-food System Governance
- Trauger and Murphy: On the Moral Equivalence of Global Commodities: Placing the Production and Consumption of Organic Bananas
- Toschi Marciel and Bock: Modern Politics in Animal Welfare: the Changing Character of Governance of Animal Welfare and the Role of Private Standards
- Wiegel: A New Breed of Tomato Farmers? The Effect of Transnational Supermarket Standards on Domestic Cultures of Production and Trade
- Schewe: Negotiated Decision-Making: Understanding Farmer and Processor Certification
- Lockie, McNaughton, Thompson and Tennent: Private Food Standards as Responsive Regulation: The Role of National Legislation in the Development and Evolution of GLOBALG.A.P.
The 2013 Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society was held at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel from 6-9 August. The theme was ‘An Injury to One is an Injury to All: Resistance and Resilience in an Age of Retrenchment’. This theme calls attention to the rural roots of solidarity and change in the context of global restructuring and political retrenchment. What can we learn from the struggles of rural peoples? How can we assist in the construction of local alternatives to the global that revitalize networks and enhance community and social well-being? Looking forward, how can the field of rural sociology continue to make contributions to public policy and civil society? Papers and sessions will deal with past and present rural social movements and with what we can learn from their successes and failures. Interest groups will be encouraged to develop sessions on the social bases of resistance and resiliency across place and space. The injuries endured by rural peoples across the globe—physical, social psychological, and socioeconomic—will be explored as a cross-cutting theme for scholarship and action.
The XXV Congress of the European Society for Rural Sociology was held in Florence, Italy, from 29 July – 1 August 2013. For more information please visit the website: http://www.florenceesrs2013.com/.