Degree Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2013

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Sociology

Major

Sustainable Agriculture

First Advisor

Cornelia B. Flora

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to understand farmer's perceptions of biodiversity and how it relates to their sense of self. Biodiversity is a concept applied by scientists and policymakers to represent nature's richness, diversity, and its biological interdependence. However, current discussions of biodiversity do not consider farmer's understanding and relation to biodiversity. Sociology has a central role in decoding the human dimension of biodiversity and integrating different visions and voices for building future landscapes. This study utilizes grounded theory research methodology with eight cattlemen from the Story County Cattlemen Association in Iowa. Results reveal farmer's perceptions of biodiversity are constructed through their cattlemen self. Self in this context is not stable, but is layered, complex, and changing, as it is negotiated in social interactions. Understanding farmer's selves has implications for effective implementation of conservation strategies and alternative perspectives on land management.

Copyright Owner

Caroline Felix Oliveira

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

97 pages

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