SSP Research Seminar Series - Entanglements of othering: women farmers’ negotiations of family background and gender identities

We are delighted to welcome Dr Bethany Robertson to our school research seminar, chaired by Kim Allen.

Event abstract

Before now, women have worked in farming in ways that warranted the identity of a farmer, yet they had been rendered invisible by gendered power structures. For example, the inheritance of farms down the male line subjected women to marginalisation which led to their experiences being assumed within the terms of ‘farmers’ wives’. The research this paper draws on examines the ways that women achieve legitimation within a context that has traditionally positioned their work and gender identities as in tension.

During the Covid pandemic, farming has received attention for its role in food supply with farmers being identified as ‘key workers’. As a result, it is pertinent to consider the social sustainability of the industry which includes encouraging a diverse workforce and inclusive culture. This paper outlines the ways in which family background and gender are entwined in the articulation of the relationship between identities and inequalities in agriculture. Women can face both symbolic and material barriers based on their entry to farming through means other than family, as well as due to their gender identities. I will discuss how these facets are not straightforwardly experienced as inequalities, given the importance participants attribute to kinship beyond the confines of family, and that often urban-centric understandings of feminisms do not resonate with them.

Speaker biography

Prior to Leeds, Dr Robertson worked on British Academy funded research at the University of Liverpool. Her research interests include the sociology of agriculture, gender, the body and identity and human-animal relations. She is currently a Research Fellow in the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds.

Event joining details

The seminar will be held on Zoom. Please use the meeting link, meeting ID and passcode below.

Join the Zoom Meeting.

Meeting ID: 878 7702 5867
Passcode: n13VR%