Disrupted gender roles in Australian agriculture: first generation female farmers’ construction of farming identity

Abstract

This article examines the experiences of female farmers in the Australian context who neither married into nor were born into farming and how they construct their farmer identity. Drawing on interviews with seventeen first generation female farmers it demonstrates a detraditionalized farmer identity created in response to concern for environmental and social sustainability. They are enabled by an online, global community of practice and shifting narratives of what constitutes responsible farming. Participants leveraged their skills from previous occupations to their farming enterprises to internalize a managerial and entrepreneurial farming identity. First generation female farmers have been empowered as new actors in Australian agriculture, reflecting a disruption in traditional patterns of gendered privilege.

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Acknowledgements

The author thanks three anonymous reviewers, Professor Alison Sheridan and Ms Emma Hollows for their feedback on drafts of this article.

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Correspondence to Lucie Newsome.

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Newsome, L. Disrupted gender roles in Australian agriculture: first generation female farmers’ construction of farming identity. Agric Hum Values (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10460-021-10192-3

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Keywords

  • Australia
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Gender
  • Productivist agriculture
  • First generation farmers