A1 Journal article (refereed)
Revisiting agricultural modernisation : Interconnected farming practices driving rural development at the farm level (2019)

Huttunen, S. (2019). Revisiting agricultural modernisation : Interconnected farming practices driving rural development at the farm level. Journal of Rural Studies, 71, 36-45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2019.09.004

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Huttunen, Suvi

Journal or series: Journal of Rural Studies

ISSN: 0743-0167

eISSN: 1873-1392

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 71

Pages range: 36-45

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2019.09.004

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:


Rural development related to agriculture can roughly be divided into two trajectories: 1) agri-industrial development or modernisation, and 2) multifunctional or even post-productivist rural development. The role of these trajectories varies in different rural settings, with different emphases on agricultural production and its conduct. At the farm level, the trajectories evolve from existing farming practices and their connections, which enable or disable different kinds of development. However, the connections through which changes in agricultural production practices contribute to different rural development trajectories deserve further scrutiny. This is addressed with the help of practice theory, which implies that by focusing on farmers' agricultural practices, and on the diverse materials, meanings and competences mobilised when these practices are performed, it is possible to identify how changes occur, and how the creation of novelties, or the adoption and modification of external innovations, are enabled or disabled. Empirically, the study is based on thematic interviews with Finnish farmers. The article contributes to the empirical utilisation of practice theory, particularly in relation to the evolution of interconnected practices. The analysis contextualises different agricultural modernisation and rural development processes for change in farming practices, and identifies four different farming trajectories. The results broaden our current understanding of rural development in the Nordic context by revealing the farm-level connections between modern intensive farming practices, multifunctional practices, and maintaining farming practices. The interconnectedness of farms following different development trajectories demonstrates the persistence and evolution of traditional sharing and bartering practices. This calls for a further exploration of differences in rural development in different regional farming contexts.

Keywords: countryside; regional development; economic development; farming; modernisation

Free keywords: rural development; practice theory; agricultural change; Finland

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2021-09-06 at 03:33