May 20, 2015: Special Guest Seminar
Ika Darnhofer

IRES Seminar Series, Special Guest Seminar

Time: 12pm

Location: AERL Room 107/108, 2202 Main Mall

Pizza will be served at 11:30am in the AERL lobby.

Ika Darnhofer

Ika Darnhofer

The resilience of family farms – A post-structuralist view

Abstract: Many family farms have been around for several generations and have mastered substantial changes, both on-farm and in their context. Given that there is widespread agreement that our world is changing at an ever faster rate, it might be useful to understand what allows farms to buffer shocks, to adapt and to transform, i.e. be resilient. It seems that the call for economic efficiency to tackle the pressure to ‘get big or get out’ is only part of the story.  In this presentation I will build on complexity (which implies that the future cannot be predicted, thus questioning the usefulness of ‘strategic planning’) and on post-structuralism (which questions structure as determining action, and emphasizes that there is always an excess of possibilities). Farm resilience is then tied to the ability to respond creatively to emerging change through a ‘bricolage’ approach. Based on empirical work in Austria, I will discuss some ‘rules of thumb’ that farmers seem to use to navigate turbulent times.

Bio: Dr. Ika Darnhofer is Associate Professor at the Department of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, in Vienna, Austria. She is currently on a sabbatical at UBC, hosted by the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. Her work focuses on management and decision making on family farms. She uses the framework of social-ecological resilience – mainly developed for large-scale natural resources – and applies it to family farms, to capture both the complexity and the dynamics farmers face.

This seminar is co-hosted by IRES Seminar Series and “Global Food Dialogues” lecture series.


Ika Darnhofer’s Presentation Slides