Social research compendium: key questions on social dimensions of agricultural sustainability
Following on from the Social Research Rationale, this document takes the rationalean important step further by developing a list of key research topics (and specificissues) that form a comprehensive list of research items that the Social Objectiveconsider to be of interest.Three general instructions are useful before going further into this document.1) A comprehensive list of research topics is necessarily big. Like Objective 4, thegeneral research process for Objective 5 is to start broad and use the first two years ofdata gathering to refine the topics down to a more focused set of issues and foci.2) The topics are positioned to answer five very broad questions about our ARGOSfarms:• Who are they?Describe the sociological characteristics of the participating farmers, householdsand enterprises.• What do they think?What is the positioning (or key ideas) of our participants in terms of a list of coreconcepts in the project?• What is their capacity to act?Even if people think a particular way, or want to do some things, individuals arenonetheless constrained in many ways. Social scientists consider this key issue tobe central to any analysis: their capacity to act.• What changes over the period of the project (and in retrospect)?Both looking back in time, and through the period of the project, what are the keydimensions of change in the farms?• What are the key influences on these changes?What the key processes and ‘sites of action’ that influence farm activity, andwhich can assist us in understanding how more pro-active intervention to achievechange might be undertaken?3) What gaps are left?This document contributes to getting all the different researchers around the SocialObjective clearly aligned and coordinated in framing up and delivering the next phaseof research. It also helps to very clearly define the interests and foci of the socialresearch for the other participants in ARGOS. However, maybe its most importanttask is to provide an opportunity for discussion around those points of interest thatObjective 5 shares with the other Objectives, as well as where there are significantgaps as yet unaddressed by the project.... [Show full abstract]
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