The Cultivation of Rooting

How farmers’ movements re-appropriate attachment in contemporary Jura
By Éric Doidy

This paper is about the way contemporary farmers value, in their public engagement, different conceptions of what a "(good) peasant" is. Focusing on how the actors plot their activist engagement in semi-directive interviews, the paper shows that various forms of attachment are at stake. Focusing on the actors’ narratives provides us with new elements that help us understand the constitution of grassroots movements and the tensions between them. The hypothesis raised in this paper, through a case study among contemporary activist farmers in Jura (France), is that the enhancement of forms of attachment is constrained by the availability of a dominant reactionary framework — a ghost the actors have different ways of exorcizing. How do the actors who try to enhance the figure of the “peasant” cultivate their “rooting”?


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