From part-time farming to pluriactivity: a decade of change in rural Europe

Fuller, A.M.

Journal of Rural Studies 6(4): 361-373


ISSN/ISBN: 0743-0167
DOI: 10.1016/0743-0167(90)90049-e
Accession: 002114404

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Introducing 10 papers on pluriactivity and agro-rural change in western Europe requires a context-setting paper at the outset. This paper outlines some of the characteristics of applied social science research and the need four more policy-oriented studies with a critical perspective. Influential social changes in Europe in the 1980s (reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, environmentalism) are used to reflect the need to adjust the emphases and methods of social science. The shift from part-time farming to pluriactivity studies in western Europe reflect these changes. The Arkleton Trust research project on Multiple Job Holding Farm Families is described and used to illustrate the shift in research priorities and scope as policy debates and changes continue to occur in western industrial nations. The fallacy of part-time farming is demonstrated. and the preference for the term pluriactivity is supported. Related methodological concerns are discussed in reference to the preliminary results of the 12-nation comparative and longitudinal study. The need to engage in policy research is confirmed.