Planning the farmyard

Gender implications

Authored by: Sally Shortall

The Routledge Companion to Rural Planning

Print publication date:  January  2019
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138104051
eBook ISBN: 9781315102375
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter examines the rural as a gendered space with implications for policy, place-making and rural social relations, through a case study of (unconscious) gendered bias. The chapter examines these themes through the lens of ‘the farmyard’ – while this space is often rarely thought about by planners, the farmyard provides an illustrative account of embedded hegemonic constructions about gender, which has lessons transferable to wider rural policy-making domains. While the farmyard is a very important working and social space (i.e. where the family meets the farm), it has not been given the same consideration in planning policy and research. This has gendered implications because farms have evolved and are premised on the idea that farming relies on a masculine physique. The chapter first provides a review of gendered social relations in agriculture. It then discusses an original example of unconscious gender bias in the social construction of the farmyard, drawing on empirical research in Scotland, as part of a wider project that aimed to investigate the role of women in farming and the agriculture sector in Scotland.

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