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International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food

Published by Michigan State University

Official publication of the Research Committee on Sociology of Agriculture and Food (RC-40)
of the International Sociological Association (ISA)

Editors: Raymond Jussaume, Claire Marris and Katerina Psarikidou

Frequency: 3 issues per year 
ISSN: 0798-1759

Volume 18 Issue 1 (2011)

Social Capital as a Success Factor for Collective Farmers Marketing Initiatives                                                       89-103

Authors: Boldizsár Megyesi(a), Eszter Kelemen(b) and Markus Schermer(c)
Affiliation: (a)Institute for Political Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary; (b)Environmental Social Science Research Group, Szent István University, Gödöllő, Hungary; (c)Department of Sociology, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria

Abstract            PDF

This study aims at uncovering how social capital at micro and macro levels contributes to the success of farmers’ co-operation and how imbalances between the different forms of social capital can hamper collective action among farmers. Using a case-study approach, we analyse two collective farmers marketing initiatives from Austria and Hungary, which have emerged in very diverse political and social environments and followed different development paths. Differences in the performance of these organizations can be partly traced back to variations in the contextual environment. However, the empirical data suggest that social capital plays an important role as well, since it is crucial for mobilizing the initial set of different forms of other capitals like natural, physical, financial and human capitals. The aim of this article is to understand the dynamics and impacts of different configurations of social capital and its contribution to the economic success of collective initiatives. Based on the empirical findings collective farmers marketing initiatives can deduct ways to consciously appraise and invest in social capital.

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