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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg October 12, 2017

Small Farmers in Four Southeast European Countries. A Qualitative Analysis of Life Strategies in Twenty-Five Agricultural Households

Nemanja Krstić, Augustin Derado, Andrej Naterer and Ismet Kumalić
From the journal Südosteuropa


This paper brings an extended Bourdieusian theoretical framework to the analysis of the life strategies of small farmers in four SEE societies (Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia). Practices and strategies of farming households are situated in two partially overlapping fields, the formal economy and the informal economy. The paper is based on a qualitative analysis of twenty-five interviewed households. It covers the structural conditions of the households’ participation in both fields of ‘play’, an analysis of household capital (economic-agricultural, social and cultural) and an interpretation of practice (i.e. the strategy dimension). The framework is extended to include an exploration of the households’ reflexivity and agency. The findings suggest that various structural limitations impede the households from developing successful practices in the formal field (unless the households have exceptional levels of agency), and that the most common life strategy is food self-provisioning, along with reliance on practices in the informal field enabled by social capital.


Table A1

Basic data on interviewed households[43]

CountryNames (Pseudonyms)No. of household membersTypeThe dominant form of agricultural capitalQuantitative display of the dominant forms of agricultural capital
BiHBoro and Luca2AgriculturistArable land and machinery4 hectares of land; 2 cows, machinery
BiHGoran and Daliborka3AgriculturistArable land2 hectares of land; 1 cows
BiHZijad and Amela4Agriculturist, fruit growerArable land, orchard1 hectare of land
BiHMesud and Lela3Agriculturist, dairy farmerOrchard and cattle - cows2.5 hectares of land; 5 cows
BiHHalid4Agriculturist and day laborerArable land4 hectares of land; 1 horse
BiHDrago3Agriculturist, cattle breeder, day laborerArable land4 hectares of land; 4 cows
CroatiaDušanka and Slaven3Cattle breeder, dairy farmerCattle30-40 sheep; 3-4 pigs; 2 cows
CroatiaMiljenko and Ana5Dairy farmerCattle6 cows
CroatiaJuraj and Anica5WinemakerVineyard1.5 hectares of vineyard; 0.5 hectare olive trees
CroatiaMile and Jana2Cattle breederCattle7 cows
CroatiaZdenka and Mišo2Dairy farmerCattle60-80 sheep; 7 cows; 1 hectare of land
CroatiaTony and Martin6WinemakerVineyard2.5 hectares of vineyard
SerbiaToma and Ana4AgriculturistArable land1 hectare of land; 2 pigs; 8 sheep
SerbiaZorica and Goran6Agriculturist, cattle breederArable land and cattle2 hectares of land; 3 goats; 5 sheep
SerbiaSasha6Dairy farmerCattle7 cows; 2 hectares of land
SerbiaIvan and Katarina4AgriculturistArable land2 hectares of land; 2 pigs; 50 rabbits
SerbiaVesna3AgriculturistArable land1 hectare of land; 1 pig; 8 chickens
SerbiaMarija6AgriculturistArable land2 hectares of land; 3 pigs; 5 goats
SloveniaSlavoj3Agriculturist, cattle breeder, winemakerArable land, vineyard and cattle20 hectares of land; 15 cows/bulls; 4 pigs
SloveniaJožek2AgriculturistArable land2 hectares of land; 2 pigs
SloveniaManda4Agriculturist, winemakerArable land and vineyard2.5 hectares of land; 1 hectare of vineyard
SloveniaJaka and Julija4Agriculturist, cattle breederArable land12 hectares of land; 1 cows; 10 sheep
SloveniaCilka3AgriculturistArable land1 hectare of land; 10 chickens
SloveniaAlfonz and Masha4AgriculturistArable land1 hectare of land
SloveniaEma5Agriculturist, cattle breederArable land10 hectares of land; 3 cows; 2 pigs

Published Online: 2017-10-12
Published in Print: 2017-9-26

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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