THE IDENTITY OF 'FARMERS' (MODERN FOOD PRODUCERS) AS AN EXAMPLE OF THE NEW IDENTITY OF PEASANTS
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The paper deals with the problem of the changing social identity of modern farmers in Poland. It contains an analysis of the notion of social identity and of changes in the peasant identity. Using materials gathered during interviews conducted with farmers from Mazowieckie, Pomorskie and Wielkopolskie provinces the authoress presents auto-definitions of social status formulated by farmers. The paper concentrates on the description of the farmers' sense of identity i.e. on the description of identity experienced by farmers. The interviewed farmers used two types of categories to describe their own social identity: vocational categories - husbandman, farmer, food producer, and business categories: manager, entrepreneur, supervisor, head. Symptomatic was the absence of class categories in the farmers' descriptions of their social identity or of any signs manifesting their identification with the class of peasants. The perspective of a rise in social status dominated in the farmers' own descriptions of their social position. However, in the comparisons of their own position and the position of other social groups or the position of farmers from the EU the perspective of an underprivileged group was dominant. The authoress draws attention to the discrepancy between the picture that is drawn by the farmers' themselves and the picture of farmers drawn by other groups. Although the farmers manifest a retreat from peasant identity, the image of a peasant is still decisive for the way in which they are perceived by other social groups.
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