At the time of our research, protests of farmers against new environmental policy measures received much media attention. News reports suggested that farmers’ organisations rejected the idea that modern farming techniques cause damage to the environment and even tried to undermine attempts to reconcile the goals of modern agriculture with environmental objectives. In this article we focus on how farmers learn to connect to various narratives about the issues at stake and on how these narratives are constructed through everyday encounters within the diverse networks to which farmers belong. As this article demonstrates, of particular interest for researchers is the kind of learning that occurs in response to differences in opinion. Accordingly, we introduce a new metaphor, called ‘learning as response’, which helps to understand how farmers may learn, again and again, to respond ‘as singular beings’ to the ambiguities and differences they encounter in their everyday professional life.
0741713610392770, first published on December 13, 2010