CULL MAFF! THE MOBILISATION OF THE FARMING COMMUNITY DURING THE 2001 FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE (FMD) EPIDEMIC

in Returning (to) Communities
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The chapter discusses the farming community’s reaction to the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) epidemic. In particular, it discusses the idea of community using the FMD epidemic as a case study to explore the idea of a community in action – that is, whilst isolated by movement restrictions, how social networks were maintained and how their critique of the government’s handling of the crisis emerged. The chapter uses the farming community’s use of the worldwide web to consider self-definitions of community and also a series of interviews with the farming community in one rural community hard-hit by the epidemic. These websites include http://cullmaff.com/, http://www.fmdaction.i12.com/ and http://www.warmwell.com/. Combined, these sources examine expressions of community and identity in an historical context in which the dominance of an agricultural occupational community in rural areas (Newby, 1985) and a primarily agricultural rural economy has arguably been replaced by a post-productivist countryside (Halfacree, 1999). The essay therefore directly engages with the implications of such change upon remaining agricultural communities and the very notion and concept of community in the twenty first century.

Returning (to) Communities

Theory, Culture and Political Practice of the Communal

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