“And you’d love to be the big rancher driving the new trucks”: Mutually Stigmatizing Categories of Farmers and Farming

Ann K. Ferrell (Western Kentucky University)

“Farmer” evokes a host of ideas and images for non-farmers and farmers alike. In this paper, I will examine examples from interviews with Kentucky farmers of how farmers mark and categorize both themselves and other farmers based on perceptions of difference. I will focus particularly on marked categories related to what farmers raise (e.g., vegetables, grain, cattle, tobacco), how they do so (organic, conventional, sustainable), and in what context (family, factory, hobby, backyard). Ultimately, I will argue, such categories are produced through an interaction of public discourses and personal experiences, and they are mutually stigmatizing.

Part of 08-05 Stigma: Foodways at the Intersections of What is Marginalized and Centralized [hybrid], Saturday, October 15, 10:30 am–12:30 pm