Settlers of the Midwestern United States brought with them perceptions and attitudes towards natural resources, farming, and land tenure that influenced settlement patterns and the development of rural communities. Additionally, land is a necessity in farming and access to land allows for the reproduction of the social unit, the agrifamily household system, and the spatial and temporal continuity of ethnic communities built on aggregates of these smaller systems. These cultural forms persist in the Sugar Creek Watershed in the forms of community involvement and organization, land tenure and farm enterprise type and succession, and management styles. As such, local social organization and land tenure play important roles in farm management strategies that affect land tenure and adoption of conservation measures.
Conservation adoption research and community watershed initiatives are difficult endeavors for which anthropologists have called for the inclusion of ethnographic methods, local indicators, and perspectives from ecological anthropology in the development and implementation of such projects in developing and post-industrial capitalist states. Rural Sociologists recently expressed the need for ethnographic investigations in answering questions related to rural community relationships.
In this dissertation research, three research objectives were tested to assess magnitude and intensity of the relationships between these variables in the Sugar Creek Watershed. The first question asks how ethnicity, social relationships, and attitudes toward farming condition contemporary land tenure arrangements. The second question was posed in order to ascertain if ethnicity and level of socio-cultural integration of the farm household can be used as independent variables in understanding relationships among farm size, land use and tenure, and use and preference for conservation. The third research question was posited in order to understand the degree to which farm size, farm succession and inheritance, and enterprise type correlate with land tenure and preferences for conservation as an exploratory analysis of using local conservation preferences and behaviors as measures of “quality of life” in an expansion of Goldschmidt's findings (1978) that relate to farm size and land tenure with quality of life experienced by members of a rural community.
|School:||The Ohio State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Applied anthropology, Conservation adoption, Cultural anthropology, Cultural ecology, Historical immigration, Innovation diffusion|
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