Agriculture and Human Values 24 (2):207-218 (2007)
AbstractThis paper uses George Ritzer’s account of McDonaldization – the socially transformative process of rationalization – to undertake a critical analysis of agri-environment schemes, the dominant form of on-farm nature conservation in England. Drawing on a wide range of evidence, including social surveys of the participants and non-participants of agri-environment schemes, government files, and interviews with government officials, the four key dimensions of McDonaldization – efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control (through non-human technologies) – are applied to the analysis of agri-environment schemes. The irrationalities emerging from a McDonaldized approach to nature conservation are discussed together with their implications for farmers, nature, and society. In conclusion, the paper points to the emergence of alternative models of on-farm nature conservation that may offer ways of resisting and displacing the McDonaldized version
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