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Learning and building social capital in a community of family farm businesses


Kilpatrick, SI, Learning and building social capital in a community of family farm businesses, International Journal of Lifelong Education, 21, (5) pp. 446-461. ISSN 0260-1370 (2002) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1080/0260137011


This paper analyses the processes that occur in a ‘learning community’ of Australian family agricultural businesses for evidence of use or generation of stores of social capital. The purpose of analysing processes that use or build social capital is to derive a framework or checklist of stages and characteristics that can be used to analyse the extent of social capital use and generation in other communities. The qualitative design is suitable for a study such as this, which investigates possible relationships and influencing factors concerning learning and changes to farm management practices. Data collection involved observing a learning activity session and interviewing 12 members in a focus group during the session and subsequently 14 individually at their farms. Data were analysed for themes and coded with the assistance of NUD*IST qualitative data analysis software. An understanding of how what is identified as social capital can be built in a formalized learning programme can be used to facilitate social capital building; in other formal learning settings, as well as more widely. The findings of the study reported here and findings from studies of informal learning in geographic communities have contributed to the development of the Centre for Research and Learning in Regional Australia's model of the simultaneous building and use of social capital. The model, presented in this paper, conceptualizes the way in which social capital is used and built in interactions between individuals. © 2002 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Other education
Research Field:Other education not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Work and labour market
Objective Field:Work and labour market not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Kilpatrick, SI (Professor Sue Kilpatrick)
ID Code:25050
Year Published:2002
Deposited By:Centre for Research and Learning in Regional Aust
Deposited On:2002-08-01
Last Modified:2003-04-11

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