Climate Change and Ideological Transformation in United States Agriculture

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9 Scopus citations


Farmers pay close attention to their environment and are increasingly experiencing and recognising the impacts of climate change. Drawing from the work of Göran Therborn, this article examines farmers’ climate change beliefs, explores emerging contradictions between conservative ideological positions and personal experiences, and looks for signs of ideological transformation. Data from 154 personal interviews with corn farmers in the Midwestern United States reveals that many farmers believe that humans play some role in climate change and that climate change has serious and negative impacts on agriculture. Interview data also illustrates how farmers contradict themselves when discussing their positions on climate change and suggests that farmers may be losing faith in political elites. As farmers continue to experience the impacts of climate change, they may find it increasingly difficult to support conservative positions. However, this study also reveals that, despite individual beliefs, the political economy of industrial agriculture will continue to constrain the adoption of climate change mitigation measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-82
Number of pages20
JournalSociologia Ruralis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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