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Transferral of farms and gender: Strategies for generational change in Nuckö, Estonia 1880-2006
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
2008 (English)Conference paper (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Abstract — This paper addresses the question of how the transferral of farms within the family line took place in Noarootsi, Estonia, in the period 1880-2006. The main objective is to analyse how transfer strategies have changed through the investigated period. An important question here is how traditional views of a successor’s abilities based on his/her gender have affected a parent’s choice of heir or heiress. It is argued that those abilities have been assessed quite differently over the studied period. Many potential successors and parents emphasizing farm specific capital favoured the eldest son as heir, in the period 1880-1944. During the era of collectivisation, parents still wanted a family heir to take over the farmhouse and this frequently became a younger child, since the older children had often already settled elsewhere. The preference for a male heir is less evident compared to the earlier period. One explanation could be that the need for adequate farming skills had diminished. Parents were equally content for a daughter to take over the farm, a possible reason being that a daughter would ensure care for the elderly parents. The main aim of the Estonian land restitution process was to restore land to its former owners prior to the Soviet occupation. It again became possible to run a private farm, but most of the farms in Noarootsi have already been liquidated. The only agriculture that remains is a few large farms and some smallholders with plots used to supplement incomes such as pensions. Today it is still considered important that the farm stays within the family, even if the house is perhaps only used as a summer cottage. The most valued quality of a possible heir/heiress is a genuine interest in the farmhouse. The results presented in this study are based on both documentary sources and interviews.



Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Farm transfer, Estonia, Noarootsi, gender, long-term perspective
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-100244OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-100244DiVA: diva2:209921
Trends in farm succession. Cluj-Napoca, Rumänien, 05-07 June 2008.
Generationsväxling och resursöverföring i jordbruket 1870-2000
Available from: 2009-03-27 Created: 2009-03-27 Last updated: 2011-12-14Bibliographically approved

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Grubbström, Ann
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Department of Social and Economic Geography
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