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Estonian family farms in transition: a study of intangible assets and gender issues in generational succession
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social and Economic Geography.
Centre for Landscape and Culture, Estonian institute of Humanities Tallinn.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Historical Geography, ISSN 0305-7488, E-ISSN 1095-8614, Vol. 38, no 3, 329-339 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper, based on interviews, highlights intangible assets in the intergenerational transfer of farms in two Estonian municipalities from a long-term and gender perspective. The study stretches from the interwar period in the twentieth century up to the present. It has been shown that emotional bonds to the land are generally strong in Estonia. This paper aims to highlight how such bonds and feelings may influence decisions on generational succession.

The results of the study indicate that family farming and land transfer have had a significant and persistent role in Estonian society, even during the Soviet period under its collectivised system of agriculture. Transfers of intangible assets were important during Soviet rule, for example, the transfer of knowledge about the pre-Soviet property and the value and importance of the farmhouse. Today, family farming is gradually declining in importance, but older traditions of farm and farmhouse transfer can still be found, such as early decisions on who is to be the successor. This is evident among active farmers but also among former farmers with strong emotional bonds to the land. Traditional gender roles tend towards men’s knowledge still generally being more highly valued in the decision about who is to be the successor to the family land.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 38, no 3, 329-339 p.
Keyword [en]
Generational succession, intangible assets, gender, family farming, social transformation, Eastern Europe
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-177977DOI: 10.1016/j.jhg.2012.03.001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-177977DiVA: diva2:541689
Swedish Research Council, 2004-2742
Available from: 2012-07-22 Created: 2012-07-22 Last updated: 2013-02-28Bibliographically approved

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Grubbström, Ann
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