A-07/99 Born to be farmers – Changing expectations in Norwegian farmers life courses.
Sociologia Ruralis, Vol.39, No 3,pp 328-342 Late modern society has been described as a 'post-traditional' society, where traditions are less important for organizing social life and where habits once taken-for-granted are questioned. (Giddens 1991; Beck 1997). This implies more freedom and fewer constraints on individual lives. In line with this, Almås, Karlsen og Thorland (1995) AND Almås (1997) have described changes in mentality occurring over three generations of Norwegians as society changes form a 'society of duty' to a 'market-place of opportunity.' Agriculture more than most other sectors has been characterized by tradition and 'family and farm thinking' (Thorsen 1993), where the collective has precedence over the individual. For members of farm families there are certain expectations about how one should act and think and this might constrain one from acting autonomously (Haugen 1998, p 145). Rural society has recently become heterogeneous, and farmers' life modes and life courses are changing and challenged within the overall processes of modernization. Allowing that changes occur gradually and do not reach all groups or all areas of life in the same way (Gullestad 1996), I will explore in more detail how the processes of individualization might be found within the farmers' culture. This article focuses on three generations of Norwegian farmers' entry into farming, their views of their present situation as farmers, tand their view of succession. In-depth interviews were carried out with sixteen farmers, exploring their special mode of living and how it has changed over generations.