The International Rural Sociology Congress will be held in Lisbon Portugal, July 29 – Aug 4th 2011.
EqRN has managed to have a Working Session approved for the conference. This is be an excellent chance to get together and share with other researchers interested in the human-horse relationship. The Call for Abstracts is now open. It is Session number: 73
Title: Work horse to Hobby Horse: consuming the rural countryside in the New Equine Economy
Organizer: Rhys Evans
Historically, the human-horse relationship was a key agent in production in the countryside and in the production of the countryside. In the 20th Century, mechanization and intensive farming and forestry resulted in a rapid and massive decline of the presence and use of horses in rural spaces in much of the developed world. Recent cultural and economic changes in these societies has, however, resulted in an increase of the numbers of horses on the land. This reflects the rising importance of the consumption of nature, of leisure and recreational developments, and of changing urban-rural relations. The new economic imperatives for the number of horses on the land derives, however, from a profoundly changed human-horse relationship. This is marked by a change from production to consumption, from instrumentalism to subjectivity, and increasing emphasis on new identity resources, health and welfare, and the ‘experience economy‘. This is what is expressed by the title ―From Work Horse to Hobby Horse. Building on successful Working Groups at the ESRS in 2009 and 2011 and capitalizing on the Equine Research Network (www.eqrn.net ), an international network of social science researchers which grew from these sessions, this session will explore some of the facets of these changing human-horse relations, using that relationship to explore, for example, notions of nature, wildness/domesticity, gender, embodiment, farm multifunctionality, and other important issues addressed by rural sociology.
Abstracts for the paper session can be submitted at http://irsa2012.com/event/irsa-2012/proposals/