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When contexts meet: feminism and accountability in UK cattle farming

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date07/2012
JournalScience, Technology, and Human Values
Journal number4
Volume37
Number of pages30
Pages404-433
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The article discusses three versions of context. First, UK Government
legislation, the British Cattle Tracing System (CTS), as a context that frames and guides good farming practices to promote accountability for cattle movements and to control disease. It describes how the legislative context creates particular constructions of farmers, cows, and good and bad farming practices. Second, the article creates context as the local farm-based practices of cattle movement and monitoring. Differences and similarities between the legislative requirements and the farm-based practices are discussed. The farming practices are primarily practices of responsibility and care that are embodied, relational, collective, and responsive. The article draws upon feminist insights into responsibility and accountability that accountability is mundane practices of touch, regard, looking back, and
becoming with. Thereby, the article creates a third context in which local farming practices, legislation, and feminism meet and interact with one another. Within this ‘‘meta-context’’ of interferences between contexts, accountability is revisioned as the very condition of farm-based practices of care and responsibility. At the same time, the article revisions context as emergent in interferences and enacts alternative versions of farmers, cows, and good and bad practices.

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