Wealthy rural areas, or rural areas in wealthy regions, have a specificity that should be taken into consideration both in empirical and theoretical research. In most of the cases, rural development in these areas depends not only on the capacity of rural communities to mobilise endogenous resources, but also to be able to link endogenous resources with outside networks. In Italy this approach has widely been put into practice through strategies centred on the link between local food and its place of production. To explore the implications of this link, the paper will explore the implication of an adoption of the concept of 'terroir'. Terroir can be seen as a mix of a set of localised invariants in the space related to natural, cultural, and social spheres. It is highly specific of a place, as it is produced and reproduced through localised processes. The peculiarity of the 'terroir' is that it is embodied into the product, which means that it is the source of local products' identity and specificity. Local products are then a component of a broader socio-technical system, and product and terroir co-evolve. What are the mechanisms that make local products keys to rural development in a neo-endogenous perspective? In a neo-endogenous perspective, valorisation of local products is mainly related to its capacity to be recognised and evaluated by outside observers as different (and possibly better) from others. This capacity is embodied into what Bourdieu calls symbolic capital. Symbolic capital becomes a thread linking 'terroir' and the product to external observers, and convey to them meanings like notoriety, reputation, and trust. In order to be able to create, maintain, and increase symbolic capital, rural communities activate communication practices within and outside themselves. This may generate conflicts as well as strengthen identities and alliances. Three case studies will show the network building processes related to the creation of symbolic capital and its mobilisation into food production and marketing. The Cutigliano case shows how a small community borrows symbolic capital from the outside to enhance its capacity to sell a local cheese outside the area. The Colonnata case shows the risk that neo-endogenous strategies generate interlocal conflicts, hampering its competitiveness as a whole. The Chianti case shows an internal conflict over the use of the symbolic capital with both positive effects on the public debate and potential negative effects on the cohesion of the area. All the three cases make possible a reflection on governance, and especially on the role of the state (or the regional administration) in the governance of these processes

Post-rural processes in wealthy rural areas: hybrid networks and symbolic capital

BRUNORI, GIANLUCA
2006

Abstract

Wealthy rural areas, or rural areas in wealthy regions, have a specificity that should be taken into consideration both in empirical and theoretical research. In most of the cases, rural development in these areas depends not only on the capacity of rural communities to mobilise endogenous resources, but also to be able to link endogenous resources with outside networks. In Italy this approach has widely been put into practice through strategies centred on the link between local food and its place of production. To explore the implications of this link, the paper will explore the implication of an adoption of the concept of 'terroir'. Terroir can be seen as a mix of a set of localised invariants in the space related to natural, cultural, and social spheres. It is highly specific of a place, as it is produced and reproduced through localised processes. The peculiarity of the 'terroir' is that it is embodied into the product, which means that it is the source of local products' identity and specificity. Local products are then a component of a broader socio-technical system, and product and terroir co-evolve. What are the mechanisms that make local products keys to rural development in a neo-endogenous perspective? In a neo-endogenous perspective, valorisation of local products is mainly related to its capacity to be recognised and evaluated by outside observers as different (and possibly better) from others. This capacity is embodied into what Bourdieu calls symbolic capital. Symbolic capital becomes a thread linking 'terroir' and the product to external observers, and convey to them meanings like notoriety, reputation, and trust. In order to be able to create, maintain, and increase symbolic capital, rural communities activate communication practices within and outside themselves. This may generate conflicts as well as strengthen identities and alliances. Three case studies will show the network building processes related to the creation of symbolic capital and its mobilisation into food production and marketing. The Cutigliano case shows how a small community borrows symbolic capital from the outside to enhance its capacity to sell a local cheese outside the area. The Colonnata case shows the risk that neo-endogenous strategies generate interlocal conflicts, hampering its competitiveness as a whole. The Chianti case shows an internal conflict over the use of the symbolic capital with both positive effects on the public debate and potential negative effects on the cohesion of the area. All the three cases make possible a reflection on governance, and especially on the role of the state (or the regional administration) in the governance of these processes
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/106763
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