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This chapter looks at two case studies: two groups that are part of “smart” farming assemblages in quite divergent ways. These data are derived from interviews with (1) twenty employees (technicians, sale reps, and engineers) from various big data companies located from around North America and the U.K., and (2) eighteen farmers from around the USA engaged to various degrees with the loosely organized group called Farm Hack. The chapter beings by briefly introducing each empirical case. Next, findings from an instrument used to generate word clouds are explored. The word clouds are used to interrogate how the two populations thought about the concept of good citizen. The chapter concludes by discussing what it means for data and code in an agricultural context to have politics and how we might think about prioritizing some techniques, in particular, those supporting collaborative ontologies, over others.
The notion of “resilience” is rife with controversy, particularly when attempting to bridge theory across disciplines. In this paper, we propose one way to overcome some of the challenges with resiliency thinking that are often put forward by social scientists. We do this by applying relational theorizing to the concept. Here, we can understand resilience as the ways in which actors (human and non-human) associate into enduring, diverse, and equitable networks. We argue that diversity is an expression of capabilities for transformation and that such expressions become more possible with equity. Drawing on field work, we iteratively ground this relational approach to resilience in two co-operative network cases. It is recommended that future work continues to develop a less bounded and more relational view of resilience.
In the final chapter of this far-reaching handbook, we turn to the future of the field, giving special attention to the most exciting and promising developments in theory and practice. But first, we want to retrace our steps to remind the reader of our intentions in putting together this collection.
Environmental sociology has become quite broad and highly multifaceted in a short period of time. As one of us has noted elsewhere (Bell & Ashwood, 2016), in the late 1990s social scientists had just begun thinking about environmental questions. Now, however, the idea that the social sciences have something to offer to the study of environmental problems is unlikely to give one pause.
As with any edited collection, when planning the Cambridge Handbook of Environmental Sociology we imagined who would be using the text, and when they would be using it. We considered a researcher, starting on a new project and looking for approaches to better understand a complex environmental problem; a student, having been exposed to environmental sociology, excited by some ideas and looking to become better oriented with the field; a teacher, looking for readings to assign to students in the upcoming semester; or a practitioner, whose interest lies somewhere in that liminal space straddling town and gown. We thought of the purpose of handbooks, in a world where a quick search on the Internet can generate an article to answer any question, and sometimes an article to seemingly support just about any belief. In this context, a handbook can act as a reliable reference point that includes a broad, but not boundless, survey of ideas and a quick, but not superficial, snapshot of some of the empirical work that supports and elaborates those ideas.