#farming365 – Exploring farmers’ social media use and the (re)presentation of farming lives

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Rural studies now has a well-established corpus of work exploring how rural spaces and practices become (re)presented within various media and how these representations serve to perpetuate the ‘cultural fantasy’ of the rural idyll. To date, however, there has been a dearth of studies which have considered the role that social media may play within representing rural spaces and activities. The following paper attends to this omission through a consideration of farmers' use of social media and an exploration of how it may be used to document and (re)present their everyday working lives and practices. Drawing on the communicative practice of “working out loud” (WOL) and through analysing 5000 farming tweets, the paper shows how social media may offer a more broadly sourced, grassroots, depiction of rural farming life and examines how farmers assemble a range of sources – including the non-human – in (re)presenting the countryside and revealing the nature of their work. The paper notes how social media might enable farmers to reveal the often-hidden aspects of farm work, share and document practices as well as express and reflect their perspectives in communicating to (and with) farming and non-farming audiences, and how such communicative practices might serve to (re)construct their farming identities.




Riley, M., & Robertson, B. (2021). #farming365 – Exploring farmers’ social media use and the (re)presentation of farming lives. Journal of Rural Studies, 87, 99–111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2021.08.028

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