Seeing biodiversity through the farmer's eyes: A photovoice analysis in Story County, Iowa
The purpose of this study is to understand farmer's perceptions of biodiversity and how it relates to their sense of self. Biodiversity is a concept applied by scientists and policymakers to represent nature's richness, diversity, and its biological interdependence. However, current discussions of biodiversity do not consider farmer's understanding and relation to biodiversity. Sociology has a central role in decoding the human dimension of biodiversity and integrating different visions and voices for building future landscapes. This study utilizes grounded theory research methodology with eight cattlemen from the Story County Cattlemen Association in Iowa. Results reveal farmer's perceptions of biodiversity are constructed through their cattlemen self. Self in this context is not stable, but is layered, complex, and changing, as it is negotiated in social interactions. Understanding farmer's selves has implications for effective implementation of conservation strategies and alternative perspectives on land management.