The paradoxes of dairy farmers in Catalonia (Spain): Crisis and ‘double bind’

Marc Barbeta‐Viñas, Marina Requena‐i‐Mora

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The article analyses the crisis and ‘double bind’ situation to which Catalan dairy farmers find themselves subjected. Two contradictory commands are being imposed on them: ‘act as if nature does not matter and increase production because, otherwise, the abandonment of livestock activity threatens you’; and ‘reduce production and protect the environment to avoid an environmental catastrophe’. In the first part of the article, we study the socioeconomic crisis facing cattle farmers. In the second, we analyse farmers’ discourse on the matter as a ‘double bind’. Our conclusions indicate that in order to escape this paradoxical situation and gain some autonomy with respect to industry, farmers must establish a collective conscience and unite their interests: Although the path of producer cooperativism may be among the most realistic, it is not an easy one to follow.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSociologia Ruralis
Issue number1-21
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2021


  • dairy farmers
  • double bind
  • family farm
  • mixed methods
  • sociology


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