'A pen man finds a use for every bit of wood': Fabians, leeks, carrots and spuds

Kitchener, David A. ORCID: 0000-0003-1057-9813 (2010) 'A pen man finds a use for every bit of wood': Fabians, leeks, carrots and spuds. In: Research and Innovation Conference 2010, June 2010, Bolton. (Submitted)

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A short ethnographic study of an East Lancashire allotment site monitored and administrated by the Borough Council revealed a variety of activities partially related to self sufficiency. It is suggested that the approaches adopted by plot holders within a twenty-first century context reflect in many ways the early principles of collective socialism and the ownership of land by the public for the public good without the interference of private capitalism as advocated by the early Fabian Society pioneers. The study revealed plot holders reflected a diversity of socio-economic groups and there was a commonality of purpose and will to share produce and ideas. Cooperation not competition is the norm and the profit motive largely redundant and swamped by a shared perception of creating an environment conducive to well-being. Interviews revealed a high level of satisfaction in growing produce for themselves as well as other families, materials and resources shared without any anticipation or expectation of financial remuneration. It is argued such a context reflects the principles of the early Fabian movement for a reconstruction of society 'in accordance with the highest moral possibilities'. It is further argued that the context does not reflect a 'green' idyll for the middle classes adopting an alternative self sufficiency agenda but rather a small example of egalitarian agronomy.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: This is an electronic version of the paper given at the University of Bolton 2010 Research and Innovation Conference.
Uncontrolled Keywords: socialism, Fabian Society, economics, morality
Divisions: School of Education and Psychology > Education
Depositing User: Scott Wilson
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2013 12:51
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2018 10:17
URI: http://ubir.bolton.ac.uk/id/eprint/384

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