The Brazilian Program for Family Farming Assistance and the Diffusion of Technical Patterns: An Institutional Approach

Maísa Gomide Teixeira

Abstract


This article discusses the diffusion process of technical practices in order to understand how PRONAF-Credit (National Program for Family Farming Assistance) impacted the institutionalization of new technological standards in family farms in the region of Maringá, PR, from 1997 to 2006. We aim to check the institutional assumption that proclaims itself in favor of coercion for institutionalization. Based on a cross-sectional research design with a longitudinal perspective analysis, interviewees were separated into two main groups representing different periods of involvement and types of relationship with the program. These procedures allowed comparing the interpretive schemes of farmers in different situations of dependency with the program. The premise is that dependence, as measured by whether or not the resources are used, implies stronger interpretive schemes in relation to the program and the techniques instructed. Comparison of the data allowed us to observe proximity between interpretive schemes of “quasi-experimental” and “control” groups, which reinforces evidence that there was internalization of the standards rather than just formal adoption. However, the results suggest that coercive diffusion in programs that aim to contribute perennially to their audiences should consider cultural background and relational aspects of people's context of reference. These aspects potentially can influence how coercion is interpreted, as they did in this case.

 


Keywords


Institutionalization; Technological diffusion; Family farming; Brazilian government assistance program; PRONAF.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18533/ijbsr.v3i2.77

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International journal of business and social research (Print)
ISSN 2164-2540

International journal of business and social research (Online)
ISSN 2164-2559

[International Journal of Business and Social Research (IJBSR) previously published by MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, MD, USA. From February 2018 this journal is published by the LAR Center Press, OR, USA]