Based on fieldwork conducted in a rural community in south-central Norway from 1988-1990, I provide ethnographic insight into the state agricultural bureaucracy, the influence of the state on agricultural conditions and local cultural constructs of farming, and the interplay between community-based notions of rural identity and modern farming. Drawing on participant observation, interviews, and surveys among farmers and state agricultural organizations, I show how the state and its policies create conditions within which farmers make operating decisions and shape their conceptions of farming.

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