Understanding human practices: The example of farming
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In this chapter, the authors use the practices (things that people do on a regular basis) of farmers to illustrate a model developed to understand human practices and/or responses to proposed changes. Broadly speaking, the model suggests what people do or do not do depends on what they: BELIEVE to be true, ASPIRE to achieve, think they are ABLE to do, and think they are ALLOWED and/or EXPECTED to do. It draws on several disciplines including agrarian and rural sociology, anthropology, and social psychology, and is further refined by acknowledging and explaining the interrelations between the variables. The model simply offers a checklist for identifying factors explaining what people do, what they refuse to do and also what they already do, revealing entry points for contributing to change and innovation by influencing the four variables. The model provides various insights into the potential, limitations and principles of communication for innovation which the authors briefly highlight and discuss in further chapters.