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Journal articles

En chair et en chiffres. La vache, l'agriculteur et le contrôleur

Abstract : This paper concerns what farmers have achieved in the way of animal identification for the purpose of tracability as a way of understanding the relation of farmers and their animals. It is based on an ethnographic study of the site visits made by inspectors employed by state agencies based at the local level. These give rise to drawn out manipulations over forms and other government publications. What is everybody really up to? What is at stake in these interactions mediated by dozens of documents? What relations between farmers and animals are really at issue? In order to present the raw data observed and so as give an account of the difficulties of the administrative work concerned with the identification and subsequent tracing of the animals, the article describes a case history of interaction between inspectors and farmers, the kind of event that usually takes place around the kitchen table. These involve both administrative documents and the farmers own records which were originally intended for the use of the management of the herds. The analysis of such a situation allows us to understand the relation of farmers to their animals. Responsibility but, in a more unexpected way, also by drivers explaining their own skill administrative work, livestock management, written documents, control, animal-human relations.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 29, 2010 - 4:19:03 PM
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Jean-Marc Weller, N. Joly. En chair et en chiffres. La vache, l'agriculteur et le contrôleur. Terrain : revue d'ethnologie de l'Europe , Ministère de la culture, Sous-direction ARCHETIS-DAPA, 2009, pp. 140-153. ⟨10.3917/terr.053.0140⟩. ⟨halshs-00541021⟩



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