Q-Methodological Study of the Perspectives of American Agriculture Culture Held by Students at a Land-Grant University
Gonzalez, Jorge Eduardo
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This Q methodological study is an investigation on the subjective perspectives on the culture of American agriculture existing for students enrolled at a tier 2 research institution. Twenty-nine Students of various ethnicities and backgrounds sorted forty-two statements derived from a structured one by six concourse of communication (McKeown & Thomas, 2013). The concourse was developed using Hofstede's (2001) Six Dimensions of National Culture, which included: a) power distance, b) uncertainty avoidance, c) individualism vs. collectivism, d) masculinity vs. femininity, e) long- vs. Short-term orientation, and f) indulgence vs. restraint. The condition of instruction was: "In my opinion, American agriculture is..." and analysis was conducted through Q methodological procedures including correlation, factor analysis and standard score calculation for statements within factors (Watts & Stenner, 2012). Three perspectives were interpreted as: Progressive Agriculture, focused on a modern and future-oriented perspective on American agriculture, Conservative Agriculture deemed American agriculture as socially restrictive, and Traditional Agriculture provided a unique perspective viewing American agriculture as set in its ways. Conclusions, implications, and recommendations are offered for each subjective perspective described.
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