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Peasants and the Art of Farming eBook

By Jan Douwe van der Ploeg
ISBN: 9781780448770
Peasants today, as in the past, are materially neglected. By building on the pioneering work of Chayanov, Peasants and the Art of Farming seeks to address this neglect and to show how important peasants are in the ongoing struggles for food, food sustainability and food sovereignty.

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  • Synopsis
    Peasants and the Art of Farming: A Chayanovian Manifesto focuses on the structure and dynamics of peasant farms and the historically highly variable relations that govern the processes of labour and production within peasant farms. Jan Douwe van der Ploeg argues that peasant agriculture can play an important, if not central, role in augmenting food production and creating sustainability. However, peasants today, as in the past, are materially neglected. By building on the pioneering work of Chayanov, this book seeks to address this neglect and to show how important peasants are in the ongoing struggles for food, food sustainability and food sovereignty.
  • Table of Contents
    Prelims [ICAS Agrarian Change and Peasant Studies | Series Acknowledgements | Preface]

    1 Peasants and Social Transformations
    The Political Relevance of Peasant Theory
    Peasant Agriculture and Capitalism
    What Makes Chayanov a “Genius”?
    A Proof of Pedigree

    2 The Two Main Balances Identified by Chayanov
    The Peasant Unit of Production: No Wages, No Capital
    The Labour-Consumer Balance
    The Political Relevance of the Labour-Consumer Balance
    The Scientific Relevance of the Labour-Consumer Balance
    The Balance of Utility and Drudgery
    On “Subjective Evaluation”
    Self-Exploitation

    3 A Wider Array of Interacting Balances
    The Balance between People and Living Nature
    The Balance of Production and Reproduction
    The Balance of Internal and External Resources
    The Balance of Autonomy and Dependence
    The Balance of Scale and Intensity (and the Emergence of Farming Styles)
    Fighting for Progress in an Adverse Environment
    By Way of Synthesis: The Peasant Farm
    A Final Note on Differentiation

    4 The Position of Peasant Agriculture in the Wider Context
    Town-Countryside Relations
    as Mediated by Exchange Relations
    Town-Countryside Relations as Mediated by Migration
    Farming Versus the Processing and Marketing of Food
    State-Peasantry Relations
    The Balance of Agrarian Growth and Demographic Growth

    5 Yields
    Current Mechanisms of Labour Driven Intensification
    The Significance and Reach of Labour Driven Intensification
    When Labour Driven Intensification is Blocked
    What Propels Labour Driven Intensification?
    Intensification and the Role of Agrarian Sciences
    Can Peasants Feed the World?

    6 Repeasantization
    Processes and Expressions of Repeasantization
    Repeasantization in Western Europe: Resetting the Balances

    Back Matter [Glossary | References | Index]
  • Endorsements
    Timely presentation of Chayanov’s theory of agriculture elaborating further balances of labour, consumption, drudgery and utility at the roots of peasant strategies of survival.Returning issues of choice into the centre of human knowledge about humans.
    Teodor Shanin, Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences

    The author’s grasp of theory, history, the empirical literature on peasants, and his own place-based research would all be remarkable in themselves; taken together, I marvel at the scope of his knowledge. The author’s deep connection to farming in so many places, in both industrialized and developing countries, gives particular force to the power of his argumentation.
    Tony Weis, University of Western Ontario
  • Details
    Sub Title No
    Author Jan Douwe van der Ploeg
    Editor No
    Number of Pages 158
    Format eBook
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