Class Power and Agrarian Change: Land and Labour in Rural by Jonathan Pincus

By Jonathan Pincus

This learn examines styles of sophistication constitution, construction kin and capital accumulation in 3 West Java villages. It explores the hidden assumptions underlying traditional theories of agrarian swap, and demonstrates the significance of sophistication constitution and sophistication energy in shaping styles of switch on the village point. themes contain the method of measuring type differentiation, alterations in labour industry associations and actual wages, and methods of capital accumulation pursued via village elites.

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Additional info for Class Power and Agrarian Change: Land and Labour in Rural West Java

Sample text

Such was the scarcity of food at this time that a parcel of rice fields could be purchased for as little as 20 kilograms of unhusked rice. Households holding surplus grain bought up land owned by departing migrants, resulting in the highly concentrated pattern of ownership which still characterises North Subang. By the mid-1960s only twenty or so households still hved in the kampung throughout the year, opening the way for another influx of migrant labourers as conditions improved—particularly after the rehabihtation of the irrigation system in 1966.

Although it was possible to observe several groups of migrants at their destinations over the following season (the 1990/91 wet season and 1991 dry season), this was a rather unsatisfactory substitute for a more complete survey of migrant activity during the reference season itself. This example illustrates the methodological bias towards intra-village factors inherent in the village study format. Because of the superior quality and coverage of information collected within the village, analysis will tend to stress the role of internal factors, often resulting in a partial or distorted account of economic relationships and patterns of change.

Although it is fashionable in the mainstream literature to caricature Marxist views of differentiation as an unvarying or 'linear' process,4 on rereading both Lenin and Kautsky one is struck by the careful attention paid by both authors to the role of locally specific and historical factors in the process of agrarian change (see also Patnaik 1987, 3; Sender and Smith 1986, 2; White 1989a, 18). Writing in 1897, Lenin cautioned his readers as follows: It should be added that in our literature the postulate of the theory that capitalism requires a free, landless worker is often understood in too stereotyped a manner.

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