Bryceson, Kay, Mooij: Disappearing Peasantries? Rural Labour in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Paperback

  • Disappearing Peasantries? Rural Labour in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
  • edited by Deborah F. Bryceson, Christobal Kay and Jos Mooij
  • Paperback, x, 333 pages. 2000, reprinted 2005.
This book comes at a time when the peasant transition process has reached a critical juncture. It points out how peasant labour redundancy can undermine rural welfare and political stability, and why academics and policy-makers of the twenty-first century cannot ignore the world's disappearing peasantries without endangering sustainable development and international security. The editors combine the most recent rural research with a new analytical perspective on the major peasant and agrarian development debates, and provide a new insight into peasant studies and the western biases that have permeated it.

The book begins by tracing patterns of peasant formation and dissolution over time and explores whether today's rural producers in Africa, Asia and Latin America are peasants in either a theoretical or practical sense. The rich case study material from all three continents illustrates the pressures and opportunities that have befallen peasants, leading them to 'diversify' into a number of occupations and non-agricultural income-earning avenues. The relationship of peasants to the land has changed; and the factors influencing this are discussed.

These include multi-occupational livelihoods, intensified labour mobility and flexibility, straddled urban and rural residences, and flooded labour markets. The state and market influences on the rural family and village community are also examined.