Agriculture: People and Policies by Graham Cox PDF

By Graham Cox

ISBN-10: 9401159629

ISBN-13: 9789401159623

ISBN-10: 9401159645

ISBN-13: 9789401159647

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Two things, therefore, are specific to family enterprises in capitalist economies: the labour process and property relations. First, production is organized through kinship and there is a division of labour by gender and age. This social organization is remarkable in an economy of generalized circulation, where labour markets are a central fact of life for everyone. Despite alternatives both to family labour for the enterprise, and to working in the family for its members, these units emerge periodically - and often persist tenaciously - in various spheres of production and commerce.

In the French case, and this remains the single most important case in Continental Europe, farmers 'obtained new points of comparison ••• they learned how to complain' (Tracy 1982:185). The centralisation and urbanisation of social relations within rural areas has effectively reduced what Marx regarded as almost a defining characteristic of the 'peasantry' - its inability to organise in defence of its own interests. It has been assisted by a secular decline in the numbers employed in agriculture, and an even more pronounced decline in the numbers exclusively employed in agriculture.

Distance from labour markets can either create labour shortage or restrict alternative employment. In the latter case, the farm family may constitute a captive labour pool. On other farms, the 'hired man' is in an equivalent position. This is a role which may be more akin to the 'servant' or apprentice of the precapitalist household than to modern waged labour. Working and living with a farm family, with partial payment in room and board, are dissimilar from the experience of most capitalist labour and the typical wage relationship.

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Agriculture: People and Policies by Graham Cox


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