Revisiting Rural Places: Pathways To Poverty And Prosperity In Southeast Asia
by Rigg, Jonathan; Peter Vandergeest (Eds.)
About This Book
In Revisiting Rural Spaces, scholars of agrarian change return to sites of their previous research in Southeast Asia to examine how the brisk pace of change in the countryside is affecting the places, spaces and people that they originally studied, sometimes as long as four decades ago. Each of the 14 core chapters is organised around a change that the authors did not anticipate, based on broader trends. A new longhouse in Sarawak, the urban forests of Java, the assertion of an ethnic minority identity in Northern Thailand, the reshaping of class relations and identities in the Philippines, and the uncontested sell-off of farmland to cacao entrepreneurs in Sulawesi challenge conventional understandings of how the countryside is being reshaped and to what effect.
The stories in this volume map out diverse pathways to poverty or prosperity. Families who seemed trapped in poverty decades ago were found to be prospering, having taken advantage of non-farm and educational opportunities. Others had unexpectedly been thrust into poverty, pushed aside by industrial agriculture, rural industrialization or brutal natural resource extraction.
Drawing on a number of disciplinary traditions and using field approaches honed over decades of research, the authors in this volume reassess traditional village studies, analyses of agrarian class formation, accounts of community forestry and fishing, and explanations of the implications of rural-urban migration for livelihoods and family relations. Its wide-ranging material makes this collection a unique and exceptionally rich account of rural change. The studies themselves and the conclusions drawn will interest academics, but they are also important for a broad span of institutions and other stakeholders, from the World Bank to rural activists.
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