Agriculture and Human Values

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 961–965 | Cite as

Introduction to symposium on labor, gender and new sources of agrarian change

  • Lincoln Addison
  • Matthew Schnurr


How are labor processes reconfigured by contemporary patterns of agrarian change? Recent scholarship problematizes classical understandings of “agrarian transition,” going beyond the question of how capitalism transforms peasant-production systems to encompass broader sources of social and economic change in rural areas (Kelly 2011). Recent events such as the surge in global land grabbing, the expansion of bio-fuel production, the introduction of new agricultural biotechnologies, as well as anthropogenic climate change have created new and unanticipated implications for labor processes, prompting scholars to recognize multiple forms of agrarian change that are not solely reducible to capitalist commodification.

In this context, agrarian political economy has largely abandoned linear narratives of social change in favor of more contingent, empirical assessment of labor dynamics (Bernstein 2010; Oya and Pontara 2015). Recent work focuses on how land grabbing and other forms...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyMemorial UniversitySt. John’sCanada
  2. 2.Department of International Development StudiesDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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