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A Generation Later

A Generation Later: Household Strategies and Economic Change in the Rural Philippines

James F. Eder
Copyright Date: 1999
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  • Book Info
    A Generation Later
    Book Description:

    A Generation Later moves beyond analytical models of rural change that focus on the peasant/agricultural aspect of rural communities and makes a convincing case for an approach that integrates farm and nonfarm occupations and does justice to the conditions of occupational multiplicity that characterize, to an increasing extent, many of the rural communities in Asia. In this context, it challenges conventional (and simplistic) "peasant to proletarian" views of change. Rather than finding a dreary and dispirited landscape of sameness and hardship, it offers some empirical support for amore optimistic view of the region's future, one of growing household prosperity and widespread individual opportunity.

    eISBN: 978-0-8248-6264-0
    Subjects: Anthropology, Economics, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations and Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  6. Chapter 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-14)

    This book concerns a generation of economic, social, and cultural changes on a former Philippine land frontier. More particularly, it examines the evolution of new economic strategies, the advent of novel forms of household organization, and the emergence of new ideas about social hierarchy and personal worth in a onetime frontier community presently caught up in an array of postfrontier transitions: from short-fallow shifting cultivation to intensive, permanent field agriculture; from a relatively egalitarian social order to a more socially differentiated one; and from individual identification with a local, parochial culture to identification with a more cosmopolitan national culture. Hence...

  7. Chapter 2 Developing Community, Developing Region
    (pp. 15-40)

    San Jose is a community of small landholders located on rainfed land eight kilometers north of Puerto Princesa City, the capital of Palawan Province (see Map 2.1). Palawan Island, the principal island in the province, remained on the periphery of the Philippine economy throughout the Spanish colonial period. Only after the Spanish wrested political control of the Palawan region from Muslim peoples of the Sulu area in the late nineteenth century and American colonial authorities began to promote settlement of the archipelago’s frontier regions by family farmers in the early twentieth century was Palawan opened to capitalist development. Migrant, land-seeking...

  8. Chapter 3 The Evolution of an Intensive Upland Agriculture
    (pp. 41-70)

    San Jose’s regional image as a “success case” may derive most immediately from the relative prosperity of its residents, but it is the intensive and productive upland mixed-farming system underlying much of this prosperity that most merits attention. “Upland” is a key word here, for some of the most pressing issues of sustainable natural resource management in the Philippines today concern the future of the country’s uplands, broadly defined: land on which irrigation development is infeasible or prohibitively expensive and on which, once cleared of forest, agriculture will remain primarily rainfed. Placed in the context of current discussions about how...

  9. Chapter 4 Diversification and Differentiation in the Community Economy
    (pp. 71-90)

    In the years since its founding, San Jose has not only grown in size and developed economically. The community has also experienced considerable social differentiation, as its residents have entered into more varied and more complex relations with the means of production, as land ownership has declined in importance as a determinant of material well-being, and as local consumption patterns have come to resemble those of urban dwellers. This chapter concerns how these economic and social changes unfolded in San Jose between 1971 and 1995. My aim is to explore the dynamic interactions between the agricultural changes discussed in Chapter...

  10. Chapter 5 Contemporary Household Strategies for Survival and Prosperity
    (pp. 91-121)

    This chapter examines variation in the economic strategies that the second-generation residents of San Jose employ to survive (and, ideally, to prosper) under economic conditions greatly changed from those that their parents confronted during the initial settlement of the community earlier in this century. As Palawan’s frontier has moved on to other, more remote areas of the island, the generation of community residents raising their families today must make their living under conditions confronting their peers throughout the rural Philippines: scarce and costly farmland and intense competition for limited off-farm employment opportunities. Such conditions place a premium on educational attainments,...

  11. Chapter 6 Social Standing, Personal Worth, and the Aspirations of Individuals
    (pp. 122-145)

    Lowland Philippine society is saturated with ideas about prestige and rank. Some are Hispanic in origin and others probably indigenous, but lowland Filipinos are in any case intensely aware of the inequalities in property, income, education, and other attributes that relate to these ideas. Even in the most rural of communities, furthermore, people may differ significantly in their living conditions. Since the pioneering studies of Lynch (1959) and Hollnsteiner (1963), efforts to conceptualize such differences have figured prominently in studies of Philippine society. Differences in living conditions and social rank become particularly problematic when these topics themselves are the focus...

  12. Chapter 7 Conclusion
    (pp. 146-162)

    This book has examined some of the many changes that have taken place in a rural Philippine community over the span of a generation, with the intent of illuminating how wider processes of agricultural intensification, economic diversification, and social differentiation are experienced and understood at the local level. In summarizing and reflecting on my findings here, I have remained close to the sorts of concerns that also preoccupy San Jose residents as they go about their daily lives. The same concerns also animate many other rural Filipinos today: how to get ahead economically in a rapidly changing world, how to...

  13. Appendix Selected Attributes of Second-Generation Sample Households
    (pp. 163-168)
  14. Notes
    (pp. 169-172)
  15. References Cited
    (pp. 173-188)
  16. Index
    (pp. 189-192)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 193-193)