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New Peasantries in 21stcentury Mexico: The Defence and Adaptation of Rural Life by Campesinos

Bonilla Hernández, Sacnicté; (2023) New Peasantries in 21stcentury Mexico: The Defence and Adaptation of Rural Life by Campesinos. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This research discusses the construction of a new peasantry in terms of re-peasantization and agroecology in 21st-century Mexico. A case study research design with a qualitative approach guided the study. The study looked at 51 male campesinos and 31 female campesinas in 26 villages within Tlaxcala, Puebla and Oaxaca states, focussing on the everyday farming experiences and motivations to keep farming. Ethnographical methods were used to collect data, and a phenomenological-interpretative approach was used to analyse the findings. Small scale farming has been the last but also proven resource that allows campesinos for self-consumption and survival. However, several factors have forced campesinos into modifying their farming styles. Economic pressures, mainly characterised by the reduction of staple food prices, which affects campesinos capacity to make a decent living from the selling of surplus production and the increase of prices of off-farm inputs; and biodiversity degradation (due mainly to extensive use of Green Revolution farming methods and technologies) were identified as the main drivers of campesinos transition into agroecology. Mixing agroecological farming methods and industrial farming practices (now partially reduced) is a strategy that helps campesinos to continue farming. Adopting agroecological practices seems to improve their resource base, both material (ecological capital) and immaterial (knowledge, social organisation, networks) and their independence from exploitative market relations. However, a political view that positions them on a clear counter-movement against the food regime was voiced only by a handful of participants. Faced with the prospects of a new government and its promise to ‘bring the countryside back to life’ via improved market conditions (i.e. fixed prices for their harvest, as it was in the past), campesinos might be at a crossroad between further re-peasantization/transitioning into agroecology or returning to industrial-led farming.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: New Peasantries in 21stcentury Mexico: The Defence and Adaptation of Rural Life by Campesinos
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2023. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Peasantry, Agroecology, repesantization, Peasant Grassroots organizations, sustainability
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of the Americas
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10176562
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