Anthropology and Development - download pdf or read online

By Lucy Mair (auth.)

ISBN-10: 033336371X

ISBN-13: 9780333363713

ISBN-10: 1349174459

ISBN-13: 9781349174454

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Malaysian official policy purports to protect the cultivator by recognizing only cash rents limited by law, and prohibits share-cropping. But in Kelantan the practice is still found so advantageous that the law cannot be applied. From the owner's point of view one reason for making such contracts is the high cost of wage labour. Their persistence has not prevented the adoption of many technical innovations. There is more share-cropping in Kelantan than in any other part of Malaysia, and the reason must be a matter of local circumstances, as is the attitude of the Brazilian peasants described by Johnson.

They formed a recognised sub-unit in the total family, and property was allotted to them, or inherited by them, as a unit (the houseproperty complex, a use of the word that has nothing to do with Freud). A detailed account of the lay-out of such a family dwelling among the Tallensi of northern Ghana, at a time when that area was very little developed, has been given by Fortes (1949). A Tale homestead consists of a number of separate huts (Fortes calls them 'rooms') built of dried mud with thatched roofs, the whole surrounded by a mud wall.

While the makers of development policies generally regard contracts to pay wages on the one hand or rent on the other as rational transactions, they condemn share-cropping agreements not only because they may be exploitative but also because they are assumed to be inherently inefficient. Tenants, they argue, have no incentive to work productively and landlords none to improve their property. This may well be true in many cases. Yet some anthropologists have recently observed that share-cropping stubbornly perl)ists among the most diverse societies, and this can only be because tenants as well as landlords see advantages in it.

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Anthropology and Development by Lucy Mair (auth.)


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