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Karl Mertens

Mobility is an aspect of human activity that is highly contextual but also in need of a framework for comparative analysis through time and space. This article examines Evenki mobility patterns and their relationship to economic practices of hunting, fishing, and reindeer herding, and utilizes a framework for considering mobility cross-culturally. The Evenkis are an indigenous minority living throughout central and eastern Siberia in the Russian Federation. In the fall and winter of 2011/2012, fieldwork among two groups of Evenkis documented patterns of mobility for reindeer pasturage, foraging and logistical purposes. Mobility related to these activities is connected to specific ecological, social, and economic factors.

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The Role of Small-Scale Farming in Familial Care

Reducing Work Risks Stemming from the Market Economy in Northeast Thailand

Shinsuke Tomita, Mario Ivan Lopez and Yasuyuki Kono

At present, Thailand’s market economy is placing pressure on familial care within rural households. An increasing amount of people are making their living in the current market economy and moving to urban areas in search of employment. The provisioning of care has come under greater risk, especially for women and couples of working age who are exposed to the possibilities of losing employment opportunities. While caregiving has been a responsibility of the household, shifts in working patterns have weakened its ability to care for children and the elderly. However, the capacity to care in northeast Thailand is still higher than in other regions of the country. This article discusses the balancing act that takes place between a progressive market economy and familial care as provided within households in northeast Thailand to demonstrate the importance that rice farming plays in familial care even if income from farming is limited.

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Waves of Dispossession

The Conversion of Land and Labor in Bali’s Recent History

Anette Fagertun

In Bali, land and labor are increasingly defined in terms of the market and dispossession from land, and subsistence is understood as a ‘natural’ precursor of desired ‘development’. The rapidly expanding mass tourism industry today dominates the economy of the province, employs half the workforce, attracts global investors and work migrants, and unceasingly demands land and skilled labor. Three waves of dispossession, all tied to the uses of land and labor, have through ‘accumulation by dispossession’ been key moments of class formation in Bali’s recent history. While the two first waves (re)shaped both land and labor relations, the current wave dislocates and reorganizes labor, producing a moment of enclosure from below that is indicative of a new logic of expulsion.

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Grigorii L. Olekh

In the immediate post-Soviet communist period, investigators were eager to expose the privileged and wealthy life-style of Communist Party (CP) officials, lumping them all together both sociologically and chronologically. This created a false impression that all CP workers had always enjoyed material and other advantages ever since the Revolution. Using material from Siberian archives, the author suggests that, on the contrary, during the early 1920s, workers in the CP provincial, district and regional committees experienced severe material hardship, and often received no wages at all for long periods. The parlous condition of the Soviet economy as a whole at this time was reflected in the low, or non-existent, pay of Party functionaries, and in the inefficiency, confusions and tensions between the central authorities and regional officials struggling to carry out their Party work on a shoe-string, often living at barely subsistence levels. Various 'Party perks' - for example, in the form of free medical provision or low-cost housing - often existed on paper only. The small gains that were made, however, whetted an appetite for their enlargement and consolidation.