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Modernisation Revisited: Market Structures and Competent Farmers in Södermanland County, Sweden, during the Late Nineteenthand and Early Twentieth Centuries
Stockholm University.
1997 (English)In: Rural History, ISSN 0956-7933, E-ISSN 1474-0656, Vol. 8, no 2, 175-193 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

During the last two decades interpretations of agrarian modernisation have been the subject of critical debate. In neo-classical tradition, agrarian economists and economic historians have traditionally laid emphasis on the diffusion of technology and on the commercialisation of production. They have customarily been interested in the development of agricultural output and incomes, and basically understood modernisation as an evolutionary process by which commercial, market oriented production was substituted for traditional, subsistence production. During the 1970s and the 1980s agrarian sociologists and historians posed the question in more social and historical terms, seeking to determine which type of producers, large farmers or family farmers, were the bearers of modernisation. The traditional Marxian standpoint, as is well known, was that capitalist farming — in spite of delays and problems inherent in agricultural production — would come to dominate the agrarian sector through technical innovation and large scale production. Opposing this, neo-Marxian/neo-Chayanovian interpretations claimed that family farming, due to the innate characteristics of that particular production form, provided family farmers with a competitive advantage in relation to large scale production. According to this, more ‘social’ historical tradition, the social organisation of family based production was the key to understanding the viability, or even superiority, of family farming in the industrialised and urbanised societies of western Europe and North America.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1997. Vol. 8, no 2, 175-193 p.
Keyword [en]
agrarian modernisation, relative prices, large farmers, small farmers, Sweden, 19th-20th centuries
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Economic History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89019OAI: diva2:615152
Available from: 2013-04-08 Created: 2013-04-08 Last updated: 2013-04-08

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