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Austrian Lives

Günter Bischof
Fritz Plasser
Eva Maltschnig

Common lives

Balancing Between Autonomy and Dependence Family Farming and Agrarian Change in Lower Austria, 1945-1980

Ernst Langthaler

Note de l’auteur

This article is a result of the research project Farming Styles in Austria, 1940s-1980s (FWF P20922-G15) which was conducted at the Institute of Rural History in St. Pölten from January 2009 to December 2011 (director: Ernst Langthaler, collaborators: Rita Garstenauer, Benjamin Schiemer, Ulrich Schwarz and Sophie Tod).

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Extrait du texte

Conventionnal view: Peasants into Farmers

“The most dramatic change of the second half of this century, and the one which permanently cuts us off from the world of the past, is the death of the peasantry,”2 Eric Hobsbawn states in his famous world history of the twentieth century, Age of Extremes. There is no doubt that rural society after the Second World War experienced a dramatic change;3 however, the issue of “de-peasantization” raises serious concern, above all with regard to tendencies of “re-peasantization” in the neo-liberal era.4 The answer to the question whether the peasantry in Europe and other parts of the world rapidly passed away from the mid-twentieth century onwards or whether it has somehow survived — or even been reborn — depends on how we define the “peasant.” According to Eric Wolf, “peasants” are neither “primitives” nor “farmers.” What distinguishes them from “primitives” is their subordination to political and economic forces such as bureaucratic nation-states...

© innsbruck university press, 2012

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