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Small farmers of the Florida Province (Bolivia) : Reciprocity in Practice
Mountain Research and Development
Peasant societies are often seen by neoliberal or Marxist theorists as passive subjects of political-economic transformations occurring at a higher level, only surviving through acculturation to market requirements. By analyzing agricultural work organization in highland communities and a local system of water management called Acuerdos Reciprocos por el Agua (Reciprocal Agreements for Water), developed in 2003 by the Natura Bolivia foundation in Florida Province in Bolivia, we show that, contrary to this perception, traditional reciprocal norms still play an essential role in decision making. This suggests the agency of rural societies and the resilience of traditional reciprocity-based norms in mountain regions.
Reciprocity, work organization, peasant societies, water management, Bolivia
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