Biblioteca digital: economía y sociedad

A Note on the Relationship between Peasant Economy and Seasonal Wage Labour in Pre-Revolutionary Cuba

Resumen: In the light of current theories of peasant economy and also of some contemporary evidence from various Latin American countries, the agrarian structure of pre-revolutionary Cuba presents something of a paradox. We know of massive seasonal fluctuations in the demand for labour, especially in the cane sector, and we also know that of the people who worked in the peak seasons a high proportion were not by any means fully employed during the rest of the year;' on the other hand, the smallholding units of production in agriculture did not exhibit the extreme fragmentation or the large numbers (compared to larger units) which we find in, say, contemporary North-East Brazil. Current theories, after all, would lead us to believe that there is a complementarity between the proliferation of non-viable smallholding units and the seasonal requirements of large-scale units-that is, that the 'peasant economy' acts as a reproducer of cheap labour for capitalist farms, and wage labour complements the meagre livelihood afforded by small units. Another view would explain the proliferation of smallholdings as a 'refuge against povert.

Año: 1982

Como citar: Lehmann, D. (1982).