peasant farmer in his cornfield.jpg (106301 bytes)Peasants seem to have been around for a long time in history, for peasants are usually defined as farmers who produce surpluses for social elites. Their history is therefore as long as the history of the state.Whether peasants will continue to be around in the future is a trickier question, and there's now a lively debate about whether calling contemporary rural people "peasants" makes any sense at the end of the Twentieth Century. Indeed, in many cases it seems necessary to ask whether modern lifestyles make it possible to continue to make a clear distinction between "urban" and "rural" society.

This package will tell you both about peoples' lives and about what anthropologists have contributed to the academic debates about changing rural societies. You can then make up your own mind on the issues.