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Verinis, James Peter

Grant Type: 
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
New York, Binghamton, State U. of
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
October 13, 2009
Project Title: 
Verinis, James Peter, Binghamton U., Binghamton, NY - To aid research on 'New Immigrant Farmers and the Globalization of the Greek Countryside,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson

JAMES PETER VERINIS, then a student at Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York, was granted funding in October 2009, to aid research on 'New Immigrant Farmers and the Globalization of the Greek Countryside,' supervised by Dr. Thomas M. Wilson. Though Greek agriculture has served as the picture of rural underdevelopment in Europe, rural Greece is undergoing significant transformations. Immigrants play a diversity of socio-economic roles in farming communities experiencing a new global migratory context. They help define what agricultural [dis]incentives, environmental stewardship, social fabric, and territorial occupation mean in the countryside. With locals they co-manage tensions stemming from European rural development programs and global commodity markets. Scholarship largely reifies the conclusion that immigrants are merely transient, exploited laborers. In conjunction with macroeconomic analyses of rural 'stagnation,' such characterizations misrepresent current realities and undermine alternative potential forms of rural development in Greece. Fieldwork in rural villages in Laconia Prefecture of the Peloponnese, primarily in communities of olive growers, has served to undermine such misrepresentations. Participatory farming amongst Greek and non-Greek agriculturalists, in conjunction with related forms of ethnographic data gathered from various stakeholders, sheds light on a context allowing for immigrant integration and rural development as well as for xenophobia and 'resistance' to global capitalism. Contemporary globalized countrysides along the borders of Europe beg such fieldwork in order to evaluate current and potential paths based on new conceptual frameworks set by their new range of residents.