Agata Hummel

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Warsaw U.

Grant number

Gr. 9734

Approve Date

October 23, 2018

Project Title

Hummel, Dr. Agata, U. of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland - To aid research on 'Rural Self-management Initiatives and Public Policies. A Conceptualization of Neo-peasants'

Preliminary abstract: The research addresses the problem of different conceptualization of peasants by different groups — rural self-management initiatives (RSIs) and the public administration in Catalonia, Spain — and its application in order to achieve particular interests. RSIs are being founded by people who move from cities to the countryside for ideological and/or practical reasons to implement the so called ‘peasant lifestyle’ and ‘peasant economy’. However, RSIs are not recognized by public policies. The aim of this study is then to analyze the social, political and economic challenges rural self-management initiatives face in the process of starting and developing their projects. In order to achieve our research objective we will explore what imaginary of peasant/neo-peasant and peasant economy RSIs share and what the practical outcome of this imaginary is. We will also study institutions that dominate the field of rural public management in Catalonia, their imaginary of peasant/neo-peasant and rural production, and the legal consequences of this imaginary. Finally, we will analyze the strategies that rural self-management initiatives adopt in order to survive in the current legal context. We will also try to conceptualize the term ‘neo-peasants’ drawing from the literature and our fieldwork results, and to comprehend how this concept is related to the current debate on peasants in Anthropology.