Title page for ETD etd-09052009-041057

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Boelens, Lyle A
URN etd-09052009-041057
Title Socioeconomic stratification and differentiation of the modern peasantry :a longitudinal analysis of small farmers in Röndonia, Brazil
Degree Master of Urban and Regional Planning
Department Urban and Regional Planning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Browder, John O. Committee Chair
Dyck, Robert G. Committee Member
Grossman, Lawrence S. Committee Member
  • land settlement
Date of Defense 1995-06-03
Availability restricted
Land settlement programs have been promoted by governments worldwide to

accomplish such broad goals as providing equitable land distribution among national

populations, expanding agricultural production, correcting population imbalances,

providing new income opportunities to the poor and landless, and preserving national

security (Oberai 1986). By promoting frontier land settlement, governments introduce

both intended and unintended changes in agrarian systems and social classes. These

changes raise questions about the extent of small farmer participation in capitalist

economies, whether these farmers are a socioeconomically homogenous group, and

about their future viability as distinct social and economic formations.

The primary focus of this micro-level analysis is to identify common land use,

demographic, and economic characteristics of small farmers in Rolim de Moura,

Rondonia to create a profile of smaIl farmers in the region, to determine if these

farmers are stratified by these characteristics, and to assess whether changes in these

characteristics from 1985 to 1990 indicate differentiation among these farmers. The

results of the study are compared with theoretical descriptions of peasant producers to

determine their applicability for describing small farmers in Rondonia.

Cluster analysis of the longitudinal data presented in two household surveys of small

farmers in Rolim de Moura reveal that these households are stratified according to

land use and economic factors into three major groups. Further division of the

households into four groups in 1990 suggests that differentiation is occurring among

households in the area. The results of this longitudinal study support Mann's (1990)

thesis that types of agricultural production indicate stratification among small farmers.

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