The book examines five main aspects of peasant life: social structure;local and global economy;class and political action; culture; attitudes and policies towards peasants. The study of peasant societies, especially in the context of changes brought about by "modernization", is a developing area of contemporary social science. This growth is reflected in the new edition of a work first published in 1971. More than half the items in this edition are new and mirror the achievements, controversies and queries of the 1980s.
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