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Agricultural Involution: The Processes of Ecological Change in Indonesia [Paperback]

Clifford Geertz
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

December 1, 1969 0520004590 978-0520004597
"A remarkably interesting account of Indonesian agricultural history, primarily covering the period of Dutch control, from 1619 to 1942. Drawing on ecology, sociology, and economics, Geertz...provides an insightful and persuasive analysis."—The Annals

"If colonial geography ever succeeds in establishing itself as a discrete and integral focus of inquiry, it may well date its majority to the publication of Agricultural Involution."—Geographical Record

"A brilliant and superbly written study...an incisive, even frightening description of the most crucial dilemma in contemporary Indonesia."—Agricultural History

"A valuable and important study...in which source materials from history, economics, soil science, geography and other fields are brilliantly marshalled and interrelated. But besides being an exemplary study in the interaction of history, physical environment and agricultural technology, this book represents a watershed between narrowly conceived ethnographies and the flood of verbose and ill digested post-war 'technology-and-social-change' monographs that are wont to aim high and hit wide...A model of comparative analytical writing."—Man

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Agricultural Involution: The Processes of Ecological Change in Indonesia + The Green Belt Movement: Sharing the Approach and the Experience
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (December 1, 1969)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520004590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520004597
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.3 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,207,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Farming As A Cultural System February 15, 2009
Format:Paperback
Though his qualitative studies of culture are more famous, "AI" is probably Clifford Geertz's most influential empirical work. It presents 2 main concepts: first, agricultural involution, a significant form of intensification but which may not bring actual development; and second, the divide between irrigated and swidden (slash & burn) farming. He develops these ideas with clarity and authority, enough to have inspired many comments and some revision, but the book's core remains permanently valuable. Both concepts have applications beyond Indonesia and wet-rice regions, and his historical approach provides essential time depth. Clearly Geertz's 1950s sojourn in the Indies was among the most fruitful fieldwork stints ever, producing a raft of classic books and essays. "The Religion of Java" is merely one among these, while F. Bray, "The Rice Economies" is very useful for context.
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