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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Maintaining Difference and Managing Change: Female Agrarian Clientelist Relations in a Gambian Community
Author:Kea, Pamela
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Gambia
social stratification
women farmers
agricultural workers
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Labor and Employment
Economics and Trade
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Cultural Roles
Sex Roles
Abstract:The introduction of dry-season vegetable cultivation on a large scale in Brikama, The Gambia, in the early 1970s has led to the development of a new labour system amongst female farmers whereby strangers or clients are given access to land for vegetable cultivation, primarily in the dry season, in exchange for providing unremunerated labour for hosts for the cultivation of rice in the rainy season. This article examines the way in which social difference is played out in the acquisition of land and labour through the establishment of agrarian clientelist relations. The nature of these relations is changing because of the changing relations of agrarian production, related in turn to the introduction of cooperative gardens in the region, the increasing scarcity of farming land and the increasing political power of strangers on a local and national level. The youth, particularly those who are educated, are moving out of farming altogether. Consequently, female hosts are increasingly reliant on their clients' labour. The author argues that female hosts attempt to manage these processes of change out of a need to maintain the particular power relations that form the basis for host-stranger distinctions and their existing claims to land and labour. The article examines the tensions and the intra-gender struggles that emerge between female hosts and their client-strangers. In refusing to take the initiative to set up cooperative gardens, female hosts have maintained what they see as their rightful claims to their land and their clients' labour. Hegemonic notions of 'the correctness of practices', associated with host-stranger identities, have informed hosts' behaviour and that of their clients, and ultimately influenced the nature of resource allocation. Bibliogr., notes, sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]