Social limitations to livelihood adaptation : responses of maize-farming smallholder households to neoliberal policy reforms in Morelos, Southern Veracruz, Mexico

S.F. Groenewald

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU

Abstract

This thesis describes the adaptation of smallholders to market changes shaped by neoliberal policy reforms in the Mexican maize sector. Contrary to expectations about smallholder responses to a liberalised maize market, in the study area maize still is the main source of income. Farmers did not leave the maize sector to produce more profitable crops neither did they exit agriculture. Special attention is given to the role of social capital in shaping households’ adaptation behaviour. By analysing the role of trust in adaptation processes, this study enhances our understanding of the importance of the social and historical context in contemporary livelihood decisions. It demonstrates that new forms of social capital are difficult to sustain if they do not link up with existing, local forms of social capital. Data collection in the field took place between March 2007 and May 2010. The research was conducted in Morelos, Veracruz, Mexico.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Niehof, Anke, Promotor
  • van den Berg, Marrit, Co-promotor
Award date12 Apr 2012
Place of PublicationS.l.
Print ISBNs9789461732217
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • households
  • agricultural households
  • small farms
  • markets
  • farmers' markets
  • agricultural economics
  • development economics
  • living standards
  • adaptation
  • livelihoods
  • social capital
  • maize
  • developing countries
  • mexico

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