Agricultural Involution: The Process of Ecological Change in Indonesia

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University of California Press, 1963 - Business & Economics - 176 pages
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"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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Contents

STARTING POINTS THEORETICAL AND FACTUAL
1
TWO TYPES OF ECOSYSTEM
12
THE CRYSTALLIZATION OF THE PATTERN
38
THE OUTCOME
115
BIBLIOGRAPHY
157
INDEX
173
Copyright

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About the author (1963)

Clifford Geertz, an American anthropologist, is known for his studies of Islam in Indonesia and Morocco and of the peasant economy of Java. But he is also the leading exponent of an orientation in the social sciences called "interpretation". Social life, according to this view, is organized in terms of symbols whose meaning we must grasp if we are to understand that organization and formulate its principles. Interpretative explanations focus on what institutions, actions, customs, and so on mean to the people involved. What emerges from studies of this kind are not laws of society, and certainly not statistical relationships, but rather interpretations, that is to say, understanding. Geertz taught for 10 years at the University of Chicago and has been the Harold F. Linder professor of social science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

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