Cultivating Dissent

Work, Identity, and Praxis in Rural Languedoc

By Winnie Lem

Subjects: Anthropology
Series: SUNY series in National Identities
Paperback : 9780791441886, 268 pages, April 1999
Hardcover : 9780791441879, 268 pages, May 1999

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Table of contents



A Disappearing World?

Part 1: Place, Politics, and Identity

Chapter 1
The Place, The People, and the Land

Chapter 2
People and Politics in Rural Languedoc

Chapter 3
Cultures of Class and Region: Collective Identity and Its Configurations

Part 2: Work, Social Relations, and Everyday Life

Chapter 4
Negotiating Consensus: Production, Reproduction, and Power in the Domestic Realm

Chapter 5
Engendered Practices: The Politics of Wine, Women, and Work

Chapter 6
Between Friends, Among Neighbors

Chapter 7
Harvesting Disenchantment: Cooperatives, Control, and Alienation

Chapter 8
Subjects, Subjectivity, and Praxis in Late Capitalism




Explores rural resistance, class consciousness, and the politics of contemporary culture through the experience of family farmers in France's "red south."


Focusing on a community of small family farmers in the Languedoc region of Mediterranean France, Cultivating Dissent shows how rural people struggle against disintegration brought on by the development of capitalism and state modernization imperatives. Lem challenges the image that small farmers tend to be either uninterested in politics or rather conservative in their views. She also argues against another prevailing image of agrarian people which suggests that the distinctiveness of their regional and local cultures disappears when they become embedded in the commercial world of the market and in modern national culture. Of interest to anthropologists, sociologists, and political scientists, Cultivating Dissent presents a case in which rural people conform neither to the image of the quiescent and conservative farmer nor to that of the culturally assimilated national subject.

Winnie Lem is Associate Professor in Comparative Development Studies and Women's Studies at Trent University, Canada.


"I find this to be a valuable contribution to the anthropology of Europe and to peasant studies, and also a nuanced examination of the economic and cultural formations of late capitalism." — Oriol Pi-Sunyer, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

"Cultivating Dissent is an engaging account of the lives of small-scale wine growers. One gets a feel for their involvement in political activity and their resistance to state mandates and capital accumulation. The discussion of household production and gender are especially compelling." — Robert C. Ulin, author of Vintages and Traditions: An Ethnohistory of Southwest French Wine Cooperatives