'We're European Farmers Now': Transitions and Transformations in Basque Agricultural Practices

Authors: Welch-Devine, Meredith; Murray, Seth

Source: Anthropological Journal of European Cultures, Volume 20, Number 1, Spring 2011 , pp. 69-88(20)

Publisher: Berghahn Journals

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Abstract:

In this essay, we discuss the economic constraints and opportunities that Basque farmers in two neighbouring valleys in France faced before the 2003 reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). In the last decade, constraints and opportunities have shifted, and farmers have diversified their economic strategies in order to cope with a rise in rural tourism and second home ownership, an expansion of leisure activities into what has historically been an agricultural territory, and the implications that the uncertain future of the European Union's CAP has for small family farmers in this area. We examine this diversification of household economic strategies to include non-agricultural activities and the implications it has for economic health and rural livelihoods in the Basque region.

Keywords: AGROTOURISM; AOC; BASQUE REGION; COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY; DIRECT SALES

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/ajec.2011.200105

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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  • Anthropological Yearbook of European Cultures relaunched in 2008 as the Anthropological Journal of European Cultures

    Previously published as the Anthropological Yearbook of European Cultures

    Published since 1990, AJEC engages with current debates and innovative research agendas addressing the social and cultural transformations of contemporary European societies. The Journal serves as an important forum for ethnographic research in and on Europe, which in this context is not defined narrowly as a geopolitical entity but rather as a meaningful cultural construction in people's lives, which both legitimates political power and calls forth practices of resistance and subversion. By presenting both new field studies and theoretical reflections on the history and politics of studying culture in Europe anthropologically, AJEC encompasses different academic traditions of engaging with its subject, from social and cultural anthropology to European ethnology and empirische Kulturwissenschaften.
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