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Gendered production spaces and crop varietal selection: Case study in Yucatán, Mexico

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Abstract:

This paper examines the influence of gender relations and gendered domains on maize and squash varietal selection in a village in Yucatán State, southeast Mexico. Results of the exploratory study indicate that the traditional production spaces of homegardens and agricultural fields are complementary gendered domains of varietal maintenance for both crops although with different cropping patterns, while a ‘new’ space, of land allocated to some families for future residential construction (terreno) is in the meantime a jointly worked agricultural domain. Women’s labour, knowledge and preferences predominate in post-harvest processes. Fieldwork revealed that neither men nor women are independent decision-makers, planning what to grow, where and in what amounts, but that in most aspects of farming the interests of both are accommodated within the household’s production spaces.

Keywords: Mexico; agricultural fields; gender relations; homegardens; varietal selection

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9493.2006.00274.x

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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