Geertz C. Agricultural involution: the processes of ecological change in Indonesia . Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, p. Agricultural Involution: the processes of ecological change in Indonesia, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California/London: University of California. Agricultural involution: the process of ecological change in Indonesia. by Geertz, Clifford. Publication date Topics Agriculture, Agricultura, Ecologie.

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January External links: This is his description of the process in Java where both the external economic demands of the Dutch rulers and the internal pressures due to population growth led to intensification rather than change.

Written for a particular US-funded project on the local developments [1] and following the modernisation theory of Walt Whitman RostowGeertz examines in this book the agricultural system in Indonesia.

Agricultural Involution: The Processes of Ecological Change in Indonesia – Wikipedia

But this work is still necessary reading for anyone interested in Indonesian agriculture, as well as being a good introduction to the economic history of Indonesia. If nothing else, it will be remembered for the coining of the term “agricultural involution”. Late in his career, Geertz reflected that the book had become an “orphan,” widely read and criticized without reference to his larger body of work. Of Approximate Truths and Moral Judgments ” “.


What this amounted was gertz the labour intensity in the paddies, increasing output per area but not increasing output per head. This page was last edited on 3 Octoberat Geertz’s thesis is that this process was tied up with the development of sugar as a smallholder cash crop complementary with rice production.

Of particular note is Geertz’s discussion of what he famously describes as the process of “agricultural involution”.

Agricultural Involution (Clifford Geertz) – book review

The geographical location of these different types is important. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Swidden is also known as slash and burn and sawah is irrigated rice paddy.

It then looks at the historical development of Indonesian agriculture, and in particular the process of “agricultural involution”, where the Javanese economy, faced with external pressure from the economic demands of the Dutch colonial regime and internal pressure from rapidly increasing population, intensified veertz forms of agriculture rather than changing. Agricultural Involution is one of the earlier works of a very influential writer: Retrieved from ” https: Having looked at the agricultural system geettz book turns to an examination of the systems historical development.


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Critics have attacked Geertz’s ideas in a number of places, and some of his conclusions are now considered doubtful. The two dominant forms of agriculture are swidden and sawah.

This involved putting even more labour into paddy field cultivation, increasing per hectare output while maintaining per capita output. Sawah is the dominant form in both Java and Bali where nearly three quarters of Indonesia’s population live and swidden more common in the less central regions. The Process of Ecological Change in Indonesia. Views Read Edit View history.

It principal thesis is that many centuries of ingolution wet-rice cultivation in Indonesia had produced greater social complexity without significant technological or political change, a process Geertz terms “involution”.