Mardi 18 septembre à 14h à l'IFEA
Deniz Pelek (Université Boğaziçi et Université Paris VIII)
intervention en anglais

inscription avant le 18 septembre à 10h : https://www.inscription-facile.com/form/KW8cIt4GlvqPKAyaZUCQ

Uncovering the Nature of Labor Process in Turkish Agriculture: Workers, Mobility and Dispossession

This thesis is about how seasonal migrant workers phenomenon is being re-shaped in the process of agrarian transformation in Turkey in the face of a globalizing economy, which has forced big and small-scale farmers to invest in modifying their productive processes. I critically discuss that this transformation - by the means of the introduction of new technologies, changing crop composition and current consumer demands- depends part and parcel on the use of temporary agrarian workers. In light of the unavoidable trend in “transition”, I analyze the precarious conditions of farm workers. I employ a discussion how the transformation in the agrarian production have impacted/converted on the labor with a specific focus on the expansion of seasonal migrant workers in an unprecedented scale that symbolizes a radical change in economic, social, demographic, cultural and spatial realms with the changing character of the main labor force from peasant to proletarian. The goal of this dissertation is to understand the interplay between external pressures in economic and policy context and micro-politics at farm level, impacts on the labor structure and rural livelihoods. Links and conflicts between the economic context of farming, agricultural policies and livelihoods for workers and farm dwellers will be argued. Thus, I problematize how wider processes of agrarian transformation, dispossession and geopolitical developments re-shape migrant agricultural labor and also shaped by seasonal migration.

In fact, migration, the movement of peoples and individuals from one country to the next or from one city to the other, from one village to the neighbor, is an old concept but one that is periodically “reinvented” to fit specific socio-historical moments and political formations. To the agrarian context, “new peasantry”, “new migration”, “new rural spaces” are the topical issues. But what is “new migration”? and if there is a new migration then there must also be a “new migrant”? Who is she? who is he? What is “new peasantry”? What makes peasantry “new”? What is the “new” for rural areas?  In order to capture the “new”, I carried out fieldwork in five different regions –in Manisa, Bursa, Adana. Mersin and Şırnak-. Investigating the case of seasonal migrant workers in agrarian transformation process required to do a comprehensive research since all actors are interrelated each other to shape socio-economic relations and structures in the countryside. I conducted interviews with workers, farm owners, labor intermediaries and representatives from the state agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations.


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