Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-99c86f546-swqlm Total loading time: 0.552 Render date: 2021-11-27T09:46:34.986Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

The Status of Rural Elderly in Southern Italy: a Political Economic View

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 November 2008

Alessandro Bonanno
Affiliation:
Department of Rural Sociology, University of Missouri-Columbia.
Toni M. Calasanti
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology, University of Kentucky, USA.

Abstract

Discussions of the position of the elderly have typically been cast in terms of demographic considerations and/or level of industrialisation. In contradistinction to this approach we employ a political economic perspective which reveals the contradictions present in the situation of aged small farmers in southern Italy. Using a dialectic approach, it is argued that the function performed by the small farm sector, that of keeper of the surplus labour force, is extended to deal with the elderly population. Within this context, rurality assumes a permanent posture as the aged farmers are maintained at the margin of the labour market and are eventually expelled from it. At the same time, this farming segment substitutes for other social agencies as a caretaker for a portion of the older population. This function, however, creates social tensions for it mandates continuous State support for the survival of these farms, demands which are resisted by the bourgeoisie and certain segments of the working class. Even if it were deemed appropriate, the State cannot extend its support to small farms without simultaneously calling forth a fiscal and legitimation crisis stemming from its policy coverage.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1986

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

1 Guillemard, A. M. (ed.), Old Age and the Welfare State. Sage Publications, Inc., Beverly Hills, Ca., 1983.Google Scholar

2 Myles, J., Old Age in the Welfare State: The Political Economy of Public Pensions. Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1984.Google Scholar

3 Hendricks, J. and McAllister, C., An alternative perspective on retirement: a dual economy approach. Ageing and Society, 3 (1983), 279299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

4 Offe, C. and Ronge, V., ‘Theses on the theory of the state’, in Frieberg, J., Critical Sociology. Irvington Publishers, New York, 1979.Google Scholar

5 Poulantzas, N., State, Power and Socialism. New Left Books, London, 1978.Google Scholar

6 Quadagno, J., Welfare capitalism and the Social Security Act of 1935. American Sociological Review, 49 (1984), 632647.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

7 Calasanti, T., Participation in a dual economy and adjustment to retirement. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, forthcoming.Google Scholar

8 Quadagno, , op. cit.Google Scholar

9 Myles, J., op cit.Google Scholar

10 Myles, J., Does class matter? Explaining America's modern welfare state. Paper presented at the Conference on Theoretical Approaches to American Social Politics, Center for the Study of Industrial Societies, University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.Google Scholar

11 Myles, J., ‘Comparative public policies for the elderly: framework and resources for analysis’, in Guillemard, A., op cit. pp. 1944.Google Scholar

12 Walker, A., ‘Social policy and elderly people in Great Britain: the construction of dependent social and economic status in old age’, in Guillemard, A., op. cit. pp. 143167.Google Scholar

13 Ibid. 145.

14 Graziani, A., ‘Regional inequalities in Italy’, in Bairoch, P. and Levy-Leboyer, M. (eds.), Disparities in Economic Development since the Industrial Revolution. St Martin's Press, New York, 1981.Google Scholar

15 Fabiani, G., L'Agricoltura Italiana tra Sviluppo e Crisi. Il Mulino, Bologna, 1979.Google Scholar

16 Fanfani, R., Crisi e Ristrutturazione dell'Agricoltura Italiana. Inchiesta 26 (1977), 625.Google Scholar

17 Rossi-Doria, M., Breve Storia dei Contadini Italiani dallo Inizio del Secolo ad Oggi. Inchiesta, 1 (1977), 2744.Google Scholar

18 Graziani, , op cit.Google Scholar

19 Mottura, G. and Pugliese, E., Agricoltura Mezzogiorno e Mercato del Lavoro. Il Mulino, Bologna, 1975.Google Scholar

20 Mottura, G. and Pugliese, E., ‘Capitalism in agriculture and capilalist agricullure: the Italian case’ In Buttel, F. and Newby, H. (eds.), The Rural Sociology of the Advanced Societies. Allanheld Osmun, Montclair, N.J., 1979.Google Scholar

21 Fabiani, , op. cit.Google Scholar

23 Tarrow, S., Peasant Communism in Southern Italy. Yale University Press, New Haven, 1967.Google Scholar

24 Fabiani, , op. cit.Google Scholar

25 Mutti, A. and Poli, I., Sottosviluppo e Meridione. Mazzetta, Milan, 1975.Google Scholar

26 Mottura, and Pugliese, , 1975, op. cit.Google Scholar

27 Mottura, and Pugliese, , 1979, op. cit.Google Scholar

28 Pugliese, E., I Braccianti Agricoli in Italia. Franco Angeli, Milan, 1983.Google Scholar

29 Mottura, and Pugliese, , 1979, op. cit.Google Scholar

30 Bonanno, A., Agricoltura e Sviluppo Dualistico. Franco Angeli, Milan, 1984.Google Scholar

31 This process is known as the ‘Sponge Effect’.

32 Fabiani, , op. cit.Google Scholar

33 Graziani, , op. cit.Google Scholar

34 Mutti, and Poli, , op. cit.Google Scholar

35 Graziani, , op. cit.Google Scholar

36 Podblieski, C., Italy: Development and Crisis in the Post-War Economy. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1974.Google Scholar

37 Graziani, A., ‘Il mezzogiorno nel quadro dell'economia Italiania’. In Graziani, A. and Pugliese, E. (eds.), Investimenti e Disoccupazione nel Mezzogiorno. Il Mulino, Bologna, 1979.Google Scholar

38 Furnari, M., ‘Evoluzione e struttura dell'occupazione agricola nelle regioni meridionali’. In De Benedictis, M. (ed.), L'Agricoltura nello Sviluppo del Mezzogiorno. Il Mulino, Bologna, 1980.Google Scholar

39 Bonanno, , op. cit.Google Scholar

40 Fabiani, , op. cit.Google Scholar

41 Mottura, and Pugliese, , 1975, op. cit.Google Scholar

42 Mottura, and Pugliese, , 1979, op. cit.Google Scholar

43 Bonanno, , op. cit.Google Scholar

44 Graziani, , 1981, op. cit.Google Scholar

45 Mottura, and Pugliese, , 1975, op. cit.Google Scholar

46 Mottura, and Pugliese, , 1979, op. cit.Google Scholar

47 Pugliese, , op. cit.Google Scholar

48 Furnari, , op. cit.Google Scholar

49 Furnari, M., Atricolazione sociale e territoriale della occupazione agricola in Italia. Rivista di Economia Agraria. 3 (1977), 199–136.Google Scholar

50 Mingione, E., Classi Sociali e Agricoltura Metidionale. Giuffre’, Milan, 1981.Google Scholar

51 Bonanno, , op. cit.Google Scholar

52 Furnari, , 1977, op. cit.Google Scholar

53 Furnari, , 1980, op. cit.Google Scholar

54 Calza-Bini, P., Contadini, proletari o vasto ceto medio? La Critica Sociologica, 30 (1974), 180203.Google Scholar

55 Calza-Bini, P., Economia Periferica e Classi Sociali. Liguori, Napoli, 1976.Google Scholar

57 Mingione, E., Informalization and restructuring. Unpublished paper, Messina, 1984.Google Scholar

58 Ginatempo, N., Social reproduction and structure of marginal areas in Southern Italy: reflections on the role of the family in the present crisis. Paper presented at the Xth World Congress of Sociology, Mexico City, 1982.Google Scholar

59 Bagnasco, A., La questione dell'economia informale. In Statoe Mercato I (1981), 173196.Google Scholar

60 Mingione, , op. cit.Google Scholar

62 Bonanno, A., The persistence of small farms in advanced Western societies: the case of southern Italy. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Kentucky, Lexington 1985Google Scholar

63 The vast majority of these farms are small farms. See Bonanno, , 1985, op. cit.Google Scholar

64 The other four groups of farm families were referred to as Attachment, Income, Investment, plus a residual category. For a complete description, see Bonanno, , 1985, op cit.Google Scholar

65 For a more detailed exposition, see Bonanno, , 1985, op. cit.Google Scholar

66 O'Connor, J., The Fiscal Crisis of the State. St Martin's Press, New York, 1973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

67 Poulantzas, N., Classes in Contemporary Capitalism. New Left Books, London, 1975.Google Scholar

68 Mottura, and Pugliese, , 1979, op. cit.Google Scholar

70 Fabiani, , op. cit.Google Scholar

71 Graziani, , 1979, op. cit.Google Scholar

72 These were acts forbidding rural–urban migration.

73 Bandini, M., La Riforma Fondiaria. Edizione Cinque Lune, Rome, 1956.Google Scholar

74 Beale, C., ‘People and land’. In Ford, T. (ed.), Rural USA: Persistence and Change. Iowa State University Press, Ames, 1978, pp. 3754.Google Scholar

75 Granisci, A., Prison Notebook. International Publishers, New York, 1973.Google Scholar

76 Poulantzas, , 1978, op. cit.Google Scholar

77 Mingione, E., Social Conflict and the City. St Martin's Press, New York, 1981 (a), pp 4142.Google Scholar

78 Buttel, F. and Flinn, W., Sources and consequences of agrarian values in American society. Rural Sociology 40 (1975), 134151.Google Scholar

79 Faux, G., Reclaiming America. Working Papers 2, 1973, 187204.Google Scholar

80 Danbom, D., The Resisted Revolution. Iowa State University Press, Ames, 1979.Google Scholar

81 Brewster, D. et al. , (eds.), Farms in Transition: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Farm Structure. Iowa State University Press, Ames, 1983.Google Scholar

82 USDA, Economics and Statistics, Program Results and Plans. USDA, Washington DC, 1980.Google Scholar

83 Vogeler, I.The Myth of Family Farm. Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, 1980.Google Scholar

84 Mottura, and Pugliese, , 1975, op. cit.Google Scholar

85 Mottura, and Pugliese, , 1979, op. cit.Google Scholar

87 Calza-Bini, , 1976, op. cit.Google Scholar

88 Mottura, and Pugliese, , 1979, op cit., p. 182.Google Scholar

89 De Benedictis, M., ‘Sviluppo e rislagno dell'agricoltura nel mezzogiorno’. In De Benedictis, M. (ed.). L'Agricoltura nello Sviluppo del Mezzogiorno. Il Mulino, Bologna. 1980.Google Scholar

90 Graziani, , 1979, op. cit.Google Scholar

91 In several analyses of electoral patterns in Italy, the ‘Ruralisation’ and ‘Southernisation’ of ihe DC's vote has been shown. Though a general decline in the political power of this party has been recorded nationwide (which culminaied with the 1984 European election in which ihe Communist party, PCI, replaced DC as ihe largest political parly in the country), its influence in rural southern regions is still overwhelming. As an official of the PCt puy it: ‘If the rural South was not parly of Ilaly, the country would have had a Communist government since the middle seventies.’. De Luca, F.La DC e' ormai il partito della provincia’. La Repubblica No. 151 29(29th 06 1983), 23.Google Scholar

92 In chapter xxiv of Kapital, Marx defined accumulation: ‘Hitherto we have investigaied how surplus-value emanates from capital; we have now to see how capital arises from surplus-value. Employing surplus-value as capital – reconverting it imo capilal – is called accumulation.’ Marx, K., Kapital. Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1972, p. 365.Google Scholar

93 Block, F., ‘Beyond relative autonomy: State managers as historical subjects’. Miliband, R. and Saville, J. (eds.). Socialist Register. Merlin Press, London, 1980.Google Scholar

94 Offe, and Ronge, , op. cit.Google Scholar

95 Poulantzas, , 1978, op. cit.Google Scholar

96 O'Connor, , op. cit.Google Scholar

97 Pugliese, , op. cit.Google Scholar

98 Fabiani, , op. cit.Google Scholar

100 De Benedictis, , op. cit.Google Scholar

101 Mottura, and Pugliese, , 1979, op. cit.Google Scholar

102 Fabiani, , op. cit.Google Scholar

103 Graziani, , 1979, op. cit.Google Scholar

104 Pugliese, , op. cit.Google Scholar

105 Calza-Bini, , 1976, op. cit.Google Scholar

106 In this respect the EEC policy on the matter does not leave any doubt with respect to the unlikelihood of this alternative taking place. See Fabiani, , 1979, op. cit. pp. 237248.Google Scholar

107 Estes, C., ‘Austerity and aging in the United States: 1980 and beyond’. In Guillemard, A. (ed.), op. cit. pp. 169185.Google Scholar

108 Myles, , 1984, Old Age and the Welfare State, op. cit.Google Scholar

109 Giori, D., ‘Old people, public expenditure and the system of social service: The Italian case’. In Guillemard, (ed.), op cit. pp. 187211.Google Scholar

110 Ibid.

111 Myles, , 1984. Old Age and the Welfare State, op. cit.Google Scholar

112 Estes, , op. cit.Google Scholar

113 Hendricks, J. and Calasanti, T., ‘Social policy and ageing in North America’. In Phillipson, C. and Walker, A. (eds.), Ageing and Social Policy: A Critical Assessment Heinemann Educational Books, London, forthcoming.Google Scholar

114 O'Connor, , op. cit.Google Scholar

115 Giori, , op. cit.Google Scholar

116 Ibid. p. 194.

3
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The Status of Rural Elderly in Southern Italy: a Political Economic View
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

The Status of Rural Elderly in Southern Italy: a Political Economic View
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

The Status of Rural Elderly in Southern Italy: a Political Economic View
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *