The issue of peasant economy and conditions is examined taking as reference point Manlio Rossi-Doria’s deliberations on the subject – a set of propositions that led to a full-fledged analytic paradigm, progressively developed between 1920 and 1960. In its ultimate formulation the paradigm addresses three different lines of research: 1) the analytic essence and structure of the peasant economy; 2) land reform policies; 3) the repercussions on the peasant sector of transformation processes in the economic system. The Rossi-Doria paradigm also offers a key to interpret the lines of research developed over the last forty years of the last century focusing, at the level of both economic and social-anthropological analysis, on the issue of the peasant economy. The text concludes with some observations on developments in the economic and social prospects for the manifold aspects of the peasant community in a context of increasing insecurity and uncertainty.
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