October 7, 2020

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

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. January External links: If nothing else, it will be remembered for the coining of the term “agricultural involution”.

The Process of Ecological Change in Indonesia. Agricultural Involution is one of the earlier works of a very influential writer: 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 involtion demands of the Dutch colonial regime and internal pressure from rapidly increasing population, intensified existing forms of agriculture rather than changing.


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. 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.

Retrieved from ” https: It principal thesis is that many centuries of intensifying wet-rice cultivation in Indonesia had produced greater social complexity without significant technological or political change, a process Geertz terms “involution”. The two dominant forms of agriculture are swidden and sawah.

Geertz’s thesis is that this process was tied up with the development of sugar as a involufion cash crop complementary with rice production. 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.

Clifford Geertz

Of particular note is Geertz’s discussion of what he famously describes as the process of “agricultural involution”. Of Approximate Truths and Moral Judgments ” “. The geographical location of these different types is important.


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. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Agricultural involution : the process of ecological change in Indonesia

This page was last edited on 3 Octoberat What this amounted was increasing the labour intensity in the paddies, increasing output per area but not increasing output per head. Critics have attacked Geertz’s ideas in a number of places, and some geerz his conclusions are now considered doubtful.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Having looked at the agricultural system the book turns to an examination of the systems historical development.

Views Read Edit View history. This involved putting even more labour into paddy field cultivation, increasing per hectare output while maintaining per capita output.