J.D. van der Ploeg
- Broken dreams?
- Youth experiences of agrarian change in Morocco's Saïss region
- Cahiers Agricultures
- Volume | Issue number
- 24 | 6
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Important social and agrarian changes are taking place on the agricultural plain of the Saïss in Morocco. Rural young men and women are key players in this process. In this article, we use the experiences, aspirations and dreams of rural young people in the Saïss to describe and discuss current agrarian dynamics to 1) illustrate how these are intimately linked to agrarian transformation; 2) demonstrate how futures and identities are deeply gendered; and 3) provide nuance to structural analyses of agrarian change with ethnographic accounts of how changes are perceived by the people experiencing them. Our analysis shows how young people skillfully and cautiously negotiate space to realize their aspirations. In doing so they carve out new and more modern farming identities and are able to combine rurality with modernity. Nevertheless, they are situated in web of power relations hampering the fulfillment of their aspirations and dreams. This forces some to put their dreams on hold and find alternative futures, a result that will strongly influence and determine the future of the countryside.
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