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Behind the veil of agricultural modernization : gendered dynamics of rural change in the Saïss, Morocco

Bossenbroek, L.

Abstract

The Moroccan countryside is marked by rapidly changing rural realities. The Moroccan government frames and promotes these changes as linear development towards modernity and progress for all thereby only focusing on the experiences of some audacious men – ‘entrepreneurs’ and ‘modernizing farmers’. The aim of the study is to unveil Morocco’s agricultural modernization plan by illustrating how agrarian processes in the agricultural plain of the Saïss are not a logical, self-evident or smooth transition to a higher stage of development or modernity. They are a form of globalizing capitalist development which is messy and contradictory, and which is marked by, and re-produces existing gender social hierarchies. By putting the experiences that often “fall away” from agrarian analysis at the heart of my study I am to explore how gender and social differences come to matter in process of agrarian change and are intimately linked.