chapter  1
Anthropology and Agricultural Change in Egypt
WithNicholas S. Hopkins
Pages 16

Rural Egypt in the 1980s is a complex place, full of contradictory trends and images. Egyptian agriculture is daily debated in the Egyptian and foreign press. Because of Egypt's rapidly growing population, national food production is supplying an ever smaller percentage of Egyptian needs. An analysis of agricultural production in Egypt is distinctive from most other cases analyzed in anthropological studies of production, for it evokes problems otherwise scarcely treated in the literature, in particular the problem of the role of machinery in the labor process. When rural Egypt has been largely integrated into the money economy, the household must share the stage with other social forms and institutions including principally the state as the organizer of the national economy. Materially speaking, there are also many new features in Egyptian agrarian life. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.