chapter  5
The Household
WithNicholas S. Hopkins
Pages 15

The household is the fundamental unit for analyzing the social organization of agricultural production. The household is a relatively small and flexible group that allows its members to carry on several activities at once in such a way that the product of these different activities is combined for the mutual benefit of all the members. The role of the household is apparent in its formal structure and composition as well as the range of economic strategies it follows, whether through choice of occupation or through the combination of a number of different strategies by the members of one household. Households frequently split at the point when the elderly parents die and the next generation succeeds. Each brother then establishes a separate household. Farm households with land are in a sense petty commodity producing households, though for certain tasks they employ labor whose product is not a commodity.