chapter  7
Mechanization and the Labor Process
WithNicholas S. Hopkins
Pages 20

This chapter discusses the role of mechanization in the social organization of agriculture. Mechanization in contemporary Egyptian agriculture, involving the use of the internal combustion engine to run tractors, pumps, and some other machines, plays an important part in the agricultural labor process. The introduction of mechanization reinforces the power and position of the larger farmers, and that the choice of technology reflects the perceived interests of these farmers. The chapter presents data and case studies relating to the role of pumps and tractors in the social organization of agriculture in Musha. In Musha tractors are used for plowing and field preparation, for threshing, and for hauling. Several people in Musha claimed that they had introduced the first tractors into the village. The management of the tractor is principally a matter of scheduling the use of the machine. Increased mechanization tends to lead to increased hiring of labor, and to a radically different labor process in agriculture.