Farmer gone fish'n? Swidden decline and the rise of grouper fishing on Palawan Island, the Philippines

Dressler, Wofram H. and Fabinyi, Michael (2011) Farmer gone fish'n? Swidden decline and the rise of grouper fishing on Palawan Island, the Philippines. Journal of Agrarian Change, 11 4: 536-555. doi:10.1111/j.1471-0366.2011.00309.x


Author Dressler, Wofram H.
Fabinyi, Michael
Title Farmer gone fish'n? Swidden decline and the rise of grouper fishing on Palawan Island, the Philippines
Journal name Journal of Agrarian Change   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1471-0358
1471-0366
Publication date 2011-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1471-0366.2011.00309.x
Volume 11
Issue 4
Start page 536
End page 555
Total pages 20
Place of publication Oxford, U.K.
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Considerable research has focused on understanding how upland farmers adjust land-based livelihoods to the influences of agrarian change in Southeast Asia. In the process, an ‘upland bias’ has emerged where researchers focus narrowly on the uplands as localities with distinct, coherent features, neglecting how families engage place, social relations and ethnicity as they access opportunities in proximate spaces. This paper considers how the Tagbanua – long considered an upland swidden people – have ‘stepped back’ from swidden agriculture due to declining yields and debt to harvest the lucrative grouper (e.g. Plectropomus leopardus). We show how Tagbanua families on Palawan Island have adjusted swidden as they negotiate social relations, ethnic cleavages and economic barriers to effectively engage the grouper industry. Rather than cast such farmers and fishers as ideal types in place, we argue that how they negotiate social relations creates new livelihood opportunities in varied environments, reinforcing the dynamic, recursive context of agrarian change.
Keyword Agrarian change
Philippines
Swidden
Fishing
Human geography
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Social Science Publications
 
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Created: Mon, 17 Oct 2011, 14:26:48 EST by Debbie Lim on behalf of School of Social Science