Class differentiation in contemporary rural Galiza: A first approach

Diaz-Geada A. (2023): Class differentiation in contemporary rural Galiza: A first approach, en Russian Peasant Studies, V.8. n4. p. 54-71.

The article aims at making a first approach to the study of class differentiation in rural communities of contemporary Galiza. First, the author reconstructs the debates on the ‘agrarian question’ in the history of the Spanish state — from the reformist thought of the late 19th century to the present, focusing on how this question was discussed in the Galizan context, in the field of Galizan agrarian historiography. This field of research developed mainly from the study of the peasants’ access to land ownership in relation to various disentailments introduced by the liberal capitalist state. The author pays particular attention to the consequences of the land tenure regime that prevailed in Galiza — foro, a long-term lease: the increasing number of peasants were becoming owners, which agrarian historiography considered a key element of social-economic changes from the late 19th century to the first third of the 20th century. Another interrelated processes were the antiforal agrarian mobilization, growing commercialization of agrarian production, remittances of Galizan migrants from Americas, and technical development of production. The author emphasizes how social inequalities have changed in rural communities, focusing on the consequences of the liberal capitalist state in social structure and referring to different studies that prove the intensification of social inequalities. Finally, the author describes social changes at the last stage of the Franco dictatorship. Thus, this article is a first step in the study of how class inequalities have transformed contemporary peasant communities.