A VILLAGE ECONOMY by Michael Belshaw


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The ""Land and People of Huecorio,"" a peasant farming community in the Mexican highlands, provide the setting and the subject. Economist Belshaw hopes his findings here will enable experts in all fields to better aid the development of hamlets throughout the underdeveloped portions of the world. His technique is a combination of the personal interview, done in the spirit of Oscar Lewis' pioneer studies, and the skills of his own discipline. His economic conclusions seem sound, although somewhat optimistic given a knowledge of Mexican society as a whole. But when he moves outside this field, one suspects that he may be far less accurate. For example, his studies of alcoholism, the high birth rate, and the Mexican cult of masculinity are superficial to anyone who has lived for any length of time in that society. Small failures such as these tend to detract from the worth of his fusion of sociology and economics. But the failure is an interesting one because of its economic aspect will be much discussed within departments of Latin affairs.

Publisher: Columbia Univ. Press