Philippine rural cultivators in transition: Operational reality and cognized models in agricultural decision making

TitlePhilippine rural cultivators in transition: Operational reality and cognized models in agricultural decision making
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication1987
AuthorsNazarea-Sandoval, VD
Date Published1987
PublisherUniversity of Kentucky
CityLexington, Kentucky
Keywordsfarmer experimentation; innovation; rice-fish culture; social structure decision-making; women

A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctorate of Philosophy at The University of Kentucky.

This study investigates the agricultural decision making processes and patterns of different categories of individuals and households in a rural Philippine community. The variability of adaptive responses to changing social, economic, and ecological conditions is analyzed in relation to indigenous knowledge systems and the decision maker's position in the internal differentiation of society.

Cognized models are conceptualized as personal and cultural constructs in the mind of the decision maker while operational reality is defined as the objective, material referent which provides the context, opportunities, and constraints in agricultural decision making. Examination and comparison of graphic mental maps and local criteria of major land use options revealed a patterning in the social distribution of indigenous knowledge that is influenced by the individual's socioeconomic status and gender.

Sexual division of labor has sensitized males and females to different aspects of their environment as evidenced by the difference in relative salience of community infrastructure, services, and resources to males and females. Likewise, in terms of socioeconomic standing, differences were observed among informants in their cognizance of various alternative or innovative options. It appears that high socioeconomic status individuals are the most knowledgeable about various features in their environment and also possess the most compact and general models for causes, consequences, and relationships obtaining in both agriculture and aquaculture.

It is argued that access to resources and access to knowledge are mutually reinforcing—a property that would tend to accelerate polarization and asymmetric relations. Social knowledge appeared to be differentially distributed due to the socialization each individual receives in his or her niche. Such socialization imbues the individual with different selective filters—or pre-attentive patterns—which make him or her unconsciously regard some options as non-feasible or undesirable. Choices regarding time allocation, food consumption, and land use are constrained, leading to behavioral outcomes that may not be logical from the point of view of maximization. However, those below, whose latitude for decision making appears to be the most narrow still have some leeway for "working the system." The operational reality seems to be wide enough to admit the possibility of social mobility for those endowed with resourcefulness and entrepreneurial skills.

Number of Pages

338 pp.

Short TitlePhilippine rural cultivators in transition

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