Forms of Peasant Resistance

Zweig, David Stephen

Struggling Over Land in China: Peasant Resistance After Collectivization, l966-l986

SYNOPISIS: Peasant rebellions are uncommon. “Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance” explores peasants’ foot dragging, feigned ingorance, false compliance, manipulation, flight, slander, theft, arson, sabotage, and similar prosaic forms of struggle. These kinds of resistance stop well short of collective defiance, a strategy usually suicidal for the subordinate. The central argument about peasant resistance is presented in the opening chapter by James Scott in which he summarizes and extends the thesis of his book on Malaysia’s peasantry, “Weapons of the Weak”. Scott’s ideas are employed and refined in the ensuing seven country studies of peasant resistance: Poland, India, Egypt, Colombia, China, Nicaragua and Zimbabwe.