Sources of farm labour in contemporary Quebec

Authors


  • *This is a revised version of a paper presented at the Annual Meetings of the C.S.A.A., Halifax, 1981. The author wishes to thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for the financial support which has made this research possible, and Fran Shaver, who has participated as a partner in the research. The original paper was received July, 1981, revised and accepted February, 1982.

Abstract

La présente étude porte principalement sur des données concernant les diverses sources et activités du travail agricole dans une petite paroisse du Québec. On y démontre l'importance du travail non-rémunéré de la famille au niveau de la production agricole, l'étendue de l'utilisation de travailleurs marginaux comme source de travail rémunéré, ainsi que l'importante contribution des membres du foyer a la reproduction de cette unite par leur travail à l'exterieur de la ferme. On considere le foyer familial comme etant une unité d'analyse appropriée pour l'étude de la production agricole, qu'il ne peut être étudié que comme un type d'entreprise d'affaires, et que sa reproduction se trouve soutenue par un mode de travail agricole spécifique, du moins dans le type de région étudiée.

This paper presents data regarding the sources and activities of farm labour in a small Quebec parish. The data demonstrate the important role of non-paid family labour in agricultural production, the extent to which marginal workers are used as paid labour, and the important contribution which non-farm work by household members makes to the reproduction of that unit. It is argued that the household is an appropriate unit of analysis for investigating agricultural production, that such units cannot be treated simply as a type of business enterprise, and that the reproduction of this unit is well supported by a work-farm pattern, at least in the type of region under study.

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