—peasantlike, adj./pez"euhnt/, n.1. a member of a class of persons, as in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, who are small farmers or farm laborers of low social rank.2. a coarse, unsophisticated, boorish, uneducated person of little financial means.adj.3. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of peasants or their traditions, way of life, crafts, etc.4. of or designating a style of clothing modeled on the folk costumes of Western cultures, esp. women's full-sleeved, round-necked blouses and long, full skirts.[1375-1425; late ME paissaunt < AF paisant, OF païsant, earlier païsenc, equiv. to païs country ( < LL pagensis, equiv. to L pag(us) country district + -ensis -ENSIS) + -enc < Gmc (see -ING3)]
* * *Any member of a class that tills the soil as small landowners or agricultural labourers.The peasant economy generally has a simple technology and a division of labour by age and sex. The basic unit of production is the family or household. Peasant families traditionally consume what they produce, though a portion of their output may be sold in the market or paid to a landlord. Productivity per worker and yields per unit of land are usually low. Peasants as a class tend to disappear as a society industrializes, though peasantlike social structures may persist under new economic regimens. See also ejido; feudalism; hacienda; serfdom.
* * *any member of a class of persons who till the soil as small landowners or as agricultural labourers. The term peasant originally referred to small-scale agriculturalists in Europe in historic times, but many other societies, both past and present, have had a peasant class.The peasant economy generally has a relatively simple technology and a division of labour by age and sex. The basic unit of production is the family or household. One distinguishing characteristic of peasant agriculture is self-sufficiency. Peasant families consume a substantial part of what they produce, and while some of their output may be sold in the market, their total production is generally not much larger than what is needed for the maintenance of the family. Both productivity per worker and yields per unit of land are low.Peasants as a class have tended to disappear as a society industrializes. This is due to the mechanization of farming, the resulting consolidation of farming plots into larger units, and the accompanying emigration of rural dwellers to the cities and other sites of industrial employment. The small-scale agriculture associated with peasant labour is simply too inefficient to be economically viable in developed countries.
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