[Artículo] Changes and continuities in agricultural work: the case of small and medium-sized vineyards in Mendoza, Argentina / María Brignardello
Brignardello María (2018), “Changes and continuities in agricultural work: the case of small and medium-sized vineyards in Mendoza, Argentina“, Cahiers Agricultures 27 (3), DOI: https://doi.org/10.1051/cagri/2018025, Disponible en: https://www.cahiersagricultures.fr/articles/cagri/abs/2018/03/cagri170134/cagri170134.html
To examine today’s agricultural production processes requires redefining work and the social agents involved in it. As such, this article belongs to the scholarly literature that seeks to understand how the emphasis on quality in the agricultural industry reshapes agricultural work at the local level. In particular, it aims to explore the implications of these structural changes for small and medium-sized vineyards. Since the late 1980s, the wine grape industry in the Argentine province of Mendoza has experienced structural changes. This process has been referred to as a “quality turn”. As a result, small and medium-sized vineyards must alter their practices. In this context, our questions include the following: what does this mean for labor in these vineyards? Who performs the newly required tasks, as well as the traditional ones? We address these questions through a qualitative analysis of interviews with the winegrape growers of small and medium-sized vineyards located in the High Mendoza River Area (Argentina). Using this methodology, we strive to understand the current forms of labor organization in an agricultural sector influenced by both global changes and local history. In conclusion, we argue that the labor practices and power structure between the winegrape grower, his family, and non-family workers are not uniform across all vineyards. Instead, we find great diversity in the organization and operation of small and medium-sized vineyards.