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Veronica De Leon Gregorio


Veronica L. Gregorio received her PhD in Sociology from the National University of Singapore. Her thematic research interests are rural transformation, gender and sexuality, and youth and family relations. Her regional focus is Southeast Asia and she has done fieldwork research particularly in Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore. She uses qualitative approaches in her research including ethnography, key interviews, and visual methods. Her works have been published in Current Sociology, Review of Women’s Studies, and Asia Pacific Social Sciences Review.

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A TALE OF TWO FAMILIES: Entanglements in Farming Households

The United Nations declared 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF). It recognizes the role of farming families in maintaining the well-being of societies through food production and natural resources conservation (Food and Agriculture Organization, 2014). In this paper, I discuss the histories of two families from farming villages, their generational views, and the triad relations that can be used as guide in identifying how family farms will be maintained and transformed in the future.

I apply the notion of family coalitions (Bonacich et al., 1985), developed from theory of coalitions (Caplow, 1956, 1959; Gamson, 1961) and works on family as three-person group (Strodtbeck, 1954), to show the entanglements in making long term decisions for the family farm. Using key interviews and ethnographic research with the Dimaano family from Southern Philippines and Sadaqat family from Peninsular Malaysia, I present two family histories. Through these examples, I dissect the household relations, local politics, and social customs from three different time periods. In my analysis, I modify the concept of family coalitions to Southeast Asia as “extended family coalitions” and propose a new analytical concept “invisible veto” that encompasses the changing pattern of authority in the family through the grandparents.


Affiliation: National University of Singapore