The Pace of the Work and the Logic of the Harvest: Women, Labour and the Olive Harvest in a Greek Island Community

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Theodossopoulos, Dimitrios (1999)

This article considers the meaning of work for women (and some men) in the olive harvest in a Greek island community. Household economic priorities and a spirit of cooperation permeate the harvesting practice in which women (and men) perform hard manual labour. Women protagonists of the olive harvest explain their commitment to this work by reference to their desire to participate in collective household undertakings. Corporate, family-oriented understandings of self-interest are well attested in the anthropological literature on Greece. I present the harvesting practice, its logic and the particular division of labour in it, as an efficient investment in household relationships.
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