Commodification and the Social Commons: Smallholder Autonomy and Rural–Urban Kinship Communalism in Turkey

In this article published in Agrarian South the authors focus on two ways in which smallholders—rural families, the peasantry—are responding to the contemporary neoliberal environment in Turkey by resisting commodification. This comprises the maintenance of non-commodity circuits, but also through engagement in labour relations. The latter emerges through manifold, variegated, and informal linkages structured around kin and community and enabled by mobility and migration. Thus, superseding the rural–urban division of space and going beyond capitalistic relations, these comprise a contemporary form of ‘solidarity-network-based social commons’. Presented in this example from Turkey, therefore, are different ways in which smallholder farming operates as a locus of resilience for extended family and village/locality interconnectivity that offers a distance from markets, even as it utilizes them with novel forms of communally oriented autonomies in a more generalized re-spatialization that extends to the urban and goes beyond capital.