Date of Award

December 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Thomas Perreault


agromentality, campesinado, Colombia, environmentality, Feminist Political Ecology, rural youth

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


The fate of small-scale agrarian production, livelihoods, economies and cultures and their transformations under capitalism is an ongoing and global question. Instead of focusing on agriculture, this dissertation focuses on the young adult agriculturalists (18-35 years old) as the subject under transformation. Based in the frameworks of agrarian studies, political ecology and feminist theory, and situated in the Andean region and river basin of Sumapaz, Colombia, this dissertation is a feminist political ecology analysis of agrarian livelihoods, exploring how campesina/o identity is constructed and how the decisions of continuing or not with small-scale agrarian or campesina/o livelihoods are taken and mediated by the lived experiences of gender and generation. It also examines how the current importance and influence of environmental issues and rural development projects and policies play roles in young campesina/o subjectivities. Using qualitative methods based on semi-structured interviews, farm tours, and policy and social media analysis, this work finds gendered situations to be attentive to, such as the mandatory military service and war labor that young campesinos can rarely escape and which is portrayed as a constraint by those young campesinos who wish to pursue an agrarian livelihood. It also finds a drifting difference between the neoliberal frameworks of some policies for rural women and the emerging Popular and Campesino Feminism which draws from Marxist-feminist perspectives. This research also finds that rural entrepreneurial projects and networks imply performing a neoliberal subjectivity which some youth are comfortable with as it seems to offer social mobility. Lastly, looking into the influence of environmental issues in campesina/o subjectivities this work questions the use of native rituality by institutions and organizations and its impact on emotions and finds new gendered and generational socio-environmental conflicts, offering new perspectives about the socioenvironmental state.


Open Access