Multiple Rationality:

Peasant's Motivation of Self-Protection During Food System Transformation in China
13 October 2017

This paper is focus on One Family Two Systems (OFTS) behavior of peasant households, featuring in differential production, and their rational logic behind, in the background of food system transformation.

The current assumption of economic man is not enough to explain the motive of OFTS. Based on the multiple case studies of 134 households in six provinces and autonomous region, the households’ motive of OFTS at least contain survival rationality, social rationality and economic rationality. With the analysis on the structural relation between the radiation area of an individual and the motive from the three rationalities, and the transition and transformation among those three rationalities, we found out two different but related mechanisms, “Distance Decay” and “Reasoned Scrutiny”, can facilitate those three rationalities into Multiple Rationality. Thus, it is Multiple Rationality, instead of Single Rationality, that dominates the OFTS behaviors of peasant households. This paper aims at proposing a production behavior interpretive framework of small-scale agriculture and peasant households with Multiple Rationality as the start, and provides an epistemological basis to understand the production practice of peasant households.