Closed Corporate Peasant Community (CCPC)

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Closed Corporate Peasant Community (CCPC)

Closed Corporate Peasant Community (CCPC) is an organizational framework for analysis of peasant communities developed by anthropologist Eric Wolf in the 1950s. Wolf applied his typology of peasant organization to communities in Central Java and Mesoamerica, specifically Mexico and Guatemala. The CCPC, according to Wolf, is a "relatively autonomous economic, social, linguistic, and politico-religious system." The community is corporate because it maintains a body of rights and membership, and closed because it limits its benefits to members and discourages participation with the larger society. Wolf believes the development of the closed corporate peasant community was a result of the serious social and cultural crises of indigenous communities brought on by the Spanish Conquest of Latin America. Peasant communities closed into themselves in response to the economic and social changes wrought by colonization. Thus the CCPC can be understood as a protective device of peasant and indigenous communities to ensure their self-preservation in light of such radical change. Social science scholarship varies in the degree of adherence to the theory that outside factors are the main determinants of local community behavior. Instead, many scholars argue that the interpretations of Wolf's theory lose sight of other specificities in local communities that may affect the development (or dissolution) of a CCPC, such as personal agency, ecological changes, historical autonomy, religious movements, and political organizing.

See alsoIndigenous Peoples; Mesoamerica.


Wolf, Eric. "The Closed Corporate Peasant Communities in Mesoamerica and Central Java." Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 13, no. 1 (1957): 1-18.

Wolf, Eric. "The Vicissitudes of the Closed Corporate Peasant Community." American Ethnologist 13 (May 1986): 325-329.

                                  Heather K. Thiessen