As someone whose dissertation (actually, 3 copies of it!) merely sits on my office shelf, I am always pleased to hear when another academic has their own dissertation published. So, kudos to the late S. Ann Dunham on the publication of Surviving against the Odds: Village Industry in Indonesia (Duke University Press).
Dr. Dunham was an economic anthropologist and rural development consultant. According to her abstract, the dissertation:
…is a socio-economic study of peasant metalworking industries in Indonesia. The emphasis is on traditional blacksmithing, but data is also provided on copper, brass, bronze, silver and gold industries.
Since the late nineteenth century, economists and administrators have been predicting the demise of village industries in Indonesia. Despite such predictions, the number of persons employed in these industries has steadily increased, the rate of increase accelerating during the last two decades. Social scientists working in Indonesia have tended to view this increase negatively, as a sign of crisis in the agricultural sector. However, their models of rural change have been based almost entirely on studies of lowland wet-rice villages. This dissertation contends that these models need revising because they start with the false assumption that agriculture always generates more income per labor hour than non-agricultural occupations. It describes a number of villages where, for a variety of historical, ecological and demographic reasons, metalworking tends to be more profitable than agriculture. Villagers accordingly give metalworking priority in their strategies of resource and labor allocation, and consider agriculture to be a secondary occupation…. [Source, ProQuest Document ID#:744692521]
By the way, Stanley Ann Dunham, PhD is probably better known as the late mother of President Barack H. Obama.