This thesis is about processes of modernization and social change. I focus on some of the motivations and implications of current land management practices among the inhabitants of a coastal village in Andalucia, Spain. These small time land-owners seek economic development through the influx of foreigners from Nortern Europe. A characteristic of small-time farmers is their willingness to adopt a variety of strategies in order to provide for the household. The current social and economic situation favours certain manoeuvres. I explore how local values affect and in turn are affected by the choices of action the inhabitants make. There are both intended and unintended consequences of these choices, and I make a connection between micro level acts of individuals and the patterns of society on the macro level.
The second theme of this thesis is that there are ‘boundaries’ between groups of people, and that these are often accentuated when interaction becomes regular, following Barth’s theory (1969). The presence of “the Other” raises awareness of “the Self”. It becomes important to the local people to maintain unchanged certain traditions and local identity. Despite plenty of interaction between the local people and the foreigners in the public sphere, personal bonds are rare. Stereotypes are maintained and continuously re-affirmed. I show how the moral that guides interaction among ‘insiders’ to the village community is quite different to that which is applied to the relationship between the local inhabitants and the foreign residents. Tieing together the economic and the social aspects, I show that an ethnic dichotomization is necessary in order to morally justify making a profit on the foreigners, thereby continuing the positive economic development of the area.