Experiences and Drivers of Food Insecurity in Guatemala's Dry Corridor: Insights From the Integration of Ethnographic and Household Survey Data
Beveridge, Louise ; Whitfield, Stephen ; Fraval, Simon ; Wijk, Mark van; Etten, Jacob van; Mercado, Leida ; Hammond, James ; Davila Cortez, Luz ; Gabriel Suchini, Jose ; Challinor, Andrew - \ 2019
Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 3 (2019). - ISSN 2571-581X
agriculture - Central America - climate - ethnography - food security - household survey - participatory - underlying drivers
Eradicating hunger is a complex and multifaceted challenge, requiring evidence bases that can inform wide scale action, but that are also participatory and grounded to have local relevance and effectiveness. The Rural Household Multi-Indicator Surveys (RHoMIS) provides a broad assessment of household capabilities and food security outcomes, while ethnographic approaches evidence how individuals' perceptions, experiences and local socio-political context shape food security experiences and intervention outcomes. However, integrating these research approaches presents methodological and ontological challenges. We combine a quantitative approach with life history interviews to understand the drivers, experiences and outcomes of food insecurity in Guatemala's dry corridor region. We also reflect on the effectiveness and challenges of integrating the two methods for purposes of selective sampling, triangulating evidence, and producing a cohesive analyses of food insecurity in the region. Variables with a statistically significant association with severe food insecurity in the region are: coffee cultivation (when market participation is low), dependence on agricultural labor income, and poverty level. Drivers of food insecurity experiences most commonly identified by participants are: consecutive drought; ill health and displacement of income for medicine; social marginalization; high start-up costs in production; absence or separation of a household head; and a lack of income and education opportunity. Ethnographic approaches identify a broader range of drivers contributing to food insecurity experiences, and add explanatory power to a statistical model of severe food insecurity. This integrated analysis provides a holistic picture of food insecurity in Guatemala's dry corridor region.
Frontline health worker motivation in the provision of maternal and neonatal health care in Ghana
Aberese-Ako, Matilda - \ 2016
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Han van Dijk; I.A. Agyepong, co-promotor(en): G.J.E. Gerrits. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462578937 - 160
health care workers - motivation - organizations - management - ghana - attitudes to work - patient care - health policy - ethnography - reproductive health - child health - gezondheidswerkers - motivatie - organisaties - bedrijfsvoering - ghana - houding t.o.v. werk - patiëntenzorg - gezondheidsbeleid - etnografie - reproductieve gezondheid - gezondheid van kinderen
The health of mothers and neonates is a concern for many countries, because they form the future of every society. In Ghana efforts have been made to address quality health care in order to accelerate progress in maternal and child health and reduce maternal and neonatal mortality through the implementation of a number of polices including a fee exemption for pregnant women for antenatal, delivery and postnatal care and a national health insurance scheme among others. However these interventions have not led to an improvement in the quality of health care and concerns have been raised whether health workers are sufficiently motivated to provide health care that is responsive to the needs of mothers and children. This study set out to study motivation as an individual quality of the worker, however it became obvious in the analytical phase that motivation is an outcome of interactions between the worker and the work environment. So the research resorted to analyse and understand the various ways in which interpersonal interactions and organisational processes contribute to the motivation of health workers and quality of care in a Ghanaian hospital setting. The research tried to answer the following questions: what are the interpersonal processes that influence health worker motivation; what are the organisational and managerial processes that influence health worker motivation; how does the setup of the Ghana health sector and its associated policies influence health worker motivation and how does health worker motivation influence health worker response to client health needs? The research focused on the quality of interpersonal interaction, such as attitudes, motivation, trust and conflict, on a number of organizational characteristics such as power relations, power being defined as the ability to affect organizational outcomes, uncertainty in decision-making and the provision of resources to deliver quality health care and on wider policy-making that affects the ability of health care institutions to take care of the staff (remuneration, human resource management) and the decision-making space of health facility managers.
In order to investigate health worker motivation in a real life setting ethnographic research was conducted for twenty months in two hospitals; a specialist referral hospital and a district hospital that offer basic maternal and child health services in the greater Accra region in Ghana. Between 2011 and 2013, data was collected in mostly the maternity and new-born units of both hospitals. The researcher interacted with hospital staff including nurses, doctors, anaesthetists, orderlies, laboratory technicians, accounts officers and managers and collected data on daily activities and interactions in the hospital environment. The hospitals, which had different characteristics, were not selected for comparative purposes, but to enable a better understanding of how the organizational context influences worker motivation. Conversations were useful in helping the researcher to understand social phenomena. Interviews were conducted to explore social phenomena in depth. Participant observation was also a very important tool in helping the researcher to observe at first- hand how health care is provided in a natural hospital environment. An important source of information consisted of the reactions of hospital staff on the research and the researcher and the researcher’s emotional reactions to this, as it helped her to experience motivation, which was very useful in understanding and analysing motivational processes in the hospital environment.
Ethical clearance was obtained from the Ghana Health Service Ethics Review board (approval number GHS-ERC:06/01/12) and the proposal was reviewed by the Wageningen School of Social Sciences board. Written informed consent was obtained from all interview participants. Verbal consent was obtained for conversations and pseudonyms are used for the names of the study hospitals and frontline workers throughout the thesis.
Interpersonal processes including limited interaction and communication between collaborating frontline workers and perceived disrespect from colleagues and managers contributed to poor relations between frontline workers. A high number of frontline workers engaged in locum (private practice) in private hospitals. Such workers came to work late, or left early and some even skipped their official work to engage in locum practice. Workers also believed that some of their colleagues sneaked in their clients from their locum site to the hospital and charged them illegal fees, which they did not share with colleagues. Such practices and perceptions contributed to distrust relations among workers and to a poor organisational climate, which resulted in demotivation of staff, poor collaboration in the provision of health care, and eventually to conflicts. Conflicts contributed to delays in the provision of care and those who were willing to work felt disempowered, as they were unable to marshal their resources with collaborating professionals to respond to clients’ needs. They also contributed to angry and bitter workers and negative perceptions of other professional groups. Sometimes cases were postponed and on some occasions clients had to be referred to other facilities.
Organisational and managerial processes equally influenced health worker motivation in various ways. Health workers perceived distributive, procedural and interactional injustice in organisational and managerial processes as they perceived that managers were not responding to their personal and organisational needs, which compromised their ability to offer quality health care. Health workers perceived distributive injustice in the fact that they worked hard and deserved to be given incentives to offset the stoppage of bonuses that the government initially paid to workers when the fee exemption for maternal health was introduced. Workers felt their managers were not meeting the hospitals’ needs for essential medical supplies, equipment and were incapable of putting up appropriate infrastructure to accommodate workers and an overwhelming number of clients. They perceived interactional injustice because of the fact that managers did not communicate with them on decisions that affected them and that managers were out of touch with the needs of workers. They complained that they were not respected by their superiors, who shouted at them when they made mistakes, and suggested that managers and superiors did not treat them with dignity in matters of discipline. Workers further argued that managers did not care whether they had adequate workforce to support them to provide quality health care. Some felt overworked and some felt burn out.
However, managers felt disempowered at their level as well. The setup of the Ghana health sector and its associated policies remains largely centralised, so managers who are expected to meet the needs of frontline health workers and their hospitals, do not have the power to do so. They could not beef up staff numbers, since recruitment and allocation of staff to health facilities is centralised. In addition, managers received little financial support to run their hospitals. Their main source of funding was from reimbursement of funds from the National Health Insurance Authority, but reimbursement usually delayed for up to six months and they did not receive subvention from the Ghana Health Service or the Ministry of Health (MOH) to run their hospitals, so they were always cash strapped. Also the MOH, which is the body responsible for putting up infrastructure, could not meet the infrastructure needs of the hospitals. Additionally managers had to deal with conflicting policies including procurement policies that made decisions on purchasing essential supplies and drugs bureaucratic and slowed managers’ response to frontline worker and organisational needs. As a result, managers faced uncertainty in securing human and physical resources. To cope with uncertainties managers had to distribute their funds thinly among competing priorities of worker and organisational needs. At times managers had to sacrifice certain needs of workers and their hospitals in order to meet others. Consequently, workers lost trust in managers, which demotivated them in the provision of health care. Also the fee exemption policy made health care accessible to the general populace, but it did not lead to a commensurate increase in salaries, infrastructure development and increase in staff numbers. For that matter managers and frontline workers were overwhelmed with client numbers and had to turn some away. Both hospital managers and frontline workers perceived that policy makers and their superiors were not interested in how they provided care to clients or even their own safety, which demotivated them.
It is important to note that some workers were observed to be intrinsically motivated and responded to the health needs of clients, despite the fact that they faced similar challenges as those who were demotivated. Such workers explained that their sources of motivation included a belief in a supreme being, the desire to maintain work standards and others perceived that clients had a right to quality health care. Also some indicated that they derived inner satisfaction when they were able to provide quality care to clients.
Demotivation contributed to absenteeism, workers reporting to work late and some closing early as strategies to avoid collaborating with colleagues that they did not feel comfortable working with, which further worsened the conflict situation. Some workers also picked and chose to work with particular professionals. Workers exercised power negatively in two ways: 1. Some workers exhibited negative attitudes towards their colleagues, which contributed to poor interaction and poor communication. It further created gaps in clinical decision making. 2. Workers transferred their frustrations and disappointments to clients by shouting at clients and insulting them, which compromised with the quality of care that clients received. Another important consequence of demotivation was that workers got angry, some felt frustrated, and some reported experiencing high blood pressure. Consequently it affected the wellbeing of health workers who were supposed to cater for clients. Also demotivation became so deeply seated in some workers that they appeared to be beyond redemption. Some even hated the hospital environment that they worked in and others chose to leave the hospital.
For health workers to be able to respond to the health needs of clients who visit the hospital there is the need that their personal needs including demand for better terms and conditions of service, incentives and training needs are catered for. Also their organisational needs including demand for essential supplies, equipment, appropriate infrastructure among others need to be addressed. Additionally managers have to be transparent, communicate and interact more frequently with frontline workers to enable them appreciate managers’ efforts in meeting workers’ personal and organisational needs. Also for managers to be able to meet the needs of frontline workers and their organisations managers must be given the power to make decisions on human and other resources. Also managers should be supported with the necessary funds, so that they can meet the multiple needs of their workers and hospitals.
Health worker motivation in the hospital context is determined by an interaction of interpersonal and organisational processes that are shaped by external and internal influencers, who exercise power in their bid to influence organisational outcomes. Thus this study contributes to theory by propounding that motivation is not an individual quality of the worker, but it is an outcome of interactions between the worker and the work environment. Also power and trust relations within and outside the hospital influence worker motivation and for that matter theories on organisational power and trust relations are central to understanding and analysing worker motivation.
Seeds, food networks and politics: different ontologies in relation to food sovereignty in Ecuador
Martinez Flores, L.A. - \ 2015
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Guido Ruivenkamp; Han Wiskerke, co-promotor(en): Joost Jongerden. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462574908 - 194
voedselsoevereiniteit - landbouw bedrijven in het klein - gemeenschappen - voedsel - netwerken - ontologieën - zaden - politiek - lupinus - voedselketens - landbouwbeleid - overheidsbeleid - etnografie - andes - ecuador - food sovereignty - peasant farming - communities - food - networks - ontologies - seeds - politics - lupinus - food chains - agricultural policy - government policy - ethnography - andes - ecuador
In this thesis I explore the ontological proposal of food sovereignty and I discuss the possibilities offered by studies like this one to the attempts of the social sciences to explain – in a symmetrical fashion - that develop between humans and other entities at the time of production, processing and consumption of food. In this effort I combine ethnography and history.
Networks and knowledge at the interface: governing the coast of East Kalimantan, Indonesia
Kusumawati, R. - \ 2014
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Leontine Visser, co-promotor(en): Simon Bush; P.M. Laksono. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789461739292 - 185
ontwikkeling - sociologie - plattelandsontwikkeling - kustgebieden - visserij - middelen van bestaan - natuurlijke hulpbronnen - governance - milieubeleid - etnografie - decentralisatie - overheidsbeleid - indonesië - zuidoost-azië - development - sociology - rural development - coastal areas - fisheries - livelihoods - natural resources - governance - environmental policy - ethnography - decentralization - government policy - indonesia - south east asia
Entangled realities and the underlife of a total institution : an ethnography of correctional centres for juvenile and young offenders in Accra, Ghana
Ayete-Nyampong, L.A. - \ 2013
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Leontine Visser, co-promotor(en): Roy Gigengack. - S.L. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461735126 - 209
gevangenissen - gedetineerden - etnografie - sociale processen - jongvolwassenen - jeugd - ghana - afrika - correctional institutions - prisoners - ethnography - social processes - young adults - youth - ghana - africa
Is the Non-unitary Subject a Plausible and Productive Way to Understand Development Bureaucrats?
Tamas, P.A. ; Sato, C. - \ 2012
Third World Quarterly 33 (2012)8. - ISSN 0143-6597 - p. 1511 - 1525.
ethnography - discourse
Development bureaucrats are the human instruments of the policies that mobilise funds, create organisations and underwrite interventions. For their home audiences development organisations need to present bureaucrats who are reliable instruments. In the field these same organisations need staff who can do what makes sense. This arrangement works until what makes sense in head office does not work in the field. At that point staff have to ‘marry off’ these two worlds. How these staff are understood shapes both how they can be approached by locals and how they should be supported by their organisations. This paper draws on research done in a donor organisation headquarters, in a military unit tasked with conducting development activities and at a field-level donor mission in a failed state. It explores the relevance, methods to research, the plausibility and the productivity of understanding the development bureaucrats who do this ‘marrying off’ as non-unitary subjects.
'Acompañarnos contentos con la familia' : unidad, diferencia y conflicto entre los Nükak (Amazonia colombiana)
Franky Calvo, C.E. - \ 2011
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Georg Frerks, co-promotor(en): Pieter de Vries; Gerard Verschoor. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085859475 - 283
etnografie - jagers en verzamelaars - inheemse volkeren - amazonia - colombia - latijns-amerika - conflict - uitsterven - sociale structuur - ethnography - hunters and gatherers - indigenous people - amazonia - colombia - latin america - conflict - extinction - social structure
The Nükak are a people of hunters and gatherers in the Colombian Amazon who call themselves Nükak baka', which can be translated as ‘the true people’. More than a name, this denomination designates a shared moral and political project that enables this people to reproduce themselves materially and socially, to guide their individual conduct, to perpetuate and fertilize the cosmos and to steer their relationships with the other peoples of the universe. In this sense this project constitutes a biopolitics, or to put it differently, it is a politics oriented toward the creation and defense of life. This thesis, therefore, is an ethnographic research about what it means for the Nükak to live as a ‘true people’. It shows that such a common project constitutes above all a set of practices that is continuously being actualized, both in terms of individual conduct as well as in terms of collective interactions and activities. These become materialized in aspects such as the preservation of the environment and the construction, and care, of the body. For that reason living as ‘true people’ is neither a given condition nor a status that once attained can be maintained until death. Being an incomplete process, for the Nükak the constitution of ‘true people’ is continuously under threat. This means that their reproduction and the continuity of the universe is always at risk. These threats originate in actions, emotions and amoral attitudes of the Nükak themselves, or of other beings in the cosmos, which express themselves in situations such as illness or inter-personal conflicts. As a result the everyday life of this group unfolds within a continuous tension between the actualization of the project of constituting ‘true people’ and the threat of biological and social extinction, even the destruction of the cosmos. From a different perspective, this thesis is concerned with practices of ‘living together’, of accompanying each other, of sharing, of establishing kin relations in order to strengthen the common, and of finding out what they have in common. It is also about how to deal with possible sources of division. Finally, the thesis sets out to show how this group actualizes a sense of unity and diversity that enables them to create Nükak baka, i.e. ‘true people’, thus articulating differences without denying them. In order to develop these topics, the thesis explores the major features of the project of creating, and living as, ‘true people’, as well as a number of strategies and mechanisms (or social dispositifs) that the Nükak have generated for its actualization. It also examines the ontological and mythical bearings, going back to the times of the creation of the cosmos, which enables us to understand, from the perspective of the Nükak, with what peoples and beings they are interacting. In this sense the thesis contributes to the actualization of basic ethnographic information and elaborates on Nükak’s theories and practices concerning social life, the body, notions of the person, relations between kin, relations with other peoples and beings in the cosmos, shamanism, and narratives about the experiences of the ancestors who form part of their historical memory. This thesis also contributes to the documentation of the impact of the armed conflict in Colombia on the Nükak, clarifying the heterogeneity and complexity of the circumstances that have led to the forced displacement of different groups of Nükak, as well as the institutional and media attention that these groups have received.
Fresh fruit and vegetables: a world of multiple interactions : the case of the Buenos Aires Central Wholesale Market (BACWM)
Viteri, M.L. - \ 2010
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Han Wiskerke, co-promotor(en): Alberto Arce. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789085858140
sociologie - etnografie - markten - groothandelmarketing - sociale interactie - verse producten - groenten - fruit - argentinië - steden - sociology - ethnography - markets - wholesale marketing - social interaction - fresh products - vegetables - fruit - argentina - towns
This research explores ethnographically the everyday social interactions between the ‘users’ of a particular marketplace, the Buenos Aires Central Wholesale Market (BACWM). The ‘users’ of this marketplace are the social actors who work there everyday, and who bring and buy fresh produce. These ´users´ are the ´makers´ of the BACWM since, through their everyday practices, interactions and interpretations and knowledge, they socially construct this hub of distribution.
Baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) foods from Benin: composition, processing and quality
Chadare, F.J. - \ 2010
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Tiny van Boekel; J.D. Hounhouigan, co-promotor(en): Anita Linnemann; Rob Nout. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085857051 - 182
adansonia digitata - etnisch voedsel - voedingswaarde - etnografie - voedselverwerking - fermentatie - gefermenteerde voedingsmiddelen - benin - adansonia digitata - ethnic foods - nutritive value - ethnography - food processing - fermentation - fermented foods - benin
¿Y después qué? ... : action-research and ethnography on governance, actors and development in Southern Mexico
Guevara, F. - \ 2007
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Paul Richards, co-promotor(en): Conny Almekinders. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085047711 - 223
etnografie - plattelandsontwikkeling - gemeenschapsontwikkeling - landbouwsector - overheidsbeleid - natuurlijke hulpbronnen - mexico - actieonderzoek - governance - ethnography - rural development - community development - agricultural sector - government policy - natural resources - mexico - action research - governance
The research justification and objectives. Mexico is one of the most natural resource-rich places in the world. However, it is also a country that has shown many contrasts in the use of its resources, human relations and the overall distribution of its richness. The justification of this research lies in the question why the development of small villages in Mexico has stagnated, despite their richness in natural resources, cultural and political organisation, and the efforts made by (non)governmental agents. Specifically, the role of interveners like researchers and development practitioners in the local processes was an issue for study. In fact, some of these interveners are seen to be doing more or less the same thing in the same villages for decades. They experiment with technology options or other development initiatives without having an effective relation with the villagers themselves and without a deep inquiry of the local problems – putting aside the relevance of understanding the reality of the villages, their actors and the overall way of local organisation. The general objective of the research was to understand this reality, embedded in a national legal and political context. The specific objectives were: 1. To study the local context of two small villages of Southern Mexico in terms of their governance, exercise of power and strategies used to address local development. 2. To illuminate local and informal politics in two Mexican villages through the development of participatory power maps. 3. To identify the bottlenecks in terms of the use of natural resources (NR) and how different actors cope. 4. To identify, understand and assess empowerment at individual and collective levels and seek ways of framing and supporting local development visions. The approach. This PhD thesis explored an innovative methodology to investigate historical, socio-political, environmental and cultural realities of two villages: it combined action-oriented and socio-anthropological research approaches. The action-oriented approach made the villagers crucial actors in the re-construction, collection and analysis of information. They participated in different workshops and engaged in collective reflection exercises during the period of 2003-2005. This was facilitated by a research team that was previously trained on facilitation skills and participatory methods and tools. Through these exercises the villagers publicly reflected on their village life providing the researchers with an inside perspective. This made the villagers look at themselves as actors in a regional and institutional context. Finally, as a result of the workshop reflections, in both villages the villagers took the initiative for collective projects. By using the conventional socio-anthropological approach the researchers realised that the action-oriented approach had only revealed part of the village reality and that some of the evidences publicly gathered, forcedly needed a cross-checking. In this sense, the socio-anthropological work helped to illuminate and understand the reality that mainly existed of a front stage and a back stage in every village. Hidden acts and behaviours of inhabitants that were influencing the villages’ lives could thereafter be placed in another perspective. The two approaches produced valuable information for a detailed analysis on the functioning and structuring of the two isolated villages in Oaxaca and Chiapas states. The description of a governance system of customary laws, the so-called ‘usos y costumbres’, was used as an entry point of the analysis. This system is considered the ruling and running mechanism through which the villagers construct and reconstruct their social order. The functioning of the system was unravelled by analysing its history and current organisation (mainly the local actors) of the studied villages. Besides, the history of the villages was investigated through a participatory re-construction of important dates. This delivered the most recognised events at each village. This particular information was a first input for the analysis on the current functioning of the governance system and the local actors. In this study, both organisations and individuals with responsibilities in the functioning of the village’s life, were defined as local actors. In this way, actions, relations and conflicts over the use of local natural resources were made explicit. This actually pictured the local governance system and how it functions in the context of the national governance framework. The results from the research are presented in five empirical chapters. They give details on how the villages function: their organisation strategies, their governance and their development ideas; from both collective and individual points of view. The chapters are containing case studies that show the front and the back stages of the villages and their implications in local development. The findings. Mexican villages are very complex and permanently (re-)shaped through local logics, daily practices and concerns. This makes them often appear as non-sense entities to certain external actors. The usos y costumbres represents a system of practical norms and values, validated and reproduced over time for self-government in small villages. Villagers sometimes even consider the system more important than state law for ensuring local order. Indeed, the system plays a crucial role in the settlement of local power dynamics, the constitution of local actors, the decision making over the use of natural resources and the capacity building, particularly in leadership formation. In this sense, collectivism and communalism are still daily practiced in the villages in order to achieve short-term development goals or addressing personal aspirations. However, one of the reasons the villages remain relegated is because of the current complex context in which they are immersed. For instance, they are faced with state laws and interventions that often conflict with their subsistence logic. Therefore, there is not strange to see how interventions are only utilised by the local actors to address the village’s development according to their own local views or to meet their basic needs or personal aspirations. Interveners, on their part, try to influence local dynamics and processes in the search of delivering their messages and mandates. Over time this has resulted in interesting social force fields which are manifested in complex relations between small villages and interveners. In the case of the state law, struggles arise because certain norms and rules represent rigid, non-logic and inhuman frameworks for the locals. This has placed villages and their inhabitants in different dilemmas during the last decade, particularly for the use of their own natural resources. The fact is that interveners are still looking at the development of small villages as a series of projects and activities within their policies and initiatives rather than a long-term process that is locally conducted and permanently constructed. Actually, this challenges both national and local ruling frameworks since contrasting perceptions, conflicts of interests and local dilemmas have emerged and put natural resources at a permanent risk. The villages’ current situation - in terms of the pressure over their natural resources, the lack of a long-term local project, the absence of proper development opportunities for their context and the forces of globalisation- is strongly challenging their communalism and collectivism. This automatically influences their local processes of governance and development but also the relations among the villagers, since the basic needs like food, housing, health and education are more difficult to meet. Breaking federal and top-down laws and out-migration are therefore becoming normal escape strategies. Finally, this study indicates existing opportunities for a better relation between researched-researcher. This can be achieved by combining different research approaches. In this case, over a period of three years, the on-and-off presence of the researchers in the villages in combination with participatory and action-oriented activities and conventional socio-anthropological fieldwork built a solid trusting relation between researchers and villagers. This also resulted in certain actions that villagers undertook at the village or individual levels.
Paradise in a Brazil nut cemetery : sustainability discourses and social action in Pará, the Brazilian Amazon
Otsuki, K. - \ 2007
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Jandouwe van der Ploeg, co-promotor(en): Alberto Arce. - [S.l.] : s.n. - ISBN 9789085046837 - 255
ontwikkelingsstudies - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - ontbossing - nederzetting - natuurlijke hulpbronnen - hulpbronnenbeheer - etnografie - sociale structuur - gemeenschappen - brazilië - amazonas - sociale processen - development studies - sustainability - deforestation - settlement - natural resources - resource management - ethnography - social structure - communities - brazil - amazonas - social processes
This book is about sustainable development and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. It explores how Amazonian settlers construct their life in a settlement project and how this process accompanies the landscape change in the southeast of Pará State. The book critically examines discourses of sustainable development and natural resource management for the institutionalism and insufficient dealings with the settlers’ everyday practice of forest clearing. The study demonstrates rich social and political life of the settlers in ethnographic details and shows flexible community boundaries of settlement projects. Deforestation and sustainable development in the Amazon cannot be discussed without understanding changeable social and physical spaces from the settlers’ standpoint. This book further elaborates a critical account of development projects and international cooperation programs promoting sustainable development in the Amazon, based on the author’s own experience.
Styles of making a living and ecological change on the Fon and Adja plateaux in South Bénin, ca. 1600-1990
Wartena, D. - \ 2006
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): N.E. Long; Leontine Visser. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085045069 - 700
plattelandsontwikkeling - rurale sociologie - geschiedenis - milieu - etnografie - bodem - grondbewerking - innovatie adoptie - inheemse kennis - oliepalmen - Benin - ecologie - verandering - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - inheemse volkeren - rural development - rural sociology - history - environment - ethnography - soil - tillage - innovation adoption - indigenous knowledge - oil palms - Benin - ecology - change - livelihood strategies - indigenous people
This study is a comparative analysis of the joint development of the Fon and Adja styles of making a living as well as the ecological changes between the two adjacent plateaux in South Bénin on which they live. The period of analysis is between ca. 1600 and 1990. The South Béninese plateaux are usually described as a homogeneous category. However, popular opinion also holds that the Fon plateau is ecologically more degraded than the other plateaux, and that the Fon are socially more organised, technologically more advanced, and socio-economically more successful than the Adja. This thesis challenges the popular images about the Fon and Adja, and analyses how and why ecological processes on their plateaux differed between ca. 1600 and 1990.The two plateaux form part of a chain of plateaux in South Bénin and Togo. They have similar soils (Nitisols) with the same bimodal rainfall pattern and precipitation. The Nitisols are regarded as the best tropical soils for arable farming, but their fertility depends strongly on organic matter and clay content. This led in South Bénin, as in many other places, to high population densities on Nitisols. The Fon and Adja plateaux both had about 110 inhabitants per km 2 in 1960 and about 300 inhabitants per km 2 in 1990 respectively (the Fon plateau 20-30% less if the urban population is excluded). In 2002 the population density was 409 inhabitants per km 2 on the Adja plateau and 377 inhabitants per km 2 on the Fon plateau. Today, the Fon form the largest ethnic group, while the Adja are the second largest group in Bénin, accounting for 19.9 % and 8.6% of the total population, respectively. Ethno-linguistically they are closely related and their cultures have much in common. The two plateaux have the same distance to the coastal urban markets and since 1900, have been subject to fairly homogeneous government policies. Researchers and development interventionists alike tend to assume that any ecological, agronomic and socio-economic data from one plateau can be extrapolated to the rest. Popular belief, on the other hand, holds that the Fon and Adja differ. For example, since early colonial times the Adja are regarded as economically and technologically backward, socially disorganised because they lack higher-level family structures and chiefs, and lazy because they till their land only superficially and do not sell much to export companies. The Fon are internationally known for their pre-colonial Danhomε kingdom and their predominance in all spheres of public life in the colonial and post-colonial state. Fon houses and compound walls are often made from cement-bricks, while the Adja live primarily in clay houses, often having no compound wall at all. In addition to this, the Fon are generally believed to have a more coherent family organisation and to be technologically more advanced than the Adja. So much so, that agricultural extensionists recommend the Fon's ridge tillage, their oil palm planting densities, and their commercial palm oil production to all South Béninese farmers and to the Adja in particular, who practise flat minimum tillage, plant more oil palms per hectare, and harvest more palm wine than oil from their trees.For several decades, degradation of the plateau soils has been a serious concern of policymakers and agronomists. Many argue that the high population densities inevitably lead to soil degradation. In other words, they believe that the plateaux have an intrinsic carrying capacity and that ecological change depends in a neo-Malthusian way on demography. Popular knowledge, however, holds that the soils of the Fon plateau are much poorer than those of the Adja plateau. It is also easy to see that their semi-spontaneous vegetation differs. The Fon plateau consists mainly of tiny herbs and grasses ( Cyperus esculentus, Digitaria spp., Brachiaria deflexa, Ipomoea involuncrata etc.) and grasses of 2 meter high ( Andropogon gayanus ), which tend to catch afire in the dry season. The Adja plateau has a greater variety of herbs, trees and shrubs ( Albizia zygia,Antiaris africana, Combretum hispidum, Mallotus oppositifolius, Dialium guineense, Dracaena arborea,Dichrostachys glomerata, Securinega virosa, Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides etc.), and the principal grass is the medium-sized Imperata cylindrica . Bush fires do not occur on the Adja plateau.This leaves all those who believe in a linear relationship between population density and agro-ecological change, both the (neo) Malthusians like Homer-Dixon (1999) who regard population growth as a threat, and the followers of Boserup (1965) who consider population growth to be an opportunity for agricultural growth, with the mystery of why Fon and Adja plateau soil fertility levels and vegetations differ in spite of similar demographic conditions. They raise various assumptions in order not to abandon their cherished beliefs in population density models. Many think that the Fon plateau is more densely populated than the Adja plateau, but demographic figures reveal that this is not the case. Others hypothesise that the Adja plateau was more fertile and more forested than the Fon plateau in its 'original' state.My thesis argues that the Fon and Adja plateau ecologies were similar in the past but diverged under the impact of different human management practices. To 'test' the hypothesis that the two plateaux were ecologically dissimilar before their human occupation, I adopt two approaches, namely an oral history approach and a comparison of processes. In Chapter 4, I analyse local myths of origin of villages and local historical narratives about livelihood activities in their socio-political and technological context and compare these with palaeontological evidence from, amongst others, a lake 20 km from the eastern border of the Fon plateau. My compilation of local traditions, stripped of their likely socio-political intentions, portrays the vegetation of both plateaux as a forest-savannah mosaic when they were colonised. According to various myths on their origin, on both plateaux some villages were installed on grassland, others near isolated trees, and others in more forested areas. These local histories therefore do not require us to reject the opinion of ecologists and palaeontologists that all the South Béninese plateaux were covered, since the end of the last wet period, not later than 950 AD, with a savannah-forest mosaic of the type which is still the dominant spontaneous vegetation of the Adja plateau (and the other plateaux in the chain) today, and that only the Fon plateau is degraded.The triangulation of migratory myths from many different sources and localities also indicates that the Fon and Adja plateaux became more densely populated from the 16 th century onwards, the Adja plateau mainly by Adja from Tado who brought their own iron tools, and the Fon plateau by various Adja-related peoples (Wemenu, Za, Ayizo, Jinu, etc.) and a small Yoruba-related group (the Gedevi) that was socio-politically dominant over its Adja-related neighbours. This Yoruba-related group and visiting traders from the north-east introduced iron tools from the Yoruba and the Bariba to the Fon plateau, especially hoes which were suitable for ridging. The Adja hoes from Tado however, were only suitable for flat cultivation and for mounding. When more iron became available in the 16 th century through the arrival of European traders on the coast, the Yoruba hoe and ridge tillage rapidly spread on the Fon plateau, while the Adja plateau was increasingly colonised by flat-cultivators using Adja hoes. Therefore, the different orientation of the Fon and Adja's socio-political and tool trade networks — their different socio-technical networks, encouraged the development of different tillage styles not later than the 16 th century. The ecological impact of these tillage styles is discussed in Chapter 9 (see below). Around 1610 another Adja-related group arrived on the Fon plateau, the Agasuvi, who became accepted by the resident population as their royal family. In Chapter 5 I show that the Fon, under their leadership, formed a kingdom called Danhomε, whose strength resided in the centralisation of weapon production and of military power around a few smithies, the centralisation of religion around a number of State cults, and in the promotion of a warrior ideology. From the latter part of the17 th until the late 19 th century, the Fon raided neighbouring groups, selling many of them to transatlantic slave traders, and retaining others for their own domestic and agricultural work. Trade in other local and imported commodities also flourished in Danhomε at that time, and every adult - including the more fortunate slaves - could participate in it. Contrary to what Polanyi (1968) wrote about Danhomε to support his substantivist theory, the king did not control trade except for that relating to the court's standing army. My findings also do not support attempts in the literature to characterise Danhomε's economy with a single label. And neither does Elwert's (1977) 'slave raiding mode of production articulated to a subsistence mode of production', nor Coquery-Vidrovitch's (1971) 'tributary feudal system', nor Manning's (1982) 'commodity exchange mode of production joined by a slave labor mode of production' describe it sufficiently. What I do show is that the elites' urbanised styles of making a living, including trade, warfare, forging, religious activities as well as weaving and wearing of prestigious cloth, rose in status in the Fon kingdom, while rural life and agriculture became stigmatised. Nukanmε , literally 'secondary bush', became a Fon synonym for backwardness and was a derogatory label for the countryside, in general. Inhabitants of rural areas who neither traded nor engaged in 'urban' crafts were called nukanmεnu or 'backward people of the bush' . At the same time, for the Adja, bush and countryside were central to their wealth and safety. During the era of the slave raids, the Adja had no other defence than to hide in small villages surrounded by woody vegetation, to engage in agriculture, and to avoid long distance trade in areas scoured by slave raiders. The Adja acquired wealth and prestige by working hard in the fields in small domestic groups.Around the mid-19 th century, overseas demand gradually shifted from slaves to palm oil and their kernels, opening, in principle, the same commodity production opportunities for all Fon and Adja plateau farmers, because oil palms grew spontaneously on both plateaux. In Chapter 6, I show that Fon farmers responded by planting oil palms and trading in oil and kernels, first only on communal lineage land, and later in the 19 th century, also on individually-owned land. It became a sacrilege to 'kill' a Fon oil palm by felling it. Contrary to what the literature asserts, there was no compulsory palm oil tax for all Fon farmers. Farmers were mainly motivated by trade opportunities. Because the fallow vegetation of the Fon plateau consisted by the 19 th century primarily in the fire-prone grass Andropogon gayanus and because fire endangers but tillage benefits oil palms, Fon farmers developed various strategies to keep their palm groves free of weeds during the dry season — permanent cultivation being the preferred technique. This enhanced palm fruit yields in the short-run but depleted the soils in the long-run. Not later than 1850, the Fon plateau started importing food from the Adja, and between the mid-19 th and the mid-20 th century, some Fon settled on the north-eastern Adja plateau to produce food and palm oil, sometimes with the help of slaves. Now many central Fon plateau soils are too poor to produce staples, and only the oil palms yield fruit, which is then sold for food.The Adja also had oil palm groves, but these were usually so densely grown with palms and semi-spontaneous bush that they produced little fruit. The Adja felled these palms at the age of 20-25 years, tapped their trunk, and sold the obtained wine at the local markets. The new palm oil export opportunities did not motivate the Adja men to plant their palms less densely and to sell much more oil, though some Adja women independently gleaned windfall palm kernels and sold these on their own account. Rather, when a distilling technique was introduced around 1920, Adja men gradually increased their oil palm planting densities from 600-1000 palms per hectare in the earlier to 1000-1600 palms per hectare in the later 20 th century, distilling more and more sodabi for sale. During the first 6-8 years, annual crops are grown between young oil palms; then oil palms and bush are allowed to cover the land during ca. 10-15 years. Grasses disappear during this 'oil palm fallow' period and the soil restores its fertility to some degree. This 'wine palm' management style allows the Adja to plant much more palms per hectare than the 200 which Zeven (1967) and Hartley (1988) regard to be the maximum. These two oil palm 'experts' also think that oil palm densities drop below 200 per hectare if the human population density increases beyond 250 inhabitants per hectare. However, this population density was reached on the Adja plateau around 1986, and aerial photographs indicate that the average palm density of the plateau was already around 500 palms per hectare (land without palms included) in the same year. Some Fon in the frontier zone experiment with intermediate oil-wine palm management styles (densities and ages which hold the middle between those of the Adja and the Fon plateau) but they do not introduce these to their native Fon plateau villages, where farmers remain reluctant to 'kill' the palms which enable them to eat.In 1900, the French colonisers exiled the Fon king Agoli-Agbo and the Adja's chief of the land Kpoyizun and replaced them with several chefs de canton . Chapter 7 shows that from then onwards, the colonial and post-colonial governments applied fairly homogeneous policies on both plateaux. Most policies encouraged the production of the same agricultural commodities (i.e. cotton, coffee, tobacco, palm oil, and until the 1960s groundnuts and castor bean) by means of the same farming techniques in the whole plateau zone (ridge tillage, palm oil production from hybrid oil palms, and from the 1960s onwards fertilising cotton and ploughing). The commercial production of maize was discouraged in most years, and felling oil palms was first forbidden and then subjected to a fee. Contrary to the common assumption that Africans either cling to autarky or respond positively to commercialisation policies and programmes by producing the commodities which the government demands, the Fon and Adja developed diverse market oriented styles of making a living, but most of these diverged from those encouraged officially. Until the 1930s the Fon pleased the administrators by selling groundnuts, cotton and palm oil to export companies, by paying their taxes promptly, and by collaborating in a general sense with the colonial government. Then they dropped the cultivation of cotton on the plateau, and increasingly sold their palm oil and groundnuts through private traders to West African consumers, and abandoned plateau agriculture more and more. The Adja sold, besides castor and more recently cotton, large amounts of food to West African consumers - especially maize, gari , tomatoes, chilli peppers and sodabi - which went quite unnoticed by the official economic statistics.Chapter 8 presents the livelihood activities of members of some Fon and Adja lineages since about 1900. These family histories illuminate how individual actors motivate and evaluate their own practices. They illustrate in general a persistent Adja esteem for agriculture and pride for working hard on the land, and a Fon preference for trade, crafts, white collar work, and spiritual income-generating activities — in the Fon lineage studied in more detail the trade in magic charms and 'medicine'. They show how most Fon hardly objected to acquiring food on the market, and how the Adja's primary goal remained self-sufficiency in maize. They also describe how actors worked with or for each other within social networks. Adja school children and teenagers tended to work more on their parents' land without payment than most Fon children in the same categories; the Fon encouraged their children to develop non-agrarian skills. Members of the same kinship, village and religious networks often cooperated in crafts and trade, acquiring skills in this way; they migrated to the same destinations, or helped each other to find employment in the same company. This led in many cases to family and village specialisation in livelihood activities, illustrating how networks may encourage style formation.Chapter 9 analyses the interaction between Fon and Adja tillage and manuring styles and the ecological environment. It shows that the Fon's ridge tillage eliminates vegetation, especially trees, shrubs and grasses with rhizomes, more effectively than the Adja's superficial flat tillage. Therefore the Adja have to weed their crops more frequently, and Adja fallows produce more rapidly a large and woody biomass than is the case among most Fon. The Fon's clean weeded ridges also encourage the erosion of clay from the cultivated layer. In response to the savannisation of their plateau, Fon blacksmiths around 1940 invented a scythe which is suitable for clearing savannah grasses. This new tool spread through local markets within one decade to all Fon farmers on the plateau, illustrating how technology may travel through indigenous trade or socio-technical networks. The Adja reacted amongst others by planting, on land infested by Imperata cylindrica, tomatoes and chilli peppers on mounds for urban markets, in rotation with dense plantations of oil palms, cassava, pigeon pea, or Mucuna pruriens , in order to uproot and out-shade this grass with rhizomes. Fon and Adja women increasingly manured fields near the village with household waste and crop residues. Since 1980, Adja men and women have also purchased fairly large amounts of mineral fertiliser for their tomatoes, cotton, maize and occasionally cowpeas, for which they pay cash unless they apply it to cotton. Their fertilisation of local food crops is exceptional for Africa.Chapters 6 to 9 describe how under similar population densities, the Fon plateau degraded as expected by Homer-Dixon and other (neo)-Malthusians, and many of its inhabitants withdrew from farming there, while the Adja reacted rather as Boserup predicts, by indigenous agricultural innovation and by increased labour inputs per unit of land in order to obtain higher returns from it. Chapter 9 shows that the Adja devote between 1.5 and 5 times more labour to one hectare non-irrigated annual crops than the Fon, and that irrigated Adja tomato culture is about 8 to 12 times more labour intensive than Fon maize cultivation. The popular image of Adja laziness therefore clearly does not hold. These different labour needs are the result of their different tillage styles and crop choices.My comparative historical analysis, based on a variety of research methods including ethnographic ones, provides insight into the roles played by local actors and their socio-technical networks, and explains why developments on the Fon and Adja plateaux diverged in spite of similar external and demographic conditions. This shows that none of the systems models of Malthus, Boserup, Homer-Dixon, Zeven and Hartley is intrinsically right; this cannot be because they all neglect the role of human agency. My diachronic comparative study reveals that neither population growth as assumed by Boserup, nor integration into large-scale political, financial, educational and research institutions as assumed by Homer-Dixon, are sufficient conditions for environmental ingenuity and sustainable agro-technological innovation. The thesis shows how clusters of similar practices emerged in the historical process and how, on several occasions, these clusters overlapped with regional vertical and horizontal social relations, including kinship ties and trade networks, and that these practices had socio-cultural value and meaning for the Fon and Adja people. The concept of styles was used to designate both these clusters of meaningful practices and their description in sometimes ideal typical terms. The historical analysis shows that social actors sometimes aspired to the lifestyles of those members of society who already enjoyed the esteem of the population, as also observed by Bourdieu (1979) and Hofstee (1985). Other style elements travelled more horizontally along socio-technical networks. Kinship and neighbourhood ties were however no guarantee for style and knowledge dissemination. Fon and Adja knew of each others' styles, especially in the frontier region, and some individuals experimented with some elements of their neighbours styles, but there was no general trend of style diffusion. The combination of network and historical analysis in this study was therefore necessary to understand the emergence of styles, while the holistic comparison drew attention to crucial factors and points where processes diverged. Moreover, socio-cultural valuation of agrarian versus other types of labour appeared pivotal for explaining preferences for certain livelihood activities.
Molding maize: the shaping of a crop diversity landscape in the western highlands of Guatemala
Etten, J. van - \ 2006
Journal of Historical Geography 32 (2006)4. - ISSN 0305-7488 - p. 689 - 711.
domestication - intensification - ethnography - subsistence - population - conquest - indians - mexico
Today¿s domesticated plants not only embody past humanenature interactions, but also reflect social history. Human seed exchange, replacement and loss are important forces in shaping crop diversity. This essay explores regional history in relation to the shaping of maize diversity in the western highlands of Guatemala. This is an area of exceptional maize heterogeneity and a peripheral part of the region where maize was domesticated. Maize diversity seems to have developed through geographic isolation in networks of seed exchange that were generally very local in scope. However, recent studies on Mexican maize suggest otherwise. However, few studies have examined crop diversity or seed exchange from a historical perspective. A closer examination of regional history suggests which processes might be important for shaping the present geographical distribution of maize diversity. Seeds were occasionally transported over longer distances. As a consequence, maize diversity is geographically not characterised by sharp differences between farming communities; the main differences are to be found in regional occurrences. This challenges antimodern ideas of closed, local native ecologies. Consequently, the conservation of maize genetic resources is a challenge, but not entirely contradictory with its transforming socio-economic context.
|Kulturer & Organisationer
Hofstede, G. ; Hofstede, G.J. - \ 2006
Kopenhagen : Handelshøjskolens Forlag - ISBN 9788762902527 - 437
intercultureel onderzoek - rassen (taxonomisch) - interraciale relaties - etnische groepen - karakteristieken - psychologie - cultuur - socialisatie - etnografie - sociologie - cultuursociologie - communicatie - niet-verbale communicatie - groepen - organisaties - wereld - theorie - bedrijfsvoering - internationale vergelijkingen - bedrijfsmanagement - denken - cross cultural studies - races - race relations - ethnic groups - characteristics - psychology - culture - socialization - ethnography - sociology - cultural sociology - communication - nonverbal communication - groups - organizations - world - theory - management - international comparisons - business management - thinking
|Lokales Denken, globales Handeln : Interkulturelle Zusammenarbeit und globales Management
Hofstede, G. ; Hofstede, G.J. - \ 2006
München : Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag - ISBN 9783406533228 - 555
intercultureel onderzoek - rassen (taxonomisch) - interraciale relaties - etnische groepen - karakteristieken - psychologie - cultuur - socialisatie - etnografie - sociologie - cultuursociologie - communicatie - niet-verbale communicatie - groepen - organisaties - wereld - theorie - bedrijfsvoering - internationale vergelijkingen - bedrijfsmanagement - denken - cross cultural studies - races - race relations - ethnic groups - characteristics - psychology - culture - socialization - ethnography - sociology - cultural sociology - communication - nonverbal communication - groups - organizations - world - theory - management - international comparisons - business management - thinking
Hay que jornalear: un análisis de las estrategias adaptivas de pequeños productores en la región atlántica de Costa Rica
Alfaro Monge, R.A. - \ 2003
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): N.E. Long, co-promotor(en): Ruerd Ruben. - Wageningen : Wageningen Universiteit - ISBN 9789058087904 - 173
ontwikkelingsstudies - rurale sociologie - landgebruiksplanning - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - agrarische bedrijfsvoering - sociale economie - levensstandaarden - kleine landbouwbedrijven - modernisering - etnografie - costa rica - development studies - rural sociology - land use planning - sustainability - farm management - socioeconomics - living standards - small farms - modernization - ethnography - costa rica
|Spaces of intercultural communication. An interdisciplinary introduction to communication, culture, and globalizing/localizing identities
Lie, R. - \ 2003
Cresskill, New Jersey : Hampton Press (IAMCR book series ) - ISBN 9781572734999 - 241
communicatie - wereld - groepen - globalisering - televisie - intercultureel onderzoek - cultuur - cultuursociologie - groepsinteractie - sociale interactie - antropologie - etnografie - identiteit - communication - culture - cultural sociology - world - groups - group interaction - social interaction - globalization - television - anthropology - ethnography - cross cultural studies - identity
This volume explores spaces where cultures meet and mix in entangled flows and levels of globality and locality. It makes a contribution to our understanding of the complex processes of communications across and beyond borders. It provides an introduction to intercultural/international communication and changing identities. Through its interdisciplinary approach it integrates theories from communication studies, cultural studies, media studies and social anthropology. The book consists of three major parts and eight chapters. The first part specifically addresses the concepts of communication and culture. The second addresses globalizing/localizing identities. Chapters in the third part theorize the spaces in which these processes take place and use the socio-cultural phenomenon of television as an example to focus on the interdisciplinary potential of television studies.
Going places, staying home : rural-urban connections and the significance of land in Buhera district, Zimbabwe
Andersson, J.A. - \ 2002
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): N.E. Long; van Donge. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789058085535 - 175
arbeidsmobiliteit - migrantenarbeid - ruraal-urbane migratie - urbanisatie - plattelandsgemeenschappen - sociologie - etnografie - relaties tussen stad en platteland - stedelijke samenleving - zimbabwe - labour mobility - migrant labour - rural urban migration - urbanization - rural urban relations - urban society - rural communities - sociology - ethnography - zimbabwe - cum laude
This book consists of four articles containing detailed ethnographic studies of people who are commonly known as migrant workers.Conventional studies on rural-urban migration and urbanisation have often examined such people in either rural or urban social situations,analysing respectively the consequences of out-migration for the rural society and its agriculture-based economy,or the adoption of urbanised life styles in cities.As a consequence, such studies have tend to reproduce common oppositions associated with the distinction between the rural and the urban,such as traditional-modern, conservative-progressive,continuity-change,peasants-workers,etc. Oppositions that,at the same time,present us with a common development perspective on the relation between the urban and the rural -i.e.that of state- directed modernisation.This thesis on migrant workers travelling back and forth between the rural district of Buhera and Harare,Zimbabwe 's capital, takes issue with such oppositions in our thinking about development.The studies show that Buhera migrants do not live in two separate -rural and urban -social worlds.Rather,it is argued that this migrant society comprises of a single cultural space,stretching different geographical spaces -i.e.Buhera society has to be understood as translocal.
The method of enquiry adopted in the studies is best captured by the notion of travelling.Buhera migrants were followed both spatially and temporally - in their travels towards and within town,as well as back in time,to understand their history.As a consequence,it is possible to move beyond an image of a 'culture 'fragmented by mobility or moving between different - rural and urban -cultural spaces.To the Buhera migrants studied,distinctions between rural and urban social life do not seem to be important,let alone problematic.Not confined to a particular area,this society of migrants was understood as translocal,spanning different geographical spaces while at the same time constituting a single cultural space.Buhera as a geographical space remained nevertheless important,albeit not as the context of social life, constituting a cultural space or territory,but rather as a point of identification, evoking a sense of belonging.It is this 'being Buheran 'which the analyses in this book focus upon,revealing its significance for the ways in which people organise their livelihoods,thereby reproducing their Buheran identity.
This chapter discusses the power of the state and its representatives to impose their self-produced categories of thought,arguing that this poses a major problem to the historiography of Zimbabwe,which has attributed the colonial state a dominant role in directing social change.Relying heavily on the colonial state 's own archival sources,historical analysis have often taken as unproblematic the relation between knowledge about,and control over, African societies as presented in these archival sources.This chapter challenges this hegemonic view of the colonial state in Zimbabwe,building upon the historical analysis of a rather marginal area.In the early colonial period the Buhera district was designated an African Reserve as white settlers had little interest in its dry and sandy soils.As a result of this lack of interest, historical sources on the area are largely confined to reports made by colonial officials.However,the reports do contain observations of local-level administrators that allow for a different interpretation of the state 's control over its subjects and its role in directing social change.Following the shifting biases in colonial policy discourse -from a preoccupation with the mobilisation of African labour to the modernisation of African land use -this paper shows how,with the expansion of state intervention in the area,Buhera society came to represent traditional African society.Yet,this image of Buhera in the 'controlled 'administrative order of colonial reports increasingly defied the reality of social life experienced on the ground.The historical analysis of Buhera district thus suggests a different perspective on the colonial state. Zimbabwean historiography has generally focused on areas that experienced dramatic confrontations between Europeans (settlers and administrators)and Africans -areas for which sufficient and well-classified archive material is available.Consequently,the role of the state tends to be overestimated, regional differences ignored,and the complexity of the African opposition to the colonial state oversimplified.
In the academic debate on labour migration and urbanisation in Southern Africa the persistence of links between urban workers and people in rural areas has proved a pertinent issue.As is implied by the termlabour migrationeconomic forces have always been regarded as a major determinant of migratory behaviour.State-centred perspectives have dominated studies of rural-urban migration in Zimbabwe,where a restrictive legal regulated migration to urban centres during the colonial era in an attempt to prevent large numbers of Africans becoming permanent town dwellers.This ethnographic study of labour migrants in Harare originating from the Buhera district,however,shifts away from perspectives that reduce migratory behaviour to an effect of state intervention and/or economic forces.Such external forces are mediated by migrants 'networks that encompass both rural and urban localities.Rather than being only economically motivated, individual migrants 'participation in these networks has to be understood as an expression of a socio-cultural pattern in which rural identification and kinship ideology are of major importance.Viewing migration practices in this way -i.e.as observable outcomes of migrants 'socio-cultural dispositions -not only helps us to understand better the preferences that motivate economic behaviour but also challenges conventional perspectives in which the rural and urban are often viewed as distinct social worlds and the urbanisation process as part of a wider evolutionary development or transition towards a modern class society.
Conflicts over land,a major theme in Zimbabwe 's rural history,are widely recognized as 'most serious 'in the densely populated Communal Areas. Pressure on land in these areas is considerable because of population growth and the segregationist policies of the colonial government that concentrated Africans on marginal lands.Land scarcity in the Communal Areas does not, however,mean that conflicts over land are always economically motivated.As the agricultural potential of land is often limited in Communal Areas,land cases may often be better understood as socially induced.This article on land disputes in the Murambinda area of Save Communal Land aims to elucidate the different meanings attached to land.It presents a situational analysis of a single case of land dispute and argues that land conflicts in the area are predominantly political power struggles.The litigation of land cases is dominated by village leaders (vanasabhuku)and largely takes place outside the state 's legal arena.Consequently,local state institutions responsible for land issues have a limited understanding of,and exercise little control over land issues.The findings of this study thus provide a different view in the ongoing debate on the need for tenurial reform in Zimbabwe 's Communal Areas,for they challenge the state 's administrative capacity to enforce such reform.
Recent studies of witchcraft and sorcery in Africa,have described this domain as an all powerful and inescapable discourse.The anthropological case study presented in this chapter,however,discloses a situation in which people contest the interpretation and narratives of this domain,and challenge its applicability.Focusing on the social practices in which the witchcraft discourse is produced,the approach taken is similar to anthropological approaches that have viewed the witchcraft discourse as a device to attribute meaning in situations of existential insecurity.In a society of migrant labourers working in Harare,but originating from the rural district of Buhera,Zimbabwe,such insecurities are all too real.Many people are confronted with HIV/AIDS- related illnesses and death -euphemistically called Henry the IV (HIV). However,witchcraft accusations do not become acute because of the AIDS pandemic -for which the 'modern 'biomedical episteme has few explanations or cures -but rather,are concurrent with it.The existential insecurities which give rise to witchcraft accusations in this society,originate within the kin- based networks which span rural and urban geographical areas.In contrast with contemporary studies analysing witchcraft in so-called 'modern 'contexts such as the city,the market and state politics,this chapter thus stresses the important link between witchcraft and kinship.It analyses which social relationships are prone to witchcraft allegations,and how the discourse is contested.Thus,it identifies how the witchcraft discourse is given a place relative to other social phenomena.It is shown that this migrant society the domain of the occult is not geographically localised -in a relatively closed rural society -but translocal.Migrants in town are not free from the witchcraft of their rural kin.
The perspective on rural-urban connections and the significance of land put forward in this thesis,is of wider significance.In the last chapter it is argued that received wisdom about the role of the land in understanding Zimbabwe 's history and contemporary politics may be limited since -as was elaborated for Buhera -it is based on the common oppositions associated with the rural- urban distinction.The discussion,which takes news reports on Zimbabwe 's political and economic crisis at the turn of the 21stcentury as a starting point, critically reviews two common discourses on Zimbabwe's history and current crisis.One,the dominant discourse,focuses on the rural land as the source of wealth and development.This political economy-inspired discourse situates Zimbabwe 's crisis in theruraleconomy,in the highly uneven distribution of the best agricultural land.It stresses the productive value of land.The other discourse,which may be typified as a counter-discourse,presents us with a rather different image -i.e.that of an industrializing economy in decline. Blaming the state for its economic mismanagement and focusing exclusively on economic parameters of the current crisis,this discourse is of limited use for our understanding of the current political dynamic in which non-economic values of land play such an important role.As the studies in this thesis have shown,the stress on the economic value of land has,perhaps,prevented us from understanding the socio-cultural and political value of land in Zimbabwe.
The power of music: issues of agency and social practice
Long, N. - \ 2001
Wageningen : Wageningen Universiteit - 44
sociale verandering - etnografie - plattelandsontwikkeling - ontwikkeling - muziek - ontwikkelingslanden - social change - ethnography - rural development - development - music - developing countries
Gaining ground : land reform and the constitution of community in the Tojolabal Highlands of Chiapas, Mexico
Haar, G. van der - \ 2001
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): N.E. Long; A. Ouweneel. - S.l. : Rozenberg - ISBN 9789058085290 - 287
landhervorming - etnografie - geschiedenis - grondeigendom - recht - mexico - land reform - ethnography - history - land ownership - law - mexico
This study reconstructs the process of land redistribution in an indigenous region of Chiapas, the Tojolabal Highlands, situated between the better known Central Highlands and the Lacandona Rainforest. Until 1930 this region was dominated by large private estates or fincas , owned by families from Comitán. Usually 3000 ha in size, these fincas were dedicated to cattle ranching and some agriculture. The ancestors of the present inhabitants of the region, most of whom are Tojolabal Indians, lived and worked on the estates as peons, landless labourers who received no or little wages.
In the early 1930s, this situation changed dramatically as president Lázaro Cárdenas sought to implement land reforms throughout Mexico. He made no exception for Chiapas and in the region of study the effects of his policy were soon felt. After some initial hesitation, the peons filed one request for land endowment after another. In less than fifteen years, the extent of land controlled by the estates dropped to fifty percent and this trend continued. By 1970, only ten percent of the land remained in the hands of private, non-indigenous landowners and by 1993 this had fallen to three per cent. Most of these lands had been given out to the former resident peons in the form of so-called ejidos , giving groups of at least twenty peasants joint control over the land which they are not allowed to sell or lease. Other lands were sold by the original owners to groups of peasants, usually former peons. More recently, these lands have been converted to a communal tenure regime ( bienes comunales ).
As a consequence of land reform, the fincas in the region gave way to peasant communities with an almost exclusively Tojolabal population. (By 1990 the region comprised some 26 localities with a total population of approximately 15,000 individuals). This study started by asking how this process had taken place and what implications it had for the population. In my search for answers to these questions, I found I was entering largely unexplored terrain. In the literature on Chiapas, land reform is commonly treated as a very limited phenomenon. It is generally assumed that the landowners held such power that they managed to neutralise or minimise the threats to their property. Most scholarly attention has focussed on the redistribution of national lands (to which no private titles existed) and on piecemeal land redistribution as part of manipulative political strategies to keep the peasantry in check. Against this background, the lack of land reform is usually cited as one of the root causes of the Zapatista uprising of 1994. The limits of land reform since the 1970s and the gross abuses that have characterised it, partly justify this perspective. However, it loses sight of the fact that in some regions of Chiapas land reform was extensive and had profound political and social consequences. For the region of study, land reform was one of the most important processes in contemporary history.
I explored the process of land reform in the Tojolabal Highlands on the basis of extensive archival study as well as field work. This allowed me to establish that eighty percent of the land redistributed was drawn from private estates and the remaining twenty per cent from national lands. I also found that although the landowners had opposed land redistribution, they had been unable to effectively counter it. In fact, land redistribution was so successful that virtually the entire region was converted to ejidos . Not only had the ejido (and to a lesser extent communal property) displaced private property as the main tenure regime, but the Tojolabal communities had also undeniably acquired the appearance of ejidos . They have come to display all the necessary attributes of ejidos , such as the comisariado ejidal (the head of the ejido -members), regular meetings, and written agreements endorsed with the ejido seal. Today, the ejido is an important referent of identity in the region and the ejido features mentioned above are now considered 'typically Tojolabal'.
Land reform was more than a redistribution of land. It contributed to the formation of Tojolabal communities as we know them today and played a crucial role in the development of the conflictive relations between these communities and the Mexican state. The present communities are partly a product of land reform. Although there was some continuity between 'fincas' and ' ejidos ' in terms of the land and population involved, land reform involved considerable re-definitions, re-grouping and in some cases, re-localisation. As a consequence, social relations were re-structured around the land endowments. In this process, the land reform beneficiaries adopted the ejido model that the state offered, but also re-worked it. Although conditioned 'from above', land reform also involved processes of appropriation 'from below'.
This becomes especially clear when we observe the ways in which land tenure is organised within communities. I found, for example, that communities used their own lists of right-holders to land that differed from the official records held by the land reform bureaucracy. Communities re-defined and re-assigned land rights to individual members in relatively autonomous ways, relying only partly on the norms as these are formally prescribed. In practice, communities exerted a considerable degree of control both within the field of land tenure and beyond it. This governing capacity is exercised not only with regard to their own members but also vis-à-vis the state land reform bureaucracy. The latter's legal authority to regulate land tenure within ejido -communities is challenged in many ways. Land tenure thus emerges as a field of contention between different and at times opposing claims to control, in which not only different notions of property, but also rival attempts to define and assign land rights are confronted. In the thesis, this is illustrated through the detailed analysis of a conflict between two factions within a community.
In recent years, resistance to state control has become more explicit than ever as well as part of a more articulate political project. This is best understood against the background of - with the increasing politicisation of state intervention since the 1970s - political identities increasingly taking shape in opposition to the state. Since 1994, the Zapatistas have made the limits to state control painfully clear. This is probably best illustrated with reference to the land occupations that have taken place in the wake of the uprising and that have obliged the state to endorse a new phase of land redistribution belying all official declarations concerning the 'end of land reform'. Furthermore, through the so-called autonomous municipalities the Zapatistas have managed to develop a considerable governing capacity beyond the reach of the state.
The processes described above contain a certain paradox, especially if contemplated from the view - put forward by Mexican authors since the 1970s - that land reform is essentially an instrument of political control in the hands of the state. Although this perspective has been valuable in pointing out the importance of hidden agendas in land reform, it does not explain how land reform could at the same time have been so successful in creating ejidos and so obviously have failed to control the latter. To account for the paradox we need to develop a perspective that moves beyond the focus on state control and also addresses the multiple contestations that land reform has involved. Recent works on processes of state formation in Mexico are particularly promising for elaborating such a perspective. This approach suggests we might understand land reform as part of attempts by the state to extend its reach to new regions, but with dissimilar and contradictory results. From this vantage point we can explore how the state engaged with specific regions, re-defining relations of property and authority and generating multiple contestations and re-negotiations. Processes of state formation have a dual nature that is also relevant in the case of land reform. While it informs and penetrates local cultural and institutional repertoires, in doing so it also provides some of the central terms around which resistance to the state becomes articulated. We can thus begin to understand some of the complex and contradictory consequences of the creation of ejidos in the region of study. Furthermore, such a perspective points to the role of land reform itself in the constitution of communities as spaces from which the state is resisted and challenged.
These arguments are developed throughout the book, along three narrative lines. In the first place, the book tells the history of a particular community, San Miguel Chibtik. The efforts of the Chibtikeros to obtain the land they had worked for generations, the ways they developed of administering and distributing these lands amongst community members, and their participation in land occupations under the banner of Zapatismo as of 1994, run through the text. These experiences provide entry points for discussing three related processes: the geography and politics of land redistribution in the region (Chapters Two and Three), the development of institutional arrangements and governing practices concerning land in the communities of land reform beneficiaries (Chapters Four and Five) and land occupations in recent years as part of the Zapatista political project (Chapters Six and Seven). The analysis of these processes constitutes the second narrative line. Finally, on a third level, the text may be read as an exploration of the numerous ways in which - through land reform- the Mexican state reached into the region. The study thus provides a window onto one of the principal routes of state formation in eastern Chiapas. This perspective, as well as the conceptual considerations on which it rests, are developed in Chapter Eight.