Negotiating Hybridity: Moral Economy And Globalization In Highland Bolivia
The norms and practices of reciprocity, or ayni in the Quechua language, deeply influence social and economic life among indigenous peasants in Andean Bolivia, both historically and in the contemporary period. Yet, integration into global systems and processes is profoundly shaping the rural highlands and people who live there. Using a mix of global and multi-sited ethnographic methods, this dissertation examines the interaction between local reciprocity norms, networks and practices, on one hand, and four moments of globalization, on the other. I suggest that reciprocity, which is frequently evaluated as a strictly economic strategy, is motivated by moral and symbolic considerations as well as technical concerns. This makes reciprocity institutions a uniquely socially and ecologically appropriate resource that people use to construct their livelihoods-a highly relevant living institution that is reproduced socially through enacted daily practice. In the process, it is constructed anew to respond to contemporary needs and conditions. In chapters that critically examine local instances of market integration, technological change, religious fragmentation, and shifting migration patterns, this research finds that reciprocity institutions provide a cultural 'toolkit' with which local people negotiate their experience of globalization more on their own terms. Andean peasants use indigenous economic practices and networks to access the opportunities and minimize the challenges and hazards brought by their increasing integration into global systems and flows. In doing so, they are constructing a hybrid space that combines local and global systems, reproducing local communities and cultures while constructing the contemporary global countryside. This work suggests that local institutions, grounded in culture, history and landscape yet dynamically responsive to currents contexts, are key mechanisms through which people think through, take advantage of, contest and cope with the forces of globalization that have come to dominate their lives.
reciprocity; indigenous economies; Andes
Pfeffer, Max John
Makki, Fouad M; Isbell, Billie Jean; Gonzales, Angela A.; Wolford, Wendy W.
Ph.D. of Development Sociology
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis