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The politics of Pacha. The conflict of values in a Bolivian Aymara community.

Canessa, A. L.E (1993) The politics of Pacha. The conflict of values in a Bolivian Aymara community. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This thesis deals with the differences of values between those held by people of the small Aymara village of Pocobaya and the modernising nation of Bolivia that encompasses them. Previous 'acculturation' studies have seen indigenous communities as almost powerless to resist the onslaught of Western values. As more and more Pocobayenos are exposed to the outside world they see ever more clearly how their language, values and customs are denigrated by the surrounding society. Nevertheless, the values of land and community have an over-riding importance and Pocobayenos critically examine the conflict of values and make efforts to make sense of this antinomy in a meaningful and personally relevant way. A central aspect of this thesis is how in a number of situations Pocobayenos account for cultural differences in their own indigenous terms. In their cosmology we can see an articulation of this ethnic difference in a manner which includes an historical perspective. History and cosmology bring together a powerful metaphor for the illustration of ethnic relations in contemporary Bolivia. The dominant Hispanic culture is shown to be considered as contingent and the values it presents are incorporated into a coherent indigenous cosmological schema. A central issue in the thesis is how Pocobayenos articulate historical changes within their own mythic explanatory schema, similarly, differences in gender ideology are seen to be critically incorporated into indigenous ideas about gender relations. Pocobayenos emerge as actively and critically engaged in providing meaning to the differences between themselves and the surrounding metropolitan culture.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anthropology, Cultural
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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