Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Theoretical perspectives on Latin American indigenous development, with reference to a case study of Cebadas, Ecuador Public Deposited

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  • This thesis presents a discussion of the main materialistic theories proposed to explain the process of development among the indigenous population of Latin America. Four theoretical approaches are presented and discussed. The first one deals with the social group referred to as peasants. The second one explains the process of economic development at the global level. The third one deals with agroecology and its implications. The fourth and final one refers to ethnicity studies. These four theories are related to the case study of the Indian peasants of Cebadas, Ecuador. These people have experienced and continue to experience processes of economic development and ethnic revitalization, thus providing a good example of how all the theories discussed interplay in a local setting. The element that brings all pieces together is an agroforestry development project carried out in Cebadas by an Ecuadorian non-governmental organization. The rejection by the Indian peasants of the agroecological orientation of the agroforestry project, in the context of the historical and current sociocultural processes of the area represent a choice for a special kind of modernization. The modernization that the Indian peasants want does not create loss of ethnic specificity, but rather reinforces their self-organization and increases their economic opportunities. Results show a relationship between use of exotic tree species and modern technology and the emergence of an incipient Indian ethnic movement.
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