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Foucault in the forest: Questioning environmentality in Amazonia

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Michael L. Cepek

This paper is an extensive review of the challenges in setting up several community based envirnmental monitoring programs in Amazonian Ecuaduor. This review is based on an extensive analysis of differing obejctives and persepctives beween indigenous peoples and western based scientists. Abstract. In this article, I analyze the encounter between th ...

DOI: 10.1111/j.1548-1425.2011.01319.x

Last Update: 2011

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This paper is an extensive review of the challenges in setting up several community based envirnmental monitoring programs in Amazonian Ecuaduor. This review is based on an extensive analysis of differing obejctives and persepctives beween indigenous peoples and western based scientists. Abstract. In this article, I analyze the encounter between the Field Museum of Natural History and Amazonian Ecuador's Cofán people to question the concept of “environmentality”: the idea that environmentalist programs and movements operate as forms of governmentality in Michel Foucault's sense. I argue that, although the Field Museum's community conservation projects constitute a regulatory rationale and technique, they do not transform Cofán subjectivity according to plan. By exploring Cofán people's critical consciousness of environmentalist interventions, I aim to cast doubt on the governmentality paradigm's utility for analyzing the complexities of cultural difference, intercultural encounter, and directed change.

Contact person: Michael L. Cepek
Contact e-mail: michael.cepek@utsa.edu
Contact institute: UTSA Department of Anthropology
URL(s): https://anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1548-1425.2011.01319.x

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