The Chicken and the Quetzal EBOOK Tooltip Incommensurate Ontologies and Portable Values in Guatemala's Cloud Forest

Auteur: Paul Kockelman
Taal: Engels
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  • Engels
  • E-book
  • 9780822374596
  • december 2015
  • Adobe ePub
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In The Chicken and the Quetzal Paul Kockelman theorizes the creation, measurement, and capture of value by recounting the cultural history of a village in Guatemala's highland cloud forests and its relation to conservation movements and ecotourism. In 1990 a group of German ecologists founded an NGO to help preserve the habitat of the resplendent quetzal—the strikingly beautiful national bird of Guatemala—near the village of Chicacnab. The ecotourism project they established in Chicacnab was meant to provide new sources of income for its residents so they would abandon farming methods that destroyed quetzal habitat. The pressure on villagers to change their practices created new values and forced negotiations between indigenous worldviews and the conservationists' goals. Kockelman uses this story to offer a sweeping theoretical framework for understanding the entanglement of values as they are interpreted and travel across different and often incommensurate ontological worlds. His theorizations apply widely to studies of the production of value, the changing ways people make value portable, and value's relationship to ontology, affect, and selfhood.


Rather like the fanciful flight of the title's resplendent quetzal, Kockelman soars into abstraction, dives through delightful tours of linguistic untangling, then cruises close to the ground, providing detailed ethnography of Maya women caring for their chickens and fending off chicken hawks. . . . This slim book is a big project,with a lot packed in. . . . It succeeds because of Kockelman's careful attention and close reasoning sustained at every step in untangling the ensembles of value in objects and social relations. -- Abigail E. Adams * Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology * Paul Kockelman's new book is an exhilarating read: the theoretical scope is ambitious, pulling together Peircian semiotics, neo-Marxist political economy, and Foucauldian critical studies, and the particular case study of a Maya Q'eqchi' community's interactions with foreign conservationists is compelling. -- Edward F. Fischer * Journal of Linguistic Anthropology * This volume is a brilliant in-depth analysis that repays rereading not only for its empirical observations, but also for its theoretical connections to classic works by Marx, Veblen, Pierce and others. Whilst Kockelman explores the construction of values deep in the Guatemalan Cloud Forest, with a little imagination his work can be translated to address research in developed world urban contexts where value creation has become a key focus of applied tourism research. -- Adrian R. Bailey * Tourism Management * In The Chicken and the Quetzal, Kockelman proves that he is one of anthropology's last great system-builders. His analytical framework can be applied to any ethnographic object, regardless of time or place. Moreover, its multiple elements are of a piece.... [P]ondering the lessons of The Chicken and the Quetzal is a worthwhile endeavour for any anthropologist, from the beginning student to the seasoned professor. -- Michael Cepek * Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute * Kockelman is at his best when he deals with concrete examples, such as the cultural meaning embedded in language structures. It is these brilliant and illuminating insights that anthropological and historical specialists in Guatemala and elsewhere will find so thought-provoking. -- Michael D. Kirkpatrick * History: Reviews of New Books * The Chicken and the Quetzal is exemplary of semiotic ethnography, a thriving genre in linguistic anthropology that details much more than the linguistic aspect of social life.... Its theoretical contribution to linguistic anthropology is significant, and it offers an invitation to dialogue with other ways of doing anthropology and social science.... I encourage you to read the book, to respond, and so to generate the value that the semiotic process produces, coined in the currency of social relationality. -- Christopher Ball * Anthropological Quarterly *

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december 2015
23,5 x 15,2 x 1,9 cm
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Adobe ePub

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