Gold mining and changing perceptions of risk in West Java.

Ellen, Roy F. and Soemarwoto, Rini (2010) Gold mining and changing perceptions of risk in West Java. Human Organization, 69 (3). pp. 233-241. ISSN 0018-7259. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

Artisanal gold mining presents some risks that can be accommodated easily within traditional cosmologies and perceptions of natural causation, and other health costs that are often new for those involved, and which require people to radically modify their evaluation and management of risk. This paper examines changing perceptions of risk for the Kasepuhan, an upland cultural enclave in West Java, who are increasingly drawn into gold mining to subsidize traditional forms of income generation at a time of rising material expectations. We first demonstrate how mining (tunnel collapse) is accommodated within traditional cosmologies and explanations of misfortune. We compare this with the processing of gold using mercury amalgam, which presents different kinds of risk not easily explained using traditional models. These have required miners and their communities to entertain new notions of causality and risk management.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Roy Ellen
Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2011 16:41
Last Modified: 19 May 2014 08:53
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/27598 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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