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To the School and Back: Intercultural Education, Identity Construction and Pemo?n-state relationships in Southeastern Venezuela

Garcia Bonet, Natalia (2017) To the School and Back: Intercultural Education, Identity Construction and Pemo?n-state relationships in Southeastern Venezuela. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.66456) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:66456)

Language: English

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This thesis explores the relationship between the state and Pemon people of La Gran Sabana, in Southeastern Venezuela, through the lens of state-driven projects such as bilingual intercultural education and extractivism. I examine these relationships in the light of two broader twenty-first century processes; one global- multiculturalism and the paradigm of intercultural education- and one national- Hugo Cha?vez's Bolivarian Revolution.

The Bolivarian government has probably lead the most effective project of state expansion in Venezuelan modern history, reaching out to the most peripheral areas of the nation and incorporating their population into the Venezuelan State. Throughout this thesis I argue that despite the Revolution's claims to celebrate internal diversity and pluralism, this process of state expansion has been driven by an extractivist agenda, associated with two different, yet complementary, commercial extractive projects; oil and gold. As such, its ultimate aim remains to ensure the state's control over the territory, and the resources on it, by establishing control over its inhabitants. The collapse between the state and indigenous people enacted in the Revolution's dominant discourse, therefore, outlines new forms of 'national indigeneity', and has the effect of prescribing people's possibilities to lay claims both to a Venezuelan citizenship and to 'legitimate' indigenous identities.

Within such broad global predicaments, my research engages with key debates in anthropology about the relationships between Amerindian groups and the state, in terms of representation, interculturality and identity politics, illustrating how local responses to the processes of state expansion reflect complex interactions between multiple elements; gender, personal trajectories and identity construction, for example. The thesis also engages with the Lowland South American and Latin American literature about Amerindian strategies for counteracting the state's centralising (predatory) action, by outlining the multilateral, sometimes contradictory responses of local actors to the consecutive expansions and contractions of the state's extractivist and administrative frontiers. As the cases narrated in this thesis demonstrate, some individuals have actively sought to increase their political participation, embracing the opportunities for enfranchisement provided by the revolutionary government. Others have opted instead for a 'partial' retreat from the state's foregoing expansive motion. I argue that these movements towards reversal are associated with the state's inability to act as redistributor of resources and, as such, are the result of the general political and economic crises facing the country in the last few years.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Peluso, Daniela
Thesis advisor: Alexiades, Miguel
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.66456
Additional information: The author of this thesis has requested that it be held under closed access. We are sorry but we will not be able to give you access or pass on any requests for access. 31/08/21
Uncontrolled keywords: Amerindian-state relationships/intercultural education/gender/extractivism/the state effec
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2018 16:10 UTC
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2021 07:22 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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