Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Soil Practitioners and Vital Spaces: Agricultural Ethics and Life Processes in the Colombian Amazon
by Lyons, Kristina Marie, Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2013, 259; 3596917
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation is an ethnography of human-soil relations that examines the cultural, scientific, political-economic, and ethical stakes of alternative agricultural practices and life processes that resist military-led, growth-oriented development. Moving across laboratories, greenhouses, forests and farms, it weaves together a symmetrical analysis of two kinds of local-practitioners—soil scientists in the capital city of Bogotá and small farmers in the southwestern frontier department of Putumayo—to track how soils emerge with political importance in the construction of what I call agro-life proposals for peace in the Colombian Amazon. Theoretically, it interrogates concepts of "sustainability" emerging among scientists and farmers, suggesting they imply a complex reframing of liberal notions of property, health, wellbeing, labor and autonomy. These observations reimagine the interface between political economy and ecology and science and technology studies that can account for new ecological notions of territoriality linked to practices of economic 'degrowth', and the alternative agricultural life-worlds I encountered in southwestern Colombia.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cadena, Marisol de la
Commitee: Dumit, Joseph, Puig de la Bellacasa, Maria, Sawyer, Suzana, Scow, Kate
School: University of California, Davis
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 75/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Agricultural economics, Sustainability
Keywords: Agricultural ethics, Amazonia, Colombia, Ecopoetics, Science and technology studies, Soil practitioners, Soil-human relations
Publication Number: 3596917
ISBN: 9781303443268
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