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Title: Life, loss and labour : narrating subjectivity in the Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil
Authors: Duggan, Sarah C
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis critically examines the lived effects of economic restructuring in the city of Lençóis, Bahia, Brazil. Established at height of the region’s diamond mining boom in the mid 19th century, the local economy now rests almost exclusively on ecological tourism, with the city of Lençóis serving as the principal gateway to the Chapada Diamantina National Park. Combining ethnographic research methods, archive work and the analysis of governmental programs, I consider the impacts of tourism development strategies and conservation interventions on the lives and subjectivities of local community members. As it gives rise to new projects and new demands, I explore how this shift in political economy has interacted with historical processes of social and economic exclusion, and consider its role in reshaping uses and understandings of the material landscape. Yet, in foregrounding local responses to state-led projects for development, this thesis is also concerned with possibilities for contestation and critique. In Lençóis, memories of past modes of existence continue to evoke emotional resonance for many local people, and in particular local men. Exploring the stories people told me of their past lives and present-day experiences, I consider the affective dimensions of economic change, reading attachment to loss for its productive and creative potential (Eng and Kazanjian, 2003). These alternative narratives, voiced from the perspective of those most deeply affected by economic transition, reveal critical engagement with dominant cultural and political imperatives, and indicate how, in the midst of uncertainty, local people are responding to and seeking to challenge changes to the material circumstances of their lives.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Modern Languages

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