'Making up' others? Ethnographic encounters with selection, climate change, and being indigenous

Byrne, George (2019) 'Making up' others? Ethnographic encounters with selection, climate change, and being indigenous. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

This thesis is an ethnographic and self-reflexive exploration of the ways in which international concern for indigenous peoples in various contexts, including conducting academic research itself, can challenge, but more often contributes to, the creation of categories of people - Others - which serves to reinforce existing patterns of social, cultural and epistemological dominance. While the project started out as an investigation into how and why indigenous people interact with Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) projects, like REDD+, the reflexive and iterative research methodologies used meant that this became a lens through which to consider a different question: what, if anything, does it mean to be Indigenous? Through an ethnographic account of various encounters with indigenous people and indigeneity, including in a small community in the Ecuadorian Amazon,the offices of an international Indigenous Peoples’ Organisation (IPO), and international climate change conferences in Lima and Paris, the thesis argues that the very meaning of being Indigenous, particularly in relation to climate change, is continuously being negotiated by indigenous and non-indigenous actors. Writing reflexively about my own research, as well as broader international processes, the thesis illustrates some of the ways in which ‘selection’ leads to the reification, or ‘making up’, of particular notions of indigeneity. As such, the thesis also reflects on the impact of research itself, including on the researcher. I draw upon influences from decolonial and feminist scholarship, using autoethnography as a tool to consider how and why I have produced this research, and the extent to which it contributes to the process of ‘Othering’ the very people that it (re)presents.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Development
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology > GN301 Ethnology. Social and cultural anthropology
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 10 May 2019 09:16
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2021 12:28
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/82550

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