Negotiating Local Knowledge

The contributors to this volume offer an original approach to debates about indigenous knowledge. Concentrating on the political economy of knowledge construction and dissemination, they look at the variety of ways in which development policies are received and constructed, to reveal the ways in which local knowledges are appropriated and recast, either by local elites or by development agencies.

Until now, debates about indigenous knowledge have largely been conducted in terms of agricultural and environmental issues such as bio-piracy and gene patenting. The contributors to this volume break new ground by opening up the theoretical debate to include areas
such as post-war traumatic stress counselling, representations of nuclear capability, architecture, mining, and the politics of eco-tourism.

Their findings have important implications for anthropology, development studies and other related disciplines.


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Product Description

Johan Pottier, Alan Bicher, Paul Sillitoe (Eds).

(London: Pluto Press, 2003, 332 pp.)

Dario Novellino;  sets out clearly the framework of this collection of anthropological essays;  on the role of local knowledge in conditions of social change. “While the involvement of local communities in developing projects is today recognised as a necessity;  there is still a tendency to underestimate the role of the factors that jeopardise successful communication;  between development workers and local people.

The conditions under which people may decide to ‘disclose’ their ‘knowledge’ and make their needs explicit;  are very difficult to create. Interaction between community members and project workers (for example;  developers or conservationists);  seldom leads to mutual comprehension.

Frequently;  negotiation builds upon a number of misunderstandings;  that may be fostered intentionally or spontaneously due to differences in cognition, expectation, background knowledge, language and attitudes.”

Author: Johan Pottier

Publisher :  Pluto Press (April 20, 2003).

Paperback : 346 pages.


About the Author

Johan Pottier teaches in the Department of Anthropology at SOAS, University of London.Paul Sillitoe is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Durham.Alan Bicker is at the Dept of Anthropology, University of Kent at Canterbury.

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