Lecture 3: A Future for Amazonia
Readings: Chapters 4 and 5
- Talking a lot about Cofan logics and how they view the world
- In the two chapters, one is about NGO and the other is about scientific conservation effort
- Do only Cofan have culture? Or do we as anthropologist think about NCO as a form of
bureaucracy as well?
Want Are We Doing Today?
- Do only the Cofan have culture?
- An introduction to the anthropology of organizations and bureaucracy
- An introduction to the anthropology science
- Watched a video from this website
Anthropology of Organizations and Bureaucracy …
- NGO has been transformed in fundamental ways
o In order to get funding and money, they had to act in certain ways
- How does one study NGO from anthro perspective?
How to Study “Culture” in these Contexts?
- How does an organization (such as a corporation) produce and distribute globally
- How does management integrate people of different ethnicities into the same work
- What are the formal values and practices that are impose by the organization?
o NGO (and institution of granting of branch) is a way to impose certain values and
practices on the Cofan survival fund
- What are the formal or informal concepts, values, meanings, and practices that organize a
particular organizational form?
o Mike talks a lot of technique about accountability that is so important in the NGO
o It creates a whole set of problems if you are working in a Cofan activist context
Images from the Internet
- Bureaucracy is not just a series of value, but also material practices
o Paper work and leaving paper trail that is impotant
- Entails authoratative structure
o We had to stand in line, “good day and good bye” to burearcrat representatives
o They have a lot of power over what we need enter the counter, give us a VISA
- Writing down is a feature of beaurcracy
- Has a lot of routine and repeitition
- Little flexibility in bureaucracy
When did anthropologists become interested in bureaucracy and organizations more generally?
- One key moment was the publication of Laura Nader’s “Perspectives Gained From
- They bring a whole set of values and ideas and ideologies about how one should organize
conservation, or how NGO should be led - This means that anthropologists had to shift their unit of research
o From a sense of studying a tribe as an isolated unit, and then all of a sudden, this
is very obscured to separate tribal unit from the state that shape its existence
- Anthropologists shifted their unit of analysis towards cultural formations that had impacts
on these smaller scale wholes
- She said that anthropologists always studied “down” racism
o She says we need to look at the locations where power is actually produced