Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)

Department

Colby College. Anthropology Dept.

Advisor(s)

Chandra Bhimull

Second Advisor

Mary Beth Mills

Abstract

This honors thesis explores the social changes that women engaged in anti-mining activism bring to a region in rural Ecuador. I discuss the ways in which they incorporate their activist techniques into everyday life, using their status as mothers to access public discourses of environmentalism, and ultimately rewrite gender roles locally. Framing the mining conflict as a catalyst for social change, I draw parallels between this movement and indigenous politics in Ecuador, propose new interpretations of the mestizo ethnic identity and assimilation in the Spanish Empire, and finally, make the case for a nature-centric cultural analysis in anthropology.

Keywords

environmentalist activism, feminism, mining, Andes, motherhood, mestizaje

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