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Locating indigenous knowledge at the interfaces of modernity : observations based on fieldwork in Nepal

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Locating indigenous knowledge at the interfaces of modernity : observations based on fieldwork in Nepal

Dionne, Geralyne Bernadette (2005) Locating indigenous knowledge at the interfaces of modernity : observations based on fieldwork in Nepal. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Through two decades of use, the term indigenous knowledge has been explored and debated as a legitimate category and analytic device in anthropology. The term has evolved from a mainly empirical reference to signifying an ideological position that highlights the role of knowledge in power relations. Generating epistemological challenges and reaching beyond structural and cognitive domains that have to this point mediated our analyses of non-Western lifeworlds, indigenous knowledge stresses the power of agency and place, where realities are defined in practice through daily habitus, rather than pre-established social structures. If knowledge is not an 'essence' and can be revealed only in its usage and exchange, then the question that preoccupies those working with indigenous knowledge remains: Ethnographically, where can one find manifestations of indigenous knowledge? Long's notion of 'knowledge interfaces' provides a possible framework in which to glean the multiple interactions of local and not-so-local knowledge occurring in interfaces (contexts in which different actors and institutions negotiate knowledge repertoires) in order to gain insight into struggles for identity, space and power. Placing the actors at the centre of analysis and focusing on the relational nature, the field comes to be a field of relationships. Fieldwork undertaken in Nepal in the spring of 2004 explored three contexts in which actors and institutions concerned with protecting indigenous knowledge and lifeways interact. Can focusing on 'interfaces' reveal how cultural and knowledge repertoires are being contested, mobilized, and reshaped within these various arena?

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Dionne, Geralyne Bernadette
Pagination:vi, 152 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Sociology and Anthropology
Date:2005
Thesis Supervisor(s):Howes, David
ID Code:8657
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:31
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:31
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