By Sarah A. Radcliffe
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Additional resources for Dilemmas of Difference: Indigenous Women and the Limits of Postcolonial Development Policy
By means of racial discourses highlighting a lack of modernity, indigeneity was constituted as subjects whose rural locations, culture, and sheer difference from mestizo norms placed them beyond the limit of inclusion as full citizens (Agamben 1998; Chatterjee 2004). Such disavowal of connection informed biopoÂ� litiÂ�cal programs—Â�development—Â�that worked to further dehumanize racialized groups. In EcÂ�uaÂ�dor this resulted in an exclusionary liberalism and politico-Â�spatial containment, as well as the creation of intermediaries who ventriloquized for subalterns (Guerrero 1997; Prieto 2004).
In one hacienda in Guamote canton, Chimborazo, tenant Â�houseÂ�holds contained an average of eleven people, a situation that engaged women in endless food preparation, washing, and collecting of firewood and water. HouseÂ�holds reflected “a family structure growing in members over time and in charge of reproducing the huasipungo workforce” (Ferrín 1982: 162). Indigenous groups made up 39–60 percent of the national population, the vast majority in the Andes (Prieto 2004). Extra hacienda labor was recruited through the allegados/arrimados system, whereby villages around haciendas provided labor in return for limited access to firewood, pasture, and water.
Indigenous women’s rethinking of development has generated frameworks that have been important in bringing about the incorporation of the alternative conception known as buen vivir into the 2008 Constitution and subsequent public policy. Given its subaltern genealogy, indigenous women feel a strong sense of propriety and depth of knowledge about buen vivir that informs their responses to EcÂ�uaÂ�dorÂ�ian development’s latest turn. Chapter 7 examines the extent to which an unpreÂ�ceÂ�dented and partially indigenous development model, known as buen vivir, challenges postcolonial readings of Â�difference and how buen vivir policy addresses social heterogeneity.
Dilemmas of Difference: Indigenous Women and the Limits of Postcolonial Development Policy by Sarah A. Radcliffe