Browsing by Organization "Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología (Unidad Sureste)"

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  • Laako, Hanna (Helsingin yliopisto, 2011)
    This study explores the meaning, content and significance of the political as manifest in the Mexican Zapatista movement as historically and geopolitically situated struggle. The case study undertakes a critical analysis of the development, organization, practice and discourse of the movement by drawing on fieldwork experiences, interviews, discussions, documents, films and other material produced by the movement, and the critical engagement with the research of others, especially in Latin America and Mexico. The dissertation poses the need to reconsider what constitutes and what we understand by the political , related particularly to the challenges provided by the critical globalization literature, decolonization and the study of social movements. The analysis encompasses several inter-related levels: the theoretical knowledge regarding the conceptualization of the political; the methodological level, regarding how such research can and should be conducted and knowledge claims formulated given the inescapable context and effects of global power relations; and the substantive level of adding specific information and analytical insights to existing knowledge of the Zapatista movement. As a result of conceptualization of a range of practices and processes, distinct understandings of the political can be underlined. Firstly, the conception of the indigenous and the struggles as indigenous movements as specifically political, not just a cultural or ethnic identity or a static quality but rather, an active consciousness integrally linked both to a longer history of oppression and as political articulation in the concrete context and lived experience of contemporary struggle. Secondly, the practice of autonomy as central to an understanding of the political in the context of the Zapatista struggle as a practical response to the situation of oppression, counter-insurgency, siege and conflict in Chiapas, as well as a positively informed mode of political self-understanding, expression and practice in its own right. Thirdly, the notion of geopolitical positioning as important to understanding of the political that encompasses the historicity of specific context and the power relations which shape that context, developed in two different ways: in regard to the positioning of the researcher and knowledge production with and about the Zapatistas, and in regard to the practice and knowledge of the Zapatistas as a decolonizing force in their encounters, interaction and relations with others, especially the global civil society. Finally, the role of silence, absence, invisibility, revelation and hiding in political practice as a deliberate strategy in response to oppressive power. -