The Gift of the Middleman: An Ethnography of Quinoa Trading Networks in Los Lipez of Bolivia

133 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2011  

Andrew Ofstehage

Rural Development Sociology Chairgroup, Wageningen University; Anthropology Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Date Written: August 31, 2010

Abstract

This paper is a response to the lack of in-depth understanding of local context within political economy perspectives. The regional quinoa economy is ethnographically researched to identify the intra-communal differentiation amongst actors to demonstrate that actors make market decisions based on their personal values, economic return, personal desires, and life strategy. In addition to addressing the over-generalised history of political economy, this study supports the movement towards an anthropology of development; an anthropology in which research is carried not only for the benefit of anthropological knowledge, but for a real contribution to knowledge of development policies and projects outcomes.

Keywords: Bolivia, Actor-Oriented Approach, Quinoa, Fair Trade

Suggested Citation

Ofstehage, Andrew, The Gift of the Middleman: An Ethnography of Quinoa Trading Networks in Los Lipez of Bolivia (August 31, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1866330 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1866330

Andrew Ofstehage (Contact Author)

Rural Development Sociology Chairgroup, Wageningen University ( email )

De Leeuwenborch
Hollandseweg 1
6706 KN Wageningen
Netherlands

Anthropology Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ( email )

CB #3265
Chapel Hill, NC NC 27599
United States

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