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Title: Time odyssey in Puerto Inca : economic, kinship and cosmological modes of exchange in a community of the Peruvian rain forest
Author: Chevalier, J.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1977
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This research aims at reaching those basic structural principles which preside over the synchronic and diachronic formation of various systems of exchange within a mestizo community of the Peruvian rain forest. Social structure is here defined as a total communication system comprising various transactional subsystems the formation of which rests upon the logical-dichotomizing organization of social reality. Hence the diacritic ordering of economic, kinship, and cosmological forms of reciprocity: their function lies in the logical distance which separates them from, and binds them with, other homologous and complementary values and systems of exchange. The first chapters deal with the local processes of production and distribution of commodities. It is argued that the observed economic stratification stems not from a sectorial duality of forces, relations, and rationalities of production (swidden agriculture v. lumbering-and-commerce), but rather from that structure of dualities which underlies the circulation of exchange-values. An attempt is made to clarify the ambiguous concept "economic" and to offer a theoretical bridge linking economic exchanges to other forms of societal transaction. Kinship alliances are examined firstly from the point of view of the concentric ordering of residential divisions, and of their economic correlates. This is followed by a detailed analysis of household units and village kindreds, of the interpenetration of economic and kinship solidarities, and of the structure and function of ritual co-parenthood (comoadrinaz_go). Puerto Inca's cosmological mode of exchange involves the primitive like practices of herbal healing (vegetalismo) and witchcraft (bruieria). Yet Puerto Inca dwellers also adhere to the modern myths of Science, Progress and Catholicism, and define the resulting duality of beliefs as the outcome of the March of Progress against Tradition. This discussion ends with a brief study of the functional relationships that exist between this "modern" symbolism and the coexisting circulation of both commodities and women.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available