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Title: The underground forest frontier in Mexico's Quintana Roo : competing discourse and materialities surrounding caves and cenotes
Author: Melo Zurita, Maria
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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The Mexican state of Quintana Roo is home to a complex ecosystem. Beneath the state’s surface is a riddle of flooded caves which form part of the world’s most extensive aquifer, above the surface is a vast tropical dry forest, while along the coast line there is one of the world’s longest coral reefs. These systems are directly linked by dispersed water sinkholes, known as cenotes, which pierce through the surface of the land and ocean floor. The state is also home to some of the fastest growing urban centres in the world, driven by mass tourism, the state’s main economic activity. The intersection of these different complex processes and landscape has the focus of this thesis. In particular the research is interested in the appropriation of cenotes, how humans have related towards the underground systems, making use of them, controlling them, enclosing them and transforming them. The thesis draws upon the theoretical notion that commodifying nature has being a determinant way of how humans relate with nature. However these relations are ultimately shaped in different ways, according to each individual’s position and function in the social system. Cenotes, for humans, have been and still are places to perform sacred and religious rituals, places to hide, places to deposit material goods, places to study, places to explore and places to be regulated. This thesis unpacks these relations, critically examining the main drivers of different socio-environmental outcomes in this underground forest frontier.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available