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Title: Beyond the fields : ethnographic explorations on notions and practices of sustainability in Ifugao, Philippines
Author: Cagat, Kathrine Ann
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 547X
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2015
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The thesis explores varying notions and practices of sustainability through a focus on the relationship between management of a heritage site, the Ifugao Rice Terraces and the implementation of the Ambangal Mini-hydro Plant, a small-scale hydro-electric power initiative in Ifugao Province. In doing so, I address the politics of resource governance. Likewise, rather than just a mere translation of 'sustainability' in local vernacular or an identification of sustainable practices, I instead elaborate upon how people conceptualise and practice the principles which underpin sustainability. As such, I consider the commonly promoted definition of sustainability as the undertaking of community development without compromising social and natural resources for future generations. Thus, the thesis presents Ifugao conceptualisation and practices regarding stewardship and prosperity. Specifically, I elaborate upon the Ifugao's kinship system, agricultural activities, and well-being rituals, and relate these practices with how people currently deliberate heritage and development interventions transpiring in the province. The aim is to more explicitly link spiritual and technical activities in anthropological approaches to sustainability. As the thesis argues, integral to community members' concern for the well-being of people across generations is the plurality of possibilities, not simply the achievement of particular outcomes or a preoccupation with stability. Thus, I describe local understandings and enactment of sustainability as 'capacity- expansion' and discuss this in relation to the often deployed term, 'capacitybuilding' in sustainable development practices. In Ifugao understanding of sustainability, what is particularly salient is how community members articulate issues regarding the linked potential of people and places to arise in multiple possibilities. Therefore, the thesis delves into theoretical approaches in potentiality along with current insights on socio-ecological resilience to expound on what such discussions can contribute to an anthropology of sustainability.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral