Constructing the mine: a critical exploration of women’s meaning-making regarding the Yanacocha mine, Peru

Boudewijn, Inge Adriana Maria (2019) Constructing the mine: a critical exploration of women’s meaning-making regarding the Yanacocha mine, Peru. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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The Yanacocha goldmine has operated in the Cajamarca region, Peru, since 1992. While initially not widely resisted by residents, discontent steadily grew, due to pollution and lack of promised economic development for the region. As conflicts have unfolded in Cajamarca, so has academic interest in the region, yet the literature often leaves the mine an unexamined presence in the background. Similarly, while literature increasingly recognises the need for an enhanced understanding of gendered impacts of mining, it has not yet considered how women themselves give meaning to the mine and its consequences in localised ways. This thesis argues for the need to engage critically with women’s sociocultural interpretations and conceptualisations of the entity of the mine to grasp the gendered dimensions of extractivism in a given place.

Qualitative data was collected in Cajamarca over seven months, including participant observation with women’s and environmental organisations, and oral history interviews with twenty women. Using an innovative analytical framework combining theories of Andean modernity, development alternatives and the construction of a continuity of belonging and relationships in place and landscape, this thesis analyses how women’s perceptions of the mine are shaped not only in the more thoroughly documented times of struggle and socio-environmental conflict, but in everyday life in its aftermath. By focusing on Cajamarcan women’s notions of history, belonging, place, landscape, changing relationships and imagined futures, this thesis highlights how they ascribe particular disruptive powers, intents and influences to the mine, mining companies and people associated with them. It concludes they are affected beyond the direct, tangible impacts of mining, through the fluid sociocultural meanings they assign to it. This thesis develops a critical understanding of localised gendered perceptions and ramifications of large-scale mining projects, encouraging further research into women’s struggles in extractivist contexts, in order to envisage locally appropriate ways of bolstering their resilience.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: gender, extractivism, Latin America, activism, development
Subjects: L600 Anthropology
L700 Human and Social Geography
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2020 11:39
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 19:52

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