Motherhood, Mining and Modernity in the Peruvian Highlands from Corporate Development to Social Mobilization


Grieco, Kyra. 2016. “Motherhood, Mining and Modernity in the Peruvian Highlands from Corporate Development to Social Mobilization.” In Negotiating Normativity, 131–46. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-30984-2_8.

Author: Kyra Grieco


During the last 20 years, extractive activities in Peru have been promoted by national governments as the only viable road to development in the Andes. This paradigm of extractive modernity is increasingly questioned by protest movements who oppose the implementation of new mining projects on the grounds of their social and environmental consequences. In this context, the gendered impacts of mining and mobilization have rarely been addressed, yet women play an increasingly important role both as targets of mining-led or related development programs and as participants in social mobilization against extractive industries. In both cases, women's physical bodies and social role as mothers are at the center of a model of modernity, and to a critique of the ‘other.’This chapter will focus on women as subjects and objects of contested modernity. It shall present results from ethnographic research carried out in the region of Cajamarca, one of the areas of heavy mining investment and the site of intense social conflict since 2000. An overview of the paradigms of modernity will be presented in terms of the role that each of these models assigns to women, through the realm of maternity. The actual experiences of women in this contested terrain, their mediation and resistance to the constraints imposed on them by existing models or modernity, maternity and womanhood will allow us to explore the differences and intersections of competing discourses of modernity. At the same time, we shall focus on the creative agency with which women operate within each one of these discourses, as active subjects in the definition and implementation of their rights. (Summary from Springer Link)

Topics: Development, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Conflict Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Peru

Year: 2016

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