Genetic Defects or Generative Prototypes: Competing Models for Livestock Improvement in Southern Bolivia

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5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Following neoliberal 'structural adjustments' in Bolivia, peasant llama herders are expected to become entrepreneurs and their animal products to compete in global markets. To facilitate the entry of llama produce into global trade, scientifically-trained experts working for NGOs give herders 'capacity-building' courses in livestock management and organise livestock shows to teach them about animal conformation. This article examines negotiations and accommodations between indigenous knowledge and science, and in particular focuses upon competing claims to knowledge about herd management and animal improvement. While experts look to improve animals from without - through hybridisation with animals from other areas, which also constitutes exchanges in genetic capital - herders expect improvement to come from within - placing emphasis on the unity of their herds as reproductive groups and regarding animals condemned as 'defective' by experts as generative prototypes that indicate the herds' fertility.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-549
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Volume12
Issue number3
Early online date11 Aug 2006
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006

Keywords

  • Andes
  • expertise
  • knowledge
  • science
  • animals

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