- Killing the snake of poverty : local perceptions of poverty and well-being and people’s capabilities to improve their lives in the Southern Andes of Peru
- Award date
- 12 November 2009
- Number of pages
- Amsterdam: Dutch University Press
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Despite the generalised image of comuneros of the Southern Andes of Peru as living in poverty, a closer examination of the daily lives of the campesinos provides a more dynamic perspective. Some households claim that their lives are improving, others that their lives are the same, while many report that their situation have worsened. What are the factors that contribute to social mobility? This study focuses on the way local perceptions of well-being and poverty influences life choices. The author presents ethnographic material from fieldwork conducted between 2002 and 2005 in three Peruvian communities of Cusco, which are Mosocllaqta, Yanampampa and Jilayhua. The notions of poverty and well-being are context dependent, therefore a multi-case study of households in these three communities were conducted. The study revealed that local notions of a ‘better life’ is not only related to making a living, but it is also related to past experiences. Accordingly, these experiences can vary between communities. A focus on the processes in which local perceptions and aspirations are shaped provides a comprehensive view on the different consequences these aspirations have on comuneros’ struggle to achieve a ‘better life’.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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