Purposes and Rationalities in a Globalized and Multicultural World. a Study of the Agricultural Sector in Chile

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 11:30 AM
Room: 419
Oral Presentation
Tamara HERAN , École Hautes Études Sciences Sociales, Chile
Purposes and Rationalities in a Globalized and Multicultural World. A Study of the Agricultural Sector in Chile.

While competitiveness, productivity, and profitability are a company’s goals; and income maximization, individual benefit, and increasing economic power seem to be a manager’s goals, what are a worker’s goals beyond the solution of his/her basic needs? In a culturally diverse context where globalization appears to guide the different actors, what are the different purposes they pursue? What kinds of rationalities and what cultural peculiarities do we identify in a world where interconnection and the imposition of transnational patterns are becoming more important?

This proposal discusses the multiple rationalities that mobilize social actors, in a context of major inequalities, using an ethnographic approach carried out in Limarí Province, Chile, with seasonal agricultural workers. Numerous development strategies designed to increase productivity and economic growth  have been introduced, meaning that the local society has had to deal with big transformations, in the economic, social, environmental and cultural spheres. The arrival of national and transnational companies to give value to the agricultural sector, with foreign managers who do not know the local culture, has put the agricultural sector in conflict. Productivity, competitiveness, efficiency and economic development are not concepts shared by all the actors.

The research based on this case study, combines with the study of social, cultural and economic transformations, such as the confrontation and diversity of the different actors’ representations, purposes and rationalities, triggered by development strategies.