International Development, Community, and Environment

Title

NGOs and Production of Indigenous Knowledge Under the Condition of Postmodernity

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Indigenous knowledge (IK), experienced in development, is a product of a set of institutions often external to where they are located. The results of the use of IK in sustainable development are another example of capitalism's capacity to configure development according to its own imperatives. Rather than being an instrument of sustainable development, IK has become a means through which the diversity of knowledge systems and the embedded cultures in which they exist are disciplined and managed according to capital's need to expand. The collaborative role played by the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in this process is obscured by their use of the seductive language of empowerment of marginalized social groups. NGOs' interventions run counter to the interests of the people they claim to serve. The challenge to work towards an alternative institutional environment that could liberate the use of IK from being determined by the ideology and institutions of capitalism.

Publication Title

Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

Publication Date

11-1-2003

Volume

590

First Page

54

Last Page

72

ISSN

0002-7162

DOI

10.1177/0002716203258374

Keywords

capitalism, indigenous knowledge, inequality, NGOs, power, sustainable development

Disciplines

Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology

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