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Mining, Return Migration and Gender in the Peruvian Andes

Belonging in a Transforming «Comunidad Campesina»

Ana Echeverría-Scharfenberg

This ethnographic book deals with mining, return migration and gender in a Peruvian comunidad campesina, i.e. peasant community. This comunidad lived multiple transformations due to a mining project. As one of the changes, the comunidad invented a system of two membership categories. Thereby, they changed their concept of belonging and excluded some of those who thought of themselves as members. Drawing on fieldwork, participant observation, interviews and life stories, the author analyses how the comunidad interpreted the mining-induced transformations, how the concept and functions of their comunidad were altered and why belonging became such a central issue. She shows how belonging is a marker of social hierarchies and influenced by gender inequalities.

Methods and fieldwork conditions --- Transforming setting: mining project, return migration, time and space --- The comunidad: legal institution, territory, cooperation, political function --- Belonging and membership: tradition and innovation, gender inequality incl. migration, performing belonging