Noelia Carrasco Henríquez
Universidad de Concepción, Chile


An ethnographic approach to private economic sector in a country like Chile could appear obvious for anthropological work. In fact, this is the country that served as a laboratory for designing and testing neoliberal theses, which are the ones critically and massively blamed to “govern world”. Likewise, it is likely to confirm that this model deployment trascended from economic-political matrices up to the country’s daily life itself, where social classes continue to show deep breaches and imbalances. Notwithstanding with all this, we ethnographers in Chile have sheepishly and slowly moved forward to addressing neoliberal common sense. Such a delay can be explained on its own, that is what this lecture deals with. As a core thesis, we are discussing the conditions and qualities of anthropology as a science that have traditionally been on the side of minorities, and the eventual traps such a standing might pose to the discipline’s growth. As an empirical point of reference, we are encompassing ethnographic approaches to forest industry and its sociocultural circumstances, as a result of the reflection preceding and accompanying the execution of Fondecyt N°11080196 Project, between November 2008 and November 2010.

Keywords: ethnography, development, Mapuche community.