Advertisement

Communication in International Technical Cooperation: An Anthropological Systems Approach

  • Letícia Cesarino
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter approaches communication across different ethnographic scales in one agricultural technology transfer project between Brazil and four countries in West Africa. It revisits classic Science and Technology Studies (STS) debates on the movement of conceptual and material objects across different contexts from a perspective inspired by systems theory, development ethnography, and post-representational approaches in anthropology. By empirically following one conceptual object—the paysan, or cotton-producing peasant—as it both connects and disconnects scales in the project, this analysis brings to the fore the double issue of multi-scalarity and self-reference, which becomes central when one views communication in a cybernetic rather than semiotic sense.

References

  1. ABC (Agência Brasileira de Cooperação). 2009. Apoio ao desenvolvimento do setor algodoeiro dos países do C-4 (Benin, Burkina Faso, Chade e Mali). Project BRA/04/043. Brasília: Ministry of Foreign Relations.Google Scholar
  2. Akrich, M. 1992. The De-Scription of Technological Artifacts. In Shaping Technology/Building Society: Studies in Sociotechnical Change, ed. W. Bijker and J. Law, 205–224. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  3. ———. 1993. Essay of Technosociology: A Gasogene in Costa Rica. In Technological Choices: Transformation in Material Cultures Since the Neolithic, ed. P. Lemonnier, 289–337. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Bateson, G. 1958. Naven: A Survey of the Problems Suggested by a Composite Picture of the Culture of a New Guinea Tribe Drawn from Three Points of View. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. ———. 1972. Steps to An Ecology of Mind. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bayart, J.F. 2000. Africa in the World: A History of Extraversion. African Affairs 99 (395): 217–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bierschenk, T., J.P. Chaveau, and J.P. Olivier de Sardan. 2000. Courtiers en Developpement: Les Villages Africaines em Quête de Projets. Paris: Karthala.Google Scholar
  8. Cabral, L., and A. Shankland. 2013. Narratives of Brazil-Africa Cooperation for Agricultural Development: New Paradigms? China and Brazil in African Agriculture (CBAA) Project, Working Paper 51.Google Scholar
  9. Callon, M. 1984. Some Elements of a Sociology of Translation: Domestication of the Scallops and the Fishermen of St Brieuc Bay. The Sociological Review 32: 196–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cesarino, L. 2012. Anthropology of Development and the Challenge of South-South Cooperation. Vibrant 9 (1): 507–537.Google Scholar
  11. ———. 2013. South-South Cooperation Across the Atlantic: Emerging Interfaces in International Development and Technology Transfer in Agriculture. Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  12. ———. 2014. Antropologia multissituada e a questão da escala: reflexões com base no estudo da cooperação sul-sul brasileira. Horizontes Antropológicos (41): 19–50.Google Scholar
  13. ———. Forthcoming-a. O ‘camponês’ enquanto contexto: transferência de tecnologia em um projeto de cooperação sul-sul. In Técnicas e transformações: perspectivas etnográficas sobre humanos e não-humanos, ed. C. Sautchuk. Brasília.Google Scholar
  14. ———. 2017. Anthropology and the South-South Encounter: On ‘Culture’ in Brazil-Africa Relations. American Anthropologist 119 (2): 333–341.Google Scholar
  15. De Laet, M., and A. Mol. 2000. The Zimbabwe Bush Pump: Mechanics of a Fluid Technology. Social Studies of Science 30 (2): 225–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Edwards, M. 1989. The Irrelevance of Development Studies. Third World Quarterly 11 (1): 16–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Evans-Pritchard, E.E. 1969. The Nuer: A Description of the Modes of Livelihood and Political Institutions of a Nilotic People. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. ———. 1976. Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Ferguson, J. 1994. The Anti-politics Machine. “Development”, De-politicization and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  20. Galison, P. 1997. Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  21. ———. 2011. Scientific Cultures. In Interpreting Clifford Geertz: Cultural Investigation in the Social Sciences, ed. J. Alexander, P. Smith, and N. Norton, 121–129. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Haraway, D. 1988. Situated Knowledges. The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective. Feminist Studies 14 (3): 575–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Holbraad, M., and M. Pedersen. 2009. Planet M: The Intense Abstraction of Marilyn Strathern. Anthropological Theory 9 (4): 371–394.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hughes, T. 1987. The Evolution of Large Technological Systems. In The Social Construction of Technological Systems, ed. W. Bijker, T. Pinch, and T. Hughes, 51–82. Cambridge: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  25. Kuhn, T. 1962. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  26. Latour, B. 1987. Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers Through Society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  27. ———. 1991. We Have Never Been Modern. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  28. ———. 2005. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  29. ———. 2011. On the Modern Cult of the Factish Gods. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Lewis, D., and M. Mosse. 2006. Development Brokers and Translators: The Ethnography of Aid and Agencies. Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press.Google Scholar
  31. Li, T.M. 2007. The Will to Improve: Governmentality, Development and the Practice of Politics. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Luhmann, N. 1996. Social Systems. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Mawdsley, E. 2012. From Recipients to Donors: Emerging Powers and the Changing Development Landscape. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  34. Mol, A. 2002. The Body Multiple: Ontology in Medical Practice. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mosse, D. 2005. Cultivating Development: An Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice. London; Ann Arbor, MI: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  36. Moyo, S. 2008. African Land Questions, Agrarian Transitions, and the State: Contradictions of Neoliberal Land Reforms. Dakar: CODESRIA.Google Scholar
  37. Neves, F. 2014. A contextualização da verdade ou como a ciência torna-se periférica. Civitas 14 (3): 556–574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Rottenburg, R. 2009. Far-Fetched Facts: A Parable of Development Aid. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Star, S.L., and J. Griesemer. 1989. Institutional Ecology, ‘Translations’ and Boundary Objects. Social Studies of Science 19 (3): 387–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Strathern, M. 1991. Partial Connections. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press.Google Scholar
  41. ———. 2004. Bullet Proofing: A Tale from the UK. In Documents: Artefacts of Modern Knowledge, ed. A. Riles, 191–205. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  42. ———. 2011. Binary License. Common Knowledge 17 (1): 87–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Touré, A.T., and B. Compaoré. 2003. Your Farm Subsidies are Strangling Us. The New York Times, July 11.Google Scholar
  44. Von Bertalanffy, L. 1968. General Systems Theory: Foundations, Development, Applications. New York: George Braziller.Google Scholar
  45. Wagner, R. 1975. The Invention of Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  46. ———. 1991. The Fractal Person. In Big Men and Great Men: Personifications of Power in Melanesia, ed. M. Strathern and M. Godelier, 159–173. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Wilson, B., ed. 1970. Rationality. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  48. Woolgar, S., and J. Lezaun. 2013. The Wrong Bin Bag: A Turn to Ontology in Science and Technology Studies. Social Studies of Science 43 (3): 321–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Viveiros de Castro, E. 2014. Cannibal Metaphysics. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Letícia Cesarino
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de AntropologiaUniversidade Federal de Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil

Personalised recommendations