Broocks, Anne (2019) The Meaning of Mangroves – Littoral Sense Making. [Talk] In: Joint Annual Conference of GAPS and IACPL: Contradictions and Heterogeneities in the Epistemes of Salt Water. , 30.05.-02.06.2019, University of Bremen .

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Mangroves as “home of ghosts”, “resource”, “biodiversity reserve”, “coastal protection”, or “death bringers”. Contradictory meanings of mangroves have constructed mangrove reality ever since humans communicated about these “coastal intertidal wetland forest[s] composed of halophytic tree and shrub species” (Friess 2016:746). My Ph.D. project aims to contribute to a better understanding of how Western scientific discourse on mangroves has entered and is negotiated within local knowledge systems. I firstly analyze scientific discourses on mangroves relevant for the region over the last 200 years. Secondly, I undertake a discourse ethnography (Akbaba 2017, Elliker, Wundrak et al. 2017, Maeder 2017, Wundrak 2017, Elliker 2018) to unfold empirically existing practices that construct discursively local knowledge on mangroves in Guayas province, Ecuador, today. Within the interdisciplinary ZMT funded project “Mangroves and Meaning-Making: A mutual relationship over time” by Anna-Katharina Hornidge (PI) and Maria Jose Barragan-Paladines, these empirical insights on mangrove knowledge systems in Ecuador will be compared to economic and ecological findings of the mangrove forests in the area.

In the conference “Postcolonial Oceans” I aim to present and discuss preliminary findings from the first part of my research that draws on historical scientific publications about mangroves in Latin America from the last 200 years. I argue that the construction and the spread of scientific knowledge are embedded in (post-) colonial power structures, aiming to generate knowledge about “the other” to improve and re-confirm the power position of the Western World and to reaffirm self-distinction (Hornidge 2013, Hornidge and Mielke 2017:5). However, the 2 construction of scientific knowledge was itself influenced by local knowledge gathered through communication and interaction, for example during expeditions and fieldwork, which caused a presumably mutual influence. Guided by the ‘Sociology of Knowledge Approach to Discourse’ (SKAD) (Keller 2001, Keller 2005, Keller 2011, Keller 2011) I aim to show practices of power/knowledge, how discourses were formed, their embeddedness in dispositifs and what caused changes in discourse (e. g. Foucault 1971, Keller, Hornidge et al. 2018:3) in the specific case of scientific Latin American mangroves discourses. In my data analysis, I will conceptually compress and interpret primary sources (Keller 2013:115) using inductive coding (Bernard 2002:464), supported by secondary sources and the software Atlas.ti. The discussion of these findings will contribute to the outline of my empirical field work that I start shortly after the conference from June 2019 for 6 to 8 months in Guayas Province, Ecuador.

Document Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Talk)
Research affiliation: Social Sciences > Development and Knowledge Sociology
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2020 16:20
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2020 13:01

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