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Environmental Values

From Fieldwork to Mutual Learning: Working with PRATEC

Frederique Apffel-Marglin

Environmental Values 11(2002): 345-367. doi: 10.3197/096327102129341127

This paper places the work of a Peruvian NGO (PRATEC), with which the author collaborates, within a broad context of the theory of knowledge. The three members of PRATEC were engaged in different aspects of the development enterprise. Out of their perceived failure of that enterprise, they deprofessionalised themselves and founded this NGO. The author argues that within the professional academic disciplines it is impossible to produce a knowledge that can contribute to the procreative concerns of communities, that is, their concerns about their continuity and well-being. She does a brief historical review of the emergence of the modern University in the nineteenth century and the hidden political agenda of the new so called value-free knowledge it institutionalised. She ends up advocating a rejection of the double participation necessitated by professional academic disciplines.

KEYWORDS: Deprofessionalisation, development, biodiversity, green revolution, peasantry, decolonisation of the mind, hybrid, hybrid variety, interculturalism, dialogue, andinismo, theory of knowledge

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