Revista THEOMAI   /  THEOMAI   Journal
Estudios sobre Sociedad, Naturaleza y Desarrollo / Society, Nature and Development Studies


número 7 (primer semestre de 2003)  
number 7 (first semester of 2003)
                      mujer cuernos.jpg (13687 bytes)





Urban archipelagos and Sustainability. Notes for a critical theory of the project-fragment
Roberto Fernández

The old relationships between architecture and city (a true theoretical topic of the modernity, not only in architecture but also in politics) are at present, in the axis of the debate about the destination of cities and their fundamental aspects such as centrality, periphery and public spaces. The new paradigm of sustainability introduces a new prism of critical evaluation of the urban change and transformation projects.
In this context, it is important to consider the irreversible decadence of the pattern of bureaucracy which characterises the development of the normative and regulative instruments of the planning in favour of the market model. And also the substitution of power instances by control instances in what respect to real possibilities of modelling urban territories. Indeed, the construction of the city and the metropolitan areas (those vast territorial configurations typical of urban corridors or hybrid mosaics) seems to be built as a heterogeneous accumulation of fragments (spaces of exclusive consumption, closed neighbourhoods, thematic parks, etc.).     
(Article in Spanish)


Conceptual perspective and practice of the ecological modernization and the globalization
Judith Cherni

The article defines what ecological modernization means. It explains that it is the new paradigm that reconciles the neo-liberal market economy principles with successful environmental protection. This is a most accepted paradigm and it features well within the globalisation; it is discussed from theoretical and also empirical stances. With this purpose, the paper addresses environmental sustainability and analyses in particular environmental policy and the role of clean and efficient technological innovations. The article raises some of the paradoxes that characterize the ecological modernization model of economic growth and highlights contradictions between growth in a globalised world and nature's protection.
It emerges that environmental degradation might be difficult to sort out due more to political and economic causes than to cientific or technological. The paper approaches the subject from a reverted analytical perspective, i.e., from the effect that has had the environment on the local and international economy, rather than on the impact of the economy on the environment.       (Article in Spanish)


The natural beauties and the nation: the national parks in Argentina in the first half of the XX century
Eugenia Scarzanella

This article offers a contribution to the study of nation-territory relationships in Argentina. It analyzes some aspects of the national parks’s history. It is based on a investigation of the public sources of Dirección Nacional de Parques ( created en 1934) and on a research at the archive of his first director, Ezequiel Bustillo. It tries to discuss the role of nationalism in shaping the park’s policy in four different periods: 1. park’s gestation in the liberal Argentina, at the beginning of xx century; 2. park’s creation in the radical era; 3. administrative organization whith the birth of a specialized bureau during the years of conservatism (Justo’s presidency); 4. creation of new parks and redefinition of their purpose during peronism.
During the entire park’s history Argentina followed the example of the United States. Washington promoted the nature’s protection in all the countries of the hemisphere through the Pan American Union. Panamericanism and argentine nationalism could cohabit in this special field.
     (Article in Italian)


Sociology of the desertification in Southern Patagonia: the sheep ranchers of the central plateau of Santa Cruz
Larry Andrade

This article explores the characteristics of the erosive process known as desertification and its impact in the Austral Patagonia, especially in the Pronvince of Santa Cruz. It also shows a simple methodology to meassure the diference between the producer´s perception about the natural environment and the objective potencial of the grassing to feed sheep; giving elements for an apropiate intervention. Based on the interviews made with ranchers, the article shows their speech through the relevant analysis cathegories constructed and through 3 schemes that attempt to expose the complex interaction between man and environment. Finally, some reflections are presented to open possible new ways in the research of this complex problem. (Article in Spanish)


Is it correct to think the sustainability at local level? A methodological analysis starting from the case studie in an area of environmental protection in the south coast of Brazil
Anibal Rodrigues, Humberto Tommasino, Guillermo Foladori y Anderson Gregorczuc

In the analysis of sustainable development, one of the main difficulties is the relationship between social and ecological sustainability. In rural studies, ecological sustainability is quite clearly studied, but difficulties arise when establishing the relation with social sustainability. This article is the result of an extensive field work done in an Environmental Protected Area, in the municipality of Guaraqueçaba in the State of Paraná, south coast of Brazil, from 1999 to 2001. The interest is more methodological than detailing the empirical case.
The analysis of the field material allowed us to reach the following conclusions: a) in the interrelation between ecological and social sustainability, the social level determines the ecological sustainability. In other words, ecological sustainability is a dependent variable of social sustentabilidad; b) natural conditions offer important restrictions for the viability of social sustentabilidad; and, c) social sustainability cannot be analyzed without considering the levels or subsystems within the greater system.   (Article in Spanish)


Anthropology and the Anarchists: Culture, Power, and Practice in Militant Anti-Capitalist Protests
Jamie J. Cross

In recent history the metropolitan meetings of multilateral economic institutions and supra-national governing bodies have been accompanied by massive demonstrations. In Europe the actions of militant demonstrators have angered politicians, generated popular stereotypes about an ‘anti-globalisation movement’, and sparked intense debate amongst activists. This paper is an attempt to engage ethnographically with people who favour forms of confrontational protest against property and police, and identify themselves as anarchists. It is an approach that steps back from either pathologising or glorifying their actions.
The paper reacts to the sanitization of gender politics and internal conflicts in many academic accounts of collective political practice. In contrast, I apply Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu’s theoretical tools to contemporary social movements. I emphasise that practices aimed at resisting forms of power can also be re-productive. As examples, I explore dominant representations of the ‘developing world’ that feature in activist’s descriptions of protest. And I draw attention to hegemonic masculinities that operate in the midst of a demonstration.
My intention is to argue that the challenge of anthropological engagement requires more than the identification of sites of struggle. The necessary political act is to bring a reflexive alertness to common sense thoughts, actions and emotions.
(Article in English)


The unemployed piqueteros of argentina: active rejection of an exclusionary form of democracy
Paula Colmegna

This paper will focus on the Argentinean Piquetero movements of the unemployed and will address, by looking at their struggle, the transformations that have been set in motion in the Argentinean society as a result of the implementation of a neoliberal model with its consequent structural adjustment policies. I will focus on the trajectory of the Piqueteros, how they came into existence and later became the symbol of the struggle of many unemployed Argentineans against both political institutions and neoliberal policies. I will try to understand their objectives; internal heterogeneity, changing identities and forms of resistance, as well as the relationship that they establish with other socio-political actors and the various discourses that are created around them. I will further discuss how the Piqueteros’ struggle has been transformed in the light of the current socio-economic and political crisis and will also try to illustrate the role that the Piqueteros had in symbolising the present struggles against the model. (Article in English)


Respect Your Enemies - The First Rule of Peace: An Essay Addressed to the U. S. Anti-war Movement
George Caffentzis

There is now a fledgling anti-interventionist, anti-war movement in the US. It will have a lot of work to do in the near future, although the present threat of war on Iraq is the most pressing issue it faces. The question is: can the antiwar movement do its work effectively and successfully? At the moment it is not completely marginalized, if the votes in Congress are any indication. On October 9, between one-quarter to one-third of the congressional representatives voted against granting George W. Bush "war powers." But in order to show itself as expressing the majority perspective in this country, it needs new arguments, a new respect (as in "look again") for its opponents, a deeper understanding of the reasons for the actions of its opponents, and a realistic assessment of their weaknesses. For its old arguments do not seem convincing to the majority of US citizens, and its lack of curiosity about its opponents and their reasoning is dulling its strategic sense. (Article in English)


Social movements and collective action in Latin America: some questions on the potential political transformer of the masses interventions
Marcelo Gomez

We will try to approach to some aspects of the phenomenon of social movements in Latin Amercia through the light of one of the most important questions: which is the political potential of social and political change of these movements and collective actions?.
From the rebellion indigenous that combined with civic-military coup in Ecuador at the beginning of the 2000 to the urban revolts generalized in Bolivia and Peru in the last year, including the popular rebellion in Argentina at the end of 2001, and the civic-military countermobilization that restored Chávez in Venezuela, we obtain a panorama of an impressive wealth. (Article in English)



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Instrucciones para los autores /Instructions for Authors  
Consejo Editorial/Editorial Board



Theomai: palabra de origen griego que significa ver, mirar, contemplar, observar, pasar revista, comprender, conocer
Theomai is a word of greek origin wich means: to see, to contemplate, to observe, to understand, to know

Revista Theomai es una publicación de la Red de Estudios sobre Sociedad, Naturaleza y Desarrollo
Theomai Journal is published by  Society, Nature and Development Studies Network

Universidad Nacional de Quilmes