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Maneuvering for paper: physical and social experiences of bureaucracy in Venezuelan Amazonia

Penfield, Amy (2016) Maneuvering for paper: physical and social experiences of bureaucracy in Venezuelan Amazonia. Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, 21 (3). pp. 457-477. ISSN 1935-4932

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Identification Number: 10.1111/jlca.12190


This article explores an apprenticeship in bureaucracy that the Venezuelan Sanema have experienced through their participation in the projects of the late Hugo Chavez's Bolivarian Revolution. The analysis focuses on the maneuverability that paperwork engenders, and thus contributes to an understanding of mobility and corporeal experiences of the state apparatus in contemporary Amazonia. New patterns of movement—travel to and from cities, daily errands, and maneuvering within social spheres—must be understood with reference to the state and its bureaucratic pervasiveness, but also as congruous with customary practices of “journeying for knowledge,” which forge an intimate link between physical and social mobility. The new maneuverability that is both prompted and necessitated by the current political setting is equally as important as literacy in navigating bureaucratic structures and accessing state resources.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The American Anthropological Association
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2016 10:55
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:25

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