TitleFrom State collectives to local commons
NameGerkey, Andrew Patrick (author), Cronk, Lee (chair), Fox, Robin (internal member), McCay, Bonnie J (internal member), Palombit, Ryne A (internal member), Ziker, John P (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
Reindeer herders--Russia--Kamchatka Peninsula
DescriptionThis dissertation examines the factors influencing the emergence and stability of cooperation and collective action among salmon fishers and reindeer herders living on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia. Patterns of cooperation and the practices that sustain them have undergone dramatic changes following the collectivization and cultural construction of the Soviet era and the subsequent privatization and collapse of Soviet collectives in the 1990s. I examine the effects of these events in three contexts: (1) contemporary foraging activities; (2) post-Soviet collective institutions that continue to coordinate these activities; and (3) collective action movements addressing issues of indigenous rights, economic development, environmental conservation, and natural resource use. During 19 months of ethnographic research, I collected data on cooperation in these three contexts by combining qualitative and quantitative methods. Using a structured survey, I collected measures of food-sharing for hunted, gathered, and gardened foods that allow me to trace networks of social support within communities. I also conducted experimental economic games with fishers and herders in two villages, comparing levels of cooperation in Kamchatka with large and small-scale societies throughout the world. Combining standard versions of the games with versions “framed” to reference collective institutions, I forged connections between the abstract structure of the games and the lived experiences of the people who participated in them. I explored these connections further by comparing experimental measures of cooperation with the food-sharing behaviors of game participants, assessing the external validity of economic games as measures of cooperation. Using post-game interviews, I invited game participants to provide their own interpretations of the results and reflect on how the games related to experiences in their everyday lives. These interviews continued ongoing conversations that emerged as I participated in and observed daily life in Kamchatka throughout the seasons. By accompanying fishers and herders on foraging excursions in the tundra, observing efforts to transform and manage post-Soviet collective institutions within the village, and locating points of contact between local leaders and outside organizations, I gained an intimate understanding of the cultural norms and values used to form and sustain cooperative relationships within the community and across broader scales.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Andrew Patrick Gerkey
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.