By Sian Lazar
Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork carried out among 1997 and 2004, Lazar contends that during El Alto, citizenship is a collection of practices outlined by way of one’s participation in a number institutions, lots of them collectivist in nature. Her argument demanding situations Western liberal notions of the citizen through suggesting that citizenship isn't just person and nationwide yet in lots of methods communitarian and exceptionally neighborhood, constituted via other kinds of affiliations. considering that in El Alto those affiliations ordinarilly emerge via people’s position of place of dwelling and their occupational ties, Lazar deals in-depth analyses of local institutions and exchange unions. In so doing, she describes how the city’s a number of collectivities mediate among the country and the person. Collective association in El Alto and the idea that of citizenship underlying it are priceless of recognition; they're the root of the city’s bold strength to mobilize well known protest.
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Extra resources for El Alto, Rebel City: Self and Citizenship in Andean Bolivia
Market women also self-consciously assume what Lynn Sikkink (2001) calls an ‘‘ethnicity for consumption’’ by the purchasers of their products. But ethnicity is also attributed to them by others, including consumers of higher or lower status in the ethnic hierarchy. Ethnicity is inseparable from gender, as those women who remain in the countryside to work the ﬁelds become more Indian than the men who move between the two spheres, while those who travel to sell their produce in the cities come to be the archetypal chola, with all its associated ambiguities and threatening overtones (de la Cadena 1996; Weismantel 2001).
Nonetheless, they are crucial background for understanding the nature of El Alto and its relationship with its rural hinterland, which is, in turn, central to alteños’ encounters with the state. The Ceja The Ceja concentrates El Alto’s main economic activities, principally commerce and public transport. It is thus a key location for the construction of occupation-based identities and one of the sites where El Alto’s distinctive identity as an Aymara city crystallizes. It is rare to see someone simply wandering through the Ceja.
Many parts of ≥≤ chapter 1 the city do not have e√ective sewage systems, and residents are ﬁnding it increasingly di≈cult to pay the rising bills charged by the private companies who control public utilities such as electricity and water. Crime is increasingly serious: pickpocketing is common and burglaries of the most prosaic things, such as gas canisters (for cookers), are more frequent now than even ﬁve years ago. In an unfortunate but by now familiar pattern, the policing of crime has been largely privatized: while the wealthy in the southern suburbs of La Paz protect themselves from the threat of crime by locking themselves away and hiring private security, some residents of El Alto have resorted to lynching (cf.
El Alto, Rebel City: Self and Citizenship in Andean Bolivia by Sian Lazar