Ideology and the self - fulfilling prophecy in conservation and social science research

  • SJTM Evers


In this essay, I propose an analytical model, ‘zones of intermediality’, designed to research socio - cultural dynamics in foreign large - scale land projects. ‘Zones of intermediality’ refers to the ontological grids of (inter)national -local stakeholder encounters where diverse ideologies, discourses and practices of land use and valuation are mediated. The model was constructed to analyze conceptual similarities and differences between and within stakeholder groups in such land projects. Just as local ‘communities’ are composed of people with varied social realities, economies, political relations, knowledge, views and perceptions, so are other stakeholder groups. Researchers are not immune to such realities. The subjectivity and epistemological rooting of the researcher impact on what he or she sees in the field and what is eventually reported in research publications. Thus, the essay argues for a reflection on these processes in view of the fact that we ourselves mediate representations of ‘local’ people to academic and non - academic audiences. I hope that the ‘zones of intermediality’ model will be useful in facilitating such reflections.

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eISSN: 1662-2510