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LINGUIST List 23.2313

Mon May 14 2012

Diss: Anthro Ling: Rodriguez: 'Rhetorical Strategies and Political Gift Giving in the Orinoco Delta'

Editor for this issue: Xiyan Wang <xiyanlinguistlist.org>

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Date: 14-May-2012
From: Juan Rodriguez <jlrodriguez10gmail.com>
Subject: Rhetorical Strategies and Political Gift Giving in the Orinoco Delta
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Institution: Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Program: Department of Anthropology
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2011

Author: Juan Luis Rodriguez

Dissertation Title: Rhetorical Strategies and Political Gift Giving in the Orinoco Delta

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics

Dissertation Director:
Jonathan D. Hill
Anthony K. Webster
Laura R. Graham
Charles Andrew Hofling

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation addresses the intersection of rhetoric and material
exchange in the construction of political alliance and conflict between the
Waraos indigenous population and the non-indigenous institutions and
political actors in the Orinoco Delta, Venezuela. It deals with the
discursive and material strategies used to construct political reality at
the moment of the emergence of one of the so-called new South American left
wing populist governments (Hugo Chavez presidency since 1998). These
historical circumstances present an opportunity to open a discussion
bringing together the recent developments of discourse-centered approaches
to culture, language ideologies, and the most classical theories on
material exchange. This research's aim is to understand how multiple sign
systems (in this case language and material gifts) interact, contradict,
and support each other. In sum, this dissertation uses the advances of
discourse-centered approaches to culture and the anthropological theories
of exchange to understand how language and gift giving has shaped history
and political imagination in the Orinoco Delta and Venezuela.

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