Article: article from journal or magazin.
The conditions for the reproduction of the SAGUAPAC water cooperative in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia : discourse analysis
Articulo-Journal of Urban Research
The SAGUAPAC cooperative in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Eastern Bolivia) is regularly presented as an example of cooperative successes regarding water supply and sanitation. Its efficiency, both economic and technical, is widely considered as the main reason for its attractiveness. However, without denying its importance, we show, through a discourse analysis from and about SAGUAPAC in local media, that moral and non-instrumental factors are crucial in the reproduction of the cooperative. These factors create attachment and affection toward the cooperative, through a storytelling using a four-dimensional rhetoric (mythification, identification, emotionalisation and personification). This storytelling technique, internalized in the local media discourse and materializing the so-called new spirit of capitalism, exploits the affects and instrumentalisation of local myths and legends, as well as the 'camba' ethnic identity. In that, it tends to retain SAGUAPAC members and to canvass new ones, by providing them with recognition in their quality of local community members. However, the mobilisation of social norms and power hierarchies might end up reinforcing the social exclusion of Andean non-camba immigrants, inspite of an a priori inclusive and democratic organisation.
Water cooperative, urban water services, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, newspaper discourse analysis, storytelling
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