Reproductive extractivism: An environmental reproductive justice ethnography in the context of industrial mining in Peru

Year of award: 2022


  • Dr Julieta Chaparro-Buitrago

    University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Project summary

This project explores the effects of industrial mining in the reproductive lives of humans, animals and the land to expand our understanding of reproduction beyond the narrow model of the individual and biological human reproductive cycle that has traditionally constrained this body of scholarship (Ginsburg & Rapp 1991, 1995; Franklin 1997; Browner & Sargent 2011). Amidst the current climate crisis, reproduction – particularly fertility decline – is increasingly understood as a lens for addressing social, economic and environmental degradation (Dow 2016; Hoover 2018; Wahlberg 2018). The goal is to develop a framework I call Reproductive Extractivism to understand how human reproduction is deeply interrelated with other beings' reproduction and show the analytic possibilities that reproduction offers for probing broader socio-economic processes, such as extractivism. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in Peru, this project will examine the everyday life of reproductive extractivism among peasant communities in Cajamarca and Ayacucho and their 'world-making' (Murphy 2017b) practices and responses to environmental degradation. My research will produce new understandings for remedying environmental degradation and its implications for the reproductive lives of peasant and indigenous communities across the world.