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Title:Dispute Negotiations Among the Guajiro of Colombia and Venezuela: Dynamics of Compensation and Status
Author(s):Mansen, Richard Arnold
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Keller, Janet
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Anthropology, Cultural
Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations
Abstract:Process approaches to the anthropology of law have selected the dispute settlement process as a prime research target. Adequately handling the mass of data while admitting its incompleteness remain nagging weaknesses encountered with case studies of real-life disputes, particularly across cultures
By a micro approach, this work analyzes in depth by case study the dispute negotiation process among the Guajiro, a semi-nomadic, acephalous, egalitarian pastoral people of northern South America. A Guajiro appointed by the offended party as go-between seeks without authority but by persuasion to reach a joint decision with the offender party on compensation payment.
A negotiation model is applied to a lengthy verbatim vernacular recording of Guajiro dispute negotiations (text with interlinear translation in the appendix) in order to describe the dynamics of both explicit compensation decisions and implicit status (prestige) generation. General negotiator objectives are operationalized in terms of "tasks". Those dealing more with compensation were based on Gulliver's interaction model and those dealing more with status were derived by the author. This adaptation of Gulliver's negotiation models to incorporate the goal of status provided a greatly improved investigatory and explanatory instrument. It required, however, interpretive decisions by the author based on many years of living with the Guajiro, fluency in speaking the language, and extensive linguistic and ethnographic investigation.
It was discovered that the two disputing parties gain equal status and that the mediator gains more that either of them. Also, the dynamics of compensation negotiation are not permitted to reach prominence until after the dynamics of status generation have reached prominence, thus skewing the fit of Gulliver's model to Guajiro.
The in-depth micro-approach vernacular case study and the analysis of issues, outside influence, norms and power in negotiations contributes to process approaches in the ethnology of law. The revelation of a go-between-as-mediator law process from lowland South America contributes to a field dominated by African and Middle-Eastern studies. And the innovative incorporation of status into the negotiation model strikingly amplifies investigative potential, not only for the Guajiro, but for negotiations in any culture dealing with any issues.
Issue Date:1988
Description:611 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8823191
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1988

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