The end of negotiations and the beginning of everyday ethics

Reade, Paul James (1 October 2019). The end of negotiations and the beginning of everyday ethics (Unpublished). In: DGSKA (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie) Tagung. Universität Konstanz. 29.09. - 02.10.2019.

This paper looks at everyday ethics in a tourist town in Mexico. The town has avoided the worst excesses of mass tourism, and environmental and socially responsible travel are emphasised by both local and foreign actors. However, the inequality between locals and visitors is stark, and conspicuous ethical behaviour at times appears as a luxury reserved for those who can afford it. Poverty and violence point to a fundamental injustice between the plight of the two parties in which the question of “the good” verges on the farcical. In light of such injustice doing good be- comes problematic, especially when doing good has quickly become commodified and packaged into the tourist experience. Around this and sometimes in spite of it, locals carry on their own everyday ethics. I look at the case of the now illegal turtle eggs, the tourist promotion surrounding their protection, and the power these eggs give to local people who continue to consume them. The law, as well as the refusal to obey it, illustrates the point at which negotiation ends and eve- ryday ethics kick in. By accident or not, it becomes a largely hidden and silent battle over power in which freedoms are acted out and subjectivities reinforced.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Art and Cultural Studies > Institute of Social Anthropology

UniBE Contributor:

Reade, Paul James


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




Anja Julienne Wohlgemuth

Date Deposited:

21 Apr 2020 14:11

Last Modified:

21 Apr 2020 14:11


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