Liminality in paradise : a study in utopianism at the Punta Mona community

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dc.contributor.author Jokivirta, Lisa
dc.date.accessioned 2012-09-14T05:30:35Z
dc.date.available 2012-09-14T05:30:35Z
dc.date.issued 2009
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/38542
dc.description.abstract This Master’s thesis is a study in utopianism at the Punta Mona Sustainable Living and Education Centre, an ecological community of North Americans living on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. The mission statement of Punta Mona is to show “sustainability” as a lived reality and to inspire individuals to return to mainstream society to enact change towards a more “eco-conscious” world. The main objective of this thesis is to critically examine the concept of sustainability as it is understood and practiced at Punta Mona and to raise questions over the tensions inherent in Punta Mona’s in-between position as an ecological community and ecotourism venture. What power structures are implicitly embedded within Punta Mona’s talk of “sustainability”, “community” and “oneness”? Does Punta Mona ultimately challenge or reinforce Western conceptualizations, values and paradigms, and at what potential cost to local or subaltern forms of knowledge? Victor Turner’s concept of liminality will be used as the theoretical framework through which such questions will be explored. Punta Mona displays many characteristics of liminality as a “state of outsiderhood” or being on the margins of society. It creates a liminal space far removed from mainstream society in which important personal aspects such as identity, beliefs and ways of living can be put into play without affecting one’s place in the “real world”. However, this thesis argues that paradoxically, Punta Mona struggles with liminality due to its own liminal position between corporation and community, non-sustainability and sustainability, North and South, core and margin, and North America and Costa Rican society. The empirical material of this thesis is drawn from firsthand participatory and ethnographic fieldwork, and consists of 45 in-depth interviews with members of the Punta Mona Community, conducted in English and Spanish. Victor Turner’s concept of liminality is used to explore some of the paradoxes, ambiguities, boundaries and power tensions inherent in the fluidity of a living utopian experiment and to raise questions over its implications on contemporary political thought and life.
dc.format.extent 175
dc.language.iso eng
dc.rights This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for Your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited. en
dc.rights Julkaisu on tekijänoikeussäännösten alainen. Teosta voi lukea ja tulostaa henkilökohtaista käyttöä varten. Käyttö kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin on kielletty. fi
dc.subject.other Ecological community
dc.subject.other ecotourism
dc.subject.other liminality
dc.subject.other sustainability
dc.subject.other utopianism
dc.subject.other Punta Mona
dc.subject.other Costa Rica
dc.title Liminality in paradise : a study in utopianism at the Punta Mona community
dc.type Book en
dc.identifier.urn URN:NBN:fi:jyu-201209142404
dc.type.dcmitype Text en
dc.type.ontasot Pro gradu fi
dc.type.ontasot Master's thesis en
dc.contributor.tiedekunta Yhteiskuntatieteellinen tiedekunta fi
dc.contributor.tiedekunta Faculty of Social Sciences en
dc.contributor.laitos Yhteiskuntatieteiden ja filosofian laitos fi
dc.contributor.laitos Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy en
dc.contributor.yliopisto University of Jyväskylä en
dc.contributor.yliopisto Jyväskylän yliopisto fi
dc.contributor.oppiaine Master´s Degree Programme in Development and International Cooperation en
dc.contributor.oppiaine kansainvälinen kehitystyö (maisteriohjelma) fi
dc.date.updated 2012-09-14T05:30:35Z

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