Land's End Analysis

Posted on: 29th May 2023

Question

Please follow the direction provided in the attached assignment

Book: Land's End by Tania Murray Li

Essay One: Land’s End By Tania Murray Li  

It is a dominant idea in the West that individuals are "free" agents who make choices about how to live their lives. This course emphasizes how people's decisions and actions are shaped, enabled, and constrained by cultural, social, political, and economic relations. Select one particular decision made by an individual from Land's End, and explain why they did what they did.

Examples of decisions could include: Why did Malia pay her children for their work? Why did Idin attempt to get porters to work for less than the going rate? Why did Adam give Li some yams? Why did Hamdan stop lending money to his kin? and many, many more...

Note: In order to answer a “why” question you need to make an argument (because…) and support it with evidence.

In assessing this essay, we will reward your active reading, creative analysis, and evidence that you have understood how to situate an individual and the decisions they make in the set of relations that forms them.

What we want to see in the essay is your capacity to ANALYSE: i.e. not just to present random facts about an individual, but to really explain to the reader what makes them into the person they are, doing the things they do, taking into account different scales of analysis, and how one kind of relation relates to another.

For orientation, you could start by reviewing pp16-20 on the conjunctural approach that takes account of how multiple relations and forces come together to shape particular outcomes.

Citation style: Cite Land’s End using just the page numbers i.e. (20-22). It is not necessary to use other sources.

Submit in .doc or .docx format

Word Limit: 1200 

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Solution

Land's End Analysis

The Selected Decision Is, "Why Did Indigenous Highlanders Privatize Their Common Land to Plant A Boom Crop, Cacao?"

Tania Murray Li's Land's End is a fictionalized account of indigenous highland communities privatizing common land to grow cacao. In this paper, I will argue that indigenous highlanders privatizing their common land to plant a boom crop of cacao are an effective decision because it provides readers with a clear example of how people's decisions and actions are shaped by social, political, cultural, and economic relations.

First, indigenous highlanders in Ecuador decided to privatize their common land to plant a boom crop, cacao, because they were experiencing a lack of income. They were also experiencing an increase in population that made the land insufficient for everyone who lived there. The indigenous highlanders had few alternatives, so they decided to plant cacao. Additionally, the decision was made because the indigenous highlanders were experiencing a lack of income and an increased population. These two factors caused them to need to find a way to make more money and accommodate more people on their land. They could only do this by privatizing their common land and planting cacao trees. Privatizing common land is not typically done without reason, but in this case, it had become necessary due to a lack of income from other sources such as hunting and fishing on their land. There were no other options for these indigenous people besides finding another way to live together peacefully with enough food and shelter for everyone who needed it.

Second, economic relations dictated the decision made by indigenous highlanders to privatize their common land to plant a boom crop. Tania Murray Li argues that this was a logical decision because it provided them with a means of increasing their wealth and power through trade, which would have previously been impossible. Before the arrival of Europeans, indigenous highlanders had access to common land they could farm and hunt on, meaning that they could sustain themselves without having to rely on money or trade with other groups. However, when Europeans arrived and brought cacao seeds, they offered them as part of a trade agreement. The indigenous highlanders realized that if they planted cacao trees on the common land and used them for their purposes instead of sharing them with their entire group (or tribe), they could keep all profits from selling the fruit or even just from harvesting it for themselves. By doing so, they were able to create more wealth than they ever had before—and because cacao production required fewer people than most other farming methods did at the time (Tania Murray Li, 2015), this also meant that fewer people would need to be involved for everyone else in their community to benefit. Highlanders chose to grow cacao because it was profitable. After all, cacao grew well in their area, giving them access to a market for their crop and allowing them to earn more money than if they had grown another crop on their land. Cacao was historically significant because it was one of the first commodities used by Europeans when they arrived in Asia during colonial times.; this led to a trading system between countries like Spain and China where goods were exchanged based on how much cacao each.

Third, political relations shaped the decision that the highlanders in Ecuador made because they were forced to privatize their common land to plant a boom crop, cacao. The government pressured them to sell their land to foreigners using it to grow cacao and other crops. Individuals made this decision because they faced pressure from their government and foreign companies. The decision was made because they had no choice but to comply with what was being asked of them by their government or face consequences such as imprisonment or death. This decision was made out of fear rather than any other motive. It is also clear that this decision was made because it is what the people wanted to do to survive and thrive in an area without much food available for them and other resources are scarce. The people wanted a better life for themselves and their families, so they decided on this course of action. It seemed like a good idea but soon became a disaster when things started going downhill quickly after planting all those trees.

Forth, cultural factors influenced the decision to privatize the land because the decision was made by individual families, not by all members of an indigenous community. This indicates that those who chose to plant cacao did so because they felt it would benefit them individually rather than everyone in their community. The decision was also made when there was high demand for cacao because it has many uses and is considered a luxury item by those who purchase it. Finally, the decision was made possible because these families live in an area where they have access to enough farmland to afford to plant and harvest cacao without having to share their harvest with others in their community (i.e., without having to share their land). In addition, these families can use technology like tractors and machetes, which help them, prepare the soil for planting cacao trees with less effort than if manual; this allows them more time to interact.

Lastly, another factor that influenced the decision is the environment. Due to deforestation and industrialization, environmental destruction has increased rapidly over the years. This has caused habitat loss for animals and plants and increased pollution levels in our atmosphere, which can harm plants and animals if these negative changes continue at an alarming rate. These negative changes impact everyone, including those living within these areas, whether through pollution or loss of habitat for animals and plants, causing them harm.

Conclusion

In the book Land's End by Tania Murray Li, the author focuses on how decisions are made and what factors affect them. One example of this is the decision of indigenous highlanders to privatize their common land to plant a boom crop, cacao. This decision is influenced by environmental, social, political, cultural, and economic factors; it has positive and negative implications. It was one of the first commodities used by Europeans when they arrived in Asia during colonial times. On the one hand, they sell cacao for a higher price than they could ever make from farming traditional crops. On the other hand, they frequently have to rely on the government overall, despite the fact that it appears to be a good decision overall because it benefits both parties involved (the farmer who sells and gets paid well, as well as having less competition due to fewer farmers trying to sell their products). 

References

Tania Murray Li. (2015). Land's end: Capitalist relations on an indigenous frontier. International Institute of Social Studies.

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