La reinvención de la autenticidad en el contexto de la mercantilización neoliberal






Since the last decades of the past century, the empirical evidence of the natural limits to growth being overstepped (Garcia, 2004) supposed an increase in environmental awareness and led to a search for answers of different kinds. The concept of 'Parque Natural' (Natural Park) is registered in this context as an attempt to preserve certain areas. In its neoliberal version, such preservation doesn't involve any substantive changes to the rules imposed by the capitalist economic development. Thus, this term becomes an application of the binomial "sustainable development", an oxymoron (Latouche, 2006) which juxtaposes two opposite meanings in global terms, and often, in local terms: capitalist economic development and environmental sustainability. In this paper we analyze, in the first place, the theoretical implications of the concept 'Natural Park'. Subsequently, based on our research in the Albufera of Valencia (Spain) and one of its natural reserve areas, "El Tancat de la Pipa", we present the limits and possibilities of these spaces. The analysis of the discourses, produced through interviews and discussion groups, contextualizes the social representations of this habitat according to their connection with the different social sectors and unravels the meaning given to this area. For the traditional sectors, "El Tancat de la Pipa" is perceived as an expropriation of their land. For the environmental technicians, the area represents an object of educational and scientific consumption. For the ecology movements, it is a "renaturalized" area which is in keeping with the developmentalism. And finally, for the modernization consumers, this zone means a place for consumption that should receive 'more marketing' and be transformed into a "theme park" for family leisure.

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