A cultural antroplogical research for the relation between 'solidarity' and 'individual freedom' with two developmentprojects of Aymara-and Quechua communities.

Project Details


Through their contacts with the Western way of life, the Aymara and Quechua Amerindians in Peru and northern Chile have been introduced to the notion of 'individual freedom'. This notion has at least two connotations, a positive one, where the individual's freedom to develop is appreciated, and a negative one, where excessive individual freedom is held to be one of the causes of today's increasing individualization and loss of relationships within traditional communities. In the Quechua and Aymara communities, the relationships between their members and the wider environment may best be characterized by a sense of 'linkedness'. Their confrontation with the Western way of life has given rise to tensions that were unknown to them and that seem to have a negative impact on the quality of their traditional way of life and culture, centering on linkedness to the group and nature.
This study analyzes the conflict between 'linkedness' and 'individual freedom', which is reflected in the confrontation between the Western approach to reality and that of the above two Amerindian communities.
Our analysis breaks down into two parts. In the first, we define the notions of 'individual freedom' and 'linkedness'. In the second, we discuss elements from everyday reality, aiming to check the theoretical frameworks against the current worldviews of both communities.
Effective start/end date1/01/0231/12/05

Flemish discipline codes

  • Physical sciences
  • Biological sciences


  • freedom