University of Wisconsin–Madison

Pearly Wong

Graduate Student

pwong7@wisc.edu

Photo of Pearly Wong

CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY

My overall research interest is to understand the plurality and heterogeneity of the meanings of ‘environmental justice’ and ‘development’, experienced through locally relevant identities, such as castes and gender, among rural communities in the Global South, and how they correspond with the broader societal discourse and network of development actors. The notion of ‘development’ as endless economic growth and increased consumption, is still widespread in developing societies. Such ‘development’ necessitates continuous natural resources commodification, inevitably dispossessing and displacing natural resource-dependent population from their livelihood means and territories. Even with the new sensibility by development actors on ‘sustainability’, the underlying contradiction persists, as local and global power structure remains unchallenged. My research forms part of a larger effort advocating for the recognition of diverse communities in the world with their values and identities rooted in their cultural and historical contexts.