Extracting consent or engineering support?: an institutional ethnography of mining, "community support" and land acquisition in Cerro de San Pedro, Mexico.




Herman, Tamara

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This thesis explicates the translocal ruling relations embedded in the process that a Canadian corporation used to acquire collectively held land for a mine in Mexico. Using Institutional Ethnography, I begin from a disjuncture between the corporation’s statements that the mine holds “local support” and the contesting claims of an opposition movement. I contextualize this disjuncture by referring to the institutional discourse of “corporate social responsibility” in mining. I make visible the hierarchy of texts activated by the corporation to acquire land and produce the claim of “local support.” I overlay this problematic with a reconstruction of the legal disputes between the corporation and its opposition, indicating where the process is hooked into legislation that organizes multinational investment in mining. The inquiry illuminates the workings of power, illustrating how provisions for foreign investment enshrined in multilateral institutions and upheld in Mexican legislation hold primacy over provisions for “local support.”



Mexico, mining, corporate social responsibility, institutional ethnography, corporations, social justice, social movements, Canada