Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Social, Behavioral & Global Studies


Global Studies

First Advisor

Ajit Abraham

Second Advisor

Richard Harris


In a globalizing world, indigenous communities are repeatedly targeted by development practices that threaten their cultural heritage and traditions. The Mapuche people of Chile are the largest indigenous group still occupying South America. Practices by wealthier nations, to include; seed patent laws, intellectual property right agreements, and development, have threatened the Mapuche and their deeply embedded cultural traditions. I use a critical approach, a main sociological research method, with a focus on the neoliberal regime of truth to analyze the consequences of development and capitalism to the indigenous Mapuche people. Through use of Immanuel Wallerstein’s World Systems Theory, David Harvey’s explanation of neoliberalism, and case studies provided by Vandana Shiva I argue agricultural practices and intellectual infringement are altering the health of the Mapuche people, threatening their food security, and their rights to cultural benefits.