This article focuses on local perceptions of wellbeing, their underlying social and power relations and the resulting cultural resistance by Rarámuri indigenous people in the Tarahumara region, Mexico. It is based on findings from doctoral research that argues that understandings of wellbeing must be analysed in conjunction with its sociocultural and political context and in relation to ethnic differences.
In this sense, the article presents evidence that shows how Rarámuri people hold discursive understandings of wellbeing which evoke differentiated ways of living compared to those accounts described both in mainstream development thinking and those which occur in Mexico’s wider society. Similarly, the article considers the value of ethnography, semi-structured interviews and participant observation as a tool in documenting notions of wellbeing and what Rarámuri people value, as well as exploring reflections, fieldwork experiences, and methodological challenges encountered while doing fieldwork research.
This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 45.2-3 (2014) The Power of Wellbeing Discourses among Indigenous and Non‐Indigenous People in Mexico