de la Maza, Francisca: State Interactions in Indigenous and Intercultural Contexts. Shared Life Trajectories between the Public Employee and the User

Abstract. – The article presents the results of an ethnographic investigation into the implementation of public policy in indigenous and intercultural contexts. In particular, it analyses the life trajectories of public employees, both indigenous and nonindigenous, in three municipalities in the Araucanía Region, Chile – the traditional territory of the Mapuche people. The main thesis is that those who implement public policy have life trajectories and styles that are similar to those of the beneficiaries of these policies (known to social programs as “users”). Although by different routes, both groups achieve appropriate ways of implementing those programs, based on personal and power relations implied by their positions as local representatives of the State. [Chile, Mapuche, public employees, state interactions, life trajectories]