Urkupina Image

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Ph.D Project

Sanne Derks’ anthropological study focused on the lived religion of Bolivians in relation to social inequality. Pilgrimage can reveal much about the power dynamics of society, as pilgrims often come to a shrine to express their worldly problems in a religious discourse. Pilgrimage both gives room to express problems generated by different forms of inequality and, on its turn, influences pilgrims’ perceptions and possibilities, to deal with these inequalities. The main research question is:

How do believers deal with class, gender and ethnic inequality at the pilgrimage to the Virgin of Urkupiña in Bolivia?

The Virgin of Urkupiña in Bolivia is especially approached with material requests for money, a house or a job. This has been taken as an entrance to investigate how the daily religious experiences are connected with economic inequality in Bolivia and, in addition, how its is related to gender and ethnic inequality.