Reassessing the LIS approach to traditional knowledge: Learning from Xochimilco, Mexico city

Andrew Cox, Jorge Martins, Gibrán Rivera González

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The study aims to understand the nature of traditional knowledge by examining how it is used and reinvented in the context of Xochimilco in Mexico City. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on field site visits and focus group interviews. Findings – Traditional knowledge was being reinvented in two contrasting ways. One was based on heritage tourism drawing on syncretism between Aztec and Spanish culture in the formation of Xochimilco. The other was agro-ecological focussed on traditional farming practices on the chinampas, their productivity, their ability to sustain biodiversity and their link to social justice. There were some common elements, such as a passionate concern with retaining a valued past in the face of growing threat. Research limitations/implications – Traditional knowledge is often seen as a static heritage, under threat.
But it also has the potential to be a fertile source of strong identities and sustainable practices. Originality/value – The paper helps to conceptualise the dynamic character of traditional knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)981-997
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Documentation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Indigenous knowledge
  • Mexico
  • Traditional knowledge


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