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Map value transformations in a global interconnection. How sensory experiences and cultural interpretations shape concepts of “ethical diamond” and “mining work ethic”.

Project description

Tracing diamonds from ethical mine to market

The diamond mining industry has connections in all corners of the globe. The EU-funded DiaEthic project will focus on the Canadian diamond mines in the Northwest Territories. The mines produce certified diamonds, mined following strict requirements for environmental protection, fair labour conditions, and economic development in mining communities. The diamonds are sold to Belloni’s Jewellery in Italy. Founded in 1926, this jewellery shop is the first Italian certified licenser. Taking an anthropological approach, the DiaEthic project will study consumer practices and shed light on the cultural interpretations that consumers attribute to their actions when they buy ethical diamonds.


The aim of the project is to retrace, through an ethnographic research in the Canadian diamond mine Diavik and in the jewelry Belloni in Milan, the cultural interpretations that various parties (miners, consumers and owners of jewelry) give, within a global interconnection to ethical diamond and the idea of ethics of mining work. The Diavik Mine, who joined a certification program signed by the Government of the Northwest Territories of Canada, produces ethical certified diamonds that are sold in Italy in the jewelry store Belloni.
The project provides a detailed description of the concept of culture of limit, coined by the candidate, that Armano has already detected among miners of alpine mining communities; the concept explains the special relationship between miners and mine, which is interpreted by the workers as a symbolic threshold that the miner must challenge to be accepted in the group of companions; but it is also a threshold that the miner must not exceed to avoid accidents at the work of place. The anthropological concept of limit, regulates the relationship between workers in the mine and gives shape to a cultural representation of mining work ethic.
In ethnographic research in jewelry, the project aims to study, from the anthropological point of view, consumer practices and understanding the cultural interpretations that consumers attribute to their actions when they buy ethical diamonds. It also wants to analyze which interpretations, the owners of the jewelry, give to the idea of mining work ethic and how it is used, advertising strategies, to promote the sale of ethical diamonds.
The project aims to build an analysis methodology of anthropology, to the study of consumption that can provide a new key to anthropological interpretation of consumers and consumption practices. The main target is to contextualize, from the socio-cultural point of view, consumption practices and from the classic consumer research, bring out the consumers point of view.



Net EU contribution
€ 255 768,00
Dorsoduro 3246
30123 Venezia

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Nord-Est Veneto Venezia
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Partners (1)