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The Evolution of a Trading Zone: A Case Study of the Turtle Excluder Device Lekelia D. Jenkins Introduction Sea turtles are among the best-known marine endangered species, and shrimping is the most profitable U.S. fishery. Thus, the incidental death of sea turtles in shrimp trawls (a problem generally known as bycatch) resembled the clash of two juggernauts, and became one of most controversial problems ever confronted by U.S. fisheries management. The stakeholders were numerous and diverse, from politicians to schoolchildren , fishers to environmentalists, and scientists to fisheries managers. Each group had differing opinions of how best to resolve the problem, and cooperation between groups would be critical to a successful solution, which came in the form of a turtle excluder device (TED)—a type of turtle escape hatch in the shrimp net. The concepts of trading zones and interactional expertise are useful for characterizing the types of engagements between stakeholder groups and how they contributed to the final resolution of the sea turtle bycatch issue. In this paper, I will describe examples of fractionated and enforced trading zones as they played out in the case study. In addition, I will offer evidential support for the hypothetical portrayal of the evolution of a trading zone proposed by Collins, Evans, and Gorman (2007) by organizing the case study within the trading zone model, thus showing the evolution from institutional power to boundary object to interactional expertise. I will also show how a trading zone can split and diverge into separate trading zones. For each step of the evolution, I will describe the forces that drove these transitions. Finally, I will present an adapted trading zone model that is conceptually a better fit for the TED case study. Methods I examined the TED case study between 1976—when research began with the goal of reducing sea turtle bycatch—and 1998. The final year included in the TED case study 8 158 Lekelia D. Jenkins was the last year of TED development before major changes in TED regulations.1 I gathered data for this study by examining inventions, conducting interviews, and analyzing documents. I conducted thirty-three on-site semistructured and unstructured personal interviews with key informants.2 These interviews mostly occurred during three two-week-long trips in June 2003, August 2003, and September 2003. The sample population consisted of representatives from stakeholder groups, including federal and state policymakers and managers, scientists, inventors, as well as representatives of the fishing industry and environmental organizations. I initially established a sample frame using a purposive sample of prominent individuals frequently mentioned in the literature pertaining to the study.3 The purposive sample led to a snowball sample: informants were asked to name other individuals who were knowledgeable about the case study, and many of these were then interviewed.4 I also collected hundreds of documents, including government reports, research records, workshop reports, panel reports, memos, personal letters, and educational videos and pamphlets from the key informants’ archives. I analyzed the text of the interviews and documents in the spirit of grounded theory (Strauss and Corbin 1998), allowing theories to grow out of categories and concepts that initially emerged from this textual analysis. The burden of this analysis is how aptly the Collins, Evans, and Gorman trading zone model describes the evolution of the trading zone found in the TED case study. Thus, in order to clearly present this research, I have integrated the analysis of trading zones within the presentation of the case study. Background In their 2007 paper, Collins, Evans, and Gorman presented a model that defines the space through which trading zones can evolve (figure 8.1). Defined by the parameters of homogeneity, heterogeneity, collaboration, and coercion, the model describes four ideal trading zone types: enforced, fractionated, interlanguage, and subversive. An enforced trading zone can occur when there are high levels of coercion and heterogeneity . The authors give the example of slave labor, in which the slavers and the enslaved are distinctly different groups, and the trade of service for food and relief from punishment is maintained by physical force. A fractionated trading zone is highly collaborative and highly heterogeneous. Within this type of trading zone are two subcategories: boundary object trading zones and interactional expertise trading zones. In boundary object trading zones, the operative medium is a physical item— which may hold different meaning to the parties involved in the trade—rather than The Evolution of a Trading Zone 159 a linguistic exchange. For instance, cowrie shells may be...


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