American Anthropologist 1969
Aiken, Micheal, and David Goldberg. Social Mobility and Kinship: A Reexamination of the Hypothesis. American Anthropologist 1969 Vol.71 (2:5)261-69.
Aiken and Goldberg’s article consists of the results from an intergenerational study of social mobility between 611 married women living in Detroit, Michigan in 1955. Its purpose is to examine two hypotheses related to kinship involvement. The first, the interaction hypothesis, claims that, “the occupationally mobile, either upward or downward, have less involvement with their kin” (Aiken and Goldberg 261). The second hypothesis, the median hypothesis, considers “occupational mobility [to have] no uniformly depressing effect on kinship involvement but rather that kinship involvement is simply and additive function of the class of origin and the class of destination” (261). Occupational mobility was defined according to a change from blue-collar to white-collar (or vice-versa) between the generations of the husband and his father.
The respondents represented a cross-section of married couples in the Detroit area. They were asked questions regarding the frequency of contact (how often they see or visit) with each kin household in their kinship unit – the separate kin households that make up their surrounding kin group (ie. families or individuals, “blood” relatives).
Taking into consideration degrees of relationship and availability of kin households, respondents were divided according to social class, with categories of stable middle-class, up-mobile, down-mobile, and stable working class. A comparison of actual rates of kin contact was conducted using the multiple classification analysis, which produced a set of expected outcomes. They concluded overall that occupational mobility had no depressing effect on kinship involvement. Thus, the study confirmed the median hypothesis.
The study was further extended with an examination of religious mobility. Religious mobility was defined as “a generational change from a high-status religious preference to a low-status religious preference or vice-versa” (266). High-status and low-status religious preferences were distinguished from each other and the generational change here occurred between the spouse and his/her mother. Using the same method of interpretation, it was concluded that religious mobility did indeed have a depressing effect on kinship relations. In this case, the interaction hypothesis was confirmed within the context of religious (as opposed to occupational) mobility.
CLARITY RATING: 4
ERICA HOLT University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Bohannan, P., Garbarino, M.S., & Carlson, E.W. An Experimental Ninth-Grade Anthropology Course. American Anthropologist August 1969 Vol.71 (3): 409-419.
Paul Bohannan, Merwyn S. Garbarino, and Earle W. Carlson, were anthropologists that introduced a one-year anthropology course to a ninth grade class in Winnetka, Illinois. The thirty-six students selected to participate were middle class with average to above average grades. The primary goal of the experiment was to teach high school students the “data, methods, theories, and insights of the behavioral sciences” (pg.410).
Bohannan and Garbarino taught the class in a partnership, teaching alternate units while comparing “fieldnotes”. The year was divided into three quarters, the first focusing on the structure and cultural theory of societies such as of American Indians, and Africa. The second included studies of human origin, and the third was a comparative study of civilizations. Each quarter was described in detail, focusing on problems encountered as well as what the students found of interest.
Bohannan and Garbarino reviewed their class at the end of the year, which revealed that too much information was put into the course. Therefore, when the course was handed over to Carlson the following year, the material from the first two quarters was stretched out over the entire year, dropping the third quarter completely.
The article was informative and easy to understand, however there were many generalizations regarding grade nine students that were not backed with sufficient evidence. The cohort used was not representative of all cultures, classes, or academic levels. Overall the article described the experiment as a success and the selected group of grade nine students readily acquired an understanding of behavioral science.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
KRISTEN IBLE University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie).
Bowden, Edgar. An Index of Sociocultural Development Applicable to Precivilized Societies. American Anthropologist N.S., June, 1969 Vol.71(3):454-461.
During the mid nineteenth century, anthropologists Edward B. Tylor and Lewis Henry Morgan promoted the idea of unilinear societal evolution. This theory of the lineal progression of societies from precivilized to civilized cultures would remain prominent and well defended for almost a century. Many studies were conducted to place various societies, using numerical indices, along a progressive line of social improvement.
In his article “An Index of Sociocultural Development Applicable to Precivilized Societies,” Edgar Bowden suggests that many of these studies that had the potential to disprove unilineal evolution may have neglected or discarded any inconsistencies in their research. He mentions in particular the Guttman scale which neglects the difference between cultural development and cultural complexity. A supporter of divergent or parallel social evolution, Bowden presents his relatively complicated index for ranking societies not along a straight line, but in a multidimensional space.
At a time when the idea of quantifying culture was being readily questioned, Bowden presents a well thought out system of calculating a number to represent the many cultural traits of a society. Bowden discusses his system in detail and provides three tables to clarify his index; however, without some statistical experience, much of Bowden’s index would be difficult, if not impossible to understand. With careful reading, though, it is possible to discover his intention of separating the technological and economic development of a society from its cultural richness.
A continuing article by Bowden is published later in the year: “A Dimensional Model of Multilinear Sociocultural Evolution.” (American Anthropologist. N.S., October 1969. Vol.71(5):864-870.)
J. JOANNE KIENHOLZ University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Bowden, Edgar. A Dimensional Model of Multilinear Sociocultural Evolution. American Anthropologist October, 1969 Vol.71(5):864-870.
Edgar Bowden argues against unilinear evolutional approaches to the study of human culture evolution and promotes sociocultural evolution with a multidimensional or multilinear model. Bowden states that the model would “be used to identify conceptual dimensions that may be used to characterize societies quantitatively and hence to represent them as points in a multidimensional space” (864). The multidimensional space is the distance between societies. For example, if two societies had identical traits they would be zero distance apart or at the same point in space. With these findings, you calculate and convert them into dissimilarity distances that can be turned into scores to analyze societies.
Bowden’s evidence is a study he conducted using a sociocultural evolutional approach with data from Simmon’s research that rates cultural traits with societies. His multilinear models were two-dimensional tree diagrams and stereoscopic diagrams. In his interpretation of these diagrams he finds three main sequences: male-dominant, equidominant, and female-dominant and makes a correlation between these and monogamy-polygyny, agriculture, and herding societies. He sees a pattern in his findings that suggests that there is female dominance of polygyny in some agriculture and“extreme male dominance in primitive herding polygyny” (870).
Bowden’s intellectual background is a scientific view of a multidimensional space verses a one-dimensional space. His point is buried in technical terminology that you need to understand to completely grasp this article.
RIVER URKE University of Minnesota Duluth (Jennifer Jones)
Burling, Robbins. Linguistics and Ethnographic Description. American Anthropologists 1969(71) 5:1 pp817
This particular article is about linguistics and ethnographic descriptions. Burling argues that linguistic and family orders relate to one another. He explains that both of these activities offer rules “that account for the occurrence of some household types or a sequence of vocal noises” (Pp 817).
Burling identifies six goals that are the most important in grammatical descriptions. He concludes that language is a theory, and that all language has some sort of criteria that it uses. Language always creates new ideas, which shows that there can be differences of family orders.
Burling then looks at many different examples of household orders and explains them. He defines thirty different types of families, and labels each with a number. Each case has explanations as to how the family is arranged. For example: “Unmarried children reside with their mother and, when she is married, with her husband who is usually their father” (Pp 821). His intention is to show the ethnographic descriptions of families in many different cultures, and how they differ according to their language usage.
In conclusion, Burling takes an in-depth comparison of many examples of linguistics and ethnographic descriptions of household. Each culture has different methods rules and family orders, which can be matched up with the linguistics used in that society. He concludes that the rules of language need to be studied in more detail so that we can understand the ethnographic variations more clearly, since they are extremely connected in how both evolve within a culture.
DEANNA L’ABBE University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Chaney, Richard P. and Rogelio Ruiz Revilla. Sampling Methods and Interpretation of Correlation: A Comparative Analysis of Seven Cross-Cultural Samples. American Anthropologist November 1969 Vol.71(2):597-633.
Chaney and Revilla examine seven worldwide statistical studies attempting to categorize or correlate cultural traits. Some of the traits identified include family organization, marital residence, settlement pattern, jurisdictional hierarchy, descent, class stratification, and succession of headman. Each of the studies examined are found to have flaws such as inaccurate measurement, inaccurate classification of cases, inappropriate comparisons, technical errors, inappropriate sampling methods, and misinterpretation of correlation. Because of these biases, it is proposed that cultures are too complex to be fully represented in statistical correlations. Historical and ecological factors strongly influence measurable cultural traits. Therefore, the statistical categories of cultural traits are deceiving when presented out of their subjective context.
LACI HOBBS University of Minnesota-Duluth (Jennifer Jones)
Cohen, Yehudi. Ends and Means in Political Control: State Organization and the Punishment of Adultery, Incest and Violation of Celibacy. American Anthropologist 1969 Vol. 71 4:4: 658-687.
Cohen uses various state organisations as a framework to discuss adultery, incest, celibacy and premarital relations and the correlated forms of punishment instituted by the state. She concentrates more so on which states apply capital punishment for these four types of sexual behaviour. Cohen establishes the characteristics of capital punishment as: declaring a citizen as a nonperson, behaviour regarded as threatening to the state and persons considered by the state to be ‘adult’. Cohen defines the different states as incorporate and excorporate states. Incorporate states as those that are united geographically and at the same level of cultural development. Excorporate states being stateless societies that are ruled by more culturally advanced. She divides these states according to the same ethnic structure and territorial place of origin, although she puts more emphasis on ethnic structure. Cohen correlates the degree of punishment between incorporate states and excorporate states to hypothesis that incorporate states generally execute greater punishment and more control of sexual behaviour then excoprative states.
In terms of adultery, Cohen interprets the data to be consistent with her hypothesis and explains that the state control of adultery insures secure marital relationships are formed. In doing this, the state takes away from other groups/outsiders joining the state that could possibly corrupt into competitors of the authority. Cohen suggests that by adopting capital punishment this control also serves as a segregation of ruling from the ruled, in which the ruler have the authority to decide whether they live or die. This creates fear and coerces them to conform to the state.
In terms of incest, Cohen interprets that by the installation of capital punishment states effectively defer the groups from forming relations with relatives or those of the same kingroup. Although incorporate states rely on the erosion of self-ruling kingroups, the state acknowledges that it will not happen naturally. By installation of capital punishment for incest, the state reinforces a smooth functioning of kin relations, and it also creates a suitable transition to subvert the local group. Excorporative states also have laws forbidding incest, however these are generally less severe.
Although Cohen notes that there is no capital punishment of premarital relationships, in many states unmarried people tend not to be considered “adult”. By using capital punishment for adultery and incest, the state maintains obedience and control in other areas such as premarital relations. This shapes individuals for participation in the states rules and organisations, which explains the low amount of premarital relations.
In terms of celibacy, Cohen finds it independent of incorporate states. Cohen discusses and defines many institutionalised varieties of celibacy such as control of contraception, offences punished by castration, priests, sterilisation, and celibacy as a means of escape from marriage. Cohen explains that celibacy came under sponsorship of the state.
Cohen concludes that the most important formal sanctions of the state are not necessarily what the public agrees with and doesn’t coincide with what motivates people. However, Cohen suggests that as the government rules for a longer period peoples personal motivations become more like the ruling state. This product allows the government, after a period of time to relax their controls.
This article was very clearly written and he tables of data presented in the report allowed visual aids.
DANA KYLUIK University of Alberta (Dr. H Young Leslie)
Cohen, Rosalie A. Conceptual Styles, Culture Conflict, and Nonverbal Tests of Intelligence. American Anthropologist October, 1969 Vol.71(5):828-856.
Cohen uses data collected among American adolescents to emphasize two divergent conceptual styles—analytic and relational. Conceptual styles may appropriately be thought of as an individual’s method of selecting and processing information. By drawing on qualitative work in therapy sessions and workshops, and quantitative data gathered from oral and written tests, Cohen attempts to demonstrate the inherent bias in “culture free” nonverbal tests of intelligence and calls for an abandonment of the assumption that there is a single mode of knowing. By doing so a more appropriate measure of achievement and intelligence can rise.
The analytic and relational styles can be differentiated along two points. First, each is differently adapted to the culture bound characteristics intrinsic to nonverbal tests of intelligence. Secondly, there is a correlation between conceptual style and mode of primary group interaction. The analytic style most closely resembles the ideology and environment of an institutionalized educational setting. This style manifests socially as participation in formally organized primary groups. Conversely, the relational style is not encouraged in the school setting and approximates the dynamics of the shared-function primary groups found most often in situations of poverty.
These methods of conceptual organization persist in the mind of the pupil and largely dictate level of attachment to related values, beliefs, social and psychological behaviors. Hence, the ensuing predilection of one style over another effects drastically the individual’s ability to cope with the alternate paradigm of another group’s process requirements, and reflects in the students measured level of intelligence and achievement in school.
This dynamic is illustrated by three concepts, deprivation, culture difference and culture conflict, the latter of the three used only when the conceptual styles of the individual and the group are mutually incompatible. Deprivation and cultural difference are essentially distinguished by the types of information they seek to explain. Deprivation describes the quantitative characteristics of a students total information repertoire, while cultural difference refers to the qualitative value of the pupil’s experience.
BRIAN M. BLITZ University of Minnesota Duluth (Jennifer Jones)
Crosby, Alfred W. The Early History of Syphilis A Reappraisal. American Anthropologist, 1969 (2): 218-
This article discusses what the author calls the “most controversial subject in all medical historiography”: the origin of syphilis. Historically there have been two opposing viewpoints: one that holds that syphilis was always present in both the Old and New Worlds, the other, more popular theory postulating that syphilis was brought back to the Old World by Columbus. A third theory came into existence more recently, and suggests that syphilis is in fact not a distinct malady, but is instead a facet of a disease that is present the world over: treponematosis.
Crosby examines evidence in support of and against all three of these hypotheses, beginning with the Columbian theory. Evidence to support this theory includes the unequivocal lack of literary description of syphilis prior to 1493. In addition, when physicians and others began to write about the disease in the sixteenth century, it was recorded to be a new illness, and as the author points out, it is unlikely that so many from so many different parts of the Old World were mistaken about this fact. The very terminology that was used to describe the disease also indicates that people believed it to be an import, for example the Italians called syphilis the French Disease, while the French called it the disease of Naples. Another support for this theory was its initial malignancy – as is the typical course of a new illness, syphilis NM was initially characterized by rapid spread and extreme virulency, followed by a lessening of its deadliness. In addition, physical remains provide support for this theory in that no pre-Columbian bones in the Old World have every been unearthed showing unmistakable signs of syphilitic damage. In contrast to this hypothesis, anti-Columbian theorists suggest that the disease always existed in the Old World prior to 1500, however it existed in a milder form, such that real damage was not done until after the disease-causing organism had mutated into a deadly variation.
As the author states, this theory cannot be proved nor can it be disproved, and the only way to validate it is to disprove all other theories. While there is a great deal of documentary evidence in support of the other dominating theory (the Columbian theory), Crosby notes several evidences which do not support it, namely the fact that no mention of an American origin of syphilis was made until a generation after the first Columbian voyages, and in addition neither syphilis nor anything resembling it was written about in the documentation of the Columbian voyages.
Crosby details much of the documentation of syphilis that arose around the time of the Columbian voyages, including examples that both support and deconstruct the Columbian theory, saying in closing that evidence in support of this theory is “obviously shaky.” He then discusses the newest theory, that syphilis is but a variant of a disease that is present worldwide, but with different symptoms and different names in different areas. This theory, called the Unitarian theory, makes all other postulation about the origin of syphilis irrelevant, by suggesting that different manifestations of the disease occur because of climatic and cultural differences. Unitarians believe that that the organism that causes treponematosis is extremely delicate, and thus very sensitive to climate and human habits. There is a large amount of scientific evidence in support of this theory, including widespread recognition of the similarities of diseases believed by Unitarians to be variations of the same malady. In addition, when given the Wasserman test, which was developed only to detect venereal syphilis, patients infected with one of the treponmatoses nearly always react positively. However, there is no way to prove beyond a doubt that the diseases are one and the same.
As concerns the debate over the origin of syphilis, Crosby states there are only two things of which we can be certain: one, that the only pre-Columbian bones clearly displaying evidence of syphilic lesions are American, and two, several well-informed contemporaries did record the arrival of venereal syphilis with the return of Columbus. However, as the evidence surrounding the origins of syphilis is not conclusive, the door is left open to further hypotheses and research.
SARAH GAMBLE University of Alberta: (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Davenport, William. The “Hawaiian Cultural Revolution”: Some Political and Economic Considerations. American Anthropologist 1969 Vol.71(1):1-19.
In this article William Davenport analyzed the events leading up to the day in 1819 when Hawaii’s culture changed forever. The historical and ethnographic data of this time have been summarized in great detail. The article states that in 1819 the “paramount chief” Liholiho was ruler of all the Hawaiian Islands. He, along with other high ranking government officials, deliberately went against the kapu, some of the most sacred religious rules Hawaiians held dear. A chain reaction was produced, resulting in both social and cultural change. This period of time was known as the “Hawaiian Cultural Revolution”. Davenport identified two possible reasons for this reform: Acculturation and culture fatigue. However, he felt that a third option was being overlooked: Cultural evolution. Davenport believed that the religious defiance was a deliberate act orchestrated by the government.
Davenport asked one main question in his article: “Under what stress was the government responding when it acted in this unprecedented manner?” Many ideas were proposed but it seemed that the major contributing factor was contact with other cultures when Captain Cook first visited the Hawaiian Islands in 1777. Trade with the Europeans began and guns were introduced to the islanders. Many Hawaiians began to reevaluate their religious beliefs, to the extent of some government officials were baptized Christian by a Roman Catholic Priest. Davenport feels that the Hawaiians must have seen the Europeans as “almost as omnipotent as their great gods” because of their great knowledge, technology and wealth, yet they were human. Guns soon gained a power of their own. Eventually, Liholiho abolished the ‘kapu’ – “The kapu embraced the proscriptive rules of avoidance and etiquette relating to sacred objects and structure, to members of the inferior class, and between men and women”. With the abolition of the kapu, several battles broke out between different groups of people. It was described as a test of strength between the power of the gods and that of firearms.
These events all occurred at a time when the Hawaiian political system was being transformed into a real statehood. Davenport believes that the abolishment of the kapu was deliberate in order to ease the political crisis caused through contact with the Europeans. A cultural evolution was needed to accomodate foreign ideas brought by the outsiders. At any rate, the Hawaiian’s cultural revolution could have been due to acculteration, culture fatigue or cultural evolution, but the result was a more efficient administrative structure on the Hawaiian Islands.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
CERI FALYS University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Dumond, D. E. Toward a Prehistory of the Na-Dene, with a General Comment on Population Movements among Nomadic Hunters. American Anthropologist 1969 Vol.71 (5:3): 857-863.
Dumond attempts to create a framework for the prehistory of the Alaskan Indians through the classification of the Eskaleutian language and its connections to archeological evidence. During his analysis, Dumond develops the idea that a mature adaptation to an environment only reflects “shallow linguistic cleavages” (p.862) and indicates a “recent dispersion”(p.862) and a “recent occupancy of an area”(p.862). Throughout the article, Dumond continues to reiterate the fact that his findings are not conclusive but may be helpful in the development of other hypotheses.
Dumond explains that new evidence had arisen from early archeological sites within the interior of Alaska and enabled him to proceed with his earlier studies. These studies involved the analysis of Na-Dene internal relationships, including a representation of the family tree of Na-Dene languages. From the diagram, the reader understands that the greatest rift within “Athapaskan proper is between languages in Alaska”(p.858). Within this homeland is the first indication of diffusion among Athapaskan speech. Dumond goes on to outline the most divergent splits in the Na-Dene internal relationships, concluding that the area of greatest divergence would have occurred in British Columbia. His evidence involving movement patterns and language splits suggests that the ancient movement of the people of the Na-Dene is a movement from south to north, rather than north to south.
Furthermore, Dumond provides evidence of microblade industries, wedge-shaped cores, various burins, bifaces and projectile or knife blades through radiocarbon dating. He uses this information to further his timeline analysis of the Na-Dene movement pertaining to the “north to south” vs. the “south to north” movement theories. Specific locations and dates further exemplify the complementary aspects of his article to Borden’s hypothesis (p.857).
The entire bulk of Dumond’s evidence is summed up through the proposition that the Na-Dene’s population movement began in Alaska, drifted south to the Yukon, then to British Columbia, and continued a new movement northward as “an adjustment to the migrating boreal forest”(p.861-862) until the final split occurred between the Athapaskans to the south and the east. He further reiterates the fact that the information provided is not complete and is rather sparse due to the lack of evidence regarding Na-Dene linguistic and archeological relatives of the New and Old World and the pattern of climatic change. He hopes his article will spur new interest in the topic and be a basis or link for new research.
AMY MARTIN University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Du Toit Brian M. Misconstructions and Problems in Communication. American Anthropologist 1969 Vol.71 (1): 46-53
This article describes experiences Du Toit had with cargo “cults” while doing fieldwork in New Guinea in 1961 and 62. He explains how a cargo type reaction can occur with a few minor miscommunications and some incorrect rumours. He also describes how to avoid situations like his in the future. His case study demonstrates how important it is to fieldwork to get past the language barrier.
Du Toit retells the events that led up to the panic of the Akuna over a simple, solar eclipse which was to last a few minutes. It started with him trying to explain space travel to people who had no ideas of how and why that would be done. When the leaders of that and surrounding groups heard a rumour that the eclipse would last for two weeks, they panicked. They reacted in such a way because of something that had happened two generations before, when the sun had disappeared for a couple weeks and white ash fell from the sky, but they didn’t know it was caused by a volcanic eruption, and very different from the eclipse. The leaders of the groups then concluded that the American space travel was being done so they could live on the moon to avoid the sun going away. When they were incorrectly informed Western neckties and eye protection would protect them, a shortage of sunglasses and ties resulted. Then as Du Toit tried to explain to them that they had nothing to worry about, the his lack of knowledge of their language and their lack of Western technological and scientific understanding prevented him from explaining it properly to them, which served only to cause the people more worry. The Akuna remained sceptical of Du Toit, and afraid of what was going to happen.
Du Toit uses this series of individually, seemingly harmless events as an example of how simple things, complicated by miscommunications can start a large panic. Du Toit uses this example to stress the importance of learning another societies language fully before fieldwork begins to prevent situations of needless panic and misunderstandings. He also brings attention to the problem Anthropologists have trying to accurately translate material from one language to another, and how a rumour can create fear. He demonstrates how a change in the world we know as our own, especially when we do not understand this change, can cause cargo, or revitalization movements.
STEPHANIE FRIEDMAN University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Edel, Matthew. Economic Analysis in an Anthropological Setting: Some Methodological Considerations. American Anthropologist. 1969. Part 1. Vol. 71: 421-433.
In this article, Matthew Edel challenged existing contributions of economists in understanding how economics applied to non-Western societies. The debate was classified as the substantive-formalist debate. Edel felt that in the debate, the economic theory was too narrowly defined. As such, he offered an alternative definition of what economics was. Instead of defining it just in terms of production, distribution and consumption, Edel supported the broader view that economics is “what economists do” (430). This included all areas of man/woman hours, including those spent in rituals relating to the outputs of economies.
The article is split into 3 sections. The first part introduced patterns of preference in a given society, technology used to gain the preferences, resources available and some solutions of the model the author supported. Part two dealt with the use of economics to explain distribution of resources. Edel offered two theories here: maximization (“allocation of limited resources to competing ends” (422) and fixed targets (how certain fixed targets can be achieved with the existing resources). The final section included a list of domains of the economy including acts involving subsistence goods, material goods, cultural activities, different spheres of exchange, subsistence goods in a capitalist economy and any activities maximizing behavior. Edel closed his article by stating how anthropologists need “to gather data in a form suitable for drawing economic conclusions” (430), such as those methods he focused on in the article.
However, this article was written for a specific audience. If the reader had no previous knowledge of economics in anthropology, many of these concepts could be quite confusing. For example, he used a number of equations to illustrate his points, but they were more confusing than helpful (ie. Utility=U=aF-bR).
JANET JANVIER University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Fishman, Joshua A. and Herasimchuk, Eleanor. The Multiple Prediction of Phonological Variables in a Bilingual Speech Community American Anthropologist 1969 Vol.71(3):648-657
This article is about a language pronunciation study of bilingual Puerto Ricans in Greater New York City. The objective was to introduce an effective, alternative method of analysis for a sociolinguistic study of phonological variables. Previous methods usually concentrated on single language speakers, analyzing simple variables to explain the results. Fishman and Herasimchuk’s process, however, focused on the bilingual speaker, and clarified the results using multiple variables, such as speech contexts and demographic features.
The study began with two interviews with each of the Puerto Rican subjects. Five sociolinguistic contexts were analyzed: word reading, paragraph reading, word naming, careful conversation (question and answer), and casual conversation. Demographic information, such as gender, age, education, and birthplace, was also collected.
The report focused on two phonological changeables, one for Spanish and one for English. In Spanish, spC-0 referred to the absent “s” on plural consonants, e.g.: (los) muchacho_ comen, instead of (los) muchachos. The authors illustrated that demographic factors alone did not demonstrate a significance for individual pronunciation, while the speech contexts were directly related to the results.
EH-2, the English variable, focused on the pronunciation of the American English Sound [ae], as in cat, bad, and ham. In this case, demographic conditions, alone or combined, effected the articulation of that sound. Since the subjects were bilingual, this analysis was more successful overall because the subjects displayed little variation while speaking their native Spanish language. Their knowledge of English, however, was highly depended on the education received in America.
Fishman and Herasimchuk provided thorough explanations of the variables, their effects, and the outcome of the study. Charts were also used to demonstrate the results in a comprehendible format. The results indicate that speech contexts proved to vary the enunciation of the plural ‘s’ consonant (SpC-0), while demographic characteristics varied the pronunciation of the English [ae] sound (EH-2).
NIKI KUX-KARDOS University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie).
Heider, Karl G. Visiting Trade Institutions. American Anthropologist, 1969 Vol. 71(4) 5: 462-469.
In his article on visiting trade institutions, Karl Heider examined the functions of trade between societies and their cultural significance. Heider begins his article by introducing the reader to the concept of the visiting trade institution. The visiting trade institution is a transaction between societies where goods are exchanged; this exchange represents an intimate social relationship. Heider also stated that visiting trade institutions are ways in which scarcity can be relieved.
Heider’s article tries to convey the cultural relevance of the visiting trade institution by giving numerous examples of societies that engage in this ritual. Heider focuses on the Massim District of New Guinea, Polynesian voyages, trade in Oceania and Tributary Systems. Heider goes into great detail explaining the trade processes in all of these societies and their influence on the political, economic, religious and regional implications on each culture. These examples all point to the complex, family like nature of the visiting trade institution.
The point that Heider is trying to stress in his article is that the visiting trade institution is not merely an informal exchange of goods but an important societal ritual that creates a deep bond between the parties involved. Heider conveys to the reader that the visiting trade institution is a crucial part of life for many societies. Towards the end of the article Heider explained that the visiting trade institution is not only important in explaining the behavior of trade but also in understanding the complexity of inter-societal relationships.
EMILY KOLMOTYCKI University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie).
Hiebert, Paul. Caste and Personal Rank in an Indian Village: An Extension in Techniques. American Anthropologist 1969. Vol.71 (3): 434-453
Hiebert’s article is concerned with the concept of caste and the correlation that exists with personal rank in an Indian village. Hiebert performed two independent surveys on rank in the village of Kurdora (a pseudonym), India: one for caste rank and one for individual rank. The first survey of group societal rank was distributed to the eligible voters of the village and by random sample a group of 42 individuals were chosen to complete the survey. The surveyed individuals ranked known castes within their village in regards to prestige, relations, and power. Through this method, Hiebert was able to establish the importance and validity of these systems within the society. He discussed how the assigned rankings by the individuals was evident throughout the daily performances of the villagers for example in food exchange, greetings towards one another, and even their worship.
The second survey of individual rank within the Indian village was determined in the same fashion as the ranking of the above, with the same informants from the previous survey. These same informants ranked 18 individuals in the village who were “selected on the basis of caste, wealth, and offices so that there would be representatives of leaders and ordinary men from each of the major levels of the caste order.” (446). This data is used to form a comparative analysis between caste rank and individual personal rank. The idea was that outside parties could understand the ‘complex nature of status ranking’ (449) not only in the Indian village being discussed but in other ethnographic examples.
Although this article is complex and, at times, difficult to follow due to all the statistical data, the proposed explanations of the castes and their relationship with individual rank is clearly presented. Individuals intrigued by stratified relationships as the foundation in any society may be interested in this article in its exploration of understanding why such classifications are made.
SAMANTHA KELCH University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Hippler, Arthur E. Fusion and Frustration: Dimensions in the Cross-Cultural Ethnopsychology of Suicide. American Anthropologist, 1969 Volume 71 (6): 1074-1087.
In this article, Hippler examines suicide cross-culturally. His argument includes psychological as well as social and cultural evidence. He generally dismisses or finds fault with purely sociological explanations for suicide, common for the article’s time of publication. Rather, he believes that in order to understand suicide cross-culturally, one must examine the complex relationships between child-rearing, social structure, and cultural values, while at the same time looking at the “magical” aspects of suicide. He examines several social and psychological theories and provides cross-cultural examples of suicide to defend this argument.
First, Hippler considers a psychoanalytic explanation for suicide. The motives behind suicide are said to be unconscious. The individual wants to return to the “mother”, to a more peaceful state and time. Aggression and frustration are also very prevalent, as the individual tries to hurt the people who hurt him or her, either externally, or the internal “mother”. Hippler explains that these patterns are prevalent in different cultures, but that they are expressed in varying ways, and through his argument, these causes can be found.
He then examines the problems existing at the articles time of publication, that anthropologists had until the nineteen sixties a somewhat idealistic and romantic view of “primitive” peoples. They believed that suicide was rare, or even non-existent amongst these groups. Also, few anthropologists until that time had good ideas of human psychology. As a result of these complications, Durkheim’s purely social explanations of suicide had become prevalent.
Durkheim’s basic argument was that suicide was due to the individual’s lack of integration into the wider society, causing isolation, and ultimately, suicide. Durkheim does not exactly explain why these problems cause suicide, but assumes that it should be obvious that it is the only solution. Hippler then explains that Jeffery suggested a “Samsonic” form of suicide, where the individual kills oneself so that his spirits will take revenge on the people who caused his suffering. The problems with these claims are that these theories are not fully supported by varying societies.
There are many examples in the paper of suicide in different cultures; they are all related, however, to Hippler’s psychoanalytic explanations. The idea of magical thinking within societies is then examined. Several examples, including the Alur of Uganda, are provided. Sorcery is seen as the cause for any death, and a death can channel anger towards other groups. In-groups are very important, due to the patrilineal and exogamous nature of the society, so the idea of “getting revenge” by causing one’s own death within the in-group can cause a very strong reaction.
Several case studies are then put forward that seem to correlate with Durkheim, that certain members of societies (such as divorcees) have higher rates of suicide than others, but that this is due to being “psychologically isolated” and that actions are decided by personality, as well as by society.
Next, the author explains child rearing in societies through example. Several groups, including the Kaska are examined. The Kaska are raised to avoid showing aggression, and they are taught from an early age that self-reliance is important. Suicide attempts amongst them are primarily to get attention from others and to get revenge upon uncaring parents, and not because of a lack of social integration. Several groups are then examined in which child raising practices are seen to be neglectful, and they are the causes for suicide attempts, either from being too nurturing, or too neglective.
Hippler then discusses how child-raising practices are correlated to getting “revenge” upon a spouse in societies such as the Fang of Africa. One may commit suicide in order to gain revenge upon a neglectful spouse, thus making the one being “punished” looked down upon in their communities. Neglect of children can sometimes lead to violence against oneself or another later in life. The general conclusion derived from these and other observations, is that socialization, child-rearing, and social structure have a paramount effect upon suicide, both whether it is used, at all or against whom it is used.
Through this well researched and well-written paper, Hippler provides a very strong and convincing argument pertaining to the role of psychological and intracultural causes for suicide, showing how different disciplines such as psychology and anthropology can work together.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
MIKE MLYNARZ University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Hughes, Daniel T. Democracy in a Traditional Society: Two Hypotheses on Role. American Anthropologist February, 1969 Vol.71(1):37-45.
Hughes examined changes in the sociopolitical structure of the island of Ponape in the Micronesian Islands of the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific after World War II. First he looked at the rate in which new leadership roles that have traditional counterparts are accepted, versus new roles with no traditional counterparts. Secondly, he tried to show that traditional social status played a role in newly established leadership positions.
Democracy was slowly becoming part of the political system on Ponape during this time. Their original political system consisted of five kingdoms, each with two rulers. One ruler was the primary, and the other is the chief advisor. These characteristics have been formulated into the new democratic system.
Hughes gathered data mostly through discussions and surveys of the residents.
Hughes found that people in the new leadership roles and the public adapted more easily to the roles without traditional counterparts. People were able to understand the new rules that went along with these roles. With leadership roles that had traditional counterparts there was confusion about which rules to follow. People did not know if they should follow the rules of the old or the new roles. Hughes also concluded that traditional social status played a role even in newly established leadership roles. Even if the new role had a higher ranking in the new government, if the person fulfilling that role had a traditionally lower social status, that person was more likely to behave in a lower status way in the new political system.
SUZANNE PLETSCHETT University of Minnesota Duluth (Jennifer Jones)
Izmirlian Jr., Harry. Structural and Decision-Making Models: A Political Example. American Anthropologist 1969 Vol. 71(6): 1062-1069
During the time this article was submitted, there was an apparent shift in the emphasis of anthropological investigation. This entailed moving from a more structural perspective to analyzing observations of what people do in “specific action contexts”. These two are the structural and decision-making models. The former model analyzes social data in a more statistical, quantitative fashion. This model views the actions of individuals as dictated by a larger structure. Decision-making models view the actions of the individual, and record data in a more qualitative fashion. In this case, the individual makes choices based on other criteria. This article seeks to clarify under which circumstances a “structural” model, or a contrasting “decision-making” model would be more useful in an anthropological analysis.
To illustrate the two models, Izmirlian uses data collected about the political system of a rural Indian village of Nalli (a pseudonym). This system was composed of three parties. The manner in which parties maintained a balance of power, formed coalitions, and cast votes. Also discussed is the nature of the party members interaction in various settings. The leaders of the three parties only socialized with members of their own party; followers frequently interacted with members of the opposing parties in a social context. A balance of power was maintained by the fact that two of the parties would never align (for ideological reasons), and the free socialization of all group members reminded leaders of the limits of their power, since party members could easily change affiliation. Members voted on the basis of support of an idea or leader (these voters were active participants), or by religious or caste criteria (these voters were passive recipients). Since the former involves a conscious choice, the decision-making model applies. In the latter situation, a structural model is more useful. Using this knowledge, the author describes which of the two models should be utilized to explain behavioral data, and exactly how possible choices are defined by the individual’s caste and beliefs. The general conclusion the author reaches is that the fewer structures (such as caste and culture) impose sanctions on an individual’s choices, the more useful the decision-making model is. In a situation where more structures constrain or influence the free choice of an individual, a structural model is more useful. This is somewhat of a generalization, and Izmirlian explains his conclusions in more detail. Finally, he examines how the two models create different functions. The structural model is a tool for the ordering of data, while the decision-making model is a tool for analysis.
MIKE METCALF University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Martin M. Kay. ”A Case Study in Cultural Devolution” The American Anthropologist Vol.71 No.2:243-.
M. Kay Martin attempts to produce some kind of outline for cultural “devolution”. While many scholars tend to think in the progressive nature of societies, more of a cultural “evolution”, there is also the concept of “devolution”, which is decidedly different. Martin’s case study deals with a number of South American hunter-gatherer societies, all of which suffered a cultural devolution of some description. Data for these societies is provided on “Residence and Descent”, “Band Size”, and “Political Leadership”. These are used mostly as comparative points for cultural organization. Martin notes that cultural devolution often occurs wherein there has been a large disruptive element, splitting or drastically reducing the population of the culture. In times like this, the culture reverts to a baser form with more simplistic social organization, sometimes falling into a simple familial group. Many South American cultures suffered drastic population changes upon the arrival of the first European explorers and the diseases brought with them. Also noted is the ability for a culture to “degenerate” only to later “reintegrate”, showing that this is not a linear sequence. This is not to say however, that reintegration is simple or commonplace. The destruction of ties at the tribal level or the multilineage community at the supraband level can sufficiently alienate bands, even with the unilineal structure still intact.
TIM HENSMAN University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Muller, Jean-Claude. Preferential Marriage among the Rukuba of Benue-Plateau State, Nigeria. American Anthropologist December, 1969 Vol.71(6):1057-1061.
Muller examines preferential marriage patterns and kinship systems among the agriculturalist Rukuba people of the Nigerian Plateau. Assumptions are drawn based on a sample of Rukuba people from 23 villages. Muller utilizes Claude Lévi-Strauss’ theories of kinship structures and implies that Rukuba preferential marriage is an exchange that promotes alliances between moieties, and strengthens social ties.
The Rukuba have twelve thousand members and are divided into twenty-three villages. Each village is subdivided into two separate halves, defined by rules of kinship. A chief, chosen from the most populous moiety, heads each village. Marriage is permitted only between members of opposite moieties in the home village, or any of the surrounding villages. Prior to marriage though, girls and boys engage in premarital relations with members of their own moiety until the girls of are marital age. These premarital relations resemble marriage exchange in several ways. Rukuba boys must give a “girl-friend price” to the family of their lover and girls are expected to engage in work exchange, which may include helping her boyfriend’s family with harvests. However, these premarital relations differ from true marriage. Foremost, children from these relationships were usually aborted or killed at birth. Muller states that this practice has ceased and children resulting from these relationships are now given to the opposite moiety of the parents. Muller believes that these premarital customs between members of the same group, rule out the extension of an “incest taboo theory.”
Preferential marriage occurs between the oldest uterine sister and her mother’s last lover. However, there are many acceptable variations. The Rukuba are polyandrous and are permitted to marry other men besides their preferential mate within certain guidelines. Women may not marry more than one man in a village and it is not typical for a woman to have more than three husbands.
LEAH HAUGE University of Minnesota Duluth (Jennifer Jones)
Mulloy, William. Obituary of Sebastian Englert. American Anthropologist 1969 Vol. 71:1109-1111
The obituary of Father Sebastian Englert is an interesting article that tells of the life of a priest dedicated to his mission. The story of his life begins in the town of Dillingen an der Oder in Bavaria in November of 1888, and ends in New Orleans, Louisiana in January of 1969. In between those dates, he made significant contributions to the field of ethnology.
Father Englert spent a considerable portion of his life attending to the religious needs of the people on remote Easter Island. During that time, he spent a substantial amount of time studying the island and the people who lived there. There were very few instances when the island had contact with the outside world. Because of the isolation of the island and his lack of colleagues to confer with, his work was “uniquely independent”(1109).
Mulloy lists many of the contributions and aspirations of Father Englert throughout his life. Also included in the article is a list of Father Englert’s publications.
Mulloy writes of Father Englert’s personality with great respect. He states that he had on occasion met the man, and that Father Englert always gave vast support to other ethnologists wishing to study the island, and was quick to offer his own knowledge. He had the respect and admiration of the islanders, and through him, that support was passed on to new visitors to the island.
CARMEN MONCRIEFF University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie).
Netting, Robert. Marital Relations in the Jos Plateau of Nigeria Women’s Weapons: The politics of Domesticity among the Kofyar. American Anthropologist 1969 Vol. 71:1037-1047.
Robert Netting examines the independence of the Kofyar women of Nigeria and their role in their society. The author writes that Kofyar women are an example of how the roles of women, which are different from Western ones, show that this difference is not necessarily a bad thing. Though Netting is quick to point out that women do not own land, make less money then men, and do not take part in ceremonial rituals they do have great deal of social power. He argues that, when examining the Kyofar women don’t seem to hold that much power. But upon closer examination they may actually have more social power then men.
Netting writes about the power women hold in a clear and concise manner. He talks about how the females are the ones who control the economic goods, how they are equals in labor, and how the women control themselves, which the author believes to be the most important. He proves this through his examination of marriage and how women appear to be the ones in control. He talks about how young girls can halt a marriage through tantrums and crying. A woman can take lovers if she pleases and can end a marriage quite easily for any number of reasons and men borrow money from their wives.
Men’s power, Netting writes, seems to be more symbolic then anything else. Men are symbolized by the right and women by the left: left meaning to go wrong, and women are not allowed to hunt. These are quite minor considering how much women control their own as well as men’s lives in some respects.
This article would be of interest to anyone, especially those interested in how women have and control power in a society. Which can then be compared to how other women have and hold power.
RHIANNE MCKAY University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Ong, Walter J. World as View and World as Event. American Anthropologist August, 1969 Vol. 71(4):634-646.
Walter J. Ong’s article analyzes and addresses the unique world perspective of oral/oral-aural cultures in comparison to contemporary western culture. Ong’s argument revolves around the premise that modern, western society is a highly visualized culture with a complex written language. Ong approaches culture from the background of linguistics and language.
Ong contends that modern society ‘sees’ the world differently from less technologically advanced peoples in that it views the universe as being something observable and tangible and strives to control and manipulate nature. Contemporary society has attained this understanding of the universe through the development of mathematics, physics, and the natural sciences, which began to flourish in the seventeenth century.
A dependence on the visual and tangible aspects of the universe handicaps contemporary society’s ability to attain a complete understanding of the universe and of those with different perceptions. To illustrate his point, Ong examines, in a generalized manner, four features of oral or oral-aural cultures. Ethnographic examples are limited as Ong attempts to construct broad categories, but include ancient Greek and Latin society, ancient Hebrew texts, and Yugoslavian epic singers.
The four components of oral or oral-aural cultures include dynamism, traditionalism, polemicism, and the structuring of personalities. The first component, dynamism, is used to describe sound. Sound, in order to exist must be in actively created, in contrast with a written or visual culture in which information can remain passive. The present nature creates a “world event” rather than a “world view” for oral/oral-aural cultures. Traditionalism refers to standardized forms of language or sayings. For oral/oral-aural cultures, retaining knowledge and passing it on proves to be more difficult than in literate cultures. In order to achieve this feat, oral/oral-aural cultures standardize sayings, in proverbs, folk tales, and apothegms, which makes them highly traditional. Polemicism is a polarization of individuals into good vs. bad created by traditionalized language. Finally, Ong finds the structuring of personality to be very distinct in non-visually based cultures. He claims that, individuals in oral/oral-aural cultures are less prone to separate themselves from the group, whereas visual cultures are highly individualistic. A group emphasis is due in part to the style of learning. In oral/oral-aural cultures, people must hear and learn in groups.
In his conclusion Ong states that western, contemporary society must realize its biases in order to achieve a more fulfilled and comprehensive understanding of the world. Ong felt that an understanding of the world was increasingly important, as global contact became prevalent. Additionally, he noted that with the development of technologies that heavily rely on sound and non-visual forms of communication, contemporary society was becoming less visually inclined and may acquire characteristics of oral/oral-aural cultures.
ROSE CARLSON University of Minnesota Duluth (Jennifer Jones)
Press, Irwin. Ambiguity and Innovation for the Genesis of the Culture Broker. American Anthropologist 1969, Vol.71(2):205-216.
The author is concerned with determining what qualities are required to be a culture broker. This is a concept which emerged to explain the process of change and innovation in a society: a culture broker is someone who has the means to alter the culture of a group of people.
The argument is presented in five parts. The first deals with what has been said about the role of the culture broker, the origin of the culture broker and the importance of innovation to brokering. The second part deals with what mechanisms must be in place in order for innovation to take place. Thirdly, the author deals with a concept of ambiguity and its role in innovation. The fourth part of his argument is an example drawn from Hach Pech, a small community in Yucatan. In the fifth part of the article, the author reaffirms his argument tying the role of ambiguity and innovation to the culture broker and culture change.
Press argues that one of the characteristics of a culture broker is that they have deviant tendencies which are not successfully coped with by the usual control mechanisms in society. In the process of trying to accommodate, or account for, unusual behavior, society may then undergo a change. Thus, structurally deviant behavior becomes a technique of the culture broker and it is through the deviant behavior that the culture change takes place.
The author argues that the identification of types of culture brokers is not as important as discovering the mandate and origin of the culture broker. Based on his reading of numerous other anthropologists, Press argues that the culture broker is a ‘ deviant marginal man ‘ who has connections both nationally and locally. The social and political ties the culture broker has prevent his behavior from being labelled as deviant and this then allows for the acceptance of behavior, and potentially, culture change. Ambiguity plays an important role in culture change: if someone witnesses a person’s behavior as ambiguous, the certain someone will note how the person reacted. Then, when faced with the same situation in the future, the person will act as he observed the other person act. This in turn, the author argues, allows for culture change and incorporates a new phenomenon into the culture. Basically, what the author argues for ‘is monkey see monkey do’. He suggests that when in a novel situation, we will copy how others act and imitate that when we are faced with the same situation in the future. Our witnessing that individual changes our pattern of behavior and thus in turn can influence our culture.
VASILIOS GALANOPOULOS University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Rogers, William B. and Richard E. Gardner. Linked Changes in Values and Behavior in the Out Island Bahamas. American Anthropologist February, 1969 Vol. 71(1):21-35.
In this article, Rogers and Gardner attempt to study the link between a society’s behavior and their value systems. To do so, Rogers and Gardner studied two towns, Murphy Town and Crossing Rocks, on the island of Great Abaco, which had led essentially the same subsistence existence until 1940. At this time, Murphy Town was changed to a wage earning economy and the behavior or the residents began to vary widely from those residing in Crossing Rocks. For the purpose of this study, Rogers and Gardner developed a survey of value ratings in order to judge the importance individuals put on certain characteristics. The residents’s behaviors were mostly evaluated through the breakdown of the reciprocity system in Murphy Town, which before 1940 had been central in both communities.
In Crossing Rocks, where there was no economic change, the town retained their subsistence culture and the system of reciprocity that maintained it. The elders of the society possessed control over the essential resources of the community, such as fishing equipment and direct access to money, and through this control the elders were able to exert influence over the youth of the community. If an individual did not want to go along with the predominant values of Murphy Town, their only choices were to continue living in the community and face disapproval, change their values to coincide with the towns, or emigrate. The values that they rated most highly were those that are most essential to a reciprocating, egalitarian community; friendliness (willingness to help fellow community members) and agreeability as well as minding ones own business.
While this had probably been true of Murphy Town before 1940, things changed drastically when wage jobs became available. The community’s elders no longer had a monopoly on the resources so they no longer held any authority over the youth. Instead of a goal of getting along with fellow community members the goal became to get ahead. Indicative of this change is the fact that the majority of Murphy Town chose success (meaning owning many possessions) and responsibility (a central trait to achieving success) as their central values.
Rogers and Gardner conclude that the extreme change in the behavior of the residents of Murphy Town, namely the shift to a wage economy, made it impossible for them to retain their previous value system. Facilitated by the lack of a strong authority to enforce the traditional values, among other variables, the people of Murphy town changed their values to better fit with their new lifestyle.
JESSICA HOYT University of Minnesota Duluth (Jennifer Jones)
Sangree, Walter H. Going Home to Mother: Traditional Marriage Among the Irigwe of Benue-Plateau State, Nigeria. American Anthropologist. December 1969 Vol.71(6):1046-1056.
Walter Sangree describes how the Irigwe marriage system demands that men and women be married to several spouses in differing tribal sections throughout their adult lives. These tribal sections are patrivirilocal and exogamous. Consequently, women shift residence from husband to husband several times during the course of their adult lives. Sangree suggests that spirit possession, which involves the majority of adult women, is a vent for the psychological trauma caused by these repeated separations from husbands and children.
There are two types of marriage in Irigwe society: primary and secondary. A primary marriage is usually arranged by the boy’s family when he is a baby. If the girl’s father accepts, a small gift is sent to the girl’s family. When the children reach puberty, the boy’s family performs three years of brideservice before the marriage is consummated. Secondary marriages are arranged by the couple and must receive approval from the bride’s father (or marriage guardian) before consummated. In theory, a woman needs only to spend few nights with her secondary husbands, and live mostly with her primary husband. But in reality, she usually switches from husband to husband every year or two.
Paternity of a child is determined by the place a woman was living when a child was conceived. If a woman finds that she is pregnant shortly after moving, the husband with which she was previously staying may call her back to his section and claim paternity of the child. After children reach five or so, they live in their father’s section of the village. Girls live in their father’s section until they are married; boys live in their father’s section for the rest of their lives. Women often have children in more than one section. It is not common for a woman to stay in one section for more than a few years unless she or a child is ill. Often times a child will feign illness to get his mother to postpone leaving.
Heartache is considered a dangerous illness in Irigwe culture. A severe heartache is believed to be caused by a rije, or troublesome spirit. If it is not quickly cured, a rije can take over a person’s body, causing him or her to go through fits of possession. Over ninety percent of Irigwe women are tormented by a rije. Most rije appear after a traumatic event in a woman’s life such as a miscarriage or the death of a child. Sangree believes that these possessions, which usually include flailing about, screaming, and speaking in tongues, are a means to vent the built up stress that is caused by migratory marriages.
LACI HOBBS University of Minnesota-Duluth (Jennifer Jones)
Satterthwaite, Linton. John Alden Mason, 1885-1967. American Anthropologist 1969 Vol. 71 (1): 871-874.
The main goal of Linton Satterthwaite, in writing this obituary on John Alden Mason, is to outline the impact Mason had on the anthropological world, by using factual accounts of Mason’s life and his many accomplishments in the field.
Mason was not simply another student in the field of anthropology. At the University of Pennsylvania in 1904, Mason took the first undergraduate anthropology course ever to be offered. He subsequently completed graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley. Mason was influenced by many of the great anthropologists of his time, having worked with Sapir, Kroeber and Boas, on different occasions. He studied many facets of anthropology, but his greatest love was Native American languages. Mason thought that the study of language was, at the time, more important than archaeology because artefacts could remain in the ground forever, but language could disappear rapidly, taking with it customs and knowledge developed over thousands of years.
Satterthwaite details the many positions that Mason held at various museums in the United States. He also lists the numerous anthropological societies which Mason was a part of, holding the position of President in many of them. Mason’s intimate involvement with so many different groups supports the author’s main argument, since this was one way in which Mason contributed to the anthropological world.
Perhaps the most useful part of this article is the bibliography listed at the end of the obituary. It lists the published works of John Alden Mason, and would be very useful as a reference list for other research within anthropology. Mason published approximately 180 different works in anthropology, however Satterthwaite specifically discusses only the eight titles that Mason “would least like to have overlooked” (p.873). These works include four relating to Native American languages, one dealing with linguistics of South American Natives and two about archaeological study (one about his Santa Marta excavations and the other, his text, The Ancient Civilization of Peru). Also included in the list is The Ethnology of the Salinan Indians, which he completed in 1912.
The author ends the obituary simply, by saying goodbye to a man who achieved a great deal, not only for himself, but also for anthropology in general. This obituary was very straightforward, and was not hard to follow at all. Satterthwaite organized his details logically and gave the reader only the most important aspects of John Alden Mason’s life.
MELISSA MCCLUSKEY University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)
Schwartz, Norman B. Goal Attainment Through Factionalism: A Guatemalan Case. American Anthropologist, New Series, December, 1969 Vol.71(6):1088-1108.
Norman B. Schwartz, an Anthropologist from the University of Delaware, goes against the traditional negative anthropological view of factionalism and highlights positive aspects as practiced in the northern Guatemalan pueblo (town) of San Andrés. First, Schwartz acknowledges the difficulty defining the term faction cross-culturally, and offers a sociological definition from R.W. Nicholas in order to serve as a framework for the rest of the article. Next, he describes several aspects of San Andrés: location, population, economics, utilities, and the ethnicity and history of the people in the pueblo. San Andrés is described as a place of conflict, but in conflict is stable. The issue of government and factions is then addressed. Schwartz describes the interaction among county council and mayor, both of which are elected positions, in the local political scene. However, the major unit of political organization in San Andrés is called the grupito, which is a small group of men working together under a common leader in order to initiate action and change.
Schwartz lists five details about San Andrés grupitos which make the factions successful: unstable membership, family oriented, large recruitment bases, social distinctions, and limited community membership. The grupitos cannot be “separated according to political goals and issues, and they support both common and sectarian goals.” The community generally views the factions as selfish, while the factions view their actions as a way to even the score among themselves. Combined with the ethnic, historical, and political background of the people in San Andrés, the factions have become a necessary aspect of social life in the community. Schwartz describes three examples of how the factions have ensured the political process to continue smoothly through their bickering. Three reasons explain why factions are integral to political stability in the pueblo: factions direct the political conflict, they promote interest in politics, and give people experience in the realm of politics to be used later in life. Schwartz also points out that there is no one dominant faction and that the local government is also effective in fulfilling the needs of the community, both of which help maintain stability in the pueblo as well. As a conclusion, Schwartz points out how he viewed his data in a way that made factions seem like a positive component of the culture in San Andrés and suggests that factions could be used to accomplish needs in other communities.
This article was very complete and interesting. Schwartz listed all his points clearly and backed up with arguments with sufficient information and examples. Viewing factionalism positively is a creative way to view the situation, and Schwartz was able to pull out much useful information, which hopefully can be applied to other communities. However, the article would be much better rounded with a review section where other anthropologists could add their own thoughts about the topic and Schwartz’s work.
BRIAN BLUHM University of Minnesota Duluth (Jennifer Jones)
Shankman, Paul. Le Rôti et le Bouilli: Lévi-Strauss’ Theory of Cannibalism. American Anthropologist 1969. Volume 71 (1:5): 54-69.
This article was Paul Shankman’s counter-argument to the theory Claude Lévi-Strauss argued in “The Culinary Triangle”, published in the Partisan Review, Fall 1966. Obviously, for one to appreciate Shankman’s argument, one requires a solid familiarity with this previous article.
According to Shankman, Lévi-Strauss argued that cooking and, by extension, cannibalism, reveal “structural oppositions” within cultures. For example, whether a society eats its food raw, cooked or rotten can give insight into the structure of that society in the same way that an analysis of linguistic oppositions gives insight into a culture. Shankman refuted Lévi-Strauss’ parallels between cooking and language, saying they were both incorrect and irrelevant. Lévi-Strauss’ theory that method of cooking is related to social structure is illustrated on page 58, whereby boiled (more ‘cultured’ because of the required pot) food is shown to be eaten among people of closer societal ties, while roasted (less ‘cultured’ because of the unmediated application of food to fire) food is eaten at public feasts. This argument was then further applied to cannibalism and methods of cooking people, where Lévi-Strauss predicted that cannibalistic societies would boil the bodies of their kin and roast the bodies of their enemies. Shankman actually provided data on forms of cannibalistic consumption as recorded in numerous ethnographical sources: these include boiled, roasted, baked, smoked, raw, powdered, preserved, dried, burned, and decomposed. This data contradicts Lévi-Strauss, since relatively few societies boiled people, and in societies that practiced both endo- and exo-cannibalism (that of both kin and enemies), baking was the most frequent method used.
Lévi-Strauss argued that cooking of both conventional food and humans reveals both the consistencies and contradictions found within the social structure of a society. Shankman was not satisfied with this theory; he argued that it did not go far enough in explaining the meaning and relevance of this means of analysis. Lévi-Strauss’ double oppositions were shown to be arbitrary, his predictions false, and the “contradictions” found in societal structure were in fact simply contradictions in his theory.
Shankman’s article is thorough and logical, and his arguments are laid out clearly. It is also witty and sharp; his references to Lévi-Strauss’ arguments as “unappetizing” and providing “little intellectual nourishment” make the article fun to read.
CLARITY RATING: 4
KAREN GABERT University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)
Whitten Jr., Norman E. Strategies of Adaptive Mobility in the Colombian – Ecuadorian Littoral. American Anthropologist, April 1969 vol.71 (2-3): 228-242.
Whitten analyzed social mobility and socioeconomic status of the lower class within a Pacific coast community. He argued that in order for one to have a complete understanding of social mobility, some type of organization must be provided. The author used the developmental cycle to serve this purpose. The developmental cycle is “a model of social structure, or an aspect of social structure” (Pg. 229).
The paper was divided into sections, ie: Theory and Methodology, Ethnography, Strategies of Adaptive Mobility, Summary and Suggestion of a Further Adaptive Strategy. Theory and Methodology discussed an overview of the article, important terms and how crucial it was to understand the concept of power and its relation to a stratified system. Ethnography provided the reader with information on how these coastal people lived. The author also discussed the strata in which people belonged, and mentioned that ethnic background was a determining factor. Strategies and Adaptive Mobility, provided definitions of the three types of mobility and the shifting of social and economic positions within four generations of a community. The three types of mobility include: spatial mobility, to seek new aspects or better conditions of a current position; horizontal mobility, the drive to achieve high social status; and vertical mobility, the actual moving up in socioeconomic status. These processes contributed to the survival of individuals as well as communities. The four generation description provided an explanation of the three types of mobility through the generations of a particular group. The Summary and Suggestion of a Further Adaptive Strategy indicated that the developmental cycle is complex and the application of a variety of tactics may be necessary to make this system easier to understand.
Through his paper, Whitten used the organization of the developmental cycle to achieve clarity in the elaborate system of socioeconomic mobility. Despite the complexity of the subject, he provided a clear and well organized paper on adaptive mobility.
CLARITY RATING: 4
JENNIFER GROVES University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)