American Anthropologist 1984

Begishe, K., & Burton, M., & Schoepfle, M. Navajo Attitudes Toward Development and Change: A Unified Ethnographic and Survey Approach to an Understanding of Their Future. American Anthropologist, 1984. Vol 80: 885-903

This article addresses the issue of the Navajo people adjusting to change and the industrialization of their region. In order to undertake this research, there was a cooperative effort between ethnoscientific ethnography, and survey research; two fields which have traditionally not been thought to work together well because of the small-scale research population of the former and the large-scale nature of the latter. The researchers found that three variables were crucially important to the Navajo regarding change: degree of assimilation into the outside economy, degree of damage to the traditional kinship system, and degree of disappearance of the subsistence livestock economy.

The authors of this article set out to demonstrate that ethnography and survey research compliment each other and aid the researcher in his or her work. In the case study used, a Navajo reservation facing development, ethnographers went into the field to find out what the people thought were the costs, possible mitigations of those costs, and benefits of a change in the traditional lifestyle. The ethnography provided a vocabulary and continuity that made the questions and instructions clearer to the Navajo subjects, as well as illuminating the three main concerns with industrialization defined above. The subsequent survey was then able to outline connections between concerns and opinions that would not have been revealed if the ethnography had not been completed first.

The major source of evidence the authors use to make their conclusion is the case study, which utilizes both survey and ethnographic approaches in tandem. First, the problem is explained: a Navajo reservation is considering development. Second, the usage of ethnography and its relation to the survey is explored. Third, the costs and benefits outlined by the subjects is carefully outlined, and an explanation of the interpretation of the survey is offered. Finally, the authors once again state their theory and their conclusions.

CLARITY: 3.5
ANNA WATSON Indiana U. of Penn (Miriam Chaiken)

Begishe, K., & Burton, M., & Schoepfle, M. Navajo Attitudes Toward Development and Change: A Unified Ethnographic and Survey Approach to an Understanding of Their Future. American Anthropologist, 1984. Vol 80: 885-903

(a) The overall address of the author is the idea of how the industrial development and accelerating extractions of Navajo lands are coped with by the Navajo people. They are using a combination of Ethnoscience Ethnography and Survey research to assess the attitudes of the people. The author’s feel that the encroachment of problems faced by the Navajo people are a cause for their involvement in the future.

(b) The idea is that there are three main variations in the attitudes of the people. (1) How it will affect the external economy in the Navajo, (2) Kinship systems and (3) Livestock economy. They are using ethnographic inside account on a more systematic construction of survey to create a formal approach. The authors set out to report on the actual attitudes about technological advancements on the Navajo reservation.

(c)(1) The report is based on the methodology and finding of integrated ethnographic and survey research to draw the author’s conclusion. They utilize a cognitive ethnographic approach to question Navajo individuals. The idea is to focus on social cause as well as financial bearing on the Navajo people.

(2) The main conclusion of the evidence was the subsequent elements found within the assurances of the people. The attitudes of change differ from that of the perception of change by the Navajo people.

CLARITY RATE: 5
Christian Speckman California State University, Hayward (Peter J. Claus).

Burton, Michael L., White, Douglas R. Sexual Division of Labor in Agriculture. American Anthropologist 1984 Vol.86: 568-583.

As agriculture intensifies, female agricultural contributions decline. A theory is formulated and tested to explain this high proportion of variance in female contribution. Using at least two regions, five variables show to be the predictors of female agricultural contributions.

The variables are; number of dry months, importance of domesticated animals to subsistence, use of the plow, crop type, and population density. This paper develops an ecological explanation for variations in the division of Labor based on sex and uses cross-cultural examination. The authors also reexamine anthropological thinking about the effects or tropical climate on social institutions. Boserup’s hypothesis of ‘gender roles and processes of agricultural intensification’ is focused on.

The authors draw on hypotheses from other theories. Murdock and Provost discuss masculine advantage due to physical strength, Boserup discusses how the plow increased male farming, and that there is high female participation in rice farming. Martin and Voorhies also feel that when farming cereal crops, women focus on food processing leaving less time for agriculture. Ember argues that women simply spend more time doing domestic work and participate more in child care.

These points are illustrated with the use of tables and the theories are tested using statistical analysis. Correlational data supports the model and regression analyses are shown to be good predictors of female input to agriculture. Several hypotheses are made about concerning population density.

The authors have found that population density only has a weak effect on the sexual division of labor and the strongest indicators are the number of dry months and the importance of domesticated animals to subsistence.

CLARITY: 4
RAGHBIR SINGH York University (Naomi Adelson)

Chang, K. C. Obituary W. C. Pei (1904-1982). American Anthropologist (No Month), 1984. Vol. 86:115-118

In 1982, China was deprived of the father if Palaeolithic archaeology, Wen-Chung Pei. At the age of 25, Pei was appointed field director of Choukoutien Excavations, and in December of that year, he found the first of seven Peking Man skulls. In 1931, Pei was the first person to take serious note of the cave deposits and was the first to describe the new Lower Palaeolithic Industry. Four years later, Pei studied the cultural deposits in the limestone caves of Kwangso and proposed a Mesolithic stage in the Chinese southwest. Pei’s writings and experiences in Kansu showed the abundance of archaeological treasures and his dream of a full-fledged Kansu Expedition. In the lat 33 years of Pei’s life, he was noted as one of the few people responsible for China’s progress and achievements in archaeology. Archaeologists believe that China owes Pei a lot and so do we.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
CHRISTINA FIORE York University (Naomi Adelson)

Chang, K.C. W.C.Pei (1904-1982). American Anthropologist March, 1984 vol.86(1):115-118.

Upon his graduation from Peking University in 1928, the late W.C. Pei began a long and prosperous journey toward being considered the father of Paleolithic Archaeology in China. Pei began his career excavating at Choukoutien and was named field director of excavations under the newly minted Laboratory of Cenozoic Research in 1929. He discovered and excavated skulls associated with Peking Man and additionally lithic implements found at Choukoutien. Pei left China briefly in 1935 to pursue a doctorate from the University of Paris, but returned in 1937 to continue his work.

Aside from his discoveries at Choukoutien, Pei studied cultural deposits in limestone caves at Kwangsi and proposed a Mesolithic stage in southwest China. His work at Djalainor furthered this theory. He also provided extensive surveys at the Kansu site in the mid 1940s, directed excavations at several different sites, directed training institutes focusing on museum studies in Peking, and wrote several books including the first on Chinese prehistory written in Chinese.

Working from the 1950s until his death at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Pei is credited with training all current Paleolithic Archaeologist in China. He is considered to be responsible for China’s stunning archaeological achievements.

CLARITY RATE: 5
Jami Shaw California State University, Hayward Peter J. Claus

Dewar, Robert E.. Environmental Productivity, Population Regulation, and Carrying Capacity. American Anthropologist, 1984 Vol.86(4):601-611

Dewar opens by mentioning that carrying capacity in an anthropological context has two distinct meanings that are somewhat confusing and need clarification. Dewar suggests that anthropologists have been labeling two distinct scenarios within a population using the same term. At the author’s discretion K denotes population growth carrying capacity and Cc will denote environmental carrying capacity.

The first labeling refers to population demographics (density and growth). Dewar first provides an equation for measuring carrying capacity and points to the flaws when applying it to a non-laboratory test group. The equation is limited in its ability to account for organisms with competition, as it is modeled around specimens within an environment in equilibrium and has no basis in inter species rivalry. Secondly, the equation assumes reproduction is timely and continuous with no problematic processes. After revising the equation ecologists have bettered their results but still are not exact as, Dewar notes the inability to calculate one variable independently from another. The denominator (K) is defined as, at first, limits placed on a population’s growth rate by its density. After revision K is the variable for measuring all density-dependent devices managing a population.

The latter usage of carry capacity (Cc) denotes environmental conditions. This has been measured many differences ways. Some measured Cc by means of changes in biomass, species diversity, community production, etc.. Environmental carrying capacity could also be measured via the amount of living organisms that can be sustained within an environment. After explaining the difference of K and Cc Dewar then embarks upon why K and Cc are often misused and joined together–dispelling the most common misconceptions.

Assumption One: The equilibrium level of a population is determined by the productive capacity of the environment. Dewar retorts that this assumption has no credibility as it has never been tested. Assumption Two: Achieved population levels are in equilibrium. Again, the author discredits this theory as it cannot be tested. There is no evidence to say populations in equilibrium are necessarily adaptive. Assumption Three: There is a direct relationship between a particular population’s size and the productive capacity of its range. The author clearly states the proposal is correct but the time at which it occurs is unclear and questionable. All of the assumptions made by biologists and anthropologists are rooted in a profound lack of data and result in a dualistic meaning of the term Carrying Capacity

CLARITY RANKING: 3
DANIEL IRVINE Indiana U of Penn (Miriam Chaiken)

Dobbery, Marion Lundy. Mcquire, Dennis P. Pearson, James J. Taylor, Kenneth Clarkson. An Application of Dimensional Analysis in Cultural Anthropology. American Anthropologist 1984 Vol.86:854-885

Dobbery, Mcquire, Pearson and Taylor feel that an ideal way to compare culture is by using dimensional analysis. This analysis helps to measure similarities in different dimensions of culture.

In this article the researchers go through each step of how they came up with fourteen equations in the process of dimensional analysis. In order to forego dimensional analysis, they needed to establish variables and dimensions. The dimensions are the sociocultural systems. Variables are what shape these sociocultural systems. It was very important for them to clearly define the variables in order to measure them.

This article provides graphs, charts and matrix to show their work in progress. With the dimensional analysis they measured the quality of the variables as well as the contribution of the variables to the dimensions. The researchers were hoping to create a law of anthropology. By using dimensional analysis, they were trying to create a form of mathematical anthropology.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
RIE KOREEDA York University (Naomi Adelson)

Dobbert, Marion Lundy. McGuire, Dennis P. Pearson, James J. Taylor, Kenneth Clarkson. 1984. An Application of Dimensional Analysis in Cultural Anthropology. American Anthropologist 86 (4): 854-884.

(a) The overall concept of this journal article is to formulate an ideal typological system. The article is trying to develop fourteen dimensional space, defined by forty-two scaled variables, plus additional factors to set up the system. They compare data from five societies against their theory.

(b) The authors are trying to use this system to prove an affective application of analysis within cultural anthropology standards. With the setup of tables and formation of variables they hope to setup a pattern of dimensional analysis. They utilize different sub-fields in Anthropology to formulate this dimensional analysis.

(c)

(1) The evidence is that they are going to bring a typological system to analyze the ideas within cultural anthropology barriers. The use of their quantitative methods is what the authors are using to formulate the basis of their answers. They feel that the scale variables and that sort of system will have an impact within cultural anthropology parameters.

(2) The authors are trying to use the functioning system to confirm holistically the points brought forward by their argument. The high use on quantitative analysis is to affirm tables or orderings in comparative cultural Anthropology. While the authors try to substantiate their points with quantitative variables their conclusions were not a valid strength. Consequently time has shown a divergence to such ethnological work because of the nature of examining cultural Anthropology.

CLARITY RATE: 2
Christian Speckman California State University, Hayward (Peter J. Claus).

Eder, F. James The Impact of Subsistence Change on Mobility and Settlement Pattern in a Tropical Forest Foraging Economy: Some Implications for Archeology American Anthropologist December, 1984 Vol.86(4):837-851

The author’s main objective is to examine the use of the terms “mobility” and “sedentism” in regard to anthropological and archeological research. He begins by addressing the concept that mobility is not symbolic of hunting and gathering, while sedentism is also not a foreshadowing of the idea that a culture was agricultural. As addressed in the article the two terms should be removed from one another and placed on different spectrums. The author makes the point that societies often become more mobile before the mobility decreases and sedentism occurs.

The ethnographic research used was based on the Batak people, a Negrito group living in the forest of central Palawan Island, located in the Philippines. The people had eight local groups, usually consisting of 3-24 households; a household was usually a nuclear family. The author chose this group because of the abundant amount of mobility maintained amongst outside societal and governmental pressures. The Batak were historically a hunting and gathering society, living in temporary forest camps and living off the resources of the forest. As time went on and new factors were introduced the groups slowly began to add on to their hunting and gathering foundation. First came the addition of trade with the lowlanders and other neighboring tribes, then possibly due to the trade came shifting cultivation and later wage labor. Shifting cultivation began with root crops, then grain crops and later rice. Wage labor was usually in the form of manual labor such as berry picking opportunities, making swiddens, occasional housework and cleaning, and more recently, guiding and entertaining foreign tourists. When men are hired out to work the whole family usually goes and the women gather resources from the forest while the men work the fields or make swiddens. The Batak spend around 60% of their time in swidden houses or settlement houses and around 40% of their time in encampments either forest, lowland or settlement.

The author provides two tables to demonstrate how the Batak remained mobile after the arrival of new economic activities. Despite permanent residences provided from these new economic activities, they result in more mobility between the residences. Sedentary settlement systems are those in which at least part of the population remains in the same geographic location year round. This provides a foundation for the misconception that sedentary groups are less if at all mobile while highly mobile groups are nonsedentary. The author suggests that mobility is a result of environmental resources and that while the Batak are considered sedentary. they are also highly mobile. The author expands this point by stating that mobility of residential location and mobility of settlement site can be two completely different things. The author concludes that sedentism is a threshold property, while mobility is a continuous variable.

The author did a remarkable job providing visual aids and citing past ethnographies from the local area. The reading was both interesting and easy reading. I found this article to be one of the best written works I have seen in this project.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
JOSHUA JONES Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)

Eder, James F. The Impact of Subsistence Change on Mobility and Settlement Pattern in a Tropical Forest Foraging Economy: Some Implications for Archeology. American Anthropologist 1984: 837-853.

Eder concentrates on the Batak group in the Philippines, which he calls a “…transitional subsistence economy” (837), where foraging and agriculture are used in conjunction with wage labour. Eder states that not a lot of attention has been paid to these types of cultures, and that contrary to popular thought there is no linear continuum from foraging to agriculture to wage labour economies. The subsistence economy of the Batak includes hunting-gathering, shifting cultivation, collection and sale of forest products and wage labour. The Batak now have a very complex settlement pattern, involving houses, swidden houses, forest foraging camps and wage labour camps (838). Over the last century, Batak settlement has become more stationary due to this culture’s “…incorporation into wider social systems” (839).

Eder traces the Batak settlement history to a hunting-gathering past, and small groups continue this practice and will subsist on the land for days or weeks at a time. During the Second World War, the Philippine government attempted to force these groups into a sedentary lifestyle. Trade was subsequently added, but had very little effect on the settlement patterns of the Batak as the new coastal camps that were created were very similar to the forest and river camps already used (839-40). The additions of shifting cultivation and wage labour brought about the largest changes in settlement. Swidden field houses became more important for portions of the year, and many of the Batak became employed in the homes of settlers. Currently, the settlement system is such that a large portion of the population remains sedentary for much of the time. Eder goes on to point out that the terms “sedentary” and “mobility” are arbitrary depending upon culture, yet the “…Philippine government expects the Batak to live in settlements and sporadically enforces this expectation with mild intimidation or promises of aid” (850), making sedentary life necessary.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
AMANDA JONES York University (Naomi Adelson)

Gallaher, Art Jr. Edward Holland Spicer (1906-1983). American Anthropologist June, 1984 Vol.86 (2): 380-385.

Edward Holland Spicer was known as an extraordinary person and a distinguished anthropologist. Born in 1906 in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania to Quaker parents, he spent the early years of his life living in Arden, Delaware. He grew up in a caring family who encouraged his curiosity; his mother encouraged him to write poetry and read literature while his father, a philosopher, allowed him to copy Algonkin texts. He was home schooled until the seventh grade when he was enrolled in Friends School in Wilmington. During his senior year, he moved with his family to Louisville, Kentucky where he attended Louisville Male High School and graduated in 1923. After high school, he was a seaman on freighters before enrolling at the University of Delaware to study chemistry in 1925. Finding the chemistry classes not challenging enough, he switched his major to literature. He also attended John Hopkins University in 1927 to study economics due to an interest he formed when he was a seaman. Eventually, he grew bored of academic life and dropped out of college in his senior year. Before he dropped out, he developed his interest for anthropology.

After being diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis and being hospitalized for part of 1928-1929, he saved up enough money through odd jobs and enrolled at the University of Arizona where he earned a degree in economics in 1932 and a Master’s degree in archaeology in 1933. His first contribution to archaeology came that year in a paper that described Prescott Black-on-gray pottery at an AAAS regional meeting in New Mexico. In 1934, he worked at the University of Chicago with both Radcliffe-Brown and Robert Redfield, both who had a significant impact on his career.

He was hospitalized two more times with pulmonary tuberculosis during 1935-1936 in Chicago and Tucson. In 1936, he married Rosamond Brown, a fellow anthropology student he met while in Chicago. They honeymooned in Pascua, a Yaqui village in Tucson where he was doing dissertation research. These researches lead to his first contribution to cultural anthropology and became one of his most well known projects that he conducted.

During his career, he won fifteen awards, his first in 1941 on his research on the Yaqui. He was also elected president of the American Anthropological Association and the American Philosophical Society in 1974. He was awarded for his teaching and/or research at the University of Arizona in 1957, 1964, 1972, and 1978. He spent most of his career at the University of Arizona where he retired Professor Emeritus in 1978.

He died of cancer at his Fort Lowell home in Tucson, Arizona on April 5, 1983 at the age of seventy-seven. His wife, Rosamond, three children, and two grandchildren survive him.

CLARITY: 4
BRIANNE N. DUFFNER Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Miriam Chaiken)

Gallaher, Jr., Art. Edward Holland Spicer (1906-1983). American Anthropologist June, 1984 Vol.86(2):380-385.

Edward Holland Spicer, nicknamed Ned by friends and family, passed away tragically from cancer on April 5, 1983. Spicer began his formal studies in chemistry at University of Delaware. Bored with chemistry, Ned turned to literature and finally to anthropology after transferring to John Hopkins. He briefly dropped out of school to nurse himself back to health from a diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis. Schooling resumed with a bachelors in economics and masters in archaeology from University of Arizona.

Ned spent the later 1930s studying Prescott black-on-gray pottery of the Cohonina as well as research at the museum of Northern Arizona and the University of Chicago. His work with the Yaqui in Pascua, Arizona began his first major contribution to cultural anthropology as opposed to his earlier work in archaeology. Research produced a structural-functional analysis of how the Yaqui maintained traditional aspects of their culture. Further work among southwest natives produced a bevy of ethnographic implements as well as scores of books.

Highlights of Spicer’s career include two Guggenheim awards, fellowships from the National Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities, president of the American Anthropological Association, American Philosophical Society, and National Academy of Sciences, recipient of the Malinowski Award, Distinguished Service Award, Outstanding Scholarship Award, and Distinguished Teaching Awards.

With his involvement in the War Relocation Authority, Ned was enmeshed in the pioneering of applied anthropology. In addition, he was an excellent teacher spending most of his career at the University of Arizona. Edward Spicer was a distinguished anthropologist as can be seen in his accomplishments and awards.

CLARITY RATE: 4
Jami Shaw California State University, Hayward Peter J. Claus

Garfield, Viola E. and Pamela T. Amoss. Obituary Erna Gunther (1896-1982). American Anthropologist June, 1984 Vol.86(2):394-399.

In 1982, the anthropological world lost the well-known and respected anthropologist Erna Gunther. The only child of a middle class jeweler, Gunther graduated in 1919 as part of the elite group of first generation students of Franz Boas. By 1920 she had acquired her Master’s degree in Anthropology from Colombia University.

In 1921 Gunther moved to the University of Washington after marrying Leslie Spier, the new resident anthropologist of that university. In 1923 she was appointed to an associate faculty position. In 1930 she and Spier separated. After he left, she remained as director of the museum and head of the department for 25 years. By depending on local support and publishing mainly articles in wide demand by a more popular audience she kept her department alive. Under her care it grew from a faculty of two in 1930 to four faculty and an assistant teacher in 1932. A physical anthropologist and an archaeologist were added and the faculty grew to ten before Gunther resigned her position as chair in 1955.

Over the next fifteen years Gunther kept busy. She held a position as chair in the Department of Anthropology and Geography at the University of Alaska where she campaigned for better equipment and facilities for the department. She also edited the university anthropology publications in addition to teaching and continuing her own research. When she finally moved to Seattle to retire in 1969 she continued to travel, setting up exhibits and reorganizing at museums across the country.

In 1971 she was awarded the Robert Gray Medal from the Washington State Historical Society, their highest honor. She was invited in 1976 to present her research at the Simon Fraser Northwest Studies Conference. In 1981 a special ceremony was held in her honor at the Burke Museum where an Erna Gunther Memorial Garden was created with plants used by local Native peoples.

Gunther’s career took precedence over her research in her life. Early works, such as “An Analysis of the First Salmon Ceremony” in volume 28 of the American Anthropologist in 1926, contributed greatly to ethnographies of western Washington. However, as her career took flight the number of publications dwindled. Her research on the Salmon Ceremony paper influenced her toward the ultimate publication of Ethnobotany of Western Washington. About this publication Garfield says, “her work [quite sophisticated for the time] is the foundation on which all subsequent ethnobotanical research in the area has been based.” (396)

Gunther’s ability to reach out to the general public and draw them into the world of anthropology will be missed. Though her studies and talent reached far and wide, Gunther’s heart remained with the native Americans of the Northwest. Her works and research, along with the continuation of many of the programs and departments she helped to strengthen, stand as a testament to her drive and determination.

CLARITY: 5
A. SKYE FLYNN Indiana U. of Penn. (Miriam Chaiken)

Garfield, Viola E. and Amoss, Pamela T. Erna Gunther (1896-1982). American Anthropologist June, 1984 Vol.86(2):394-399.

Up until her untimely death in 1982, Erna Gunther worked tirelessly to boost faculty and academics in several universities. A first generation Boas student and thus a contributor to the current thought process in anthropology, Gunther’s interest in anthropology was first spiked whilst a student at Columbia. Upon graduation in the early 1920s, she became a faculty member at the University of Washington Seattle. She left UofW-Seattle briefly to finish her doctorate but was invited back in 1929. The Washington State Museum named her director in 1930 and the university promoted her to head of the anthropology department. She excelled in the challenge of building up the faculty from only two residents in 1930 to over ten when she resigned in 1955. The museum flourished as well with Gunther promoting exhibits and lending pieces from her personal collection. In 1966, she moved on to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, becoming chair in 1967. Much like when she was in Seattle, Gunther campaigned for funds and better facilities for her department. 1969 saw her retirement from formal teaching.

Retirement brought new challenges that Gunther met by continuing work in museum studies, presenting speeches, and cataloging collections. In addition to her extensive work in various universities, she published several articles and dissertations, particularly in the late 1920s. Specializing in northwest natives, Gunther researched salmon runs in the Havasupai, did fieldwork with the Coast Salish, Clallam, and Makah, and promoted using other fields such as botanist to improve ethnographers. Her work with the Shakar in the 1940s proved a turning point to a focus on ethnohistory and art. After launching an extensive search for Northwest Native art, catalogs and historical journals were compiled which were unfortunately never appreciated on a larger level.

Along with an impressive list of ethnographical research and academic endeavors, Erna Gunther was a voice for the Natives Americans that she studied. She cofounded the Congress of the American Indians and the Indian Women’s Service League. In a time when civil rights were just blooming, Gunther attempted to enlighten others on the problems faced by Natives Americans. Both humanity and the anthropological community lost a great teacher, talented researcher, and truly gifted woman upon her death.

CLARITY RATE: 5
Jami Shaw California State University Hayward Peter J. Claus

Geertz, Clifford. Distinguished Lecture: Anti Anti-Relativism American Anthropologist June, 1984 Vol.86(2):263-277

The overall concern Geertz deals with is to descend upon anti-relativism. Cultural relativism aids largely as a ghost “to scare us away from certain ways of thinking and toward others”(263). Geertz believes that the “ways of thinking” we are being scared away from are more convincing than those that are pushed towards us.

Anthropological data, not theory, has made the field of anthropology appear to be a huge argument against absolutism. The idea that some have contaminated anthropology with relativism and others have tried to eliminate it is one myth that confuses Geertz’s lecture on anti anti-relativism. The broader implications of anthropological research are a debate about how to live with the implications, not about them. Once this fact is understood, and relativism and anti-relativism are seen as accustomed responses to these implications, there is an improvement in focus for the discussion.

Relativists desire for us to worry about provincialism, which is that our perceptions, intellects, and sympathies will be limited by the “overlearned and overvalued acceptances of our own society” (265). Anti-relativists want us to worry about a type of “spiritual entropy”, a degradation of the mind. In this sense, everything is as significant as it is insignificant. Anti-relativism has largely contrived the anxiety it dwells in.

Geertz focuses on two ideas “of central importance” (267). First is the attempt to reinstate the concept, free of context, of “Human Nature” as a defense against relativism. Second is the attempt to reinstate the concept of “The Human Mind”. The question then becomes, what should we do with the inarguable facts uncovered by research as we go about analyzing and interpreting other facets of different cultures.

These two concepts toward culture free restoration take many unequal forms. One form is on the naturalist side, the other on the rationalist. Different perspectives are also being generated out of many other ideas such as experimental psychology and artificial intelligence. Geertz then goes on to explain the concepts of “Human Nature” and “The Human Mind” with excerpts and writings of anthropologists, such as Midgeley, Spiro and Sperber.

The opposition to anti-relativism is not that it discards the relativist’s approach to knowledge or morality, but that it envisions the defeat of these approaches by arranging morality beyond culture, and knowledge beyond both morality and culture.

This article was clear in the sense that Geertz’s writing is, for the most part, easy to follow. He does have long sentences, which force the reader to look closely at what is stated. Geertz’s wit and cleverness make for enjoyable reading. An example as he ends his lecture is, “If we wanted home truths, we should have stayed at home” (276).

CLARITY: 4
KELLY MARCIKIC Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)

Geertz, Clifford. Distinguished Lecture: Anti Anti-Relativism. American Anthropologist. 1984. Vol. 86; pp 263-278.

In the article “Distinguished Lecture: Anti Anti-Relativism” Clifford Geertz attempts to destroy the fear of cultural relativism. To be more specific, Geertz does not want to defend relativism, but to attack anti-relativism. He points out that whatever cultural relativism may be, or originally have been, these days it serves largely as a specter to scare us away from certain ways of thinking towards others.

Geertz points out that the early practices of observation practiced by anthropologists are poorly based. He argues, however, that is not anthropological theory that has made this field of study controversial it is anthropological data. According to Geertz, the notion that it was Boas, Benedict and Melville who infected the field of anthropology with the relativist’s virus is but another myth that infused this whole discussion. Instead, it is those that have bent anthropology so often that have introduced much traffic with its materials.

Geertz goes on to say that as anthropologists, we came to recognize the unscientific snobbery in calling indigenous people “natives”. Even more respectable journals could show them naked without offense because “their pendulous breasts were inhuman to us as the udders of a cow.” We eventually began to embrace relativism, and we went on to endorse a nice equality among cultures. Thus, the large sense of superiority that was once one of the white man’s burdens was replaced by an equally heavy sense of guilt.

CLARITY: 1
PATRICIA MAIOLO York University (Naomi Adelson)

Gewertz, Deborah. The Tchambuli View of Persons: A Critique of Individualism in the Works of Mead and Chodorow. American Anthropologist September, 1984 Vol. 86 (3):615-629.

“No people … have been more misinterpreted than the Tchambuli of Papua New Guinea,” says Deborah Gewertz (615). In critiquing the work of Margaret Mead, who did fieldwork among the Tchambuli between January 1933 and April 1933, Gewertz hopes to set the record straight regarding gender differences among the Tchambuli. Also taken to task in this article is a work by Nancy Chodorow that is a reconsideration of the work of Mead. Having done her own fieldwork among the Tchambuli of New Guinea beginning in 1974, Gewertz argues “that both Mead and Chodorow fail to consider adequate non-Western views of the self in explaining gender differences” (615).

Chodorow used the work of Margaret Mead to come to different conclusions about the Tchambuli than did Mead. However, Gewertz contends that both fell victim to the same cultural trap: “Both … locate their explanations of female personality traits within the same set of Western assumptions” and both used “cross-cultural data, not only in their descriptions but even in their explanations, to validate our own cultural categories” (618).

Gewertz shows in the article how Mead did not take historical events into consideration when characterizing Tchambuli men and women. She also “tended to summarize her findings … in the form of typologies,” (620) effectively pigeonholing cultures according to the Western cultural framework with which she was familiar. Gewertz says, “Her conclusions, as they appear in her classifications, are sometimes at variance with ethnographic data” (620). Certainly, Gewertz demonstrates that Mead’s conclusions were at variance with her own.

Gewertz was able to learn something very important when she lived among the Tchambuli: they viewed persons differently than we do. To be a person among the Tchambuli was to be part of a clan¾to embody many different relationships. Unlike Western society, the individual was nothing in Tchambuli culture. This was key to Gewertz’s understanding of Tchambuli personality development.

Mead’s ultimate conclusion has Tchambuli women assuming a masculine persona while Chodorow has them “trapped in infantile dependence” (627). Gewertz offers a warning: “if we wish to investigate [Tchambuli women’s] lives, we must be particularly careful to avoid making them over in our own images” (627)

The article is easy reading and very interesting. It is not limited to discussion of the Tchambuli but talks about neighboring tribes as well. Neither is it limited to a discussion of the works of Mead and Chodorow; several other ethnographers are cited. I found myself wondering why Mead and Chodorow were singled out in the title.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
SHERRY BRUMGARD Michigan State University (Susan Applegate)

Gewertz, Deborah. The Tchambuli View of Persons: A Critique of Individualism in the Works of Mead and Chodorow. American Anthropologist. No month, 1984. Vol. 86; pp. 615-629.

As anthropology students we are often told that our goal is to use cross-cultural descriptive data to devise explanatory hypotheses about why people do what they do. It seems, that we do this for our own cultural purposes because we wish to compare the data to our lives. Consequently, anthropologists frequently domesticate the cultural alternatives presented to them. Being fully aware of this, Deborah Gewertz argues that this method of study and observation allows foreign cultures to be vulnerable to much misinterpretation. In the article “The Tchambuli View of Persons: A Critique of Individualism in the Works of Mead and Chodorow” Gewertz analyses both Mead’s and Chodorow’s field notes in order to prove that the Tchambuli of Papua New Guinea are unjustly represented.

According to Gewertz, Mead describes the Tchambuli as a society in which women are unadorned, brisk and efficient, whether in childbearing, fishing, or marketing, while men are decorated and vain, interested in art, theater, and petty gossip. By pointing out that women of New Guinea shave their heads and do not adorn themselves and describing men as graceful, Gewertz points out that Mead exemplifies this notion of western masculinity and femininity. Mead’s New Guinea work, therefore, seems to convince us that these personality differences between men and women that we in the west tend to classify as masculine and as feminine may be reversed or transformed with other cultural context. Thus, both men and women may be like our women; both women and men may be like our men; and–based on the Tchambuli data–men may be like our women, while women may be like out men.

Gewertz also points out that Chadorow, like Mead, suggests that the key to personality development in both males and females is to be found in the organization of the women’s group and the relationship of children of both sexes to women. However, where Mead finds the aggressiveness and leadership ability of Tchambuli women, Chadorow discovers a cross-cultural potential for female dependence and for female problems with individualization. On the basis of these disperate conclusions, one might assume that Mead and Chodorow part explanatory company. Both, however, locate their explanations of female personality traits within the same set of Western assumptions, failing to consider adequately non-Western views of the self in explaining gender differences. They are this using cross-cultural data, not only their descriptions but even in their explanations, to validate out own cultural categories.

CLARITY: 3
PATRICIA MAIOLO York University (Naomi Adelson)

Gregory, James R. The Myth of the Male Ethnographer and The Woman’s World. American Anthropologist June 1984 Vol.86(2):316-327.

It was traditionally thought that men ethnographers could not get correct information about women and that any data collected was false. In this article the author argues that this was just an excuse for not collecting information about women. The author says that it is a myth used to explain why men are considered dominant and excuses future behavior. “It is a myth in the sense of being an account of reality that helps explain why thing are the way they are and, by extension, a character for future behavior.” (516) He says it is also a myth in the sense of being a false statement.

The author did field work among the Mopan Mayan Indians of southern Belize. He explains that he too did research solely on males because this idea shaped his research plan and permitted him to work with male informants. In his first paper he discussed fiestas in this community and all the duties and benefits a man had. “Men were, by cultural definition and public acknowledgement, at center stage in every dimension of this complex of institutionalized patterns.” (517) Because of this he focused his research on the male role, not seeing anything inappropriate at that time. He then realized that women played a very important role behind the men, and though it had been acknowledged, he did not realize that women often play a stronger role than men do and they have a very large effect on them.

The author argues that most information was readily available to men, but some information was impossible to get because of the subject matter. He says that personal information about women would be harder to attain by a male ethnographer, but could be attained in ways other than observation, such as questioning informants. The author says that there are two problems with that, if interviewing men they would get the man’s view, and alternatively, if interviewing women the women will tell them what they think the men want to hear because men are required to be present during the interview.

The author believes that the myth that implies that there are problems with distortions, omissions, and half-truths in the women’s world and not the men’s is also a false statement. The informants used with men may tell information that is untrue about the men as well as they could the women.

The author believes that if he had worked as hard to get information about the women as he did the men he would have a lot more material. He believes that if he had “forgone the collection of information from and about men when the problems were comparable to those involved in getting such information from and about women, my field notebooks would be thin indeed.” (322).

This article was very interesting. It was easy to read and understand.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
NAHALA BUYCKS Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)

Gregory, James, R. The Myth of the Male Ethnographer and the Woman’s World. American Anthropologist 1984 Vol.86:316-327.

James R. Gregory argues that certain aspects of ethnographic experience are accepted as myth; namely, that male ethnographers experience trouble in gaining information about the world of women in the communities they study. The myth has distorted our factual base and is a false statement. The author criticizes his own fieldwork among the Mopan Mayan Indians of southern Belize in which he states: “a man’s rank within the community was largely determined by the extent of his combined services within the civil-religious hierarchy of local government and fiesta sponsorship” (317). However, the activities related to these fiestas were the undertaking and responsibility of women, and thus, it was really a system of ranking the households. With modernization, new forms of allocating distinction to men emerged and with it their women. The author challenges old ways of thinking about the role of the male ethnographer in the woman’s world.

The myth is based on the assumption that the male has priority and dominance in public life; however, it is realized that women exert a substantial amount of influence over male decision making. Women are often the maintainers of tradition, and their participation is noticed most at times of sociocultural change.

The myth is a false statement concerning types of information about the woman’s world. The author identifies types of information ranging on a scale from the lower end to the higher end, which have different challenges to the male ethnographer in gaining the information and, conversely, for the female ethnographer in gaining information about the world of men. Other problems related to the sex of the ethnographer are discussed, such as how community members may view the male or female differently (for example, jealousy, trust, suspicion), and may make sexual propositions to them. The male/female team research effort can place the female ethnographer in a second-rate position because the male may feel that she should take on the role of wife to better fit into the culture at hand. The author calls for the need of greater recognition of the woman’s world in ethnographic research because it is no longer irrelevant in understanding the world of men. This will improve the quality of field research.

CLARITY: 4
LAURA MONTEITH York University (Naomi Adelson).

Hamilton, M. E. Revising Evolutionary Narratives: A Consideration of Alternative Assumptions about Sexual Selection and Competition for Mates. American Anthropologist 1984. 86: pgs 651-661

This article looks at the evolution of mating between males and females. It examines what causes the attraction between males and females as well as which gender has the power over the selection of mates. The author examines many evolutionary theories written by previous anthropologists as well as scientists. Some argue that the male species is more dominant in mating than the females while others argue that female’s control which male is selected for mating.

The author looks at the theory of pair bond. Pair bond being that each male is matched to a specific female for reproduction but it does not specify if this bond lasts for the life of the species or if its for a particular mating season. The author argues that because of parental investment, the male of the species competes for females instead of vice versa. This is especially related to human culture and economics.

To support his arguments he uses examples of other anthropologists like Barash, Campbell, Pfeiffer, and Sheper as well as Charles Darwin. He examines each of their arguments on competition to come to his conclusion that males compete for females. These works are heavily cited and are dependent on the construction of his argument. Each theory is intriguing however they are more focused on mating between animals rather than humans. Even though human mating is an evolution from animals, our mating patterns and behavior the author states defer from animals. This is why the author revised evolutionary narratives.

CLARITY 1
DISHAN JEBAMONEY York University (Naomi Adelson)

Hamilton, M.E. 1984. Revising Evolutionary Narratives: A Consideration of Alternative Assumptions About Sexual Selection and Competition For Mates. American Anthropologist 86 (3): 651-662.

(a) The overall concern of the article is female dependency and competition. The author is looking at the difference in male and female selection for mates. The focus is based on looking between the two genders and their primal notions of competition. The basis for the author’s conclusion is in the importance of the favoring traits that have evolved.

The articles basic argument is through evolutionary patterns; the males’ dominance of competition is viewed as a hindrance. The favoring traits that are passed on through natural selection are formed early in human patterns. The sexual division of labor is one element in the basis of the argument. The foundation is on “intra-sexual selection” against the notion of aggressive competition.

(1) One of the main cornerstones of evidence is drawing from Darwinian evolutionary patterns. The female dependencies compared to competition are dominant patterns. The formation of competition is in the biological makeup of males.

(2) The author backs the evolutionary patterns of human selection of competition through natural selection process. The favoring traits that are passed down such as “intrasexual selection” are a part of the author’s conclusion.

CLARITY RATE: 4
Christian Speckman California State University, Hayward (Peter J. Claus).

Kay, Paul and Kempton, Willett. What is the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis? American Anthropologist, 1984. Vol. 86 (1): 65-78.

The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis was born from Sapir’s experimentation on Boas’s theory on unwritten languages, that they are “just as complete and intellectually adequate as written language”, and on Whorf’s continuation of Sapir’s theories, stating a direct dependence of thoughts on the language used by the speaker. The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis yields three conclusions. The first is that structural differences between language systems exist. The second is that one’s worldview is directly influenced by one’s native language development. And the third theory is that semantic systems of different languages vary, and that they vary without any constraints from one language to another.

Two experiments were conducted; the later experiment was derived from the results, or lack of clarification, from the former. The first experiment analyzed color terminology of different languages, English and Tarahumarar. This experiment made explicit a deviation between the linguistic reference of the color and the actual perception of the color between the two cultures. It was found that the name of a color reflected the speaker’s judgment about the color, rather than their visual abilities; perception of color relies on memory, codes and ways of communication. And the name strategy shows that different subjective judgments were made by the different cultures.

Further testing was done to show that the name strategy is the psychological mechanism in the Whorfian effect. The second experiment also used a color evaluation technique, however, the findings in this experiment contradict the findings from the previous experiment. As a result of experiment two the Whorfian theory stating the influence of language on a person’s worldview disappears. After deeper investigation it was found that the “name strategy” undermines the Whorfian finding of experiment one in part two. Therefore, the third hypothesis is employed, which states, “semantic systems of different languages vary without constraints”.

However, after even further studies, it was found that there are in actuality constraints to semantics systems. Therefore, hypothesis three had to be rejected as well. Anthropologists mainly utilize the first and third theories from the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis. The second is often neglected as a result of the difficulty found in directly testing a subject’s worldviews independently of their native language. The two experiments lead to the conclusion that languages differ semantically and without constraint, although this too could be disproved as well. They also proved that differences in language yield differences in non-linguistic areas of life.

After these tests we cannot know what Sapir and Whorf really thought about their topic, because their writings are subject to various interpretations. This article, however, does not concern itself with what Sapir and Whorf thought, rather it is concerned with the three theories that their hypothesis set out to prove. Although, linguistic anthropology has made significant progress in the last century, Kay and Kempton make it clear that an unprejudiced view on non-written language has not been accomplished.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
JESSICA CUSTER, LIZA DAVIS, ALISA MINGMONGKOL, CHANDANA PEDAPATI, FERDINAND SORIANO Northern Illinois University (Giovanni Bennardo)

Kay, Paul and Kempton, Willett. What is the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis? American Anthropologist March, 1984 Vol.86(1):65-79.

Boas, one of the most influential anthropologists of 20th century, researched unwritten languages and found them to be systematic and antithetical to the previously prevalent evolutionary thought. Sapir, a student of Boas, and Whorf, a student of Sapir’s, expanded on this view and theorized that intellectual systems embodied in language shape the thought of speakers. In the past 40 yrs, anthropologists have attempted to revise and refute what is known as the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis. This article does not deal primarily with the Sapir-Whorf, but contends that Roger Brown was correct when endorsing Eric Lennenberg’s sayings in 1953 concerning Sapir-Whorf. Three fundamental statements are identified: 1) structural differences between language systems will be paralleled by nonlinguistic cognitive differences in the native speakers of the two languages, 2) the structure of anyone’s native languages strongly influences or fully determines the world view he will acquire as he learns the language, 3) the semantic systems of different languages vary without constraint. Two schools of thought are devoted to the first two and the third has since been discredited.

An experiment is devised using blue-green color chips and speakers of two languages, English, which designate between the two colors, and Tarahumara who do not. Data suggests that a presence of blue green semantical division suggests an exaggeration of subjective distances between distances of boundary colors. This experiment credits the earlier statement that the first and second fundamentals of Sapir-Whorf are correct while the third is incorrect.

CLARITY RATE: 4
Jami Shaw California State University Hayward Peter J. Claus

Luong, Hy Van. ”Brother” and “Uncle”: Analysis of Rules, Structural Contradictions, and Meaning in Vietnamese Kinship. American Anthropologist. June 1984 Vol. 86(2): 290-315.

The main focus of this article is to examine the use of kinship terms in Vietnamese language. Luong looks at the sociocultural parameters within kinship terms in different cultural situations.

In the first part of the article, Luong explains the context-specific usage of kinship terms. How one is addressed or referred to is different in certain situations. When introducing someone, different kinship terms may be used. Luong used the example of a researcher, a young girl, and a friend of the researcher. The researcher is referred to as “anh” (older brother) and the friend is “cau” (maternal junior uncle). The article discusses the difference between addressor, addressee and third party referring terms. Luong states “kinship terms are most usefully considered as forming one unitary set. Their meanings can only be fully encoded and decoded in terms of all their context-specific and functional diverse relations to other socioculturally defined entities.” (295).

The next part of the article discusses the usage of the term “ho”. This term has two contradicting models in Vietnamese kinship, one is male-oriented and the other is non-male oriented. One is based on rigid separation of sexes while the other is on the unity of opposite sex individuals.

The male-oriented model for kinship relations of the ho is sex oriented. The ideal ho comprises patrilaterally related males, their female procreators and their patrilateral unmarried females. Ho relations are also structured on generation and age. Even between identical twins there is a different term foe the twin born a few minutes before the other. For example twin A would be twin B’s elder brother. This model is based on male dominance and the older generation having more control.

The non-male oriented model is one based on unity. The sex distinction of kinship is de-emphasized. There is a sibling unity in terms of kinship in this model. Sibling’s terms are not distinguished by the ranking of birth unlike the male-oriented model.

The last part of the article discusses these two models. Luong compares and contrasts the models in terms of sociocultural systems. For example the ambuities between the two models are discussed. The relations of different kin between “anh…em” (elder brother….younger sibling) is no more important than the relation between “chi….em” (elder sister…younger sibling).

Overall, I found this article rather difficult to read. There is a lot of unnecessary information that confuses and complicates the article. I had to read certain passages over and over to make sense of it.

CLARITY: 2
AMANDA DEKARSKE Michigan State University. (Susan Applegate Krouse).

Luong, Hy Van. ”Brother” and “uncle”: An Analysis of Rules, Structural Contradictions, and Meaning in Vietnamese Kinship. American Anthropologist 1984 86: 290-315.

The focal point being stressed here is the terms, which are based on particular uses and are contradictory to one another. This is why other models are being sought out to form the use for linguistics, better ideas that suit the needs of a better whole, with the form of a concise goal. One key point set out is the redefinition of classic problems for which states that it is not part of the relationship itself that is a problem, but that of a word that restricts the person who occupies the term, within the kinship. The reference here is made to mother, with its meaning in English, but the demeanor it holds in Vietnamese. It further goes on in length about ways, in which to alter these problems, within context. The next concept raised is the structural contradictions in the Vietnamese kinship. These are mainly based on gender differences, solely male oriented, in where the contradictions lay. Also the varying degrees outside the culture and the references to other cultures, as well. The last topic discussed deals with rules structural contradictions and the meanings of Vietnamese kin terms. This states that the contradictions within the original models profoundly takes away from the meaning of the words and thus the references to the people they are made to. In that the same meanings carry more value that others, therefore increasing the gender differences and class inequalities.

CLARITY RATING: 4
SHERISSE SEQUEIRA York University (Naomi Adelson)

Milton, Katherine. Protein and Carbohydrate Resources of the Maku Indians of Northwestern Amazonia. American Anthropologist March 1984 Vol. 86 (1):7-27.

The article initially poses the question of protein limitation. That is, some researchers suggest that protein resources in Amazonia are plentiful and well beyond daily human requirements; others say that protein resources are sparse, difficult to obtain, and depleting rapidly. Milton’s interest is in the economic reciprocity and protein scarcity between the Maku and Tukanoans. She examined the dietary ecology of local Maku groups living in upland northwestern Brazil, when nutrients would be most difficult to acquire.

Continuing on, she compares the cultural aspects of both the Maku and Tukanoans, and their symbiotic relationship. Maku live in small local groups that shift location every few years. The Maku are seminomadic hunter-gatherers and cultivate manioc on a small scale; Tukanoans are sedentary gardeners, living next to tributaries of rivers, and skillful fishermen. The Maku are usually seen as “subhuman” to the Tukanoans because of their cultural habits and forest habitats. On this basis the Maku do labor for the Tukanoans in return for food and Western trade goods. They do not intermarry, differ in physical appearance and are found to be genetically closed populations.

Seven Maku settlements were visited during this time, five traditional and two which have been mission inspired. All food that was seen entering each settlement was weighed during sample intervals. In addition, time in relation to food-related activities was monitored and recorded. The major objective was to see what foods were used as protein, and whether they were in short supply. Fish rather than game appeared to be more dependable. Insects also made a valuable contribution at some settlements. Using all data collected, it was determined that the Maku do not face a problem in meeting everyday protein requirements in traditional lifestyle. However, the more sedentary groups may face this issue.

In terms of plant food, the Maku depend predominantly on manioc. Although they are considered hunter-gatherers, they were never really seen gathering. The plant foods they did eat were cultivated. The Maku take little interest in horticulture. They abandon their plots frequently to go out hunting, and sometimes exhaust their own supply of manioc and become dependent on others.

The traditional economic relationship between the Maku and Tukanoans is mainly in the form of exchange, carbohydrates for proteins. This cooperative behavior widens the food web for scarce foods, labor and goods.

The article was extremely well organized and easily read. Difficult material is described well and clarified.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
ANNE BREKKEN Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)

Milton, Katharine. Protein and Carbohydrate Resources of the Maku Indians of Northwestern Amazonia. American Anthropologist 1984 Vol.86:7-27.

Milton’s article discusses the nutritional supply and demand among the Maku from a scientific perspective. She, among many other researchers, investigates the question: what limits the population of the Amazon Basin?

Using the Maku as her subjects of research, she investigates several aspects of Maku nutrition: two hypotheses that state that protein and carbohydrates respectively limit population in the region of the equator, the reciprocal economic relationship of the Maku and the Tukanoans, plant and animal ecology of the region, weather, seasonal changes and trophic levels, and food-related activities of the Maku.

Milton uses scientific measurements (of protein content, carbohydrate content, temperature, weight of food obtained, height of trees) and statistical methods to analyze the data. Her article is well researched; she discusses each of the aspects mentioned above as a separate category, including several references and examples for each one. She includes her presence and the problems she encountered while residing among the Maku in the article.

Milton found that the Maku did not lack protein but did lack carbohydrates at some points in the year. On the other hand, she discovered that the Tukanoans always had ample carbohydrates but lacked protein. This allowed for the reciprocal relationship, which, Milton believes, increased rather than decreased number of individuals in the region. Connecting all the data and ideas, Milton concludes that numerous factors come together to limit the population of the region, but that these do not necessarily include either protein or carbohydrates.

CLARITY: 3.5
HANNAH WEITZENFELD York University (Naomi Adelson)

Moore, Alexander From Council to Legislature: Democracy, Parliamentarianism, and the San Blas Cuna American Anthropologist March, 1984 Vol.86(1): 28-39

The author’s objective is to describe the existing governments in Panama and to show correlation between western parliament and Cuna Indian governments. The Cuna Indians of Panama’s San Blas district occupy about 240 km of coast on the Atlantic. The local communities of which number around fifty, use local “gatherings” to govern the community. The order in which these meetings are arranged shadows some western characteristics of the parliament. Formal openings, fixed seating and arranged locations are of the simplest examples. Unlike the western parliaments there is no voting process, in Cuna culture men share power widely among other adult men. The conflict or action is treated as a “path” in which a person strives for consensus and harmony. The issue is discussed until all members agree upon the true “path”.

The procedures of the Cuna General Congress were increasingly more western in their process. At least one representative would come from each community, and they would meet to discuss the issues proposed by the 225 delegates. With such a large population of delegates much organizing was required. These meetings sometimes last up to three days, and never reviews unfinished debates from past meetings. The author goes on to explain how the Cuna General Congress is more formal and complex than the local counterpart. However the pressure from the Panamanian National Assembly is influencing the Cuna General Congress to assimilate and adapt a parliamentariansism standpoint.

The author uses a variety of examples that make the reading flow better and also assist in the political breakdown of both Panamanian and Cuna governments.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
JOSHUA JONES Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)

Moore, Alexander. From Council to Legislature: Democracy, Parlimentarianism, and the San Blas Cuna. American Anthropologist 1984. Vol.86:28-42.

Throughout the years the Cuna Indians adapted in many ways to the Western culture. For example it is displayed in their political system, by means of organization, the representation of political parties and democracy views. The Cuna ultimately would like to be “civilized”, to obtain a respectable status, however they would also like to maintain their own traditions and culture. By doing so they adopt ideas from the west and incorporate it into their own systems. They found success by using contemporary methods to solve tribal problems, and continue to adopt new ideas.

The basic argument Moore demonstrates is a comparison between the political structures the Cuna local congress and the Panamanian National legislature to prove the triumph of democracy. He accomplishes this by going through the political procedures that each undergoes to resolve conflict. Cuna local and general congress

When compared the Cuna councils showed more signs of democracy than the National assembly. The Cuna local Congress involves the entire community to witness personnel resolve problems. There are three ranks of personnel involved; the chiefs, below the chiefs are interpreters and constables. They must follow strict rules and procedures concerning the scheduling of congress meetings, who can participate, the location, what will be discussed and how it will get resolved. They strive for a solution that is peaceful and has the consensus of the majority.

The Panamanian National Legislature is more formal and complex in comparison to the Local progress. It is composed of 505 delegates that represent each electoral unit. They encourage citizens of lower hierarchy to be delegates because they can best represent their own people. In their meetings they read the and discuss the Minutes, listen to reports from each committee, deal with unfinished business and if they have enough time they will start new business. The Panamanian government is based on authority and the enforcement behind them supporting imposition of taxes, laws, fines and fees whereas the Cuna government has none of these powers.

However, each model of resolving conflict regardless of it’s methods or it’s formalities have succeeded in portraying a stable mode of governing to suit the needs or the interest of the people.

CLARITY: 5
MELISSA MOKEDANZ York University (Naomi Adelson)

Moore, Alexander. Solon Toothaker Kimball. American Anthropologist 1984 vol. 86 no.2: 386-393, ill.

Solon Toothaker Kimball became an extraordinarily decorated anthropologist soon after graduating from Harvard University. Kimball’s first major anthropological research (concerned with family and community in Ireland) was to have a very strong influence on the rest of his career. He focused on community and explored the many avenues that came with the subject.

Kimball was a pioneer in his work on community. He studied ethnic influence in Alabama at a time when it was intolerable by the ruling majority, white middle-class academics. By this approach, he was considered by many to be an academic radical.

Although Kimball was not pleased with some of the work he accepted doing (for example his work with the War Relocation Authority), it has facilitated his later work as well as his progression throughout the ranks of anthropology.

Alexander Moore’s portrayal of Solon Kimball gives us a taste of his strong family values. He was seemingly greatly supported in all his ventures by his wife and children. He was a man who dedicated much of his time to the field of anthropology and has paved the way for revolutionary work.

CLARITY: 4
RON SOREANU York University (Naomi Adelson)

Moore, Alexander. Solon Toothaker-Kimball (1909-1982). American Anthropologist June, 1984 Vol.86(2):386-393.

On October 12, 1982, Solon Toothaker-Kimball lost his long battle with heart disease. A Harvard graduate, Kimball excelled in all facets of anthropology. He used his knowledge of functionalism for a paradigm to work within and theorize on small town culture.

Using what he penned as “event analysis”, Kimball used social activities to reconstruct and examine “main street town” culture. He specified variables which frame “internal conditions” to studying within his functional paradigm. Using these variables, Solon researched communities in Ireland, among the Navajo, and in Alabama. In the mid 1940s, he was one of a few anthropologists working for the Community Organization section of the War Relocation Authority.

Research in the small town of Talladega, Alabama, during the 1950s singled Kimball out as an “academic radical”. The academic vibe at the time made it unfashionable to live and work in the South. However, Kimball work was pivotal yet little known. He identified aspects of social segregation and advocated change. While describing social tension in the South, Kimball was unaware that the tension would soon mount to the Civil Rights movement. Kimball also worked tirelessly in education anthropology in promoting education in Africa while teaching at Columbia University and researched desegregated schools while at the University of Florida. He wrote books and essays advocating restructuring of American education. His belief in the school system extended to a champion of volunteer work. Thus, he was a founding member of the Society of Applied Anthropology, president of the American Ethnological Society, and a leader within the Southern Anthropological Society. His unending volunteerism earned him the honor of being elected for the Malinowski Award, of which his untimely death prevented him from receiving.

CLARITY RATE: 4
Jami Shaw California State University Hayward Peter J. Claus

Parker, Seymour Cultural Rules, Rituals, and Behavior Regulation American Anthropologist September, 1984 Vol.86(3): 584-600

The author’s objective is to inform the reader of different elements of culture and biology that influence kinship, ritualistic behavior and various choices of sexual partners and ritual behavior. “Universal cultural rules regarding choice of sexual maters are based on criteria of age, sex, kinship, exogamy, ethnocentrism, adultery and residential propinquity” (Murdock 1949). The two opposing forms that the author refers to in his discussion of cultural rules relating to choice of sexual partners were first, the one who favors the strange or unfamiliar; the second results in choices in regards to social similarity and familiarity. “When an object or experience is very simple, familiar or repetitive, boredom is likely to occur, and the organism is but minimally aroused or motivated to seek additional information.” (588) The author then begins to explain how pleasure motivates and reinforces attention and exploration. He also notes that individuals within each society will also differ according to their unique experiences. The author clearly states those cultural patterns, such as sexual mate choice and social rituals, are influenced by neurophysiological activation and psychological arousal of the organism. These, in turn, affect curiosity, exploration, and the efficiency of information processing (595).

The author accomplishes his objective in this detailed article that must be read very slowly with special attention to the charts and graphs.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
JOSHUA JONES Michigan State University , (Susan Applegate Krouse)

Seymour, Parker Cultural Rules, Rituals, and Behavior Regulation. American Anthropologist 1984 Vol.86: 584-600.

It is agreed that biology and culture are relevant to understanding human behavior. This paper is directed towards culture and considers two cultural phenomena: Murdock’s “social laws of sexual choice,” and aspects of human ritual behavior. The author attempts to show how a unique organization of cultural items, are influenced by underlying bio-psychological processes such as learning, curiosity, and hedonic tone.

According to Murdock, there are rules in choosing a mate such as criteria of age, sex, kinship, ethnocentrism etc. These rules form two opposing sets of forces: one motivates individuals to choose partners that differ from themselves on the criteria, while the other makes the similar more desirable.

Seymour views culture as a unique organization of symbolic meanings that emerge from the interaction of people at attempting to adapt to ecological and social pressures. To attempt to prove this he draws on conclusions from Bischof, who says that Murdock’s rules can be combined into gradients of exogamy and endogamy, but adds criteria to establishing a continua of degree of appropriateness for choice of a sexual mate. It would then be reasonable to assume that it would be useless to expend energy on exploring the very familiar and it would be risky and wasteful to put in energy exploring the very strange. However, “interestingness” is related to arousal-raising stimulus properties like the novel, or complex.

The theories and data have been drawn from experimental psychology and anthropology, and Bateson’s evidence from animals, Hamburg’s discussion of natural selection and survival value for the species, Malinowski’s view of the function of ritual to contribute to the probability of a positive outcome. Although the author doesn’t agree with the use of simplistic terms, he does agree that rules can encourage behavior.

Throughout the article there are very clear figures and graphs to illustrate these points. The curves show relationships of arousal to exploratory drive, environmental complexity to behavioral complexity, and response levels to novelty of the object or situation. There are also many examples from animals provided and the author uses these methods to come to his own conclusion that arousal levels provide a “priming function” for sexual mate selection, while cultural rules provide the “steering function”.

CLARITY: 4
RAGHBIR SINGH York University (Naomi Adelson)

Roberts, John M. and Gary E. Chick. Quitting the Game: Covert Disengagement from Butler County Eight Ball. American Anthropologist September, 1984. Vol.86(1):549-567

This article discusses the research done by Roberts and Chick to answer the question, “why do winning players voluntarily quit for no evident reason?” (550) They attempt to answer this question through a study of the Monday Night Pool League in Butler County, Pennsylvania. This study was a continuation of earlier research of tavern pool. (549)

The research was done by distributing questionnaires to forty seven members of the pool league and fourteen former members who quit for no overt reason (e.g. conflict with job or injury). On the questionnaire the players were given several situations and were asked to rate their comfort level from one to seven, one being at ease and seven being anxious. They were also asked to rate the amount of fun they were having in the league on a five point scale, and the likeliness of playing next year on a six point scale (552). The goal of this survey was to measure the amount of enjoyment a player was experiencing as compared to the amount of anxiety and whether this had any bearing on the likeliness of quitting. This study was synchronic or a snapshot of the league, however the process being studied was diachronic, taking place over a period of time, so Roberts and Chick attempted to distribute the questionnaires to members in all stages of the process (561).

The result of the questionnaire was that the bad players who had high anxiety levels and did not enjoy the game very much were not very committed to the league and quit quickly. Those players that had low anxiety levels and high levels of enjoyment were very unlikely to quit because they were highly committed to the league. Those players that had anxiety levels that were high but still enjoyed the game, or did not enjoy the game much but had low anxiety levels were the most likely to quit for no evident reason. The conclusion of this study was that when the anxiety over competition outweighed the pleasure of winning then the player would quit. Thus poor players would quit early and the good players would quit covertly after a few years.

CLARITY: 2
ISAAC MCKEEVER Indiana U of Penn (Miriam Chaiken)

Smith, Kipp, R. Terms for Kith and Kin. American Anthropologist 1984 Vol. : 905-925

In this article, Smith Kipp proves that although Scheffler and Needham give differing explanations of Karo Batah terminology, they are both correct. The two theories serve to compliment rather than disprove each other. Scheffler explained the terminology of the Karo of North Sumatra, Indonesia, as purely kinship terminology where as Needham’s interpretation was of general relationship labels that reflected lineal descent, an asymmetric prescriptive alliance.

Smith Kipp argues the synthesis of these theories from the extensionist or holistic view of social systems. For Karo society kin terms extend to incorporate and categorize all members of Karo society, therefore the kinship idiom encompasses all elements of social interaction.

Smith Kipp backs up her statement by explaining the Karo’s ritualistic interactions, their use of etiquette of address. Finally, the Karo practice of “Eturur”, or “to make a relationship” actively seeks out addresses of kinship for newly aquainted Karo strangers to bestow upon one another.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
ELISE GRETO York University ( Naomi Adelson )

Smith, Kipp Rita. Terms for Kith and Kin American Anthropologist December, 1984 Vol.86(4):905-924

The author’s objective is to synthesize two contrasting perspectives of Karo Batak phraseology. The Karo are a highland people of North Sumatra, Indonesia. They are patrilineal Batak people who live in the mountains. Society is organized primarily into five clans, each clan breaks into more than a dozen subclans, and patrilineal groups. The Karo people are very sensitive to kinship relations, the whole society is composed of two types of kin. The kin whom share your genetic make up, and the alliances formed by Ertutur, or constructed kinship based on four questions. The four questions that the author mentions are: what is your clan, what is your mother’s clan, who is your “solur,” (father’s mother’s patriclan) and who is your “binuang,” (mother’s mother’s patriclan).

Also the Karo are very sensitive to how they address individuals within their kinship clans. Social order is careful not to focus on the sponsor family at a ritual, senina, kalimbubu and anakberu are mediating attention and discussion. Karo ritual dictates that the sponsor should not stand out, instead the elder or senior, anakberu tua stabilizes the ritual. Speech is a very important part of society, one must avoid saying the name of a kinsperson older than oneself and to the same effect any kinsperson who may be classified in a senior generation. Karo speakers use more carefully chosen and respectful terms face to face with someone than when discussing that person as a third party. The mains content and purpose for the article was not to discuss the Karo but to compare two contrasting views by Singarimbun and Needham. Singarimbun is Karo Batak and an anthropologist, he expresses the extensionist view of Karo kinship. Needham argues that “in societies with lineal descent and asymmetrical cross-cousin marriage, cognatically recognized kin fall into classificatory slots that ultimately derive from social entities such as “line,” “lineage,’ or “wife-giver” (923). The author suggests that Karo kinship is complicated but not completely different from other societies. In conclusion she adds that the anthropological world need to “cease quibbling” about what comes first and strive to examine how people intertwine “genealogical extension” and “categoristic inclusion” in everyday interaction as kin and in their use of kinship phraseology.

The author accomplished her goal of exhibiting her profound knowledge and expertise on kinship and kinship terminology. I feel the article was poorly composed due to complexity of data and lack of fluidity.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
JOSHUA JONES Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)

Stearman, Allyn MacLean. 1984. The Yaqui Connection: Another Look at Siriono deculturation. American Anthropologist 86 (3): 630-650.

(a) This is an article that addresses the Siriono deculturation. Stearman uses a method of association between two cultures. He compares the Yaqui deculturation to the previous enculturation of the Siriono. He is refuting Allan Holmberg’s work done in the 1940′s. The basic contention was they were a very simple society. Stearmans fieldwork and ethnohistorical accounts steer away from the idea of simple society. Stearmans observation is that deculturation was the result of intrusion on the Siriono people, not a simple society. He utilizes the comparison of the similarities of the two cultures to explain the direction of Yaqui deculturation.

(b) While the two cultures have different names and territories they regard themselves as the same people. This is one of Stearmans main points in his association of the cultures. He breaks up the two cultures into a four-part comparison of physical, linguistic, ethnohistorical and cultural. The overall point of his study is that the Yaqui are now undergoing the cultural process and his evidence is based on the four-part comparison.

(c) (1) He associates the Yaqui as a splinter group of the Siriono and therefore they are related. The Yaqui are following an assimilated pattern of deculturation as the Siriono have previously undergone. One of the main concepts in his use of evidence is the pattern of white and pre European intrusions.

(2) Finally he notes that the social change and adaptation are hard to discern from the acculturation process. When this process continues over time it becomes a difficult task in questioning the exact processes of social change.

CLARITY RATE: 3
Christian Speckman California State University, Hayward (Peter J. Claus).

Stearman, Allyn MacLean The Yuqui Connection: Another Look at Siriono Deculturation American Anthropologist September, 1984 Vol.86(3):630-650

The concern of this article is the deculturation of the Siriono culture. The Siriono have been described as the simplest tribe in South America. They have no means to produce fire, they do not domesticate any animals, there are no organized social events, and they have a very limited cosmology and no religious specialists. Stearman is trying to determine if the Siriono are a Asplinter group@ (634) of the Yuqui, and if this happened via deculturation.

The basic argument put forth is that yes, the Siriono are descendants from the Yuqui people. This may have come about through European colonization, where the native people fled to different mountainous regions and became more isolated. How they lost much of their culture still remains disputable. Stearman shows that between the two tribes many similarities do exist culturally, physically, and linguistically, indicating that the Siriono may have been descendants of the Yuqui.

Stearman constructs his argument of deculturation based on previous accounts and recorded histories of the area and of the two tribes. He uses files and historical accounts from missionaries to piece together the history of European influence. He also relied on previous ethnographic work among the Siriono.

I felt that this article was hard to follow due to the structure and the vocabulary. Not once was a definition of deculturation given; yet it was the entire basis of the paper. I also felt that it did not flow well, certain points brought up at the end of the article would have clarified some questions I had at the beginning. Much of the time I did not understand how the author felt or for what side he was arguing.

CLARITY: 2
Jennifer Dowgiert Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)

Tannenbaum, Nicola The Misuse of Chayanov: “Chayanov’s Rule” and Empiricist Bias in Anthropology American Anthropologist December, 1984 Vol. 84(4):927-942

The author’s objective is to address “Chayanov’s Rule” and the misuse and misunderstanding of many contemporary anthropologists. Chayanov’s analysis of peasant household production was introduced in 1971, by Sahlins, who then focused his own work on the (the consumer/ worker ratio). The author’s purpose is broken down into a three fold plan: “to explore this relationship for Shan community of Thongmakhsan in northwestern Thailand, to suggest a more appropriate test for Chayanov’s analysis, and to raise the issue of the continuing misidentification of Chayanov’s analysis with “Chayanov’s Rule.”

The author’s study of Thongmakhsan showed that sesame, garlic and soybeans were the main cash crops. She also notes the ideology that the household agricultural production process was broken down into three categories: intensified, normal and minimal. Production strategies are based on the household goals. The author criticizes Sahlins for seeing these strategy choices as a result of political goals. She continues to note that Chayanov’s system assumes that all households operate under the same motivational mindset. This is clearly not the case, various stimuli provoke a wide variety of responses. Each individual household had an intensified household where production was above average, a normal consumer/worker balance that provided the essentials, or a minimal strategy, which resulted in debt and very low production levels. Some examples of influences may be illness, local male population, and most importantly access to resources. Chayanov presents a general theory of peasant and their economic structures. The author concludes the article with the idea that “science” is a combination of anthropological theory and statistical tests and measurements.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
JOSHUA JONES Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)

Tannenbaum, Nicola. 1984. The Misuse of Chayanov: “Chayanov’s Rule” and Empiricist Bias in Anthropology. American Anthropologist 86 (4): 927-942.

The basic premise is the examination of no systematic relations at the household level in a small village in Thailand. The article is based on a village of 200 people, which refer to themselves as all relatives. The main idea is that the consumer and worker ratio is at an unfair advantage.

The author tries to use the mistake of the Chayanov’s rule to convey his point. He utilizes the rule to set up his personal idea of the boundaries set up within the people in the village. The division of production strategy groups is the main argument in his misuse of the Chayanov’s rule.

(c) (1) He tries to note on the ratio of time and what is ultimately produced within the people. He utilizes the mis-identification of the rule to conclude in the argument of his proposal.

(2) The overall findings behind the article are basically who ends up with the higher percentages of food distribution compared to growth. The people within the village maintain a superiority level between the actual work and what is produced as a final outcome.

CLARITY RATE: 1
Christian Speckman California State University, Hayward (Peter J. Claus).

Wallwork, Ernest. Religion and Social Structure in The Division of Labor. American Anthropologist March, 1984 Vol. 86 (1): 43-64

The recent interpretation of The Division of Labor is the basis for most of Durkheim’s preceding writings discussing the relationship of religion and social structure. This article looks for a new angle on the theory of structural functional differentiation and the position that religion has in the system. The book discusses a number of different stages in a society that stretch between mechanical solidarity and organic solidarity, in simple and advanced societies.

The six societal types discussed in the article are: “the horde, the tribe composed of clans, the tribe confederation, the ancient city-state, medieval society, and the modern industrial nation” (p. 44). The first three of these are examples of mechanical solidarity, while the last three represent organic solidarity. What these stages really denote is structural functional differentiation. Durkheim appreciated that religion is a feature of social life that is eternal within the “common conscence” (45). As each stage moves toward another, religion becomes more abstract and practices are fewer in number.

Each stage is then broken down and analyzed. The horde is the ideal type of mechanical solidarity. Here, morality and law are not really distinguishable from religion. Progress from this group would involve generalizations and permissiveness regarding freedom from thought and action. Combinations of hordes then become clans that become independent from a larger group. A clan is a kinship with self-sufficient religion, political and economic utilities. During this stage there is a linkage of religious symbols and the kinship system.

The tribal confederation brings about the first signs of organic solidarity. The stage is characterized by class stratification. Here, each class develops its own mortality. The spirits become less concrete, although they are still present in religious practices. The ancient city-state shows advancement in organic solidarity. There is less unity based on kinship. Specialized institutions develop which provide unique functions for the society. People then begin to conform to a “national religion” where the gods are distinctly differentiated from the humans (51). However, religion still influences other aspects of society, like politics and law. In medieval society, economic groups are sub-divided into smaller specialized functions and they become “inter-regional”; that is, they develop interdependence on the surrounding territories and cities. Christianity becomes prevalent here. In the modern industrial nation people become identified, not by their clan, but rather, their “occupational role” (55). This society is based on organizational principles and organic solidarity. As the body is dependent on each organ, so is society on these personal roles, making the whole greater than the sum of its parts. The religion of modernity is described as consisting of the same beliefs, with no supporting rites for the individual.

Wording is sometimes not appropriate or awkward in this article, making it difficult to read and comprehend.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
ANNE BREKKEN Michigan State University (Susan Applegate Krouse)

Wallwork, Ernest. Religion and Social Structure in The Division of Labor. American Anthropologist 1984 Vol. 86: 43-64.

This article offers a reinterpretation of The Division of Labor and focuses on the six-stage theory of socio-cultural change. The evolutionary theory provided by Durkheim is contrasted with alternative evolutionary proposals, including that of sociobiology. The author provides a fresh point of view by focusing on a theory of structural functional differentiation and the role of religion within it.

The author defends, differentiates between, compares, and criticizes Durkheim’s points throughout the article. Wallwork also suggests how Durkheim could strengthen the arguments and offer more empirical evidence in The Division of Labor. Extracted schemes from The Division of Labor are provided. Durkheim’s points and constructions are broken down. Barnes criticizes Durkheim’s book for it’s outdated ethnographic evidence.

Using Durkheim’s arguments as a reference, Wallwork lists four principal characteristics of primitive religion and disputes Durkheim’s view that the primitiveness of a social system assures the primitiveness of the form of religion associated with it.

Wallwork takes the reader through a general timeline and discusses different types of societies such as hordes, clan-based tribes, ancient city-states, medieval societies, and finally the modern industrial nation. These are all described in relation to religious beliefs, symbolism, the impact of Christianity, and politics of the time. The author agrees that freedom of the individual has been increased at each stage in evolution but is cynical about the predictions that Durkheim makes regarding the future course of Western civilization.

In assessing the overall adequacy of Durkheim’s evolutionary theory after over ninety years, the author maintains the general plausibility of the Durkheim’s main outline of the stage theory. Durkheim’s view for the social scientist to make use of the paradigm of evolutionary biology may be appropriate but Wallwork feels that we need to continue to study and criticize his work.

CLARITY: 3
RAGHBIR SINGH York University (Naomi Adelson)

Washburn, Wilcomb The Perspective on the Indian Reorganization Act American Anthropologist March, 1984. Vol.86(2):279-288.

The author’s main objective in his article is to convey that John Collier and the Indian Reorganization Act have been unjustly criticized and challenged by recent critics. Critics claimed the IRA forced tribal government upon the Indians. The political structure of the Indians was a false one, according to the critics of John Collier. The IRA has taken away the Indians’ ability to remain a primitive people.

The critics accused the government of forcing Indians to adopt the IRA, using corruption and improper methods. The author defends John Collier by stating the Indian’s way of life was changing. Their ways of doing things was becoming extinct; they needed new means to maintain their existence.

Washburn explains how Collier worked closely with representatives of Indian communities in establishing laws. Collier developed the Hopi constitution, which respected tribal heritage. Critics claimed he did not care if each tribe was different with different beliefs; they all were the same in Collier’s eyes. But in realty he capitalized on whites’ perception of tribal unity, making it easier to get Indians the attention they needed to survive. Collier knew whites were not going to give the attention needed for each tribe. The author focused on the way Collier developed the IRA and what methods he used to keep their culture in existence.

Collier developed a flexible constitution for every tribe. For example the Jicarilla rejected Collier’s constitution for many years. After they accepted the IRA there was an economic boom within their community. The author supported Collier by illustrating how he saved the Indians tribes, without forcing new governments on them. For example the Navajo Nation the largest tribe in the United States refused the IRA.

John Collier wanted the Indians to be acknowledged as humans and have rights. According to Collier the IRA restored fundamental mental and moral health to the Indians, which had been governmentally denied. Washburn believes Collier’s work has been completely ignored by anthropologists. According to the author Collier succeeded in preserving Indian identity from complete absorption in the melting pot of America. He created a system within America where the Indians could grow.

The article was very easy to read and understand. The concepts were clear and the supportive system for the argument was also clear.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
TANEE ELSTON Michigan State Univesity (Susan Applegate Krouse)

Washburn, Wilcomb E. A Fifty-Year Perspective on the Indian Reorganization Act. American Anthropologist June, 1984 Vol.86(2):279-289.

In 1934, former president Franklin Delano Roosevelt tapped commissioner of Indian Affairs John Collier to form the Indian Reorganization Act. Under Collier, the national policy on Indian affairs was reversed and the Indian tribes gained greater power and more self-control. In this article, the author identifies four criticism of Collier’s policies and refutes these reprimands.

First, those opposing Collier have claimed that the elective system imposed by the IRA was forced upon tribes against their will. Second, it’s hypothesized that although native voters may have accepted the IRA and the elective system, most indicated a negative vote by not voting at all. Third, IRA governments are merely for show and the real power is in Washington, and lastly the IRA has been criticized for Indians loosing freedom and independence.

In response to these critiques, the author points out that while the tribal system may not have been identifiable to the natives themselves, it was a term familiar to the general public and would provide the greatest familiarity. The constitutions provided were tailored to each tribe to facilitate their various needs and wants. Collier worked with each tribe specifically to make sure they were content with the outcome. In response to the second critique, a formal inquiry into this question was performed in the 1930s and found this statement to be false. As for the “puppet” government claim, Indian government has been upheld in the judicial system and is widely known to be an independent sovereignty equal to national and state governments. Although the IRA could not reverse the travesties perpetrated upon the Indians, it at least stopped the policy of stigmatation and provided an outlet for Native Americans to grow and expand on what they had. Collier used the only way he knew to resuscitate what was left of the native life.

CLARITY RATE: 4
Jami Shaw California State University Hayward Peter J. Claus