American Anthropologist 1994

Angrosino, Michael V. The Culture Concept and the Mission of the Roman Catholic Church. American Anthropologist December,1994 Vol. 96:824-832.

The mission of the Roman Catholic Church is to bring Catholicism to the masses. Michael V. Angrosino touches on some of the major methods used by the Catholic Church, which, of these methods is more productive in different societies, during which time periods, and the power associated with the Catholic faith.

When Christianity first came to Europe three methods were used: the Imposition, where Catholicism was forced upon people, translation, which is the Roman Catholic faith interpreted into local culture and finally, Adaptations, which changed the Catholic faith slightly to adapt to local cultures.

During the Vatican II a process called indegenization was used. In this method local culture’s sacred objects, music, texts and other things are incorporated into the practice of Catholicism. This indigenization brought about Inculturation and acculturation. First, inculturation, the Catholic faith is incorporated into the culture. There are three methods of Inculturation employed here, dynamic equivalence, creative assimilation, and organic progression. All of these are methods of incorporating the local culture into the Catholic faith. Secondly, in acculturation, the culture and the form of Catholicism change together and because of each other.

There are problems with Inculturation in the United States. Inculturation is not meant to change the overall Catholic faith but to adopt new features according to local culture. Therefor, some of the things such as women in the ministry, sexuality, and birth control issues, which are rights as United States citizens, are infringed upon because the Catholic faith is opposed to them.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
SHANNON REYNOLDS Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Blakey, Michael L., Rankin-Hill, Lesley M. W. Montague Cobb (1904-1990): Physical Anthropologist, Anatomist, and Activist. American Anthropologist March, 1994 Vol. 96(1):74-96.

William Montague Cobb (1904-1990) left a mark on the world both as a leader in the African American community and as the first African American Physical Anthropologist. Cobb received many awards and held many distinguished positions throughout his career in Physical Anthropology. For example he was first Distinguished Professor of Anatomy at Howard University (1969) and was President of the American Association of Physical Anthropologist (1957-1959).

Cobb worked in a period of Physical Anthropology when people were using science to justify racism. Todd, whom Cobb had trained under, was a critic of such attitudes. Hrdlicka, who Cobb eventually worked with, was not as open-minded. Hrdlicka was a firm believer that some races were inferior to others. Cobb believed that actually African Americans where superior since slavery created an environment that only the strongest survived to pass on their genes.

Part of the lasting impact Cobb has left is the Cobbian tradition. There are four key points to describe a Cobbian tradition; 1) Emphasis on African American Biological Diversity, 2) Emphasis on social and Historical along with biological factors, 3) Demonstrating human equality by presenting the positive attributes of minorities while recognizing weaknesses in society, 4) To integrate arts and science. Cobb did not face opposition for just his race; he also was met with opposition due to his teaching style. Cobb’s Humanistic approach was not well received by many of his Medical students. At one point he even lost his Chair at Howard at when a group of freshman boycotted his humanistic style of teaching. However he eventually regained his chair and won over much of the boycotters by their senior year.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
MEGHANN SMITH Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Bruner, Edward M. Abraham Lincoln as Authentic Reproduction: A Critique of Postmodernism. American Anthropologist June, 1994 Vol. 96(2):397-415.

Edward M. Bruner attacks the postmodernist view of authenticity. Bruner centers his critique on two European postmodernists, Jean Baudrillard and Umberto Eco, who feel that America is in hyper reality. The idea of hyper reality lies in the notion that the reproduction is better than the original. Bruner who takes a constructivist position, which advocates the idea that culture is constantly being invented and reinvented, combats this postmodernist view.

Bruner illustrates his view by examining the authentic reproduction that museums and historical sites take part in everyday. The author looks in depth at Lincoln’s New Salem, an outdoor museum in Illinois, which was where Lincoln lived for six crucial years of his life. Bruner believes that Abraham Lincoln’s life is the embodiment of the American success ideology; his story is the story of America. The many steps that go into making an authentic reproduction are outlined by Bruner who uses four senses or meanings of authenticity based on verisimilitude, genuineness, originality and authority to describe them. Bruner touches on all the dimensions of the museum’s presentation, from tours to the gift shop.

The New Salem of the 1990’s is obviously much different from the 1830’s New Salem. Bruner believes this difference is necessary in order to keep pace with our ever-changing culture. Bruner knows that as our culture grows and changes it looses sight of it’s past as well. Over all Bruner feels that New Salem is not an authentic reproduction. He points out many discrete differences between modern and old New Salem, which allow the reader to see how our perceptions of history are constantly being reinvented over time.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
MATT EKLUND Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Chavez, Leo R. The Power of the Imagined Community: The Settlement of Undocumented Mexicans and Central Americans in the United States. American Anthropologist March, 1994 Vol. 96(1):52-73.

Leo Chavez has undergone very extensive and holistic research dealing with undocumented immigrants or “illegal aliens”. He went out to determine whether or not these immigrants feel as though they are a part of the community in which they reside and whether or not that influences their decision to remain in America or not. He noted that there are two types of undocumented immigrants; there is the sojourner and there is the settler. A sojourner is one who lives for the moment of return migration back to their homeland. A settler is, of course, one who accepts his/her new land as their new home and intends to stay, at least until they reach their later years.
It was hypothesized that if the immigrants felt like a genuine member of their new community, that would influence them to stay and settle. Therefore, a number of interviews throughout the San Diego and Dallas areas were done. A relatively equal number of Mexicans and Central Americans were interviewed, all asked the same open-ended questions. To find out if the immigrants felt like a part of their community here in America, they were asked “Do you now feel like you are a part of the American community?” Also, “Why do you think that?” As it turned out, the results were not consistent. However, the number one reason for people to not feel themselves to be a part of their communities was immigration status. The illegal immigrants feel as though the label of ‘illegal’ is with them always, restricting them from becoming a part of American society. Other’s, however, seem to be able to free their own minds of their ‘illegal’ status because they attend social events, pay taxes, and have children born in the United States. These people are much more likely to stay in America. Their only fear is that they will be forced to return to the countries from which they fled.

In most cases, people flee their homeland for either economic or political reasons. They have escaped to a better life in America. Whether or not they stay seems to be dependent upon whether or not they can become a part of the American culture. Of course, they never loose their ties with their native homeland, and so they must become a member of two distinct ‘imagined communities’. It is evident that the idea of community is more of a mind set than anything else. Feeling ‘one’ with the people and society around you is grounds enough for being part of a community.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
MICHAEL WAHLS Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Colloredo- Mansfeld, Rudolf. Architectural Conspicuous Consumption and Economic Change in the Andes. American Anthropologist December, 1994 Vol. 96 (4): 845-862.

Colloredo-Mansfeld has written an article using an Andean community’s architectural metamorphosis as an example to show many things including social status. He wrote this article to “demonstrate how people use material culture to legitimize new forms of wealth, affirm economic relationships, and define broad standards for achieving social status.” In this Andean community, a person’s house provides the perfect case for the social importance of consumption. By studying a person’s house a notion of the person’s identity can be established, social norms can be perpetuated, and community relations can be seen with architecture. Colloredo- Mansfeld argues that social power is evident in how people construct their houses.

Colloredo- Mansfeld states that members of the community can send an economic message simply by using the appropriate architectural forms, not by how many resources are used. In this community, residents can not spend their money wastefully and still be an elite member in the society. The selection of what forms to use on their homes becomes the way that they display their wealth. “New Architecture” has a meaning that secures it exclusively to modern economy. People use their houses to make economic transformations in their community. By looking at these new consumption patterns and their economic relationships, anthropologists can trace and outline the process by which a society transforms their new forms of wealth into locally structured relations of power and identity.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
CARLY J. SCHROCK Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Crapanzuno, Vincent. Kevin: on the Transfer of Emotions. American Anthropologist December, 1994 Vol. 96(4):866-885.

The goal of every storyteller and jokester is a transfer of emotions. Crapanzuno interviewed the man only known here as Kevin four times in his study of ‘the transfer of emotions’.

As the interviews begin, Kevin is seen as a man full of energy. Not only is he a body builder, but his internal energy is great. He speaks full of passion, drive, and emotion. Right from the start, Kevin lets his interviewer know that he is a born-again Christian. He tells his interviewer of how, when he was young, he was entrapped in drunkenness, lust of women, despair, and emptiness. He had no real purpose in life and he was lonely. However, he went to a Christian retreat in the mountains with a friend where he heard the Gospel, and on the second day of the retreat he accepted Jesus into his life. From this point on, his life changed a hundred fold. No longer was he entrapped in anything, but he was free and alive from then on.

Kevin continues with telling stories of his adventures in the Army, usually including a spiritual element in his conversations with the interviewer. Throughout the essay, the interviewer simply analyses everything that Kevin says and reasons why his stories are either boring, intriguing, horrifying, or interesting. The attitude of Crapanzuno toward Kevin’s stories is generally negative and of disbelief, and he states that it is because of the way that the stories are told that his disbelief prevails. Time and time again, he states that Kevin unintentionally puts up a barrier between him and the story, which separates him from the story, which makes it less believable.

Although Kevin believed that he shared his emotions in a believable way, it is evident that they did not reproduce in his audience. Indeed, Kevin’s goal was to transfer his emotions to his audience, but for the most part he was unsuccessful.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
MICHAEL WAHL Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Desjarlais, Robert. Struggling Along: The Possibilities for Experience among the Homeless Mentally Ill. American Anthropologist December, 1994 Vol. 96(4):886-891.

Robert Desjarlais describes a shelter in downtown Boston where he studied the experiences of the homeless mentally ill that reside there have every day. Desjarlais questions the relevance of the word experience and the problems that the word experience has on anthropology in a whole. He states that even scholars against the experimental approach know that without experience, “cultural analyses seem to float several feet about their human ground.”

There are two schools of thought on the word experience. One school is the anthropologists who believe that cultural analyses can not always give insight into another culture; and one must experience their lives to truly understand it. The other school believes that no one can truly understand another persons/societies feelings even when they have tried to “experience” it.

Desjarlais writes about what the residents of the shelter, which was set up by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health in the early 1980’s, experience on a daily basis. They all speak as if “the street” is one exact place; it is a place where they hear voices, have anxiety, and they fear harm exchange plays a major role in the life of a resident in this shelter. They not only exchange cigarettes, drugs, money, and food; they also exchange words.

Desjarlais concludes that experience goes beyond the situation at hand. Struggling along constitutes a series of events that keep unfolding; therefore it too goes beyond the situation at hand. They differ in a way that experience is where one can contemplate it on their own, and struggling along is done in the public eye. Where one is compared to that of others. Desjarlais concludes with the thought that “anthropologists need to rethink their approaches toward the everyday.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ALICIA HOLMBECK Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Dietler, Michael. Our Ancestors the Gauls”: Archaeology, Ethnic Nationalism, and Manipulation of Celtic Identity in Modern Europe Vol. 96 1994 584-601

In this article, Dietler examines the ways that archaeology has been appropriated, or has collaborated with invented traditions. He believes that ancient Celtic past played a number of important and paradoxical roles in the ideological naturalization of modern political communities. He begins his analysis by examining Celticism and the role of Celtic identity in French Nationalism. Dietler indicated that the Revolutionary France was a classic case of Celticism. IN the case of Celtic identity it was used both to oppose the nobility in a revolution represented as a racial conflict, and subsequently, to unify them in popular nationalism.

Dielter did further investigation and found that the phase “Our Ancestors the Gauls” had true deep-rooted meaning. At first the Gauls was a silent name no one ever spoke of them until tragedy hit. The Gauls had suffered as a result of the contempt of the Greeks and Roman. However, that didn’t stop them, the Gauls were able to reclaim all their ancient territory from the French Empire. These victories restored their faith and creditability.

In addition to the glorious regain of power for the Gauls, there was another factor to consider. The Celtic vision of European identity would favor certain nations that developed this nationalist myth about Celtic identity instead of being mutually in favor with all nations. The Celtic vision was deconstructing. On the other hand, a serious look into Celtic identity could give archaeology a better understanding of how nationalization invented a sense of popular unity that required more than manipulation or empowerment, but a vision that can be researched and tested by archaeologist. In the end, Dietler stressed in the case of “Our Ancestors the Gauls” this information offers a compelling example of the delicate challenge that faces archaeologist in sorting out the relationship between how the past has produced the present, and how the present invents and manipulates its past may possible change the future.

CLARITY: 3
KIMBERLY JONES Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Dietler, Michael. “Our Ancestors the Gauls”: Archaeology, Ethnic Nationalism, and the Manipulation of Celtic Identity in Modern Europe. American Anthropologist. September, 1994Vol.93(3):584-600

Interest in the culture of the Celts or the Gauls has spanned the ages. This article notes the role that archaeology and anthropology have played in the focus of so many cultures around the Gauls. Celtic culture has been used in politics to work for a united front for the European Union, nationalism in individual countries, and in regional resistance to dominate cultures governments. In particular this article centers on the France and how the French have used the image of Celtic origin to unite their country along imaginary lines.

In tracing the history of France in relation to their infatuation with Celtic peoples, speculations about the ‘real’ Gauls was given with a touch of irony. Much of the information does little to support the interests of those who trace their ancestry to the Gauls. It is possible that even their language was not the Celtic language that they are attributed with today rather, was Ligurian.

This idea of the Celts as the common ancestor has been used as a call for unity throughout the European Union. The latter does no, however, include any Germanic cultures. Additionally, many Eastern European nations, not included in the Union, can trace Celtic ancestry.

In France, the unifying theme of Celtic ancestry has been used in paradoxical ways. After the end of the rule of Kings and nobles, Celtic ancestry was used to give the people of France a feeling of unity. However, this same idea was used in Brittany to resist the French government’s push to nationalize language. Ironically, the language spoken in Brittany is believed to be very close to that spoken by the Celts. The French government worked for some time to change the language of the region thought in recent years there has been a movement to retain Breton.

In essence, from Napoleon on down, the leaders of France have used this “connection” to the Gauls to unite the people of France. They have used archaeology to interest people and to give a starting point for national history. Because of this, the historical and archaeological record is very suspect and seems to cater to the political institution which supports it. The author urges anthropologists to be aware of the political atmosphere in which they work, and not allow it to affect one’s scientific mindset.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
JULIE SMITH Indiana University (Anya Royce)

Ewing, Katherine P. Dreams From a Saint: Anthropological Atheism and the Temptation to Believe. American Anthropologist September, 1994 Vol. 96(3):571-583.

In this article, Katherine P. Ewing from Duke University confronts the idea of “going native” from an ethnographical point of view. All ethnographers encounter this paradox as they do field work. It is an anthropological taboo to completely believe the religious way of life of a particular group being studied. Ewing describes believing as forgetting your way of life and embracing the one being observed. Ewing feels that refusal to believe is necessary to avoid culture shock, which inevitably makes the objectives of the field study unreachable.

The author’s feelings toward the issue of “going native” stem from her ethnographic study of the Muslims in Pakistan. She became very interested and mystified by the Muslim practice of Sufism, which involves belief in and dedication to one’s spiritual master. Ewing started to go deeper into the realm of Sufism and realized that in order to produce a good ethnographic account of these people she would have to try to believe. Early in her work she encountered a Sufi saint who told her he would come to her in her dreams. Ewing was shocked when the saint’s prediction came true and she began wanting to believe. Ewing sought out a saint who dealt with the people of higher status in the group to get some answers regarding her dream. The saint was not concerned about her dream and said she would not find her spiritual master for several years. Ewing was obviously confused and upset. She wanted to believe but she was basically pushed away by these people.

Ewing wrote this article from a position “on the fence” which provides a brilliant account of the ethnographic process. Ewing juggles with temptations to believe in a new religion and objectives she must reach in her field study. She is able to describe the process that leads to anthropological atheism by using her own experiences as an example. This selection is very thought provoking and is an excellent read for the ethnographer.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
MATT EKLUND Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Ewing, Katherine P. Dreams From a Saint: Anthropological Atheism and the Temptation to Believe. American Anthropologist September, 1994 Vol. 96(3):571-583.

In this article, Ewing does not present a study in the traditional sense, but instead discusses a more philosophical topic of the role of the anthropologist in relation to the people that he or she studies. This is a verbose scholastic discussion about “going native,” a term used to describe anthropologists becoming true believers in the worldviews of their studied culture, taking on the role of the “village preacher” instead of the “village atheist.” In the anthropological community, the act of “going native” is taboo – it has long been considered a threat to the objectivity of cultural anthropology as a science, and Ewing herself has been a long-time advocate of maintaining the taboo, with such “determinate” mindsets inspired by Freudian psychoanalysis. Her discussion, though, is more like a self-psychoanalysis, as she considers her immaturities, insecurities, and closed-mindedness in her anthropological studies, a recognition of which spawns from an account of dreams she experienced during studies of Muslim Sufis in Pakistan and her later remorse at not allowing herself freedom from the “going native” taboo. Ewing threw herself into Sufism in order to better understand the Sufi culture – not in any way taking a stance of belief. However, she found that the Sufi priests seemed to possess a “world view that encompassed and even transcended [her own].” This made her slightly humbled, but she constantly explained it in terms of Freudian psychology, and attributed it to “culture shock.” An event that she would later come to recognize as something significant also occurred – a set of dreams in which she, with the help of interpretation of a priest’s niece, experienced messages or visits from a Sufi priest. Initially, Ewing attributed these experiences once again as nothing more than the result of the power of suggestion and completely determinant with a psychoanalytic approach.

However, Ewing’s confidence in the sort of “anthropological atheism” broke down as she nebulously analyzed her weaknesses as an individual and as an anthropologist. She wrote this essay “from the fence,” supporting neither the role as village atheist nor that of village preacher. But in her prose writing and self-analytical approach, she does raise an interesting story that could indeed bear support for a transcending anthropological pretext that does not overlook the possibility of a prime mover.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
UNKNOWN

Fedigan, Linda Marie. Science and the Successful Female: Why There Are So Many Women Primatologists. American Anthropologist September, 1994 Vol. 96 (3):529-538.

Linda Marie Fedigan thought it was odd when a colleague in another discipline asked her, “Why are there so many women primatologists?” Most of the primatologist she came in contact with on a daily basis were men. Yet, she decided to look into the question that she had been confronted with. She had, however, noticed that there was a wealth of women present at primatology conferences and a large portion of women publishing relevant literature. Overall, in this article Fedigan wants to bring out what the proportion of women really is in the field of primatology, and explore some explanations as to why this was their field of choice.

Fedigan does establish the fact that women were well represented in the field. She argues against the most common explanation, which she calls, ” the big brown eyes hypothesis.” It has been suggested that women want to work with primates because they appear to be cute, furry little animals, as they are commonly shown on television. In fact, primates are not always cute and cuddly. They can be quite violent at times.

She notes that primatology is a relatively new discipline which was started around the same time as active women’s movements in the 1960′s and 1970′s. Another reason is that primatology has a strong focus on social behavior, which women seem to be more interested in than such disciplines as anatomy, taxonomy, or physiology. Women also seem to be more welcome in this discipline due to the large number of famous women role models such as Frances Burton and the large media coverage of women such as Jane Goodall.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
CARLY J. SCHROCK Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Fedigan, Linda Marie. Science and the Successful Female: Why There Are So Many Women Primatologists. The American Anthropologist, 1994 Vol.96(3):529-537.

In this article Fedigan explains why there are more women in the field of Primatology than in any other social science. Primatology is not yet offered as a major in any American university but it is a subfield of Anthropology, Psychology, and Animal Behavior (Zoology). It has the highest number of women in the field, approximately 52%. Fedigan expresses a concern of many that the field will become less respected if women dominate it, a pattern that has proven itself in other fields.

Fedigan discusses several reasons as to why women play such a large role in the study of primates. The overall assumption is that it is because of their nurturing behavior and that primates are considered ‘cute’ and ‘cuddly’ friends. In reality, this is false and while women do tend to have a more nurturing nature, primates are far from ‘cute’ and ‘cuddly’ and can be extremely violent. Fedigan offers five reasons to explain the high number of women in the field.

1. Historical Location of the Discipline: Fedigan argues that because primatology is an extremely young discipline, only since 1930s, women feel that they have more opportunity to make an impact.

2. Intellectual Location of the Discipline:

a. Women are concentrated in social and life sciences.

b. Primatology is a subcategory of anthropology, psychology and animal science which all have strong female participation.

c. Women tend to choose less prestigious positions in less popular universities because it allows them more opportunity and growth.

d. Atmosphere of goodwill to women. It is one of the few professions that can be considered “equal opportunity”.

3. Strong Female Role Models: There is a strong female presence in the field and some of the most famous early anthropologists and primatologists were female.

4. Male Encouragement: There have been many men in the field who have guided, supported, encouraged, and mentored young women to enter the field of primatology and have helped them along to become extremely successful.

5. National Geographic Effect: Although this theory is a little different from the rest, it still holds true that National Geographic (among other media) give a more nurturing, motherly outlook on the study of primates (although false) which attracts women to the field and gains them initial interest.

6. Subject Matter: Primates, themselves, are a main reason why women are attracted to the field. The comparison of human life and behavior, and primates reveals a lot about human nature and values.

Fedigan uses graphs and statistics to demonstrate that the number of women in the field of primatology is significantly higher than that of other social and life sciences and is continuing to grow. The article is extremely well written and is very clear as to her point, purpose, and proof.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
JENNIE WOOLF Indiana University (Anya Royce)

Ferguson, Anne E. Gendered Science: A Critique of Agricultural Development. American Anthropologist September, 1994 Vol. 96(3):540-552.

Anne Ferguson argues that the role of women is central in the efforts to promote a more sustainable agriculture. Sustainability refers to how people in a particular locale manage their resources to ensure that they have enough to sustain themselves on a daily basis and yet still have what they need from one annual cycle to another and from generation to generation. Ferguson and many ecofeminists maintain that woman are focal points of these activities. They recognize that gender is a key factor in division of labor, rights, and responsibilities, and is thus very influential in the management of local resources.

Ferguson then explains that despite the relevance of the role of women in these agricultural studies, women are rarely included in agricultural research and development programs and, in many instances, have not benefited from these development efforts. She points to Western science itself as a powerful ideological force as a contributing factor, and describes it as a “gendered enterprise.” She makes use of a case study from Malawi as an example of Western science as a gender-biased institution.

Ferguson uses this case study to demonstrate how the gender perspectives of the researchers influenced the conduct of their science and to emphasize the importance of including diverse standpoints in the research process. She argues that Western agricultural science is not as impartial as it professes to be, as it routinely marginalizes the input of women. This exclusion is detrimental not only to the research itself, but also to the social and economic position of women in these societies.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
NICOLE C. ROTH Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Friedl, Ernestine. Sex The Invisible. American Anthropologist December, 1994 Vol. 96(4):833-844.

Friedl’s article attempts to add to the understanding of gender through the examination of the private sexual relations of humans. The author seeks to find the disposition of human nature in sexuality. Her main argument is that cross-culturally, humans prefer sexual intercourse hidden away from the view of non-participants. Scientific studies of human sexual intercourse, along with the study of sexual relations among non-human primates, was used as a basis for this article.

Invisible sex within the anthropological field is especially important in the evolution of hominids. Two important issues exist in evolutionary sexual studies: human female estrus and concealed coitus. The change in female estrus from visible in early primates to invisible in modern humans is a biological change.

Hidden sexual relations have not been linked to a biological change, however, this human trait seems to be a habitual behavior which has developed cultural rules and mores. Sociobiology has been used to attempt reconstruction of the origins of invisible estrus and concealed coitus. The two issues do not seem to be directly related: the author uses Sarah Blaffer Hrdy’s research among non-human primates to demonstrate this point.

Another possible distinctly human feature in sexuality is the sexual self. Humans are more clearly defined in their sexuality and discover our sexual selves through interaction with others. Sex may be viewed as a mirror so we can see ourselves through others’ eyes. The concluding point of the discussion is the consequences of invisible sex: the need for children to learn about sex without direct observation, the psychological effect of invisibility, and the mutual vulnerabilities hidden sex creates for sex partners, Friedl states. This final argument leads into a discussion of give-and-take in relationships and how to sustain intimacy while retaining self.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ANN ZILIC Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Goodwin, Charles. Professional Vision. American Anthropologist September, 1994 Vol. 96(3):606-633.

In this article, the methodology, theories, and expertise of professions are analyzed in order to “build and contest professional vision, which consists of socially organized ways of seeing and understanding events that are answerable to the distinctive interests of a particular social group.”

Three methodologies, coding; highlighting; and graphic representation, are used to clarify the concept of professional vision using archaeological excavation and judicial proceedings as examples. Coding systems are used to organize events into an analytical framework and transforms and incorporates them into professional categories. Highlighting accentuates certain facts in a given situation or context so that events relevant to the topic or profession stand out more easily. Graphic representations are dialog, transcripts, or videos which are highlighted to bring out the most pertinent information which can be used by the individual.

Videotape of an archaeological excavation from the U.S. and a tapes of the Rodney King trial from the author’s personal recordings and segments bought from Court TV were used for evidence in this article. The archaeological site’s foci for the three methods were determination of categorization (coding), exemplification of a solution by the lead archaeologist (highlighting), and map making (graphic representation). The judiciary organization of these concept of professional vision included a coding practice to show the usage of force on the video skewed to the needs of the defense, Rodney King is highlighted as aggressive and unruly, and the graphic representation of the videotape viewed as a whole scene instead of individual scenes.

The final point in this article is the basis which enables a person to speak as a professional or expert on a certain subject. This basis is distinguished by the amount of training and educational experiences which have been gathered and may be the basis for ability to testify in a court case or be an expert archaeologist who trains others.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ANN ZILIC Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Gossen, Gary H. From Almecs to Zapatistas: A Once and Future History of Souls. American Anthropologist September,1994 Vol. 96(3):553-570.

Gossen debates the existence and identity of a collective Mesoamerican “soul” by first describing the Zapatista movement of 1994 in Chiapas, Mexico as a cultural uprising. The Zapatistas have demanded that the history and culture of Mexico’s large Indian population be taught in all Mexican schools, and have thus raised the question of what constitutes the shared culture and identity of the many diverse Indian communities. Attempting an answer, Gossen focuses on the Mesoamerican concept of the self to demonstrate that an integral part of this concept, its link with individual “souls” or “co-essences,” has been deeply embedded in the history of Mesoamerican thought. He also maintains that this concept has become an influential force in the preservation of Indian identity and culture.

Gossen describes a personal experience that made him realize that this belief system functions more as a cultural guideline for dealing with self, other, and destiny than it does as a rigid system of belief. Although this system is neither as spatially consistent nor as temporally stable as he once thought, it is nonetheless fundamental to the Mesoamerican construction of self and social identity, destiny, and power.

Gossen then describes the multi-faceted belief system, which allocates a spiritual animal counterpart and ordained destiny to every person, co-essences sometimes called tonalli. The tonalli, however, is only one part of a complex set of factors that must be held in equilibrium to produce a physically and socially healthy life. This belief has been well documented in modern ethnographies, and with new translations of ancient Maya hieroglyphs, the importance of this belief can be consistently traced back to the time of Christ. Although it was forced into private domain and hidden from public view, the system survived, adapted, and evolved throughout the colonial period and into our time.

Finally, Gossen argues that it is the invisible and adaptable nature of this belief system that permits it to play an integral role in the maintenance of Indian identity. He quotes Rigoberta Menchu, who discusses the importance of keeping Indian identity and culture private to prevent it being taken from them. Gossen also sees evidence of the effects of this destiny-based belief system today in the reluctance of Zapatista leaders to seek high profile positions for themselves, which may or may not be part of their preordained destiny.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
NICOLE C. ROTH Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Larson, Daniel O., Johnson, John R., Michaelsen, Joel C. Missionization Among the Coastal Chumash of Central California: A Study of Risk Minimization Strategies. American Anthropologist June, 1994 Vol. 96(2):263-299.

The authors’ main interest in this article is on the Spanish Missionization of the Chumash and the reasons for why the Chumash migrated to the missions. The authors lean toward the theory that the Chumash migrated to the missions to minimalize risk. During the time period of 1780-1830, the region experienced great changes in climate. All of these changes (drought, elevated sea temperature, salinity variations) were for the worse. Agriculture was nearly impossible. When there were good years too many children were born and during the bad there were too many mouths to feed.

It is probable that missionizing was the best or only option in many cases. Missionization also posed the opportunity for social advancement for the Chumash. Missions had their own local government and people who missionized were given the opportunity to have government power or leadership. The missions also served as a form of protection from neighboring groups. In a mission your enemies cannot steal you food or attack you very easily, you are safe.

Overall the authors try to reconstruct some of the reasons why the Chumash missionized, in order to better understand why any culture would choose to missionize under any circumstance.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
SHANNON REYNOLDS Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Lieberman, Daniel E. and Shea, John J. Behavioral Differences between Archaic and Modern Humans in the Levantine Mousterian. American Anthropologist June, 1994 Vol. 96(2):300-322.

The authors of this article examine the differences in behavior between archaic humans and early modern humans in the geographical region of the Near East known as the Levant. The goal of this article is to establish a better understanding of the lifeways of both early modern and archaic humans based on the analysis of human remains, stone tool assemblages and faunal remains in conjunction with site locations. The conventional point of view is that since both of these taxa use the same lithic tool kits they must have displayed the same behavior in their everyday activities. According to Lieberman and Shea, behavior is reflected not in the types of tools at a site, but in the quantity of those specific types of tools at a site. Sites occupied by archaic humans display a higher proportion of projectile points than sites occupied by early modern humans. This is in direct relation to the fact that archaic humans were more sedentary than the early modern humans and relied more heavily on hunting for subsistence. Early modern humans practiced a circulating mobility strategy (cyclical seasonal occupation of sites) while archaic humans practiced a radiating mobility strategy, which consisted of a multi-seasonal base camp with logistical seasonal satellite camps for resource retrieval.

The mobility strategy ideas that Lieberman and Shea propose are supported by the results of the analysis of human remains from several cave sites in the Levant. The upper limbs of the archaic humans show more cortical bone mass due to repeated stress on the limb from habitual hunting for subsistence. The archaic human’s arms are used more frequently in the activity of throwing projectiles and stabbing prey. Archaic humans appear to have resided at sites multi-seasonally while modern humans were more mobile and occupied sites seasonally.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
BRAD HANSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

LiPuma, Edward, & Meltzoff, Sarah. Economic Mediation and the Power of Association: Toward a Concept of Encompassment. American Anthropologist March, 1994 Vol. 96(1):31-51.

LiPuma and Meltzoff believe that governments and institutions such as the European Community Association presuppose that a given form of identity, such as class or gender, will appear in all social contexts and will be an overriding determinant of people’s behavior. The authors reflect on the response of the European Community Association to fishery communities in Spain. The European Community seeks to preserve Galician Spanish fishing concepts and forms of organization while adapting them to external European conditions. The authors believe that processes of the European Community ignore the question of how people construct their identities and social space. This is an issue of the construction of the categories of analysis in European ethnology. Concentrating on political, social class, and economical forces induce ethnographers to omit an analysis of cultural principles, categories, and generative schemes. This affects how ethnographers work towards the social reproduction and translation of a community.

The authors believe the social sciences need to define their analytical objects more precisely. The authors call for ethnography to be more rigorous and tighten up its definitions of key terms. It is necessary to grasp the emergence of new forms of social organization due to interactions of ethnographic study groups with larger groups such as the European Community Association.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
ALEXANDRA ROBINSON Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Mascia-Lees, Frances E. The Anthropological Unconscious. American Anthropologist September, 1994 Vol. 96(3):649-660.

The author’s question is whether we can be free from unconscious influences when making assessments of superficial similarities. When visiting her sister and her newborn niece she reacted to the sight of the baby’s slanted forehead thinking that it looked Mayan. This was inadvertent and contrary to her professional training. Had the initial impression “collapsed two types of difference: physical and cultural”? This must be due to unconscious factors arising out of a “historically constructed phenomenon.” Was it from her undergraduate studies or something more? She considers the optical unconscious of Walter Benjamin and how details can enter into our worlds via photographs, and then considers how that affects the globalization of culture by creating experiences through ethnographies. The author contends that the past prepares one to make associations that may do little more than make sense of the present—it was her way to cope with the uneasy feeling about what the slanted forehead foretold.

To show how effects can be created in peoples’ minds, the author touches on how contemporary anthropology and tourism affect one another in a kind of symbiotic commerce. She uses the example of MacCannell’s reaction to Dennis O’Rourke’s film Cannibal Tours to point out that we are not talking about absolute differences in cultures but “differentiations of an evolving new cultural subject.” Is this “bad faith” between the real and the perpetrated real, of ex-primitives preserving the primitive to amuse tourists? The author suggests that globalization of these kinds of phenomena is how consciousnesses are created that seep into the anthropological unconscious.

The author questions whether her dealing with the baby’s disability was somehow masked in a metaphoric exchange that protected her from dealing with the child’s unfortunate condition. Also, she wonders to what extent physical deformities represent attitudes towards cultures that could have racial overtones—does the “anthropological gaze” of non-Western differences immediately conjure up prejudicial assumptions? To some extent, the author admits all that can be done to combat the influence of the unconscious is to keep it in mind and to openly remind people that this thing that we commonly refer to as the “unconscious” simply helps us explain that which inevitably affects and shapes our thinking.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
RANDY INGRAM Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Moore, Carmella C., and Romney, Kimball A. Material Culture, Geographic Porpinquity, and Linguistic Affiliation on the North Coast of New Guinea: A Reanalysis of Welsch, Terrell, and Nadolski (1992). American Anthropologist June, 1994 Vol. 96(2):370-396.

The authors question the data put forth by Welsch et al that distance has a negligible affect on linguistic variation. Due to theoretical implications the results were reexamined and it was found that a misinterpretation of data produced this conclusion. The authors considered how matrices produce bivariate results, how “absences” might be fact or oversights, and how the distributions of variables are consistent with frequencies, i.e. whether data is independent, covariant, etc. Scaling techniques should have been considered rather than plotting residuals on maps. The data error would have been less and the underlying structure of the matrix would have been more revealing. Also, the time variable interferes with site and language considerations. When distance and language variables are evaluated separately the site variance is less than when together, and when evaluations of distance were done before and after language variation it was fifty percent. The authors agree that any correlation between these variables is complex so a deeper look is needed to unravel “the distributional and historical puzzles presented in the evidence.”

The authors’ reevaluations had higher ratios than Welsch et al. and that “language and distance account for almost identical amounts of variation among material culture assemblages.” The assumption that distance determines degrees of diffusion, that it’s “undistorted by language,” is not enough in considering how variation in artifacts is related to linguistic groups. Welsch et al. claimed that “a unified community of culture, even though they spoke many different languages” was, according to the authors, an over-interpretation of other anthropological information.

Welsch et al. did not give language proper consideration and they summarily dismissed its role in cultural analyses based on theoretical grounds. The authors feel that due to “insufficient appreciation” language factors were relegated to the irrelevant.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
RANDY INGRAM Illinois State University (R. T. Dirks)

Moore, John. Putting Anthropology Back Together Again: The Ethnogenetic Critique of Cladistic Theory. American Anthropologist December, 1994 Vol. 96(4):925-948.

Many scholars believe the subfields of anthropology are continually separating due to the increasing amount of information in need of processing. It is possible that physical anthropology, the subfield of anthropology that was once solely the connection between anthropology and biology, will reincorporate the subfields of anthropology back together as collaborators of the whole. Physical anthropology is singled out for this because of its methods, such as cladistics, and its involvement in the Human Genome Project.

Cladistics is not confined to biology; anthropologists use it as a method of organizing traditions in cultural groups and languages. Many ethnogenetists do not feel cladistic method is correctly applied to ethnogroups and diverging languages. The use of cladistic method may be dangerous, for it not only confuses data, but also takes away the possibility of physical anthropology acting as a reconnecting agent of the subfields of anthropology. If biological and physical anthropological terminology and methodology are applied incorrectly, once universally realized other methods that have the potential for cohesion will only rift the subfields further. Moore stresses that one should mark differences between taxonomies created on qualitative differences among members and not quantitative differences, such as gene frequency. Cladistical theory requires one to obsessively follow each line of evolutionary descent back to a single ancestral species. This does not hold when examining ethnographies and ethnohistories. Individual pedigrees and histories of populations are different matters. Moore suggests that studies are stronger when utilizing alternative theories and discusses their advantages.

Due to its requirement for interdisciplinary consultation around fundamental theoretical issues, the Human Genome Project has the potential to bring the fields of anthropology back together again. Indeed, something may be gained by adopting a theoretical approach in which the four fields of anthropology are utilized in unison. However, when applying biological and physical anthropological theories and terms one must be cautious; it would be a shame to misinterpret these and thereby retard physical anthropology which holds the possibility of uniting anthropology’s subfields.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
ALEXANDRA ROBINSON Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Nash, June. Global Integration and Subsistence Insecurity. American Anthropologist March, 1994 Vol. 96(1):7-30.

Nash outlines the facts about the global integration of the world market and describes the state of subsistence insecurity faced by members of developing countries. She argues that the cyclical crises of capitalism has fostered a situation making it difficult for workers, skilled in their own modes of subsistence, to successfully integrate into a new, “global” economy. A thorough discussion of historical interpretations of this phenomenon are offered as an introduction, followed by a description of what she calls the “world crisis of capitalism.” In her description she outlines three characteristics that make this world crisis different from previous ones, those being: (1) the growing integration of the world economy; (2) the shift from industrial production to financial capital as the basis for accumulation; and (3) the diminishing resources available for subsistence production throughout the world.

The reality developing countries must face in a global capitalist economy is a grim one. As resources diminish, at the hands of capitalist expansion, liquidating means of subsistence and survival, workers become suspicious of their role in the world arena. To further substantiate her arguments, Nash cites three case studies. Her work with Mayan cultures of Southern Mexico, tin miners of Bolivia, and factory workers of the industrialized Northeastern United States provide further evidence of the increasing fragility of the economies of the peasant and commodity producing areas and the old industrial regions. Nash also discusses Luxemburg’s thesis maintaining the importance of the subsistence sector in capitalistic accumulation and it’s increasing significance for the nearly extinct countries of the developing world.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ROB O’BRIEN Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Nash, June. Global Integration and Subsistence Insecurity. American Anthropologist July, 1994 Vol. 96 (1): 7 – 24.

As the capitalist driven global economy experiences cyclical crises, the integrated international resource base, including indigenous peoples, face a crisis of survival. When multinational corporations determine that an enterprise is no longer viable, due to expenditures or political and legislative climates, they close their operations and move on to greener pastures. Those groups remaining behind are left to survive in an economic vacuum of disappearing wages and depleted natural resources. In the wake of this desperate situation, the author contends that a new level of social group consciousness has arisen among the affected populations in both the First and Third Worlds, resulting in action based organization.

After presenting a brief history of the economic and political events that have created the worldwide economic hardships, the author examines three particular examples of labor-based societies that have lost their wage earning capacity. The Tzeltal Indians of Chiapas, Mexico are a bounded group of the Mayan culture that refer to themselves as “the true people”. During the early 1960s, the National Institute of Indians helped them to grow and sell wheat as a cash crop. Soon, however, they saw that government sponsored middlemen were taking most of the profits and they were eventually forced off of their land, leading to loss of culture and inwardly focused frustration. The author sees their sense of identity as existing within the boundaries of their own culture and, that they see their problems as internal rather than coming from external forces.

Bolivian tin miners faced similar difficulties when the government nationalized the mines and, eventually, closed them. However, unlike the Tzeltal, the miners realized their importance to the world market and, being aware of external manipulation, organized along ideological, rather than local, cultural lines. As a consolidated front of many parts, the miners have had success in making their plight known.

The closing of General Electric in Pittsfield, Massachusetts points out that the struggle between a global economy and individual survival is not restricted to the Third World. Suffering double-digit unemployment, the residents of the small blue-collar community resorted to subsistence bartering for goods and services with whatever skills they possessed. The author explains that, although trade unions were already in existence, there was no passion to fault the corporation with abandoning the workers. Having been conditioned to the helplessness of their situation and being acutely aware of the ways of business, the workers stoically accepted their fate and struggled to survive.

The author sees the subsistence economy as a necessary supplement to the capitalist, global system. When the ability to earn a living wage is threatened, subsistence strategies become vital to individual survival. When a society’s ability to subsist is threatened, protest and revolt will follow.

CLARITY: 3
SCOTT S. WILLIAMS Indiana University (Dr. Anya Royce)

Nugent, David. Building the State, Making the Nation: The Bases and Limits of State Centralization in “Modern” Peru. American Anthropologist June, 1994 Vol. 96(2):333-369.

In Nugent’s study of state centralization in Peru, he uses a particular regional population, Chachapoyas, to demonstrate two successive phases of centralization and the reasons why one was more successful than the next. When building a state, qualities are achieved through both cooptation and coercion and include: an imposition of central institutions, an imposition of cultural and moral values on the recalcitrant local populations within the state boundaries. Most often these strategies fail because the state is imposing false legitimacy onto the people in the region.

In the case of Chachapoyas there were two phases of state centralization. In the first phase (1930’s), the state was a proclaimed protector and liberator of a marginalized group who desired freedom from local power holders. This “moral community” assisted the state with more complete integration of regional territory and nationalization of the regional population. In the second phase (1970’s), the state was viewed as immoral and the same group, which had earlier assisted the state, was now attempting to bring down control over the region.

Nugent provides an in-depth account of the history of Chachapoyas as well as the definitions of the terms nation and state. The basic definitions of a nation and a state are as follows: a nation is something people feel loyalty to, people have a common bond, and a state is something which is made by politics, a drawing of boundary lines to define an area as having the same centralized government. Nugent concludes that in cases of state expansion the key is to have a common goal with the local populations for success. The power of a state can be both productive as well as repressive, depending on the needs of the populations.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
MELISSA ANN-TERESE BOCKER Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Rosaldo, Renato. Whose Cultural Studies? American Anthropologist September, 1994 Vol. 96(3):524-529.

This is the text of a talk given to literary scholars in 1992. It briefly discusses the differences between anthropology and the emerging field of cultural studies, and how graduate students should approach the two. Cultural Studies is defined here as a multi-stranded intellectual movement that has quite an oppositional history. That opposition appears to come from the anthropological discipline. Cultural Studies, it is argued, has too many hidden agendas, those propagated by the constructors of the discipline (Anglo-Saxon men). For the most part, anthropologist opinions in these “cultural studies” have been over looked or silenced. Anthropologists see the cultural studies discipline as more of a literary study, not related to anthropological work.

The essential differences fleshed out by the author are the varying interpretations of culture. Ultimately, it appears the anthropological community will have to redefine its term culture, which will in turn result in a new emphasis for the field. The authors solution to this opposition is a multi-disciplinary approach, synthesizing both anthropology and cultural studies. Although, Rosaldo points out, it will be a difficult task for both schools to deal with.

In the end the talk discusses concerns with the racial make-up of contributing scholars to the worlds of anthropology and cultural studies. There appears to be a disproportionate amount of certain racial and ethnic groups represented there. Diversity should be existent in every realm of academia, especially anthropology and cultural studies. Anthropologists should apply their understanding of culture, and allow a remaking of their discipline that considers the voices of all who want to be heard. Change in ideology and understanding should come from within.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
ROB O’BRIEN Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Rosaldo, Renato. Whose Cultural Study? American Anthropologists September, 1994. Vol.96( 3 ):524 – 529.

Renato Rosaldo is arguing that faculty members who do Cultural Studies need to consider not only their departmental study but also other faculty studies which relate to cultural study, such as anthropology and ethnic studies. He thinks that interdisciplinary exchange is a fundamental context of Cultural Studies because of its diverse aspects. As an anthropologist, he touches the core of the problem that a traditional anthropological view no longer maintains itself in a diverse society. He also deals with ethnic problems as a Chicano anthropologist.

The author suggests that anthropologists should follow the movement by changing their outlook because traditional anthropological concepts of culture and study have been lost and have become fused into Cultural Studies. He hopes that anthropologists do something for the change, rather than feeling perplexed over loss of a comfortable past. To handle the uncomfortable situation they now face, he suggests that mediation can be the solution to creating connection between anthropologists and the members of Cultural Studies. He estimates that the new activity will be able to trigger and advantage to conducting all levels of work with cultures and societies. Moreover, as a Chicano anthropologist, he explores ethnic problems, especially minority students and faculty works in universities. He mentions that ethnic study should have equal opportunity and an importance to Cultural Studies. He is also concerned that “white authority” still tends to occupy a large part of ethnic and cultural study.

Even though Cultural Studies has created an unpleasant sense of alienation, it has also brought a significant view to anthropologists. Rosaldo believes that the process of mediation among various fields has become more important for anthropologists and their future study. His main point in this article is that Cultural Studies needs to share the knowledge of various fields and to work closely with different faculty members in order to get a wider view and learn something new and valuable from this diverse world.

CLARITY: 3
RISAKO UEDA Indiana University (Anya P. Royce)

Rothenberg, Jerome. ”Je Est un Autre”: Ethnopoetics and the Poet as Other. American Anthropologist September, 1994 Vol. 96(3):523-524.

This article discusses ethnopoetics in two sections. Though both are written in a poetic fashion, the first has been constructed more cryptically than the second. The discourse within this section describes the process by which an author can open individual or personal poetry to other voices and other visions, besides those of the writer. It touches on the construction and fragmentation of identity. Section one concludes with questions of how the mind perceives and constructs the world.

In section two, Rothenberg references poetic greats Rimbaud and Whitman. This section, like the previous, is constructed poetically. For maximum use, the reader should already have some idea of what ethnopoetics is. The article claims that any ethnopoetics worth the struggle deals extensively with point of view. Rothenberg states that ethnopoetics is a course of action, not only a course of study. The article then touches on the subversivness of ethnopoetics, and the use for it by poets before concluding with a discussion on the roles of “I,” “Other,” and ethnopoetic contradictions. Rothenberg describes how the role of “I” can contain a multitude of voices.

CLARITY RANKING: 1
JASON HULS Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Scheper-Hughes, Nancy. The Last White Christmas: The Heidelberg Pub Massacre. American Anthropologist December, 1994 Vol. 96(4):805-817.

This article is a personal reflection of the events surrounding the Heidelberg Pub Massacre on New Years Eve 1993 in Cape Town, South Africa. The author states that she is attempting to give “a parallel anthropological commentary to balance the partial truths of the media”. Scheper-Hughes begins with a brief overview of the social turmoil prevalent in South Africa. She discusses the social standings of the different South African groups and how they interact with one another.

She describes the “Christmas Carols by Candlelight” event that was sponsored by the Cape Town Rotary Club. The event was held in a public botanical garden but was attended only by financially secure Caucasian people. She comments about the absence of other ethnic groups at this “public” religious event and relates it to the everyday state of affairs in South Africa. Although Apartheid has ended, separation between the different ethnic groups in South Africa is commonplace.

The author writes about her personal experience with the Heidelberg Pub Massacre, a random shooting that claimed the lives of four innocent victims in a Cape Town bar. She was alerted to the murders and asked to assist in the autopsies by the state pathologist/coroner with whom she worked. The remainder of the commentary is about her point of view on the massacre and her interaction with South African authorities in regards to unknown homicide victims and their treatment by the state. She focuses on the processes involved in identifying an unknown corpse and what it costs the state to handle such matters. Scheper-Hughes recounts experiences at group meetings arranged to assist living victims of the massacre. She details her interactions with the survivors and their feelings towards the state of affairs in South Africa in regards to violence of this sort.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
BRAD HANSON Illinois State University (Robert Dirks)

Scheper-Hughes, Nancy. The Last White Christmas: The Heidelberg Pub Massacre. American Anthropologist 1994, Vol. 96(4): 805-817.

This article, written by Nancy Scheper-Hughes, discusses the violence that affects South Africa and how it affects its people. The irony about this was that the first time she was free to write about the Heidelberg Pub Massacre was when there was a public holiday on June 16th 1994, due to the killing of several students by the police; it took a violent act to allow to reflect a another violent act. Hughes writes about everything that happened to her and others due to the massacre.

The Heidelberg Pub Massacre happened on New Year’s Eve 1993 in Cape Town, South Africa. Since Hughes was a medical anthropologist she went down to the morgue to see how this was handled. There were four victims brought in and they all started out as unidentified. It was mentioned how some remain unidentified because a poor family will not want to claim someone because the cost of burial is too high. One girl came in and was able to identify two of her girl friends and then a man was later identified as someone Hughes actually knew. He owned a restaurant right next to the Heidelberg Pub. Hughes had to tell one of the victim’s parents that their daughter had been killed and had to console the friend when she came to identify the bodies. After all this, she began to realize that even though she wasn’t directly affected by the massacre, she too was feeling victim to all the violence. She decided to go to a group therapy session and at first she felt out of place since she put herself in this situation, whereas everyone else was forced into it. Then someone brought up the fact that anyone can suffer, it is not only the victims who feel the pain. All of the people in the group said that they don’t feel anger towards those who did this to them because people should know the risk of living in South Africa, especially when there is a war going on. He also considered that the people who did this were black men who have suffered too and are just trying to get back at society. Hughes realized what a sad state it is when people live in violence every day, and this violence causes pain to everyone, not just those who experienced it first hand.

CLARITY: 4
ASHLEY CAMPBELL Indiana University (Anya Royce)

Sherzer, J. The Kuna and Columbus: Encounters and Confrontations of Discourse. American Anthropologist December, 1994 Vol. 96(4):902-924.

Recent debates regarding the nature of anthropology, especially ethnography, have challenged anthropologists to find increasingly creative ways of analyzing field experience. J. Sherzer, a linguistic anthropologist, steps up to this challenge in the analysis of Kuna historical chanting ceremonies. The history of the Kuna is told through metaphor-rich chanted poems. Sherzer specifically examines the “Coming of Columbus” chant relaying the initial contact between Kuna and Spanish Europeans. The Columbus chant reveals how Spanish Europeans systematically and violently destroyed and altered Kuna land boundaries and way of life. The Spanish were not the only people that visited the Kuna. Constant bombardment of different cultures’ ways of life, enforced ideas, and brutal exploitation shape how the Kuna regard their society today and how they express their culture through art, dress, dancing, and chanting.

Sherzer examines Kuna discourse by analyzing oral chants. Interestingly, he does not concentrate on the historical discourse the chants reveal. Instead, Sherzer examines the discourse of today by analyzing the translation process of the chants. Sherzer studies the discourse between the Kuna and outsiders, oral chanted history and written history, and Kuna tradition and change. This is accomplished by studying the translation of the chants from the Kuna language to Spanish. Western educated, yet Kuna traditions embracing individuals, are responsible for the translations. As in any translation, there is some loss of the chants. However, what is omitted and added by the translators reveals much about the Kuna. Sherzer notes that the discrepancies in the translations reveal that the Kuna maintain a strong sense of identity, while at the same time adapt to changing situations of modern Panama. Sherzer explains all of the variables that alter the chanted poems he studies and records. By examining the chants and the way these chants are translated, Sherzer feels one achieves a great understanding of the discourse modern Kuna are experiencing. This linguistic approach to a traditionally ethnographic study is a refreshing post-modernist attempt in the examination of discourse affecting a society.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
ALEXANDRA ROBINSON Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Simons, Anna. Somalia and the Dissolution of the Nation State American Anthropologist December,1994 Vol. 96(4):818-823.

Simons begins by noting that all people are concerned with what will happen to the nation-state. Will it end in chaos or will we “rebuild toward utopia”? Dissolution is a problem that has yet to be studied by a lot of anthropologist because in Simon’s words they are scared. Simons then talks about her experience with dissolution in Mogadishu. Her conclusion about the dissolution in Mogadishu was that it started with the murder of the bishop and the murders of people outside of mosques. Further violence erupted from these events that caused confusion because of the “lack of any centralized, creditable source of information” and led to contradictory effects.

She then goes on to state exactly what dissolution is and how it affects people. Dissolution is chaotic. It happens when there is a collapse of institutions and when there is a lack of agreeing moralities amongst the people of a nation state. Although dissolution is frightening it needs to be so that after the chaos there can be order. It has happened all throughout human history. When the people feel like the structure they follow is failing them, be it government or anything else, anarchy arises so the people can try to regain autonomy. Simons regards” dissolution as the liminal phase between two segments of order and structure”; and it is temporary.

Simons concludes that people are slowly realizing that our nation state can crumble, and that there is a possibility that nationalism will one day be seen has chaotic and not ordered. Anthropologists are terrified because they know what happens when dissolution occurs and it threatens so many of the lives that anthropologists say they care for.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
ALICIA HOLMBECK Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)

Simons, Anna. Somalia and the Dissolution of the Nation-State. American Anthropologist December, 1994 Vol. 96(4):818-823.

The author, Anna Simons, begins the article by discussing how different groups view the dissolution and the future of the nation-state. Such groups included historians, economists, politicians, sociologists, etc. The overwhelming question was whether it would end in chaos or in a rebuilding process, which would benefit the nation-state in the end. It is because of this difficult question that Simons feels that dissolution has not been studied by anthropologists in the past.

Simons goes on to talk of her experiences with the dissolution of Mogadishu. She believes the assassination of the bishop of Mogadishu and the murders of Muslim worshippers by government troops were large contributors to the oncoming dissolution. These killings started a chain reaction of future violence. It was this chain reaction that spread throughout the country, eventually resulting in the fall of the nation’s government. Simons notes that the national government fell “figuratively probably well before this moment but literally not for another two years,” when referring to the killings in Mogadishu.

She then states how dissolution is part of a cycle that is many times unavoidable. It is simply a phase between times of structure and order. It comes about from the eventual dependence of a nation’s people on their government and the moment the government fails to provided for those people the dissolution phase may begin.

Simons concludes that people are beginning to realize that this cycle of dissolution could possibly occur in our own society. This realization that our democracy could crumble and fail is frightening to many, especially anthropologists who know the consequences of dissolution, which could harm many of the peoples they watch over and study.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
KEEGAN RAMEY Indiana University (Anya Royce)

Stoller, Paul. Embodying Colonial Memories. American Anthropologist September, 1994 Vol. 96(3):634-648.

Paul Stoller begins his article by illustrating the importance of incorporating all senses into an anthropologist’s understanding of cultural events. The focus group is the Songhay people of Tillaberi, a small town in the Republic of Niger. These people’s practices of spirit possession have been well documented, and are further scrutinized in this article. Stoller is concerned with the importance of all senses during spirit possession, how this data leads to the creation and maintenance of cultural memories, and how political power emerges from this practice. He points out how the body is the focus of the possession phenomena. It is important to examine the medium’s body during this ritual because Stoller claims it is the major repository of cultural memories.

The article describes how a spirit, upon entering the medium, enters a social space, and changes the possessed physically and symbolically. Stoller comments on how much has been written about the “texts” the medium comes to represent. The meaning of texts in this case means interpreting possession with discursive analysis as opposed to interpreting it with sensory analysis. The problem with engaging spirit possession with discourse is that it does not do justice to the notion of the mind and body split that occurs. In his argument, Stoller claims that during the time of possession, the medium’s body is absorbed into a cacophony of forces, smells, textures, sights, sounds, and tastes, all of which serve to create and maintain cultural memory. In contrast to much that has been written regarding this topic, Stoller believes that this embodiment is not primarily textual.

Utilizing the work of social theorist Paul Connerton, Stoller delves into a history of spiritual possession among the Songhay people. He describes that the Songhay keep detailed knowledge of their history in three ways. These include oral traditions, written texts, and spirit possessions. Spirit possession, thought to be a mimetic production and reproduction of historic and social times, lays the groundwork for the production and reproduction of power.

This article, organized in a unique fashion, displays the importance of Stoller’s argument. There is rich, detailed text in the beginning and the end of the essay, heavily laden with sensuous material, reinforcing Stoller’s claims as to why understanding spirit possession in terms of bodily experience is important to the understanding of cultural memories.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
JASON HULS Illinois State University (Robert Dirks).

Zeder, Melinda A. After the Revolution: Neolithic Subsistence in Northern Mesopotamia. American Anthropologist March, 1994 Vol. 96(1):97-126.

The purpose of Zeder’s article on the small site of Umm Qseir in Northern Mesopotamia is to present and argue for the idea that the inhabitants of said site, in the sixth millennium of the Halafian period (spanning from 5500 to 4500 B.C.), were not transhumant pastoralists, but rather were pioneering farmers, utilizing both wild and domesticated resources to inhabit the area year round. Then this information is compared and contrasted to the data collected on the fourth millennium inhabitants of the area and other similar sites in Northern Mesopotamia, concluding with a full embrace of urbanization and food production in the third millennium. The site of Umm Qseir is a small site within the upper Khabur basin, which may have only been occupied by no more than two or three families at once.

Zeder spends a large portion of the article discussing the domesticated animals compared with the wild animals, the frequency of their appearances in the archaeological record and observing the season in which a wild or domesticate was used for subsistence. There were three domestic species; the sheep, the goat and the pig, which made up less than half of the faunal sample at Umm Qseir. The majority of the sample is made up of wild species including, gazelle, onager, bos, deer, hare, bird, reptile, fish, canid, fox, wolf, hyena, lynx, and mustelid. The hunting of such wild game increases through time.

The killing of pigs and caprids (goat and sheep populations) increases in the lean resource months for the area (from May to October) and decreases in months of wild bounty (between November and April). The ages of the animals are also not typical of other Neolithic sites. While in most nonurban village sites killing happens at a younger age, at Umm Qseir animals are killed in various ages including ages that are much older than expected at a transhumant pastoralist site. The plant remains also indicted a convergence of wild and domestic usage. Therefore, the people of Umm Qseir were neither domestic nor seasonal, but a combination of the two, taking full advantage of their surroundings.

From the data collected on the fourth millennium the conclusion was made that indigenous people and foreign visitors intermittently occupied the site. She concludes that the Neolithic Revolution was not as uniformly marked as once thought, and with further investigation of other small sites and studying slightly before or after a period of change may develop new understandings on change through time.

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MELISSA ANN-TERESE BOCKER Illinois State University (Robert T. Dirks)