Human Organization 1990
Arcury, Thomas A. Environmental Attitude and Environmental Knowledge. Human Organization 1990 Vol. 49(4): 300-304.
The general problem that Arcury sets out to discuss is the limited research that has focused on environmental knowledge, and how it influences environmental attitudes. Arcury’s argument is that the lack of research in these two areas has influenced public involvement of the public in discussion and application of environmental policies and environmental laws.
The methodology involved used random digit dialing of 680 residents in Kentucky, to “ensure every household in the state with a telephone had an equal chance of being included (p. 301).” Only 64% of the potential respondents chose to participate in this study.
Four measures of environmental attitudes are surveyed, based on information garnered from Dunlop and Van Liere’s New Environmental Paradigm (NEP) scale (1978). Environmental knowledge is measured using two knowledge measures, taken from the national survey conducted by the Council on Environmental Quality (1980), the Energy Knowledge measure, and the State Environmental Knowledge measure. The independent variables Arcury uses are sociodemographic, including gender, income, education, age, education, and residence.
The data is presented in the form of four tables. The tables present the NEP paradigm subscales, sociodemographic information, and correlations involving the knowledge measures used. The evidence is limited in scope, as well as limited by measures included in the survey.
The conclusions of this study are vague. Arcury determines that increased knowledge of environmental issues is reflected in environmental attitudes of those surveyed, and applies that information with regard to sociodemographic issues, which are areas that have been studied before. This gives credence to those studies performed in the past, but presents little new information. Arcury demonstrates that increased education is more valuable, but does not explain how this information can be applied to environmental policies and environmental laws. The reader is left questioning the validity and purpose of this study, and how the findings can be applied to environmental initiatives today.
CLARITY RATING: 2
SHANNEN GARRETT North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Becker, Adeline. The Role of the School in the Maintenance and Change of Ethnic Group Affiliation. Human Organization, Vol. 49, Number 1: 48-55.
Becker explores the public school’s role in shaping ethnic identity, specifically the effect of implicit educational policies on immigrant students. This particular study focuses on eighteen Portugese immigrant students in an urban New England high school. Comparisons are made between eight recent immigrants who were in the United States for less than two years, and ten early arrivals who were here from six to sixteen years at the time of the study (49). The duration of this study lasts one-half years. Becker incorporated a combination of participant observation, personal interviews, and questionnaires which permitted her to gather data from teachers, administrators, parents, siblings and other relatives, community members, friends, religious leaders, and the students themselves. Through a combined focus on the features of structural and cultural/symbolic ethnicity and situational ethnic selection, it has been possible to assess the impact of implicit educational policies on Portugese high school students (49). Ultimately, Becker attempts to prove that the Portugese students use situational ethnicity more successfully in the cultural/symbolic realm than in the structural realm for achieving their goals.
In order for the reader to thoroughly understand the overall purpose of this particular study, Becker distinguishes explicit from implicit policies within the public school system. Explicit or formal policies are designed to govern the decision-making process for both administrators and teachers by defining appropriate standards, procedures, and programs (49). Implicit policies can be determined through an examination of teacher and administration attitudes and expectations as revealed through student placements, special program offerings, parent communications, and classroom practices (50). Becker conducts an investigation into the implementation of policies from the district’s Procedures Manual for Limited English Proficient Students and concluded that no math, science, or vocational training was offered in Portuguese. Coincidentally, these three fields of study were the immediate objectives of the high school bilingual program, thus excluding non-English speaking Portuguese students from excelling academically.
In addition to the school’s discriminating procedures manual, Becker discovered an overall self-resentment among the Portuguese students. This was in large part a result of being a minority among a predominantly black student population. As one of the Portuguese students in the study noted, “The teachers all like the black kids best” (51). Difficulty in assimilation for the Portuguese students is a result of many growing up in families prejudiced to blacks. Fear of blacks is pre-adaptation, conditioned in large part by the subservient status of blacks in Africa under the Portuguese colonial empire. It also reflects a combination of anxiety toward the unknown, and reactions to tales told by returning Portuguese immigrants (51). A similar sentiment of separation occurred among Portuguese students themselves. Those who were more familiar with their New England surroundings tended to “fit in” with the student body and possessed more of a resentment of their family’s heritage. In contrast, those who recently arrived as immigrants tended to isolate themselves from other students and were less likely to succeed academically.
In conclusion, Becker notes that “The school was socializing the Portuguese immigrants, but they were being socialized into an environment that was often hostile to their very existence as a group” (54). Further research is imperative to determine whether the relevance of these findings are applicable to other communities and other ethnic groups.
Personally, I strongly believe that Becker’s argument is valid and relevant to all minority ethnic groups within the American public school system.
CLARITY RATING: 4
AARON BELL North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Bee, Robert L.. The Predicament of the Native American Leader: A Second Look. Human Organization, 1990 Vol. 49 (1): 56-63.
For a small group of Native Americans called the Quechans, trying to bring about any sort of economic development is a daunting task. This task seems to be made that much harder by the lack of leadership stability with the current system of government. The Quenchans are a group of about two thousand Native Americans who make their home near the Fort Yuma reservation in California. The Quenchans are primarily agricultural and have approximately 33,000 acres of land at their disposal. The group is governed by a seven member tribal council with the president and vice-president being elected by popular vote every four years. The members of the council have great demands placed upon them in order to keep federal monies coming in and to find new jobs and benefits for the people. The actions of the council are very closely monitored by the Quechan people and they have a powerful tool at their disposal when not happy with their current leadership. The Quechans frequently use recall against the current leaders when there are perceived acts of personal misconduct which are seen as transgressions against the tribe as a whole. Robert Bee examines the effects of the recalls on the stability of the government and economic development overall. Bee is hypothesizing that while the Quechan government is not stable it has not had negative effects on economic development.
The article is laid out in five parts: (1) the setting for the Quechans, which is described above, (2) a summary of governance patterns to 1978, (3) political conflict, 1979-present, (4) presidential strategies and tribal development, and (5) conflict and continuity. Within the second section of governance patterns through 1978, Bee shows the incredible amount of political instability that the Quechans have had to endure during their history. Recall became the weapon of choice during the 1970’s and was used by anyone trying to gain an upper hand on an opponent. Leaders infrequently lasted the entirety of their term on the council. In the third section of this article, Bee shows that some of the political instability ended in 1979 when a newcomer was elected president and lasted the entire four years of his term and actually re-elected for another four year term. Since 1979, there has been a smaller amount of recall activities taking place within this community. In the fourth section of this article, Bee outlines the presidential strategies of staying in office as well as strategies for economic growth. He states that it is still in the best interest of the president to be bringing in federal money as well as jobs and benefits for the Quechans. Bee also brings to light the other players when it comes to economic development of the community. The other players are the Overall Economic Development Planning Committee and the tribal administrators. The president fulfills the largest portion of the economic duties, but must get the approval of the council. Bee shows the economic difficulties of the Quechans and how these difficulties make the role of the president that much more precarious. The president must absorb the lion’s share of the responsibility when things do not go well, which often happens in this community. In the last section of his article, Bee proposes that even with an inordinate amount of leadership turnover that there is continuity within the plans for economic development. Because the Quechans are always fighting for federal money and jobs, economic plans that has been put forth by the former leaders are followed up on by the new leaders. Because of the scarcity of money and jobs, economic plans are continued even under new leadership because they cannot afford to waste any chance for economic gain. This is the underlying idea of why Bee states that even without political leadership stability, the needs of the Quechans are still being met by government.
Robert Bee presents a very interesting article on the struggles of these Native American leaders and people. The information is presented in a logical sequence and was easy to follow through it’s progression. While not completely sold on the idea that economic development is not greatly impacted by political instability, I am at least more open to the idea than before reading this article.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
MIKE MCMILLAN North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller).
Binkley, Marian. Work Organization among Nova Scotian Offshore Fishermen. Human Organization, winter, 1990 Vol.49 (4): 395-402.
Binkley and associates constructed a study in which they analyzed two distinct elements of Nova Scotian offshore fishermen work organization. Those elements are working conditions and job satisfaction. These elements provide further connotations to the following measurable factors: organization of fishery, the type of enterprise and the technology used to fish (p.395). Overall, these components lay the foundation for the assimilation and contrasting of the various organizational groupings developed constructed by the offshore fishermen.
The first example of the contrasting organizational groupings is shown between the capitalist groups (craft vs. industrial). These contrasting organizational structures provide insight on both individual and group perceptions that are created and reinforced through interaction. This grouping shows the greatest degree of variation in the structuring of organizations. The craft organization is less hierarchical, which accounts for strong social bonds. However, the industrial organization is structured more formally, fostering a work environment that is both positioned and earning based.
The second example of the contrasting organizational groupings is shown between job statuses (captains, officers and crew). The greatest factor that divided these statuses was the level of industrialization in which these statuses were observed (p. 397).
This division between statuses allowed the researcher to correlate the direct (industrial) and indirect (craft) structuring among the offshore fishermen.
The third example of the contrasting organizational groupings was in the form of monetary and non-monetary benefits for workers within these organizations. Reflecting on the worker’s perceptions, “non-monetary benefits are critical components of fishermen’s job satisfaction” (p.398). Despite the negative factors such as mental fatigue and long periods of time away from home, the majority of the subjects enjoyed fishing and obtaining a higher status within their perspective fishing organizations.
Further validation displaying the diverse organizational structuring of the offshore fishermen, is given in the form of summary tables. These tables list the gear and vessel types (mixed gear, scallop drugs and ground fish trawls) used by the offshore fishermen. Another table displays the relationship of enhanced emotions (e.g. sense of adventure, challenge and independence) to that of the assigned quota system; this table factors into the structuring of the fishing organizations. The use of research tables was the main methodological approach to the study. These tables heavily relied on the survey analysis and stratified random sampling interviews. Education, income and age were the representations of the sample offshore fishermen population. “Most workers enter the fishery straight from school…the average age was 33…captains and officers had higher incomes than other crew members” (p.399). The relevance of this information accounts for the construction of the fishery organizations.
This study greatly supplied numerical figures, necessary for discrediting the working conditions and job satisfaction held by the craft and industrial organizations. However, the author struggled to clearly define the terminology associated with the offshore fishing organizations, at times this lead to difficulties in grasping the direction and relevance of author’s study.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
JONNISHA RIGGS North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Boggs, James P. The Use of Anthropological Knowledge Under NEPA. Human Organization, 1990 Vol.49(3):217-226.
In his article, James Boggs examines how applied anthropological knowledge, along with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 impacts government policy decisions. Boggs discusses differing interpretations on the effectiveness of NEPA in utilizing improved scientific information to provide for more environmentally and socially conscious decisions. NEPA works by setting up a process in which applied anthropological knowledge is used to compile an environmental impact statement (EIS). This report is then examined before an action or program is initiated which may significantly impact the environment. After outlining the general policy behind NEPA, Boggs moves to discussing opposing views on how social knowledge is used in policy making. He first presents the argument that this knowledge is not useful because policy makers do not use the available knowledge effectively when making decisions. The contrasting view is that social scientists are at fault in the process because of their insecurity, political acuity, and lack of interest in relating their knowledge and experiences to policy makers. Other arguments Boggs examines are that social science knowledge has no use in public policy and the knowledge presented tends to be unreliable.
Next, Boggs discusses the use of anthropological knowledge under NEPA. He asserts that “NEPA provides a very good opportunity in which to consider the uses of social knowledge” (219). Boggs mentions that there is a general assumption that if accurate information is provided, then the “right action” will be taken. However, this is not always the case, as Boggs makes clear through evidence provided from a study completed in Northern Rhodesia under a program similar to NEPA. Because the government was uncomfortable with the study’s results, they chose to suppress the information. Even though the information was reliable and relevant, it challenged the beliefs of the policy makers and, consequently, was ignored.
Boggs goes on to examine the definition of “impact” when compiling an environmental impact statement. He uses an example from his own work with Indians in Montana to illustrate this topic. He asserts that the Indian tribes and the authorities may not have the same impacts in mind. The agencies tend to concentrate on social services and public facilities, where the tribes tend to focus on issues such as cultural maintenance, political and jurisdictional integrity, social disruption, and religion. Boggs states that because of these conflicting ideas, the policy decisions become more difficult and politically sensitive. In his conclusion Boggs attempts to clarify the fact that, in the context of NEPA, applied anthropologists are not being asked to arbitrate these opposing views, but instead to understand and communicate the differing perspectives.
ANGIE BARNES North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Bolin, Inge. Upsetting the Power Balance: Cooperation, Competition, and Conflict along an Andean Irrigation System. Human Organization, 1990 Vol.49(2):140-148.
In this article, patterns of cooperation and competition are studied among the villages of the Peruvian Andes. These patterns are studied along side of how resources are distributed along a canal system. In this area, those living upstream have a plentiful water supply, while those living downstream have other resources such as better climate and soil conditions and more convenient markets.
Cooperation and competition come into play through closely guarded systems of reciprocity between villages, allowing an equal balance in power relationships. However, when a development project comes in that allows a plentiful water supply for the whole canal, the power balance is disrupted. Those living upstream remain in possession of a plentiful water supply, but now that those inhabiting the downstream area have the same advantage. Now the upstream communities have no base for their power and have not yet received benefits of equal value.
The objective of the article is to examine the patterns of cooperation and competition that define the power relationships between these diverse villages and to show how the change in the availability of resources by international development can disrupt the power balance. The main idea and goal in this discussion will result in the beginning of more research by social scientists and developers in different parts of the world, including the Andes, in order to better understand these differing conditions along canal systems. This will allow more attention to be given to what is really beneficial for everyone involved and will prevent such occurrences as in the Andes.
The author explains the situation in the Andes very well and backs up his or her arguments with examples of how things have turned out. It is not just said that those upstream are being hurt by this change, but we can see in the article how their power before the change worked for their advantage, and how the loss of power has manipulated their whole world. It is truly an issue of cooperation and competition, because without a balance between the two, conflict is subject to arise.
CARITY RANKING: 4
KARA FAULKNER North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Brox, Ottar. The Common Property Theory: Epistemological Status and Analytical Unity. Human Organization. 1990 Vol.49(3):227-234
Brox’s article discusses Common Property Theory or CPT, and focuses on the differences of opinion on CPT between Anthropologists and Economists. Brox argues that in a sense Anthropologists and Economists are either playing the role of advocate in the communities that get hurt in CPT situations or are producing arguments for “expansive, corporate, or state sponsored interests”.
Brox discusses the economist perspective as the idea that at a low effort level the profits for everyone are not feasible but that at a higher effort level profits are feasible. Also, the perspective shows at some point a tragedy (an area will become overused and will be useless) will occur. The economic perspective suggests making the common fishing area into a rentable resource owned by the government or an individual, thus forcing those fishermen who cannot fish at a high effort level out of the business. This will in turn have the effect of giving those fishermen who can do the job most efficiently the job and makes the group more profit.
The traditional anthropological reaction to this is outcry against depriving the common area traditional fisherman of his income and/or subsistence. Also, the CPT model has been questioned and thought of as false by most anthropologists through their own observations. Brox argues that the model is not necessarily false but is more of a tool than an overarching theory.
Brox explains how he uses CPT in his own studies of Norwegian fishing communities. He describes CPT as his most useful tool, in that, it enables him to distinguish resource rent from return to labor when analyzing the economy of fishing adaptations. He believes that the data from CPT can be used to develop catch regulations systems which can secure a resource base to fishing communities.
The fishing situation in northern Norway is discussed extensively. In this discussion Brox shows how the fishermen were forced to keep fishing efforts at a level which avoided the tragedy predicted by CPT. With new technology and better prices for their fishing efforts the fishermen’s numbers dropped until fewer and fewer fisherman were fishing, but more and more fish were being caught by each individual fisherman. After some time of this the tragedy occurred as predicted by the CPT models, but the change which created the tragedy was governmental and also economical.
Brox characterizes this as vertical growth instead of horizontal growth. Vertical growth in his terminology is the growth in use of technology by a few and horizontal growth is more fishermen. It was in the Norwegian case the heavy vertical growth which caused tragedy in the form of loss of fisheries due to over-fishing. Brox suggests that for these types of free-resources that some sort of fee be assessed to keep the balance with the environment and the people.
Also throughout the article Brox continually explains the usefulness of the CPT models. But he consistently cautions against using them by themselves. His main point is that the ideas put forth by both the anthropological school and the economic school can work together to create a more logical perspective which can see not only the economics of the situation, but background and context of the situation as well.
MATTHEW NEAL North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Chavez, Leo R., Flores, Estevan, Flores T., and Lopez-Garza, Marta. Here Today and Gone Tomorrow? Undocumented Settlers and Immigration Reform. Human Organization. Fall 1990 Vol.49(3):193-205.
The authors are interested in determining the factors that lead undocumented immigrants to settle in the United States. They narrowed the population of undocumented immigrants down to a comparison of factors between Mexicans and Central Americans. A great deal of attention is focused on the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA), which the authors are interested in whether or not it’s policies have influenced the decisions of immigrants to settle.
As a result of all of the data collected, the authors were able to conclude many of the factors that played a role in the decision for the undocumented immigrants to settle, encompassing political, economic and personal factors. They used an interview technique for all 1,212 of their informants, with equal numbers from Mexican orientation as that of Central American immigrants. Their informants were found using mainly the snowball method in the cities of San Diego and Dallas, as these cities, according to the 1980 census, had very large populations of immigrants from Mexico and Central America. Much of the data collected is portrayed in statistical charts showing views based on whether the interviewee was from Mexico or Central America and if they were male or female.
The body of the article presented their research through sequential paradoxes that are set up to demonstrate how different aspects of immigration reform have been influential in regards to undocumented immigrants’ perspectives and their desire to settle in the US. They argue that settlement by undocumented immigrants is a process that starts out more as a perception and changes over time due to varying circumstances. To determine if an individual has settled or if they are a migrant is very difficult to differentiate. Some individuals may come to save up money for a couple of years with the intention to return home. The data shows that the longer individuals stay in the United States, the more likely they are to stay. Children and the purchase of property greatly influence the desire to stay. A closer network of friends and family in the United States also greatly influence the tendency to settle. Conclusions show that the January 1, 1982 deadline does not greatly influence those who came after that date to return.
All of the research was conducted based on the IRCA. The framework of the analysis was very well correlated to the paradoxes of the IRCA. The conclusions have created a strong foundation for further analysis of the settlement of undocumented immigrants.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
PATRICIA MCELROY North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Condon, Richard G. The Rise of Adolescence: Social Change and Life Stage Dilemmas in the Central Canadian Artic. Human Organization. 1990. Vol. 49(3): 266-279
The aim of this article was to examine the number of social and psychological adjustment problems which adolescents had, that arose as a result of welfare and social service programs developed for Inuit society. Through the techniques of formal and informal interviews, behavioral observation, and participant-observation, scientists hoped to conduct a complete analysis of the social, economic, and political pressures along with the reactions and perceptions of the changing surroundings as seen by the adolescent. Three field visits were conducted from 1978 to 1980, 1982 through 1983 and 1987 until 1988 during which time transformations in the community setting were recorded.
Initial transformations began in the community in 1978 through the introduction of television and radio as well as due to a decreased reliance of fur trapping and seal hunting for survival. Prior to 1978 or during the pre-contact period, adolescence was not prolonged in the community due to decreased survival rates and because skills were needed in order to survive. There was also an early marriage age and most marriages were arranged by the parents of the perspective couple along alliance networks. For an Inuit woman, it meant marriage would occur before or right around her first menstruation. A male however, was not able to marry until he had proven himself to be an adequate hunter and provider which usually occurred around the age of seventeen or eighteen.
After 1978, or during the post-contact period, the Inuit population began to create centralized settlements which consisted of large, dominating, autonomic, adolescent peer groups. These young people were observed to participate in economically non-productive social activities such as hanging out, playing games, and visiting with friends. Southern values and behavioral expectations were taught at the local schools and aided in decreasing the interactions between the parent and the child. The growing autonomy and non-productive activity observed in the adolescent group was contributed primarily to the increase in economic security of the area due to waged employment, social assistance, government subsidized housing, and the introduction of guns and snowmobiles to the local hunters.
Although these factors contributed to the reasons why the behavior occurred, the anthropologist felt that the game playing and visiting occurring within the adolescent group was a coping strategy for the new social and economic circumstances they were encountering and the involvements in sports was one way of forming an identity in the society. Most of these adolescents will not be able to follow into the trade which their parents have made a living at, so most are confused in their choice for a future career path. Many want a skilled occupation, but cannot commit themselves to completing the necessary schooling and as a result end up in low paying or temporary jobs in Holman because they do not want to leave their family. This problem has given rise to alcohol use and abuse among teenagers and has had a domino effect by being related to the majority of violent crimes which occur in the community.
LINDSAY MORROW North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Coward Jr., Walter E. Property Rights and Network Order: The Case of Irrigation Works in the Western Himalayas. Human Organization Spring, 1990 Vol.49(1):78-88.
In the Kangra Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India, local irrigation systems called kuhls are responsible for providing a consistent supply of water to ensure crop subsistence and survival. Coward argues that the irrigation rights instituted by the British government in the nineteenth century, helped create group solidarity from the ongoing social interactions and organization required to sustain these irrigation networks. The author draws from nineteenth century property right surveys to explain the irrigation agency’s success in helping farmers maintain these local irrigation systems (1990: 78). The creation of property taxes was a result of governmental efforts to make a profit off the land. With the presence of large irrigation systems in the area, the institution of irrigation rights followed soon thereafter.
Irrigation rights established organized rules for the allotment of water to designated farming areas. Coward notes, “the rules are actually useful in structuring the broad relationships among the various groups and individuals with a claim to water, and between them and those without such claims” (1990: 83). In other words, the establishment of irrigation rights, as well as the maintenance and repair required for the network’s success, helped create a system of organization and negotiation for all persons involved.
Since the mid eighteen hundreds, India has been free from British control; however, since independence, British leaders have remained involved in the development of local kuhls. For example, according to Coward, “heavy flows caused significant damage to the main canal and disrupted irrigation services until the people were able to implement repairs” (1990: 85). After continued periods of flooding, the government was asked to take on the responsibility for maintenance and operation of the kuhl. Today, political leaders supply these networks with the financial aid and resources necessary to ensure their proper functioning. These continued governmental efforts have influenced the success of traditional kuhls, while greatly contributing to the social glue of society. In addition, the introduction of property rights has ensured sensitivity to local customs.
Coward establishes an effective case for the impact traditional kuhls have on social solidarity. The author also provides detailed information on the ecological significance these irrigation networks hold in the Kangra Valley. Providing a timeline for his readers however, might have improved his organizational style. The article is at times confusing, due to the author’s consistent shifting from historical to contemporary data.
CLARITY RATING: 3
STEPHANIE L. GOSS North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Coward, E. Walter Jr. Property Rights and Network Order: The Case of Irrigation Works in the Western Himalayas. Human Organization, 1990 Vol 49(1):78-88.
In this article, Coward focuses his study on the contemporary organization and operations of the Bharul, Jadhul, and Birari local irrigation networks (kuhl), located in the Kangra valley of Himachal Pradesh in India. In the middle of the 19th century the British surveyed existing property rights. They specifically recorded irrigation rights. These records serve as important guidelines for irrigation rights today. Coward provides a detailed description of irrigation requirements in different areas within the valley. He also notes the importance of records of customary irrigation rights and rules for operating the irrigation networks. Irrigation is vital in the Kangra district. As early as 1855, irrigation in the district was entirely via the kuhls, which entail relatively complex local arrangements of water distribution and system maintenance. While we do not know how much the British recording process modified or created new irrigation arrangements, the codification of these arrangements have had dramatic lasting effects in legitimating and validating these rights.
Today, the Bharul kuhl operates under very similar procedures to the rights as they were originally recorded. Local decision makers take into account the context of climate, topography, and agronomic conditions when deciding water allocation. These allocation groups work most effectively and precisely at the outer ends of the branches. This allocation process is the major responsibility of the kohli. A kohli is a person who has two major obligations—mobilizing labor and materials as well as supervising routine and emergency repairs to structures within the main canal network. Coward notes the inequity that the groups who receive the poorest irrigation services have the heaviest burden for maintenance and operation. The people from the lower zone of the network feel responsible for maintenance and repair because the upper zone people would not provide a suitable supply of water otherwise. These widely varying conditions and needs of those in different locations of the canal network lead to low social solidarity.
Coward examines the effect of state intervention and the supervision by the Irrigation and Public Health department (IPH) when he studies the Jadhul network. The government had to assume responsibility for this kuhl because heavy floods frequently caused damage to the main canal. Much continuity has been achieved because the IPH employs experienced kohli to head the maintenance team. These kohli distribute the water according to customary distribution rules. The Jadhul kuhl exemplifies successful governmental interaction by the IPH. Water supply has been increased while existing water rights have been honored.
Allowing local people to control the distribution process has been much more effective than allowing outside technicians to determine how projects were going to proceed. The latter is the case in the Birari kuhl. The tail section of the canal often does not receive the water it has been promised because upper branches were built on to the kuhl to irrigate new areas. By the time of this article, the case was in court because the IPH had failed to carry out its promise to increase water flow into the kuhl to make up for the lost flow. The dispute between the Birari people and the IPH is over ownership of the kuhl and the IPH contention that the kuhl is supplying enough water to everyone. The Birari people built the canal networks and believe they own them as well. The Birari legitimate their claim based on the 19th century British water rights record. The government’s attempt to extend the current water supply to completely new users invalidates the rights of the Birari people.
Coward concludes by pointing out that the legitimacy of government intervention, regarding the distribution of water to communities and individuals relied heavily upon how much voice the members of the community had within the decision-making process. Farmers should not be expected to accept and adhere to new arrangements simply based upon the technical expertise of workers for the IPH. The farmers must have a say, especially since it is the farmers who mobilize their labor and other resources to maintain the canal systems.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
ROBERT ROBINSON North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Drori, Israel and Dennis Gayle. Youth Employment strategies in a Jamaican Sugar-belt Area. Human Organization, 1990. vol. 49(4): .
Among the Jamaican youth there exists a deeply entrenched structure of unemployment as a result of history, education, and politics. Many youths entering the workforce are mainly unemployed for a period of several years. Eventually the youths, being forced into the workforce by emerging family responsibilities, settle for a job unequal to their level of education and their expectations of wages and prestige. The methods of data collection implemented for this investigation include: participant observation, interviews, recorded life histories, surveys of the community, and time allocation studies.
The community researched, termed “main road”, is located on the sugar belt of the Clarendon plain in south-central Jamaica. The farmland in this region is unevenly distributed; 58% of all cultivated land representing only 0.4% of all farms. The life blood of Jamaica is threatened by the shortage of farm labor, due to its low income and negative association with slavery. The daily wage rate in agriculture is only J$8.00, less than the minimum wage of J$10.60 associated with public workers. The hard work, low prestige, and associations with slavery cause many youths unable to find non-agricultural jobs to prefer to remain unemployed.
“Main road” youth unemployment is at 63.5%. This high percentage is due to the frustrating chain of job seeking. Upon entry to the work force, youths actively seek jobs corresponding to their levels of education, wage expectation, and aspiration. Unfortunately their exists a disproprtionality between desire and availability. The most popular industrial job is an apprenticeship; however, apprentices are often dismissed by employers for new ones rather than increase salaries. This initial intensive search for the desired job is followed by a recognition of failure, then a long period of involuntary unemployment usually lasting several years, and finally as pressures of family responsibilities increase individuals are forced into a low ranking job.
Political affiliation plays a direct role in the unemployment problem. Party organizers control the money, and thus control the workers. The Peoples National Party (PNP) promoted economic and social reorganization. A project to relocate 210 young families and create two nuclear villages was undertaken. A variety of skilled as well as unskilled workers were required to begin the construction of the project. Some professionals were hired that were not locally available as a result of skilled labor emigration, but it was claimed that after a few months the locals would be able to replace these professionals. However, this replacement did not occur; the argument being, the nature of the job was too complex for unskilled laborers. Work stopped frequently due to power struggle and a demand for increased wages. After the NPN lost power in the 1980 election the Jamaican Labor Party (JLP) discriminated against those who supported the NPN for work.
The employment problem in Jamaica is the result of several factors. Firstly the desires of the youths do not match their skills, in addition to the jobs available not matching the desires. Secondly, the political parties pull development in different directions. Finally the mismatching of skills to employment is all too common.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
JULIA RISK North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Du Toit, Brian M. People on the Move Rural-urban Migration with Special Reference to the Third World: Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives. Human Organization November, 1990 Vol. 49(4):305-317
By referencing other wide-ranging models of theories on migration, Brian Du Toit suggests a new and comprehensive research method for rural-urban migration with a focus on the Third World. He infers that other researchers have placed too much emphasis on the destination of the migrants which is only relative in comparison to the journey. The journey as Du Toit tells us, “may consist of a series of moves lasting most of a lifetime, is the reality” (p. 314). It is evident that Du Toit favors the importance of research over theory with his review of who migrates, why and how. He considers all of these topics with the notion that migration “may involve short or longer distances” as well as “a move across the street or across country” (p. 305). Du Toit suggests that all moving implies change and is excited to apply his research to case studies in the Third World.
Du Toit differentiates amongst various groups of migrants such as seasonal migrants, refugees, planned and community relocation migrants, voluntary migrants and most apparent in this research, rural-urban migrants. The development of infrastructure and increased industrialization, as he tells us, is the chief cause in rural-urban migration. He states that advantages and disadvantages play a large role in the decision to migrate. Migrants change locales to explore better opportunities and oftentimes oscillate between rural and urban settings until securing a foundation for employment and family. For this research, Du Toit consulted many diagrammatical migratory models. His own multicausal model implied a continuous exchange of goods and services amongst rural and urban communities, while others looked at governmental involvement. Du Toit also employed the Migration Potential Index (MPI): a decision-making model that while taking the subjectivity of the individual into account weighs the positives and negatives of migrating.
In applying this information, Du Toit suggests that while participating in research is essential, so is the cross-regional cooperation that must exist in order to execute the findings. It is with these ideas of cooperation and research that Du Toit looks at case studies in Mexico and Cuba. Conflicting discoveries leads Du Toit to recommend that researchers compose a portfolio of criteria for migration decisions “…thus forming the basis for changes” (p. 315). This article displays a socio-cultural approach to the issue of rural-urban migration and focuses on the historical particularist aspect of research and evidence. Du Toit clarifies in his conclusion that the journey of migration is essential and that the continuum between rural and urban societies emphasizes their unity.
NICOLE SIEGEL North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller).
Fitchen, Janet M. When Toxic Chemicals Pollute Residential Environments: The Cultural Meanings of Home and Homeownership. Human Organization Winter, 1989 Vol.48(4) 313-3-23.
This article explores how American families have been influenced by the “toxic water” scares that have arisen from time to time in the twentieth century. However, more than simply discuss how American families dealt with such difficulties that result from these scares, Fitchen uses the article to analyze what these reactions say about American culture. This is illustrated both by how the families react to their situations, and the risks they worry about and the risks they ignore.
Fitchen states that the reactions to these groundwater contamination scares are normally anger, resentment at invasion of privacy, resentment at having to sell their homes to the government (in most of these cases, the government, whether federal or state, will purchase the homes affected by groundwater contamination in order to ease the burden on the family for finding new places to live; the houses obviously cannot be sold on the public market, so the government’s purchase is the only way the families may receive the money they need to get started elsewhere) and fear of illness. However, what is even more important than how the people react is what these reactions say about the culture of the American family and American culture in general.
Fitchen points out that despite what many pundits may want the public to believe, the fact of the matter is that family is still central and essential to American culture. Thus, the scares that result from groundwater contamination are perceived as threats, and possibly even attacks, to and against the family itself. The people who come to the town meetings where the effects and dangers of groundwater contamination are discussed do not come to discuss the threats of the contaminants calmly and logically, but come, children often in tow, to passionately and emotionally tell anecdotes of fear and betrayal. The people who are affected by these contaminations often feel that their privacy is invaded by having to deal with government officials, lawyers, and doctors day in and day out—a violation of one of the most sacred institutions of America, privacy, to take it a step further, individualism. Being forced to sell one’s home to the government is also viewed by Fitchen to be a violation of central American cultural values, as homeownership seems to confer special status, to place one, and ones family, in a privileged class. Finally, giving up home ownership is giving up part of being an American, as Fitchen argues that home ownership is central to the American dream.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
WILLIAM MATTHEW JACKSON SIMMONS North Carolina State University, Raleigh (Anne Schiller)
Comparison of Job Satisfaction in Six New Jersey Fisheries: Implications for Management. Human Organization, 1990 Vol. 49 No. 1: 14-24
The first thing John Gatewood and Bonnie McCay does in this excerpt is explain and define what they intend to show and prove among the New Jersey fisheries. They are using an applied anthropological approach to show how the large and diverse fishery population perceives itself with regards to overall job satisfaction. Gatewood and McCay come up with three simple propositions concerning this study, the first of which is fishermen’s job satisfaction is an important “human benefit” when forming management plans. Second, the specific nature of the fishermen’s job satisfaction varies significantly from one fishery to another, and third is since there are many ways to regulate fishing effort, managers should select tactics that the fishermen perceive as enjoyable and that like about work.
As most anthropologists are Gatewood and McCay are interested in the value systems and social organizations related to those they are working with. In order to obtain this valuable information they came up with a detailed survey that they applied using the “dockside intercept method” each survey consisted of 30 to 40 questions and lasted anywhere from half an hour to a full hour. They said they had an overwhelmingly cooperative response suggested by their less then ten percent decline rate. They choose New Jersey for their comparative study because it provided a highly diverse ecosystem within a small geographical area. In addition to that it also provided different seasonality and government regulations all of which can lead to different levels of job satisfaction among the fishermen.
The interviews and questionnaires where divided up into the different kinds of fishermen that the state provided, oystermen, sea clammers, scallopers, draggermen, and longliners. The respondents were mainly that of white Western Europeans and most had 2-3 children and of the 391 interviewed three quarters where fishermen full time. The average salary is about $22,400 and the average years of schooling is about 11.5. Of all the fishermen that where interviewed 70% if them preferred to fish rather then do some other kind of work. On a scale of 1-7 the overall job satisfaction was a 5.85 but when asked if they would start over again would they still be fishermen the majority responded no.
The findings from the questionnaires regarding all of the different kinds of fishermen came back with very similar responses. All were generally satisfied with their positions on the boat, although few would do it all over again that can be said for anyone in any line of work. Gatewood and McCay say that fishing is not just a means to an end but is inherently rewarding, it is not just a job it is a way of life.
Clarity Ranking 4
William Roumanis North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Hill, Thomas W. Peyotism and the Control of Heavy Drinking: The Nebraska Winnebago in the Early 1900s. Human Organization Fall, 1990. Vol.49 (3): 255-265.
Thomas Hill, a Professor and Head of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Northern Iowa, examines the phenomena of heavy drinking and attempts to control it. The overall concern that the author deals with is the problem of heavy drinking, and the elements of treatment programs that seem to be effective in alleviating this problem. Professor Hill states, “Our goal should be to try to identify the general principles at work within the specific treatment approach and to learn to apply those insights in a manner that is both culturally and individually appropriate” (261).
The author’s basic argument is that, for a treatment program to be effective, it must: provide a supportive sociocultural framework that encourages the individual to refrain from drinking; provide a less destructive outlet for frustration and stress; and serve to strengthen ideals such as work performance, fulfillment of kinship obligations, marital and family stability, good health, and abstinence from alcohol. There are many different kinds of problem drinkers. Thus, an all-encompassing program must be developed to competently address broad concepts that will apply to, and encourage, all types of problem drinkers. The author uses data from the Nebraska Winnebago’s Peyote religion as an example of effective treatment. Professor Hill asserts, “By adopting a broad-based ethical code, the Peyote religion offered a workable model that could help individuals whose drinking problems stemmed from a variety of circumstances” (259). Many Winnebago have traditionally viewed drinking, even heavy drinking, as socially acceptable. Alcohol was used to permeate feelings of generosity, friendship, sexual attractiveness, physical and spiritual power, and bravery. If a treatment problem, such as the Peyote religion, is to be effective, it must first abolish these traditional notions of acceptance.
To successfully aid an individual’s remission from heavy drinking, the Peyote religion provided its members with positive reinforcements. Some of these augmentations include the following: Peyotists were expected to be legally married and to remain faithful to their spouses; the use of liquor and tobacco were prohibited; followers of the religion were expected to work regularly and to help one another in any manner they could; public repentance of sins was expected; and peyote was seen as a cure for many diseases. These factors of the Peyote religion act as support systems for the individual who is battling the alcoholism. These aspects also function to provide the sociocultural framework necessary to effectively treat those individuals who suffer from alcoholism.
Professor Hill’s argument demonstrates how the implications for treatment displayed in the Peyote religion of the Nebraska Winnebago Indians can effectively treat different kinds of problem drinkers, and that these same implications can be applied to other treatment programs for people with similar problems, but different cultural backgrounds.
W. KURT RICHMOND North Carolina State University (Dr. Anne Schiller)
Hopper, Kim. Research Findings as Testimony: A Note on the Ethnographer as Expert Witness. Human Organization, Vol. 49, No. 2: 110-113.
Hopper recounts a number of difficulties that he encountered in the course of giving “expert” testimony in a class-action lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court seeking recognition of the right to shelter for homeless men in New York. Counsel for the homeless plaintiffs had argued that both overt refusal of shelter and de facto deterrence were occurring. Were such charges to be proven, the city could be held in contempt of a previous court order directing it to provide shelter to any eligible applicant (110). This article illustrates the difficulties in establishing credibility for the ethnographic material presented in this particular case and highlights an important exception to the “hearsay rule” – that of “reputation.” Hopper argues that “the reputation exception offers anthropologists a device for introducing otherwise inadmissible evidence gathered in the course of fieldwork, evidence that relates to informants’ attitudes toward and opinions about social institutions (110). Initially, there was no accepted body of up-to-date research on this particular subject; thus, there were no precedential guides for Hopper to follow. “I had little in the way of corroborative material to fall back upon. It was, furthermore, difficult to predict the likely avenues of challenge from the defense lawyers” (110). Rightfully so, the defense attorneys were critical of Hopper’s research and demanded a thorough cross-examination of the material provided to the court. Ultimately, Hopper validates his research among homeless men in New York as admissible to the court on the grounds that he “had interviewed men on the street to determine why they lived there” (110).
Objectivity in the strict scientific sense never seemed at issue for the trial judge (111). Rather, this high-profile case presented two main problems for allowing Hopper’s research to be admissible to the court: jeopardizing raw field notes that contained the names of many informants who worked for the city and the difficulty of making real the allegations of inhumane and degrading treatment.
In conclusion, Hopper’s testimony was declared admissible on the grounds of “reputation” being an exception to the Hearsay Rule. It was stated that Hopper’s “degree of experience with this number of people of a particular class…, has shown a sufficient foundation…[as a] witness to tell us what his judgement fo the reputation of the Men’s Shelter is, among this class of persons” (111).
As an anthropology minor and entering student of law, I find this particular article captivating and invaluable for future research in either field of study.
CLARITY RATING: 5
AARON BELL North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Lerch, Patricia B and Levy, Diane E. A Solid Foundation: Predicting Success in Barbados’ Tourist Industry. Human Organization, 1990 Vol. 49(4): 355-363.
Utilizing a well defined research model, Lerch and Levy set out to determine the role of women in Barbados’s tourism industry and their opportunities for economic advancement, prestige, and power as compared to men. The authors suggest “there may be conflicting value systems operating to the detriment of women” in Barbados (p. 355). It is “a culture that places a high value on motherhood, with or without the formation of a stable marital union, and a job structure which appears to favor marital union stability in higher paying positions that have more power and prestige in the society” (p. 355). Lerch and Levy offer “a model to determine the influence of the reproductive sphere on the productive sphere” (p. 355).
Lerch and Levy interview 35 workers at a class-A hotel during their first field session in 1986 and then 133 more at hotels of various sizes during their second field session in 1987. Their interviews follow a set schedule of questions but are open ended “so that respondents could be probed on areas such as job definition, career path, career goals, job satisfaction, household characteristics, education, and family background” (p. 357). The authors derive from these interviews a great deal of statistical information which they then examine using multiple regression analysis. They list household head status, union status, sex, household size, and number of children as independent variables and prestige, power, and income as dependent variables.
Their findings suggest, as they expected, “marital status, age, and education will enhance the possibility of securing a higher income, whereas being female will impact that possibility negatively” (p. 358). The model reveals that being female reduces monthly income as well as the probability of prestige and power. This is countered by stability of union (marriage or consensual union) and education, which both serve to reverse these trends. “The most important finding is that people’s union status is an indicator of their success in the productive sphere. Specifically, [Lerch and Levy] suggest that the more stable a person’s union status the more successful that person will be in tourism” (p. 360).
Through their research model, Lerch and Levy are able to determine the central conflict for women in Barbados’s tourist industry: “On the one hand, the culture encourages motherhood. Young women commonly support themselves and their offspring without the help of a co-resident male partner. Stability of marital union is unlikely until later in life…On the other hand, occupational rewards fall to those who achieve a stable marital union early in life” (p. 361). Lerch and Levy state that economic developers and the government of Barbados have made progress in closing the gender gap in income, prestige, and power but more work needs to be done. They suggest that the problem could simply be “lack of an awareness of the family structure and obligations under which Barbadian women and men must live” (p. 361). Thus, “the problems are not insurmountable, but do require a level of networking and communication between segments of the tourist industry that currently does not exist” (p. 361).
PETER SCHMEHL North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Lock, Margaret. Rationalization of Japanese Herbal Medication: The Hegemony of Orchestrated Pluralism. Human Organization Spring 1990 Vol. 49(1):41-45.
The modern Japanese medical community, centered upon Western ideologies, has recently begun to adopt traditional Japanese herbal practices. Margaret Lock contends that herbal medicine will inevitably be transformed into a simplified version with diminished worth if it continues to be incorporated into Japan’s dominant medical system. She clarifies some assumptions that underlie debates about medical pluralism. These assumptions include the romanticized notion of traditional medicine, the idea that modern medicine serves as a vehicle for the transmission of capitalistic values, the unfounded grouping of diverse medical traditions, and the assumption that Western medicine can be applied to any number other medical systems. Some common problems such as patient dissatisfaction, serious side effects, and the sacrifice of many significant aspects of herbal medicine pervade the medical pluralism deliberation. In addition to these problems resulting from the incorporation of traditional medicine into mainstream medicine, Lock cites, but does not elaborate upon, deeper issues such as the social origins of illness and the popular belief that health care should be bureaucratically controlled. However, she clearly explains that through its integration into biomedicine, traditional Japanese practices face ruin.
To give the issue a bit of historical background, Lock incorporates a short synopsis of Japanese traditional medicine. This short history reveals its Chinese origins, the fact that its philosophies and rituals were derived from Buddhism, and some material factors that limited its practice. Referred to as Kanpo by the Japanese, its recent resurgence is due to popular interest, media attention, and pharmaceutical pursuits. Lock describes the intricate nature of herbal medication in terms of diagnosis and treatment. Depending on individual statistics, unique herbal concoctions are combined for use in accordance with daily symptoms. The traditional ideology of herbal medicine focuses on gradual changes in the patient body, in addition to stimulation of the immune system, rather than attempting to tackle specific diseases.
The distinction between these traditional and modern medical systems is highlighted eloquently in Lock’s explanation that the former “believe that one cannot generalize readily from one individual patient to another, and that the form and course of each illness is unique, [whereas the latter] usually assume that they are working with standardized and universal units and that named diseases are biologically specific” (1990:44). She illustrates that attempts made by modern medicine to segment and commercialize herbal practices undermine the belief system and values that form the foundation of Kanpo. Through the incorporation of traditional practices into the principal institutionalized health care system, Lock relays the importance of maintaining individualized care, while standardizing the methods of traditional Japanese medicine.
CHELSI CRAWFORD North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
McGuire, Thomas R. Federal Indian Policy: A Framework for Evaluation. Human Organization Summer, 1990. Vol.49(3):206-216.
As of now, no specific set of standards exist for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to gauge the effect of certain influences upon reservation-based Native Americans, and the government has no set of any particular policies for the BIA to follow. Thus, the actions of the BIA lack guidance. Even outside agencies have just as much interaction, if not more, with the reservations. However, the article’s author Thomas R. McGuire does note that the government possesses three rather clearly stated directives toward the Native Americans on reservations, but the implementation is the dilemma. The three government objectives are: “to enhance tribal sovereignty, promote economic self-sufficiency, and foster cultural self-determination” (p.206). President Nixon’s policies have laid the foundation for the three objectives with the two acts: the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975 and then the Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978. With these acts, the three governmental objectives are being pursued at the same time for the first time in history.
McGuire introduces operational measure to determine the success of these governmental aims on the Native American reservations. In relation to the Tribal sovereignty, it could be “measured by the ratio of administrative time devoted to internal issues over the total time expended on all administrative efforts” (p.208). With economic self-sufficiency, the situation can be measured by three ways: comparing mean family income to the regional family income, by assuming economic development is beneficial for the entire community and having the Gini coefficient approaches zero, and a “measure of the ratio of available tribal revenues against total requirements for funding social services and infrastructure development” (p.210). When attempting to understand the patterning of cultural determination, McGuire suggests using the book Measuring Culture: A Paradigm for the Analysis of Social Organization by Jonathon Gross and Steve Rayner, which attempts to “objectify the grid/group theory of Mary Douglas.” (p. 211). Such a theory aids on in assessing the flexibility and strength of a society’s self-determination and what factors affect it.
Finally, McGuire examines how the government these three government objectives come into interplay with exogenous influences upon the Native American reservations. In reality, these three factors cannot have all be exploited to their fullest extent without one being neglected, and generally “the proposed threats to cultural self-determination overrode most of the other issues” (p.214). The author employs studies of long-term and short-term leasing deals on the reservations and their impacts. However, conflicts do arise when implementing federal policy into Native American dealings with outside businesses, and many dilemmas end up in the courts. Thus, a middle road between the desires of the Native Americans and the government must be found, and a possible course for implementation of the three governmental objectives can then occur.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
ALEXA LOOMIS North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
McNabb, Steven. Self-Reports in Cross-Cultural Contexts. Human Organization Winter, 1990 Vol.49(4):291-299.
A popular data collection method used in the past and today is by giving a survey. This article addresses the matter of researchers interpreting surveys of subjective conditions. It addresses the “accuracy” of the researchers interpretation of surveys and the potential errors that could result in incorrect data. Steven McNabb does a case study on the surveys given to 31 Eskimo villages in rural Alaska to argue his point. He argues that surveys are valuable, but the data they gather must be used with caution as to avoid misinterpretation. Each respondent surveyed had the option of receiving the survey in his or her native language or in English. Most chose the English version of the survey. He came across potential error opportunities from the point of the interviewer and the interviewee.
There is a problem with self-reports, in that they are necessary in recording and gathering information but are subject to the evaluation and opinion of the researcher. The problem in the case of the respondents is when they respond with the “No response” option that can mean a variety of things, but is up to the analyst to determine what that is. On the side of the interviewer, reported perceptions could “be confused with class, culture, or other factors accounting for those objective behaviors” (293). Listing the response choices from all 5 surveys, McNabb shows the difference in the wording from each survey. Surveys translated into the native languages could not be translated word for word from English, which leaves room for a slightly different interpretation. Changing one word of the survey could allow for a different interpretation of the question, thereby altering the response of the respondent. An issue with this particular case study is that the surveys given over a period of years have inconsistent responses. Study in the area of self-reports and its effects on interpretation of survey data are continuing. The topic of interpreting surveys of subjective conditions is an open-ended discussion that affects the lives of the natives being studied.
The effect of showing these problems is to teach how to improve survey data collection method and avoid misinterpreting data for the future.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
ANNA BUCKNER North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Moles, Jerry. Agricultural Sustainability and Traditional Agriculture: Learning from the Past and its Relevance to Sri Lanka. Human Organization, 1989. vol.48 (1): 70-76.
Moles promotes four main points in his article: the need for sustainable and reliable agriculture in non industrialized nations, the importance in utilizing the wealth of information present in traditional agricultural systems, the role agroecology should play in the development of sustainable systems, and the specific impact that rash reinvention of an agricultural system has had on Sri Lanka as a nation. Moles arguments are well defended and clearly defined. Mole suggests that the problem with contemporary methods of increasing productivity is that they do not pay equal attention to all other facets of agricultural methodology. The costs of implementation of a system that is not environmentally balanced include: environmental consequences such as micronutrient depletion, erosion, and insect infestation; high costs of importation of resources relative to farmer income including oil and machinery; and health problems such as pesticide poisoning and starvation. Moles defines sustainability as “the capacity of an agriculture to maintain itself through the capture of solar energy and the recycling of materials through biological (including human) processes” (71).
Moles suggests that the reason contemporary agricultural solutions create so many problems is the “whole is dependent upon its interdependencies, each species to many others” (72). This interdependence makes the prediction of the effects of the manipulation of life forms near impossible. The idea of interdependence of species portrays Moles as the agricultural disciple of Spencer, a multilinear evolutionist. While importing the practice of traditional modes of agriculture, Moles interjects that traditional techniques have been adopted by cultures around the globe, which he presents as evidence of diffusion. The validity of traditional systems is linked to the birth and development over time of a management of agriculture free from modern technology, scientific resources, or initial investment of money. Humanity has existed in every climate imaginable, and therefore we have developed a practice of sustainable agriculture in every climate.
Moles then explains that a new government in power in Sri Lanka had unreasonable aspirations of low-cost electricity, increased irrigated acreage, improved transportation, improved communication, and low tax rates with little environmental controls for foreign investors. The result was devastating; debts skyrocketed due to the capital required for machinery, oil, fertilizer, and pesticides. As an example, in 1981 fertilizer prices rose 100% causing a decrease in fertilizer use by 18%. Soils were then being drained of micronutrients to the point of reaching bareness. At this rate the country will not be able to support its own population for much longer, much less export food to foreign countries. Moles suggests the re-implementation of the previous local agriculture system of forest gardens. Each dwelling has its own garden to attend to that contains a diversity of plant and animal populations. Vegetation provides for medicine, firewood, fruits and vegetables, sugars, timber, and temple offerings of flowers. Using the tropical rainforest as a model of dynamic biomass, useful plants are substituted while maintaining diversity of vegetation. This system is considered as high sustainability when measured in density of trees, diversity of species, and canopy closure.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
JULIA RISK North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Msukwa, Louis. Pelletier, David. The Role of Information Systems and Decision-Making Following Disasters. Lessons from the Mealy Bug Disaster in Northern Malawi. Human Organization 1990 Vol. 49 (3): 245-253
David Pelletier and Louis Msukwa are interested in the role information systems take in the event of a disaster and how their response can affect the decision making for solving problems. These authors make the argument that even if an information system is set up to react to certain problems, there will always be sensitivities associated with the different political channels. In order to better assist decision-making by various levels of international agencies and national governments, the developments and refinements in the field of nutritional surveillance have served to increase awareness of worldwide nutritional tragedies. In 1974 during the World Food Conference, the need for this kind of awareness spawned this new field. Some of its agenda included project planning and timely warning of nutritional disasters. “Timely Warning” is a very significant category of nutritional surveillance. It is meant to be an early warning system in the event of a food and nutrition disaster, so action can immediately be taken to remedy the problem.
Pelletier and Msukwa use the Mealy Bug disaster in Malawi as an example of the complexities involved in reporting and transmitting information on hunger, poverty, and malnutrition. In the Usisya area of Nkhata-Bay the mealy bug quickly destroyed the cassava production in the area. This was the staple crop and there were very few other options. Over 43 deaths occurred in Nkhata Bay within a year. This warranted visits from the Regional Health Office, and later a group from the Ministry of Health that included physicians and public health specialists. Food shortage was thought to be the main cause of the deaths, but some reports by relatives of the dead noted several symptoms that were evident before death like coughing, fever, and diarrhea. The problem for Pelletier and Msukwa was not only the response time, but also the different levels through which many informal reports flowed. The lack of efficiency came from conflicting reports by relatives of the dead, by the official delegations, and by the local leaders’ refusal to admit to food shortage. Here, the sensitivities involved are very evident. These local leaders were strongly influenced by something called the “fear of angering government.” This was the main reason why so many groups were involved in the initial phases of recognition.
Pelletier and Msukwa also used their article to show how positives could be extracted from this disaster. One positive is the progression toward crop diversification that could reduce the dependency on one main food. Another positive, they argued, was the establishment and evolution of reliable agents on a local level that could signal the need for investigations. They point out that this would take some time because of the political sensitivities involved. The Mealy Bug Disaster can also serve as an example of the importance of establishing “indicators” that could trigger action when needed. Nutritional surveillance has to take into account many different issues when using information systems to make decisions. The authors agree that this evolution in de-centralized planning and evaluation must be viewed as long-term training and not just short-term assistance for people affected by nutritional disasters like the Mealy Bug.
CHRISTOPHER BECK North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Murphy, Michael Dean and Johannsen, Agneta. Ethical Obligations and Federal Regulations in Ethnographic Research and Anthropological Education. Human Organization Summer 1990 Vol. 49 (2): 127-134.
Internal Review Board (IRB) federal regulations were established in the mid-1970s to ensure the ethical practice of biomedical research on human subjects. Although social scientists were not consulted in the formation of these regulations, IRB approval has become obligatory for social science fields as well. The need to protect the rights of human subjects is not in question in this article, but rather the authors discuss other latent effects of the IRB regulations. Through a testimonial account of a thwarted research experience, Murphy and Johannsen aim to show that IRB regulations, as presently written, inhibit the purposes of anthropological education and shield ethically questionable behavior.
Murphy, an anthropology professor, agreed to advise Johannsen, a European graduate student who wanted to develop her skills in ethnographic methods while visiting an American University. The African American culture was broadly interesting to Johannsen, so she and Murphy established a relationship with a local African American church where Johannsen would practice fieldwork methods of observation, note-taking, and interviewing. Johannsen met with the pastor, who approved of her study. Johannsen then introduced herself and the purpose of her work to the entire congregation. Her fieldwork experience and regular meetings with Murphy proceeded smoothly until one Sunday when “Professor Green,” a church member and administrator at the university, asked what she was doing. Professor Green, described as an “obstructionist gatekeeper,” insisted a series of actions to assure ethical fieldwork, including IRB approval, his personal approval of any publishable material generated from this fieldwork experience, and the formation of a church study group to officially approve the project (p. 132). Murphy and Johannsen obtained IRB approval and met with the church study group to describe the primarily educational fieldwork experience for Johannsen; her work was suspended until the group reached a decision. The church study group, led by Professor Green, never received the materials that Murphy and Johannsen sent post-meeting and hence never gave a formal approval. Johannsen’s request to conduct the study was withdrawn due to her limited stay and other obligations.
Murphy and Johannsen argue that the lines between research and education are ambiguous, making it difficult to know when IRB approval is necessary. IRB is not the villain in this story, but rather the weapon. Professor Green, as a church member, was protected in the IRB. Murphy and Johannsen could not address how he compromised Johannsen’s academic freedom through proper university channels because these actions would place him at risk of financial or professional damage. They argue that although not originally intended to interfere with the process of educating anthropology students, the IRB regulations do just that by allowing these types of abuses to academic freedom. Hence, more consideration should be given to making these regulations more applicable to the circumstances of social science research and education.
COURTNEY THORNTON North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
PALMER, CRAIG T. TELLING THE TRUTH (UP TO A POINT): RADIO COMMUNICATION AMONG MAINE LOBSTERMEN Human Organization Summer, 1990 Vol. 49, (2):157-163
In this article, Palmer addresses the cost of information sharing among commercial fishermen, focusing on the economic costs of sharing information versus the social costs of secrecy and deceit. He argues that because fishermen are competing for a shared resource, the economic costs of sharing information on catch size and location can be high. However, due to the close knit community and kinship ties of many fishing harbors and the interdependence of fishermen in time of need, the social costs of secrecy and deceit can be far higher. Because of this Palmer predicted that fishermen would attempt to employ limited secrecy in ways that minimize social costs. There would be an inverse relationship between strength of social ties and the amount of secrecy employed and that secrecy would increase when the fishing was good and the economic costs were therefore highest. He also predicted that outright deceit would be severely limited due to the easy verifiability of information and the resultant social damage it would cause.
Palmer monitored radio transmissions for 36 days during seasonal times of good and poor fishing and coded the information shared according to quantitative or qualitative content. By statistical analysis of his recorded data, Palmer was able to show that while there was only a slight drop in qualitative references to catch size during periods of good fishing, there was a significant drop of actual quantitative references to catch size. By comparing actual catch sizes with transmitted references he discovered that outright deceit was limited to only two incidences. He was also able to show a direct correlation between social integration and transmission frequency.
Palmer freely acknowledges the difficulty of quantifying certain variables such as location specificity, indirect secrecy, or social factors for radio silence. He also admits that his findings were limited, as the study population was a small, close-knit community, and suggests that further study of communication in varying social contexts is warranted. However, he still manages to show clear evidence to support his predictions of limited secrecy and deceit in spite of economic self-interest as well as a link between social integration and information sharing.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
DONNA HAYNES North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Rubino Michael C. and Stoffle, Richard W. Who Will Control The Blue Revolution? Economic and Social Feasibility of Caribbean Crab Mariculture. Human Organization, 1990. Vol. 49 (4): 386-394.
In this article, Michael Rubino and Richard Stoffle explore the impact of the ‘blue revolution’ in two Caribbean communities, Wilkies in Antigua and Buen Hombre in the Dominican Republic. Similar to the green revolution in its approach to new methods of farming, the blue revolution introduces ‘new methods of seafood farming.’ Ideally, these methods will help bring economic prosperity, decrease hunger, and ultimately cause social and cultural change. Rubino applies his background knowledge and experience of conducting ‘economic feasibility studies and pilot and commercial aquaculture projects’ to provide a reliable analysis of the future of mariculture in the Caribbean. Stoffle utilizes his background by providing a detailed ‘social impact assessment’ of ‘blue revolution’ technology on Caribbean communities (386).
During the 1980’s, the Smithsoanian Institution developed a technology involving the growing of algae to help feed Caribbean spider crabs. These Caribbean spider crabs (Mithrax spinosissimus) could command high prices in the market ‘because they look and taste like high value king crab species.’ Various technologies of the Blue Revolution are in use today. Rubino and Stoffle cite Japan in their use of ‘cage culture techniques’ to raise cold water species of fish like salmon and yellowtail and now apply that practice to warm water species like mahi mahi. Rubino and Stoffle also show success in Cuba as well as Jamaica for their usage of raft culture techniques. Although the Mithrax mariculture is at the ‘research or commercial pilot stage,’ researchers believe that its techniques will prove successful (387).
Rubino and Stoffle give a realistic and thorough analysis of the effect these practices will have on the fishing communities. They conclude that the overall success of this technology will depend many factors. Smaller ‘real life’ programs are an essential start. In doing this, fisherman will gain secure experience before moving to large-scale or even a series of small-scale ventures. They also advocate for more government funding and incentives. Because of initial lack of capital many fisherman may not be able to take advantage of these new practices. They also show that these practices will have a dramatic influence on the culture because of additional time spent manning the crab cages and algae nets. In addition, the fishermen need to be involved in the process. Their knowledge of ‘coastal processes and local materials’ will provide crucial datum and help make the program run smoother. Finally, up-to-date research should be implemented to provide data on the impacts the program has on the culture, economy, and society as a whole (393).
GARRETT SCALES North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Russell, Susan D. and Maritsa Poopetch. Petty Commodity Fishermen in the Inner Gulf of Thailand. Human Organization, 1990 Vol. 49 (2): 174-186
Russell and Poopetch compare trawl and gill net fishing in the town of Ang Sila on the coast of Thailand. They start off by sighting the lack of information on local fishing practices in Thailand and the lack of knowledge on the differences that exist in commercial fishing in Thailand. In their research, they look at small scale fishermen and their contribution to the domestic, commercial, fish market. Russell and Poopetch discuss the distinction among fishermen such as: large versus small scale fishing operations, types of technology used by fishermen and what constitutes petty commodity producers. They then go on to compare trawling to gill net fishing and include a brief history of how the technology in each of these types of fishing has progressed since 1645. They also discuss the impact on fishing production of crew structure, investment and operation costs, household structure, boats and fishing equipment, labor capital and fishing territory.
Russell and Poopetch predict that “the concept of petty commodity production is a useful way of making distinctions among commercial fishermen that emphasizes the characteristics and developmental cycles that often enable them to compete with more capital intensive fishing firms” (p. 175). They conclude that both small scale trawl and small scale gill net fishing are run by local people and are commercially viable. Unlike gill net fishing, however, trawling requires a higher level of initial capital investment and involves more complex technology. Gill net fishing, on the other hand, has a higher variability in the amount of fish caught.
Clarity Ranking: 5
KRISTINE CALLIS North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Sluka, Jeffrey A. Participant Observation in Violence Social Contexts. Human Organization, 1990. Vol.49(2): 114-125.
There is a limited amount of literature on the methodological and subjective issues of the dangers anthropologists confront whilst doing fieldwork. An anthropologist’s research is far more dangerous today than ever. This is in part responsible by their association with counterinsurgency research funded by intelligence agencies, military unit, governmental research units, and other such organizations. In the past, anthropology has dealt with this danger by denying it. This denial has resulted in many dangerous situations for anthropologists that are taken for granted. Sluka discusses the negligence of authors to offer advice and recommended information on the methods of danger management as well as impression management.
Some dangers can come from the failure of the ability of not being associated with certain counterinsurgency organizations. This is where the idea of impression management should be essentially focused. An anthropologist should always make a conscious effort to be truthful and clear-cut as possible. Impression management is important for reasons including not being confused and assumed as a spy in the community. To accomplish this, anthropologists should extend efforts not to live alone or in an isolated location. For impression management purposes, it is a good idea to become associated with many persons in the community. Sluka explains, in his community association efforts, that while doing his fieldwork, “getting acquainted with the children…fortuitous” (Sluka, 1990: 119).
This article stresses the importance of anthropologists conducting danger management research and evaluation on the field destination before journeying to the actual location. Recommendations on danger management also include evaluating your conceivable dangers, always having a plan of escape, and discussing danger with people who have specific experience from your fieldwork location. As an anthropologist, it is elemental to investigate agencies that will be funding your field research. Lastly, it is vital to realize that your subject will be studying you, always remembering that some research is best stored in your memory. Regularly the dangers of fieldwork are exaggerated and should always be approached as a methodological concern. The planet is not becoming an anodyne place because of anthropological research; but, if the challenge is met by sound consideration for the methodological and subjective issues of danger, anthropologists can assist in a bridge of mediation from one group to another.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
APRYL JACKSON North Carolina State University (Dr. Anne Schiller)
Stearman, Allyn Maclean. The Effects of Setttler Incursion on Fish and Game Resources of the Yuqui, a Native Amazonian Society of Eastern Bolivia. Human Organization 1990 Vol. 49(4):373-385.
As western culture continues to invade the Amazon Basin, indigenous cultures are feeling the effects on their once simple ways of life. Allyn Stearman Studied the effects of emerging western culture on the Yuqui, an indigenous group in Bolivia that remained isolated from western culture until the last half of the 20th century. While the introduction of disease, war and other direct affects on the Yuqui are very noticeable, Stearman studied the effect that western culture has on the Yuqui’s hunting, the group’s main source of food.
As Bolivia grows, farmers begin to plant more and more into the jungle for cash crops, shrinking the available hunting land for many indigenous tribes. With Cocoa being a very easy and profitable crop both for legitimate trade and illegal drug trade, much of the land is being cultivated for crops. Stearman conducted two studies with the Yuqui, one in 1983 and one in 1988 and she recorded data on the hunters and their game. Stearman found that the hunting of large game during that time had decreased signifigantly, and that the total game captured per capita had decreased. Many argue that the decrease is due to the Yuqui’s over exploitation of the game. Stearman found that in fact the Yuqui were an adaptive group, and they hunted many species of animals. The average size of animals hunted had decreased as well. Hunters now concentrated on smaller game due to the disappearance of larger game.
According to interviews with the Yuqui, they had never seen a decrease in the amount of game they hunted before the invasion of cocoa farmers. In 1988 there was a clear reduction in the number of a variety of animals which coincides with emerging cocoa farms that displace animals from their homes, and western culture which also hunts and fishes in competition with the Yuqui.
The only alternative the Yuqui have for hunting would be farming, and in the past they have had very little success in the past. The Bolivian government has implemented new policies to protect the land that the Yuqui have now, but it is apparent that the Yuqui need more land, so that game may flourish and they can hunt an adequate amount of game.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
AUSTIN DOWD North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Stepick, Alex and Stepick, Carol Dutton. People in the Shadows: Survey Research among Haitians in Miami. Human Organization, Vol. 49, No. 1 1990
This article by Alex and Carol Stepick describes the methodology for random sample surveys of a largely underground immigrant population within the United States; specifically, the first such random sample survey. The Stepicks targeted a largely underground immigrant population of Haitian immigrants whom arrived in south Florida during or after 1980, and whose legal status in the U.S. was uncertain to say the least. At the time of this publication, this would become the only known successful random sample survey of such a population. While the methods of the Stepicks were not perfect, the researchers hoped to describe their methods in an instructive manner, which would allow for future successful research experiments among other underground immigrant groups.
The estimated 80,000 Haitians in south Florida which the Stepicks surveyed are among the most persecuted and suffering of any contemporary immigrants in the U.S. Federal policies have helped produce these conditions by subjecting Haitians in south Florida to a relentless campaign of harassment designed to discourage Haitians’ coming to the U.S. Examination of the majority of the U.S. citizens in the survey area who are not of Haitian descent reveled a blatant treatment of Haitians as if they were illegal aliens, even though the majority had a claim to remain in the U.S. legally.
This policy of persecution would prove to present extraordinary difficulties for the conducting of sample survey research among this particular group of Haitians. Due to this, the sample survey conducted by the Stepicks needed to be preceded by several years of research and political activity within the Haitian community. The Stepicks targeted institutions such as the various Haitian community organizations to dispel any images of the interviewers working for either the Haitian or U.S. governments. Once general community approval was received, the Stepicks still confronted problems such as obtaining access to individual households. Fortunately, the interviewers who were selected for the random area survey were knowledgeable, and patient enough to get someone to answer the door. However, once a respondent agreed to be interviewed things flowed well.
The methodology described here produced the first known successful survey analysis with a representative sample from a largely underground population of mostly undocumented aliens. The experiences of the Stepicks in researching this topic indicate that melding anthropological and sociological methods is a necessary prerequisite to getting research accomplished and is also instrumental in convincing the public of the validity of the results.
Thomas H. LaCombe North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Stoffle, Richard W. & Michael J. Evans.. Holistic Conservation and Cultural Triage: American Indian Perspectives on Cultural Resources. Human Organization, 1990 Vol. 49 (2): 91-98.
As part of the National Environmental Policy Act it is now required that an American Indian cultural resource study must be performed along with impact assessments for development projects. The article by Stoffle and Evans focuses on the process of creating an American Indian cultural resource study and how American Indians react to differences in proposals. The authors have broken down the reactions of American Indians into to two groups called holistic conservation and cultural triage. Holistic conservation is based on the notion held by American Indians that cultural resources are part of a greater whole and cannot be separated from this whole without being destroyed. The traditional American Indian viewpoint of human, nature, and the supernatural being intertwined is expressed in this reaction. However, when American Indians are forced to choose the most valuable assets for protection they will respond with cultural triage. They will, in fact, choose what they believe the most valuable cultural assets to protect.
Traditionally, when American Indians are presented with a development project they react in a manner consistent with holistic conservation. The authors believe that if the report is: 1) prepared in a certain style, 2) presented by a particular type of person, 3) not written from a holistic conservation perspective, 4) inclusive of research methods that address the concerns of the American Indians, and 5) presented to the right audience that the holistic conservation reaction can be overcome. It has been shown that when American Indians are forced to choose they react with cultural triage as mentioned above. Cultural triage places a terrible burden on the American Indians as they are forced to choose the resources that have the most value even though they have always thought of the resources available as a whole with equal value.
Stoffle and Evans come to the conclusion that in order for a development project to be accepted it must allow the American Indians to move to a level of cultural triage. Unless the report is specifically designed to move to the level of cultural triage it will stagnate at the holistic conservation level. This reaction leads to no cultural resources being protected. The authors believe that the only way for the American Indians to protect any of their resources is to take part in cultural triage and prioritize the resources that deserve the most protection.
Stoffle and Evans clearly show the dilemma faced by American Indians in response to development projects. In a no win situation, the authors present a way for the American Indians to at least protect some of their resources even if it goes against all they believe. The authors, while empathetic, attempt to remove much of the emotion surrounding the issue in order to provide real world solutions. This article is easy to follow and is presented in very logical order. The goals of the article are clearly stated and thoroughly supported.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
MIKE MCMILLAN North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller).
Stoffle, Richard W. and Michael J. Evans. Holistic Conservation and Cultural Triage: American Indian Perspectives on Cultural Resources. Human Organization Summer, 1990 Vol. 49(2):91-99.
In this article, Stoffle and Evans use the approach of applied anthropology (that is, using anthropological training in order to solve problems that arise between and even within groups) to put forth a methodology that will enable the most effective and most successful usage of cultural resource assessment. However, though the eight-step methodology they outline is an important aspect of the article to professionals, the most significant aspect of the article to the lay-man (an aspect that is still important to professionals, also) is explaining how Native American groups in the United States are forced to proceed from traditional views of cultural resources (termed the holistic conservation approach) to a prioritized cultural triage approach.
The conflict between the traditional views of Native Americans in the usage of their traditional lands, whether these actually be where their reservation or tribal location is or not, and the activities of government and private sector development projects often proves to be quite a sticky situation. Often times lands seen by Westerners as being desolate, deserted lands are areas with immense religious, historical, and cultural meaning to the Native American groups who claim them. Hence, wishing to build a nuclear storage facility in the middle of the desert, though seemingly fine and good to many Westerners, is a great offense to the sentiments of the Native American peoples who view this “desert” as a sacred place. Cultural resource assessment laws require a dialogue between the Native groups who hold this land sacred and the developers who wish to change this land. In their study of eleven Native groups faced with impending development projects, Stoffle and Evans found that the response by Native groups to impending development tended to begin as “holistic conservation” and transition to “cultural triage.”
Holistic conservation is normally a statement made by the leadership of the Native group which states a complete objection to the development project, feeling it to be a violation of their sacred lands. Even to choose certain areas to be spared seems offensive to them at this stage, akin to a man picking which of his children he will let die. However, this traditional response, which is nearly universally the original reaction to a proposed development project, soon falls by the wayside, as the group realizes that this response is not at all suitable, that they can “shoot for the moon” but have no success at all if they do not at all give in to some of the demands of the development project. Realizing that there is no way they can totally secure all of their cultural resources in their sacred lands, the Native groups proceed to undergo a process of what Stoffle and Evans term “cultural triage.”
Triage, a medical term that expresses deciding which patients have the more serious ailments, and then judging which are more likely to be saved, all in order to do the most good with the situation that presents itself to the medical professionals, is also here applied to cultural resources conservation by Native groups. After the acknowledged failure of the holistic conservation approach, the Native groups often adopt this approach which lists those areas and parts of sacred lands that are most important, thus yielding some land to the development projects in order to avoid complete destruction. Evans and Stoffle see this as a form of compromise which the Native people feel is necessary to keep as much of their history, traditional culture and religion, and traditional lands in the hands of their own people as is possible.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
WILLIAM MATTHEW JACKSON SIMMONS North Carolina State University, Raleigh (Anne Schiller)
Stuart, James W. Maize Use By Rural Mesoamerican Households. Human Organization Summer, 1990. Vol. 49(2): 135-139.
The use of maize, the major crop in Mesoamerica, is vitally important to understanding Mesoamerican food systems. Many studies have been conducted to determine the amount of land necessary to support contemporary or primitive populations. The average estimates of maize consumption are obtained by interviewing a sample of individuals in a household to determine how many live in the home and how much maize is actually consumed per person per day/week. Although informants can usually approximate the amount of maize use for family consumption, there have been several studies that show more accurate dietary intake figures, than the usual informant’s report of high estimates of maize.
In rural Mesoamerican agriculture the estimates of daily consumption of maize is between 500-900 grams per day/person. On the other hand, studies taken from family food intake show that 260-440 grams of maize have been consumed daily. Stuart states that the most probable reason for this inconsistency may be due to the informant’s “high estimates of maize use by household heads” (137). In relation to the high estimates of maize consumption, one could possibly miscalculate the conversion from local units of measurement to kilograms or associate the weights of wet and dry maize as equal. Therefore, to obtain a more reasonable estimate of household maize consumption and to avoid possible errors, researchers have proposed several methods to use estimates based on studies of dietary intake from the same or similar communities.
One of the first methods proposed is to look at communities with commercial maize grinding mills. When determining the actual amount of maize used, it is important to look at the amount of ground maize used over a period of time, as well as the accuracy of the scales used to weigh it. It is also necessary to determine whether the employees estimate the weight based on their experience and by the size of the container its being stored in. A second possible method refers to asking the individual who prepares the lime- cooked maize, usually a woman, how she uses local measurements to calculate the volume or weight. Then the researcher is able to calculate these ratios by weighing sample units. Lastly, regional dietary intake data can be used if local data is unavailable. Even though, estimates of household maize consumption will be considerably lower than the regional estimates, one has to take in account the maximum amount of maize consumption to allow for any possible errors.
Overall, Stuart presents valid arguments that provide more reasonable estimates of household maize use than those taken from informants’ approximations of household maize consumption.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
ALEXIS PIERINO North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Uphoff, Norman, M.L. Wickramasinghe and C.M. Wijayaratna. “Optimum” Participation in Irrigation Management: Issues and Evidence from Sri Lanka. Human Organization, Vol. 49, No. 1, 1990
The authors’ fieldwork dealt with the responsibilities of the irrigation system in
Gal Oya, Sri Lanka. Their concern was with the participation of the farmers
involved, as well as how the participation role could be optimized with the
irrigation system, which in turn could maximize the benefits in relation to its costs.
These farmers depended on this system for sustainable economic gain.
Background information on the history, culture and government policies were
identified in order to test the optimum theory with the irrigation system. They also provided the readers charts and graphs to define the issues at hand. The GAL OYA Project was a big undertaking by the Sri Lakan government. U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provided the technical and financial assistance. In 1979, USAID undertook the GAL Project to rehabilitate the system and its main focus was on the physical aspect of it. In March 1981, organizers who were trained by ARTI (Agrarian Research and Training Institute) and Cornell University did fieldwork with the farmers, observing any conflicts or changes.
Using applied anthropological methods such as participant observation and emic perception of their society in a collective nature, these fieldworkers’ were able to collect data for the study. The distribution of water for the farmers was problematic because the water flowed from high lands to low lands. “ Downstream water users get water at the sufferance of users upstream unless there is abundant water, special engineering designs or organizational mechanisms, or effective legal sanctions to ensure fair distribution” (p.27). The dry seasons created a problem and how this was going to be rectified was the main goal of these authors. The old system consisted of the village council and irrigation headmen called vidanes. Through this old system the schedule of planting and water rotation was dictated. There seemed to be a better willingness when these activities were presented or implemented by the headmen.
In conclusion, the authors’ experiments and the fieldwork support showed different techniques and responsibilities that can be implemented in the optimum running of the irrigation system. Optimizing the participant role in the irrigation system was a trial and error project. Factoring in the social aspect of the society and different ethnicities involved was a challenge to these authors; but they proved that through working with the farmers and locals, this project could be successful. USAID funded programs revitalized this approach in 1987, which showed promise in other districts.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
GUNASEHARE SHUNMUGAMM North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Valdez-Pizzini, Manuel. Fisherman Associations in Puerto Rico: Praxis and Discourse in the Politics of Fishing. Human Organization Summer, Vol. 49 (2): 164-173.
Manuel Valdez-Pizzini addresses the situation of a rapid modernization overtaking a small fishing community in the coastal city of La Parguera, Puerto Rico. In a world of increasing mechanization and a society based on ecological awareness, the local populations of fisherman face an uncertain future. He claims in this article, the overwhelming private and public development of the area has taken away from the socio-economic standings of these fisherman and their families. Also a shift in public awareness towards preservation has also affected the lives of the fisherman. According to Valdez-Pizzini, new sanctions from the United States intervened and prohibited the fishermen from being productive enough to support themselves. As this occurred Valdez-Pizzini reports how the fishermen began to look toward political activism to support their cause. In the fishermen’s case they needed someone to take their side in arguing with the government for looser restrictions on the amount of possible fish they could catch. They also were in need of some control of the ongoing development, which led to a more industrialized city and took from their traditional way of living. Valdez-Pizzini claims fishermen used the political process to gain their perceived rights, although they also endured the power struggle between sides. The purpose of this article is to show how politics by the fishermen of La Parguera were used to persuade the government both locally and nationally to act in their favor.
Valdez-Pizzini states in this article, how Puerto Rico is undergoing a hasty movement towards modernizing itself in keeping up with the rest of world. This piece is focused on the way the fishermen use politics to help improve the needs of their life as affected by the changes from the impact of modernization. The information he presents includes a wide range of the political facets within Puerto Rican society. Valdez-Pizzini claims how the fishermen can use these components to improve their well-being, yet he fails to further detail how they might go about the process. Within the article there is also much discontinuity between the political movements by those supporting the fishermen and the actual results of their lobbying. Much of the piece is centered around way politics transpire on a local and then national level. He does provide adequate description detailing the political processes that occur. However at times the article goes off course of providing an answer on how the La Pargueran fishermen used politics to improve their lives. Instead the piece leans towards showing the structure and operation of the government, not how the fishermen used it to their advantage. Although wordy at times, this article is able explain the purpose of the fishermen’s involvement with politics. Manuel Valdez-Pizzini could have be more precise and straight to the point rather than dancing around it.
CLARITY RANKING: 3
BEJAMIN SPARGER North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Weeks, Pricilla. Post-Colonial Challenges to Grand Theory. Human Organization Fall, 1990 Vol. 49(3):236-244.
The author presents two post-colonial critiques of social scientific theory. Each approach is in response to a re-evaluation of the grand theory or “abstract generalizing framework(s) that encompass and guide all efforts at empirical research” (p. 243, definition from Marcus and Fischer). The first approach originated in the third world and is explained through an adapted dependency theory examining the relationships between first and third world academics. New dependency theorists blame the international academic division of labor, which favors “the flow of knowledge…from the ‘developed’ country to the colony” (p. 237), responsible for third world dependency on first world institutions and theories. Intellectual dependency on Western ideologies creates cultural misrepresentations of third world societies. Dependency theorists suggest this imbalance can be remedied when dependency is defeated, thus creating equality. Equality will be achieved “through indigenization—meaning the new voices heard would be those of third world social scientists representing their cultures using indigenous models” (p. 240).
The second approach is rooted in first world academics, Western anthropology. Termed deconstruction or reflexive anthropology, this approach explores the power relations (hegemony) that allow the first world to define the third world. According to deconstructive theorists, misrepresentations confront all social scientists and “are inherent in the exercise of writing because the social scientist/author controls the textual representations of his object” (p. 240). Therefore, the problem can be fixed through the sharing of ethnographic authority among the Western anthropologist and the natives.
Although confusing at times, this article was effective in communicating the challenges faced by third world academics. These two critiques differ on how to remedy the problem of misrepresentation and imbalance. Yet, both acknowledge the need for the “inclusion of new ‘voices,’ thus ending the monologue of the Western social scientist” (p. 240). Weeks concludes by summarizing two attempts by indigenous social scientists to create culturally relevant models. They succeed in creating models, but the results are not distributed internationally. The challenge still exists for third world thoughts to penetrate first world academics.
AIMEE BOUZIGARD North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Wells, Miriam J. Mexican Farm Workers Become Strawberry Farmers. Human Organization, 1990 Vol. 49 (2): 149-156.
The number of farmers of Mexican ancestry in California doubled in the eight-year period between 1974 and 1982. Miriam Wells introduces readers to the basis of her investigation of these Mexican farm workers turned strawberry farmers. By means of an introductory historical and statistical overview, Wells establishes that within approximately a decade there has been a considerable rise in the number of Mexican strawberry farmers in California. However, the majority of these Mexican farmers did not possess the necessary means to progress within the industry. Wells explores the scope of the transition from farm workers to strawberry farmers and attempts to ascertain the source of this significant growth in the number of Mexicans in the industry. Wells also compares her study population with statewide patterns and she considers ramifications of her research for the anthropological conception of what causes “upward mobility” (p. 150) in agricultural industries.
Through interviews and a statistical analysis and historical examination of the strawberry industry, Wells discusses how and why strawberry farmers of Mexican origin have been able to advance in the agricultural industry. Wells illustrates the data from her interviews and analyses in the forms of graphs and charts comprised of statistical data to visually demonstrate the changes that have occurred in the Californian strawberry industry. Wells determines that “It is not only the management advantages of small scale farms, but farm workers’ access to management skills and information, that helped them start farming” (p. 151). She suggests that “sharecropping and production cooperatives” (p. 151) were the keys to obtain the necessities for organizing their own farms. Wells also proposes, however, that the quality of the soil, “cheap hand labor,” (p. 152) “marketing relationships” and a strong desire for “fresh berries” (p. 153) are also important in the move of Mexican farm workers to becoming farmers. Finally, Wells explores how the ethnic origin of the Mexican farm workers influenced their ability to become successful farmers. She concludes that kinship bonds between families enabled them to have available sources of labor and personal connections for work.
Wells also considers whether her findings are typical of the Mexican farmers of California in general. Wells concludes that within the strawberry industry, the future appears uncertain for Mexican farmers because they have inadequate sources of “capital” (p. 155) and increased “competition from other domestic growers…and from foreign growers,” (p. 155) although they may be able to acquire space in the agricultural industry growing other crops. Overall, Wells determines that “the factors fostering upward mobility in agriculture derive from the particular features of crop industries and from the socioeconomic contexts in which they operate” (p. 155).
SHEENA M. HARRIS North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Williams, Holly Ann. Families in Refugee Camps. Human Organization 1990 Vol. 49(2)100-109
To date (1990), there is no definitive research outlining family dynamics in refugee camps. Changes begin within a family before the migration occurs. During a migration, a family must actively respond to their ever-changing world. Major power shifts occur as a family loses its internal strength while an external force begins to govern their lives.
Life in a refugee camp is drastically different from a family’s natural setting but a study of the individuals involved has not yet been done. Family structure and organization undergo transitions. Little is known about the day-to-day circumstances these families must go through but many assumptions are made. Williams’ work is to determine common behaviors that reflect the mechanisms families use to cope in such situations. Williams, also, wants to raise questions not just answer them.
Williams recognizes how the initial decision to flee one’s country is a terribly hard decision. Despite varying situations some common reasons for flight are political upheaval, war, social disorganization, persecution, and natural disaster. It appears that the decision to flee is a conscious action reflecting thoughts to the consequences (p 100). For many of those who become refugees, it wasn’t until death became a real possibility that they fled their country.
Often families lose a loved one before or during their migration, which is often one of the first and worst strains on the family. Many times fathers and sons stay at home to be resistance fighters. Females lead large percentages of families found in refugee camps. This presents another large problem. While caring for children, women must become the breadwinners for their family, a role they are not used to in their homeland. Food is often scarce while sickness is not in camps.
The occurrence of family violence increases when in a refugee setting mostly towards women. It is believed that the cushioning barriers couple have are lost when in the camp. Feelings of destitution and loss are overwhelming for the family and they have no way to express them positively. Children can be accelerated into an adult role. Children lack coping skills their parents have due to maturity. A child’s concept of normality may become skewed due to the constant change and erratic environment. Growth and development become stunted and malnutrition is an almost universal problem.
The family is no longer able to exercise self-determination because of structural constraints placed upon it by they external environment of the camp and ultimately by the politic of the country of resettlement (106). Williams does a good job of exploring the reasons why family dynamics are so drastically changed in a refugee setting and raises many poignant questions that can lead to good research ideas.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
MEGAN ANN GUTHRIE North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)
Wu, David Y. H. Chinese Minority Policy and the Meaning of Minority Culture: The Example of Bai in Yunnan, China. Human Organization Spring, 1990 Vol. 49(1): 1-13.
Wu explores the cultural identity of the second largest minority group in China, the Bai. The Bai were classified as part of the Han (main Chinese ethnic group) by ethnologists before the Communist Revolution. Wu addresses the conflict between the Bai’s desire to be considered a separate minority group for political reasons and the fact that their culture is still largely representative of the majority Han culture. Wu argues that anthropologists should separate culture of a way of life from a culture identity that is created for political reasons.
Wu uses case studies to explore Bai culture at a local level. It has been observed that China often incorporates minority groups into a main national ethnicity (Wu 1). Wu explores how national politics affects the perception of minority cultures. He uses field surveys that focus on political methods used in dealing with minorities, and he traces the progression of the Bai’s desire to refuse minority status and then to accept it. The Bai want to have a minority status, and desire to be considered a separate ethnic group from the Han.
Wu uses historical references to the identification of minority groups in China to illustrate how minorities are officially recognized. Wu offers examples of other ethnic groups that have tried to create a new cultural identity after assimilating into a larger ethnic group. Some of these were the Narragansett Indians and Hawaiians who retained cultural values from the majority ethnic group when trying to reaffirm their minority culture. Wu’s interview techniques probed how and why the Bai identify themselves as Bai and not as Han. He asked villagers why they considered their village Bai. He focused on myths and legends and costume design. Wu concludes that the Bai are reinventing a new identity while keeping some of the traditions of the Han culture. He predicts that they will rediscover cultural traditions that are specifically Bai.
CLARITY RANKING: 5
DEBORAH BAILEY North Carolina State University (Anne Schiller)