Human Organization 1991
Ashkenazi, Michael. Traditional Small Group Organization and Cultural Modeling in Modern Japan, Human Organization, Vol. 50, Number 5: 385-391.
Ashkenazi explores the uniqueness of Japan’s talent and managerial skills through the way in which they set up neighborhood associations. His argument shows how different fields in cultural development interact with one another. He states that cultures evolve institutions that fulfill requirements that are both context and problem oriented. This shows how managerial diversity is possible within a common framework. Ashkenazi lays out 4 main factors that he thinks separate the way in which Japanese associations are structured from the rest of the world. His first observation is that the associations are not mandatory; they are not created by some higher level of governance. He concludes that this leads to a higher level of participation and leads to a greater sense of community. Another important factor is that autonomous households are recognized within the association instead of individuals. This brings the focus outwards towards a family view of the issues. Ashkenazi also points to the many sub-units that an association might have, like a traffic office, or a gardening office. This allows for specific and concentrated focus on a particular area, and for cooperation between sub-units. Some of the offices hold more power then others, but this is balanced out by the fact that they are not democratic institutions. No elections are held. Instead, there is a rotation into offices which allows for all views to be see and gives each household a chair in every sub-group at one point or another. The last distinctive factor is that the issues delt with are always the associations choice. There is no higher office that they must answer too, which allows for higher flexibility and the capacity to focus on relevant issues. Ashkenazi ventures on to say that these common factors found in the framework of neighborhood associations is a reflection of the Japanese mind set. They are set up to cater to the needs and aspirations of the people who run them. While each neighborhood has a separate association, there are many inter-neighborhood activities that unite communities. Many times, two or more associations will get together to run festivals or set up religious events. This shows the independence of each association along with a close link to others. While each association and neighborhood remains totally independent, they do share a flexible use of three principals. The first is one of personal interaction. This outlines how people should treat each other along the lines of politeness and appropriateness. The second is the commonality of organizational principals. There is a vertical connection between the sub-groups in an association reflecting a junior-senior relationship, or one that is not equal. Thirdly, there is a desire for accommodation and cooperation. All of these managerial techniques show how a group can hold a common set of principals and still find flexibility within their framework. The result is a high participation rate coupled with a strong sense of community. These associations are like variations of a pattern.
KIRK NUGENT Lewis and Clark College (Deborah Heath)
Bray, David Barton. “Defiance” and the Search for Sustainable Small Organizations: A Paraguyan Case Study and a Research Agenda. Human Organization, 1991 Vol. 50 (2): 125-134.
The author of this article focuses on the modernization imposed upon small farmers by the Paraguayan economy and government, and specifically, the measures they have taken in defiance of capitalism. As the government has implemented agendas such as agrarian reform, the small farmers of Latin American countries, and in particular, Paraguay, have joined together for the well-being of whole communities.
By reviewing the historical organizing of peasants in the past with the support of religious institutions, the author argues that the organizations are less “defiant” than they are self-reliant. From 1976 to the early 1980s, these farming groups were viewed as means of resistance of the government and modernization. Whole farming communities, mainly of indigenous cultures, have been unable to compete with the new growing market, and have been forced to become sustainable agricultural societies. Families and neighbors have come together to support themselves. They have altered what is a more central government to one of local emphasis. In order for them to succeed they must pool their resources and act as a governmental center of their own.
Through their struggles with sustainability, the state has taken further action in supporting such communities whereas in the past it had neglected them. Non-governmental organizations such as this have succeeded in raising attention to such issues. A modern example was the creation of Coordinación Nacional de PequeZos Agricultures, or CONAPA. The government of Paraguay implemented the organization to further support small farmers in their struggle for land rights. By using peasant leaders in this organization, the sustainable movement has been taken from “protest to production”.
The author concludes by stating the different factors of the sustainable movement. The political aspect which involves participation and leadership of individuals which leads to a mainly internal democratic system; the economic, which requires small farmers to generate their own food and costs and establish joint marketing, crop diversification, and local consumer stores; the sociological, involving the relationships and dependency on other NGOs and the relation of the classes within classes; and the technological, which has yet to be successful and helpful for small communities.
The reader is left to see what the future will hold for such organizations of small farming communities, as there is no telling whether or not they can withstand growing capitalism.
KATHLEEN YETMAN Lewis & Clark College (Deborah Heath)
Cameron, Catherine M. The New Arts Industry: Non-Profits in an Age of Competition. Human Organization Fall, 1991 Vol.50 (3): 225-234.
In her article Cameron wishes to show a growing trend among non-profit arts organizations, namely that they are becoming more organized and business minded. Cameron argues that the arts industry has become so competitive that it is being forced to change from its traditional methods, toward more modern business practices. Her research was conducted in the Lehigh Valley of northeastern Pennsylvania, where she employed several different methods. First she made a list of organizations in the surrounding area, grouping them into five different categories: fairs & festivals; music organizations; theatres, arts centers, museums and historical societies; and arts schools. From these she selected fifteen organizations and conducted interviews with each to ascertain financial and organizational aspects of each. She then interviewed people involved in regional marketing, economic development, recreational administration, and tourism in order to establish the economic impacts these groups had/have on the area.
The results yielded were rather interesting; the larger events, such as the fairs & festivals, had a much larger operating budget than any other, and seventy-seven percent of that was earned. While the arts centers found themselves with lower budgets, sixty-three to sixty-nine percent of which came from some sort of support such as grants. From interviews with public officials and departments, she discovered that many businesses supported the larger events because they brought in large amounts of people and money (almost nine million dollars with one music festival). With large festivals drawing most of the private sponsors, many organizations have needed to start applying for grants in order to supplement their budgets. The results have been two-fold: First, there has been a sharp increase in the number of grant requests from organizations, which then creates a shortage of grant money and much competition for them. Second, with so much competition many organizations are employing people to write, or teach other to write, grant proposals. There is also a large desire from all of these organizations to raise public support for their events, and also for donations.
Cameron concludes, then, that groups are organizing and becoming more competitive with each other in order to ensure they survive. Most now have advertising and marketing executives or committees; many are now hiring MBA’s in order to get an edge. As Cameron shows us, the arts industry is truly becoming a cutthroat business field, where it is either eat or be eaten.
TYLER NOONAN Lewis & Clark College (Deborah Heath)
Deshen, Shlomo. Mutual Rejection and Association among the Discredited: Blind People in Israel. Human Organization November, 1991 Vol. 50: 89-95
(In the following I read an article by Shlomo Deshen observing the effects of being blind in Israel and the social rejections and associations among these discredited people. His work is based on interactions with 57 people aged 35-50 years of age. However he was in contact with other disabled minorities of social separation. He was in contact with around 100 legally blind individuals. This is my summary of his analysis.)
Deshen describes that the “able-bodied” or sighted people evaluate the condition’s of a disabled individual. In order to then categorize, or negatively channel them, into separate social niches other than their own. The disabled (not only blind people) can only submit to this separation and do not create symbols of their own to challenge this stereotype. Ethnic minorities can respond differently. African Americans have evocative slogans such as “Black is Beautiful” to justify themselves and counteract racism. Disabled minorities are unable to produce the same slogans due to certain lack of togetherness, unity, or strength in numbers. Take your pick, but being disabled in any way shape or form does not always convert to social acceptance and interaction.
As Deshen describes in his article “Disabled people often seek to escape associating with other disabled people, in addition to being themselves rejected by the able-bodied.” Sometimes a disability can cause social interaction to be so limited that the extreme of mutual shunning occurs. For example epilepsy. Support groups are uncommon for this condition. Most people that are diagnosed with epilepsy never become acquainted with a single other person with the same status. However deafness leads to the extreme of sociability. Stimuli enters the brain frequently visually and communication is easily done by means of sign language. Dwarfism was even mentioned by Deshen, in terms of marital compatibility and sociability. Though deaf people are more sociable. Cultural construction or symbolization is the major element in these various categories of discredited people. Culturally creative positive symbols towards a condition enables development for mutual respect leading to association. On the other hand where these symbols cannot be created there is acceptance lacking. “The negative stereotypes of the dominant strata consequently prevail, and so discredited people react to each other much as the dominant people do to them, and mutual rejection ensues.
Many blind people were able to voice a slogan that read, “The blind are like anyone else, they only can’t see.” They only found the slogan to be hollow because of their own prejudices towards their own group. Suggesting there was more to blindness than lack of sight. They were unable to come up with occupations for themselves to do. The blind are very eager to associate with the sighted but they are hampered by the attitudes and activities performed by sighted people. As a result they look for fellowship that is characteristic of lonely people. Blindness, for the most part, was not a base for fellowship. Deshen’s example of this case is in blind switchboard-operator Yoram Peres, 35 years old and single. He distanced himself from blind people. Yoram succeeded in ingratiating himself among the sighted people well above his own low-level position in the hierarchical structured work environment he participated in. He attended musical events and theatre, with high-ranking officials and their spouses by joint purchase of the tickets. This was all done through his convenient position at the switchboard position he had. The joint ticket purchasing was appreciated and when he went out with these people they walked him abreast instead of cane use or being led. This allowed him to blend into general society.
Deshen was able to become aware of groups of blind people that met together. One group of about 35 associated in a local club for the blind. Club regulars were around 60 years of age, and predominantly men. Most worked together at the switchboard. The popular activity was playing dominoes in a cloud of cheap cigarette smoke. The company was very much enjoyable because once or twice weekly people traveled far to meet together.
Another group that regularly met was known as “The psychology circle.” They regularly met together to discuss personal matters. Their only common denominator was the physical condition they shared. After time the groups focus was for young unmarried people and the older and married people dropped out. Younger people of superior ability (Yoram) or imagination lost interest and dropped out as well. A low common standard was the result and in time they shared a great deal more than their physical condition.
The third social group that met was a sports group. As the case was for the first group the same is said for the sports group. Aside from being blind they shared a common interest for engaging in physical exercise. These people were all different in race, marriage status, personality, occupation, and education. They were always joking. Deshen suggests that “this group’s success in maintaining itself, despite the heterogeneity, is linked to its ability to avert potential friction by the joking relationships practiced by its members.
In conclusion Deshen finds that although mutual rejection occurs in the blind, when groups were formed on special interests other than being blind social niches within the blind transpired. This conclusion derives from the fact that in the encounter group (second group) several married and mature adults left the group. Also in the sports group even though they are all different, through their similar enjoyment of physical exertion they are able to co-exist.
TOMMY MAGNUSON Lewis & Clark College (Deborah Heath)
Doorman, Frans. A Framework for the Rapid Appraisal of Factors that Influence the Adoption and Impact of New Agricultural Technology. Human Organization, 1991 Vol.50(3): 235-245.
Doorman’s article examines the use of Rapid Appraisal as a tool for diagnosing differentiation of variables that determine the factors which effect farmers’ decision-making process and adoption of new agricultural technology. The research setting is in the Dominican Republic, with a specific focus on adaptive research on rice cultivation.
He attempt to illustrate why an explicit format is necessary to determine these varying factors, which give an accurate portrayal of farmers’ decision-making processes. He explains that the selection of varying factors, used for analysis of effect farmers’ decision-making process and adoption of new agricultural technology, are not explicit. To avoid varying factors being overlooked and disqualified from further analysis, Doorman explains the necessity of having an explicit format during initial evaluation.
Doorman advocates anthropological insight as helpful tools used for Rapid Appraisal (the selection of principal factors influencing farmers’ decision-making processes). He supports the claim of such anthropological involvement because of their vast knowledge of human behavior/condition; often only revealed from a holistic approach of cultural study.
This article proposes the use of “A Framework for the Rapid Appraisal of Factors Influencing Farmers Decision-Making;… the three perspectives being the diffusion of innovations theory, Farming Systems Research, and the sociological and anthropological… ” (235). Factors that have the greatest influence are: personal, situational, and external. His claim explains the necessity of using all three of these perspectives when appraising factors influencing farmers decision-making. This article uses a detailed implementation/trial of this framework for appraisal coupled with case studies. His case study had a specific focus on adaptive research on rice cultivation, in one area in the Dominican Republic. From the little information I have on replicating his experiment, I would have to say that any significant results he found in his study may not apply to a very large research population, since it is case study work. I am not aware of many case studies that openly make such claims for their study, because it claims correlation as a means of causation. Maybe I’m just stickler.
While I appreciate his hard work, I would not use such an article for my own research. I do not have confidence in this article’s experimental reliability or validity.
Doorman’s conclusion, in terms of validity of results, can be attributed to his naVve belief that correlation proves causation.
CLARITY RATING: 3
REBECCA LLANES Lewis and Clark College (Deborah Heath)
Eder, James F. Agricultural Intensification and Labor Productivity in a Philippine Vegetable Gardening Community: A Longitudinal Study. Human Organization 1991 Vol. 50 (3): 245-255.
James Eder explores the changing role of intensive vegetable gardening in the tropical upland economy of the Philippines, drawing on data collected during two years, 1971 and 1988, to characterize changes in farming methods, technology, and labor inputs, and the consequences for gardening as a livelihood. He contrasts his actual findings over the 17-year period with a prominent theory on labor productivity, and draws useful conclusions about the profitability of gardening work, and the potential for further intensification.
The research setting is San Jose, a small village in the Philippines, where vegetable gardening is undergoing an intensification process, and becoming a major source of livelihood for many residents. Eder defines “intensification” as increased labor inputs as well as increased use of technology like commercial pesticides and fertilizers.
The commonly-accepted theoretical model for agricultural intensification, formulated by Boserup in 1965, states that farmers make up for shrinking land availability with more labor input, and that this extra labor is not reciprocated in crop yields. For farmers in San Jose, however, gardening is an increasingly attractive economic option, despite the need for intensification due to the shrinking average size of gardening plots. This difference is explained by the fact that Boserup’s model accounts only for labor intensification and measures returns in crop yield, while Eder takes into account many changes in San Jose’s agricultural situation from 1971 to 1988—in human labor as well as technology, fertilizer and pesticide use, land use patterns, market demand, and marketing strategies—and measures returns in cash earned. He concludes, after some lengthy qualitative and quantitative analyses of these variables, that San Jose’s farmers have used technology, innovation in farming methods, and their own hard work to maximize their profit in response to the growing demand for fresh vegetables in the local economy.
Three tables, representing data from both years, support Eder’s points. The data are drawn from ten farms chosen by Eder, rather than representing a random sample. Table 1, measuring labor intensity, compares total labor inputs (measured in person hours per hectare) in 1971 and 1988, and shows an increase in labor by a factor of about 3.5. Table 2 measures net returns (in pesos), after variable costs, for 1988 gardens; contrasted with Eder’s findings in 1971, it shows a huge increase in net returns during those years, by a factor of about 20. Table 3 combines the data from tables 1 and 2, to calculate the net returns to labor for 1988 (in pesos per day). Adjusting for inflation, net returns to labor nearly doubled over the 17-year period.
Eder’s discussion of these findings focuses on the various choices available to farmers in the intensification process, and how each has utilized them differently, to their overall economic advantage. If the data are representative of the whole, then San Jose’s vegetable farmers have over a period of 17 years increased their yields as well as the monetary returns on those yields, by combining changes in farming methods with their own hard work.
ANNIE BRULÉ Lewis & Clark College (Deborah Heath)
Gow, David D. Collaboration in Development Consulting: Stooges, Hired Guns, or Musketeers? Human Organization, 1991. Vol. 50 (1): 1-15.
The author explores the nature of development consulting, as well as its implications on the potential achievement of collaborative consulting. In addition, Gow discusses possibilities for improvement within this field. Conclusions are based upon case studies in Panama, Peru, and Zaire, and the determination of five operating styles within development consulting. He suggests that an increase of collaborative development strategies will in turn increase the levels of self-control and self-influence within these countries.
In regards to the nature of development consulting, Gow reviews the concept of project, and deems the major criticisms to be both the failure of developmental projects to achieve expected results, as well as issue due to a focus upon time-bounded continuity. Gow reviews the process approach as a revision to the project concept, emphasizing the beneficial aspects of past experiences to successfully initiate and complete a project. However, flaws of the process approach are also explored, in terms of a dependence upon rationality, and the difficulty in determining error within the design. Within this discussion of personal experience, Gow indicates the importance of preparation of three types of documents: policy guidance, country program analyses, and project-specific papers. These documents respectively relay the goals and objectives of the project, analyze the developmental contribution of the countries involved, and specify resource allocation. Gow’s IRD (integrated rural development) project design in Panama provides the reader with an understanding of the manner in which a project design in employed. The goals of the project are first determined, and collaboration between various members occurs. Another example of project design in operation in Gow’s agricultural experience in Peru, where Gow looks to both the anthropological and economic perspectives on the project to indicate the beneficial elements within each position. Finally, Gow describes the five operating models of collaborative members within a developmental consulting team. The performer is usually a short-term model, and is characterized by a trained individual who possesses a goal-focused mentality. The substitute is a short-term person used to fill a position until a more highly trained individual is located. The teacher is usually a long-term type, based upon an advisory-style model with a focus upon the transferences of skills to a counterpart. The mobilizer is politically based, with an emphasis upon community development. The scapegoating gadfly is an interesting name to describe a guest-like individual who can provide outsider insight to a situation.
Gow provides a guide to team collaboration, including a team-building exercise. He also discusses collaboration outside of the immediate development team to include the relationship between both consultant and counterpart institutions, and consultant and beneficiaries. The end of the article concludes that all consultants are necessary for good developmental collaboration, including the stooge (humanity and humor), the hired gun (stability and future planning), and the musketeer (honesty and an anthropological perspective).
CLARITY RATING: 3
BRITTANY OGILBY Lewis and Clark College (Deborah Heath)
Hochstrasser, Donald L and Gairola Gerry A. Family Planning and Fertility in Southern Appalachia: A Community Study. Human Organization, 1991 Vol.50(4):393-403.
In the article “Family Planning and Fertility in Southern Appalachia” a study is conducted in a southern Appalachian community on the effects of birth control and contraceptives among married women. The study was conducted in what used to be a community with very high fertile rates but have since dropped over the time period of 1960-1980. While most studies of fertility and family planning concern studies of demographic and economic factor this particular case studies more in depth regarding the social and cultural aspects of the community. The study community that was used was a purely white town in a rural and extremely mountainous area of Eastern Kentucky. Studies show that the decline in fertility rates in general was due to large numbers of migration out of the region in the 1950’s. The study was conducted over three years and was intended to observe and asses the knowledge, practices, and attitudes of the community concerning the use of contraceptives and planned parenting. During the study, 407 wives from the community were interviewed on both their knowledge and feelings towards contraceptives. Many surveys were conducted with the women to create an understanding of the community when contraceptives are concerned. In the studies which are expressed clearly through charts it was discovered that the knowledge of contraception and resources (clinics) was very widespread although many women either had financial or transportation problems when it came to using the resources. Studies also were found that the actual community leaders in both political and religious fields were not too fond of the use of contraception. The largest percent of women preferred sterilization as the best form of contraception whereas birth control pills were also very popular among the women. Studies also showed that the expected and desired family size have dropped from an average of 3.9 desired children to an average of 2.1. In conclusion the studies conducted proved that the knowledge of more modern and effective means of birth control influenced the decline in fertility and unplanned births. In other words the Appalachian community has gone through both a fertility revolution as well as a contraceptive one. The general argument was revealed in case study evidence that it is possible for less developed areas with high fertility rates go through a fertility decline with the availability and accessibility of modern contraceptive forms.
ANNE LARKIN Lewis and Clark College (Deborah Heath)
Logan, Michael H. Locus of Illness Control Beliefs among Brazilian Herbalists: Findings and Methodological Recommendations. Human Organization, Vol 50, Number 1: 82-89.
In attempting to replicate Coreil and Marshall’s 1982 study of the locus of illness control among Haitian and Appalachian peoples, Logan uses their “Locus of Illness Control Scale” (LICS) to determine how Brazilian herbalists in Fortaleza attribute beliefs of illness prevention and cure. The LICS scale is a fifteen-question survey that attempts to gauge whether or not a person attributes illness and its cure to external factors (such as it was ordained by God), or by internal factors (such as diet, hygiene, etc.).
In his study Logan chose Brazilian herbalists because of their similarity to the Appalachian and Haitian peoples. Overall, his data corresponds to that of Coreil and Marshall in that the people studied had greater externality for the prevention of illness and greater internality for its cure. In the analysis of his own data, Logan found that the data analysis of Coreil and Marshall left a lot to be desired. For instance, in their analysis, Coreil and Marshall utilized means and percentages. However, when analyzing his own data, Logan found that chi-square analysis and using actual raw scores allowed for greater accuracy in the results; whereas using percentages did not allow for several distinctions to occur and could actually cause misinterpretation of the data.
Logan also found that Coreil and Marshall did not provide an adequate amount of original data and information on their methodological design that would allow one to replicate the study for comparative purposes. Logan also stated that the LICS should be revised as to allow the finer points or the locus of illness control to show through. Overall, the major problem that Logan had with Coreil and Marshall’s study was the way in which they analyzed their data as it left many questions unanswered and did not allow for more conclusive results.
JARVALEN K. SILVA Lewis and Clark College (Deborah Heath)
Moberg, Mark A. Marketing Policy and the Loss of Food Self-Sufficiency in Rural Belize. Human Organization, 1991. Vol.50(1): 16-25.
Moberg disputes the idea that the reduction in the production of staple food, and all the problems associated with capitalism in a third world country, are not in fact, as many theorists believe, the result of the colonial era once presiding over Belize. Moberg utilizes statistics from the appropriate time as well as the policies made at those times to underscore the correlation between the two and discount the relationship between self-sufficiency and the colonial era. Responding to lower prices within the world market on staple foods, the Belize government has turned most of its imports to that area claiming that it is more intelligent to want to spend less and get more than to spend more and fuel the economy with farmers producing staple crops in their own country. Moberg thinks the biggest problem is that the government has no good and stable way to fix market prices for staple goods and prefers to import cheaper foods and export citrus instead.
What this does, Moberg claims, is employ farmers on other peoples’ citrus-producing land and cause the interest in staple crop production to decline. Another problem this causes is the inability for families to support themselves and the stratification of Belize’s society because in order to keep wages down, the government blames the ability of the farmers to rely on wage labor and on their own production of staple foods for their own consumption. Unfortunately this causes more problems than it fixes. The poor are getting poorer and are unable to make a living either off farming or off wage labor. Their options are becoming few and far between. Another large problem is the establishment of capitalism on a large scale in the agriculture of Belize. Large companies have purchased huge areas of land for the production of citrus fruit, pushing out farmers and making competition impossible. Even farmers who have been producing citrus fruit cannot make money or compare to the mechanized production going on in the country for export. Although the market is demanding citrus fruit there, is not much hope for farmers.
On the other hand, there was a time when the situation did improve. Moberg states that in a period between 1978-1983, the prices for staple goods increased and farmers began producing more. The market was flooded by produce, and all was going well with farmers making profits and the Belize economy flourishing from the inside. It crashed, however, once the prices were lowered for the staple goods, and profits from them became scarce again. Moberg wants to point out that there is hope for the economy. Moberg concludes that it will take some real effort in terms of changing low wages and opinions of the government on cheap food, as well as the establishment of stable agricultural conditions for farmers to reestablish staple food self-sufficiency in Belize. There is more of a relationship between the problems in Belize today and the way policies are made about agriculture than what has previously been thought concerning the colonial era.
MARISSA DERN Lewis and Clark College (Deborah Heath)
Olshan, Marc A. The Opening of Amish Society: Cottage Industry as Trojan Horse. Human Organization, 1991 Vol.50 (4):378-384
In this article, Olshan discusses the emergence of a normally closed off Amish society into the rest of the world. Olshan argues that the traditionally agrarian Amish are forced to participate in actions that would normally have them excommunicated, due to economic pressures. Oslhan first examines economic forces that have broken down traditional barriers of self sufficiency and have altered traditional farming ways as a means of survival. Oslhan’s claims are based on the high cost of land, as well as the necessity of the Amish to pay taxes like all other land owners. Additionally, Olshan claims that the need to pay for medical care combined with this established moral of helping neighbors have contributed to a dependency on the cottage industry, which creates a need for contact with their consumers, who often go to their homes to purchase products.
Through a case study of a New York settlement, Olshan discusses the economic pressures and the effects of the cottage industry on the Amish population there. In the discussion of the Amish New York settlement, Olshan uses interviews of Amish leaders, and accounts in the Die Botschaft, an Amish edited paper. He discusses the desire of the Amish to partake in the milk industry. However, due to strict regulations and moral restraints they are forced to resort to the cottage industry. Cottage industries are usually found in the homes of the Amish, allowing for the clash of cultures. Olshan provides comments from members of the community regarding the appearance of services offered by their people. Olshan then goes into great detail about the “COME- IN WE’RE OPEN” sign and how it literally invites people into their homes because their shops are near their houses. The interaction with customers acts as a catalyst that is slowly breaking up their cultural norms. Olshan discusses these consequences and their long term effect of as the slow loss of control that the Amish typically have with outsiders. Olshan discusses the requirement of sellers to be polite and welcoming and the unfamiliarity of the Amish with these social concepts of the seller and consumer. In the beginning he briefly touches upon the fact that the Amish culture, especially the conception of the “Old Order Amish,” as an American icon. Therefore we can see how the items that the Amish produce such as homemade goods and woodwork are then coveted by outsiders.
Olshan concludes that as a result of the cottage industry, the Amish have taken on new roles and exposed themselves more to the outside world. Though a great change in their ways of life, it in no way implies that the Amish culture will become extinct. However, he concludes by suggesting that the way in which they try to adapt their culture in the future when agricultural no longer sustains life will be an interesting situation.
CLARITY RATING: 5
MELISSA SAULOG Lewis and Clark College (Deborah Heath)
Palmer, Craig T. Organizing the Coast: Information and Misinformation during the Maine Lobstermen’s Tie-up of 1989. Human Organization, 1991 Vol. 50, No. 2: 194-201
Craig Palmer describes the Maine lobstermen tie-up of 1989 from the viewpoint of a lobsterman involved in the situation. The tie-up was an attempt by the lobstermen to gain higher prices by refusing to fish. The paper describes the communication and organizational problems the lobstermen experienced. The obstacles outlined that affected communication and thus organization in the lobstermen community were independent values, competition over common property resources, social isolation of communities and regional and individual differences. The author gave brief recounts of four of the lobstermen meetings and the role of information and misinformation in the organization of the tie-up.
The function of the lobstermen’s independent values and egalitarian attitudes in the flow of information was crucial to the success of the tie-up. The lobstermen exhibited an extreme reluctance to assume positions of leadership and those who did were criticized for too eagerly accepting positions of authority. The physical isolation of each fishing community contributed to the independent values which obstructed productive communication.
Another obstacle to the tie-up was the conflict in interests many of the lobstermen had. Those who were less successful then others lost money when not on the water and felt that the tie-up was unnecessary. Convincing all parties that unity was essential was an important aspect of the tie-up. The physical distances between the different communities affected communication at crucial times in the tie-up with both positive and negative results.
ERIKA ROWE Lewis & Clark College (Deborah Heath)
Picchi, Debra. The Impact of Industrial Agricultural Project on the Bakairi Indians of Central Brazil. Human Organization, 1991 Vol. 50 (1):26-37
In this article the author explores the changes caused by and the problems faced when the Brazilian government attempts to convert the Bakairi Indians of central Brazil to an industrial agricultural mode of production. Shifting from their traditional mode of production to the industrial agricultural model changes the way the land is used, where people work, and the way the goods produced are distributed. As the Bakairi learned the new way of farming the land they would presumably participate more in the Brazilian economy, which is the goal of the government-sponsored project. In the past the Bakairi had relied on slash-and-burn technology to grow crops. In contrast, the government-sponsored industrial agricultural mode of production is highly specialized; only two men in the community know how to drive the tractor properly. The women and children were only able to contribute a small amount to the new system, making the Bakairi feel isolated from the land and production.
The industrial agricultural system placed more emphasis on the large-scale farming methods and detracted from the focus on the family garden. This reduced the social value of work while underscored the economic value. The industrial agricultural model also challenged the Bakairi autonomy and made them more reliant on outside resources for their own survival.
The industrial agricultural system benefits the Bakairi because it allows them to produce more food on their land. This is a big advantage for the Bakairi since their population is growing at a rate of 3.47% per year while the amount of land available for their use is unable to grow due to other farmers.
The goal of this article is to highlight what worked for the Bakairi in their assimilation into a surrounding culture and how these could be applied in other situations. This article does not debate the benefits and drawbacks of participating in a cash economy.
KENNETH LIBBY Lewis and Clark College (Deborah Heath)
Pollnac, Richard, and Poggie, John. Psychocultural Adaptation and Development Policy for Small-scale Fishermen’s Cooperatives in Ecuador. Human Organization, 1991 Vol. 50 (1) : 43-48.
Pollnac and Poggie explore the similarities and differences between two groups involved in fishing cooperatives, mariculture and marine capture fishing. The main issue of this article is how government agencies make the mistake of grouping these two groups of fishing production into the same category when in fact they are very different. The only similarities they share are with their finished product (fish, shellfish, etc). Capture fisherman harvest their product from the open ocean which requires a competitive spirit, strong orientation towards independence and quick decision-making skills. In contrast, mariculturists cultivate their produce in lagoons or ponds and are guaranteed a harvest with a predicted amount of yield unlike the capture fishermen whose quantity of fish varies from day to day. These different patterns of production and characteristic demands for the job influence their ways of social and psychocultural adaptations and ultimately influence their success within cooperatives.
The research was based on small scale fishing production in Ecuador, analyzing their relative success in regards to influential factors, such as community context (level of development of where it is located), material development (level of development of the cooperative itself) and identifying the differences in operating style (characteristics of organization of management, membership and operation). For the analysis, it was tested and concluded that there is no significance between region and cooperative success. In order to determine if success differs according to type of organization, the sample was divided into two groups of culture versus capture cooperatives. The data revealed that success does differ according to type of organization. It was found that managerial items influence the success of culture (mariculturalist) cooperatives while independence and social solidarity have the greatest impact towards success for capture fishermen cooperatives.
It is a mistake to classify these two types of fishermen as the same. They require different techniques in development and management because of the different characteristic demands of their jobs. This creates sociocultural systems that are unlike within the two groups which ultimately lead to the demise of the fishing cooperatives. The different demands between the two types of fishing and its influence can be seen in the workers’ behavior and thinking. For capture fishing crews, shore side cooperation and social solidarity should be promoted while improvement with managerial training should be promoted among mariculturalists. This would help improve the poor performance in the fishing cooperatives around the world by acknowledging and embracing the differences and in turn strengthening them, paving way for improvement.
CODY RAMIN Lewis and Clark College (Deborah Heath)
Roth, Eric A. Education, Tradition, and Household Labor among Rendille Pastoralists of Northern Kenya. Human Organization, 1991 Vol.50(2): 136-141.
Studies on education show that families in pastoral agrarian communities have incentive not to send their children to school because of the substantial contributions children provide for the household, even at a young age. When choosing whether or not to send a child to school, the parents must decide if the gains from an educational investment outweigh the losses of potential labor contributions to the family (136). Other factors may depend on cultural traditions and subsistence patterns. Based on this information, Roth predicts a model of decision-making that parents in the Rendille society of northern Kenya use when deciding whether or not to send a child to school. Roth then tests his prediction by surveying families of 15 villages of the Rendille.
As a traditionally nomadic pastoralist society, schooling is not required for Rendille children. It is the task of the children to care for the livestock. When conducting his survey, Roth defines six factors that may determine the parents’ decision. These factors are: family (small or large), occupation (blacksmith or pastoralist), birth (first born or latter born), sex (male or female), herding (0-1 siblings are herders or 1+ siblings herd) and schooling (0-1 siblings attend or have attended school, 1+ sibling attend or have attended school). The results of the survey are that children from blacksmith families have a greater likelihood of going to school. Roth contributes this result to the fact that the blacksmiths are of a lower socioeconomic status where school is seen as an opportunity for children to become successful. Likewise, children from families with a high number of children as herders have a lower likelihood of going to school. The strongest determinant for families that were not blacksmiths was found to be birth order; later-born children are more likely to go to school than first-born children.
CLARITY RANKING: 4
CORA L. MCGLAUFLIN Lewis and Clark College (Deborah Heath)
Singer, Merrill, Flores, Candida, Davidson, Lani, Burke, Georgine, Castillo, Zaida. Puerto Rican Community Mobilizing in Response to the AIDS Crisis. Human Organization, 1991. Vol.50(1) 73-81.
There are growing numbers of organizations examining the issue of the AIDS epidemic, one in particular based out of Hartford, Connecticut called the Hispanic Health Council which I will be examining in further detail. AIDS data from the northeast section of the US, whose Latino population is dominated by the Puerto Rican community, shows an abnormally high rate of infection in the Puerto Rican community. This area of the country has “both the highest cumulative incidence of AIDS among minority populations and the greatest prevalence of AIDS associated with the abuse of injectable substances” (p. 73). The risk of AIDS is ten times greater in the northeast than in any other part of the country for Latinos. For example, in 1990 there were 1,713 cases of AIDS in Connecticut and even though Latinos (predominantly Puerto Ricans) made up only 4% of the overall population, they made up 17% of adult AIDS cases and 25% of pediatric cases.
The Hispanic Health Council (HHC) was one of the first organizations to address the problem of AIDS in this area within Latino communities in1972, in which a voluntary council started to address the severe lack of healthcare offered to the lower class populations and to “enhance community awareness and involvement in health issues” (p. 74). In opposition to many CBOs (Community Based Organizations), they decided to emphasize institutional change and community development instead of individual case work. They have had three main phases to date. The first phase, sparked by national media attention to the AIDS epidemic, individuals gave lectures attempting to educate the population. The second phase was a field research project gathering statistics in order to expand the project and receive funding. The third and most recent phase began in 1987, by starting an AIDS Project Development Committee who wrote a set of proposals for AIDS education and prevention in Latino communities to present to different groups for funding purposes in order expand and to unite communities on health education and other social problems.
XICA REEVES Lewis and Clark College (Deborah Heath)
Singer, Merrill, Ray Irizarry, and Jean J. Schensul. Needle Access as an AIDS Prevention Strategy for IV Drug Users: A Research Perspective. Human Organization, Vol.50, Number 2: 142-153.
In their article, Singer, Irizarry, and Schensul examined the increasing portion of IVDUs (intravenous drug users) who are rapidly contributing to the number of HIV/AIDS patients around the world. In effort to slow the AIDS epidemic, (since an effective treatment, cure, or vaccine is yet undiscovered,) social scientists have begun to develop new methods of prevention. The prevention strategy proposed in this article is an attempt to eliminate the juxtaposition between HIV infection and substance abuse. Knowing that eliminating drug abuse is not a feasible option, these scientists have come up with an alternative, yet highly controversial approach. Their plan is to discourage sharing of needles and syringes by publicly distributing clean “works” to IV drug users.
As this was and still is a controversial issue, social scientists first evaluated the appropriateness of making clean syringes and needles available to IVDUs. Their research, beginning in the mid-1980s, was conducted mostly through a collaboration of community based research institutions in Hartford. In this article, the authors discuss the five main areas of inquiry that were studied. First of all they had to recognize and record that needle sharing is in fact a common practice amongst IVDUs. They then looked at the cultural, social, racial, and gender patterns that determined the frequency that these groups engaged in needle sharing. Then they assessed the way that and extent to which IV drug users were responding to the AIDS epidemic, and whether or not their knowledge of the risks involved would impact their behavior in terms of needle sharing practices. The researchers then went on to evaluate the community attitudes concerning needle exchange and the extent to which safe needle exchange would impact IV drug use, if at all. Finally, they examined the effect needle exchange would have on needle sharing practices and whether or not it would be beneficial as an HIV prevention strategy.
After extensive research, they found that needle sharing is a regular occurrence among IVDUs, though it is more common in certain social contexts than others. They found that needle sharing is common even when there is previous knowledge of the risks involved, due to the feeling of urgency expressed amongst most IVDUs to inject at any given point during the day. Most significantly, they found that many IVDUs do not engage in safe needle practices due to their inability to afford new needles and syringes. Although the researchers experienced a great deal of opposition from different community organizations who insisted that needle distribution would promote drug abuse and would act as a poor substitute for drug treatment programs–which they believe may help eliminate drug use altogether, thus eliminating the cause of infection–no evidence has been found to support their argument. Furthermore, when asked whether they would participate in a needle distribution program, most IV drug users expressed a great deal of interest, stating that their involvement would be for the primary purpose of reducing the risk of HIV infection. The authors of this article conclude, based on their accumulated research, that since there is no evidence that public needle exchange leads to an increased number of IV drug users, and a plethora of evidence that IVDUs would respond positively to public resources or not at all, that in an effort to stop the rapid spread of HIV infection among IVDUs, needle distribution programs should be considered as an effective prevention strategy.
RACHEL MOST Lewis and Clark College (Professor Deborah Heath)
Willigen, John Van & Channa, V. C. Law, Custom, and Crimes against Women: The Problem of Dowry Death in India. Human Organization, Vol. 50, No. 4, 1991; 369-377
The authors argue that the Indian government’s attempts at reducing dowry deaths, or murder of wives by their husbands due to insufficient dowries, has failed and new effective methods must be found. It has been assumed that the historical control of this abuse of females was centered around traditional roles of family, caste, and community. The authors hold that urbanization broke down the traditional societal control, reducing the effectiveness of these controls and increasing the problem.
It is their view point that policies developed to reduce dowry-related violence will fail if they don’t increase the economic value of women. The government of India had passed legislation, such as the Hindu Succession Act (1955) and the Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act (1956), both of which provide for a woman’s rights of inheritance from her father hoping this would alleviate the problem. It did not. The property laws were still very pro-male. The establishment of a gender neutral inheritance law would represent a significant shift in public policy. They argue that there is a link between pro-male property laws and violence towards women. Illegalizing dowries will not work either. Indian marriage culture is based upon the fundamental concepts of dowry. Illegalizing dowries will further damage the economic interests of women and likely worsen the problem. The authors believe that the policy goal should be to increase the economic value of women. Their ethnological theory directs our attention to social recognition of marriage and equitable property transfer as functionally important features of the institution.
The state can provide a means of socially recognizing marriage through registration and licensure. Another useful mechanism to reduce violence is the establishment of the universal marriage registration, which does not exist at this time. Nevertheless, compliance will be difficult even under the best circumstances.
In conclusion, the causes of the dowry problems are of product of the low economic value of women, loss of effective traditional social control of abuse through de-localization, and pressures caused by economic transformation. The reduced effectiveness of traditional family, caste group, and community control should be replaced by state functions. The first step is universal marriage registration and licensure.
JOHN GREEN-OTERO Lewis and Clark College (Deborah Heath)