Human Organization 1995

Agar, Michael and James MacDonald. Focus Groups and Ethnography. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54(1):78-86.

Agar and MacDonald examine the use of focus groups in ethnography through research done on former adolescent LSD users. Their work had two aims: to understand why adolescents use LSD and to determine how focus groups can be used in ethnography. In this paper they discuss the use of focus groups. They ask “how an interest in focus groups could be developed into a more elaborate interest in ethnographic research” (1995 Agar and MacDonald 78). The two conclusions the Agar and MacDonald draw are “First, ethnography provides broader frames of interpretation in terms of which focus groups details take on added significance. Second, ethnographic methods of transcript analysis add depth to an understanding of what actually occurred in a particular focus group session” (1995 Agar and MacDonald 78).

Agar and MacDonald show that ethnography is an important resource in interpreting topics brought up in focus groups. They show an example of a topic, Robitussin, which came up in their LSD focus group. When asked about LSD, one adolescent compared it to the cough syrup Robitussin. While there was a lot of controversy between the group members about Robitussin’s comparability to LSD, the researchers ultimately learned that it was a part of the drug culture. In their previous ethnographic field work they had not made this connection. Only one interviewee had mentioned Robitussin to explain how it was not similar to LSD and the researchers did not pick up on Robitussin’s use as a drug.

By having it brought up in a focus group and the debate that ensued among the adolescents about its comparability to LSD, the researchers became aware of the legal cough medicine’s illegal use. This is one way that ethnographic research interacts with focus groups. The researchers found something that didn’t fit into the folk model they had come to understand from their ethnographic work. Another way that ethnographic research interacts with focus groups is it explains concepts that are only referred to in focus groups. Agar and MacDonald use the example of being ‘fried’, a term the adolescents explained in interviews as a description of persons who shows signs of overuse of LSD. While adolescents referred to people in as being ‘fried’ during the group, the term was not explained. Through their earlier ethnographic interviews, the researchers had learned this term and could interpret the group’s reference.

The ethnographic transcript analysis of focus groups provides insight into group structure and dynamics and allows the researcher to fully understand what occurred between participants. Agar and MacDonald found that focus groups fall somewhere between a conversation and a meeting. This middle ground is characterized by the need for a moderator that allows free flow of ideas but limits the ideas to specific topics. After the focus group is over, the researchers used ethnographic transcription to analyze the dynamics of the group to understand the power struggles and the disagreements between members of the group. “Among other things, the detailed analysis shows who was in charge, which parts were interview-like, meeting-like, and conversation-like, which topics were lively and which were flat, how well ratified topics were by the group as a whole, and who dominated and who was silent” (1995 Agar and MacDonald 85).

In their research, they found that the folk model they had understood previously was not shared by all adolescents in the group. This was significant to their research because it helped them understand that LSD use depended less on the “usual social labels such as preps, headbangers and the like” (1995 Agar and MacDonald 85) and more dependent on the specific folk model a person possesses.
Agar and Macdonald successfully show the va
lue of focus groups to ethnography. Focus groups help researchers learn about the folk models and group interaction of those they are studying. They can be a useful addition to a detailed ethnographic research project.

Clarity Ranking:4
NATALIE FINK California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Alley, Kelly D. and Charles E. Faupel and Coner Bailey. The Historical Transformation of a Grassroots Environmental Group. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54(4): 410-416.

Alley, et al. examine the response of a community to toxic contamination of ground water and waste pollution in Sumter County, Alabama during the 1980’s. Other disciplines have developed models to explain this type of reaction, but anthropologists have done little work in this area. The authors compare two models developed in sociology. The first model is an evolutionary view that describes action as a response to perceived social problems. The second model, resource mobilization, analyzes how organizations obtain resources to meet their goals. This article is a critique of those two models based on a case study of a local environmental group, Alabamians for a Clean Environment (ACE) who formed with the sole purpose of shutting down the hazardous waste treatment plant in Sumter County. It looks at the relationships formed between local and national groups and how these relationships do not necessarily lead to increased strength.

The authors discuss the historical and economic background of Sumter County that brought a hazardous waste treatment facility into the community. The community was not made aware of its presence until it had been operating for some time. The lack of information provided to residents about the potential effects was a large source of concern to the founders of ACE. The authors describe the formation of ACE, the initial work ACE did to increase awareness and later attempts to close down the facility. ACE created public awareness by appearing at county council meetings and through editorials in local newspapers. When the hazardous waste plant filed to obtain a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permit to incinerate waste, ACE used hostile questioning and brought the Alabama State Attorney General and other prominent political figures to the hearings to speak against such a permit. They were successful in getting a denial of the permit for the incinerator. Their relative success was met with national press.

The press generated by the RCRA permit denial brought national attention to ACE. Other organizations such as the Sierra club began to show support for their efforts. As more national organizations became affiliated with their organization, the core founders of ACE began to take positions with these organizations. ACE members began to shift their focus from the local to the national scale. This shift severely stunted the work of ACE. Within ten years of its foundation, ACE had dissolved. The authors conclude that contrary to the evolutionary view and resource mobilization model, affiliation with the national organizations does not necessarily strengthen or institutionalize an organization and may lead to its dissolution.

Clarity Ranking: 3
NATALIE FINK California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Austin, Timothy. Filipino Self-Help and Peacemaking Strategies: A View from the Mindanao Hinterland. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54

This article explores the cultural basis of self help and security in the Philippines, and its increased importance in light of a recent rise in terrorism and Musilim/Christan conflicts. The cultural mechanisms explored range from the most basic family and friend relationships, to volunteer military policing. The common element in Filipino forms of self help and security are their application to local issues only, at the level of the barangay (village) and puroks (neighborhoods).

Familism is a self help cultural mechanism especially apparent in rural areas where it is a necessity due to the predominance of agricultural lifestyles. It relies on direct or extended family members in times of social stress. Similar to the Familism system is the Friendship or compadres/comadres system, relying on friends in time of social stress.

Similar to the Friendship system is an even more general “companion concept”. Austin emphasizes that it is rare, especially in times of social stress, for anyone to be alone, even during routine activities. In this case a friend, or a friendly stranger in the case of a tourist or outsider, will accompany another simply to make sure they are safe from the recent rise in terrorism.

Cultural mechanisms, which increase the success of self help strategies, are reflected in the personalities of Filipino individuals. These individual dispositions help one understand larger culture phenomena such as government backed volunteer military policing. Austin discusses three traits: utang kabubut-on, pakikisama, and hiya.

Utang kabubut-on (which literally means “inner-debt”) is a system of reciprocation, in which, a person provided with a gift or service must return one of equal value.

Pakikisama is a respected quality in Filipino culture and is linked with altruism in times of social stress. Pakikisama “. . . (literally meaning ‘to go along with’ as in ‘comraderie’) refers to the desire to avoid placing others in stressful or unpleasant situations.” (pg 14)

Hiya can be considered the opposite of Pakikisama, and at times it is due to fear of being labeled with hiya that people help one another. Hiya, (literally meaning shame) is when one loses face because of refusal or failure to reciprocate a gift or favor.

Austin explores a number of Filipino self-help organizations. These are: the sakop, the barangay, the tanod, the Bantay ng Byan, and the CAFGU. The sakop is a specifically tied to status in the work place. It is a system in which superiors at work can call upon those who work under them for help outside of the work place. The barangay is literally the village. Each village elects a Capitan who is in charge of the local tanod. The tanod (the guard) is a group of men, not typically dressed in uniform, who patrol the streets at night. The Bantay ng Byan are similar to the tanod except they carry radios and are screened by the government.

The CAFGU is the pinnacle of Filipino organized self help organizations. The CAFGU, (Civilian Army Force Geographical Unit), is a volunteer military police called upon during times of high societal stress. They are trained by the government and when called upon by their village, appear in uniform, with arms.

Filipino culture is particularly adapted to times of social stress without a dependence on government-funded police for local security. Austin points out that it wasn’t until recently, when the police were particularly busy with such issues as terrorism and Musilim/Christan conflicts, that these local self help organizations became popular.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
TRAVIS ELDER California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Baer, Roberta D., Marta Butillo, Harold Lewis, Wendy Perry, Donna Romeo, Pat Slorah and Carron Willis. Applied Anthropology: From the Classroom to the Community. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54(3): 325-329.

Anthropology courses that incorporate participation in applied research projects are in great need. Subsumed under this problem are three others: 1) ample literature on anthropological methodology, but scarce literature on applying it to class projects, 2) literature helpful in mapping out a chosen field project, but does not report on results, and 3) literature that does report on the results, but does not contain any methodologies.

In this article, the authors describe a project initiated in an anthropology course that enabled them to touch on the above stated problems by making sure their case study included information that covered mapping out their project, methodology and how it applies to their class project and the results of the project. The case study they chose took place in Tampa Bay, Florida and consisted of surveying participants of SHARE, (a non-profit organization that provides food packets for the needy). The methodologies used to complete all their goals consisted of every student being involved in the design, questionnaire formulation, interviewing, participant observation and writing of the final report. The students’ particular focus was to find out ethnic and demographic patterns of SHARE participants, as well as how they felt about the program and their overall satisfaction with it.

After touring the SHARE facility, meeting SHARE employees and learning about the organization’s history, the class felt comfortable with proceeding in their study. After ethics and informed consent issues were discussed, the class moved into the participant observation phase of the study. In February 1991, each student participated in bagging food with other employees for a day. In this way, information on flow of workers, work locations and sites and ethnicity of workers was all gathered. Informal interviewing of the workers, (volunteers working to receive their food packet), also took place. Formal interviews were constructed from this information as well as decisions to do things like over-sample minorities, interview one person per household, and cover all work sites and shifts as evenly as possible. This diversity was utilized to make sure results represented the SHARE population as a whole and that the results would be representative of the organization and its clientele.

The results revealed several different types of dietary needs and overall food preferences. Diabetics and people with cholesterol problems found the packets contents to not always be useable, processed meats and exotic fruits being two of the biggest complaints. Ethnic preferences were also an issue. Though some people had participated in giving away or swapping food that they couldn’t eat or didn’t want, the class suggested food replacements to SHARE to better meet the health and food preferences of participants. SHARE’s image also presented confusion to its members. Some people were afraid that if it was discovered that they were involved in this service that they would lose the ability to receive food stamps or other social services. The program also identifies itself with the United Methodist Church, which makes current members, (especially those with other religious ties), wary of SHARE’s agenda.
Conclusions involved recommendations toward future food packaging, food swapping and SHARE’s image. Their suggestions for food packaging involved using fish, ground meats and non-processed meats, as well as dairy products and vegetables in all forms of availability to best serve the diverse participants of SHARE. Occasional inclusion of ethnic items was also suggested. The researchers thought that food swapping promotion and setting up times for participants to be involved in this would also help to meet dietary needs as well as likes and dislikes. Researchers also stressed the importance of SHARE clarifying its image for participants and the public in general. It was suggested that SHARE do this by informing outsiders that they are not a religious or government organization and that participation in SHARE does not diminish your rights to other social services.

The project was a success for the students and the SHARE program. All students involved have gone on to attain advanced degrees and the SHARE program incorporated some of the study’s suggestions. This study obviously made SHARE question its current state of operation, because after this initial study they requested another anthropological study of those who left the program and their reasons for doing so.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
JACLYN GUILLOT California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Beck, Tony. How the Poor Fight for Respect and Resources in Village India. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54(2): 169-181.

Tony Beck focuses his research on the strengths of the poor living in rural areas of India by investigating how the poor utilize natural and social resources within their villages, how they bargain with the rich over resources, and how the potential exists for utilizing these strengths in collaboration with outside agents in order to develop programs that could successfully alleviate severe poverty. Beck believes that by tapping into the local power structures already existent within poor villages, anti-poverty programs would be more effective.

Beck’s theoretical orientation is based upon the work of E.P. Thompson and the notion of moral economy. Thompson suggests that the class struggle between the rich and poor creates a common field-of-force in which both the rich and the poor use the obligations and functions of paternalism against each other for their own gain. Beck considers the relationship of power within the poor villages of India in terms of this common field-of-force.

Beck studied three rural villages in the West Bengal section of India between 1986 and 1992, all of which who derive their main source of income from the land. Despite the large groups of poor in these villages, the majority of political power, land, livestock and income are owned primarily by a small group of “middle farmers.” These “middle farmers” are not only self-sufficient in food production, but they also profit from exploiting the poor through manual labor and a credit system known as dadan, in which the poor repay credit through labor at about half the market rate. Yet despite unequal distribution of resources and exploitation, the poorest villages managed to bargain at a practical and ideological level for their share of the resources.

The author interviewed roughly a 20% sample of the poorest households from all three villages, most of whom were landless agricultural laborers. He found that although the rich use violence and unfair treatment against the poor to discourage protest or change, the poor hold viable strengths of their own. Three strategies are used by the poor, mainly women, which help to improve the quality of life among the villages.

First, mutual support exists among the poor resulting solidarity of the group, a network of charity between households, and a willingness to challenge oppression, characteristics which Beck perceives as being potentially useful in developing anti-poverty programs. Second, the negotiation of common property resources, such as wild foods, gleaned grains, and fuel, is used to subsidize the income of the poor; a resource that Beck feels has been largely ignored by policy-makers. Third, a sharerearing system exists in which the poor borrow livestock from the rich, raising the animals until they produce offspring, being then allowed to keep the second one. This system, while exploitive, illustrates the bargaining practices operating between both classes.

Beck concludes that it is the overall lack of power that is so debilitating to the lives of the poor. However, despite differences of class, gender, ethnicity, and religion, the poor unite in many cases to struggle for the few resources that are available to them. He suggests that the rich and poor are tied together through a process of mutual dependency, and it is this common field-of-force, often invisible to policy-makers, that is so significant to the study of the poor and to the development of successful anti-poverty programs.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
CHRISTY NEWTON California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Beebe, James. Basic Concepts and Techniques of Rapid Appraisal. Human Organization, 1995. Vol. 54(1): 42-51.

Rapid appraisal is a tool used to gain a preliminary understanding of a situation in a short time. Once the qualitative results have been produced, usually by a team of individuals from different disciplines, decisions for conducting applied work can be made. This is especially important when the perspectives of the team members and local participants are needed. Though rapid appraisal uses techniques of traditional qualitative research, three differences are present: there is always more than one researcher, team interaction is part of the methodology, and quick results are produced.

Since the mid-1970s, terms such as “rapid appraisal” and “rapid assessment” have been used in the context of rural development in developing countries. Rapid appraisal was first used for farming systems projects in developing countries, but has recently been used for nutrition and health care studies, agricultural marketing, and irrigation projects. Three basic concepts are associated with rapid appraisal, forming a conceptual foundation for the many approaches that are labeled “rapid”. These concepts are, 1) a system perspective, 2) triangulation of data, and 3) iterative data collection and analysis.

A systems perspective looks at all aspects of the local situation in order to define a model that focuses on the important elements and their inter-relationships. Because these elements are unknown before rapid appraisal begins, methodologies using prepared questions are inappropriate. This systems perspective approach is based on indigenous knowledge and an understanding of the variability present within the system. Some research techniques associated with this approach are semi-structured interviews, the use of interpreters and both “individual respondents” and “key informants”, short guidelines prepared before beginning the appraisal, and fieldnotes limited to careful observation.

The triangulation of data refers to the combination of the observations made by researchers with varying backgrounds and different research methods. This is based on the assumption that there is no “best” way to gather information and provides crosschecks that ensure quality of data. Techniques found in triangulation are the use of multidisciplinary teams, preliminary research, and direct observation.

Iterative data collection and analysis is the concept that deals with the structure of the analysis. The rapid appraisal should be conducted using blocks of time for gathering data, discussing it among the team, and making decisions on additional methods and lines of inquiry. Some techniques for this concept are the structuring of the research time and flexibility of team members. Beebe additionally calls for the use of data collection checklists to document work and allow readers to verify the quality of the work.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
SARAH TAYLOR California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Bellon, Mauricio R. Farmers’ Knowledge and Sustainable Agroecosystem Management: An Operational Definition and an Example from Chiapas, Mexico. Human Organization. 1995 Vol.54(3):263-270.

The development of sustainable agricultural systems is rooted in the knowledge of traditional or indigenous farmers to identify methods of managing resources even under adverse environmental conditions. The author, Mauricio Bellon, uses an ethnoecological approach to study the factors that result in sustainable and nonsustainable agroecosystems in the Vicente Guerrero ejido in Chiapas, Mexico.

Bellon defines agroecosystem sustainability as the ability to maintain a specified level of production over a long term; or maintain productivity despite a disturbing force. There are four requirements to sustainability, (1) maintenance of the resource base, (2) minimum use of artificial inputs, (3) management of pests, and (4) successional processes to recuperate from cultivation and harvest disturbances. “The concept includes the need to conserve soil and water resources, and genetic diversity while being economically viable and socially acceptable (p.264).” An agroecosystem is “a complex of air, water, soil, plants, animals, microorganisms and everything else in a bounded area that people have modified for agricultural production (p.264).” Sustainable management systems should lead to the maintenance or increase in stocks of renewable resources and the substitution of nonrenewable resources by renewable ones that will help accomplish farmers’ goals.

Farmers must demonstrate a functional relationship between knowledge and management practices to contribute to the development of sustainable systems. For example, organic matter for fertilizers provides nutrients to the crop and are important for the soil. Maintaining these renewable stocks helps overcome major disturbances and maintains long-term production. The loss of stocks may be irreversible and could have negative consequences for the future.

Maize, the main crop at Vicente Guerrero, is grown by both plow and swidden agriculturalists. Both use modern technologies, such as fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, as well as traditional methods like the wooden plow, oxen and dibbling sticks. Farmers use a combination of maize types to adapt to various soil types that are part of their traditional ethnoecological knowledge. Production of maize is for, both, household consumption as well as for the market. Bellon analyzed management of two resources, soils and maize germplasm. According to the author, sustainability of soil management involves managing soil organic matter, replacing nutrients, managing crop residues and preventing soil erosion. Germplasm management involves maintaining diversity of crops to insure success under various environmental conditions.

The farmers in Chiapas use synthetic fertilizers to increase production, even though many know organic animal manure or compost also provides nutrients to the crops. This could potentially improve productivity but it is more expensive than fertilizer, making it hard to implement. Eighty-one percent of maize farmers use more than one variety of maize germplasm. One variety of crop may be better suited for certain soils, therefore it is in farmers’ best interest to maintain diversity of crops to fulfill their needs. Those few farmers who do substitute native crop varieties with improved crops result in a loss of genetic diversity.

The author concludes that most farmers’ current practices and knowledge associated with managing soil are not sustainable. The Vicente Guerrero farmers don’t recycle nutrients by using organic matter like green manures or compost, and they don’t prevent soil erosion. On the other hand, management of maize germplasm does seem sustainable because most maintain several maize varieties which results in genetic diversity. Conservation programs are recommended to keep future crop genetic resources diverse, such as creating incentives for farmers to practice in situ maize germplasm conservation. Programs geared toward improvements in soil management include eliminating fertilizer subsidies, and encouraging the use of green manures to foster efficient use of soils.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ERIN SMITH, TRAVIS ELDER California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Bhattacharyya, Jnanabrata. Solidarity and Agency: Rethinking Community Development. Human Organization Spring, 1995 Vol.54(1):60-69.

Community development has been redefined in this article as the pursuit of solidarity and agency, thus placing it in a theoretical framework that is distinctive and universal. To be universal, this definition must apply to all societies and serve as a reference point by which instances can be defined as community development. Over the last twenty years, community development has been known as many things; grassroots development, people-centered development, and others. The flaws in these definitions lie in their criteria and rationale that seek to change or improve something through imposed development.

The term “community” is often defined as rural, agricultural, and pre-industrial social configurations. A more appropriate definition lies in solidarity, or shared identity and code for conduct. When defined as such, development is seen in a holistic manner concerned with agency, or the capacity of a people to order their world and change or define themselves. Historically, the absence of agency within a group has been the catalyst for the destruction of solidarity.

Viewing community as solidarity, and development as agency allows community development to focus on the erosion and possible restructuring of these two things. Four agency-robbing factors present in past development efforts are delineated in the article. First, the creation of “Other”- people who are different and inferior – has arisen from Euro-centric historiographies and geographies. Similarly, throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the assignment of particular “syndromes” attempted to explain why poor countries remained poor. Positivism is the third agency-robbing factor, claiming that facts are culturally neutral and allowing for domination by government, religion, or planners. Lastly, development research undermines agency. Extractive research assumes that the people are passive reservoirs from which knowledge can be extracted, taking ownership of the problem from the people and giving it to the researcher or developer,

Three overlapping principles should be found in community development practices in order to treat the people as agents; self-help, felt needs, and participation. Self-help acknowledges the capacity of the people to solve their own problems and is the result of effective teaching within community development. Felt need refers to the people’s perception of the relevance of a problem. Participation is the most recognized of these themes, encompassing the first two. Agency is granted through participation in the production of meaning without preconceived notions on the part of the developer regarding the problem or solution.

Bhattacharyya gives examples of successful projects, based on their use of self-help, felt needs, and participation. These successes are found in environmental projects, such as the restoration of forest rights to local people in West Bengal. Successful economic development projects have incorporated the community development approach also. The author uses that well-known example of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. Public health has benefited from these principles by basing health delivery systems on the felt needs of the people. Similarly, urban violence has decreased where the community development approach to crime prevention has been instituted.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
SARAH TAYLOR California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Brouwer, Roland. Common Goods and Private Profits: Traditional and Modern Communal Land Management in Portugal. Human Organization. 1995 Vol.54(3):283-294.

In this article, Roland Brouwer raises the issue of equality in communal land management. By describing the evolution of communal land management systems in Portugal, the author attempts to explain the problems of inequality and discrimination in different communities.

Natural resources have been treated as communal goods in Portugal for centuries. Certain land uses, such as forestry, grazing, and gathering, are communally managed. However, as referenced by Hardin’s “Tragedy of the Commons,” common-pool resources are most likely to be destroyed because communities, in an attempt to diffuse the costs of land use amongst themselves, tend to maximize private profits by placing individually owned goods on communal land. However, in the Portugal case, the commonwealth generated by the communities becomes unequally distributed. This unequal distribution of commonwealth happens because participants value private interests over those of the community. Although sometimes the community councils’ communal resource management decisions are originally based on common interest, they always end up promoting the interests of the landowners over those of the landless.

Traditionally, communal land management meant that everyone living in the village could profit from common resources. However, ownership, private management, and usufruct all come into play. The traditional management system ends up serving the wealthier people in the community. This system failed during the industrial revolution and agrarian reform, and thus developed the modern communal land management. Under this system, resources are managed by officials who are elected by the population, while community affairs are settled in council. Although officially intended to help the poor sector, modern communal management strategies benefit the wealthier classes in the end.

In the article, Brouwer reviews past research about Portugal’s communal land management, in order to bring up the major discussion in his study – common good and private profit. According to him, communal land management in Portugal has not fulfilled its objective; in fact, communal management has widened the wealth gap and increased social inequality. Many examples in the modern communal resource management show the interrelationship between private and communal property. For example, an owner of a large herd of cattle takes more profit from a communal pasture than his fellow commoner with only a few head. In other words, those individuals with greater private resources will gain more from communal land than those whose wealth is more modest.

Due to the problems of managing communal resources, the Portuguese government has used reforestation and enclosure for agricultural purposes in order to turn the common property into private or state property. However, instead of distributing more wealth to the poor, these projects have enlarged the gap between the wealthy and the poor. The major reason is because all of the revenue from reforested land goes directly to the state government, instead of helping the poor. In this case, the lower class is deprived of financial compensation, and therefore is unable to increase their status. However, the revenue is not completely lost to the communities that hold reforested lands in common; the state government spends a portion of the revenue they gain from the forests on improving public infrastructure, such as roads and schools.

In conclusion, the author asserts that traditional communal land management systems in Portugal benefit the wealthy people in the community, while the modern management systems of privatization have worsened the lot of the poor. Even though state intervention attempts to help the poor, in the end, the wealthy citizens have the most to gain, and social inequality remains unsolved.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
YUEN YEE YONNIE YEUNG California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Cavender, Anthony P. and Scott H. Beck. Generational Change, Folk Medicine, and Medical Self-Care in a Rural Appalachian Community. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54(1):129-141

This paper examines stereotypical notions in the health care community about folk medicine and medical self-care in the Appalachian South. The research seeks to debunk presumed false stereotypes, created by early investigations that were performed unsystematically, and as a result mislead the general public about the practices of medical self-care in rural Appalachia.

The Appalachian South is a diverse region, consisting of people with different ages, levels of formal educational attainment, socioeconomic class and ethnicity. Earlier research, created a persisting image of the Appalachian South as an “arrested frontier”, where outmoded, archaic traditions (folk medicine beliefs and practices) remained largely extant.

New investigations were conducted in the community of Hiltons in southwestern Virginia. This community was chosen because it was socially and economically stratified and has a thriving middle class. The strategy was to obtain a sample of older residents of Hiltons and to elicit from them what remedies they currently use as well as the remedies used by their parents, when the current residents were children. The investigator found a representative sample that consisted of 102 people of the target population. No systematic bias by gender, class, age or residence was introduced, and so the investigator concludes that the sample is representative of the population 60 and older (the target population). The respondents were interviewed and recorded in writing or taped. The main task was to describe the extent of change or consistency from the parental generation to the current day practices of older respondents. The respondent were asked how their parents treated 65 different health problems that were grouped into ten types, and how they currently treated these same health problems today. All answers were grouped into eleven different categories. The McNemar’s test was used to test the null hypothesis that both generations used folk medicine equally. Qualitative methods of analysis were also used.

The results indicate that dramatic changes have occurred over the generations. The older generation has for the most part discontinued the use of many home remedies once used by their parents. This decline may be attributable to both industrialization and the successful marketing efforts of proprietary medicine producers. This trend was further promoted by road improvements, the establishment of modern medical facilities nearby and the availability of modern over-the-counter medications. Contrary to what has been written about rural Southern Appalachian inhabitants, current investigations indicate that Hiltons older generations are empirically grounded, pragmatic, and certainly not advocates of suffering (which previous studies may have suggested). Most respondents adhered to biomedicine. The current investigations negate outdated stereotypes, and promote an understanding of historical change and cultural diversity in rural Appalachia.

Clarity Ranking: 4
Alea Gellman California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Cernea, Michael M. Malinowski Award Lecture: Social Organization and Development Anthropology. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54(3):340-52.

In this essay, Michael M. Cernea presents a retrospective of the World Bank’s slow inclusion of social scientists into positions of planning and policy making, and also offers an encouraging look to the future of international development in terms of project strategies and theory building. The author first provides the necessary contextual dimension of international development briefly touching on the implications of the fall of the Soviet Union and other Eastern European governments, and how these power shifts ushered in dramatic changes in the course and direction of social systems throughout the world. The author asserts that the ills and devastations in these societies require the attention of the social sciences.

In the same vein, the author notes that a changing notion of progress in international development that is slowly gaining acceptance—that development should be focused, above all else, upon social goals. The author then provides some personal accounts of his own struggle to incorporate social variables into the planning processes of international development projects within the World Bank—this testimony, the author contends, is especially relevant to any social scientist who attempts to integrate social and anthropological perspectives into an institution as parochially focused on financial and economic variables as the World Bank has been historically.

The author stresses the importance of the social scientist to be persistent in presenting these considerations to fellow development planners since it is people that are the center of international development. Also, the author stresses the need for sociologists and anthropologists to combine their efforts and see the parallels in their disciplines in order to effectively initiate development that is both far-reaching and long-lasting. At the same time, the author also urges social scientists to recognize the value of input and knowledge produced by economists and financial consultants; their contributions are valuable in quantifying the feasibility of a given project.

The author suggests that fewer discrepancies may arise between social scientists and economists in the future if reform is initiated first in the universities. Universities must strive to train students of the social and economic sciences to work in consort, and to see the common theme in their studies: the necessary consideration of human beings as they are organized in society.

The author asserts that expanding on the concept of social organization in applied anthropology will be valuable to international development. This is because studying and reflecting on social organization allows project planners and implementers to approach a project at its most fundamental structure: the organization of the individuals in question. Attention to social organization allows development professionals to integrate solutions into an existing society. Considering social organization also allows development professionals to deal with a gamut of social ills including ones that are not so evidently related to social organization, like projects aimed at improving environmental standards.

The author concludes by noting the positive changes that have taken place in international development from the direct contribution of social scientists. Lastly, the author stresses the point that the social sciences are “consequential” in international development, and that this trend will continue as long as social scientists continually refine their theoretical and applied strategies.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
KEITH HAYDEN California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Chhetri, Ram B. Rotating Credit Associations in Nepal: Dhikuri as Capital, Credit, Saving, and Investment. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54(4):449-455

In this article, the author explores Rotating Credit Associations (RCAs) known as Dhikuris, in Nepal. Multiple Dhikuris are investigated in such a way as to show them in relation to various other, similar RCAs found throughout the world and also to identify some features of Dhikuris in particular which make them unique. The author also explains the functional role that Dhikuris play in various forms of Nepalese society as systems of credit, savings, investment and capital. According to the author, Dhikuris also serve to solidify and extend social alliances in various Nepalese communities. The author asserts that by studying RCA’s like the Dhikuri system, anthropologists may gain insights that could assist theory building aimed at discovering the social processes that led to the creation of more formalized, institutional banking and credit systems.

Dhikuris are small associations in which usually15 to 30 individuals or families contribute fixed shares of value units (which may be in the form of cash, grains or livestock) at regular intervals into a lump account. At regular and formalized intervals, each member of the Dhikuri will receive the aggregate of the shares. The author examines four kinds of Dhikuris: among the Loba of Lo Manthang, among Tibetan refugees, among Nepalese business owners and also among rural farmers of remote areas of Nepal.

The Loba of Lo Manthang invest combinations of cash, grains and animals into the Dhikuris in their own communities, and they also partake in long-distance Dhikuris as a way of accumulating goods and food from far away. Tibetan refugees partake in Dhikuris as a way of saving capital that is eventually used to start small-businesses. Business owners in Pokhara, Nepal participate in multiple Dhikuris at once as a means of saving and accumulating wealth that is used to expand their businesses. Rural farmers set up Dhikuris as a way of saving and investing without the need to travel extremely long distances by foot to set up accounts in banks in the urban areas of Nepal.

The author concludes that Dhikuris serve multiple purposes for various Nepalese peoples. Dhikuris are a means of saving, investment, a way to extend networks of social relations and alliances, and as a strategy by which migrants anchor their families into pre-existing communities. They also serve to slowly familiarize Nepalese citizens to the ever-increasingly urbanized world where capital, credit, and investment rule.

The author asserts that modern day economic institutions can learn much from the Dhikuri system in that they are based on very transparent and overt trust agreements among equals, as a means of redistributing wealth. This insight is important for larger and much more formal economic institutions to understand if they wish to gain inclusion among individuals world-wide, like the Dhikuri participants of Nepal.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
KEITH HAYDEN California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Colman, Samuel. Industry-University Cooperation at Japan’s Protein Engineering Research Institute: A Study Based on Long-term Fieldwork. Human Organization 1995 Vol. 54(2): 20–32

This case study, written by Samuel Colman analyzes the relationships in a consortium effort between university academics and industry transfers in a highly specialized Japanese research organization, the Protein Engineering Research Institute (PERI).

The data in Colman’s case study derives from a four month period spent at PERI. It represents only part of a year long study of bioscience research laboratory organizations at four locations in Japan. Colman set out to analyze the success of term employment in Japanese institutions that traditionally follow a policy of life-long employment. Colman seeks to understand the daily life at the PERI laboratory, specifically the inter-relationships between professionals from the academic and industrial fields.

Colman identifies three major subcultures that divide PERI’s staff based on the following criteria: professional backgrounds, recruitment, and contractual relationships with the Institute. These are, “. . . academic, PhD researchers, hired from university positions for the duration of PERI’s existence; industrial researchers and administrative staff assigned to positions at PERI as temporary transfers from the participating firms; and technicians, typically new graduates with higher educational degrees, hired on one-year renewable contracts.” (pg 22)

Colman employed a number of methods in his study at the PERI laboratory. These were participant observation, surveys, and interviews. He identified that while overall the employees were satisfied with their experiences at PERI, they all desired change and improvement.

Colman identified a number of problems the employees had with the way PERI was run that if changed might lead to positive improvement. These problems revolved around the research topic selection process, communication problems between the three subcultures mentioned above, cooperation across sectors and specialties, the methods for recruiting researchers from industry, a difference in the motivations between academic and industry workers, and the lack of authority by administration to allocate or withhold awards to researchers based on their performance.

The research topic selection process was mainly influenced by division heads and the director of the program. Colman indicated that, “. . . the desire to see changes in the research topic selection process was quite evident among the questionnaire respondents, particularly among industry researchers and technicians.” (pg 23)

Communication problems among the three sub-cultures at PERI revolved around the method of information transmission, in-house educational lectures used to keep researchers and technicians abreast in advances in research and techniques, and a Japanese cultural trait of subordinate passivity among hierarchal authority figures. According to Colman this was most evident at the in-house lectures, where the director sat in front and asked all the questions, the mid-level researchers sat in the middle rows, and the technicians sat in the rear rows and never asked any questions. “Several researchers who had attended conferences in the west [America and Western Europe] expressed the wish that meetings in Japan could be conducted with the same lively presentation style.”(pg 24)

Cooperation across sectors and specialties mainly refers to troubles between academic researchers and technicians, and industry researchers and technicians. The troubles revolved around communicating complex ideas. Academics complained that industry specialists were not abreast in the terms an concepts regularly used by those from the academic sector. The following quotes are from a researcher about an industry technician (named Tabuchi), which express this sentiment. “Good research has three components: one, grasping a research problem; two, executing it thoroughly; and three, reporting it in an attractive way. Tabuchi is real good at number two.”

Recruitment from industry was another problem that PERI researchers expressed in interviews. The primary complaint was that the majority of industry transfers were simply assigned the job by their sponsoring institution. There was no real screening process, and relatively few industry transfers actually volunteered for the job. Many researchers, especially those from the academic sector, felt that the majority of the industry transfers were under skilled and apathetic. In fact, Colman indicated that during his study a few of the industry transfers were returned to their sponsoring institutions, because they were grossly under skilled.

The motivating factors, according to Colman, were quite different between those in the academic and industry sectors. Academics were typically more motivated, because they volunteered for the program, mainly because of the lack of career mobility in the academic sector. The majority of the academic volunteers were not full professors; rather they were assistants even though they had a PhD. They saw PERI as having more potential for upward career mobility.

The industry transfers, in contrast, were for the most part assigned to PERI. Some actually saw it as being harmful to their careers, because they felt the time spent at PERI would cause them to fall out of step or behind in the research done at their sponsoring institution. It should be noted, however, that the small number of volunteers from the industry sector came to PERI because, in Japan, the work done at PERI could lead to them getting their PhD. The volunteers from industry saw this as either a necessary step in their upward mobility at their sponsoring industry, or acquiring a PhD was a personal lifetime goal.

Finally, the last problem Colman noted was the inability of PERI administration to reward or penalize the performance of their workers. The industry transfers responded to their sponsoring industries, who were not allowed knowledge of their progress, and the academic workers reported to the program director that was often out of step with the specific activities in each of the four laboratories.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
TRAVIS ELDER California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Darrah, Charles N. Workplace Training, Workplace Learning: A Case Study. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54(1): 31-41.

In 1987-88, Stanford University Anthropology Department conducted a ten-month study of Kramden Computers as part of their New Technology and Work Organization Project. The study was performed to gain knowledge of the connection between workplace learning and training. Participant observation, interviewing, review of archival documentation and structured observation of workers were all used in data collection. Research focused on production workers, supervisors and managers.

There was little formal instruction available on the production floor because managers assumed that employees hired already possessed needed skills to perform the job. New assemblers got a limited period of time to work next to a more experienced one and then were expected to imitate they had just seen. There was also oral transfer of knowledge and written documentation made available by the engineering department. Unfortunately, the diagrams and instructions were mostly written for and by engineers and so people who didn’t possess that particular background, couldn’t understand the material. Any information obtained had to be committed to memory. Those who chose to train others on their own did not have any guidelines to follow; they were not rewarded for good training, or penalized for bad training.

When formal training was first being discussed, supervisors discussed that they feared training would not only give the worker new skills to take to another firm, but they were also concerned that the training would make the employee too valuable to keep them at their current pay rate. Nevertheless in December 1987 supervisors, engineers and a production manager started discussing who would be responsible for training and how they would help resolve current problems on the production floor due to informal training.

Training began in April of 1988 and covered different topics on each day of the week, ranging from general safety to mechanical assembly and diagnostic tests. The classes were only partly successful because the workers’ everyday environment included production quotas, inadequate training and the poor availability of tools that were not taken into consideration. The trainees also assumed that the training was really an objective for lowering costs by increasing workload. Trainees were apprehensive about asking questions at first because they were not only unsure what to ask, but they were also afraid that the questions could be taken as a reflection of stupidity. However, after a couple of days they began to ask questions that expanded their knowledge of production work as a whole, instead of in the realm of the narrowly defined tasks the trainers were more apt to focus on.

Without these questions, training would have continued to go in the direction of benefiting departments rather than individual production workers. Two other positive outcomes were that the trainees had made contacts that could assist them in the future and management gave production workers the okay to deviate from procedure if it conflicted with their productivity.
Overall, the workers appreciated the opportunity to gain knowledge not previously offered to them and to have the chance to discuss existing problems with supervisors, but felt that the training offered did not respond to their needs as a whole. Trainers even admitted that the sessions had only been moderately successful in their intention because in the planning stages, every learner’s existing knowledge was assumed to be on the same level. Without the questions asked by trainees, the vast differences in experience levels would not have been apparent. Besides the obvious varying education levels, other evidence points to the inconsistency of environment, tools and knowledge made available to workers everyday as the culprit that continued to impede workplace learning. Workplace training was only moderately successful in contributing to workplace learning due to these conditions. After this project, workplace learning was expected to occur within the work day as a person’s job was being performed.

CLARITY RANKING: 2
JACLYN GUILLOT California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Deshen, Shlomo. Irony Among Blind Israelis: The Meaning, Construction, and Force. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54(3):309-317

Deshen Shlomo explores the uses of irony and sarcasm among blind Israelis in order to uncover the motivations and messages that underlie these forms of speech. In general, the use of sarcasm and the employment of irony in conversation may reveal clues about the internal beliefs and the external social standing of individuals within a given culture. The use of sarcasm and irony allows the speaker to explicitly state their beliefs or emotions covertly, through allusion, parody, humor, spite, body language and a host of other conversational modes.

Shlomo investigates the use of irony and sarcasm in blind Israelis to illuminate a variety of themes that are common in the lives of all of her subjects. Drawing distinctions between kinds of sarcastic expression reveals a great deal of insight into blind Israeli’s conceptions of themselves as individuals and as often misunderstood members of Israeli society.

Shlomo identifies six themes that underlie blind Israeli’s sarcasm and use of irony: expression of degradation, expression of social marginality, expression of low status and poverty, expression of actual sightlessness, expression of control of the unimpaired senses, and expression of the ambiguity of fellowship among blind Israelis. These themes appear to be universal in all of Shlomo’s subjects. Shlomo observes the different social contexts and emotional states blind Israelis find themselves in as they employ sarcasm to express these ideas.

All six themes are found to be expressed in light-hearted jokes as well as heated confrontations, as well as many places in between. Also, these themes are expressed in a variety of ironic conversational styles: from pun to ridicule to parody. Through the use of irony blind Israelis and their unique social status as individuals with an impairing and oftentimes, socially-stigmatizing handicap, Shlomo leaves the reader with a sense of the way that all human beings express themselves through ironic and sarcastic expression.

Lastly, Shlomo presents suggestions for social workers who assist the blind in any country or culture. The spirit of ironic expression Shlomo observes in blind Israelis leads her to contend that social workers and organizations relax the seriousness and pity in their services. The blind are not disabled in the sense that they are helpless and in need of charity, but are instead unique members of society with a socially constructed handicap status. This realization, Shlomo suggests, can make the services and assistance that is offered to the blind much more meaningful and would also help to remove some of the baseless stereotypes of blind people from society. Indeed, Shlomo asserts, the stigmas that arise from these stereotypes only serve to inhibit the sighted from understanding the blind as normal members of society who just happen to be sightless.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
KEITH HAYDEN California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Fitchen, Janet F. “The Single-Parent Family,” Child Poverty, and Welfare Reform. Human Organization, 1995 Vol.54(4):355-362

Fitchen conducted this study because of her concern with poverty and government welfare reform targeting “single-parent families.” She feels that instead of focusing on the “single parent family,” the government should look at the underlying cause of poverty within the single-parent family. The government has misinterpreted the dynamics of the “single parent family” by grouping “unmarried mothers” and “illegitimate children” together thinking that this is the “single parent family”, but this is not the case.

Most studies about child poverty for single-parent family studies are conducted in urban inner-city areas where poverty rates are fairly high; however, child poverty rates for single-parent families in rural areas are increasing and sometimes surpass these urban populations because of unemployment and lowered wages. The purpose of the author’s research is to suggest a welfare reform policy for families who have been misunderstood because of the very complex relationships that are present in poor, rural communities. The author conducts her field research among low income families and high-poverty communities in upstate New York. In the second section of her article, Fitchen draws on existing research conducted in dispersed rural sites throughout the United States and then compares her research to previous research.

In 1990-1992, Fitchen conducted her study in 17 counties in upstate New York to determine what sort of rural issues were present. These counties rely on agriculture and manufacturing as their economic mainstays. Lately manufacturing employment has declined due to closing factories. Fitchen defines three types of poor: the poor who have been poor for generations, the newly arrived poor from urban areas, and local residents thrown into unemployment because of reduction in work opportunities and/or reduction of number of workers per household. Fitchen observes that most of the poor people living in these rural areas are “white/non-ethnic,” which offers an alternative to assuming single-parenthood and poverty with stereotypes of race and ethnicity.

Fitchen’s methods for her local research included focus groups, formal interviews and key informant interviews, review of previous data, and field observations. To get names of potential women for household history interviews Fitchen asked some of her key informants, used the snowball technique, and also knocked on doors. Fitchen included forty women in the study.

Fitchen highlights four major findings when she is dealing with the 40 women being interviewed. Over three fourths of the women are or were married at one point. This reflects the national pattern that more rural poor are more likely to be married than the poor metropolitan.

The second of Fitchen’s findings was that poor single-parent families followed the same trend as poor two-parent households. One of these similarities included the female as making the most money in the household.
Third, Fitchen found was that there are many kinds of “single-parent families.” She defined four “types” each with unique problems and characteristics: younger women who had never been married, women who are older and have never been married (age 27-35), younger mothers (10 women ages 21-16) who married young but are separated and/or divorced now, and older women who are either separated and/or divorced from their spouse.

The author then raises some policy issues about the problems with marriage based welfare. Fitchen recognizes that marriage is not necessarily a beneficial option for single parent families. Rather efforts should be made to encourage their personal wellbeing, parenting techniques, and help in finding jobs and/or training. Fitchen also suggests the government try to reduce births and not focus on marriage as a solution.

Fitchen then compares her observations with research on rural poverty carried out in North Carolina, Mississippi, New Mexico, California, Washington, Oregon, Kansas, Nebraska, and the upper peninsula of Michigan. Fitchen finds that the single parent paradigm is inadequate in describing the dynamics of individual households, neglecting the community, social, and environmental factors. It also overlooks the extended family and important regional and ethnic diversity focusing on the single parent family to distinguish the causes of poverty, including decreased wages, seasonality, and difficult employment opportunities. Finally the single family model is inadequate for policy formulation. Government officials do not know the complexities of these types of families and base policy on inadequate policy stereotypes.

CLAIRITY: 3
MAGGIE HOFFMANN California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Gill, Lesley. “Examining Power, Serving the State:” Anthropology, Congress and the Invasion of Panama. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54 (3): 318-323

In 1969, Laura Nader urged anthropologists to “study up.” Influenced by renowned authors like Nader and Kathleen Gough, Gill explores the tension faced by anthropologists who seek to examine the institutional structures of state power in American society first hand.

Gill explores this topic through her participation in a ten-month AAA Congressional Fellow program, assisting a congressman, in the House of Representatives. During this period, US military forces invaded Panama, kidnapped Panamanian president, General Manuel Noriega, accused him of drug trafficking, and jailed him in Miami. The congressman for whom Gill worked did not agree with US policy. He felt the action needlessly endangered American lives, broke international law, and was carried out without the prior consent of Congress.

In the eyes of the congressman these illegal actions put the Bush administration in a vulnerable position, and presented the Congressman with a spotlight to speak on an important issue, and receive press coverage, newspaper space, that could interest other members in his constituency. Gill was assigned the task of writing an op-ed due to her knowledge of Latin America. The article was to criticize the intervention, and hopefully postpone the dimming of the Congressman’s and the Democrats’ spotlight on the issue. Despite full acknowledgement that her opinions on this issue did not fully coincide with the Congressman, Gill decided to write the article anyway.

The op-ed article addressed four main points. First, the invasion and US-imposed sanctions that preceded it were in serious breach of international law. Second, it suggested that even if General Noriega was an alleged cocaine dealer, the US did not have the right to intervene in sovereign affairs of another nation. Next, the article pointed out the Guillermo Endara was hardly a president of the people, due to being unfairly financially assisted from the CIA earlier in his presidential bid. Finally, the article urged President Bush to listen to Latin American presidents who called for democratic elections monitored by independent, international observers.

The article was read by the entire staff, then handed to the Congressman who set up a meeting with Gill and a lawyer on the Congressman’s personal staff. Once the meeting began the Congressman started dismantling the article. He stated that discussing the election in Panama was, “Like a dog, barking at the moon.” Further, he did not want to associate himself with those Latin American presidents who called for elections, worried that this might lead opponents to question his patriotism. Overall, the article was taking an unpopular stand on Panama and the Congressman was unwilling to take the risk. Gill’s article was never published, and the hours she spent at her desk were for nothing. Eventually, feeling alienated, she transferred departments, and finished her fellowship elsewhere.

In conclusion Gill writes that in order to engage inaccessible public officials and corporate executives in pubic policy discussions, collaboration with popular organizations who challenge established order is needed; unions, church organizations, gay/lesbian groups, women’s and minority groups. Progressive social movements can command attention of aloof officials, broaden the limit of pubic debate and stimulate meaningful change.

A conscious effort needs to be made to “study up” and examine relations of power. This will provide a deeper understanding of domination and subordination and the ambiguities and personal conflicts that continually plague professional anthropologists engaged in political activity.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
Paul Tantarelli California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Gmelch, George and Sharon B. Gender and Migration: The Readjustment of Women Migrants in Barbados, Ireland, and Newfoundland. Human Organization 1995 Vol. 54(4): 470-473.

In this article the authors conducted a controlled comparison of the impact return of migrants in three Atlantic societies; Barbados, Ireland, and Newfoundland. Their goal was to determine how migrants from each society readjusted to their home lands after having been assimilated into a different culture. They found a significant gender difference in the attitudes of return migrants, particularly women.

Data was collected primarily through interviews. The authors sent out surveys to 606 people in Ireland, 420 people in Newfoundland, and 135 people in Barbados. Ninety percent of the people who responded agreed to be interviewed. In order to conduct interviews the Gmelch’s had a team of 12 interviewers. The interview schedule contained 100 items divided into five agendas: the circumstances of migrates before emigration, their emigration experience, reasons for returning home, the post-return adjustment, and the socio-economic impact of returnees on their home community.

The authors provide background information on the three societies. In all three areas the people were returning from urban areas in North America and Britain to their homeland, which included rural communities. New York, London, and Toronto were the three most popular metropolitan centers where emigrants had lived.

Most of those interviewed migrated to the urban areas in their late teens and early twenties (the average ages were 21 for Barbadians, 22.5 for the Irish, and 22.3 for the Newfoundlanders). Most were single at the time of their emigration and married by the time they came back. The primary reason for emigrating was for economic and employment reasons; they needed jobs.

Why did the migrants return home? In order to answer this question the authors gave the respondents three reasons that might have influenced their return home: economic-occupational reasons, patriotic and social reasons, and family or personal reasons. Within these categories there were “push” and “pull” factors. Push meaning conditions that would influence leaving the developed countries and pull meaning conditions that would influence the person to come home. The authors found that most migrants, for personal reasons, decided to come home because life at home seemed more exciting, not because they were dissatisfied with their lives abroad. Also, in all three cases the reasons for returning home were primarily for patriotic, social and familial concerns, with little economic interest.

There were few gender differences in the data except for the question, “How satisfied are you with your life here compared to your life abroad?” The women’s responses were significantly different than the male response to this question. Particularly among those who had returned home in the last year, most of the women were significantly more “dissatisfied” then men.
The author believes that this gender difference cane be accounted for “by looking at the differential opportunities for women and men in the labor force, their feelings about being separated from grown children and their families, the returnees settlement pattern in their home society, and the experiences they have in the communities they return home to.” Work is significant in reasoning this. In the process of returning home, there was a reduction in wages in both women and men, a change in the type of work (industrial/service sectors to small agriculture), and higher rates of employment. Three-fourths of the men who were under retirement age were able to find work, but many of the females did not. This was a difficult adjustment, as 9 out of 10 women had jobs outside the home while in the metropolitan area. This gave the women independence, money, respect, and some social power, which they lost by moving back home. Some women complained of boredom while being at home.

Settlement patterns had an affect on them being satisfied at home also. Most of the women returnees returned with their husband that they met abroad and went to live with his family and in his home town, not their own. Another reason for dissatisfaction was that most of the women raised families abroad and they miss their children and grandchildren. Another activity that some of the women missed was shopping especially at bargain and department stores, getting around with public transit, and being free to do so. At home the women were confined to the home, some lacked vehicles and the ability to get out of the house. Some of the other reasons included social reasons and problems associated with the people in their homeland. Because of cultural differences it was hard to make friends. There was a loss of privacy due to gossip and public scrutiny. Also jealousy arose because of the migrants’ prosperity which might include cars, houses, education of the migrants’ children and so forth.

Over time, however the discontent of the women seems to diminish and the gap between men and women narrows. The pattern of why the women were discontent in their returning county was consistent in Barbados, Ireland, and Newfoundland and they all focused on movement from urban settings abroad to rural which was back home. The authors note that researchers must be careful in characterizing migrant’s experiences because a woman’s experience could be quite different from a man’s experience.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
MAGGIE HOFFMANN California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Hansis, Richard The Social Acceptability of Clearcutting in the Pacific Northwest. Human Organization. Vol. 54 (1): 95-101, 1995

In his article on the forestry practices, Richard Hansis focuses on clearcutting, a technique where most, if not all, of the standing trees of any given area are removed. Before writing about the data relating to his study, he reviews the literature on various theories and models concerned with acceptability and values.

The first point made in the literature review is that values are the basic standards of judgments and evaluation. Values are also stated as being ranked; the fulfillment of lower ranked values not necessarily satisfying non-fulfillment of a prime ranked value. Hansis then reviews facets that influence the acceptability of new ideas. Hansis shows that there are three determinant of the acceptability of a new idea: (1) the character of the idea, (2) the situational features connected to the idea, (3) the range in qualities of possible acceptors of the idea.

Next Hansis gives a list of five factors relating to the social acceptability of clearcutting. First, places carry symbolic meaning to the people who use the forest. Second is in understanding the value placed upon these experiences. Third are the level of knowledge about forestry practices and the impacts of their practices shared by the community. Fourth is an understanding that members of the community may have previous experience with accepting introduced ideas, including a generalized apathy toward outside authority. Last is the character of potential acceptors.

Based on this review, Hansis describes the methods used in his research to ascertain the level of social acceptability of clearcutting in the Pacific Northwest. The population selected was divided into four groups: (1) people who visited Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Southwest Washington, (2) people from rural and urban areas of Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington, or Hood River Counties, all in the vicinity of Portland, (3) a random sample from rural and urban areas of Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania, or Klickitat counties of Southwestern Washington, and (4) rural occupants of Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania, and Klickitat counties.

Two methods were used in this study. The first was a questionnaire consisting of a series of statements concerning federal forest management, and was answered by people choosing to agree or disagree. This was mailed to the chosen population in waves. Hansis had a high rate of survey return, nearly 72%, due to intense interest in this issue. It was shown that 29.8% of the people involved disagreed with the statement that clearcutting should be banned on federal forest land, 14.6% were neutral to this statement, and 55.6% agreed with the ban. He further discusses various factors in the data involving gender, occupation, and self-identified political ideology. The second method was the interviewing of 35 people. The format was the same as the questionnaire with the added ability of interviewees to expand upon their answers. The results of these interviews showed that feelings against clearcutting increased with level of education. Also, those people who labeled themselves as being conservative were more apt to be in favor of clearcutting.

Hansis concluded that “…one cannot read off the acceptability of clearcutting from a person’s direct involvement in the in the timber industry. Nor can opposition to clearcutting be found in all those who have no direct interest in the cutting of trees in federal forests….The set of values that a person has and the spatial and temporal context in which a person lives both interact with each other and are reflected in the acceptability of clearcutting (p.100).”

Clarity Ranking: 2
JACOB CARR California State University, Chico. (Dr. William Loker)

Hogg, Robert S. Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Mortality in Rural Australia. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54 (2): 214-220.

Robert Hogg investigates differences in the mortality rates of Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal people of Western New South Wales over a ten year period (1979-1988), uncovering substantial health inequalities between the two groups that result in a higher rate of mortality for Aborigines. Conditions of severe poverty, diet, lifestyle, and poor health contribute to the gross disparity between the two groups.

The study is based on mortality data gathered from primary and secondary sources for two medium-sized towns with a fairly large Aboriginal population. Using data for mortality rates for the years studied, Hogg cross-compares age-specific and cause-specific patterns of death, potential years of life lost, and life expectancies to age and gender groups, looking for any significant differences between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal mortality rates.

Hogg discovered that the Aboriginal population for both sexes was much younger in comparison to the Non-Aboriginal population, with the majority of the Aboriginal population under 20 years of age. Correspondingly, he found Aboriginal mortality rates to be drastically higher than Non-Aborigines, with the majority of deaths among Aborigines occurring between the ages of 25-64, which signified an unusual trend.

A theory of epidemiological transition would anticipate more deaths during the 0-24 age range that includes childbirth and early childhood, periods that typically witness greater mortality rates due to the infant deaths and infectious diseases. However, as Hogg illustrates, Aborigines have higher instances of adult mortality, which he attributes to three possible explanations. First, Aborigines may be genetically predisposed to certain illnesses such as heart and lung diseases and non-insulin dependent diabetes, which may be attributed to changes in dietary habits in relation to a specific Aboriginal genotype.

Second, Aboriginal risk factors for heart disease, the leading cause of death for both groups, include higher rates of tobacco consumption, hypertension, obesity, and non-insulin dependent diabetes, a phenomenon that can also be linked to dietary changes from traditional food sources to modern, refined and packaged foods. Third, social inequality may play a role in the higher mortality rates found among Aborigines. Inadequate food and housing, unemployment, lack of education, depression, higher rates of alcohol abuse, and an overall feeling of powerlessness exists in the Aboriginal community, all of which may factor into the higher rates of deaths that are related to accidents, abuse, and violence.

Concerned by the implications, Hogg notes that intervention programs designed to improve health conditions in Australia have been fairly ineffective thus far. He feels that in order to improve health conditions of Aborigines, extensive work must be done that would include Aborigines as active participants involved in designing strategies to end the cycles of poverty. Hogg also feels that programs need to be designed and implemented that focus on specific disease strategies in order to improve the health of Aborigines, which would in turn extend life expectancies. Finally, he suggests that more research is needed for reevaluations of the current and future strategies designed to improve the health of Aborigines.

CLARITY RATING: 4
CHRISTY NEWTON California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Knudsen, Stale. “Fisheries along the Eastern Black Sea Coast of Turkey:” Informal Resource Management in Small-scale Fishing the Shadow of a Dominant Capitalist Fishery. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54 (4): 437-448

This article focuses on the recent historic developments of capitalist fisheries, and their effects on small-scale fishing during the last 20-30 years in Turkey, on the Black Sea. Technological and economic differences between small-scale fishing and capitalist fisheries, along with their social and cultural closeness, have affected formal and informal regulation of diminishing resources in the Black Sea. Knudsen focuses on two main issues. First, the social process at work in the management systems in capitalist fisheries, and what influences their design of management. Second, Knudsen examines the evolution of two very distinct kinds of fishery adaptations: modern capital-intensive and work-intensive small-scale fishing.

The majority of people in coastal Turkey regard themselves as ethnic Turk and Sunni Muslims. Most people in this densely populated region (average 100-250 pers./km) are involved in cultivation of hazelnut. This seasonal crop requires little labor, and groves are usually family managed. Land shortage, low prices for hazelnuts, and lack of any substantial industry, cause many to leave home in order to find income.

Many jobs are offered in the large scale fishing industry. Generally 20-25 people to work on each trawler, and additional employment is needed for large scale packing, and shipping of anchovies and sardines. There are no regulations limiting the size of fleets, and due to the lack of knowledge of stock sizes, neither individual boats nor the total fleet are restricted by quota arrangements. Conversely, with no present agreements on wages, the owner decides individuals percentages, depending on the seasons catch. If the catches are small crewmembers may have no share, as the expenses of the business are covered first. Many local small-scale fishermen have become aware of this, and the majority prefer to work alone.

Due to this form of capitalist business, and their inability to compete with anchovy and sardine sales, small-scale fishermen have adapted to catching Atlantic bonito fish and red mullet that have higher market values. In order to catch these fish, location and communication among fisherman is very important. Social order and ownership of land on the coast plays an important role in the location of each small-scale fisherman. For the most part, full time small-scale fishermen ally themselves against large-scale fleets and relentlessly hold on to sections of the Black Sea at any cost. These locations are near the eastern part of the Black Sea, and are currently closed to large trawlers, which allows small-scale fisherman a minor advantage of waters not fished by trawlers. Currently small-scale fisherman have been able to hold off capitalist fishing by their constant presence, however no agreement or regulation stipulating individual fisherman’s positions or village territories have been legally established.

Due to resources becoming more scare, capitalist fisheries have been putting pressures on government agencies to open current forbidden areas. This raises the question of who will receive “first comer’s right?” Opening these waters to large trawlers is very controversial, ecologically and economically, due to depletion of fish, and precarious rights of small-scale farmers.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
Paul Tantarelli California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Mansperger, Mark. Tourism and Cultural Change in Small-Scale Societies. Human Organizations. 1995 Vol. 54(1):87-94.

We have entered an era in which small-scale societies are increasingly affected by tourism. With the expansion of tourism and tourist-host interactions, comes significant impact on these small-scale societies. Intercultural contact may cause significant cultural changes within these cultures.

In this article Mansperger analyzes three case studies of tourism impacts on Native peoples of the Upper Amazon, East Africa, and the Pacific Islands. These case studies become a point of reference for the Mansperger to make a general analysis of the benefits and costs of tourism on small-scale societies.

The Upper Amazon case study reviews the cultural change that has occurred within the Yagua of Peru and Colombia. Mansperger determines that tourism negatively impacted the Yagua by relocating the Yagua into accessible locations to make it more convenient for tourists to have contact with the indigenous people. The Yagua also perform superficial ceremonies for the tourists; these ceremonies then lose their significance to the local people. Apathy, depression, tuberculosis, and the cessation of their subsistence activities among the Yagua are all negative impacts of tourism.

When reviewing the case study done on the Massai of East Africa, Mansperger determines that tourism has had minimal effects on their culture. This is a result of limited interactions between hosts and guests, resistance to foreign agencies, and retaining enough access to land to allow them to continue their pastoral traditions, thus allowing them to maintain their traditional world view, social structure, and subsistence system.

The last case study Mansperger reviews is done on the Yapese of the Pacific Islands. In this study it seems that the impact of tourism is primarily benefiting the Yapese culture. The reasons for the minimal negative costs and preponderant benefits of tourism among the Yapese is due to Yapese ownership of all the tourism infrastructure on the island. They, rather than foreign agencies, reap profits from the tourist industry. The relationship that the Yapese have with their land, and the status that owning land brings, ensures that the Yapese will not sell their land for monetary profit.

Overall Mansperger acknowledges that tourism can have many benefits, and/or costs, to small-scale societies. Tourism can promote economic development, provide employment opportunities for women, increase public services, promote the preservation of indigenous traditions, and establish educational contacts between people of different cultures. The costs of tourism on small-scale societies may include displacement, disruptions of local economic and kinship systems, environmental degradation, inflation, inequality, social conflict, erosion of traditions, crime, prostitution, crowding, inauthenticity, loss of autonomy, and increased dependency on the outside world.

Research indicates that the impacts of tourism can be reduced if tourism is kept at a moderate or low level. Mansperger explains that a primary factor of minimizing tourist impact is maintaining host control or ownership over the tourist infrastructure and involving the locals in all decision-making processes. Also, the negative impacts of tourism seem to be related to tourist induced changes in the host’s relationship to their lands. The more land utilization and tenure systems are disrupted, the larger and more harmful are the impacts of tourism.

Clarity Ranking: 4
Alea Gellman California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Margolis, Maxine L. Brazilians and the 1990 United States Census: Immigrants, Ethnicity, and the Undercount. Human Organizations.1995 Vol.54(1):52-58.

Using the example of Brazilians in New York City, this article documents the reasons why immigrants in the United States are underrepresented in national censuses; in turn, this creates a problematic final tally of who is living in the country. Two issues that affected the 1990 United States census included the utilization of ethnic categories and the enumeration of undocumented immigrants. Maxine Margolis’ study of Brazilian immigrants in New York City documents the census undercount of Brazilians in New York and in the U.S. as a whole.

Margolis compares two sources on statistics of Brazilian immigration. The United States government statistics indicate a steady increase in Brazilian immigration over the last 25 years, from approximately 1984 to 1992. These data only include legal immigrants because the majority of illegal immigrants try to avoid being counted. The author believes the best source for the true volume of immigrants is the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization services statistics on tourist visas issued to Brazilians coming to the U.S. The most intense period of Brazilian immigration to the U.S. was between 1984 and 1992; tourist visas rose by 200 percent during this time period. Using estimates from the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services, twenty percent of the 2 million immigrants came to this country to seek work.

The question that remains is how these people are represented on the census. There are two issues present regarding how the census is conducted, (1) how to count illegal immigrants as part of the Brazilian population, and (2) the effects of identity categories on the count. How to define those of Latin American heritage went through years of reshaping. During the 1960’s, Latin American ancestry was classified as “white,” and then changed in the next decade to “Hispanic,” and “Central and South American,” followed by “Spanish/Hispanic origin/descent.” The 1990 census directed people to check “Spanish/Hispanic” if they were from the countries the census had listed or other Spanish speaking countries. Brazil was not included on the list and Brazilians speak Portuguese not Spanish. They had the option of putting Brazilian as “other race” but Brazilian isn’t a race, it is a nationality. Many marked “white” and many others refused; both these options contributed to the undercount of Brazilians. The 1990 census declared a total of 27,631 Brazilians in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut combined, yet Margolis’ findings of statistics by the Brazilian Consulate in New York City state there were 80,000 to 100,000 Brazilians in the New York metropolitan area alone.

The author found that there was a significant, but unknown, number of Brazilians living in New York City that do not participate in the census due to the following factors: unable to declare ethnicity specifically, fear of being detected by immigration authorities, residential mobility, and household composition. Her anecdotal evidence suggests that more individuals would have participated but they were disinterested or they resented the options the census offered. The census category “other race” went from 6.8 million in 1980 to 9.8 million in 1990. An undetermined percentage of individuals in this category were Brazilians.

CLARITY: 3
ERIN SMITH California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Meleif, Alaf I. and Pilar Bernal. The Paradoxical World of Daily Domestic Workers in Cali, Colombia. Human Organization, 1995 Vol. 54(4): 393-400.

In this study, the authors claim that the needs of women working in Latin America as domestic workers are neglected within these societies. These low status occupations are rarely valued, yet the jobs are necessary for both women doing the labor and their employers. The authors analyze and describe women’s domestic work roles in Cali, Colombia, identifying both stressful and satisfying aspects of their occupations.

Nearly eight percent of the work force in Colombia have domestic jobs and in Cali, ninety-seven percent of the workers are women. The methodology for finding a sample of workers who would share their work experience began with a selection of three districts of predominately upper middle class households. Meleif and Bernal randomly selected subjects in each district, identifying 60 female daily domestic workers. Domestic labor was the only source of income for thirty-four percent of the participants. The authors used a structured interview guide with open-ended questions to analyze the coping strategies of these low income women and their stress or satisfaction with their job. They determined relative strengths of the categories that emerged from interview responses, depicting levels of satisfaction women workers felt.

The interview data uncovered three paradoxes: (1) the work of these women turned out to be convenient but burdensome, (2) workers want to keep their occupation yet desire fringe benefits like those received in janitorial occupations, and (3) there is a valuation and devaluation of women’s work in Latin American countries. Forty-two percent of respondents said flexibility in their working hours was the most satisfying aspect of their job, along with enjoying the work they do. The women acknowledge the temporary economic support of getting paid everyday, but insufficient income and stressful work loads have created insecurities within the labor force. The authors indicate that domestic workers cope with the stress of being mistrusted and degraded by the upper-middle class female employers by blaming themselves, getting angry, or turning to supernatural powers for support. In spite of the problems they face, most women in the study were satisfied with their daily jobs because they could go home at night to their families, unlike other women of this occupation who may be employed as live-in domestic workers.

The authors concluded that these female domestic workers found an opportunity in their paid labor in addition to the work they do at home, which allows them a small degree of economic power. Meleif and Bernal believe there needs to be an overall systematic approach to raising consciousness of the stress women domestic workers endure and the security, protection and benefits they need. The hope is that society will both value the service of these women and make additional resources available that will ultimately help these domestic workers.

CLARITY: 4
ERIN SMITH California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Metcalf, Crysta J., Briody, Elizabeth K. Reconciling Perceptions of Career Advancement with Organizational Change: A Case From General Motors. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54(4): 417-427.

A corporation’s choice to restructure, whether it is in the form of downsizing, plateauing, etc, is anticipated to have positive effects on labor costs, efficiency and daily operations. In this study, Crysta Metcalf of Wayne State University and Elizabeth Briody of General Motors Research decided to analyze the secondary effects of these choices in a mid 1980’s downsizing of sales and service employees in a General Motors division. Their main interests were employee concerns related to this change and overall career development issues.

Upon interviewing GM employees, Metcalf and Briody gained a working definition of the direction and pace of a “typical” career path through the eyes of employees. Overall, employees associated this path with upward and lateral moves; no one suggested downward moves as part of the path. The employees also related that a change in positions should occur no longer than every three years. As far as a focus on direction, most employees valued being moved up above anything else, but some employees related the benefit of lateral moves as contributing to their work experience base and long-term career development. Plateauing and downward moves were viewed as negative because of the decrease in new knowledge, responsibility and pay that comes along with these movements.

Employees believed their career mobility was affected by political dimensions, geographic location, educational background and job performance. The factors that were believed to make an upward move ideal are exposure, popularity, contacts, large volume metro zones and high educational degree.

Employees that had recently had a change in job position initially thought they had not been negatively affected by the restructuring, while those who had not had a recent movement felt that restructuring contributed to the plateauing of their careers. Metcalf and Briody hypothesized that the shorter amount of time someone had been in their current position, the more likely they were to expect career advancement and that changing attitudes about mobility only occur when downsizing affects employees directly. Employees had positive things to say about the effects of downsizing as well. They noted more people-oriented managers and that promotions were more often being based on how hard a person worked.

As a result of this study, Briody and Metcalf developed a sense of the steps of acceptance of downsizing. The first step employees took was to accept that the downsizing was occurring, but they refused to believe that it would affect their career. Next, their insecurities toward the possibility of downsizing and career movement became realities in their minds. Employees only finally admitted they had been affected when their career mobility slowed or halted. Even so, they initially expected upward career movement before resigning themselves to limited career movement.
Briody and Metcalf were able to compare career movements before and after downsizing, direct adjustments in the organization due to the downsizing and assess reactions to these organizational changes. Because their main focus was the employee, they believed that the restructuring should be centered around assessing the skills and knowledge of individual employees. From there, the revised objectives of the organization could be woven in to create new job placements.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
Jaclyn Guillot, California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Parker, Sheila and Mimi Nichter, Mark Nichter, Nancy Vuckovic, Colette Sims, andCheryl Ritenbaugh. Body Image and Weight Concerns among African American and White Adolescent Females: Differences that make a Difference. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54(2):103-113.

This article examines the differences between White and African American female adolescent perceptions of body image. To obtain such perceptions a three-year study of body image that included surveys, focus groups and interviews with adolescent middle class girls (n= 250) was carried out. The informants of this study were primarily White. In the final year of the three-year study, a second sample of African American girls was added (n=46) to the study. After the initial survey and focus groups were administered the researchers found that the focus group answers from the African American girls did not match the survey results. A new survey was written with more culturally appropriate vocabulary and questions.

The results show two very different attitudes toward weight and body image. White girls reported much higher levels of dissatisfaction with their bodies than African Americans. They were more likely to be dissatisfied, to talk about their dissatisfaction and to try to change their bodies by dieting. White adolescents believed that “slenderness is essential for attractiveness and is a key component for interpersonal success” (1995 Parker et al. 106). They held a rigid ideal of a ‘perfect’ girl who was tall, thin and blonde. They expressed jealousy and anger towards girls who did meet this model and a sense that it was an unobtainable goal for them. Discussion in the focus groups revealed that talking negatively about their own bodies, what researchers termed ‘fat talk’, was a way of gaining social acceptance. It was used to as a leveling device with others to become part of the group.

Conversely, African American adolescents often defined beauty as a list of personal traits rather than physical attributes. Their conceptions of the ideal girl was much more fluid than the rigid ideas that the White girls conveyed. Beauty often had more to do with personal style. Personal style was described as ‘making what you got work for you’ and ‘bringing it all together’. Because beauty was fluid they reported less jealousy towards other girls and a higher value of self. The survey results show that African American girls were more likely to give and receive complements. They did recognize a distinction between their view of beauty and the White ideals.

The article concluded that the White Adolescents critical assessment of their bodies lead to “dissatisfaction with one’s physical attributes, fostered competition and envy among women, and encouraged the pursuit of goals impossible to obtain/maintain” (1995 Parker et al. 110) while African American Adolescents valued egalitarian ideals, diversity and improvisation.

Clarity Rating:3
Natalie Fink: California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Parrish, Anne M. “There were no sus in the old days:” Post-Harvest Pest Management in an Egyptian Oasis Village. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54 (2): 195-203

Past attempts to understand both traditional and introduces and agricultural strategies in Egypt have tended to focus within the Nile Valley, the Delta or in reclaimed land projects near Cairo, often overlooking the oasian farming communities of the Western Desert. Anne M. Parish documents the local-level post-harvest strategies employed by farmers in the Western desert village of Mut, El Dakhla hoping to discover significant factors in employing introduced pest-management techniques as well as the role of traditional tactics.

Due to the Egyptian government’s restriction, the author relied upon a prepared mental interview guide as opposed to written questionnaires or interview schedules. Sixty farmers within four distinct geographical regions where chosen for interviews, with each interview lasting between forty-five minutes to an hour. The questions focused on the farmer’ pest control methods, which were divided into chemical, mechanical, cultural and biological control strategies.

Parrish points out “because the area had only recently been subject to introduced agricultural development, many of the traditional practices for storage and pest management were still known of used” (195). Research objectives included identifying socioeconomic factors and pest management strategies, among traditional and modern farming methods.

Beginning in the 1960’s, the Egyptian Desert Development Organization was founded to revitalize the struggling agrarian system. Though traditional cropping patters of wheat, paddy rice, dates and animal fodder were continued, the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation introduced chemical fertilizers, mechanization and replaced the Roman waterwheel with the diesel irrigation pumps. With the increased efficiency and access to water, farmland expanded into previously uncultivated desert areas and farmers recorded higher crop yields.

As a direct result of increased yields, farmers no longer had time to enact traditional pest management techniques and experienced increased post-harvest losses although the Ministry of Agriculture was offering free or low-cost chemical pesticides. The author documents the high rate of adoption of introduced technology, finding that a majority abandoned traditional methods. The socioeconomic data compiled showed age as a largely insignificant factor contributing to likelihood of adopting new rodent control methods. In contrast, education and size of land holdings greatly affected the choice of insect control practices.

Analysis of farmer interviews revealed both a commitment to introduced pest management techniques as well as a greater perceived rodent and insect problem than in the past. A number of factors appear to contribute to such circumstances, as grain storage practices have changed and larger yields leave less time for indigenous, labor-intensive strategies.

Parrish’s research documents a widespread adoption of new technologies, yet she hesitates to label the project a complete success. Finding that many farmers expressed environmental concerns and lonely partial success with pest eradication, the author concludes that incorporation traditional practices with introduced technologies introduction will deliver a higher chance economic and environmental success.

CLARITY: ?
NAME: ? California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Pessar, Patricia R. The Elusive Enclave: Ethnicity, Class, and Nationality among Latino Entrepreneurs in Greater Washington, DC. Human Organization. 1995. Vol. 54: 383-392.

An ethnic enclave in a particular area is predicted to emerge when three specific conditions are met: (1) the presence of a sizeable number of immigrants in the area with business experience, (2) the accessibility and availability of sources of capital, and (3) the availability of labor sources. The Latino population of greater Washington, DC meets all of these conditions yet the author doubts that an ethnic enclave will emerge. Ethnographic and survey research methods were used to gather relevant information about Latinos in the greater Washington, DC area. Open-ended interviews were used to collect information from Latino community and business leaders and workers to examine the possible emergence of an ethnic enclave.

An ethnic enclave is a formation of members of the same ethnicity, in the same community, who integrate socio-economically vertically and horizontally with one another. Upon study by the author, it is concluded that Latinos in Greater Washington, DC do not integrate vertically and horizontally. They rely mostly on commercial links and deal more often with non-Latino business associates. The reasons for this lack of solidarity among Latinos stems from the stereotype that Latinos offer inferior service. There is also intense competition and distrust among Latinos.

Latinos in Greater Washington, DC may be linked by ethnicity, but they are also divided by nationality. Many new organizations are created by and for Bolivians, Colombians, Peruvians, or Salvadorans specifically. In specific case studies it is shown that there is a lack of trust among Latinos based solely on their nationality. It is suggested that this distrust stems from previous business experience with members of certain nationalities.

Distrust is also related to social class and time of arrival in the United States. Class is the major unifier of the Latino population in Washington, DC. The few Latinos involved in business organizations are joined together because of their social class, not because of their ethnicity. Latinos of lesser social class complain that these business organizations do not cater to the needs of the common Latino businessperson. The Latino population of greater Washington, DC is driven by self-interest and exploitation by other Latinos.

The author concludes that currently a Latino ethnic enclave does not exist, and the prospect for the emergence of one in the greater Washington DC area is not good. Although the Latino community possesses all of the characteristics essential to form an ethnic enclave, their intense competition, and their separation based on nationality undermine the foundation of an ethnic enclave in the greater Washington, DC area.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
MARALYN MOUL California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Pollnac, Richard B., John J. Poggie and Charles VanDusen. Cultural Adaptation to Danger and the Safety of Commercial Oceanic Fishermen. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54(2):153-159.

In this article, Pollnac, Poggie, and VanDusen analyzed the psycho-cultural adaptation to danger and its relationship to safety among New England commercial oceanic fishermen from Rhode Island and Massachusetts. According to the authors, a psychological strategy of denial and trivialization is used among the New England fishermen to adapt to, or ignore, the dangers of their occupation. Commercial fishing is a dangerous occupation; their vessel loss rates are five to seven times greater than the loss rate of cargo ships. Moreover, the death rate of fishermen in the United States is higher than in Canada and Norway.

It is claimed that the fishermen’s psycho-culture directly affects safety practices on-board their vessels, resulting in a situation where fishermen refuse to take seriously information about the dangers of their occupation. The authors found that these fishers lack the knowledge necessary to use and properly maintain on board safety equipment. Policymakers believe that increased efforts at educating fishermen can help to reduce their risks of accidents; however, due to the heavy financial burden of the equipment and the anxiety and stress associated with the knowledge of risks, these fishermen continue to deny and trivialize the dangers they face.

This research draws on secondary data from Sea Grant (a nationwide network of 30 university-based programs that work with coastal communities) and the Coast Guard’s fishing vessel casualty data file (CASMAIN) supplemented by interviews with fishermen from Point Judith, Rhode Island and New Bedford, Massachusetts. Fishermen were asked to rank order the relative seriousness of eight “accident” categories used by the Coast Guard: explosion, capsize, fire, collision, grounding, flooding, steering failure, and disabled (dependent variables), together with questions on age, education, and other socio-demographic variables. Correlation and stepwise multiple regression were used to analyze the interrelationships among these variables.

Results from the analysis of the Coast Guard data and interviews indicates that Point Judith fishermen are at lower risk than New Bedford fishermen because they spend relatively less time in the ocean per fishing trip compared to the New Bedford fishermen. New Bedford fishermen appear to deny danger more and be less realistic about accidents than those in Point Judith. Anxiety and stress level is higher for the fishermen in New Bedford because of relatively larger vessels and longer time at the sea, making the loss of life is relatively greater.

While the psychological strategy of denial and trivialization of danger is problematic for fishermen, it does minimize their subjective perception of danger and helps cope with the stress of their occupation. Even though they understand the danger of having accidents, they focus on the positives of a good catch and making money. Fishers also use supernatural controls to cope psychologically with danger. Fishermen request protection from the saints or spirits and/or practice taboo behavior whenever they go out to the sea. While these strategies help fishers cope psychologically, these also result in a low level of realistic knowledge of danger for the fishermen.

Pollnac and others point out that government intervention is needed to deal with the fishermen problem. They suggest that safety training program maybe useful to help the fishermen to expand their knowledge of that field. “Reality inducing” techniques, for example, showing fishermen films of several actual sinkings of fishing vessels, will help to stimulate them to have safety training and take it seriously.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
YUEN YEE YONNIE YEUNG California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Price, Laurie J. Life Stories of the Terminally Ill: Therapeutic and Anthropological Paradigms. Human Organization. 1995. Vol. 54: 462-469.

The terminally ill tend to tell life stories to increase their independence during a socially and physically dependent stage of life. The stories they tell focus mainly on life experience and have little or nothing to do with their illness. This study focuses on the life stories of four terminally ill hospice clients and the therapeutic aspects of the story telling.

The clients of the hospice were videotaped. The choice in clients included people from diverse ethnic and class backgrounds. The first subject was a Midwestern divorced minister’s wife with three children. The second subject was a black Baptist man from Georgia. Next was a young gay man with AIDS who was alienated from his family because of his sexuality. Last was a woman from North Carolina who had a long marriage and a close family. Three facilitators videotaped and prompted the stories of these clients. There was some dispute as to how information should be solicited. Ultimately, it was decided to use a combination of standard questions and the facilitator’s creativity in using these questions.

There were both benefits and pitfalls to life review stories. Benefits included enhanced self-esteem through the celebration of past identities, affirmation of present strengths, and the ability to cope with death. There were also therapeutic benefits which gave the clients the agency and independence in their dependent state. Some pitfalls to life review are those of reification, commoditization, and standardization. In reification, the story can become an object where a nurse could refer to it like a medicine or pill. Commoditization could turn life review into a service such as one to be charged by the hour and covered by insurance. Standardization would turn life stories into a “how to” procedure. This could limit the uniqueness of each life story and limit the benefits and therapeutic qualities of it.

Ultimately life review helps the terminally ill release tensions built up throughout life and their impending death. The ultimate test is to attain a life review without giving up the uniqueness of each individual story and commercializing it as a service.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
MARALYN MOUL California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Reeves-Ellington, Richard. Organizing for Global Effectiveness: Ethnicity and Organizations. Human Organization. 1995 Vol.54(3):249-262.

As globalization is growing around the world, many companies become multinational organizations. For example, many companies have headquarters in their original countries, but develop regional offices in other countries for ease of management. However, these multinational organizations discover a major problem in multinational personnel. Since these organizations included employees from different countries around the world, cultural and value differences can become internal conflicts.

In this article, Reeves-Ellington examines the case study of a failing organization, the Africa/Asia Region of a medium-sized pharmaceutical company owned by a U.S.-based multinational corporation, Pharmco Inc. (a pseudonym used in the article to protect the company’s identity), in order to discuss theoretical organizational changes and organizational research methodology. The goal of this research was to recreate the organization with an “ethnic foundation” for internal and external environmental integration, and to identify the positive potential about how developing an “ethnic organization” helps the company to succeed.

The author defines “ethnic organization” as a group that pursues shared visions and values with each member. An ethnic organization has its own culture and traits. Members who are working in the organization understand the characteristics of the organization and share the same value system with each other. An ethnic organization is synergistic and self-defining with a high emotional intensity among its members.

Pharmco Inc., a multinational company was facing failure: its market position was poor, its customers had no image of the company, and its managers were neglected and ill-trained. In order to regain the company’s goodwill and objectives, headquarters wanted its Africa/Asia Region (REGION) to achieve certain fiscal objectives. The Regional manager realized to meet headquarters’ challenge, the REGION needed to change its internal and external organizational environment, and to do that, the regional company applied the concept of “organizational ethnicity”. This concept helped the organization to define itself in terms of its internal and wider community’s ethnic traits, boundaries, and culture. Instead of concentrating on a particular culture, the organization became culturally neutral; in other words, members of the organization shared visions and values with each other. “Organizational ethnicity” helped REGION to change into an ethnic organization rather than ethnic individuals.

Shifting to an ethnic organization required shifting from traditional business organizational norms to the parameters of an ethnic organization. In order to achieve the goal, several academics were hired as consultants to help the Africa/Asia management. Surveys and information analysis were used for researching, but they failed to collect in-depth understanding of organizational changes. A specialty group (academics, action researchers, and practitioners) was then hired for further research. This combined survey (statistical analysis) and ethnographic research (cultural analysis) to increase reliability and validity of the results.

Three processes and one paradigm shift were used to create an ethnic organization: a visioning process, a culture-building process and an ethnic dimensions process, along with a radically different operating paradigm. In the case of Pharmco Inc., these steps were taken in parallel; in other words, the processes were undertaken simultaneously. This strategy accelerated development and implementation of the resulting organizational change.

The process of change in organization encouraged employees to have free exchange of information and opinions, to increase participation in policy development, to develop an organizational vision and culture, as well as to develop an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect. Major business improvement was achieved after the change. For example, the Africa/Asia Region met its fiscal goals in three years and increased its profit in the fifth year; the organization’s market ranking and reputation were increased; production cost was reduced and customers’ recognition increased. However, there were downsides of the organizational change. The internal changes led to increased personnel turnover and employees’ dissatisfaction because of the sudden shift of work; but overall Pharmco was seen as a caring organization.

Reeves-Ellington concluded that people would respond positively to organizations that attempt to integrate into their wider societal context. In the case of Pharmco Inc., the change to an ethnic organization resulted in positive business results. Cross-cultural understanding and agreement were attained through the use of generative models and processes to develop shared visions, values and prescriptive ethics; also, with greater frequency of contact among employees, internal and external differences between organizational members were reduced. A study of successful organizational change requires better methodology such as the post-modern concept of power and multi-authorship so as to develop high performance organizations to replace modern bureaucracies.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
YUEN YEE YONNIE YEUNG California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Ricci, Judith A.; Jerome, Norge W.; Megally, Nadia; Galal, Osman; Harrison, Gail G.; Kirksey, Avanelle. Assessing the Validity of Informant Recall: Results of a Time Use Pilot Study in Peri-Urban Egypt. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54(3): 304-308

In Kalama, Egypt, peri-urban residents undergoing socioeconomic transitions and increasing modernization were interviewed in order to ascertain levels of informant recall involving time allocation strategies. The two main research objectives focused on determining behavioral patterns, or lack thereof, to counteract food energy deficits and assessing the social and economic expenditures inherent in such activities.

The three primary methods employed in collecting time allocation data included direct observation, self-report time diaries and informant recall with each method being used singularly and in conjunction with one another. The use of direct observation plays an important role in data collection in developing nations, as the general population often operates within a non-Western conception of time. The self-report time diary was further explained to have limited success within developing countries due to participants feeling “overburdened” by keeping written records of personal activities.

The sample consisted of 58% of participants living in non-agricultural households as opposed to 42% living in agricultural households. Of the 40 participants, nearly half were women and were selected according to age, gender and the “dominant occupational mode” of the home they represented.

Data collection involved direct observation of participants performing daily activities, as well as follow-up interviews with participants, asking them to recall the events of the previous day. Respondents were encouraged by interviewers to remember activities in greater detail through the use of local and familiar time markers, such as calls to prayer.

Data was immediately subdivided into agricultural and non-agricultural categories. The authors ended up reducing the sample size from 40 to 30 after realizing that reports on the activities of the 10 toddlers yielded information too “general to permit a quantitative assessment of their accuracy”. Recall error was then judged according to ability to recall a particular event and subsequently, ability to recall the time spent engaged in said activity. Non-agricultural households had only 40% recall error as opposed to agricultural households with 70% recall error.

After estimating the magnitude of recall error among participants to be approximately 56%, the authors conclude that informant recall does not render accurate time allocation data. Based on these findings, the researchers now have a vital piece of knowledge to be used in future designs of time-use strategy studies and the testing of a causal relationship between caloric intake and time use behavior. In conclusion, the authors effectively identify the need for a combination of data collection strategies to elicit meaningful information as well as correctly formulate research designs.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
ANNA BARRETT California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Rouse, Michael J., and Usher Fleising. Miners and Managers: Workplace Cultures in a British Columbia Coal Mine. Human Organization 1995 Vol.54(3) 238-248.

The wildcat walkout, or wobble, that took place at the Big Mountain Mining’s Elkford mine in April 1989 created the possibility for a study of organizational culture and social change. The strike in this British Columbian coal mine was a manifestation of the deterioration of worker/manager relationships that the consequent study hoped to understand. This article concentrates on the one component of the study in which Edgar Schein’s model for the exploration of cultural dimensions was used.

This model, though developed in another discipline, was attractive to the anthropologists who wanted to test it as a framework for cultural analysis. They were also interested in knowing if his theory correlated with the anthropological literature and would be acceptable to cultural anthropologists. Schein’s model consists of a definition of culture that is applicable to industrial relations and, broadly, to systems in which kin-based organization is superseded by contract relations. Schein identifies three levels of culture in his model: artifacts, values, and basic assumptions.

The methods used by the anthropologists conducting this study were based heavily on participant observation. Michael Rouse worked at the mine and lived in the community years before the eighteen-month research period began. Information was gathered through casual conversations with the workers and unstructured interviews with management. An important aspect of the study was the gathering of data regarding the history of industrial relations, organizational culture, and the labor movement, especially pertaining to mining in British Columbia. The factors that led to the strike included choices made regarding whether or not the rules for stability in labor/management should be followed. This was intensified by the recession of the early 1980s. Workers were increasingly dissatisfied by managers’ plans for coping with the company’s financial stress. The end result was the strike of 1989.

Though Schein’s model proved useful in this study, the authors point out various problems found in it. The first of these lies in his nominal definition of culture. Were his definition to be acceptable, it would have to be assumed that the organization represented a homogeneous culture. The study found this to be untrue. The second problematic definition proposed by Schein’s model was that of artifacts. The study found that the importance of artifacts must be acknowledged, but not to the extent that it downplays the role of values and basic assumptions.

In their conclusion, the authors state that Schein’s model for organizational culture studies is useful for anthropology, especially in the area of applied anthropology. They base this conclusion partly on the practicality of his theoretical approach. Additionally, they feel that this model forces the research to identify the basic assumptions that guide behavior, making it useful in understanding the conflicts between the workers and mangers.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
SARAH TAYLOR California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Rudel, Thomas K. When Do Property Rights Matter? Open Access, Informal Social Controls, and Deforestation in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54(2):187-193.

When discussing the rapid deforestation of the Ecuadorian Amazon, open-access policies are often blamed for causing high rates of land clearance among both peasant farmers and large-scale agroexporters’ land-clearing tactics. The absence of land titles and the presence of traditional informal social controls are questioned, and debate rages around the effectiveness of these frameworks relying on mutual respect of unwritten law.

Rudel attempts to ascertain the merit of traditional informal social controls within the context of several ethnographic studies, comparing Ecuadorian settlement patterns with Brazilian settlement patterns and the understood informal entitlements to land. Of primary concern are land use strategies, the function of the government in road construction and policy making, and resource management. The study in Morona Santiago, Ecuador was highly relevant because in 1973 the Ecuadorian government passed legislation allowing settlers to establish ownership of a tract of land through any form of land-use, thereby creating legal support for the generally accepted practice of claiming land via land-use. However, the most common form of claiming land became clearing, and with the proliferation of roads into previously inaccessible areas, peasants and migrants from the Andes flooded to the Amazon to clear tracts of land to claim for their own.

However, after an initial frenzy of land-clearing, once ownership is established on a particular plot of land, deforestation declined.. The attitude of residents is that cleared land serves as a marker for a claimed area, with an unspecified region of forested land also included in one’s parcel. The author states that though “peasants did not verbalize exactly how much forest one could legitimately claim around a small clearing, the ratios of cleared land to claimed land were high”. Low-turnover among families and relatively stable economic conditions (including the absence of outside mineral or resource extraction) resulted in the continued practice of the informal social order over the span of several decades.

In contrast, Para, Brazil exemplifies the inability of informal social controls in limiting rain-forest decimation. The discovery of gold and iron ore deposits, mahogany logging and other valuable natural resources resulted in large agro-exporters having no incentive to heed informal social controls, and to completely ignore the voice of the small landholders and peasants. Informal social controls appear to be effective among the “isolated and resource poor frontier regions” in which wealthy outside corporations have little immediate incentive to land.

Rudel concludes with policy implications based on the vastly different success rates of established informal social controls. He suggests strengthening local, state and grassroots organizations as the first step in limiting access to forested land, including working toward property rights legislation. The author further states that increasing the states’ titling activities may not reduce deforestation as significantly as a land reform movement among migrant populations and growth in non-farm economic activities.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ANNA BARRETT California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Schuler, Sidney Ruth and Syed M. Hashemi. Family Planning Outreach and Credit Programs in Rural Bangladesh. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54: 455-461.

Women’s lives in rural Bangladesh are typically limited to the home and family. They are economically and socially reliant on their husbands. The Bangladesh government has funded programs to help women become more social and to help them contribute to their family’s income. The Grameen Bank is a well-known, semi-governmental organization which lends money to poor, mostly female, villagers in Bangladesh. It is thought that involvement in the Grameen Bank program, which does not directly provide family planning services, influences women’s decisions to use contraception.

Family planning is not readily available to women in rural Bangladesh because of purdah. Purdah is a system based on the belief that women should be secluded and therefore obligates them to maintain social standards of modesty and morality. Family planning services must therefore be brought to the women’s homes by governmental and non-governmental family planning programs.

In this article, Schuler and Hashemi use survey and interview data to compile statistics on the correlation between the Grameen Bank loan program and women’s use of contraception. Data was collected from women who were members of Grameen Bank, women who were not members of Grameen Bank but lived in villages where the program existed, and women who were non-members of Grameen Bank and did not live in villages where the program existed.

Statistical analysis showed that there is a noticeable difference in contraceptive use between women who are members of Grameen Bank and women who live in villages where there is no Grameen Bank program. Logit regression coefficients on the effects of Grameen Bank on contraceptive use, supports the hypothesis that the Grameen Bank program effects the use of contraception in a village, whether the women participate in the program or not. This suggestion however, is somewhat overshadowed when mobility statistics are calculated in. The “relatively mobile” women were more likely to use contraception, and when this data was added to the original data, the conclusion is that mobility, not membership of Grameen Bank, is the cause for higher levels of contraception use. Further analysis revealed that door-to-door family planning has a significant effect on the use of contraception and that the existence of Grameen Bank has an additional effect.

Through the analysis of the statistical information, it is shown that the presence of a family planning fieldworker has a considerable effect on whether or not women use contraception. These fieldworkers not only provide contraception options for the women but suggest how to deal with their husbands who are usually reluctant to allow their wives to use birth control. Although the Grameen Bank program does not directly contribute to women’s use of contraception, it has given women the feeling of independence. The independence gained from the Grameen Bank program allows women to actively seek contraception, showing an indirect correlation between women involved in the program and their use of contraception.

CLARITY RANKING: 3
MARALYN MOUL California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Sobo, Eliza Janine. Finance, Romance, Social Support, and Condom Use among Impoverished Inner City Women. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54(2):115-127.

This article attempts to find the causes of HIV/AIDS-risk denial among inner-city women, which is often associated with unsafe sex. Throughout the study, Sobo finds that it is not money which entails the decision to have safe or unsafe sex, but rather cultural ideas and heterosexual relationships that determine sexual decisions. Because of the fact that the majority of U.S. women who develop AIDS are poor inner-city blacks, Sobo’s research is highly relevant.

Sobo’s clients are 30 women involved in a Midwestern city’s Maternal and Infant Health Care Program (M&I). Twenty-five of the women were black, four white, and one Latina. A questionnaire, containing mainly yes or no questions, was given to the women. It focused on demographic background, sexual practices, economic and social network data.

Out of the 30 women, 25 were selected for more in depth interviews. The 25 that were chosen all had some African heritage and had an average age of 28. Each woman interviewed received twenty-five dollars. It was during these complex interviews, and some of the questionnaires, that Sobo learned that it is not economics that determine sexual behavior but social life. Some of the interviews included group discussions with about 7 or 8 women present with a mediator asking questions and facilitating discussion.

The author makes several points about inner-city sexual relationships. First, sexual education is essential to understand the importance of safe sex and related problems of HIV/AIDS, STDs, unwanted pregnancy, etc. This is an issue that needs to be addressed. Second, there are different “accepted models of the sexual economy.” Many men have multiple sexual partners and because most poor African American are either unemployed, under-employed, or in prison, having a baby can be an effective way to establish a link to a man.

Throughout the article, Sobo make the distinction that in contrast to earlier theories, high rates of unsafe sex did not have to do with a woman’s economic dependence on a man. Sobo found that many women did not rely on their husband, boyfriend, or lover for money, but rather were self-sufficient individuals. The idea of safe sex does not have to do with money but rather with love and trust. The researcher found that, according to these women, using a condom connotes distrust, disrespect, and disease. If a woman is in a serious, long-term heterosexual relationship with their partner, using a condom may indicate to either of them that they have disease and must protect themselves from one another. Sobo found that most self-sufficient, conjugally attached women do not use condoms.

On the other hand, women who do use condoms are less likely to be in steady relationships and have a larger outside network of social supporters/friends than do non-users. Extraconjugal support systems, the author calls them, are basically the group of friends that a woman has outside of their heterosexual relationship. The pattern revealed by the research suggests that the more friends or closer relationship with those friends, the more frequent is condom use.

The author concludes that the link between money and unsafe sex is loose, controlled by cultural and psycho-social factors. She believes that women establish heterosexual relationships in order to gain emotional fulfillment and status. Because condoms connote distrust, infidelity, and deceptive behavior, the decision to use a condom implies that the partners do not trust one another. Trust and love are very important in these women’s relationships.

Sobo concludes with a pro-condom message. She believes that education programs aimed toward women in particular, should be the primary focus of change within the social mind frames of these women. If there is education for safe sex, then there might be some improvement in the HIV/AIDS situation.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
MAGGIE HOFFMANN California State University, Chico (Willaim Loker)

Thiele, Graham. 1995. The Displacement of Peasant Settlers in the Amazon: The Case of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Human Organization 54(3): 273-282.

In this article, Thiele addresses settlement patterns of peasants in South America from 1950 to the present. He takes a comparative approach, looking at patterns in Brazil, Bolivia, and other areas of the Amazon. In the past, small family farms were abundant in the Amazon basin. Over the years, large scale commercial farming has been pushing the peasants out of the fertile areas and into patterns of transience. However, the trend in Santa Cruz, Bolivia is different from that of the rest of the Amazon area. Peasants in the lowlands of Bolivia have largely escaped the displacement many peasants in nearby countries have faced.

In the Amazon, it is a common pattern that peasants open the frontier of settlement, but these peasants are quickly replaced by large scale farming. The conflict between peasant and commercial farmers seen in other parts of the Amazon is not seen in Bolivia. Thiele discusses the persistence of peasant settlement in Santa Cruz and argues that this persistence is due to a number of factors. In other areas of the Amazon, state funding supports the introduction of commercial farming techniques. However, in Bolivia, this is not the case, as “the situation differs from that reported in Brazil, in that state sponsorship has not been of fundamental importance in stabilizing settlement.” Another reason for this persistence is a lack of continuous change in commercial agriculture in the area. In Santa Cruz, commercial expansion has been curbed both by a low local demand for produce and high transportation costs due to poor infrastructure.

The peasants living in Bolivia are members of legally recognized unions, or sindicatos. It is required that, “membership of the union, ownership of land, and residence in the community coincide.” In the 1930s in the Cochabamba Valley the first peasant union was organized. The unions in the highland areas are known for their militancy. These unions are by no means homogeneous, and not all are successful. But they are very important in that they help to allow peasant farmers to access and retain land, as ownership in these areas does not depend solely upon the law.

While these factors are important, Thiele argues the patterns of spatial expansion are key in understanding why small scale and large scale farming are not in conflict in Bolivia. Most notably, the author argues that “the characteristics of peasant and commercial farming led to their expansion into different ecological zones,” with the peasants moving into the area north and west of Santa Cruz because it is wetter, and the commercial farmers moving to the south and east because it is drier. The peasant technique for growing crops requires growing in an area that receives more rainfall annually than the areas commercial farmers require, as they employ irrigation. Expanding in different directions “reduced the potential for conflict over land and with it the probability that small farmers would be displaced.” Additionally, commercial farmers have adopted mechanized techniques, requiring less peasant labor, helping to sever the relationship between the two. These two factors contribute strongly to the ability of peasants in Bolivia to avoid displacement.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
AMANDA URBANSKI California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Thomas, Stephen J., Johnson, David G., and Riordan, Catherine A. Independence and Collective Action: Reconsidering Union Activity among Commercial Fishermen in Mississippi. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54: 143-152

The presence of unions among fishermen in Mississippi historically has been sporadic. Two articles have discussed the issue of union activity among Mississippi fishermen and have come to conflicting conclusions. Pollnac and Poggie concluded that the nature of the fisherman lifestyle creates a psychology that inhibits their ability to act collectively unless there is a very pressing issue. This psychological feature limits the presence of union activity among the fishermen of Mississippi. Durrenberger’s view differs in that he believes that fishermen would have successful union activity if it weren’t for governmental limits on their organizations. He claims that union activity is against the law for commercial fishermen, citing a court decision that classified shrimp fishermen are firms that are contracted out to processors.

The authors of this article discuss in detail the history of union activity among the commercial shrimp and oyster fishermen in Mississippi. They then proceed to take a closer look at Durrenberger’s concepts. Under thorough examination, Thomas, Johnson, and Riordan conclude that Durrenberger exaggerated the impact of the court decision about the unions. In actuality, the court did not outlaw union activity, unions declined because of the many changes in the business of shrimp and oyster catching and processing.

Union activity had been successful before this court decision because fishermen and workers within the processing plants worked together to bargain with the processing companies. With the invention of new machinery, workers within the processing plants were laid off and the strength of the union was therefore weakened. Other changes such as private ownership of fishing vessels also contributed to the weakening of collective group activity and the emergence of independence among fishermen.

The authors of this article break down the independence of the fishermen into three truths: the economic, cultural and ideological, and psychological. The authors conclude that the lack of unions within the fishing community in Mississippi is due to their independence, that they share the belief that they are autonomous, and that their personalities fit into this belief system; it is not because of specific regulations by the government. Examining these truths, they conclude that Durrenberger’s claims are faulty. They believe that with proper study of the historical facts his conclusion are unfounded.

CLARITY RANKING: 5
MARALYN MOUL California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Udaneta, Maria Luisa; Saldaña, Delia Huron; Winkler, Anne. Mexican-American Perceptions of Severe Mental Illness. Human Organization. 1995 Vol.54(1):70-77.

Within public psychiatric facilities in south Texas, a growing number of Mexican-American patients are being treated with a majority of diagnoses consisting of schizophrenia and Axis I Affective Disorders. The socio-economic and cultural factors which influence diagnosis and treatment reveal a situation of miscommunication and poorly understood techniques wherein Mexican-American acculturation and education levels play a role in the limited success of mental health institutions.

Urdaneta, Saldaña and Winkler examine a broad range of elements comprising the relationships between the medical community and the Mexican-American patients and their caregiving families. The ethnographic methods employed attempt to untangle the various factors resulting in the estrangement between the psychiatric facilities and the patients’ families.

After generating a list of Mexican-American patients treated for schizophrenia or bipolar affective disorder by a large public health facility in south Texas, families were chosen with the intention of providing a representative sample in regard to age and gender. By employing 98 in-depth interviews which lasted between one and one-and-a-half hours, the researchers elicited a rich body of data ranging from family background, acculturation factors and notions about the nature and treatment of mental illness.

When comparing the western medical model and Mexican-American perceptions of mental illness, a rift becomes quickly apparent. Respondents failed to attribute aberrant behavior to a pathological illnesses, but rather explain patients as “se volvio loco,” or akin to a nervous breakdown. Researchers found that families often waited months before seeking professional help, and usually only after a physically violent episode. Further, when families did seek help it was primarily through a general health practitioner; not one family reported being referred to a psychiatrist. Others used the court system or the police as a means to subdue a violent family member on nights or weekends when the clinic was closed. Also of note is the failure to identify the behavior as a pathological condition even after repeated hospitalizations.

Perceptions of treatment within the community usually involve a lack of understanding of the entire process of diagnosis, hospitalization and treatment. All respondents reported their expectation of the patient receiving medication alone, and most had trouble understanding the term “psychiatric treatment” (i.e. counseling, therapeutic treatment), and instead viewed the hospital as a place to contain “crazy people”. Communication between hospitals and families usually consisted of only one conference with the doctor, which in most cases involved significant language barriers and often never took place at all. Over two-thirds of the family caregivers reported having no idea what types of medications their family member was taking, nor its effects.

The authors conclusions reveal a severe problem in the treatment and level of understanding of severe mental illness within impoverished Mexican-Americans. Though families are willing and dedicated to helping the mentally ill, they are inhibited by a lack of education and a western medical system that operates with little regard to empowering family caregivers. Basic information disseminated on a broad scale concerning crisis referral structures and access to simple Spanish explanations of the diagnosis and treatment process is essential to demystifying and improving the standard of care of impoverished Mexican-Americans.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
ANNA BARRETT California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Wallace, Ben J. How Many Trees Does it Take to Cook a Pot of Rice? Fuel wood and Tree Consumption in Four Philippine Communities. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54(2):182-186

The communities of San Isidro, Dampig, Subec and Saliksik, found on the western flanks of the Cordillera Central Mountains in the province of Ilocos Norte, Philippines are using trees to cook their rice. The purpose of this article was to determine how much fuel wood was being consumed, which species were preferred, and how many trees are being logged for the purpose of cooking. This information is pertinent because if left unchecked deforestation in the Third World could leave at least half of its populations in an acute deficit of fuel wood.

The author, Ben J. Wallace, begins by describing the communities involved in the Good Roots Agroforestry Research and Development Project carried out by the Institute for the Study of Man at Southern Methodist University, Caltex Philippines Inc., and the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources. San Isidro, Dampig, and Subec all associate themselves as lowland communities. San Isidro, with a population of 641, practices irrigated paddy rice cultivation. Dampig, with 768 people, utilizes the technology associated with dry filed farming. Subec, the largest community of the study, with 1164 people, uses both irrigated paddy rice cultivation and dry field farming. Somewhat disassociated with the other three communities is Saliksik. This community, being the smallest consists of 165 people, practices primarily kaingin (slash-and-burn). Saliksik also identifies itself as a mountain community.

Wallace then discusses the various preferences for a variety of fuel wood species. The communities described that their preferences were given according to caloric value, abundance, and the weight or portability of a given species. Subec and Dampig preferred first ipil-ipil, then binuga (Macaranga tanarius). San Isidro chose camchile (Pitchecellobium dulce) over lagundi (Vitex negundo). Saliksik used lagundi (Vitex negundo) as its first choice, then secondarily choosing suit (Fraximus griffithii).

The author next discusses the yearly rates at which the various communities used the fuel wood. Subec consumed 1801 m3 (1.5 m3per capita). San Isidro accounted for 848 m3 (1.3 m3per capita). Dampig used 1467 m3 (1.9 m3 per capita). And Saliksik consumed 194 m3 (1.2 m3per capita). It is stated that the data is unclear why Dampig uses more firewood than the other communities. The average consumption within the four communities was approximately 68 trees per year.

The factors Wallace associated to the deforestation rate increase include overpopulation, logging, and the expansion of agricultural and industrial entities. Until alternative sources become available each villager will presumably continue to burn approximately one tree every one tree every three days cooking rice.

Clarity Ranking: 4
JACOB CARR California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Weeks, Priscilla. Fisher Scientists: The Reconstruction of Scientific Discourse. Human Organization. 1995 Vol. 54 (4): 429-436.

Priscilla Weeks investigates the role science plays in the management of natural plant and animal resources. Such laws and regulations invariably impact the livelihood of small groups or businesses, creating controversy between state and public interests. This article investigates the co-management strategies designed to combine local and scientific knowledge in an attempt to share decision-making power, and the problems inherent in such schemes.

The author draws her insights from a research project conducted between 1990-1991 among the oyster fisher industry in Galveston, Texas and within the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Science at Texas A&M University. The project sought to better understand how natural resources should be managed, and focused on the alliance that developed between the oyster fishers (public) and the pure university scientists (science), and their conflict with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, or TPWD, and the regulatory scientists (state).

In Galveston Bay, the oyster industry is regulated at the state level by TPWD, who is responsible for such duties as preventing oyster depletion, conducting research, and promoting efficiency in the industry. In addition, TPWD is aligned with other Bay groups in the areas of recreation, commercial fishing, and conservation. Scientists hired by TPWD are responsible for obtaining samples of oysters from the Bay in order to monitor and manage the harvest. The entire bay is divided into gridlets in which 30-second drags are performed randomly each month, of which 19 oysters are measured.

A conflict arose in 1987 when TPWD shut down the fisheries after determining that oyster populations were near depletion. The oyster industry filed and won a lawsuit that forced the state to re-open the season. The oyster industry, with the aid of university scientists, was able to prove that the sampling method used by state scientists was flawed. Weeks found that oyster fishers of Galveston Bay formed personal relationships with university scientists and adopted scientific models that served to refute those models offered by the state’s regulatory scientists.

Through interviews and ethnographic analysis, Weeks discovered that science is used in policy disputes as a resource, but that the categories of public, science, and state are not “fixed,” and that the discourse of fishers and scientists frequently blend together. Each group appropriated the discourse of other groups when it proved beneficial, illustrating that the boundaries between scientific and practical knowledge are often blurred. Weeks also realized that a network of interested parties were involved in the management of natural resources, and that divisions of power found within groups, (leaseholders hold more power than non-leaseholders within the oyster industry, for example), had to be addressed and considered in the managerial process as well.

Weeks concludes that co-management processes must work to include all interested parties and to prevent the state from having the power to override agreements made by co-management teams. Most importantly, Weeks views science as an important resource available to and appropriated by different social groups, propelling science into the controversial arena of the politics of management.

CLARITY RATING: 3
CHRISTY NEWTON California State University, Chico (William Loker)

Weil, Shalva. “It Is Futile to Trust in Man”: Methodological Difficulties in Studying Non-Mainstream Populations with Reference to Ethiopian Jews in Israel. Human Organization. Vol. 54(1):1-9

In her article concerning Ethiopian Jews in Israel, author Shalva Weil discusses themes of (1) researcher vs. other, and the differing styles of communication between Ethiopians and Israelis, (2) the possibility of good data collection according to insider/outsider capacities, and (3) forms of appropriate methods for studying the Ethiopian Jewry.

Weil describes the Ethiopian personality as being embodied by the statement “sawen mamman bakantu naw” it is futile to trust in man, which describes the Ethiopians generalized suspicion toward others. People often give false information to protect themselves, and also to confound their enemies, whom they believe may be behind the research to begin with.

Weil gives a discussion of why people may present false information. She states that someone may present themselves as having a lower income or level of education on a survey to benefit from various state organized programs. Also people often give the answer they think the researcher is looking for.

Weil discusses the difficulty of attaining basic demographic information among the Ethiopian immigrants. This basic data presents various problems. Ethiopians are given a variety of names by different family members, and use them in different situations. A person’s age is often assigned upon immigration, or as linked to an important event, such as the battle of Adwa, or the death of a brother. Age is often only valid if used as a range. Level of education presents a difficult problem also. Weil states that due to different standards, years of schooling are different between village, town, and from Israeli system. People often will also state that they have more years of schooling to not appear primitive.

Weil then describes the relationship of outsiders vs. insiders as researchers. There four outsider qualities she discusses. First is that of color. To date, most of the researchers of the Ethiopian Jewry have been white. Some Ethiopian-American scholars have worked in the region, but they were shunned because they were not Jewish. Second is the role of gender. Ethiopian society is strongly male dominated, and therefore presents a bias toward male activities. Weil states that a female researcher can have an advantage since she has access to two worlds; (1) the male world, being seen as an asexual because of her outsider status, and (2) the female world because of her gender. The third problem presented in the outsider vs. insider debate is the use of natives. The problem here is that natives may not be able to be objective about their own culture. Next is the use of native assistants. These can elicit better information in interviews, but also pose a risk since the researcher cannot control the interview’s flow. Last is the use of native translators. This is difficult because it is hard to convey exact meaning through multiple translations.
Finally, Weil discusses the usage of appropriate methodology. Choosing various topics must be seen in reflection to what is appropriate by Ethiopian standards. Participant observation, according to Weil, is the best approach because it is not bound by time, thus giving enough contact to overcome initial suspicion by Ethiopians. This is, however, very time consuming, costly, and requires rapport. Weil suggests that no less than one year should be considered in participant observation with Ethiopians. She also states that because of cultural tendencies, questionnaires are highly unreliable, and should only be used with extreme caution.
Weil concludes that researchers “could attempt to coordinate data collection techniques: questionnaires…life histories…interdisciplinary terms…group interviews, and workshops….in order to produce a research study that would effectively reflect the negotiated reality between the researcher and ‘the Other’” (p. 8).

CLARITY RANKING: 4
JACOB CARR. California State University, Chico. (William Loker)

Williams, Holly A. 1995. There Are No Free Gifts! Social Support and the Need for Reciprocity. Human Organization 54(4):401-409.

The focus of this paper is the role of social support in coping with acute, chronic illness in children. This paper discusses the aspect of social support that is often overlooked in other studies – the need and desire for the recipient of social support to reciprocate. Using empirical data, the author asserts that ideas about assistance should be expanded to include reciprocity. Crisis situations cause balanced reciprocity to become temporarily altered. “Stepwise reciprocity” occurs when a support recipient returns the favor, not to the person that originally supported them, but to a new person in need. This paper is part of a study of 202 White and African-American parents of children with cancer. Affective and financial types of support are discussed, with an emphasis on the financial aspect. The moral obligation recipients of social support feel directly relates to the anthropological concept of reciprocity.

The idea of social support is complex and has been studied by anthropologists for some years, yet can be defined simply. It is a transaction between people that may consist of any of three attributes: affect, affirmation, and aid. Social networks sustained by reciprocity link people throughout society. Such social support plays a significant role in the parenting of an ill child. Serious childhood diseases can throw off the balance of family life in many ways. Travel, financial costs, emergencies, and lack of time are all consequences of such a situation. Normal, daily life may be altered to a point where the support of family, friends, and professionals is necessary. In this context, both perceived and actual social support can act as coping mechanisms for parents to deal with stress and anxiety.

Social support is not always positive. Because of issues concerning reciprocity, support can often cause additional stress for the parent of a seriously ill child. Reciprocity is directly related to social exchange theory. People are mutually interdependent, and while equity is desired, relationships are often unbalanced. Stress is common to both those who are benefiting the most and those who are benefiting the least. The parents of ill children often desire to restore the normal balance of reciprocity, but instead feel dependent, shameful, or angry. This is because in a crisis, emphasis is given to the social aspect of the relationship, as opposed to the material aspect of the gift.

The author conducted open-ended interviews with 52 African-American parents and 150 White parents of children with cancer. One parent from each household was asked, “Do you ever feel a need to ‘pay back’ family or friends for their assistance?” If the answer was “yes,” further questions regarding details were asked. In addition to the recorded and transcribed interviews, the data consisted of field notes taken during observations of interactions between parents and hospital staff, as well as the parents’ interactions with other parents. In order to measure coping behaviors, the parents completed four standardized psychological questionnaires. These were the Ways of Coping Questionnaire (WCQ), the Coping Health Inventory for Parents (CHIP), the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), and the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CSED).

While the parents were very grateful for the social support they received, about 70% of them felt a strong need to reciprocate. However, it is often not possible to pay their supporters back entirely, or at all. In a situation such as childhood cancer, the social support given is usually given freely and without expectations of return. When asked how they felt they could pay back family or friends for their assistance, 51% of parents said they would help strangers in similar situations. There were no differences by ethnicity.

The first step in helping people restore their sense of self-worth is to acknowledge their desire and need to reciprocate. We cannot pretend that everyone benefits equally from support, without regard to cost. Further research concerning reciprocity in these terms is needed. Applied anthropologists can work toward lessening the number of those who feel dependent or ashamed by warning newly diagnosed parents and health care providers about the potential for anxiety. Relationship strain should be studied on both the individual level as well as on the societal level.

CLARITY RANKING: 4
AMANDA URBANSKI California State University, Chico (William Loker)