Skip to main content

American Anthropologist 1997

Adams, Vincanne. Dreams of a Final Sherpa. American Anthropologist March 1997 Vol.99(1):85-98

In order to posit the theoretical poles of positivism/essentialism and interpretivism/post-modernism in modern anthropological debate, Vincanne Adams asks whether Everest exists as a scientifically verifiable mountain or as a culturally determined concept of a mountain? Adams would answer both and suggests an approach which starts with “positivist readings” but “remains aware of the effects of ethnographic research on those we study.” Using “Everest/Chomolungmo” both as a metaphor to frame the theoretical debate and as an analogy to Sherpa culture, the author argues that if we are in fact to apprehend the nature of the mountain, we must take into account not only the geological fact, which has been modified by the subjectivity of “Everest” as a British colonial construct inscribed on global maps, and the subjectivity of “Chomolungmo” existing as Mother Goddess of the Earth for the Sherpas, but we must further acknowledge that the concept of “Chomolungmo” is neither a homogenous one within Sherpa culture, nor untainted by the “Everest” definition. In fact, it is continually filtered through individual experience and modified by the relationships between Sherpa culture and outside observer-participants. The author notes with concern “ethnographic attempts to present anthropological subjects speaking for themselves as if their subjectivity were unproblematically constituted in the same way as for the West.”

Adams views are the product of his cultural studies of Sherpa society and his participation in Sherpa rituals. The rituals he presents here are those which demonstrate a dialectical transformation of subject and object thus creating a new reality of subject-object and interaction. This synthesis then becomes the paradigm he uses to express the dynamic of Sherpa society as well as the theoretical approach he believes can elicit a truer cultural portrait. Adams acknowledges the essentialism of the culture which has a high degree of “shared sentiment about their public image,” the impact of “subjective representations of them” stemming from “their participation in tourist capitalism as Buddhists,” as well as their consciousness of the fact that they “live in a world where essential cultural identity, as a site for authenticity, generates profits….[while at the same time] essential authenticity is a moving target.” For Adams, “both essentialism and its illusoriness are necessary. Neither has a monopoly on authenticity.”

MARTHA DOWLING Wayne State University (Dr. Beverly Fogelson)

Adams, Vincanne. Dreams of a Final Sherpa. American Anthropologist. March, 1997 Vol. 99(1):85-98.

Adams constructs a challenging and intelligent article that explores the problematic relationship between positivist and post-modern approaches to ethnology. Using the Nepalese village of Khun Jung and its prevalent Sherpa population, he tries to “illustrate how a so-called post-modernist approach, rather than ending up as a reflexive and interpretivist autobiography and constructionism, can actually be demanded by positivist readings.” Adam’s fundamental concern is with recognizing how one’s research indelibly affects how a culture and people see themselves and construct their own world. In discussing Sherpa culture Adams subtly allows himself to use the religion and history of a people group that fit perfectly with his underlying concerns.

In true post-modern form, Adams begins by discussing the dangers of essentializing cultures based upon a false idea of universal authorial views and the cultural homogeneity of members of a society. Not every author will observe and interpret the products of Sherpa culture identically. Likewise, there is often a large discrepancy between the characteristics of Sherpas. Responding to post-modern critiques of positivism, Adams states that his own post-modern approach to analysis will question the notions of non-homogenizing and reflexive techniques. Adams believes that by exploring the mimetic rituals of Sherpas’ Buddhist beliefs he has found the fundamental precepts of culture that both unify all Sherpas under one culture and allow for a post-modern analysis.

He first examines the Kurim ritual, in which effigies of humans are used in a process of healing. These effigies reflect a pattern of mimesis in all Sherpa rituals, where images or figures of a person are a physical connection to the spiritual world. The spirituality of Sherpas is rooted in the Buddhist teachings of developing nonattachment to notions of reality that may tether one to the material earth. In such publicized Sherpa actions as the rlung rta, the hanging of prayer flags, there is a material connectedness of the body to the eternal wind-forms of the world. Adams uses the example of Sherpas’ fear of having a picture taken of them in poor attire because it may result in their own future poverty to illustrate how effigies are not symbols, but actual representations of the person. Adams elegantly constructs a case for how ethnographic representations of Sherpas are affected by their spiritual beliefs. How they are put forth on a page is similar to how they are captured in a picture, it becomes who they are. As he writes, “An effigy can produce effects for a person and so, too, can ethnographic products have effects on those depicted.”

Adams looks specifically at the ethnographic work of Sherry Ortner and its implications for Sherpa culture. Ortner essentialized Sherpas by maintaining that their ritual actions symbolized a meaning beyond their own knowledge. Adams points to the fact that the meaning of Sherpa rituals may actually be beyond the comprehension of the outsider, and that essentializing Sherpas relocates the gaze from them to the privileged ethnographer. The effects that Western images have had on Sherpas are inarguable. The mere fact that Sherpas never climbed Everest before westerners taught them is proof enough. But, only rarely recognized is how “effigies and ethnographies come to life in Sherpas.” The mimetic nature of Sherpa culture allows anthropological writing to become a constructive force. He writes, “I find it hard to present Sherpa culture as internally fragmented (nonhomogenous) because of the logic of mimesis, of the marked and market effects of representations of them.” Because Sherpas are “subjectively” connected to ethnographic images, they are, in a sense, able to be essentialized.

Adams attempts to deconstruct the static positions of purely reflexive and interpretive post-modernism. He declares that the ethnographer must be adaptive in trying to find a way of understanding and depicting a culture that works not just for the anthropologist but for the people as well.

TIM LUCCARO Davidson College (Grant D. Jones).

Asad, Fernandez, Herzfeld, Lass, Rogers, Schneider and Verdery. Provocations of European Ethnography. American Anthropologist December, 1997 Vol.99(4):713 – 730.

A compilation of perspectives of seven authors, this article provides a response on the part of American anthropologists to rapidly rising interest in European ethnography, questions concerning European identity and implications of “the idea of Europe” for anthropology in general. Increased interest in Europe was part of the momentum resulting from the ratification of the Maastricht treaty, and from geopolitical shifts that had far reaching implications for the European Union and its member states. Although difficult to isolate one basic argument for all the authors, it is possible to generalize certain shared observations. First, the opportunity to examine Europe as an object of study, which held little or no interest for anthropologists since the traditional preoccupation was in studying “exotic” cultures (Rogers suggests that “anthropological enterprise is by now less about defining the unknown than about redefining the well-known.”). Aspects of European culture – frequently referred to as “Western” culture- are proposed as topics of intense research, including the concepts of colonialism, nationalism, capitalism and the nation state. Verdery asks “is there any real overarching similarity among the parts of Europe in their politics, the workings of their form of capitalism, the operations of their civil societies, the organization of patriarchy in their gendered divisions of labor, their peoples understanding of money or property, and so on?” Secondly, the fact that anthropology’s roots are deeply embedded in Europe, and the implications of this fact on the discipline.

The arguments that the authors make for examining and re-examining specific aspects of European culture are supported by citations from a wide range of authors and disciplines. Each author has a unique perspective on the opportunities that European anthropology offers, but all agree that such study has important implications for the field of anthropology in general.

The collection of perspectives in this article raises many exciting possibilities for future research on Europe. The authors succeed in provoking new ways of looking at Europe, “the idea of Europe and toward all that this idea has entailed.”

Clarity: 5
CHRISTINE MILLER Wayne State University (Beverly Fogelson)

Asad, Talal, James W. Fernandez et al. Provocations of European Ethnology. American Anthropologist December, 1997 Vol. 99(4):713-730.

In this collection of position papers, Talal Asad, James W. Fernandez, Michael Herzfeld, Andrew Lass, Susan Carol Rogers, Jane Schneider, and Katherine Verdery offer their perspectives on the anthropology of Europe and the role of Europe in anthropology. While the themes that they choose to explore are diverse, the authors all seem to agree that a critical anthropology of Europe (or the “idea of Europe”) necessarily entails a re-imagining of contemporary anthropological and social theory.

Herzfeld discusses the paradoxes faced by anthropologists who are engaged with European studies. He has two major points of focus: first, he notes that the colonial legacy of Europe entails more than a one-way stream of Western domination and conquest. To the contrary, he mentions several examples of European countries that have themselves been colonies; as such, Europe’s relationship to colonialism becomes a convoluted enterprise. Second, he contends that by putting Europe under the lens of anthropology, anthropologists will have to actively confront and alter the ethnographic and theoretical assumptions—many of which took root in European institutions—on which the discipline is based.

Verdery turns her gaze towards the anthropology of Eastern Europe. She contends that in conducting such an anthropology, it is necessary to question and critique constructs of “the state,” “the market,” “capitalism,” “the liberal tradition,” and “liberal democracy.” She contends that these hegemonic notions have too often gone unchallenged by scholars working in the Eastern European context.

Rogers places her focus on the challenges that anthropologists are bound to face when engaging in European studies. Most notably, she points out that anthropologists do not have the sort of a priori intellectual authority in Europe that they do elsewhere. For anthropologists, this means that they must have a firm grasp on European scholarship from non-anthropological disciplines if they are to be respected by their indigenous colleagues.

Asad argues against the notion that the East-West distinctions made by scholars from earlier generations have been rendered “meaningless” by globalizing forces. To the contrary, he argues that “if Euro-American politicians, educators, bankers, military men, business entrepreneurs, journalists, and tourists all act in the world on the assumption that there is something like ‘the West and the (heterogeneous) Rest,’ then there is in fact a West.” Western hegemony is still alive and well, and it must be accounted for in anthropological studies.

Lass contends that anthropology’s greatest contribution to European studies will come with the discipline’s self-conscious examination of anthropological theory as an ethnographic object. As he writes, “[t]he study of Europe is among other things also the possibility of confrontation with Western culture as a culture that practices and makes particular claims on theoretical abstractions, objectification, and reflection.” Anthropology’s role in European studies is to make such a confrontation.

Scheider discusses the role of historical anthropology in the study of England. She employs a critique of the development of capitalism and long-term economic growth strategies in England (and the large-scale social displacement that they caused) as a means for calling upon anthropologists to critically examine other English and European developments, both historical and contemporary.

Fernandez focuses on the North-South divide prevalent in European popular cosmology. He contends that this categorical divide between Northern Europe (“fast” Europe) and Southern Europe (Iberia and the Mediterranean—”slow” Europe) deserves the attention of anthropologists interested in the European constructions of selfhood, otherness, and frontiers, both real and imagined.

ADAM BROWN Davidson College (Grant D. Jones).

Battaglia, Debbora. Ambiguating Agency: The Case of Malinowski’s Ghost. American Anthropologist. September, 1997 Vol. 99(3):505-510.

During a conversation with a Trobriand Islander while traveling on Air Niugini, Battaglia is struck his mention of Bronislaw Malinowski and his research in the Trobriands. She was even more interested in why the passenger questioned her about her opinion on the accuracy of Malinowski’s research results during his stay with the islanders. She was invited to the First Annual Yam Festival, which was hosted by the passenger himself. Battaglia then commented on the peculiarity of this exchange in order to discuss the “ghost” of Malinowski and issues concerning agency. Battaglia makes an attempt to show how agency is “employed in social discourse” and how it is invoked or ascribed, concealed, or obfuscated, by strategic means.

The passenger was a member of an ethnic group that Malinowski described as the pariahs of the Trobriands, the Bau people. Battaglia perceived the invitation by the man as an act of agency because of his now high status in Papua New Guinea society; the gesture was a way to re-represent his own agency and that of the group. With Battaglia’s attendance as an anthropologist, her authority could aid in the lending of anthropological agency to the “stream of political discourse.”

Battaglia then discusses the two types of agency that could be found in Trobriand society–the apparent concealment of agency and its apparent revelation. In the concealment of agency, people are lead to speculative thinking, and it is taken as an ambiguating space or place. If the concealment of agency is of an object representing power, it is a demonstration of power and authority for its owner by his/her assertion of controlling the presence or absence of the space or place. The concealment of agency is also used in some instances to save face and to play down suspicions in others.

She then discusses the circumstances under which the Yam Festival took place, which was on the milamala moon, a time for feasting, abandon and sexual excess. She also mentions how through various comments by male festival participants, anthropological agency seemed to be sexualized. Battaglia’s presence in the face of the festival participants is one of a double agent, a rhetorical device for agency play that was coined by Battaglia. She herself was held under suspicion as a witch one point, which also fit the notion of excessiveness of the milamala moon; this time “the excessive consumer and, in this function, is explicitly gendered.” Participants made a link between Battaglia’s red car and the red canoes of witches. When Battaglia was said to be a flying witch, it was also the judging time for the yam festival. During the actual judging someone commented that she was “threatening to keep the judging honest”. Battaglia interpreted the two incidences as representing agency doubling, and other bifocalities that were “displacements rather than reproductions or replications of some authentic site of culture.”

In closing, Battaglia says that she made an attempt to show how agency shifted between situations and how agency appeared and disappeared in practices that called attention to the value people placed on ambiguating their own or other’s subject positions by means of agency play.” In this scheme of things, Battaglia states that her article itself is towards and “anthropology of ambiguation,” which includes the idea of taking indigenous practices of ambiguity as its current object and issues of agency as critical narratives or sites of discourse.”

KUTINA WILLIAMS Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

Bowlin, John R. and Stromberg, Peter G. Representation and Reality in the Study of Culture. American Anthropologist March, 1997 Vol. 99(1):123-134

Bowlin and Stromberg add their thoughts to an old epistemological debate, materialism vs. idealism, and its current manifestation in anthropological theory and practice. Relying heavily on the work of philosopher Donald Davidson, the authors tackle competing theoretical approaches to the real problems of ethnocentrism and bias in the investigation of societies considerably distant from our own in time and/or cultural practices.

The authors see both camps, realists and anti-realists, reaching the same quagmire by different paths. As characterized by Bowlin and Stromberg the realist position demands that what is accepted as true, and thus a basis for communication, correspond to verifiable reality. For the realist then, differences in our scientific understanding of the physical world prevent us from understanding any culture which does not acknowledge those same scientific truths. For the anti-realist, cross cultural knowledge is impeded by the notions of multiple realities, domains and truths so idiosyncratic as to effectively obliterate any common ground. Thus both approaches erect insurmountable barriers to cross cultural knowledge and lead the authors to plead for the application of Arthur Fine’s concept of NOA – a natural ontological attitude. “A NOA recommends truth talk without theory. The beliefs we consider true are those we have good reason to maintain. …And since what we have good reason to believe today may turn out to be false tomorrow, all that we believe must be considered revisable, even the most certain truths. Nevertheless, what we are justified in believing now is what we consider true for now… The beliefs of inhabitants of other times and places should be treated in similar fashion…”

Bowlin and Stromberg conclude that it is through the painstaking, sensitive and diligent practice of ethnography that we can and do arrive at cross cultural understanding and if we apply those practices we are not barred by incomprehensible domains, psychologies or differences in scientific knowledge from understanding cultures quite distinct from our own. Further Bowlin and Stromberg point out that it is not ethnocentrism to understand that a culture may have false scientific beliefs if we do not equate this with pejorative notions of irrationality, immorality, etc.

Clarity: 4
MARTHA DOWLING Wayne State University (Dr. B. Fogelson)

Brady, James E. Settlement Configuration and Cosmology: The Role of Caves at Dos Pilas. American Anthropologist September, 1997 Vol.99(3):602-618.

James Brady analyzes settlement configuration at the Guatemalan archeological site of Dos Pilas, incorporating considerations of ideology and cosmology as well as the traditional use of ecological factors. He thereby attempts to contribute to the ongoing debate regarding archeologists’ use of ideology and cosmology in settlement-pattern studies. He focuses particularly on caves and cave structures or c’en, as these have been found to be extremely important in reference to ritual space, both from archeological as well as ethnographic perspectives. From his research at Dos Pilas, combined with others’ findings elsewhere, Brady finds good evidence to support the idea of the cave as an indispensable element of the sacred landscape for the Maya. He even goes so far as to suggest that this pattern of cave usage found at Dos Pilas represents a pan-Mesoamerican practice. Brady’s conclusions here seem to be well grounded in evidence (both archeological and ethnographic) from various regions of Mesoamerica and appear to be based on sound archeological work.

Brady begins by arguing against an exclusively ecological approach to settlement pattern studies, suggesting that his approach, which takes consideration the ideology and cosmology of the inhabitants can serve as a model research design for other studies. He includes a discussion on how ethnographic evidence can be used to create an understanding of the ideology of the original inhabitants in order to recognize structures and elements which would seem to be important in their site choice as well as settlement patterns. He then discusses at length his research methods and how these (such as the comparison of cave mappings and surface surveying) were utilized in order to find these connections between cave position, site orientation, and settlement patterns. He then considers three main reasons why these relationships between caves and site architecture have been overlooked in past archeological work: the assumption that caves were rare, problems in recognizing small holes as entrances to caves, and the frequent ignoring of the importance of caves in Maya studies. Brady finds the presence of man-made caves in areas where there are no naturally occurring caves to be a prime examples of the importance of cave structures in the sacred landscape of the Maya. Brady concludes his paper by exploring the possible function of this pattern of cave usage. The sacred symbol of the cave for the Maya, especially when connected to a source of water, i.e. springs, served as a basis for legitimizing power. Therefore, the connection of site architecture, especially public or official architecture, to cave systems was probably important in imbuing these buildings and leaders with power and authority.

SEAN GANTT Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

Crooks, Deborah L. Biocultural Factors in School Achievment for Mopan Children in Belize. American Anthropologist September, 1997 Vol.99(3):586-601.

With a blend of qualitative as well as quantitative techniques Deborah Crooks analyzes the “complex web of relationships among nutritional status, household factors, and school performance for Mopan Maya children.” Crooks utilizes extensive prior literature and research to develop a four pronged research strategy. Her research combines analysis on growth patterns in school-age children, environmental factors influence on children’s growth and nutritional status, the relationship between nutritional status and school achievement, and qualitative analysis of interviews with parents. Although Crook’s hypothesized association between growth in stature and school achievement was not supported by her data, she provides several possible explanations for these results. Regardless of the veracity of her original hypothesis, Crooks points out many interesting and thought-provoking issues surrounding the possible biocultural factors involved in school achievement, such as the correlation between school achievement and home environment, especially father’s literacy, as well as the observed difference between achiever and non-achiever children’s parents attitudes toward the importance of school and their children’s future employment.

Crooks adheres to the scientific method and to the construction of a scientific report. She discusses previous research and highlights particular ideas and concepts she will incorporate into her work. She writes briefly about Belize, focusing on her research site the town of San Antonio, Toledo District, Belize and its economic situation as well as its position with regard to other communities and especially other districts (Toledo being the poorest and least protected as well as being the place where the majority of Maya live). Crooks discusses her four-pronged research strategy by individually explaining these types of analysis in depth and then providing recorded statistical data for discussion. In her discussion she evaluates the analyses and attempts to demonstrate how these data can be used to examine how biocultural factors influence on school achievement for Mopan Maya children. Crooks concludes her paper saying, “In sum, school achievement for Mopan Maya children in San Antonio, Toledo, Belize, is the result of social, cultural, and biological factors within a complex social, cultural, political, and economic environment.” The clear, concise nature of this paper, in combination with the use of ethnographic examples, makes this work enjoyable as well as thought provoking.

SEAN GANTT Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

Cruikshank, Julie. Negotiating with Narrative: Establishing Cultural Identity at The Yukon International Storytelling Festival. American Anthropologist March, 1997 Vol.99(1): 56-69.

Negotiating with Narrative is a spectacular article that approaches the power struggle between indigenous groups and the states they live within. Julie Cruikshank writes that the battleground for these parties is the Yukon International Storytelling festival and the weapon is language! At the Yukon festival, many indigenous groups have the opportunity to express and celebrate their culture. States, like Canada tread a fine line between encouraging diversity and undermining the state endorse cultural model (Cruikshank, 1997: 57). Indigenous peoples, minorities, are seeking cultural autonomy, land, and the power of self-government. Cultural festivals have become the grounds for the political tug-of-war that was been ensuing for generations. Cruikshank addresses who has the right of translation of indigenous social action, what is the function of the narrative in native culture, and how these narratives are spawned from the everyday lives of their narrators.

Cruikshank includes the positions of other well-known anthropologists, like Keith Basso, on facets of native orality. She writes that while native orality demonstrates long-standing tensions with the states they live in, narratives are real expressions of the experiences of the day-to-day lives of their tellers. Storytellers are not as concerned as anthropologists about authenticity, but that the nature of the story reflect issues of the local context within the framework of native objects and symbols. Within these narratives are the social rules of kinship and land ownership (1997:60-62). Furthermore, the stories are always told with memory aides, objects, with symbols that depict various aspects of the stories. These stories plus the objects equal land ownership, which the state of Canada has actively contended with. Cruikshank ends this article, as she began, discussing the narrative and its relationship to the audience. Cruikshank writes that a story teller, Nyman, is criticized as well as applauded for her narratives that seemed tailored to her audience; an elders’ council, a festival attendees, or books. This article ties in power, identity, orality, and the classic emic/etic contention into a neat discussion!

Clarity: 5
ALLISON MUHAMMAD Wayne State University (Dr. Beverly Fogelson)

Cruikshank, Julie. Negotiating with Narrative: Establishing Cultural Identity at the Yukon International Storytelling Festival. American Anthropologist March 1997 99(1):56-69.

Cruikshank approaches storytelling as a means of portraying a culture’s identity to the outside world, offering as an example an analysis of the Yukon International Storytelling Festival. She explains that events such as these have emerged as a method for indigenous societies to break free from being seen only through the analysis of outside groups by instead revealing themselves to the outside world. The practice of storytelling, then, can now rightly be viewed as a culture’s conscious manifestation of itself, rather than as a window through which the group’s inner workings can be seen. The Yukon International Storytelling Festival also takes on a political role, providing an arena in which diverse groups can work together on emerging legal proceedings regarding land and indigenous heritage. The role of the anthropologist has moved away from viewing storytelling as such windows, and toward revealing how “ideas about culture are publicly produced and conveyed in intercultural transactions.”

Storytellers are acutely aware of their audience at the festival. They must bear in mind that they are addressing two sorts of audiences: other indigenous groups who are familiar with the contextual nuances of the stories, and outside visitors who are less familiar with the groups about which the stories speak. With such an opportunity to represent their cultures to the outside world, storytellers make certain to link their stories to their land, making the Yukon festival a yearly opportunity that requires Canadians to take notice of land policy in their nation’s northern regions. Cruikshank explains a number of ways by which this goal has been achieved by members of different ethnic groups, citing specific examples that exhibit similarities and differences in methods. Most storytellers’ allusions to land rights are gently hinted to listeners, although some are clear and direct.

Cruikshank’s next step is to describe the concept of storytelling as a social tool, considering a number of ways that its power has been recognized throughout the twentieth century. The Yukon International Storytelling Festival provides a perfect example of this strength, bringing indigenous Yukoners’ political struggle from periodical village meetings in the 1970s to the world stage in 1997. As a result of this growth, Cruikshank argues that “given the range of ongoing policy decisions being made the issue of how depictions of culture translate across cultural boundaries becomes critical from the perspective of indigenous people.”

Today, storytelling concurrently reflects traditional values of land and kinship to indigenous peoples as well as their historical experiences involving “annexation of territories, extraction of minerals, and layers of bureaucratic administration.” Storytelling exists, to some degree, on a day-to-day basis in the interaction of native Yukoners and puts itself on display annually at the Yukon International Storytelling Festival. The festival provides an opportunity to learn more about the way that a culture desires to present this “day-to-day” storytelling to the rest of the world.

DAVID SUMMERS Davidson College (Grant D. Jones).

Csordas, Thomas J. Prophecy and the Performance of Metaphor. American Anthropologist June, 1997 Vol. 99(2):321-332.

Csordas examines the prophecies of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement of the late 1970s and early 1980s. These prophecies described difficult times for the Catholic Church during the second half of the 1970s and they call for the organization of followers to fight against the “forces of darkness”. The metaphor of a bulwark is central to the motivation of followers. Csordas analyzes the ritual language of the Charismatic movement, the illocutionary and predicative frames with in the text, and the intentions within the prophecies to make conclusions about the role of metaphorical performance in the language of “culture, reality and the sacred”.

Csordas applies theories of ritual speech and intention to the text of the Rome and Bulwark prophecies of the Word of God covenant group. He defines the prophecy as one of four genres in ritual language that is characterized as the first-person utterance of God through a human speaker as a mouthpiece. Prophetic words can be distinguished from sermons or teachings, because the speaker changes his or her diction, includes intonation in each line, and uses couplets. A prophecy entails a “specialized vocabulary of motive,” and in this case there are words associated with good and others associated with evil. The vocabulary of motive is used in all genres, but the terms’ circulation in prophetic performance redirects the attention of the listeners and instigates their action. Citing Roy Rapapport’s conclusions on ritual performance, he highlights two messages that are integral to ritual canons: first, the enduring aspects of the social or cosmological order and second, the message of concerning the current state of these orders.

From the message about the current state, followers are compelled to action. The nature of illocutionary and predication frames and the rhetorical trajectory associated with the introductory promise give power and importance to the motives of the Rome and Bulwark prophecies. The metaphor of the bulwark is used to represent the united community of believers against the forces of darkness that threaten the church. The metaphor changes to a bulwark that resembles a wall to a hedge in the final two prophecies. This metamorphosis of the metaphor proves that the metaphor has become part of the societal discourse that can then be changed to amplify its meaning. Final, Csordas explores the use of pronouns to make the text compelling and the ways that intertextuality and intersubjectivity of the text in the establishment of intention and creation of the sacred self.

ELIZABETH SHAFER Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

Duranti, Alessandro. Indexical Speech across Samoan Communities. American Anthropologist June, 1996 Vol.98(2):342-354.

Alessandro Duranti interprets the use of a key expression in Samoan speech by mothers in Samoa and in a Samoan community in an urban American setting. Duranti demonstrates the spatial dimension of indexical speech as it relates to vertical and horizontal position in the living space. Like their Samoan counterparts, Samoan mothers in the United States use the command to “sit down” in a manner that both recognizes and establishes traditional social positions in a dissimilar physical setting. In response to the command, these children in America assume the same position, cross legged on the floor, as in Samoan, despite the presence of chairs and couches that could also be interpreted as places to sit when commanded to do so. By the fact of sitting on the floor, rather than on furniture, the children not only submit to the mothers’ authority, but behave in a traditional respectful manner. In its application in the new setting, the phrase connect the children in America with the space and social structure in Samoa. For the mothers it also permits continuity with the space of their memory. From these data, Duranti proposes several elements essential to a theory of spatial indexicality to augment current knowledge of indexical speech. These elements support a theory that bridges places, identities, and communities.

RENE K. GIVENS Wayne State University (Beverly Fogelson).

Duranti, Alessandro. Indexical Speech across Samoan Communities. American Anthropologist. June, 1997 Vol. 99(2):342-354.

Duranti undertakes a pan-Pacific linguistic exploration of the key expression of Samoan communities, nófo i lalo! (“sit down”), in order to show how language is instrumental in retaining culturally constructed notions of time and space. He proposes that through understanding the deixis, the aspects of language that contextualize to the speaker and listener an object’s temporal and physical position, one can begin to comprehend the underlying traces of traditional cultural heritage in American Samoan communities. Introducing his study he discusses the anthropological implications of “key expressions”. From the works of Clifford Geertz and Michelle Rosaldo, he observes that key expressions grant an ethnographer a privileged ticket to unmasking the hidden depths of culture. The words connect the ethnographer and, later, his or her reader to the space, time, and essence of the experience, assuming an apparent sense of scientific validity. He recognizes that key expressions become practical and tenable only in the context of what one is studying. Hence, the key expressions that afford insight into political interactions and discourses of Samoa, for instance, will not be the underlying key for researchers examining domestic interactions.

Duranti happens to focus his attention on the interaction of children and caregivers in both traditional Samoa and a California Samoan community. He chooses to investigate what he has identified as the key expression of domestic interaction, nófo i lalo!, in order to find a corollary between the communities’ cultures. He begins by setting the linguistic framework of spatio-temporal clauses such as “sit down.” He highlights how linguistic constructions of physical space (high/low) reflect a societal notion of one’s place in society. Duranti links the child’s sitting to the Samoan belief that “the child’s body should be lower or no higher than any other older person’s body” as a cultural sign of respect. By breaking down each aspect of the expression, he claims that the control over spatial location relies heavily on socio-historical concepts. Understanding corporeally where one’s body lays depends on cultural constructs of self, other, and space as represented or observed through language.

Duranti then relates the concepts of spatial indexicality to Samoan communities by highlighting how an apparently simple notion of “sit down” in English is actually dependent upon contextual and cultural implications. In Samoa, a child commanded to sit assumes different physical positions depending upon the environment he or she is in; similarly, American Samoans assume like postures in comparable contexts. Duranti notes that the American Samoans respond in similar ways to nófo i lalo!, despite their Americanization and upbringing, in seemingly drastically different spatio-cultural environments. He believes that the expression of nófo i lalo! is able to express, based upon the system of thought the caregiver passes to the child, the same culturally derived concepts of space and time as in Samoan society.

Indexical speech becomes an unconscious means of a parent connecting a second-generation child to traditional cultural premises. Duranti writes, “nófo i lalo! mediates an encounter between immediately perceivable space and a distant domain of action that is, for the children, invisible and unknown or little known.” The key expression of domestic interactions, as observed by Duranti, reflects the fundamental goal of socializing children in Samoan culture. He claims that his article is an attempt to elucidate a “theory of spatial indexicality” that operates to connect places, identities, and communities. Through retaining traditional forms of speech, cultural concepts rooted in an indigenous environment, can be expressed to proceeding generations who are not directly familiar with the actual spatio-historical concepts they express.

TIM LUCCARO Davidson College (Grant D. Jones).

Durrenberger, Paul and Erem, Suzan. The Dance of Power: ritual and Agency among Unionized American Health Care Workers. American anthropologist Sep[tember 1997 Vol.99 (3): 489-495

Durrenberger amd Erem propose that in the unionized hospital setting, workers participate in ineffective ritual responses to a power structured hierarchy. They ask three questions: how do people construct rituals in a heavily hierarchical industrial setting, why do they engage in these rituals and how these rituals are used to alter their social existence.

Deviating from traditional themes in medical anthropology, the focus of this discussion is on how those whom the authors identify as the secondary characters, or invisible workers in the hospital setting—those whose jobs range from dietary, to billing to maintenance—function in time when frequent management cutbacks increase both job insecurity, and the workloads of those left to carry on. Reviewing the ethnography of hegemony, and the ethnography of resistance, they define rituals as acts of power that build structures and support the view of Kelly and Kaplan, emphasizing ritual as the vehicle that confers authority. Recognizing that individuals are powerfully constrained by structures of hierarchy, the seemingly fiscally imprudent rituals of superordination and subordination within this hierarchy are seen to merit close scrutiny in much the same way as nonpragmatic rituals in exotic settings are analyzed to determine their roles.

In recounting the handling of hospital employee’s grievances, the ritual analyzed is the set of actions undertaken to address the dispute between management, union representatives, and the involved staff, that seem both time consuming and pointless. However, describing it as ritual dance of power, the authors liken it to the rituals of the Kachin chieftains described by Leach. This analysis demonstrates how the ritual dance of power utilizes the union’s bargaining resources inefficiently to gain minor individual victories, while neglecting achieving the greater goals of improving wages, benefits of working conditions.

The authors argue that by doing such an analysis, the insights of ethnography are brought close to home, and contribute to the type of practical anthropology called for by Rappaport

Clarity 4
GWENDOLYN S. NORMAN Wayne State University (Dr. Beverly Fogelson)

Durrenburger, E. Paul and Suzan Erem. The Dance of Power: Ritual and Agency among Unionized American Health Care Workers. American Anthropologist September, 1997. Vol. 99(3):489-495.

Durrenburger and Erem discuss the role that ritual plays for unionized workers in a hospital setting, especially as it relates to notions of agency and the contestation of hierarchy. The authors contend that a “dance of power” is played out by both union workers and hospital management through the exercise of ritualistic behavior. For both parties, the “charter” for the rituals, performed daily, is the contract that the union negotiates with the management. Ironically, however, Durrenburger and Erem also contend that the contract ultimately “subvert[s] the ability of unions to gain greater real concessions” for the workers they represent. As a site of contestation, the contract causes the union to spend time and resources settling disputes that could otherwise be spent for “broader [union] goals.”

The authors begin with a general review of anthropological literature concerning ritual, agency, and culture. Of particular significance is their review of the literature concerning whether people are able to exercise control over their own lives on an individual, acultural level, or whether individuals are rather controlled by the “blueprint” on which the culture of which they are a part is based. The authors tend toward the former explanation, and the role of rituals is examined with this theoretical framework in mind.

Durrenburger and Erem continue with two related examples of how the “dance of power” is played out in a hospital setting between unionized workers and management officials. The first illustration concerns a young certified nursing assistant (CNA) who is wrongly censured by a hospital administrator. The CNA files a grievance with the union, which consequently intervenes on her behalf. While the union is able to correct the CNA’s situation, the authors note that having the union intervene to provide dispute resolution is a suboptimal use of union resources, which could otherwise be allocated to strengthening the union where it exists and/or expanding the union where workers are not organized. Thus, entering into the “dance of power” is a costly proposition for the union. Likewise, it costs the hospital the value of the work time expended by employees who have to settle disputes. Further, Durrenburger and Erem point out that “workers’ reliance on union reps to solve such problems distances members from their unions by discouraging their active participation.”

The second case study that the authors employ to illustrate the “dance of power” involves a confrontation that Erem had with a human resources director at the same hospital. Erem, who is a representative of Service Employees International Union Local 73, presented a copy of the union contract to the CEO of a hospital because she needed her signature. The CEO, however, was not forthcoming with her signature, saying that she needed a few days to look it over. This imposed delay infuriated Erem, causing her to promptly join the “dance of power” by creating an angry scene in front of many union employees and management officials. In doing so, she was able to exercise agency and bring back some of the power that the CEO had taken from the union through her own resistance ritual.

The authors conclude by reiterating the salient points made in the article. Most importantly, they emphasize that the “dance of power” is a process through which power structures are both reproduced and expanded. While ritual gestures are utilized by both union and management to contest and maintain hierarchy, Durrenburger and Erem also note that the process of doing so should not be taken for granted, as it is costly for both sides.

ADAM BROWN Davidson College (Grant D. Jones).

Eglash, Ron. Bamana Sand Divination: Recursion in Ethnomathematics. American Anthropologist March, 1997 Vol. 99(1):112-122.

Eglash argues that, due to its straightforward nature, the relatively new field of ethnomathematics was quickly applied directly to education and development without being afforded a strong theoretical foundation. He finds favor with using reflexive cultural analysis in ethnomathematics, particularly in examining recursion patterns in mathematical systems. Using the example of Bamana sand divination, Eglash attempts to show the connection between reflexivity and recursive mathematics.

Ethnomathematics is a combination of “non-Western mathematics” and “mathematical anthropology.” “Non-Western mathematics” attempts to describe certain cultural information by translating each example or descriptive observation as a non-Western “version” of Western mathematics. “Mathematical anthropology,” on the other hand, models social and material culture quantitatively (for example, classifying early kinship systems). According to mathematical anthropologists, all data can be translated into some form of symbolic analysis. Eglash claims that the two fields were brought together through cultural relativism, by providing for complex cultural analyses via mathematical modeling, while at the same time acknowledging the local, indigenous mathematical patterns and outcomes.

Eglash then turns to the ways in which comparisons between traditional knowledge and Western technoscience can create valuable “feedback models,” relying on his fieldwork among the Bamana, an Islamic culture in Dakar, Senegal. He discusses the professional role of the diviner within Bamana society, arguing that the alien, “other” status of the diviner allows him/her to appear impartial when conducting divinations.

Eglash attempts to draw comparisons between sand divination and symbol interpretation by the Bamana and recursive Western mathematics. In particular, he is intrigued by the Bamanas’ use of a pattern similar to Gerog Cantor’s transfinite set theory set forth in 1877, which indicated that the number of points in an interval between zero and one was greater than infinity and to Cantor had enormous theological implications. The Bamana sand patterns are all recursive (the output of each iteration is used as the input for the next iteration), and their iterative properties were eerily similar to those of the Cantor set. Eglash finds also that several divination techniques in other cultures follow the Bamana technique, supporting his contention that “number bases tend to have an extremely long historical persistence” and diffuse outward to other cultures.

Following his examination of cross-culturally similar recursion patterns, Eglash argues that such findings support his claim that there are indeed similarities among and between societies both mathematically and culturally. In his view, it is ethnocentric to assume that all mathematical models, and all behaviors and belief systems, are exclusively universal or local. Diffusion among and between cultures creates shared knowledge and experience.

KRISTINE HARRINGTON Davidson College (Grant D. Jones).

Egnash, Ron. Bamana Sand Divination, Recursion in Ethnomathematics. American Anthropologist March 1997 Vol.99(1):112-122

In his examination of how “reflexive cultural analysis and recursive mathematics can be brought together” Egnash looks at the current state of investigation of the cultural aspects of Western “hard sciences,” particularly mathematics, as well as the mathematical components of African cultural practices in an effort to broaden the “understanding of the relationship between culture and mathematics.” To illustrate, the author uses the work of Georg Cantor and the Bamana sand diviners. Cantor, working in the 1870’s, demonstrated that the “continuum from zero to one cannot be delimited by any subdivision process no matter how long its arguments” thus establishing infinity as a mathematical object and “destroying the Aristotelian distinction between legitimate and illegitimate mathematics.” Curiously Cantor’s intent was the acquisition of theological or mystical knowledge implied by “increasing classes of infinity.”

Egnash’s study of the practices of sand diviners in Bamana revealed the use of a sophisticated and intentional mathematical system which paralleled that of Cantor’s infinite sets. While Cantor proceeded from the finite to the infinite, the process used by the diviners proceeds from the necessity of showing how the “infinite possibilities of futures can be narrowed down to a predicted unity.” Thus the author proposes that “Cantor’s work cannot simply be the discovery of new mathematical objects because its universal truths are also the result of his local cultural meanings. Conversely, an ethnomathematics view of the Bamana diviners would focus not on their local social semantics but on their work as mathematicians, as theorists of the universal.”

In tracking the literature of divination, the author asserts a possible Egyptian

Origin with the diffusion of “geomancy” through the Arabic practices to those of Europe and down to modern occultist Aleister Crowley, noting that the shared origin of both Cantor’s transfinite sets and Bamana sand divination may lie in the “African concept of self generated fecundity.”

Egnash sees a rich area for cross cultural examination in the ideas of chance and

Determinism, “since the recent discovery of deterministic aperiodicity—as framed by non-linear dynamics—maps quite well onto the traditional African conceptions of tricksters and related forms of causal unpredictability.” In conclusion, he cautions that “neither mathematics nor culture should be viewed as firmly fixed on the universal-local divide, for there are divisions within divisions never ending.”

MARTHA DOWLING Wayne State University (Dr. B. Fogelson)

Elfimov, Alexei. The State of the Discipline in Russia: Interviews with Russian Anthropologists. American Anthropologist December, 1997 Vol.99(4):775-785.

The author interviewed four Russian anthropologists in Moscow in 1995 (Alexei Nikishenkov, Viktor Karlov, Sergei Cheshko, and Sergei Sokolovsky) asking them about “the state of the discipline in Russia” (775). Their responses led Elfimov to three conclusions: a) problems the Russian academy is facing are similar to those of the American academy; b) Russia has been changing politically and culturally and its anthropologists are uncertain as to the “aims, methods, and the object of the discipline, as well as the place of anthropology within the human sciences” (775); and c) Russian anthropology has not strongly situated itself amongst all the changes that have been occurring in the humanities and social sciences.

Elfimov then shows how he came to these conclusions by including the scholars’ responses to nine questions. He first asks about the place of ethnography “in the system of humanities and social sciences” (775). There is a general sense that ethnography used to and/or currently belongs in the sphere of the historical disciplines. To Elfimov’s inquiry as to whether there is a bias towards “theoretical exercises” or to “applied matters” in the Russian academy (777), the interviewees respond that there is no real applied work, a gap between theory and practice exists, and old theories do not work anymore and need to be replaced. Elfimov asks if the “ethnographic project” in the Russian academy is a distinct or indistinct paradigm. None of the interviewees feel that ethnographic knowledge is a paradigm per se and most of them see the ground upon which the ethnographic project stands as quite unstable. Then Elfimov asks the Russian scholars to evaluate how ethnography is taught at universities currently. They all feel that the current system has flaws from the lack of serious fieldwork opportunities or funding to a problem with an old German canon system that does not encourage the development of “active, thinking, reflective” students (781). When Elfimov asks if cultural studies (“culturology”) in Russia is a self-contained discipline, the interviewees reply that culturology–as distinct from cultural studies as understood in the West–is not a discipline but an approach or a “cheap philosophy of culture” (781). Elfimov’s sixth question has to do with interdisciplinarity and integration of research in the humanities and in the Russian academy. These anthropologists feel that there is pseudo-interdisciplinarity and a real lack of integration. Next, Elfimov asks about the political stance of the academic community in the humanities today to which the interviewees respond that scholars, not the science itself, may be of a certain political swaying, that there are many different political types in the anthropological community, and that the question itself is not as relevant in Russia as it is in the West. Elfimov’s penultimate question is about the “relationship of the humanities to the reproduction of cultural values” and whether a divide still exists between “Slavophiles” and “Westernizers” (784). The interviewees all noticed a movement since the beginning of “perestroika” from Westernizing back to a Slavophile or “romantic” trend and they all think it is ideologically charged. Finally, Elfimov asks these anthropologists if ethnography has a future in Russia. They see anthropology as being “uncertain about its own terrain” (784), but also changing as the society it exists in changes. Ethnography will survive, but the form is unknown by these Russian scholars.

NATASHA SIMONE SCHLEICH Wayne State University (Professor Fogelson)

Elfimov, Alexei. The State of the Discipline in Russia: Interviews with Russian Anthropologists. American Anthropologist December, 1997 Vol. 99(4):775-785.

Elfimov examines the problems that Russian anthropology is currently facing, arguing that these are due to the inability of the discipline to adjust to changes in social sciences and humanities at the end of the twentieth century. Through interviews with four Russian anthropologists – Alexei Nikishenkov, Viktor Karlov, Sergei Cheshko, and Sergei Sokolovsky – Elfimov attempts to pinpoint the historical and contemporary bases for this “crisis of identity”.

There is a general consensus among the scholars that ethnography is among the historical disciplines, although Karlov expresses concern that what began as an attempt to draw social scientists into ethnography has led to the deprofessionalization of the discipline as a whole. In addition, he points out that as a science, ethnography is about addressing issues and problems, rather than conforming to disciplines. The Russian anthropologists find fault with the compartmentalized, heirarchical nature of the discipline in Russia, which creates a barrier from other social sciences that prevents interdisciplinary study. One of the foundations of the problems appears to be how anthropology and ethnography are taught at Russian universities. All four scholars are critical of the inability of universities to offer in-depth studies, the poorly organized fieldwork component of university studies, and the paucity of anthropology departments.

The subjects also discuss the distinction between ethnography and cultural studies. Cheshko regards cultural studies “not as a discipline but as an approach or strategy that may be employed by any discipline in order to study various phenomena of culture.” Again, these anthropologists question the lack of interdisciplinary interaction between ethnography and other categories of anthropology, pointing to a “conceptual language” that creates barriers of understanding within the discipline itself.

Elfimov also questions his subjects as to whether they believe that anthropology in Russia is an applied or theoretical science. All scholars seem to agree that there has been a recently growing gap between theory and practice within the discipline. Nikishenkov especially finds this problematic because of the difficulty in applying anthropological theories to answer ethical dilemmas in a field that is supposed to be objective.

The anthropologists also share with Elfimov their views about the political nature of Russian anthropology. All four seem hesitant to place an ideological label on the discipline as a whole, as it is a science and as the sciences are supposed to exist outside the political realm. They seem to come to a consensus that there is a sort of “unsettled center,” with no strong social or political sense in either direction. Yet they also discuss the Slavophile “backlash” that occurred in response to the increasing Westernization of anthropology following perestroika. They argue that this has created an intellectual divide within Russian anthropology that is harmful to its younger generations of scholars who are left in limbo between a Western field they are not allowed to study and a Slavophile field that is languishing. Cheshko, however, argues that “this divide is certainly not total. Most scholars hold on to a neutral or more or less balanced position.” He and Nikishenkov assert that the Slavophile backlash is exaggerated, pointing out that cultural values will inevitably change.

None of the scholars seems particularly concerned that anthropology is in mortal danger. They all agree that it is somewhat aimless and lost intellectually but that this is a natural consequence in a field constantly looking for new perspectives. The problems between and among generations will eventually be resolved.

KRISTINE HARRINGTON Davidson College (Grant D. Jones).

Eller, Jack David. Anti-Anti-Multiculturalism. American Anthropologist June, 1997 Vol.99(2):249-256.

The controversy surrounding multiculturalism, according to Eller, is neither theoretical nor analytical. Multiculturalism and anti-multiculturalism, though seemingly at opposite ends of a spectrum, each base their argument on what they perceive to be the inherent dangers of putting the opposing perspective into practice. Eller contends that both sides appeal to emotion and insecurity in overstating the dangers, rather than fostering analytical debate. Furthermore, in misapplying a poor conceptualization of culture, multiculturalists and anti-multiculturalists alike aim to privilege their position by appropriating the intellectual authority of anthropology. In many ways, multiculturalism and anti-multiculturalism are more alike than different.

Eller examines the concerns – or “worries” – of both sides of the multiculturalism debate. Multiculturalist worries center on the psychological consequences of exclusion from the dominant discourse, the educational and occupational failure that follow, and the intolerable costs to society. The more broad ranged impact pertains to what constitutes knowledge and truth are both partial and prejudiced. The Eurocentric focus of the academe, arts and politics not only marginalizes the perspective of the “other” in a society where significant cultural differences are a reality, but in ignoring the knowledge and experience of the “other” contrives a mythical homogeneous American culture. The European descended majority maintains its superiority largely because it controls the means to constituting knowledge, value and culture. That is to say, knowledge, value and culture are negotiated or contested only to the extent that groups exercise power in controlling institutions such as the educational system. Multiculturalism is a matter of power sharing in the cultural domain.

Eller concludes that as anthropologists, while we may take a guarded approach to multiculturalism, as an intellectual discipline anthropology must reject anti-multiculturalism.

RENE K. GIVENS Wayne State University (Beverly Fogelson).

Eller, Jack David. Anti-Anti-Multiculturalism. American Anthropologist June, 1997 Vol. 99(2):249-256.

Multiculturalism is a movement in the United States that calls for the incorporation of non-Western thought into curricula and the canon, grew in popularity during the second half of the twentieth century. Recently a second movement has emerged, known as anti-multiculturalism, which disagrees with the principles of multiculturalism because fears it will threaten the unity and integrity of American education and discourse. Eller examines the misstated concepts of multiculturalism, the fears of anti-multiculturalists, and the dangers of excluding multicultural text and experiences. He concludes that the multicultural perspective is flawed but necessary. Multicultural concepts of culture must be reexamined in an anthropological context in order for the movement to be accepted and to prevent some of its possible negative side effects.

Multiculturalism developed in the United States because the country is diverse in ethnic composition, while its educational system has been generally limited to European concepts of philosophy, history, and culture. Eller suggests that anti-multiculturalists fear multiculturalism for several reasons, and varying in the intensity of their fears. People object to multiculturalism because they believe that it makes curricula and education in general a political battlefield, it divides Americans into European and “other,” or it incorporates non-European knowledge that threatens the integrity of American intellectual discourse. But Eller concludes that anti -multiculturalists “misjudge the intents and overestimates the dangers of multiculturalism” (255). He does not deny that they are some drawbacks to creating a more multicultural curriculum, but he insists that the fears should not prevent multiculturalism and all of the benefits that accompany its incorporation.

Eller believes that anti-multiculturalists’ understanding of knowledge and culture weakens their arguments. Anti-multiculturalists often think that multiculturalism requires the dismissal of European culture. According to Eller, however, this notion is not true. Multiculturalism requires the incorporation of European thought but asks for an approach to that does not uphold European culture as infallible and intrinsically better than other cultures. Through the integration of other cultures’ knowledge into curricula, academic discourse does not become a cultural contest but rather introduces a wide perspective upon knowledge.

Eller believes that anthropologists can and should play an integral role in the debate between multiculturalists and anti-multiculturalists. An anthropological understanding of culture would allow anthropologists to become metacritics, monitoring the debate and “pointing out where both sides misuse culture and overestimate its restorative power.” Multiculturalism should not disappear from American intellectual discourse because of fear or its own shortcomings.

ELIZABETH SHAFER Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

Errington, Frederick and Deborah Gewertz. The Individuation of the Tradition in Papua New Guinean Modernity. American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol.98, No.1 (Mar., 1996), 114-126.

Errington and Gewertz, conducted fieldwork, which focused on the cultural changes of the Chambri people, in the Eastern Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. The Chambri traditional culture had changed dramatically due to “modernity”. The contemporary Chambri tribe influenced other tribal groups in the country economically, politically and culturally and transformed the culture into global icon, which toured European countries such as England, France and Netherlands to represent their culture. Their local performance leader introduced the dance group to companies such as PepsiCo and Arnott’s Biscuits. The objective for the companies was mostly commercial purposes and for Chambri, to preserve traditional values. The local politicians saw that as the threat of their traditional culture but they not change anything it because other groups within the country are interested into the Chambri values.

YIEN KONGDUONGDIIT University of Minnesota Duluth (Jennifer Jones)

Frank, Gelya. Jews, Multiculturalism, and Boasian Anthropology. American Anthropologist December, 1997 Vol.99(4):731-745.

In this paper, Frank considers the Jewishness of anthropology in the America. She claims that the history of anthropology in America downplays the Jewish origins of its key founders. Since the “deeds and roles” of Jews are rooted in their Jewish history, and since many of the early intellectuals of anthropology in America are of Jewish origin, anthropology becomes a part of Jewish history too (731).

Frank’s objectives in this essay are: 1) to bring together “strands of these various discourses on Jews in anthropology for a new generation of American anthropologists”; and 2) to show how these discourses can be especially important for anthropologists “concerned with turning multiculturalist theories into agendas for activism” (731).

Frank asks if anthropology in the United States has a “Jewish problem” by examining in detail the influence of Boas’ Jewish background in shaping the field (i.e. Boasian anthropology). She demonstrates, through biographical histories of the experiences of American anthropology’s earliest intellectuals who were of Jewish origin (Franz Boas, Edward Sapir, David Mandelbaum, Ruth Landes, Melville Herskovits, etc.), that there has been a “public silence or omission concerning anthropology’s Jews” and a “whitewashing of Jewish ethnicity” (731). These case studies show that the “acute consciousness” American Jews had of their “ambiguous position in society” was played out in the academic arena through a disciplinary interest in “the organization of race, culture, society, and self” and that to be “included” in mainstream institutions, Jewish anthropologists in America had to be willing to “de-emphasize” their Jewish ness (731).

Frank points out that with the “realignment of racial categories” after World War II, Jews were considered more “white” and accepted into the American mainstream because they were less threatening racially than other groups in the United States at the time (737, 739). This allowed them to champion race equality and justice. Frank also discusses the contributions some American anthropologists of Jewish origin have made to academia to show that until the 1970’s, the revealing of American Jewishness in academic work could threaten careers or result in marginalization.

Frank explains Du Bois’ concept of “double consciousness” (in this paper’s context, that American Jews must concurrently participate in two spheres: Judaism and their environing society) and suggests that Boas’ discomforting experience of this led him to try and resolve the tension by developing new social theories (740). Although Boas’ cultural theories (his “cultural anthropology”) were extremely apolitical, he practiced “scientific activism in the politics of his time” (735).

In the multiculturalist aspect of her thesis, Frank claims that Jews in America can be considered a diasporic people with many histories and identities. Both anthropologists and multiculturalists are interested in diasporias. The difference is that anthropologists—whose idea of “culture” is more than just “ethinic identity”—have not been “principally oriented toward programs of social change, political mobilization, or cultural transformation” like multiculturalists have (741). In light of the evidence that Boas’ work on race and culture was an “antiracist science”, this difference is questioned. Frank suggets that Boas’ science could be a model for anthropologists today—a fusion of the science of anthropology with an activist agenda.

NATASHA SIMONE SCHLEICH Wayne State University (Professor Fogelson)

Frank, Gelya. Jews, Multiculturalism, and Boasian Anthropology. American Anthropologist December, 1997 Vol. 99(4):731-745.

Frank examines both the contributions of Jewish scholars to the discipline of anthropology and the extent to which one’s Jewish identity influences the ways in which one operates as an anthropologist. The author is especially interested in the scholarly contributions and antiracist activism of Franz Boas. Frank suggests that present-day Jewish anthropologists might consider using Boas’s activism as a model for how to conduct their own professional lives.

Frank opens with a brief introduction to the life and work of Franz Boas. She notes that Boas was raised in a liberal Jewish family in late nineteenth-century Germany, a milieu in which anti-Semitic forces had already begun to take root. As such, the pressure for Boas to assimilate with the dominant non-Jewish German intellectual culture was great. Seeing little room for advancement in such a culture, Boas opted to move to the U.S., where he conducted the majority of his life’s research, much of which systematically dispelled previous misconceptions about “race.” While much of Boas’ research agenda centered on antiracist themes, Frank points out that Boas rarely tackled the problems associated with Jewish identity head-on. The absence in Boas’s work of a cultural approach to studying such identities is quite problematic for Frank; indeed, she writes that her essay is part of a larger movement in contemporary anthropology that is “trying to rectify” that situation.

In the latter half of her article, Frank discusses the role of the “double consciousness” that many Jewish anthropologists have cultivated due to their ethnic background. She notes that because Jews have often been viewed as “ambiguous whites” by the majority non-Jewish culture, they are likely to develop a distinct Jewish identity that separates them from their non-Jewish counterparts. At the same time, Frank also notes that in most contexts, Jewish individuals are able to enjoy the fruits of traditionally “white practices;” as such, they are able to relate to the world of academia in a way that many minorities cannot. Frank contends that this double consciousness caused great “dissonance and discomfort” for Boas. In order to resolve such feelings, Frank further argues that Boas put his time and energy into constructing new social theories.

Frank concludes by offering the reader several suggestions concerning how present-day Jewish anthropology can mold its goals so that they fit in with current multiculturalist discourses. Above all, she feels that Jewish anthropologists should return to the Boasian roots of the discipline. As she writes, “Boas’s career, rooted in his position as an ambiguously white European Jewish intellectual transplanted to America, continues to offer a model for infusing the science of anthropology with an activist agenda for inclusion, empowerment, and alliance across boundaries.”

ADAM BROWN Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

Freidrich, Paul. An Avian and Aphrodisian Reading of Homer’s Odyssey. American Anthropologist June, 1996 Vol.98(2):306-320.

Paul Friedrich endorses widespread application of an interdisciplinary framework in anthropology. He maintains that the comparative perspective in anthropology is enhanced when combined with such fields as literary study and the natural sciences. Friedrich believes that in doing so, anthropologist gain greater insight into underlying cultural meanings.

Friedrich summarizes and analyzes passages of the Oddyssey that include metaphoric use of avian symbolism, which he believes permeates the Oddyssey. Combining natural science, ethnoscience and ethnology he identifies the structural mythological and ethnoscientific meaning of bird symbolism. He concludes that birds are multivocalic symbols that are connected metaphorically to the Aphrodisian complex in general and, in particular, sexual jealousy. According to Friedrich, in their metaphorical role, birds address the role of fate, mediate between man and the supernatural, and are often projections of supernatural beings. Friedrich concludes by saying that syntheses such as his further the anthropological goal of understanding the cultural definition of natural phenomena and the emotional connection that gives meaning to the symbolism.

RENE K. Wayne State University (Beverly Fogelson).

Friedrich, Paul. An Avian and Aphrodisian Reading of Homer’s Odyssey. American Anthropologist June 1997 Vol. 99(2):306-320.

Friedrich explores the use of literary analysis in anthropology, with special emphasis on avian symbolism and sexual readings of Homer’s text. He recites the plot of the Odyssey, highlighting the bird imagery and assigning meaning to these avian symbols based on archeological evidence and the history of ornithological knowledge.

Friedrich believes that birds play a crucial role in revealing the sexual themes of the Odyssey. Friedrich insists that birds were essential to Homeric societies and most likely very important to other ancient societies as well. He suggests that bird represent humans’ relationship with gods, and in Homer’s works they also come to symbolize meanings of love, sex, adultery, promiscuity, jealousy, and gender. From archeological and historical works, he illuminates the fact that certain birds traditionally symbolize Greek gods. He uses ornithological knowledge of birds’ sexual and social behaviors to suggest why birds are often seen a symbols of humans’ social and sexual systems.

From these facts on the similarity between bird and humanity and the Greeks’ thoughts about birds, Friedrich moves to a retelling of Homer’s Odyssey with special attention to bird imagery and its possible sexual and gender implications. He concludes that imagery of birds of prey generally represent males, whereas the actions of males and associated violence and destruction is motivated by Aphrodisian emotions. Aphrodite is associated with love, sex, nurturing, and “darker homicidal jealousy and the lust to avenge sexual dishonor” (317). These themes are represented by avian symbols of nests (beds, boats, weaving) and birds such as sparrows, geese and thrushes. Friedrich supposes that most readings of Homer’s Odyssey overlook the powerful role of Aphrodite and women in the motivation of action of the Odyssey, and that in fact the themes of Aphrodite are central to action in the epic. Friedrich also presumes that similar readings of ancient texts from other early civilizations could render similar breakthroughs in understanding the cultures and the literatures of those civilizations.

ELIZABETH SHAFER Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

Gold, Ann and Bhoju Ram Gujar. Wild Pigs and Kings: Remembered Landscapes in Rajasthan. American Anthropologist March, 1997 Vol. 99(1):70-84.

Ann Gold, with the assistance of Bhou Ram Guja, traveled to Rajasthan and through various interviews with members of various vocational castes, obtained a glimpse of the region’s political and economic past. Gold’s work includes oral historical accounts from the pre-colonial periods: the era of the Maharajas, the colonial period under the British, and the present post-colonial Rajasthan. Gold uses “remembered histories” or “particular historical realities” to “see how they impinge on present and future lives.” Central to her demonstration of the effects of the socio-economic and political change is the change in landscape. The main alteration of the landscape came after the elimination of the Maharajas’ unruly pig populations. The Maharajas’ blind eye to the population’s struggle for survival because of the swine, as well as the subsequent destruction of the herds, left a lasting impact on the farmers.

Each of the groups interviewed had slightly different descriptions of life under the Maharajas and the ensuing rule under the British. All of the individuals interviewed in the area had stories with at least one common theme: the Maharajas’ pigs and the problems with them. The people explained that the pigs were allowed to roam freely over the countryside, robbing the farmers of their hard-earned crops with impunity. They then had to sleep in the fields to thwart the pigs’ plundering. The Maharajas punished anyone who killed one of their pigs, which the Maharajas themselves prized for their meat, but which the farmers were not allowed to eat, and could only scare the pigs away. The forests also belonged to the Maharajas, and during their reign, according to locals, the forests were filled with wild beasts. The farmers told of punishments for chopping down the Maharajas’ trees to extend their fields. The need for more land was always a problem because a portion of the farmer’s profits from planting went to the Maharajas. The punishment itself was to be beaten with a shoe, which was overseen by one of the Maharajas’ officials.

Life was portrayed as being very difficult, a time of scarce resources under the rule of tyrants. Under colonial rule, the farmers were able to gain more freedoms. Life remained difficult but they were now able to cut some of the forest trees for greatly needed land for crops, resulting in loss game resource. They were eventually allowed to do away with the pig population that had continued to wreak havoc. Thus, almost simultaneously, the predations of kings and pigs ended. The trade-off was increased freedom but at the expense of “decreased constraints on the use and abuse of the natural environment.” Gold’s closing thought is that while the era when everyone feared the threat of the shoe and protection of the insolent pigs by the king, only lasts only in memory, its effects can still be seen today.

KUTINA WILLIAMS Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

Gold, Ann Grodzins. Wild Pigs and Kings, Remembered Landscapes in Rajasthan. American Anthropologist March, 1997 Vol.99(l):70-84

Based on a decade of residency and research in Ghatiyali in North India in the 1980’s and her 1993 fieldwork in collaboration with local schoolteacher, Bhoju Ram Gujar, Gold’s presentation of oral histories has a two-fold purpose. Her concern first is to allow the emotion and detail of personal memory to enrich the historical record. Secondly, Gold seeks to validate the methodology of oral history interviews. Though individual accounts of an event diverge, rather than falsifying the picture, the author maintains, they may reveal a multi-dimensional panorama of a culture unapproachable by other techniques.

As illustrative of the essentially feudal conditions of the colonial-raj period in contrast with the present, Gold elicits retellings of a seminal event of popular protest against the policies of the local ruler. Notably, wild pigs marauding in the farmers’ fields become symbolic of the oppressive regime and the variants of the tale reflect the class/caste perspectives of the storytellers.

Today land reform has been undertaken and the raj is no more, but an unforeseen consequence of unrestricted land use has been the deforestation of what were once the vast protected lands of the royal parks. Gold concludes with the observation that, “If environmentally benign practices are to emerge …they will be realized…by those who work and live in interdependence with the land. That time [of] self interested kings …where insolent wild pigs roamed—endures only in memory.”

Clarity: 4
MARTHA DOWLING Wayne State University (Dr. B. Fogelson)

Griffith, David. Lasting Firsts. American Anthropologist March, 1997 Vol. 99(1):23-29.

Griffith writes about the construction of memory surrounding two events of martyrdom in the agricultural working class of the South. Griffith recounts the stories of two men, Stephen Long – an advocate for educating child labor forces in Maryland in the 1920s — and an unnamed Mayan migrant farmworker in South Carolina, who were both murdered. Griffith attempts to compare the economic and political situations that both men endured in order to try and understand the reasons and the lessons taught through the commemoration or silencing of the stories.

Griffith found the story of Stephan Long while working on a heritage project for the National Park Service and the story of the unnamed Mayan migrant worker while completing a research project on immigration and ethnicity in Florida. To Griffith, both stories represent lasting firsts by which the communities affected can form their new ethnic and socio-economic identity. First, Griffith addresses the challenges and importance of maintaining local history. Local history is composed on the small events of everyday life set “against backgrounds of hype and struggle.” Local history constructs local identity. Griffith wonders “where, and how, exactly, do celebrations of everyday existence fit within the bigger history, the identity that draws its inspiration form struggle, revolt, rioting, martyrdom, and death,” especially in the formation of pride and unity. To explore this question, Griffith looks to the story of Stephan Long. Griffith presents the economic background of the Delmarva Peninsula, in which child labor was crucial to farm production in the 1920s. Long was an advocate for keeping children off of the labor force in school, and he was murdered in 1921for his investigation of the absence of two laboring black boys from school. The perpetrator of this crime was the boys’ white farmer guardian, who was sentenced to only three years in jail.

Griffith focuses on the way in which the black community of the Delmarva Peninsula has since then commemorated Stephan Long. Griffith is especially interested with what he terms hidden history and willed forgetting as well as the form and content of people’s memories. The loss of memory is the result of hidden histories lost in the destruction of historical black communities as well as the willed forgetfulness of times of struggle. Ignorance of local heritage results in the deconstruction of local ethnic identity.

Griffith also recounts the story of the unnamed murdered Maya worker as both a window to the fear and vulnerability of the migrant communities as well as a paradigm to structure questions about the possible implications that this recent crime could have on the identity of this community. Griffith tells about the cruelty that many immigrants endure and their increased vulnerability based on their citizenship and economic status. He wonders how the murder of this Maya worker be perceived in generations to come and how its silencing or commemoration with will shape the identity of the community from which effects.

ELIZABETH SHAFER Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

Handwerker, W. Penn. Universal Human Rights and the Problem of Unbounded Meanings.American Anthropologist December, 1997 Vol.99(4):799 – 809.

The central argument of this paper is that “certain human ‘rights’ are universally perceived and experienced and take predictable expression.” Handwerker broadens this argument to suggest that people everywhere “evaluate specific experiences with essentially the same criteria.” In making his argument the author calls into question (and defines his understanding of) the definitions and presumed meaning of commonly used terms, including culture, meaning, social interaction, cultural boundaries, reification and ethnography. The importance of this exercise becomes clear as Handwerker develops his conclusion that civil or human rights do not exist exclusively as cultural constructions. In doing so he challenges the basic assumption bequeathed by Tylor: “that culture is, first and foremost, learned.”

To support his argument, the author uses freedom from violence as a representative universal human right, based on the fact that the experience of violence, especially in childhood, is extremely costly to societies. He then proceeds to define violence as “an expression of particular kinds of social relationships that generate specific meanings”. Violence encompasses anything that is an illegitimate exercise of power, including force, coercion, control or exploitation.

The author identifies the unit of analysis in studying the phenomenon of violence as a specific individual in a specific relationship, or even the social relationships themselves. He takes great care to describe and validate his methodology, providing a very useful model of the application of the quantitative method. Handwerker developed questionnaires that were administered to several sample groups.

The article is conceptually challenging, but worth the effort of the reader. Handwerker suggests that both violence and resiliency may be more an outcome of social interaction than a property or characteristic of an individual. In conclusion, he states that “Violence and affection thus many constitute key historical processes and concrete social interactions which, when and where they occur, shape meanings in predictable ways.”

NO NAME Wayne State University (Dr. B. Fogelson)

Handwerker, W. Penn. Universal Human Rights and the Problem of Unbounded Cultural Meanings. American Anthropologist December 1997 Vol. 99(4):799-809.

Handwerker addresses Gene Hammel’s cryptically encoded question, “By what principle short of imperialism do we insist on the application of civil or human rights in societies that have not come to these ideas through their own histories?” Handwerker argues that this question is basically rhetorical and a non-issue, and the more important question is “do universal human rights even exist?” He contends that universal human rights do exist and that they are based on fundamental human existence. He focuses on freedom from violence as an enduring universal human right and conducts tests to “prove” this contention. Handwerker tests violence and affection and concludes the two may be historical processes that create social interactions that bear on social meanings.

Handwerker uses childhood experiences of violence as important markers of behavior in adult life. Violent behavior and relationships, he proposes, are the result of generations of violence that carry through from childhood. This cycle of violence can be broken by change; that disrupts individual resilience (the lack of reflection upon childhood violence in adult behavior). Violence is the illegitimate exercise of coercion, force, control, or exploitation: power by any name. Those who experience physical pain are more likely to inflict physical pain; the same is true of those who experience emotional pain.

The validity of Handwerker’s theory was tested in three surveys. Coherence of phenomena was the key to upholding the theory of violence (and affection) and its expression. Handwerker studied women from Antigua, men and women from Barbados, and men and women from Alaska and Russia. He discusses the principles of construct validity and principal components analysis and Cronbach’s a, an average of all split-half reliability coefficients. Handwerker finds that his observations are coherent, in that combined variables demonstrate that “violence” and “affection” possess phenomenal existence. They are also reliable, in that even short scales for violence show acceptable to good levels of reliability.

Handwerker turns to the universality of meaning and its social construction. Meaning defines human existence and cannot be further deconstructed to fundamental components. Individuals participate in a world of shared meaning, and human beings cannot function without identity and meaning; they assign and interpret meaning to give life experiences context. Handwerker explains Geertz’s dissension from these definitions of meaning. Variability in meaning (for individuals and groups) is a function of variability in experience.

Human beings can never fully understand one another, but only because each has been influenced his or her own unique and valid experiences. Cultural boundaries exist only in reference to meaning. Handwerker believes that a common “political economy of knowledge” can be global and applicable to all times and places. Universal human rights are difficult to determine when past histories fail to complement each other. The gap can be bridged if people are able to take their differences into account when creating standards of conduct and meaning.

MEGHAN FERRITER Grant D. Jones (Davidson College)

Hartigan, John Jr. Establishing the Fact of Whiteness. American Anthropologist September 1997 Vol 99. (3): 495-505

John Hartigan takes a clear, analytic and theoretically sound approach to a subject that by al l accounts has received little attention by anthropologists, and that is the study of the culture of whiteness. The study of whiteness, he argues, as an analytical object, becomes a powerful means of critiquing the reproduction and maintenance of systems of racial inequality within the United States and abroad. More specifically, he proposes that the value of the discussion on how whiteness operates may provide a means to alter the terms or racial debates in this country.

The problem, he explains, is that whites benefit from a host of what appear to be neutral social arrangements and institutional operations, all of which seem, at least to whites, to have no racial basis. By studying whiteness, there is the opportunity to make visible the operations of racial privileges and advantage that structure the lives, attitudes and actions of white people and to move away from treating whites as normative, rather than racial issues..

In support of the timeliness of such studies. Hartigan refers to the writings of Harrison and Varene in describing the trend to decolonize anthropology, and the pernicious effect that the logic of “Otherness”

Has on ethnographic accounts, and the movement toward studying “nonexotic” people –such as in this case-Western whites.

The core of the author’s argument is that white culture is a culture of privilege, dominance and supremacy. Furthermore, he contends that it is not necessary to constantly qualify all analysis by acknowledging that there is diversity among whites, any more than is typically done with any ethnographic report. Race relations and race problems consistently focus on only one side of the equation, and not the position of dominance that whites maintain. Realistically, whiteness, or the dominance of whites over others has been the core of the “race problem” all along. Consequently, defining white culture in a manner that affects and defines white people collectively, asserts the oft ignored fact that they too are “racial.” Secondly, white culture, which has been developed through centuries of white global domination, reifies whiteness as a definable entity. By studying accounts of white culture in many different countries throughout the world, what emerges as an identifiable core is white supremacy. The multiple nuances and complexities of the study of white culture are explored through the writing of numerous recent authors on the subject, and the studies in the 1980’s by George Fredrickson and John Cell comparing whites supremacy in South Africa and the United States. The author also reviews his study of whites living in isolated communities in Detroit, a city which he describes as the most racially segregated in the country.

The author concludes by emphasizing that while white identity is transforming rapidly, the long term function of whiteness as a culture is to homogenize whites from a range of ethnic and class positions in order to assert a normative social identity from which privileges can be secured and maintained.

GWENDOLYN S. NORMAN Wayne State University (Dr. Beverly Fogelson)

Hartigan, John. Establishing the Fact of Whiteness. American Anthropologist September 1997 Vol.99(3):495-505.

Hartigan examines the establishment of “whiteness” in various countries, most specifically in the United States. He views the pervasiveness of the fact of whiteness as the key factor in race issues. Its existence is the foundation of a system that has caused racial inequality within the US and around the globe. He argues that because whites are not studied as ethnics, to due their majority status, it is not easily seen that whiteness and the privilege and power that comes along with it is the basis for racism. Hartigan analyzes various theories concerning the whiteness construct. Popular culture has lent a hand in the meanings underlining whiteness because it often portrays it in the light of the “other,” which is usually “blackness.” Whites benefit from being white in many neutral social arrangements and institutional operations even if they do not have supremacist notions. One way in which the concept of whiteness is maintained is by positioning race as a category of difference. When viewing the issues of racial problems and race relations, it is often only viewed from one side of the equation, in terms of the conditions of people of color and not of the dominant position of whites.

Hartigan makes the point that the “consistency of white hegemony speaks to a unified definition of whiteness.” Changes, however, in demographics and political circumstances have meant revisions in the definition of how some whites define whiteness, a realization supported by research that he conducted in three predominantly white communities in Detroit. Hartigan found that the sense of identity of whiteness was less significant as a unifying factor as was the sense of expressed commonality created by similar intra-community socio-economic situations. One of the most important results discovered in Haritgan’s research was that in understanding whiteness it is necessary to grasp how the “heterogeneous functions of race alternate between stark definition, absolute positions, and swirling ambiguity.”

Hartigan states in closing that “whiteness is powerful and provocative, and its power lies in its ability to describe the coherence of privileges that white people, generically, have developed.” The homogenization of whites from a range of ethnic groups and classes asserts the power behind “whiteness.” The only way to deconstruct “whiteness” or even “blackness” is for ethnographers to devise a means of analyzing “how whites, as racial subjects, are embroiled in predicaments where the meanings of race are unclear and shifting, subjects, subjects of discourses or local idioms that are fashioned in fast-changing sites.”

KUTINA WILLIAMS Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

Hauschild, Thomas. Christians, Jews, and the Other in German Anthropology. American Anthropologist December, 1997 Vol.99(4):746-753.

Thomas Hauschild is a professor of ethnology and director of the Institute of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Tubingen in Germany. In this article Hauschild begins by defining the role of national anthropologies, which “formulate ideas of origins, laying down the distinction between ‘us’ and ‘them’.” He compares American anthropology’s creation of the “ambivalent other, the Indian”, both the romanticized native and potentially dangerous savage/enemy living within American civilization, to German anthropology’s development of “the other”, which came to include the Jew. Hauschild notes that German anthropology was constructed as “two separate disciplines of anthropology that lacked any interdisciplinary link”. The academic discipline known as volkerkunde (“culture history”, or “ethnohistory”) “was theoretically and practically construed through the invention of an other.” Understood as “the study of the exotic other”, volkerkunde is in contrast, volkskunde, which was “understood as the study of the Christian German self”. The Jew, Hauschild explains, fit neither of these categories. “Since Jews participated in German civilization, especially its intellectual life, they were considered sophisticated savages and hence the most dangerous enemy.”

Along the line of its development, German anthropology became imbued with “the discriminatory logic” implicit in exclusionary practices that kept anthropologists of Jewish ancestry (along with women) out of the mainstream of the field in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Hauschild suggest that the practice of exclusion during that period is responsible for the continued sterility of German anthropology long into the post-war period.

Hauschild confronts the question of how German anthropology, “rooted in one of the world’s most influential philosophical traditions, wasted its reputation in developing a racist anthropological psuedo-science and today remains outside the power play of anthropological nations.” Moreover, he examines the relationship between ideas and practice, and asks how we can defend “against those ideas and practices that led German anthropologists into the disastrous universe of national socialist discourse”.

The names of well-known anthropologists appear throughout the article. Some, for example, Franz Boaz, are more familiar to American readers, and others – Thurnwald, Frobenius and Schmidt -are known primarily in Germany. Through citations from the work of these and other anthropologists, Hauschild illustrates how, in his words, “anthropological theory does not develop in isolation but in a cultural and historical matrix that shapes it.”

Clarity: 5
CHRISTINE MILLER Wayne State University (Beverly Fogelson)

Hauschild, Thomas. Christians, Jews, and the Other in German Anthropology. American Anthropologist December, 1997 Vol.99(4):746-753.

Hauschild’s approach to the study of German anthropology focuses on the idea that the discipline of anthropology does not exist in a vacuum. Rather, its development is dependent upon the social and historical milieu of its proponents and theorists. With this in mind, Hauschild examines the dramatic differences between American and German anthropology and concludes that due to the social conditions of World War-era Germany, that nation’s branch of anthropology became intellectually entangled in the “disastrous universe of national socialist discourse” and anti-Semitism of the time.

Hauschild examines two possible scenarios to explain the origins of German anthropology. The first hypothesis finds its roots in romanticism and rationalism, and the works of ethnologists Adolf Bastian. The anthropologists who emerged from of this school of thought subscribed to a belief that societies achieved “organization, in harmony or conflict, in coexistence or domination, through the processes of imitation inherent in diffusion and function”. This form of functionalism, however, neglected the critical factor of cultural relativism and therefore was drawn into the racist and anti-Semitic discussions of the 1930s. According to Hauschild, by the time World War II was fought and won by the Allies, these anthropologists were confronted by new “anthropological standards” and “fell into complete oblivion” (p. 747). The second origin theory attempts to explain the gaps and missing generations in German anthropology as critical to an understanding of the discipline as a whole. By the 1890s, the most “promising” anthropologists of the time, including Franz Boas, who might have assisted in salvaging the field in Germany had he remained, realized that the growing anti-Semitism and racism of German nationalist thought had already destroyed the field of anthropology. They therefore forsook their pursuits and emigrated either to other disciplines or to other countries. In addition, many of the intellectuals who remained were Jewish and were marginalized and excluded almost completely from intellectual life in Germany, with the result that their theories and ideas were excluded as well.

In addition to their anti-Semitic victimization, Hauschild argues that many Germans, including Jews themselves, subscribed to the popular view of a superhuman race (the Nordischer Typus), to which even very few Germans could claim they belonged. Most Germans were of mixed origins, but they still placed much importance on racial evaluation and even hated themselves as “misfits”. Because anthropology developed within that context of self-aggrandizement and racism, the discipline had a negative and exclusionary angle to it, which not only deprived German anthropology of the strengths of cultural relativism but also isolated it from other international streams of thought that could have had a more constructive impact. Hauschild cites three examples of German anti-Semitic intellectuals – Father Wilhelm Schmidt, Leo Frobenius, and Wilhelm Mühlmann – as contributors to this markedly racist and self-destructive line of thought. Because of this context surrounding the development of German anthropology, he argues that the entire discipline was founded upon the invention of the “other.” In Germany’s case, the Other was the savage Jew, who was particularly sinister because of his intellectual sophistication.

Because Jewish intellectuals were not only excluded, but also excluded themselves, their contributions to German anthropology were limited at best, and they tended to engage in more open, culture-wide dialogue such as journalism. According to Hauschild, they “constantly reflected on ideas of the self, the other, and the margins.” Because of this constant marginalization, Jewish anthropologists had little opportunity to engage in dialogue with each other or to collect data for their own work. However, Hauschild argues that new, younger professors must rise above the previous “unproductive dichotomies” of German anthropology and salvage the discipline. He concludes by asserting that the situation surrounding German anthropology proves the existence of “anthropological nations” that have the power to shape intellectual and popular thought and can exhibit the “extreme features of intellectual disintegration, racism, and marginalization of thoughts and people that surfaced in Germany.”

KRISTINE HARRINGTON Davidson College (Grant D. Jones).

Houston, Stephen D. The Shifting Now: Aspect, Deixis, and Narrative in Classic Maya Texts. American Anthropologist June, 1996 Vol.98(2):291-305.

According to Houston, only relatively recently have scholars identified in Maya glyphs the use of aspect and tense. At the time of writing Houston finds the research into the use of aspect and deixis in Classic texts is sufficient to tentatively reconstruction of general narrative patterns and also suggest the possibility of oral performance of these texts.

Houston provides detailed analysis of Maya glyphs that illustrate the use of aspectual and deictic marking to sequence and delimit events in narrative. His analysis suggests that rather than representing an event completed in the past as we would expect from our own narrative practices, Maya glyphs alternate between the incompletive and the completive. In doing so Maya scribes recorded events terminated in the past, but also as ongoing events occurring at the time of telling. The shifting time line seems odd in consideration of the Western linear convention of historical accounts, but is in agreement with the Maya temporal and spatial framework. The events were concluded in the past, but their retelling takes place in the present; the story is both complete and incomplete, both past and present, thus the shifting time line. The inscription is a record of the past, but also provides cues for communicating the story orally.

RENE K. GIVENS Wayne State University (Beverly Fogelson).

Houston, Stephen D. The Shifting Now: Aspect, Deixis, and Narrative in Classic Maya Texts. American Anthropologist June 1997 Vol.99(2):291-305.

Houston’s article analyzes aspectual markers in Maya hieroglyphs and seeks to find a pattern in their organization. The use of markers of tense and aspect in Maya glyphic texts, he explains, has been misunderstood by translators, who have incorrectly interpreted Maya history as it was intended to be told. Not all historical events, as translators suggest, are viewed in the past tense. Houston’s analysis of deictic marking indicates that historical events are explained in both past and present tenses, a case in which linguistics illustrates cultural differences in the interpretation of history.

Houston sets forth on his mission by examining previous explanations of Maya hieroglyphs, pointing out strengths and weaknesses in his predecessors’ research in light of recent discoveries. The recognition that the Maya could communicate tense and aspect in written form is a relatively new discovery, he explains, but some question remains as to whether the Maya communicated grammatically in written form. Upon deeper examination, however, written signs that indicate sounds can and do follow grammatical rules that indicate whether an event has happened, is happening, or will occur in the future. Houston points out a number of examples in which such markers exist. His analysis also indicates extensive use, in Classic inscriptions, of the passive voice with incomplete aspect, creating a narrative account of historical events, which differs from the past tense-heavy accounts that translators have preferred.

Houston then examines specific examples of Maya texts to discover the ways that these aspectual and deictic markers function. He finds that completive aspect most commonly occurs when referring to specific information referring to setting, such as place names, or when placing various events in sequence. In most other cases, however, incompletive aspect is the norm, particularly in the beginnings and ends of texts. Houston argues that “the incompletive appears to operate as a default category, so that events are not recorded as past, completed events in historical time, but as ongoing events, which shift to later (or earlier) ongoing events in temporal frames denoted by dates and deictic particles.” This organization places some events as clearly having passed, indicating them in the completive aspect, while suggesting that others are ongoing, aided by the incompletive aspect.

In further discussion, Houston attempts to analyze possible explanations for the aspectual manner in which Maya texts are organized, which would provide insight into how they ought to be translated. On a broad level, Houston explains that the Maya narratives exhibit the nature of the Maya view of time. On another level, he states that the structural organization of the texts could, upon much deeper analysis, provide insight into precisely how the Maya recorded historical events. This level “would emphasize the structure and content of narrative, a studied sequencing of events possessing ‘temporal closure, beginning-middle-end, means-end, suspension-resolution,’” depicting linguistic stylistic specifics. An example from a Maya temple, which Houston examines specifically, exhibits the use of aspect in structuring a narrative to include a “foreground” and “background,” which refer to the “actual story line” and so-called supporting information, respectively. Houston concludes that Maya glyphic narratives employ a “shifting now,” which includes a “historical incomplete” that resembles, to some effect, the European historical present tense. This “shifting now” enables the hieroglyphs to complexly explain historical events in a structured manner.

DAVID SUMMERS Davidson College (Grant D. Jones).

Jones, Lindsay. Conquests of the Imagination, Maya-Mexican Polarity and the Story of Chichén Itzá. American Anthropologist. June, 1997 Vol. 99(2):275-90.

Jones discusses the history of archaeological and anthropological investigations of Chichén Itzá. One of the most popularly recognized sites of pre-colonial Mayan culture, Chichén Itzá has been the subject of theoretical debate for nearly four centuries. As a phenomenon of archaeology, Chichén has been a center of discourse because of the contrasting architecture of the ruins of the north and south sections of the city. Jones focuses on how the conflicting styles became the point of speculation on the exact history of Chichén since colonial invasion. As she writes, “This stark contrast between Chichén’s two architectural styles has for generations been the impetus, and a sustaining force, for imagining that this place was the site of a momentous meeting between two profoundly different peoples.” The oldest sections of the city are commonly acclaimed to be the product of the lowland Mayas of the Yucatán, while the more recent styles are interpreted as the result of indigenous confrontations with Mexicans (Toltecs) of the northern highlands. Jones hopes to show where many of the stories surrounding Chichén Itzá’s orientation have arisen, culturally, historically, and politically. She does not try to solve the mysterious nature of Chichén cultural history, but rather elucidates the context of creation and reception of previous archaeologists’ theories.

Jones begins her discussion by showing how the theme of mexicanization of the Maya city arose, based upon archaeological findings. She notes that recurrent in almost all modern theories is the polarization of the ambivalent Mayan community in contrast to the warlike Toltecs of the surrounding highlands. Jones makes it a particular point to look at the various stories of Chichén Itzá’s history from three of the most renowned Mayanists of the twentieth century, Sylvanus G. Morley, Alfred M. Tozzer, and J. Eric S. Thompson. All of the men, in some way, perpetuated the polarized notion of the two people, despite the fact that each believed in unique courses of Chichén history.

Jones looks at the context of all former studies and is quite critical of the influence the Carnegie Institution, which once funded much of Chichén research, had on archaeologists. She feels that it is now of utmost importance to scrutinize the “mixture of romantic imagination, ethnocentrism, and proprietary stewardship,” that have characterized western creations of Maya history. According to Jones, the effects of the Carnegie Institution characterizations have, unknowingly, fostered anti-Mexican sentiments among the contemporary Mayas of Yucatán. She feels it has also been a pivotal paradigm of the Yucatán independence movement. The polarization of Mexican and Maya people may have had political and economic agendas that were of strategic importance to the U.S. and other foreign interests. Jones writes, “conventional stories of Chichén have proven quite useful in rationalizing the excesses of European expansion and assuaging guilt about exploitation of Native Americans and third-world nations.” Jones does not try to isolate a tenable story of Chichén history but rather serves to contextualize and implicate past and present theories of non-indigenous thinkers.

TIM LUCCARO Davidson College (Grant D. Jones).

Keita, S. O. Y., and Rick Kittles. The Persistence of Racial Thinking and the Myth of Racial Divergence. American Anthropologist September, 1997 Vol. 99(3):534-545.

The authors analyze the popular theories of race and racial divergence. They point out the many inconsistencies in the attempt to classify races based on physical diversities and geography. Race, for the purpose of this article, is defined in classical terms as the “collection of uniform individuals who comprise relatively distinct units.” Classical terms describing race, such as Negroid, Caucasoid, and Mongoloid, among others, are found to be too broad or too narrow to be of any use in terms of describing human diversity. One of the major issues analyzed here are ideas about when, where, and under what circumstances human divergences took place. Keita ands Kittles point out that until recently it was thought that the most important divergence was between Africans and non-Africans. It was discovered recently, however, that Africa displays the most genetic variation, even though, due to phenotypic similarities, Africans had been previously regarded as largely homogenous. While the extent of this diversity was previously thought to be the result of the constant migrations of non-African groups into Africa over the millennia, this assumption has been found to be incorrect.

Another possible explanation for this diversity is the great length of time over which parts of the African continent was inhabited, allowing for differentiations within the various gene pools. Efforts to place a date on when human populations diverged resulted in the discovery of many inconsistencies. Finding such inconsistencies led to the realization that many populations were not the product of hybridization, as was first recognized, but rather the products of differentiation. The attempt to place names on various groups based on phenotype and geography also led to dead ends because it did not account for overlaps. Furthermore, some phenotypes of some populations, while highly similar are genetically far apart.

The earliest divergence between Africans and non-Africans seems to have occurred between 156,000 and 115, 000 years ago, as there is no evidence thus far of the existence of modern humans outside of Africa before this period. The earlier idea that the Khoisan and other short-statured groups of Central Africa are representative of proto-humans has also been discounted. Scientific tools such as dendrograms have been found to be useless when attempting to describe human populations.

The authors state that racial thinking should not be associated with racist thinking. Racial thinking persists “in spite of multiple lines of evidence that deconstruct racial schema and their underlying philosophy.” Projects such as the Human Genome Diversity Project will hopefully destroy some of the myths of racial typological thinking. Furthermore, the “human geographical variation in external traits is obvious, but these differences should not be looked at as fundamental biological differences.” Stereotypes that are linked to continents do not flow from biogeography. In closing, the authors emphasize the need to develop new terms that describe human variation, biohistories, and phenetic and genealogical affinities. Failure to explain such variations by means of terms and concepts, will only allow the continuance of misunderstandings and misclassifications.

KUTINA WILLIAMS Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

Kirch, Patrick. Microcosmic Histories: Island Perspective on “Global” Change. American Anthropologist March, 1997 Vol.(99)1: 30-42

Microcosmic Histories, by Patrick Kirch is a compelling study on the environmental impact of human behavior. Kirch proposes that anthropologists, especially archaeologists, can glean a microscopic view of global trends by studying Pacific Islands’ histories (Kirch, 1997:31). Kirch gives a general overview of the Easter Island environmental disaster. He cites the work of Bahn and Flenley (1992), as well as Vitousek (1995) to substantiate the value of using islands as environmental models. Ultimately, Kirch argues through applying standard archaeological methods and using ethnographic data we can reconstruct the degree of human impact on these island model ecosystems. Such studies will allow us to project the consequences of our current modes of subsistence and technical productions.

Kirch provides two case scenarios, the islands of Mangaia and Tikopia. Mangaia, a large island of 52 square kilometers was not very fertile. Polynesian colonizers, introducing chickens, pigs, and dogs, quickly depleted the island’s natural resources. The depletion (i.e. deforestation, soil erosion, etc) resulted in a decline of the stock animals and a great number of native animals. Finally, warfare over what few resources were left ensued. The archaeological record and the oral traditions attest to such and cannibalism (Kirch, 1997:34). On the contrary, the Polynesian colonizers of Tikopia, a small, fertile island of 4.2 square km, were aware of the precariousness of their situation. The natives instituted a system of population control to prevent the depletion of the island’s resources. Celibacy, contraception, abortion, infanticide, suicide voyages for males, and expulsion were all methods Tikopian chiefs employed to keep the population down. This balance was not disturbed until the Christian missionaries arrived (Firth, 1962) and tried to eliminate some of the more harsh aspects of their population control measures. Kirch’s article utilizes the work of many anthropologists’ expertise. Kirch writes that through these smaller models we can, in a manner of speaking, predict the outcomes of our behavior on a global scale.

Clarity: 5
ALLISON MUHAMMAD Wayne State University (Dr. Beverly Fogelson)

Kirch, Patrick V. Microcosmic Histories, Island Perspectives on “Global” Change. American Anthropologist March 1997 Vol. 99(1):30-41.

The article is the transcribed Distinguished Lecture in Archaeology from the 1995 meeting of the AAA. Kirch utilizes the New Archaeology, emphasizing interdisciplinary techniques, to reconstruct human influence on ecological systems, and over time ecological systems’ influence on human culture. He views the microcosmic nature of remote Oceanic islands as being a model system for observing global change in terms of ecological and cultural development. For years the islands of Oceania have been hotbeds of evolutionary biological, biogeographic, ecologic, and ethnographic research; but, it is only in the recent past that archaeology has started to deconstruct the notion that Pacific islanders were “conservators of [their] island habitats and resources.” Kirch recognizes that “human dimensions of global change” have been most noticeable the last three hundred years, but chastises researchers’ failure to explore the human impacts on the earth during the Holocene. Thus, the article explores two islands, Mangaia and Tikopia, of remote Oceania between 7000 B.P. to the present in order to observe the ecological effects of human habitation and the resulting cultural byproducts.

Kirch believes that the relatively contemporaneous appearance of humans on the islands, as well as the general similarity in environment, affords him a fitting sample for comparative study. Despite their similarities, however, he chooses Mangaia and Tikopia for their differing cultural responses to ecological change, which he feels are of particular anthropological importance. Using an interdisciplinary team of geomorphologists, palynologists, paleontologists, and archaeologists Kirch employs various methods to explore the different historical ecologies of each island prior to and following human arrival. Kirch speaks mainly of stratographic and pollen analysis as the primary means of analyzing the ecology of each island at a given time period.

Kirch determines that Mangaia, the older of the two islands, was significantly effected by human habitation and the horticultural techniques they introduced around 1600 B.P. Shifting cultivation deforested the native environment and increased soil erosion. Based upon stratographic findings, he concludes that around 800 B.P. there was a marked shift from horticulture to irrigated taro cultivation. Irrigated lands, which comprised two percent of the island, became the center and cause of intertribal rivalry and warfare. Kirch also notes how human habitation had a deleterious impact on native fauna, diminishing the species of birds from twenty-two to nine between 1000 B.P. and 350 B.P., marking a noticeable decline in the native sources of protein. Early humans had brought with them animals, such as pigs, who due to an increased trophic competition with humans over food died out rapidly along with other protein sources, as evidenced by skeletal analysis. Kirch believes that the raise in population density and an increased dependence on irrigated crops led to a system of social terror, marked by ritual sacrifice, bodily mutilation, and, perhaps, cannibalism. The essential statement to his discussion of Mangaia is that “in destabilizing and thus biotically impoverishing their island environment, they set up severe constraints that entailed severe cultural responses.

Tikopia follows nearly an identical geo-archaeological history as Mangaia, despite its younger age, all the way up to the end of the horticultural period. Whereas Mangaia moved to an irrigated taro cultivation, Tikopia became an island cloaked in an agronomic system of agriculture with protein sources deriving from an abundantly bio-diverse reef and sea. In addition, Tikopia, up until the missionary influence of the last century, monitored its population size through mechanisms such as celibacy, contraception, abortion, infanticide, suicide, and population expulsion. After missionaries arrived and denounced traditional population controls, the population grew from 1,200 to over 1,700 people between 1929 and 1952. Modern systems of regulation have since been invoked. The major difference Kirch points to in the ecological development and ability to sustain a high population density between the two islands was Tikopia’s innovative agronomy and systems of population management.

Kirch concludes that he must acknowledge the differing scale of each island and how that too may have effected cultural and ecological development. He declares that the key to future successes in dealing with global change is in long-run management policies. Long-run policies that may be influenced and aided by the historical long-term analyses of systems in change that New Archaeology may provide.

TIM LUCCARO Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

Kulick, Don. The Gender of Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes. American Anthropologist September 1997 Vol 99(3):559-573.

Don Kulick argues that in Latin American countries such as Brazil definitions of gender roles differ from the “modern heterosexual-homosexual dichotomy” popular in the U.S. The general Euro-American understanding is a biologically based dichotomy: male and female. The Latin American interpretation, Kulick proposes, should be based on the role each person plays in the sexual encounter. Therefore, gender should be defined as “male” and “not-male,” the latter being any person (male or female) who is penetrated, the former being the penetrator.

Kulick focuses on a group of travestis, or female-impersonator (“effeminized”) prostitutes. He contrasts the popular celebration of travestis in Brazilian Carnival up against the forms of discrimination they face in everyday life. Travestis change the shape of their bodies with hormones and silicon implants, wishing to make their bodies curvier, with wider hips and fleshy buttocks. These “girls” do not have silicon injected in their breasts, although some have professional silicon implants.

In his interviews with travestis, Kulick finds that each wants her body to be more attractive to men, although none actually wanted to be a woman. Travestis do not have sex change operations, but rather merely “embellish” what God gave them. Every travesti values her penis, according to Kulick, because the penis plays an important part in her trade.

Travestis have live-in boyfriends who are rigidly defined as homens (men); these young men are socially and symbolically different from the travestis. They maintain the relationships as long as the boyfriend does not express interest in the travesti’s penis. Travestis end relationships with boyfriends who deviate from what they consider to be proper manly sexuality.

Kulick argues strongly against the third gender thesis, in which a third, intermediate, androgynous individual is highlighted. He expresses, again, the difference in the Euro-American recognition of the gender based on genital sexuality. In Brazil (and other countries), gender difference is dependent upon the act of penetration. Kulick is quick to point out that travestis are not women; rather, they share a gender with women.

Gender, sexuality, and sexual roles figure into sexual relationships in opposite ways in Euro-American and Latin American tradition. The Euro-American classification continues to identify two genders based on genitalia: “male” and “female.” It is the role of “penetrator” which demands the label “male,” while the “penetrated” is associated with feminine characteristics. Kulick suggests this role should be labeled “non-male.” He intends this as the key to clarifying relationship boundaries and determining conclusions for the cultural distinctions that still exist.

MEGHAN FERRITER Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

Laderman, Carol. The Limits of Magic. American Anthropologist June, 1996 Vol.98(2):333-341.

Carol Laderman confronts theories of the effectiveness of magic and the limits of magical power that suggest a shaman’s renown as a powerful healer is contingent upon the esteem of his or her colleagues. Laderman proposes that accounts Lévi-Straus relates of successful shamans, particularly the remarkable success the Kwakiutl shaman Quesalid meets despite his initial skepticism, represent a distinct path to success as a healer. Furthermore, Laderman argues that there are other, more effective paths, to career success as a healer.

Laderman describes how one rural Malay woman built an economically successful practice treating urban Malay clients, despite the suspicion of her neighbors and the disapproval of traditional village healers. The woman followed an atypical path to becoming a healer and her unorthodox ritual procedures and restricted etiological and therapeutic repertoire betrayed her lack of training. Although her neighbors did not consult her, she was able to support she and her husband by conducting séances to determine the cause of illness then treating the illness. When Laderman returned some years later, the modestly successful shaman had taken a partner and both had become quite prosperous. Although her neighbors remained suspicious, the woman acquired limited respect for her financial achievement. Among her colleagues, however, she was still scorned. She did not become great shaman in the eyes of village people, but she became a wealthy shaman for an urban clientele. She achieved success in spite of poor standing.

Laderman concludes that the partnership was successful because together they provided healing rituals that were in step with the beliefs and expectations of their urbanized clients.

The woman was constrained by her limited ability to perform ritual, but her often frightening performances lent authenticity to the evenings proceedings and created an atmosphere of awe in the presence of powerful supernatural forces. Most of the urban clients consulted the pair due to unbearable ailments that physicians were unable to treat. Clearly, something more powerful was necessary.

Her partner drew on less dramatic, though perhaps more effective traditional healing methods. Laderman believes that without the “authentic” performance the clients would not have confidence in the healing power of the ritual. Together, she says, they were able to accomplish what neither of them could achieve alone.

RENE K. GIVENS Wayne State University (Beverly Fogelson).

Laderman, Carol. The Limits of Magic. American Anthropologist June 1997 Vol. 99(2):333-341.

Laderman writes of her experiences in Malaysia and the art of shamanism. She gives two examples of shamanistic healers, partners in a rural village. She indicates the success of the shaman comes with the integration of treatment of the spiritual, mental, and physical component of maladies. Laderman’s observations are informed by her own apprenticeship in shamanism and, seemingly, her personal opinions of fellow shamans.

The first bomoh (traditional healer) about whom Laderman writes is Cik Su. She acquired her powers in an unusual manner; this is merely one factor that made her unique among Malay healers. Cik Su was preoccupied with magic as the primary cause of disease and injury in her patients. She gave phenomenal performances in her healing rituals and seances. Laderman points out Cik Su’s abilities as a charmer and how it affects her abilities as a shaman.

Laderman outlines Malay medical theory, describing the distinction of illnesses and maladies into “usual” and “unusual” categories. Malays adhere to the theories of humoral balance, spirit loss, and spiritual tampering. They are also concerned with the Breath and Spirit of Life and maintaining proper bodily and spiritual animation.

Cik Su utilizes taboos to her advantage in the administration and aggrandizement of her practice. She takes on the persona and privilege of male shamans in Malay. It is believed by members of her own rural community that Cik Su pushes the limits of her “place.” She supports her husband, who works odd jobs, with her practice. He acts as an assistant in her performances. Laderman’s mentors call Cik Su’s practices into question because her irrational focus on the potential sorcery involved, placing her patients in danger. Their physical ailing is not relieved by her dramatics, they believe; her practice is questionable.

Laderman contrasts Cik Su’s technique with that of her partner, Yussof. He uses a conversational, humor-laden style of questioning his patients. He gives assessments on the spot, drawing from his patient’s descriptions and diagnosing their physical, emotional and spiritual ailments. Yussof gives God credit for healing powers, placing himself as a lowly interpreter. The patients receive most of the blame for their own illnesses in Yussof’s evaluations. Laderman reviews a number of Yussof’s interviews in this piece.

Carol Laderman concludes that there are limits to shamanistic ability. Cik Su is an example of ineffective shamanistic technique. Although Yussof places blame on the victim, while Cik Su blames scheming neighbors, Yussof’s technique is better received. He seems to have an ability to lighten the atmosphere and restore healthy attitudes with his diagnoses. Both became wealthy shamans and catered to wealthier urban dwellers more than their rural neighbors. It was the combination of modernity, antiquity, charm and candor that propelled the partnership of Cik Su and Yussof to success.

Let me conclude with a personal aside: It would be interesting to see what these shaman think of Laderman’s assessments of them. What would they concur with; what would they disagree with? And if these shaman were to assess the competence of anthropologists, more generally, what might they say? That could prove thought-provoking.

MEGHAN FERRITER Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

Lieberman, Leonard. Gender and the Deconstruction of the Race Concept. American Anthropologist. September, 1997 Vol. 99(3):545-557.

Lieberman utilizes biographical, historical, and survey data to elucidate the importance of women scholars in the deconstruction of the concept of race. He highlights three key movements of anthropology, and feminine influence in them; critique of racism in academe, construction of the concept of culture, and the complete rejection of the notion of race. Ultimately, the article reads like a Who’s Who of women in anthropology for the last century.

Lieberman notes how sexism and female subjugation in the anthropological field may have granted them a privileged view into the disparities of racism. Through publications and teaching women combated racial stereotypes, most of which dealing with perceived biological distinctions. He is quick to note how some of the earliest anthropological pioneers, such as Matilda Coxe Stevenson, have been overlooked in the history of anthropology.

The works of women like Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead were fundamental in constructing a practical concept of culture that undermined biological constructs of racism and ethnocentrism. Their mass public acclaim and recognition amongst the lay American public spread the ideas of culture throughout all spheres of thinking. The notion of learned rather than inherited traits became central to the concept of culture that began to separate the analysis of human behavior from stringent biology. Lieberman cites the collaborative pamphlet of Benedict and Gene Weltfish, which sold nearly a million copies and was published in seven different languages, as proffering an alternative to racial determinism in the name of culture. Even though women were fighting against racism and building a more plausible and relative notion of culture, they failed to reject entirely the concept of race.

Lieberman believes that the work of antiracists and cultural propagators became the “precursor to that later conceptual revolution in which race would be rejected.” For a period of some twenty to thirty years the woman’s role in the deconstruction of race went stagnant. He defends the stagnation as a direct result of an absence of blind reviews in male-dominated publications, as well as, women’s more pressing involvement in the sweeping feminist movement of the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1980s, however, Lieberman recognizes a rejuvenation of the role of women in the fight against notions of race. Through a series of surveys he collects information that supports his belief that women, in all fields, are more prone to reject the race concept. He feels that the marginality women have faced in the “male scientific establishment” has made them more sensitive to imposing hegemonic theories such as the race concept. He views, in a fitting fashion, the sensitivity of women as a product of socialization rather than biological nature. He conclude his article by saying that, “the construction of race and gender, the deconstruction of the race concept, and the reconstruction of gender were, and still are, intertwined, as conceptions of race and gender have been mutually reinforcing male hierarchies.”

TIM LUCCARO Davidson College (Grant D. Jones).

Linke, Uli Gendered Difference, Violent Imagination: Blood, Race, Nation. American Anthropologist September 1997 Vol. 99(3):559-573.

Linke argues that genocide in Germany was a function of the masculine rejection of all things feminine. The flow of blood upon the death of millions was symbolic of the flow of blood during menstruation. Everything foreign was associated with otherness and, therefore, woman.

Describing the genocide as acts by rational citizens, Linke writes that it was a “sustained conscious effort” that utilized “organizational discipline” instead of moral responsibility. The actions of Germans against Jews in World War II were possible because modernity had been achieved in science, technology and bureaucracy. The concept of modernity allows for the view of genocide as normal, regularized behavior.

Blood became a symbolic representation of race and difference. Jewish blood (Jewish people) was considered a threat to the “health” of the German body politic. The mass deaths were a matter of cleansing the body, preventing the most feared act of “racial mixing,” which would only serve to taint the pure German blood. The flow of blood was an act of ritual cleansing; death was required to transfigure the racial other into blood.

Linke explains that the flow of blood is an expression of everything that is different: women and women-associated otherness. Jewish men fall into this category based on assumptions of Jewish male menstruation and fears of bleeding male bodies. Medical practices, incorrect as they may have been, served to reinforce the equation of women and racial others.

Fascist desire to control women was rampant; there was obsessive concern about the control of women and reproduction. German soldiers and private mercenary soldiers known as the Freikorps were contemptuous of women’s bodies and sexuality; women were always portrayed through a screen of violence. Specific parts of the female (“other”) body were attacked as threatening orifices; these parts included the head, the mouth, and her genitalia, representative of each other. The death of women and others, the “opening up” of bodies, was symbolically an act of rape.

The fascist body politic was preoccupied with its hardened masculinity and attempting to avoid the “softness” and “frailty” that was woman/other. Linke emphasizes the role of common literature and dialogue in reinforcing this rational attitude towards liquidation of a people. Songs, books, poetry, and writings provided fodder for racial stereotyping and assumptions. The most effective way to avoid feminization was to bring death to the threatening influence. This code of death was reinforced by the militarization of the German public.

In the period that followed World War II, Germans believed that their reconstruction was hampered by an influx of refugees from neighboring countries. The foreigners represented the filth and contamination of otherness; refugees posed a perceived threat to the city, the German body. The audacity of foreigners to consume goods in the same manner as Germans was appalling to German legislators; Germans had earned the right to consume freely, while refugees had done little work to help reconstruct the German state.

German officials did much to preserve the strength of the hardened “male” state and avoided the integration of “female” foreigners. The German definition of citizenship continues to involve bloodlines, rather than soil (location). The destruction of life, female and other, was a series of rational, conscious acts to ensure the virtue and purity of Germany’s dominant male leaders and the German nation.

MEGHAN FERRITER Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

Lovell, Anne M. “The City Is My Mother”: Narratives of Schizophrenia and Homelessness.American Anthropologist June, 1996 Vol.98(2):355-368.

Anne M. Lovell is concerned with the application of narrative analysis to social discourse of marginalized people. She finds the “talk” involved in relating one’s personal story a process of defining the self in ways that permit the individual to maintain their sense of self in situations that are neither of their own making nor under their control. Lovell notes that the marginal social existence of the ill, but also fragments their existence by a series of discontinuous and changing realities. In the process of narrative construction the patient constructs a coherent whole by placing it in a temporal framework with a beginning, a middle, and an end. Lovell explores the narrative process and construction of self among schizophrenics. Lovell suggests schizophrenia may not be Lovell suggests that if, in fact, the creation of a timeline permits the integration of self among the ill, the time disturbances characteristic of schizophrenia make it all but impossible for the schizophrenic to use temporality in relating their story. Lovell’s subjects is complicated by their further marginalization due to homelessness. Lovell concludes that temporality is constructed in a dialectic between teller and listener and that, as with other illnesses, narrative permits the schizophrenic and homeless to construct a coherent self despite their socially marginal position and existence in a reality incongruous with consensually created reality.

Lovell presents the story of one schizophrenic man whose marginality is near total. He is estranged from his family, homeless, and not accepting treatment from traditional institutions providing services to the homeless or mentally ill. In analyzing recurrent themes or images in stories conveyed to her in the context of normal conversation, Lovell shows that the man constructs a new self by relating his current existence to the anomalous experiences of schizophrenic delusion. Lovell interprets his departure, which leads to his estrangement from his family as well as his homelessness, as a positive solution to the onset of the delusional state. The anomalous experiences of schizophrenic delusion are used to create a narrative that creates a new self that is coherent within his current circumstances. Thus, for the man his wanderings are a constant search for his mother and the few objects, food, and money he receives by panhandling and scavenging are gifts his mother leaves for him. In relating his story, the man and the anthropologist co-construct meaning and self by relating space and time.

RENE K. GIVENS Wayne State University (Beverly Fogelson).

Lovell, Anne M. “The City Is My Mother”: Narratives of Schizophrenia and Homelessness.American Anthropologist June, 1997 Vol.99(2):355-368.

Lovell examines the purposes of “illness narratives” within the context of narrative analysis, claiming that these stories help the patient reconstruct a sense of self in the face of immense suffering. She finds, however that a breakdown occurs when the illness is schizophrenia because its fragmented and alienated nature creates a barrier between storyteller and listener and does not allow the life stories schizophrenics tell to reclaim a needed sense of identity. Lovell argues that this can be somewhat remedied through the reconstruction of the narratives through various “interlocuters” (including the anthropologist), allowing schizophrenics a restitution of self.

Lovell first examines contemporary Western psychiatric viewpoints that the language and stories formulated within a schizophrenic mind are “closed to interpretation.” Western psychiatrists treat the delusional thinking characteristic of the illness as unimportant; hence, their attempts to make any sort of connection are cast off as simple biological mechanisms. Their inability to place reality in a temporal context, and the subsequent refusal of psychiatry to simply listen, exiles schizophrenics from society at large.

Lovell’s fieldwork takes place in New York city in two “interstitial” locations (also known as places-in-between). The first are “nonplaces” which the homeless use as dwelling places, or for other uses. The second are interstitial social organizations whose practices fall somewhere between traditional psychiatric care and social services and who often physically operate within these “nonplaces.” Lovell’s study of schizophrenic narratives also differs methodologically in several ways from psychiatric interview techniques. First, her observations take place outside a decontextualized psychiatric setting. Second, she relies primarily on “natural” or “situated” discourse, rather than formal interviews. Third, she regards the narratives as “storymaking” rather than “storytelling,” creating the possibility that the narratives as a whole can be constructed collaboratively, not only through the telling by the subject, but also through the interpretation by others.

Lovell then tells Rod’s story. She says that Rod is constantly in search of his mother; he says the “city is [his] mother,” and although he can’t get to her, she leaves him reminders that she is still taking care of him, such as prepared sandwiches in garbage cans and a backpack left on a New York sidewalk. Lovell argues that Rod’s constant movement is an attempt to reduce the stigma attached to his homelessness and that he is thereby able to “repel the animality others might project onto him.” She discusses the three functions of the “home” in Rod’s narratives – that of the commodity, the practice, and the relationship.

Lovell also compares Rod’s stories to a genre called the gnoseological narrative, which involves a voyage of self-discovery that is constant and ongoing. She claims that were he to find his mother and a conclusion were reached, his justification for his wanderings would end and his homelessness would become meaningless. In fact, this is exactly what happens: when a social worker is able to locate Rod’s real mother, he becomes angered by her attempts of “false reconciliation” and disappears. However, in locating Rod’s mother, Lovell is able to fill in the temporal gaps in his story (as schizophrenia often involves an inability to distinguish between past, present and future) and can begin to identify the factors that led to his homelessness when he walked out on his family twelve years prior. Yet she also argues that wandering and homelessness can have positive connotations in Western society, as it is “deeply rooted in the cultural myths of the United States.” Wandering can represent a flight from oppression or otherwise problematic circumstances.

Lovell concludes by arguing that while complete understanding of the other is never possible, even a person suffering from an illness like schizophrenia can have their story told through the interaction with “interlocuters,” thereby allowing a true restitution of self and preventing “the terror of being deprived of any story whatsoever.”

KRISTINE HARRINGTON Davidson College (Grant D. Jones).

McDermott, Ray. Conklin, Joyce, and the Wannaknów. American Anthropologist June, 1997 Vol. 99(2):257-260.

In this tribute to Harold C. Conklin’s career, Ray McDermott draws several tongue-in-cheek parallels between the respective techniques and styles of James Joyce’s fiction and Conklin’s ethnography. While he admits that the parallels are not immediately obvious, McDermott proceeds in his article to show that there do exist similarities that could be construed as linking Conklin and Joyce as a pair. As one might guess, the linkages that McDermott makes—especially toward the end of the article—are somewhat far-fetched, and they certainly make for an amusing read.

McDermott opens his article by noting that in 1956, Conklin actually did write a grant application to the James Joyce Society of Trieste for funding to study Hanunóo speaking habits. He uses this curious fact as a frame for his investigation into the similarities between Joyce and Conklin. McDermott firmly acknowledges, however, that the authorial goals of Conklin and Joyce were dramatically different and should be construed as such. While Conklin aimed for a comprehensive “description and comparison of complex phenomena,” Joyce sought to create “constructive confusion” through his verbal precision.

Even so, McDermott insists that connections exist on other planes. He mentions three “points of similarity” in particular, accompanied by the caveat that they are listed “in order of descending importance and ascending foolishness in explaining Conklin’s request for funds.” First, he notes that for both Joyce and Conklin, “life is in the details.” In essence, Joyce’s fiction and Conklin’s ethnography each “require a sensuous engagement with the details of daily life and considerable technical finesse.” Second, both scholars had a keen interest in the “folk classification of plant life.” Just as Conklin discerned the Hanunóo names of different varieties of rice, Joyce introduced to the world such botanical species as “Irrland’s [sic] split little pea.” Third, both Joyce and Conklin were interested in the meanings of the verbal construction “/bi?l/.” While Conklin actively researched “betel” exchange among the Hanunóo, Joyce made use of both “bees” and “beetles” in his wordplay. According to McDermott, this type of wordplay “is the source of Conklin’s application for research funds.”

In the latter half of this article, McDermott presents Conklin’s vision (1980) of how Joyce might have gone about writing a Hanunóo ethnography. Conklin hypothesized the following descriptions: “On the mountain tops of Mindoro, the Wannknów live a pacem in terris life without the self-tighteousness of selectrical societies…Exchange, signifyoucan’t, of source, is a well patterned preachure of interfaction, but there is no money…Courtship, not sortship, is their craft. Skinship over kinship, mishpokhe relatively speaking.” Just as Conklin concluded these description with an apology to Joyce, McDermott concludes his article with an apology to Conklin for his somewhat irreverent way of celebrating his career. He notes, however, that there is a good likelihood that “the Hanunóo themselves would enjoy of a spoof of this type to celebrate Conklin’s retirement from 34 years in the Department of Anthropology at Yale University.”

ADAM BROWN Davidson College (Grant D. Jones).

Miller, Robert. Innocents Abroad. American Anthropologist December, 1997 Vol.99(4):712.

This piece is unconventional. It is a poem written in response to the author’s reading of a 1984 Seamus Heaney poem that had a line in it where Heaney described how his hand hurt from holding tightly onto a piece “hammered off Joyce’s Martello Tower” (712).

Miller’s poem describes how Bosnian artifacts (“Byzantine chunks of glass and limestone”) and architecture that have until recently been “protected” by UNESCO conventions hold great cultural and historical meaning (“Figured eternity, orthodox faith and the Bishop’s investment/ In pilgrims’ feet” [712]). But, with the sending of NATO troops to Bosnia as peacekeepers, these bits of history are being “sold” to them in exchange for charity at checkpoints (712). That is, the sale of “cultural patrimony” becomes one of a plethora of “weapons used by the local parties” (712).

The poem is written by a member of the Archaeological Conservation Trust in New York and eloquently reveals an interesting connection between international and national politics and artifacts and artifact conservation. The cutting and hawking of such pieces of cultural history for some kind of political gain or positioning, or even for the benefit of the “heir of a private collection” is disconcerting (712). I am still not sure why Miller entitles the poem, “Innocents Abroad”; maybe it is because these peacekeeper “purchasers” do not know what they are a part of.

NATASHA SIMONE SCHLEICH Wayne State University (Professor Fogelson)

Mukhopadhyay, Carol, and Yolanda Moses. Reestablishing “Race” in Anthropological Discourse. American Anthropologist September, 1997 Vol. 99(3): 517-533.

Mukhopadhyay and Moses discuss the issue of race and its re-establishment in anthropological circles. The field of anthropology, in part, fueled the development of the concept of race. Early anthropologists such as Morgan and Tylor laid the basis for classifying human populations on hierarchal scales based on “evolutionary progress,” which were determined by physical characteristics, especially head shape. Classifications on such hierarchal scales were the key players in constructing a racial worldview, of which America and Europe were at the forefront. This racial worldview led to biological and racial determinism, which was instrumental in the world’s perceptions of human variation and human behavior.

After setting the basis for the concept of race through research by cultural and physical anthropologists, some anthropologists attempted to challenge the concept of race as a means of describing human diversities. Those who challenged the racial worldview included Franz Boas and Caroline Bond Day. The emergence of population genetics in the middle part of the 20th century also was important in deconstructing “race”. During that time many studies were conducted that also challenged such ideas, resulting in statements issued by various organizations and scholars, such as UNESCO, and by anthropological and linguistic scholars. By the 1980s the dismantling of the idea of biological races within Homo sapiens had been for the most part successful. Race was now viewed as a social construct that was used historically as “part of a distinctive system of stratification involving restrictions on social interactions and legitimate matings partly designed to maintain a phenotypically distinguished status hierarchy.” Although in anthropological circles the idea had almost vanished elsewhere, in academia and in politics the idea remained very much alive, as seen in the publication of books such as The Bell Curve.

Anthropology, however, has now, to some extent, backed out of the continued dialogue on the subject of race. The authors believe that the first step in resuscitating the anthropological voice is to deal with the terminological and definitional issues of race.

There is no consensus on the meaning of the word race, due to the “shifts in our understanding of human diversity and challenges to the racial worldview.” The most important way for anthropologists to aid in the dismantling of the racial worldview is to lend their expertise in discarding the concept of biological races. This expertise should be extended outside anthropology into the realms of government, education, and other institutions. It should also be translated into the development of pedagogically sound teaching materials that would explain human diversity and evolution.

KUTINA WILLIAMS Davidson College (Grant D. Jones).

Nash, June. The Fiesta of the Word: The Zapatista Uprising and Radical Democracy in Mexico. American Anthropologist June, 1996 Vol.98(2):261-274.

June Nash examines how subordinated peoples negotiate shared political, religious, and cultural space in response to the forces of globalization now fashioning the postmodern world. Nash contends that examining the cultural resources of extant indigenous communities reveals strategies evolved over many generations to contend with the fundamentally asymmetrical political and cultural relations inherent to global capitalist expansion. These strategies, according to Nash, derive from aboriginal community and institutional models that successfully facilitated cultural preservation and coexistence in the past and, she argues, offer prototypes uniquely suited to developing the pluralistic postmodern states of the future.

The 1994 Zapatista Uprising in Chiapas, Mexico set in motion the renegotiation of Maya ethnic identity, challenged the subordinate economic and social status of the Maya, and articulated demands for full participation in a radically reformed democratic Mexico. According to Nash, in the wake of the uprising, Maya leaders utilized preconquest political and social models in their efforts to establish a dialogue between themselves and government officials. Nash notes that whereas Maya communitarian values and institutions demanded equality but permitted diversity, Mexico’s national leaders, largely representative of the mestizo elite, turned to Western hierarchical models. Far from accepting the inevitability of domination and repression, Maya leaders implored the government to acknowledge Mexican pluralism, but also recognized the potential conflict between individual and collective rights.

In support of her argument that preconquest models are drawn on in resolving current conflict, Nash sketches the structure of Olmec civilization. She comments on Olmec ability to integrate new people and cultures in a vast network of settlements linked to political, commercial, and ceremonial centers, noting that incorporated communities participated fully in and benefited equally from the Olmec political network. Furthermore, Nash points out that these groups freely adopted, adapted or discarded their neighbors’ cultural practices, in any case preserving cultural autonomy. Nash remarks on the abrupt end to Olmec pluralism during the Spanish colonial period and calls attention to the isolated and marginalized ethnic enclaves that developed in place of multiple interdependent, yet autonomous communities. In due course, distinct cultural patterns incompatible with the norms of the ladino-dominated towns took shape, thus guaranteeing the peripheral position of the indigenous population.

Nash maintains that Maya rebellion and resistance to cultural subordination persisted covertly in Maya religion and spirituality. The control Maya politico-religious officials exercise over Christian saints is a symbolic expression of Maya cultural rebellion.

Observing the proceeding of the National Indigenous Forum meeting held in San Cristobal in 1996, Nash, notes the use of ceremonial language and imagery of the Maya spiritual world lends legitimacy to the indigenista ideology of the pueblos indios in public debate and dialogue.

The Maya use myth and spirituality to redefine such western concepts as justice, liberty and democracy in a manner that not only transforms their ethnic identity and establish their relevance to national politics, but make it difficult to ignore what they can contribute to fashioning a multicultural archetype for postmodern society.

RENE K. GIVENS Wayne State University (Beverly Fogelson).

Nash, June. The Fiesta of the Word: The Zapatista Uprising and Radical Democracy in Mexico. American Anthropologist June, 1997 Vol.99(2):261-274.

June Nash discusses the Zapatista movement in Chiapas, Mexico and the mode of radical democracy that it has attempted to ensure in Mexico. She argues for the Zapatistas as an example of, and perhaps a model for, a pluriethnic and pluripolitical movement. She refers to the Zapatistas as a postmodern revolution, arguing that it defines “a radical democratic alternative to the hierarchical imperatives of western domination and to the armed struggle as the unique counterforce.” Nash asserts that by primarily non-violent means the Zapatistas have forced the Mexican government into forums where their demands and goals could be discussed, in the hope of creating a new relationship between governors and the governed that respects the dignity of all Mexican people and recognizes the pluriethnic and pluripolitical nature of the country.

Nash examines these issues primarily from a historical perspective, following the progression of the negotiations between the Zapatistas and the Mexican government up to the National Indigenous Forum of 1996, which signaled the birth of the independent civil peaceful organization known as the Zapatista National Liberation Front. Nash has a special understanding of this process due to her attendance of the National Indigenous Forum, otherwise known as the Fiesta of the Word. In her view this forum was exemplar of the postmodern pluriethnic, pluripolitical nature of the Zapatista movement. At the forum everyone, especially indigenous Mexicans, were encouraged to speak and discuss what they wished to see happen, in an effort to reconstruct the country in the way the people felt it should be done. The discussions centered primarily on what the Zapatistas had already articulated as the main concerns of the people, but other issues were also raised during the several days of the forum, and everyone’s voice was respected and heard.

She concludes that such “communitarian values and institutions might provide a model for pluriethnic and pluripolitical institutions as we enter the third millennium.” Movements like the Zapatistas are redefining what the modernist values of liberty, democracy, and equality might mean in this new postmodern world, and should be studied and understood so that their message might be beneficial in the future.

SEAN GANTT Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

Page, Helan E. “Black Male” Imagery and Media Containment of African American Men. American Anthropologist March 1997 Vol.99(1):99-111

Page updates earlier studies of media images of Black American males with analyses of the media’s portrayal of three high profile Black figures: former NAACP

President, Ben Chavis; pro-basketball star and former Chicago Bull, Craig Hodges, and Michael Jordan. What the author finds in common in all three cases is the ubiquitous double standard of acceptable behavior applied to Blacks, the pervasive portrayal of Black men as irredeemably violent and incompetent, and a white, corporate media which defines Black men as worthy only to the degree that they can personify an “embraceable” whiteness.

Page goes on to discuss what constitutes this “embraceable-ability” in the white “public I/eye” contrasting it to the evaluation of “positive Black imagery” in the Black community. Here Page notes importantly that while the Black community rejects the white norms to some degree it is enormously affected by these negative assessments to the extent that “we often lose faith in our own capacity to learn and competitively excel.” A further ramification of this acceptance of “white embrace-ability” Page sees in the acts of successful Blacks who in seeking to secure the profits that such “embrace-ability” may bring are subjected to the most destructive aspects of media surveillance while being diverted from the needs of the Black community as a whole.

For Page, in the final analysis, the manipulation of Black imagery, and Black male imagery in particular, by the media, serves the underlying, and often invisible agenda of the “corporate forces that are rapidly reorganizing the global economy today so as to increase productivity and profits.” Citing studies by the Association of Black

Anthropologists, Page points to the role media manipulated images of gender and race play in social stratification and social control. For the author the ultimate “unembrace-ability” resides in actions by Blacks which challenge inequality on all levels.

MARTHA DOWLING Wayne State University (Dr. B. Fogelson)

Page, Hélan E. “Black Male” Imagery and Media Containment of African American Men.American Anthropologist March, 1997 Vol. 99(1):99-111.

Page argues that since the 1980s consistent media portrayal of the Black Male as “unembraceable” leads to the inability of some black men to succeed. Page argues that the media provide two examples of the Black Male: the embraceable and the “unembraceable.” The whitened masses continue to determine what is acceptable.

The public “eye/I,” created by Brackette Williams, is the personal and national view of people and issues in the media. It is shaped by mass white opinion.

The most commonly portrayed “unembraceables” are young criminals, deadbeat dads and husbands, and sexual aggressors. The third of these was a source of the fear most emphasized by the media. Black Male sexuality could be the greatest single factor in racial discrimination (and anti-desegregationist views); fear of miscegenation prompted so much of the widespread fear.

Page briefly outlines Susan Smith’s heinous act of murdering her children, then blaming a “black man in his twenties who hijacked the car.” Her story was convincing because Smith, like her national white peerage, had internalized the media-driven concept of the terrifying black man and his criminal activities. Page also points to media events in the 1980s which brought the Black Male to national attention in only his most destroyed (AIDS victim), most heinous (serial murderer of children), or most savage state (Chaka, the Zulu chief). This further impressed upon the public “eye/I” the “unembraceable” nature of the Black Male. African American audience members responded angrily to a psychologically damaging CBS Report on the “Vanishing Black Family: Crisis in Black America.”

According to Page, even “embraceable” Black Males are only such as a result of their conformity to the White Ideal. For example, Malcolm X became “embraceable” after the 1992 film Malcolm X, by Spike Lee, was released. Lee, embraceable in his own right, is able to put a “white” aesthetic on the film. Page cites Black Male Imagery which is positive, yet “unembraceable,” discussing Ben Chavis and the NAACP and Michael Jordan and the Bulls. Page contrasts the positive, yet “unembraceable,” Ben Chavis as President of the NAACP with the “embraceable” Hugh B. Price of the Urban League, who spoke more conservatively. Michael Jordan, although engaging in unembraceable behavior occasionally, fares better than Craig Hodges. He acts in a positive and even “embraceable” manner for the service of black communities, but becomes “unembraceable” because his behavior became too radical.

Page concludes that much continues to conspire to prevent the success of Black Males, including technological barriers and media coverage. Page’s solutions include recognition of the problem, selective resistance and compliance in some arenas, or supplementing lost opportunity. The successful “embraceable” Black Male obtains privilege in exchange for the price of privacy. He becomes the subject of media surveillance and must modify his behavior to remain in favored status.

Page suggests a critique of the white privilege to alleviate the inhibition and restrictions on success of African American men and women. Absence of national equality of tolerance generates greater emphasis on African American fears of exploitation, surveillance, and depiction as “unembraceable.”

MEGHAN FERRITER Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

Peacock, James L. The Future of Anthropology. American Anthropologist March 1997 Vol. 99(1): 9-17.

In the annual AAA Presidential Address, President James Peacock addresses trends in anthropology as a discipline, explaining possible directions it might take in the future and outlining a number of strategies the discipline should follow in order to improve its standing moving into the 21st century. Peacock believes that in the future anthropology will either become extinct; live on as an invisible field of study, “hanging on as the living dead” or experience a “flourishing redirection… into a prominent position in society.” In order to pursue the third, most desirable alternative, Peacock explains that anthropology must redirect its focus; this goal is important for all of society, because “society needs anthropology.”

Anthropology has faced new challenges with the development of interdisciplinary fields of study, which divert funds from traditional fields like anthro-pology to these apparently socially relevant fields. The rising influence of such fields call for an increase in “practical” scholarship, and Peacock calls for a balance between academic and applied anthropology. Other challenges that face anthropology, in his opinion, include “a narrowly defined practicality and technical professional-ism, a demand for cost effectiveness, and the mentality of the immediate payoff.” Anthropology is susceptible among disciplines to being cut and must avoid simply maintaining a status quo in the future.

As “the invisible discipline,” Peacock explains that anthropology needs to take advantage of the fact that large numbers of students do in fact enroll in its classes, and expand as a “category.” Lacking specialized skills, the discipline has become embroiled in merely offering profitless critiques of scenarios rather than worthwhile solutions. Additionally, anthropology has fallen victim to what he calls “religiosity,” becoming akin to a religion, “the experience of becoming an anthropologist providing extraordinary unique insights and wisdom into the way the world works.” Still another problem has been that while anthropologists have often taken part in interdisciplinary studies, they have been mere participants rather than leaders and organizers.

Essentially, Peacock believes that anthropology is a noble discipline but that it falls short in projecting its applicability to the general populace. Facing this challenge, he outlines five ways in which anthropologists should focus their attention in order to more fully exhibit their contributions to society. First, Peacock suggests that anthropology should maintain its “search for pattern and regularity in human life,” a foundational basis of its scholarship, and its most widely recognized contribution to academia. Second, he believes that anthropologists must take proactive moves to shape public policy, not just to react to it. Third, as mentioned, anthropologists must take leadership roles in interdisciplinary projects rather than roles as followers. Fourth, anthropology needs to address more “human issues” such as sex, ecology, gender, and religion; many other disciplines, he believes, are dealing with these subjects, and anthropology has not kept pace. Finally, he suggests that anthropology needs to work harder to make its films and literature more “interesting” to readers. In conclusion, Peacock spurs on his fellow anthropologists with a rousing cry to “focus outward,” “work,” and “lead,” looking to “seek and attain a common higher ground where research and practice inform each other to the benefit of the discipline, the academy, and broader publics.”

DAVID SUMMERS Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

Rethmann, Petra. Chto Delat’? Ethnography in the Post-Soviet Cultural Context. American Anthropologist December, 1997 Vol.99(4):770-774.

With the emergence of a post-Soviet Union have emerged new scholarly questions and ideas from anthropologists in the Western hemisphere of the academy. Rethmann frames her exposition around the need for better communication between Western and post-Soviet anthropologists and more attention paid to the scholarly work of post-Soviet colleagues. She argues that ethnography in the post-Soviet context should be born of intellectual collaborations between Western hemisphere and post-Soviet anthropologists and a greater focus by Western hemisphere anthropologists on the “intricacies of post-Soviet everyday life, as well as its scholarly life” (773).

Rethmann acknowledges the major changes currently taking place in the former Soviet Union and among a plethora of questions that this process beg, she has been most interested in: a) strategies of memory and identity; and b) the politics of gender. Rethmann calls on points framed within these two major lines of inquiry to illuminate “some of the paradoxes and quandaries of post-Soviet life” (770) that interest scholars studying contemporary Russia.

Rethmann evokes the recent works of scholars such as Malkki (771), Wikan (771), Balzer (771), Huyssen (771), Lewin (772), Battaglia (772) to discuss politics of national identity, self-representation, and “remembering” (771) along with examples from her own research in the post-Soviet Union. Then, she turns to issues of gender and sexuality–the “Soviet body politic” (772)–in contemporary Russian cultural life, eliciting the work of Hubbs (772), Lissyutkina (772), Attwood (772), Bridger (772) and supplementing this evidence with her research including a brief discussion of lesbian and gay movements in the post-Soviet Union.

Rethmann concludes with a call for more attention given to an understanding of the lived realities of contemporary post-Soviet people and of the important contribution, within the academy, that Russian scholars can make to ethnography in post-Soviet culture.

NATASHA SIMONE SCHLEICH Wayne State University (Professor Fogelson)

Rethmann, Petra. Chto Delat’? Ethnography in the Post-Soviet Cultural Context. American Anthropologist December 1997 99(4):770-774.

The fall of the Soviet Union, Rethmann explains, has opened up the entire former USSR as a richly diverse part of the world, occupied by a multitude of distinct cultural groups. The former USSR has come to embody a sort of world system, with an idealized, European, civilized center and an uncivilized wilderness, forming a sort of periphery. This viewpoint leads to a corresponding opinion of residents of regions (he uses Moscow and Kamchatka, respectively, as examples) as cultured and “cultureless, stagnant, and authentic.” Rethmann’s goal is to examine memory, identity, and the politics of gender in the former USSR’s transitory context.

Regional cultures in the former USSR are experiencing a kind of cultural rebirth with the end of the old system, but not to the degree that might be expected. Having been subject to decades of state nationalism, many elements of that system influence the current state of affairs. Ethnographers in the former USSR, Rethmann writes, must take into consideration the heavy influences of nationalism and the degree to which a “colonizer-colonized” dichotomy exists. They must also recognize how individual cultures have built their own positions within the larger context, in order to maintain their respective identities, but lingering effects of nationalism, however, are huge. The current political context in the new Russia, which is full of economic uncertainty, challenges Russians in ways that actually reinforce former Soviet forms of nationalism because of the common history shared by those experiencing similar struggles. This nostalgia for the past, that results from these struggles, leads some to reinvent history, in Rethmann’s view, enabling Russians to detach themselves from the struggles of the present, while not necessarily endorsing a return to communism.

Issues of gender were kept as “an asexual, culturally monolithic identity” in Soviet days, with women believed to occupy a more stoic, stable role than men. Beginning with policies of glasnost and perestroika, issues of sexuality and body politics have risen to the forefront in some ways, but male dominance and aggression have concurrently reached new heights with the implementation of market economic policies, pushing women into a weaker position. Reform policies, specifically, are showing strong favor toward men in offering economic opportunities. “Femininity is once again charged with the conventional meanings of domesticity.” Rethmann does point out that issues of homosexuality are improving in the former USSR, despite a regression in gender roles.

In conclusion, Rethmann explains that it is difficult, in the post-Soviet environment, for academics from both the USA and the former USSR to relate to one another on the same terms, and that American anthropologists must bear these factors in mind in such dealings. While there is some disagreement between American and Russian anthropologists, and while Russian/post-Soviet anthropology is in need of increased self-analysis, it will be important for American anthropologists to remember the context in which post-Soviet anthropology is developing. Difficult problems must be confronted, but increased intellectual discourse will be necessary for adequate study in the former USSR to occur.

DAVID SUMMERS Davidson College (Grant D. Jones).

Schwarz, Maureen Trudelle. Unraveling The Anchoring Chord: Navajo Relocation, 1974 to 1996. American Anthropologist March, 1997 Vol.99(1): 43-55

Schwarz explores the depth of Navajo identity in Unraveling the Anchoring Chord. Schwarz writes that the legal relocation of the Navajo and the annexation of their land to the Hopi nation undermines the very nature of Navajo personhood and causes antisocial behavior. Schwarz provides numerous Navajo testimonies that demonstrate this spiritual attachment (1997:47-48) to the seized land. Many Navajo are refusing to abandon the places of their birth and their justification for such is that their umbilical chords are buried there (Schwarz, 1997:48-49).

Schwarz reviews what she calls the traditional treatment of magic and religion. She argues that anthropology has neglected the symbolic nature of Navajo personality, which is rooted in their cosmogony and demonstrated in their birthing rituals. Furthermore, Schwarz argues that alcoholism, gangs, and other psychosis are a direct result of the Navajos’ displacement. Schwarz neglects to address territorial models of explanation that anthropologists have proposed (Becks, 1995; Parker Pearson, 1999). Within these propositions, human populations secure territory through symbolic gestures. Many examples are available that demonstrate the human tendency to secure territory by burying their deceased within it, performing seasonal rituals, and finally occupying the area. Obviously, encompassed in the population’s cosmogony are the explanations that justify their sense of time, place, and order (Brown, 1971). Because Schwarz does not explore these aspects of the Navajo’s symbolic link to their land, it appears that she is simply writing to defend Native land claims. Schwarz has taken a proactive stance in addressing native land claims, as she states in the beginning (Schwarz, 1997: 43-44), and hopes to inspire other anthropologists to do the same.

Clarity: 3
ALLISON MUHAMMAD Wayne State University (Dr. Beverly Fogelson)

Schwarz, Maureen Trudelle. Unraveling the Anchoring Cord: Navajo Relocation, 1974 to 1996. American Anthropologist March, 1997 Vol.99(1):43-55.

Maureen Schwarz attempts to examine the rationale against relocation, used by Navajo relocatees and resisters, and to contextualize it within the framework of Navajo understandings of personhood. Schwarz focuses on the concept of synecdoche in Navajo culture, as established by the Navajo Holy People in the creation story. She is interested especially in the custom of burying a child’s umbilical cord in a certain place in order to anchor the person to mother earth and in the relationship between place and personhood that this creates.

Schwarz opens with a brief description of the situation created by the passing of Public Law 93-531 (the Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act of 1974). In an arrangement between the Hopi and the United States Government, the government agreed to give an area of land which had previously been jointly inhabited by Hopi and Navajo to the Hopi nation and to relocate the Navajo to new homes elsewhere. Many Navajo residents refused to leave, and much controversy followed over the possibly forced relocation of these Navajo resistors, especially in the Big Mountain area.

After this brief introduction she discusses the Navajo view of personhood, which she explains in terms of the Navajo origin story. She shows how through the concept of synecdoche the people become attached to the area of their birth, where their umbilical chord is traditionally buried. The umbilical chord serves as an anchor for the people to the land and to mother earth. Navajos not only see themselves as intimately connected to the land but also feel responsible to live and watch over the land, as this was one of the charges that Changing Woman made to them when she created them. Navajos are also deeply connected to their matrilineal home (or umbilical burial sites) because this place remains important throughout their lives as a ceremonial or spiritual site, to which they must return in order to perform certain rights as well as to re-center or ground themselves. Overall, Schwarz argues that because the Navajo understanding of place, as in home, is an integral part of their definition of personhood, forced relocation therefore represents a schism in their understandings of themselves and of personhood. She also argues, including limited statistical data, that this forced relocation can lead to problems such as depression, alcoholism, and physical illness. Many Navajo feel so strongly about this issue that they say they would fight back physically in response to actions taken by the government in order to remove them forcibly.

SEAN GANTT Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

Smith, Keith. Among the Peoples of the Agreste of Pernambuco. American Anthropologist September 1997 Vol. 99(3):511-516.

Smith’s creative writing offers snapshots of the lives of the rural poor in the inland agreste region of the state of Pernambuco in eastern Brazil. Five of six sections are poems, with a sixth brief passage in narrative form. Situating himself as a foreigner, “the American,” he writes poignantly of poverty, powerlessness, the strength of the human spirit, and the ambiguities of ethnographic knowledge. Some passages tell of group experiences, while others speak of individuals. The passages take on increasingly grave tones, ending with expressions of near hopelessness.

The first passage, “Technology Stories,” tells of the arrival of outsiders, a tumultuous episode that disrupted their day-to-day life. According to one, “that [the first helicopter’s arrival], of course, she added sadly, changed everything.” Smith next writes a mini-biography of “The Village Historian,” an entertaining, sometimes drunk, mute man who owns only a cast-net and an old pair of gym shorts and tells stories of past events “in full, hilarious pantomime.”

“Bible Stories,” tells of Agreste naming systems, playing amusingly with the frequent occurrence of Joses and Marias, and other names. Smith takes a more serious turn in “Thinking She Was the Mother of the Murderer,” the only passage written in narrative form. This passage offers a window into the life of a weeping woman whose son was murdered by a neighbor in a quarrel over dominoes. It illustrates not only love, death, and pain but also the limits of the observer’s ability to grasp the starkness of what he is being told.

“Technology Stories: At Dona Maria’s House in Passira” again confronts difference, suffering, and absurdity, while also offering the most striking example of the degree to which full understanding is impossible. Severina, waving her “rag-padded crutch,” mocks the “feat” of the moon landing, likening it to “just another Hollywood production.” “If they really landed on the moon,” which moon did they land on? The half-moon or the full?” At this point, Smith admits, “let’s say I’m in a different world.” “Little Holes” concludes the set, confronting harsh rural economic struggle in vivid terms: drought, exploitation, hunger, and seasonal migration to the cane fields.

They are left longing for “hog plums, pineapples, sugared papaya fried with coconut, mangos! That dream-tail to which each life is tied as if the little holes inside, once filled with something sweet, might balance out the holes they dig when nothing’s left to eat.”

The struggles and (few) joys of the people of the agreste emerge both broadly and in the specific examples. While unconventional “ethnography,” this contribution communicates powerfully and effectively.

DAVID SUMMERS Davidson College (Grant D. Jones).

Thompson, Richard H. Ethnic Minorities and the Case for Collective Rights. American Anthropologist December, 1997 Vol.99(4):786-798.

The issue of collective (or group) rights frames Thompson’s article. There are philosophical liberalist arguments about collective rights and more pragmatic legal debates about the entrenching of collective rights into international law. Thompson clearly outlines his intention to: a) familiarize anthropologists with the current philosophical and legal discourses about collective rights; and b) propose a model of collective rights that anthropologists can use in their ethnographic writing.

He argues that collective rights are necessary to protect and preserve ethnic minority cultures “from various actions and policies pursued by the states in which they reside” (from Abstracts). Also, the author believes that anthropologists can contribute significantly to this rights discourse because we work among people who are often the subjects of the debate and we have a rich ethnographic knowledge of culture “generally lacking in discussions of collective rights” (786).

Thompson first discusses the concept of liberalism and highlights three liberal objections to group rights. He evokes the work of Donnelly and Kymlicka in challenging these objections to build his case for collective rights. Thompson then summarizes Kymlicka’s theory in support of group rights, which he refers to throughout the article.

Next, Thompson examines the concept of “group” in international law and points out that only ethnic minority groups can claim collective rights in this arena. He aligns with this position and uses examples (American Indians, women, gays, African Americans) to effectively clarify what an “ethnic minority” is. However, Thompson insists that a classification of ethnic minority groups and the collective rights “that adhere to them” must be completed (791).

The author notes the difference between individual and group autonomy and outlines some reasons for using group autonomy as the basic rights principle. He then proposes, clearly defines, and justifies the use of three categories of ethnic minorities: 1) indigenous peoples; 2) nationalities; and 3) cultural minorities, and suggests specific collective rights (self-determination, land ownership, succession, self-government, culture, etc.) that could accord with each category. Thompson uses the example of his fieldwork among Chinese immigrants to Canada to demonstrate the difference between “rights adhering to individual members of a minority and the group rights of a minority” (795). Then, he uses the case of China to show how lumping all types of ethnic minority groups together allows the Chinese state to “use rights discourse to legitimize what is in reality a discourse of domination” (796). He concludes by emphasizing the importance of replacing “discourses of domination” with discourses that recognize and respect group differences in a “world of inequality” (796).

NATASHA SIMONE SCHLEICH Wayne State University (Professor Fogelson)

Thompson, Richard H. Ethnic Minorities and the Case for Collective Rights. American Anthropologist December, 1997 Vol.99(4):786-798.

Thompson addresses the issue of collective/group rights in reference to international law, seeking to attract the attention of more anthropologists to this issue. It is his goal to acquaint other anthropologists with the philosophical and legal discourses regarding collective rights and also to provide an example or model of how anthropologists can deal with this issue in their fieldwork. Thompson hopes to convince his fellow anthropologists to join and help in the fight for group rights in the specific communities they are continually working.

Thompson opens his article asking, “Are collective rights compatible with liberalism’s emphasis on individual, that is, human rights?” and then he proceeds to discuss liberalism in general and specifically the principal liberal objections to collective rights. Thompson speaks of liberalism as being rooted in individual human rights and points out that some liberals see group rights as redundant and likely to threaten already established individual rights. He rebuts this idea by mentioning that many cultures, especially indigenous peoples, do not recognize the individual as being an autonomous unit and that therefore only collective rights, and not individual human rights, will work for these communities. Some liberals also seem concerned that group rights may allow for the violation of certain individual rights in a community. Thompson responds to this claim with a discussion of the aims of liberalism and the need for group rights. Group rights are designed primarily to protect a minority group from the majority, which almost always controls the state. He also makes it clear that group rights are meant to be in addition to individual rights not as an alternative to them. Collective rights are a means to protect minority cultures, and anthropologists and ethnologists who have expertise in these cultures should become involved.

Thompson moves on to discuss collective rights in international law, pointing out issues that make the enforcement of collective rights difficult. Typically in international law, ethnic minorities are the only groups considered for collective rights, and even when they are the law is phrased in such a way so that rights are given to only some minority groups rather than to all of them. He also notes the absence of means to ensure state enforcement of international law. Thompson goes on to establish a tentative classification to use in defining group rights: indigenous peoples, nationalities, and cultural minorities. He discusses each of these categories, defining each and describing what sort of group rights should be open to them. Finally, he reiterates his goal and further emphasizes the importance of establishing collective rights.

SEAN GANTT Davidson College (Grant D. Jones).

Wax, Murray L. On Negating Positivism: An Anthropological Dialectic. American Anthropologist March 1997 Vol. 99(1):17-23.

Murray Wax attacks the positivistic traditions of anthropology from a post-modern perspective. He begins by discussing positivism in contrast to the “criticism”, as he labels it, of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Positivism arose in response and opposition to thinkers like Kant, Hegel, Bauer, and Marx who, simply speaking, sought to deconstruct conventional vocabularies and the mythology of traditional institutions. His prime example is from the work of Bauer and Strauss, who concluded that Jesus was a mere mythical figure, never existing historically. Early positivists took birth during the same time as Marx, in the form of the Berliner Physikalische Gesselschaft. Their indelible credo, which became a given throughout much of twentieth century anthropology, was that “one has to find the specific way of form of their action by means of the physical mathematical method.” Wax claims the basic idea of a formal methodology for the impersonal study of “matter in motion” becomes the foundation for nearly all anthropology of the last one hundred years.

Wax notes that the true form of positivism in academe took shape from the work of David Hume who applied “logic” to the positivist argument. “Logical’ positivism created a method from which, “the research act was to deduce from the theory a hypothesis and then subject it to empirical testing against its null counterpart.” In anthropology, the logical approach led to the voice of detached ethnographers, adhering to an underlying “scientific method”. Wax highlights and chastises almost every major school and practitioner of anthropology from the twentieth century for nurturing the positivist ideals, not least of which are Franz Boas and Alfred Kroeber. His most vehement denunciations of positivism, though, are reserved for George Peter Murdock and his Human Relations Area Files, begun in 1937. Wax attacks Murdock’s positivist presumptions that the “world was composed of distinct cultures; that these various cultures could be considered equivalent, interchangeable; that there existed a universal system for categorizing cultural elements; [and,] that cultures were static, atemporal.” Murdock and the HRAF become the embodiment of all anthropology’s misconceptions, and Wax makes it a point to deride those faults. As throughout the article, Wax groups all of anthropology under the title of positivism, and is thus able to negate the paradigms of the last one hundred years of anthropology.

After establishing the faults of positivist thought in anthropology, Wax moves to the overt polemics of his article, glorifying contemporary post-modern ideologies. Specifically, he talks of how hermeneutics and interpretivism have become the necessary adversaries of positivism in the latter parts of the twentieth century. Wax criticizes modern funding agencies for their underlying positivism that rewards research grants to scientific methodologies rather than to researchers who break from methodological discipline and concern themselves with “significant problems and how to address them.” He claims that the natural science model applied to anthropological research suppresses the personal subjectivity of the observer, which is necessary for quality interpretation. The tragic consequence, as Wax labels it, is that “by imposing positivistic methodology, cultural anthropology has impoverished itself and neglected persons of talent.” Wax sees the rise of post-modern applications in anthropology as the mandatory end to the positivism of the last one hundred and fifty years.

TIM LUCCARO Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)

White, Jenny B. Turks in the New Germany. American Anthropologist December, 1997 Vol.99(4):754-769.

The length of this article is justified in that it provides a comprehensive examination of a very complex subject: the role of the Turk in both a reunified Germany, and in an increasingly unified Europe. White confronts the problem of contradictions existing between German and Turkish identities, “particularly as expressed in family expectations and gender roles”. The author suggests that these contradictions could erode and marginalize what positive movement has been made toward “‘behavioral’ integration” of German Turks, and create the sense that they are essentially “unintergratable”. White relates these contradictions to the “tensions” existing between east and west Germans following the trauma of reunification, which continues to have repercussions after more than a decade. She also ties them to the drama across central Europe as it struggles to define itself in the post-1989 era.

The author first examines the topic of identity, suggesting, “Identity has two aspects, framed by history.” The first aspect deals with identity as a dialectic between how people see themselves and how others see them. Considerable attention is given to the historical context in which Turkish “guest workers” first came to Germany, as well to explaining that German Turks have constructed an identity distinct from their Turkish homeland and ancestry. White emphasizes that among themselves the German Turkish community is disparate. The second aspect of identity “has an essentialist or ‘external’ component, visible as ethnic or other named categories and focused on boundary maintenance, but it also has a processual ‘internal’ component, which builds social relations in a changing and unstable social environment.” White identifies this processual component of German Turkish identity as generalized reciprocity. Defined as “an adaptable set of expectations that forges community across boundaries of social class, lifestyle, generation, and even ethnicity” it is responsible for holding the German Turkish community together despite social and economic differences.

White compares the perceptions of the Other in both Germany and the U.S. In The U.S., racism and exclusion is based on the inference of “natural inferiority”, whereas “The rhetoric of Germany’s cultural fundamentalism excludes on the basis of an essential, primordial cultural difference, a rhetoric distinct from (but masking) that of conventional racism”. This difference is the contradiction that White identifies at the outset.

Clarity: 5
Christine Miller Wayne State University (Beverly Fogelson)

White, Jenny B. Turks in the New Germany. American Anthropologist October 1997 Vol. 99(4):754-769.

White’s article critically analyzes modern constructions of German Turkish identity. While such constructions are dynamic and vulnerable to historical forces on an external level, White asserts that there exists a deeply internalized “processual” identity that enables the German-Turkish population to maintain “social relations in a changing and unstable social environment.” This processual identity is best characterized by the system of generalized reciprocity that exists between members of the German Turkish community.

White opens her article with a discussion of identity formation as it applies in the German Turkish context. She notes that although the German Turkish population is far from homogeneous, there are certain linkages—often found in mass media representations—that give the German Turkish community a sense of “imagined coherence.” Adding significantly to this feeling of coherence is the system of generalized reciprocity that White contends functions as a stabilizing force, a processual identity.

White notes that German officials have often misconstrued the Turkish concept of generalized reciprocity as a form of exploitation against women and children. The ineffective integration policies that have resulted from this cultural misunderstanding have caused much resentment for both Turks and Germans alike. As she notes, integration “is taken up by some German politicians as a magic formula for dealing with immigrants without disturbing German identity, that is, without having to become an immigrant nation or a multicultural society.” Clearly, this is not feasible. Worse yet, White contends that “integration” and naturalization are farcical concepts in the German context; essentially, she argues that if a person isn’t descended from German ancestry, then there will always be a cloud of Otherness lingering over him/her.

In the latter half of her article, White moves on to discuss the root causes of discrimination against the Turkish community in Germany. It is not merely the practice of generalized reciprocity that brings about otherwise unprovoked acts of violence against persons of Turkish origin; to be sure, the factors involved with the situation are much more complex. White theorizes, for example, that the reunification of Germany in 1989 and the ensuing dislocation and disordering that sprang from it has led disenfranchised Germans to project their anger against the new order by committing violence against the Turkish Other.

White also notes, however, that this type of violence has only served to reinforce the processual bonds of reciprocity that give the German Turkish community its coherence. Indeed, she ends her article by noting that while the “historical trajectory of the German Turkish community will be pulled by the gravity of struggles to redefine and reimagine the German nation and German identity after reunification,” generalized reciprocity will always be available to the German Turkish community for guidance. As she writes, it will provide “a grammar for future community, whatever the vocabulary of change.”

ADAM BROWN Davidson College (Grant D. Jones)