Skip to main content

American Anthropologist 2000

Batteau, Allen W. Negations and Ambiguities in the Cultures of Organization. American Anthropologist December, 2000 Vol. 102(4):726-740.

In this article Allen Batteau examines the difference between the definitions of culture in anthropology and those in management organizational studies. Anthropology has yet to analyze the new phenomenon of organizations as cultures, but management theorists have successfully adopted insights about shared understanding and the construction of meaning. He feels that organizational theory may help anthropology better understand what twentieth century organizational culture is all about. By drawing on typical theories of rites of passage, totemism and gift-giving, Batteau relates organizational practices of staffing, sales, and accounting to symbolic processes of managing ambiguity.

His argument is set up in four sections: the cultures of organization, the dynamics of difference, the strategy of ambiguity, and managing ambiguity. Batteau begins by describing the opposing and connecting forms and rationalities of power and position that are found whenever a group gets organized. The discussion then moves to the futility of talking about organized culture as a unitary concept as well as the deployment of culture as structures of meaning. Finally, Batteau examines areas of organizational life and how blatantly and covertly they affect and reflect the construction of individuals’ identities.

Batteau concludes that if Anthropology is to have a future it must learn to address the moral and conceptual issues brought up because of Western rationalism and its focus on organization. He tries to show that studies that look at this as statistical distributions of behavior or a type of coherence are misunderstanding the nature of organizations and the dynamics that go into maintaining cultural difference (737). Cultures, in this instance, are just a framework of meaning that allow people in organization to create an identity, even if it is full of conflict, compromise, and denial.

JULIA E. MACKESSON Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Batteau, Allen W. Negations and Ambiguities in the Cultures of Organization. American Anthropologist, 2000. Vol.102(4):726-740.

Charles Batteau seeks to explain the culture of organization in the 21st in this article. He argues that both anthropology and managerial theory have fallen short in explaining the fundamental dynamics of organizational culture. Instead, Batteau argues that organizational theory may help us to understand the anthropology of organizations. Batteau uses rite of passage, personhood, gift exchange, and totemism to dissect the organizational culture of staffing, sales, and accounting that are instrumental to managing ambiguity in organizational culture.

Batteau begins by describing the culture of organization. He argues that organizations aim to create a culture which specifically begets order. In the second section, “The Dynamics of Difference,” he argues that order becomes the cultural framework within which “the culture of resistance” must be adjudicated. Batteau then describes how the paradox between order and resistance begets managerial ambiguity in “The Strategy of Organization”. He compares organizations to orchestras, saying that differentiation and confusion are ordered into instrumental parts of a whole that is imposed by the higher-ups. By his account, ambiguity is instrumental for imposing order because it breeds over-conformity among different actors. The last section, “Managing Ambiguity,” argues that negotiation is the fundamental principle behind organized cultures. He says that actors in an organizational body exert agency through choice and collective conscience within negotiations. He explains how this system works to create and regulate individual and collective identity.

In conclusion, e argues that the dichotomy between order and confusion generates a framework of meaning that defines social relations in an organization. He argues that the next choice anthropologists must make will be represented by actors socialized into an instrumental rationality, or whether this rationality of organizations should be examined by outside actors. He says that anthropologists must make this moral judgment before they seek to t truly approach the corporate world.

Clarity Ranking: 3
LESLIE A. THOMPSON Davidson College (Eriberto Lozada)

Boinski, Sue, Robert Q. Quatrone, and Hilary Swartz. Substrate and Tool Use by Brown Capuchins in Suriname: Ecological Contexts and Cognitive Bases. American Anthropologist December, 2000 Vol.102 (4): 741-761.

It has recently been discovered that brown capuchins (Cebus apella) at the Raleighvallen Nature Preserve in Suriname have exhibit the ability to manipulate objects in foraging, including substrate use and an episode of tool use. This is contrary to current notions about the abilities of capuchins to use tools and manipulate objects. The implications are significant for the understanding of cognitive evolution in human and nonhuman primates. The ability to use tools is considered to be a major achievement of humans, and many think that tool use, language, social skills, and morphology are linked in primate evolution. This proposal is weakened by the presence of toll use capabilities, and absence of complex social and communication skills in capuchins. Based on their observations, the authors propose a paradigm premised on the concept of functionally and evolutionarily distinct brain modules.

Many researchers hold that language, object manipulation, social skills, brain and neurological anatomy, and hand and limb morphology are linked in human evolution. However, the research that supports this hypothesis has limited its subjects to great apes, primarily the chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes. The authors call for an expansion of the range of subjects used in cognitive studies in order to further evaluate the hypothesis. The authors’ preliminary fieldwork began in 1996, and they are currently conducting a long-term study of C. apella and squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus sciureus), which began in 1998. The two species commonly form mixed-species groups during daylight.

Boinski, Quatrone, and Swartz divided the range of behaviors they considered to be complex manipulative skill into two behavioral categories: substrate use and tool use. Their definition of substrate use is the transformation of an object by its application to a stable or resistant substrate. The instances of substrate use they report involved gaining access to food encased in an object with a hard protective covering by breaking the hard covering by pounding or hitting it against a tree branch. Their definition of tool use is the external use of an unattached environmental object to more efficiently change the form or position of another object, organism, or the user itself. They think that the tool and substrate use without social or vocal skills in capuchins is consistent with the proposed existence of domain-specific intelligence in humans and other primates. Their findings suggest that complex object manipulation by a primate taxon is not predictive of complex social skills or communication.

MARGARET BERGER Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Boinski, Sue, Robert P. Quatrone, and Hilary Swartz. Substrate and Tool Use by Brown Capuchins in Suriname: Ecological Contexts and Cognitive Bases. American Anthropologist December, 2000 Vol. 120(4):741-761.

In this article Sue Boinski et al. report observations of substrate and tool use by Brown Capuchins (Cebus paella) in the Raleighvallen Nature Reserve in Suriname and posit some explanations why the frequency of such observations is much higher in the Reserve than in other ecological contexts, including captivity. The authors provide ample detail of their observation methods, the ecology of the Raleighvallen Nature Reserve, and the precise techniques employed by the observed Brown Capuchins. Boinski et al. also describe the implications their work has for theories of the evolution of primate intelligence. While Boinski maintains the inseparability of social and ecological information in individual decision-making, she notes that her observations do indirectly support modular paradigms of primate intelligence evolution.

Boinski et al. observed the Brown Capuchin population while conducting long-term investigations of squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus sciureus) in the Raleighvallen Nature Reserve in Suriname. While the two populations often form mixed species groups during daylight hours, the team’s attention was drawn to the brown capuchins by their practice of hitting husked fruits against heavy tree branches, which generated loud reports easily heard and tracked through the jungle. Boinski et al. found that the Suriname brown capuchins were heavily dependant on seed predation, especially in comparison to brown capuchins in other ecological settings. The use of substrates in opening husked fruits thus is a more efficient foraging strategy, albeit at increased risk of predation. The article continues to describe the precision and persistence that characterize substrate use technique, and how juveniles learn the technique.

JONATHAN E. MCKELLAR Davidson College (Eriberto Lozada)

Browner, C. H. Situating Women’s Reproductive Activities. December, 2000 Vol.102(4):773-788.

Browner explores the influence of structural and cultural factors in three case studies to determine how women make decisions about reproductive matters. She suggests that structural factors, such as the distribution of economic, political and institutional resources, are made meaningful through cultural processes such as ideologies, norms and beliefs. Browner conducted research among three Latin American communities: a barrio in Colombia, a village in Mexico, and a Mexican-American area in California. She presents an analysis of her data based on the above paradigm and concludes that women’s reproductive activities are in part influenced by structural and cultural factors but that women maintain varying degrees of agency.

In Browner’s first study she interviewed 108 women from a working-class barrio in Cali, Colombia who had experienced unintended pregnancy. She questioned them on their responses to pregnancy and derived the following relationship: a woman is more likely to attempt serious pregnancy intervention if she is not involved in a stable partnership. Browner identified economic gender inequality as the primary structural factor at work. The cultural factors compounding this inequality are gender ideologies that prescribe independence for men and dependence for women. In response to these factors, women facing unintended pregnancy first attempted to establish a secure relationship with a man, and if that proved impossible they sought to terminate the pregnancy. In this way the women still exercised a degree of autonomy in the face of oppressive societal factors.

Browner’s second round of research was conducted in Oaxaca, Mexico. She spent a year doing participant-observation in a small village and conducted interviews with 180 women and 126 husbands of those women. In this study population, fertility was highly valued due to extreme out-migration of able-bodied men. This structural factor established fertility as a political responsibility. As in Cali, gender-based economic inequality was prevalent in Oaxaca. Individual women generally preferred small families but deferred to their husbands’ desire for several children. Women reinforced the high birth rate ideology through gossip and slander of women who sought to control their own fertility.

Browner’s third study concerned decisions regarding fetal testing in Mexican American communities in Southern California. She interviewed 147 pregnant women and 120 male partners facing amniocentesis. This procedure is performed to test for birth defects. Browner spoke with the women and their partners about how they had decided to undergo or not undergo amniocentesis. The results to this study differed from Browner’s previous studies. The Mexican American women were likely to decide on their own whether or not to have the test, and even when they consulted with their partners, the women often retained the final say. Browner attributes this phenomena to the structural and cultural factors in place in Southern California. Gender-based economic inequality is less pronounced in the United States than in Colombia and Mexico, and local and national ideologies support some degree of female autonomy.

Browner’s analyses of women’s reproductive decisions emphasize the interaction of structural and cultural factors to produce individual action. She also points out that women maintain some degree of autonomy in their decisions, necessitating a more nuanced portrait of agency.

BROOKE BOCAST Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Browner, C.H. Situating Women’s Reproductive Activities. American Anthropologist, December 2000. Vol. 102(4):773-789.

In this article, C.H. Browner argues that cultural processes in concert with structural factors shape the climates and contexts within which women’s reproductive activities are situated. For her study, she looks at how the reproductive decisions of Latina women in three different communities are dependent upon the opinions and actions of their partners to varying degrees, generally reflecting the agency women have over their reproductive destiny in balance with differential access to power and levels of dependence on male partners. Browner argues that while it has been generally overlooked in the discipline, the conflict and consensus of reproductive activity can be a meaningful area of research for anthropologists.

A woman participates in reproductive activities, including becoming (or not becoming) pregnant, terminating pregnancies, and giving birth, within a wide context of material conditions and socioeconomic relations which shape reproductive expression. In her study, Browner found that in the two situations where women were more largely dependent on their male partners for economic and ideological reasons – in abortion decisions in Cali, Colombia and in family-size decisions in an indigenous Mexican village – a woman’s decision of whether to terminate a pregnancy (in Colombia) or whether or not to contracept (in Mexico) was largely dependent upon the actions and opinions of her male partner. In a situation where women are less economically and ideologically dependent on a male partner, as seen in the case of Mexican-origin women in California, they are less likely to rely fully upon their partners in reproductive decisions, in this case whether or not to have amniocentesis. She attributes the behaviors in these three situations to the degree to which a woman must depend upon her male partner in child-rearing, as well as cultural attitudes regarding parenting.

Browner further argues that while human reproduction, especially in relation to issues of power and specifically to abortion, had attracted little anthropological attention until the seventies, research on the topic can be meaningful to the discipline. Little research has gone into looking at the implications of structural variation for specific aspects of social life. She believes that her research demonstrates that reproduction is well situated for generating and interrogating social theory, as it is within the shifting horizons produced by societal transformations that collective and individual reproductive relations and practices take their particular form.

NICOLE MILLER Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Browner, C.H. Situating Women’s Reproductive Activities. American Anthropologist December, 2001 Vol. 102(4):773-788.

In this article Browner examines the differences of women’s reproductive activities cross culturally. Because anthropologists historically considered reproduction as an issue pertaining only to women, it has been ignored in the broader study of anthropology. Browner observes the relationship between power and influence over the choices women make regarding reproduction, and the economic, political, and social factors that are related with making such decisions as abortion.

Browner argues that social structural factors are fundamental in shaping the male/ female partner dynamics that influence reproductive activities. Browner examines the abortion and other reproductive decisions in Cali, Columbia; an Indigenous Mexican Village; and California, United States. Browner does not attempt a cross cultural comparison of the three societies; it is complicated because of the differences in gender identity, structural condition and differing reproductive ideologies. Because these cultures are so different, drawing certain elements out to compare would be difficult.

Browner finds that there are combinations of factors that influence the probability of whether or not a woman would incorporate their male partner’s wishes/ opinions in making a decision regarding abortion. Although there were both structural and cultural reasons a woman would consider a male partner in her reproductive activities; the main concern was that of money. Economic factors were important in the three societies Browner studies, thus suggesting that a woman does not have complete control over her decision regarding reproduction.

Clarity Ranking: 3
DEIDRE R. JEFFERSON Davidson College (Eriberto Lozada)

Carolyn, Flueher-Lobban. Antenor Firmin: Haitian Pioneer of Anthropology. American Anthropologist. September, 2000 Vol.102 (3):449-466

This article is a short historical piece about the life and work of Antenor Firmin, an early Haitian anthropologist. Firmin, while not widely recognized throughout his own life outside of his native land, wrote some impressive anticipatory work that predates other well-known pioneers. Firmin was born in Haiti to a working class family in 1850. He was quickly recognized for his intelligence and received a premier “European” education at some of Haiti’s finest academic institutions. After establishing himself as a successful lawyer and politician, he went to study anthropology in Paris. Finally, in 1885, he published his most important work De l’Egalite des Races Humaines (The Equality of Human Races). This work was a response to the strongly racist ideas that permeated the anthropological thought of the time. It was moreover, a direct response to the book, L’Inegalite des Races, written by the prominent racist anthropologist Arthur de Gobinear.
One of the most contested controversies in anthropology was the debate of monogenism and polygenism. This debate had strong religious implications, meaning those choosing the “scientific” position were also promoting the idea of racial inequality. Monogenism was supported by religious thinkers who viewed it as a version of the “Adam and Eve” myth. This theory was the idea that modern man, in each racial form, could be traced back to one primordial family. The “scientific” solution was polygenism, the idea that different racial groups are the result of different initial pairings. The implicit meaning of this was that there is inequality among racial groups. Therefore, white-skinned Europeans, black-skinned Africans and red-skinned Native Americans had different ancestors, granting them different abilities. From this came the idea that white Europeans are smarter, more civilized, etc., because of better initial stock. Firmin attacked this argument from several different angles. He strongly disagreed with the validity of brain size measurement, which had been roundly used to support the idea of white intellectual superiority. Most of these measurements were carried out in an uncontrolled and unscientific manner and there existed solid evidence to dispute the idea of important physical racial differences. Also contested were ideas about racial purity. Firmin used Haiti and the surrounding countries as a proof against racial purity and the dangers of dilution. Strong hybrid communities had formed with a vibrant culture that racist theories were unable to explain. In all, Firmin’s book successfully defeated the racial theories of the 19th century, although it received little attention outside of Haiti. Firmin’s broad intellectual foresight made him a visionary anthropologist; Lobban argues that his newly translated masterpiece still remains timely and useful even today.

NATHANIEL MARSH Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Chance, John. The Noble House in Colonial Puebla, Mexico: Descent, Inheritance, and the Nahua Tradition. American Anthropologist. September, 2000. Vol. 102(3):485-502.

In this article John Chance utilizes historical data and records in order to examine lineage in the Puebla-Tlaxcala Valley in colonial central Mexico, specifically focusing on the Nahua teccalli, or the noble house, which was central to sociopolitical organization in pre-colonial and early colonial central Mexico. Anthropologists have traditionally used lineage theory to describe social organization within communities; this theory suggests that a group of people trace their heritage to common ancestry. Chance argues that this theory is limited because it excludes cultural variables and ideas of kinship and thus it is not applicable to all societies. As such, Chance maintains that previous accounts of the Nahua noble house are problematic and contradictory because they have examined the noble house as a lineage. Chance suggests that Claude Lèvi-Strauss’s concept of the “house” provides a viable alternative to traditional lineage theory and as such, he argues that the noble house can be better understood by viewing it as a house rather than as a lineage. Furthermore, he works within a structuralist framework, suggesting that this theory can be applied to many different societies and that the case of the Nahua noble house is simply an example.

Lèvi-Strauss’s house is defined as a corporate body that maintains itself through the extension of its name, titles and goods. It does not rely on biological lineage succession to maintain itself and thus is not a kinship group, but a corporate group. This concept of the house is best exemplified in societies in transition that are under political and social upheaval which causes them to have difficulty maintaining biological inheritance of property rights, political titles, et cetera.

Chance describes the noble house of pre-colonial and early colonial Mexico (prior to 1600) as the core sociopolitical and economic institution of the Nahua, which constantly found itself within this context of transition. The noble house was controlled by a noble lord who oversees a small group of nobles and a larger group of commoners. These nobles distributed land and maintained a large political position within the city-state. He claims that the majority of people belonged to a noble house because noble houses provided the means of access to land and economic livelihood. Chance utilizes this description of the noble house, extrapolating on three main components of this house, Nahua self-perception, flexibility with kinship and non-biological inheritance, to argue that the noble house cannot be described as a lineage.

First, he suggests that the architectural connotation found in Lèvi-Strauss’s framework of a house better articulates how the Nahua spoke of the noble house and the relations within it. He states that the Nahua did not have words for “family” or other collective kinship terms and thus the concept of a house meets local concepts and ideas better than lineage theory does. Second, the concept of a house allows for the integration of contradictory kinship traits. Those who belonged to the noble house, specifically commoners, were not always related to the house by name, but were members of the house by patronage. Finally, Chance traces descent and inheritance of noble houses through various generations, finding that inheritance was not always along biological guidelines. Inheritors were traced through varying descents including bilateral or patrilineal descent. Also, frequently, inheritance of the head of a noble house was an elected position. He argues that the emphasis was on the estate and political and economic power, not on the genealogy of those who belonged to it.

Chance finds similarities between the social organization of the noble house prior to colonialism and systems of social organization in late colonialism indicating that cultural variables and ideas of kinship are integral to social systems and as such, lineage theory is limiting. He argues that the house model is beneficial in examining the noble house because it does not limit itself to an either/or description of these societies, but welcomes transition and complications. More specifically, it is inclusive of indigenous ideas and conceptions of kinship and therefore is closer to folk models of kinship. Chance does not offer Lèvi-Strauss’s theory as a replacement for lineage theory, but an alternative to it, arguing that it can also be applied to other societies where lineage theories have found complications. As such, he simply offers the case of the Nahua noble house as an example of a lineage that is better viewed as a house.

NATASHA WINEGAR Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Chance, John K. The Noble House in Colonial Puebla, Mexico: Descent, Inheritance, and the Nahua Tradition. American Anthropologist September, 2000 Vol.102(3):485-502.

In this article, John Chance explores the construction of the Nahua noble house in the colonial Puebla-Tlaxcala Valley through Lévi-Strauss’s concept of “house”. He argues that the house provides a better model through which to explain the organization of the noble house, as opposed to the traditional anthropological model of the lineage. Chance’s argument involves his choice of the house model, his explanation of the structure and achievements of the noble house, problems in the study of ancestry, regional differences, and further implications of the house model for Mesoamerican studies and anthropology in general.

First, Chance describes Lévi-Stauss’s model and shows its usage in cases of European noble lineages, studies in Southeast Asia, and even other Mesoamerican cultures. He explains that the house model incorporates the factor of political organization of kinship. Continuing his argument, Chance offers the historical background for the noble houses and their importance in the beginning of the sixteenth century during Spanish colonial era. The example that Chance provides is the noble house in Santiago Tecali: he describes its internal structure, composed of nobility and commoners. He furthers this discussion with an explanation of ancestry, and customs for the inheritance of property and goods through a noble woman’s will. Chance provides a table stating how many plots of land that nobility owned, and another showing nobles and dates of their wills. Expanding on the tables, he notes that the noble house adjusted to the demands of the Spanish, while still maintaining itself, and kept the land in the hands of the Nahua during the colonial era through common cultural customs.

He provides three main reasons for the “house” not to be explained as a lineage, in light of the noble house in Tecali. First, the terms that describe the noble house do not suggest kinship relationships. Secondly, he examines the noble house as having the conflicting qualities of lineality, from ancestors, and laterality, concerning siblings. Finally, he explains that the house is more focused around a limited ancestry than a lineage, and that it is primarily concerned with the affairs of the estate. The essay concludes with the issue of ancestry in anthropology, and more specifically, its problematic interpretations in the ethnohistory of various parts of the central Mexican highlands.

I believe that Chance makes a strong case in his argument to re-examine the house model as an appropriate model for studying certain societies where the lineage model does not apply. His use of the house model may help to expand kinship studies and remedy problems in current the model of the lineage. Also, his explanation of the idea of “noble house as a lineage” being imposed by anthropologists explains that the bias maintains the competing interpretations in the discipline. Chance mentions the problem of scarce data on commoners versus the nobility as an additional problem in Nahua studies. Finally, he addresses important distinctions in the eastern and western Nahua regions, even though his study focuses on an example from the eastern region.

AMANDA L. GARBEE Davidson College (Eriberto Lozada)

Coe, Michael D. Obituary: Linda Schele (1942-1998). American Anthropologist 2000 Vol. 102 (1): 133-134.

Michael Coe’s obituary covers Linda Schele’s life from her upbringing in Nashville, Tennessee, to her position as Associate Professor of Art at the University of Texas, which she held at the time of her death on April 18, 1998. At the end of her life Schele was considered one the most important figures in the field of Maya Studies.

In Coe’s account, Schele was originally an artist. She received her undergraduate degree in art from the University of Cincinnati in 1964, and earned her Masters degree in Literature there four years later. She became enthralled with Mayan art and culture on a visit to Mexico in 1970 and by 1973 had written her first academic paper on the subject and quickly became well respected in the field due to many influential presentations, finally receiving her PhD from the University of Texas in 1980. Her diverse background helped Schele incorporate many unique perspectives into her work. Her works include The Blood of Kings: Dynasty and Ritual in Maya Art (1986), which interprets the role of elites in Mayan culture through epigraphs, A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya (1990), a ground breaking history, Maya Cosmos: Three Thousand Years on the Shaman’s Path (1993), which radically reinterpreted Mayan religion and The Code of Kings (1998), an examination of Mayan architecture. Always an innovator, she bridged the gap between historical and phonetic approaches to epigraph decipherment, took great artistic care in her renderings of Mayan architecture and sought new ways of approaching the Mayan worldview.

Schele is given much credit in the popularization of Mayan studies. Coe evokes her love of teaching and the great effect she had on her students, as many of them have gone on to become leaders in the field of Mayan Studies as well. She also held conferences in the Yucatan and Guatemala, helping contemporary Mayans recover their past. In her honor, after her death the University of Texas established a chair of Precolumbian Art.

NED MEINERS Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Conklin, Harold C. Floyd Glenn Lounsbury (1914-1998). American Anthropologist December, 2000 Vol. 102(4):860-864.

In this obituary of the eminent anthropological linguist Floyd Glenn Lounsbury, Conklin outlines two main themes, first his personal life and young childhood hardship and second, his career in developing Iroquoian and Mayan linguistics

Lounsbury grew up in economic hardship in rural central Wisconsin. His schooling was often interrupted to work. In college he majored in math and German, but the completion of his eduation was interrupted for extended periods because of economic problems. He studied linguistics formally and informally. He completed nineteen months of fieldwork among speakers of Oneida. He ultimately finished his doctoral degrees at Yale and was already well published and notable among his colleagues

Lounsbury was a pioneer in Iroquoian languisitcs and kinship terms, and he developed theory along lines similar to Edward Sapir. His interests lay in cognition, perception, and the interrelationships between culture and language Although his passion lay in the Iroquoian language family, he also did extraordinary work in early Maya epigraphy. He deciphered previously unreadable texts, giving the first clues into Maya textual history. He was recognized by the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and The American Philosophical Society. He was awarded the Wilbur Cross Medal of the Yale Graduate School, the Cornplanter Medal for Iroquoian research, and the Harvard University Tatiana Prouskouriakoff Award for his Mesoamerican research.

Floyd Glenn Lounsbury loved the Iroquoian languages and peoples and remained committed to the study and preservation of these languages and the ways of life of their speakers.

GWENDOLYN KELLY Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Conklin, Harold C. Obituary of Floyd Glenn Lounsbury (1914-1998). American Anthropologist, December 2000 Vol.102 (4): 860-864.

Floyd Glenn Lounsbury led a life of numerous achievements and endured great academic success in the fields of linguistics and anthropology. Eventually combining the two, he became one of the most influential people in the development of linguistic anthropology. Lounsbury’s most notable work concerned the semantics and culture of the Iroquois and other American Indian groups, including kinship terminology and application.

Born in 1914 in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, Lounsbury spent his childhood on a dairy farm. With the economic turbulence and the Depression of the 1930’s, his education was interrupted numerous times until he finally was able to attend the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He received his B.A. in mathematics and transformed his focus upon his other interests, earning a M.A. in sociology and anthropology. He performed intensive fieldwork in Oneida, Wisconsin with Iroquoian people, studying their language and oral traditions. In 1949, he earned his Ph.D. from Yale and published his dissertation, “Iroquoian Morphology” which became the foundation for all ensuing research on Iroquois language.

Lounsbury was sent to Brazil by the U.S. Army during World War II where he became a master-sergeant meteorologist. He took advantage this experience by learning about Brazilian culture, including Portuguese. Then, after the war ended, he chose to return to school instead of continuing his work with the Army. He did graduate work at Yale with the assistance of a Rockefeller grant. Upon completion of his degree, Lounsbury accepted a position to teach at Yale and actually remained there for the next 30 years achieving early retirement and emeritus status. During the summers, he taught at many schools including the Linguistic Institute of the Linguistic Society of America, the University of Michigan, the University of Chicago, and the University of Washington.

In addition to his development of Iroquoian linguistics, Lounsbury had an incredible impact on the study of Maya inscriptions. He was very interested in this subject and actually developed a set of procedures and theories that have guided subsequent researchers. He also published works on ancient writing of Middle America in general and of Maya astronomy.

Floyd Glenn Lounsbury taught for more than 30 years and published work for more than 60 years. Needless to say, he was incredibly intellectual and contributed ample amounts of information about Iroquois, Maya, and numerous other languages and cultures. Lounsbury greatly effected the subject of linguistic anthropology and made great strides in each individual field.


Dressler, William W. & James R. Bindon. The Health Consequences of Cultural Consonance: Cultural Dimensions of Lifestyle, Social Support, and Arterial Blood Pressure in an African American Community. American Anthropologist June, 2000 Vol.102(2):244-260.

Dressler and Bindon conducted research in an African American community to assess the links between health, as measured by arterial blood pressure, and the phenomenon of “cultural consonance.” In this article they discuss prior studies of health and social factors and ascertain that culture has been insufficiently addressed in these works.

Dressler and Bindon begin by ascertaining the degree of cultural consonance among members of their focus community. “Cultural consonance,” a concept developed by Dressler et al., suggests that culture is a model to which individuals conform to varying degrees. This is a cognized theory of culture. Dressler and Bindon measure cultural consonance using the techniques of cultural consensus analysis. This analysis includes a set of statistical calculations that measure how closely an individual’s behavior coincides with his cultural model.

The results of Dressler and Bindon’s study indicate an inverse relationship between cultural consonance and blood pressure. In other words, the less an individual conforms to his perceived cultural expectations, the higher his blood pressure will be. Dressler and Bindon argue that this phenomenon is especially pronounced in African American communities because institutionalized racism prevents members of these communities from approximating cultural ideals.

BROOKE BOCAST (Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Dressler, William W. and Bindon, James R. The Health Consequences of Cultural Consonance: Cultural Dimensions of Lifestyle, Social Support, and Arterial Blood Pressure in an African Community. American Anthropologist. June, 2000 Vol. 102 (2):244-260.

In this article Dressler and Bindon discuss their biological anthropology study of cultural consonance and its correlation to blood pressure in an African American community. This research is an extension of Dressler’s previous work pertaining to the effects of social phenomena on blood pressure; with elevated blood pressure indicating increased health risk. The authors question the relationship between culturally ascribed behavior and potential health risks. To do this they use the theoretical concept of “cultural consonance” to describe the degree to which individuals behave consistently with cultural models. Their findings indicated an independent correlation of cultural dimensions of behavior with health status. Dressler and Bindon suggest that there are shared cultural models of lifestyles and access to social support within the American communities; however, due to racial stratification and poverty individuals are not able to live by their cultural standards. For the researchers low cultural consonance with models of lifestyle and social support explains the statistics of poor health in African American communities.

Dressler and Bindon collected information from over 600 individuals in the African American community described in Dressler’s 1991 article. Of the original 600 people, 4 groups emerged, and from these groups the authors chose 12 key informants to continue the study. They used African Americans who were community members and trained them to collect the covariates and ask lifestyle questions. Covariates included anything from ways of dealing with stress and number of material items to cultural consonance. Cultural consonance is defined as: “how closely an individual approximates in his or her own behavior the guiding sensibilities of his or her own culture.” From this data, the researchers complied a standard of cultural consonance based on the Romney’s theory of cultural consonance, which details a specific technique for measuring the degree to which set members of that culture align themselves with the practices and objectives of that group. They first determined standards to compare high and low cultural consonance through surveys, asking their inffomratns to rate the importance of different sources of social support. Cultural consonance was measured both by kin-support and non-kin support. The researchers then gathered a selection of covariates, including wealth and blood pressure to use in statistical correlation analysis. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures are used as the dependent variables for Dressler and Bindon’s analysis.

Dressler and Bindon determined that cultural consonance is associated with blood pressure, and thus health status. The pattern of associations they found lead them to conclude that, at low levels of cultural consonance in lifestyle a person’s blood pressure is high, but at average levels of cultural consonance in lifestyle, blood pressure is low. They argue that the cultural consonance model is a valid analysis in African American communities and should be utilized in more studies as a tool. Because their finding indicated that cultural consonance in lifestyle and health was associated independently of other influences, the researchers find that culture itself can be a kind of stress. These findings have important ramifications not only of methodology and theory, but also in the correlation of behavior and individual cultural models in future medical and anthropological studies.

EMILY OMURA (Macalester College) Karen Nakamura

Dressler, William W. and James R. Bindon. The Health Consequences of Cultural Consonance: Cultural Dimensions of Lifestyle, Social Support, and Arterial Blood Pressure in an African American Community. American Anthropologist June, 2000 Vol.102 (2): 244-260.

In this article Dressler and Bindon attempt to understand health and culture among African American in Southern portions of the United States. The high incidence of cardiovascular disease, hypertension in particular, is a problem ingrained throughout the African American community. Dressler and Bindon focus on the prevalence and social causes, rather than medical causes of blood pressure within the African American community. Dressler and Bindon use the larger theory of cultural consonance to investigate the prevalence of high blood pressure within the African American community. The theory of cultural consonance is used to assess the degree in which individuals act consistent with their own cultural models. The overall goals of this article are to determine if shared models of lifestyle and social support among Blacks in the South subsist, to decide what the separate associations of cultural consonance in lifestyle and social support are correlated with blood pressure, and finally to ascertain if a synergism between cultural consonance in lifestyle and cultural consonance in social support are related to blood pressure.

The argument formed by Dressler and Bindon is threefold. They seek to prove there are shared models of lifestyle and access to social support within the African American community. However, effects of racial stratification cause high unemployment rates and low household incomes among African Americans, therefore individuals cannot live according to these cultural models. The inability to live according to cultural models is related to an individual’s blood pressure. Dressler and Bindon surveyed 600 individuals ages 25-65, from a rural, Southern African American community. In order to utilize the model of cultural consonance, African Americans who lived within the community and were trained in interviewing techniques conducted interviews.

Graphs and data tables were used throughout the article and give us a better idea of variables used to test cultural consonance. Results from Dressler and Bindon’s study conclude an inverse relation of cultural consonance in lifestyle and social support with blood pressure. Therefore, blood pressure levels are related to the degree to which an individual maintains cultural consonance in kin support and lifestyle.

JONETTA JOHNSON Davidson College (Eriberto Lozada)

Du, Shanshan. “Husband and Wife Do It Together”: Sex/Gender Allocation of Labor among the Qhawqhat Lahu of Lancang, Southwest China. American Anthropologist September, 2000 Vol.102 (3): 520-537.

The author explores the diversity and commonality of human labor organization based on sex differences using an ethnographic study of sex and gender allocation among the Qhawqhat Lahu in Lancang, China. Du argues that the principle of unity rather than the idea of division governs the gendered distribution of labor among the Qhawqhat Lahu. The author’s observations are derived from interactions with several Lahu Na families in Qhawqhat. The author describes the roles of women and men in procreation, childbirth and pregnancy, and child rearing. These tasks are considered to be the joint responsibility of husband and wife. The unique ability of females to bear children is considered accidental rather than essential according to myth.

The gendered allocation of labor revolves around the idea of gender unity, which defines a married couple as a single labor team performing a variety of tasks. Both productive and reproductive tasks are thought of as working towards the couple’s common goal of working hard to sustain their household. Sex difference is minimized in Qhawqhat Lahu labor allocation, and this connection between husband-wife teamwork and minimal division of labor by sex has been found in other societies including the Aka Pygmies and in the Ecuadorian Andes.

Lahu labor distribution is an integral part of their gender system, and a married couple is institutionalized as a joint whole with intertwining responsibilities, status, and prestige in social and spiritual arenas of Lahu life. However, the clear division of a few tasks between sexes still confirms, according to Du, the nearly universal pattern of the “sexual division of labor,” and more comparative research is required to reveal a more subtle and nuanced range of sociocultural responses to biological differences.

MARGARET BERGER Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Du, Shanshan. “Husband and Wife Do It Together: Sex/Gender Allocation of Labor among the Qhawqhat Lahu of Lancang, Southwest China. American Anthropologist September 2000 Vol. 102 (3): 520-537.

The seemingly universal existence of a sexual or gendered division of labor has inspired many anthropologists, including feminist scholars, to explore this theory in their fieldsites. In this article, Shanshan Du uses her ethnographic fieldwork with the Qhawqhat Lahu of China to investigate the relationship between sex and gender difference within the organization of human labor, and to propose new directions for its study.

The flaws of previous approaches to this topic prompt Du to propose replacing the term “sexual division of labor” with the “sex/gender allocation of labor.” Even though biologically and culturally deterministic approaches have been largely replaced by flexible, multi-dimensional perspectives, she suggests that the terminology used is still too narrow. First, Du recognizes the importance of differentiating between biological “sex” and socially constructed “gender,” while acknowledging the links between them. Second, she suggests that the term “division” too hastily implies that labor allocation will universally involve this characteristic. Her fieldwork, described below, counters this assumption.

During her 16 months of fieldwork in Lancang, Du researched how married Qhawqhat men and women allocated household tasks. Through interviews and household surveys, she established that principles of unity, not division, predominated throughout the process of procreation, pregnancy and childbirth, child rearing and feeding the household. She found that men and women roughly balanced their work. These conlusions minimize, but do not completely negate, the impact of sex differences. This example provides a rare instance in which ideal allocations of labor, based on popular myths and common phrases like “husband and wife do it together” and “chopsticks work only in pairs,” largely correspond with concrete practice.

Finally, Du suggests that her new terminology could unite the previously dispersed studies of sex/gender allocation of labor. She argues that work in this area has increased, although the diminishing use of the term “sexual division of labor” makes it appear as though anthropologic interest this area tapered off after the 1980s. Critizing the wide variety of terminology used by scholars of this field, she argues for a common language so that the researchers can better understand each other and develop greater understanding of the subject at hand. She hypothesizes that further investigation will elucidate a more nuanced spectrum of cultural responses to sex difference in labor distribution.

JESSICA M. SMITH Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Du, Shanshan. “Husband and Wife Do It Together”: Sex/Gender Allocation of Labor among the Qhawqhat Lahu of Lancang, Southwest China. American Anthropologist September, 2000 Vol.102(3): 520-537.

In this article, Shanshan Du examines the interactions of men and women of Qhawqhat Lahu of Lancang, southwest China when allocating tasks. Anthropology has seen a shift in academic interest in the relationship between sex difference and the organization of labor due to newly-developed and contrasting theories. Biological determinists argue that “sexual division of labor” is naturally based on the biological necessities for men and women to separate their tasks and has been supported by identifying near-universal patterns of labor allocation. However, this theory has received recent criticism for inconsistent application to different cultures. Within the past 20 years, anthropologists have begun to recognize sociocultural, historical, ecological variables that can affect labor allocation as well.

Overall, great confusion has been generated in analyzing cultures based on different definitions of “sexual division of labor.” Thus, Du proposes a new tem “sex/gender allocation of labor” to synthesize the diverse theories applied to studying the correlation between gender and labor divisions. Focusing on the Lahu culture, he demonstrates how “sex/gender allocation of labor” examination can emphasize the unity of men and women, and ultimately minimize sex differences.

His argument for the strong principle of unity within the Lahu is supported by identifying three main aspects of life where joint gender roles are essential for completing the tasks; these tasks include reproduction, child rearing, and household chores. Du begins by describing how the male and female share the roles preparing for and during child birth, which encompasses how the husband acts as a midwife during and after delivery. Second, Du explains the husband’s and wife’s division child rearing tasks, including holding, feeding and bathing. Third, he explains the joint work of supporting the family, consisting of how the husband and wife support an equal share of household-related work.

Ultimately, Du wished to convey the recent necessity to expand anthropologists’ approaches in understanding human labor organizations. Through closely examining the “sex/gender allocation of labor” of the Lahu, he demonstrates that men’s and women’s specific tasks do not necessarily create a feeling of division between genders. Instead, the Lahu have used allocation of labor to provide a sense of unity and define a married couple as a team.

KATRINA L. PAPADOPOULOS Davidson College (Eriberto P. Lozada Jr.)

Fish, Jefferson M. What Anthropology Can Do for Psychology: Facing Physics Envy, Ethnocentrism, and Belief in Race. American Anthropologist. September, 2000 Vol.102 (3):552-563

The author of this article is clinical psychologist who is married to an anthropologist. He uses this opinion piece to discuss some of the things he believes that psychology in general could learn from anthropology. Having spent time exposed to the tenets of both professions, he feels comfortable in describing how psychology could benefit by incorporating some of the ideas used in anthropology. Of course, this article is not applicable to every psychologist, some already actively use many of the ideas presented here, but is aimed at some of the problematic traditions of psychology. The first problem he has with “traditional” psychology is its attempt to be a “real” science (he calls it physics envy) as opposed to a humanistic science. Psychology is based on experiments conducted on a nonrepresentative sample of animals and humans in conditions that cannot be controlled as precisely or described in the same quantitative terms as a natural science like physics. Fish argues its impossible to have experimental control over humans that will yield anything close to the precision required by the natural sciences. Another problem he finds with psychology is a strong undercurrent of ethnocentrism. He describes the majority of psychologists as “monolingual, monocultural individuals” who have by and large been indoctrinated into ignoring the differences in culture as important when creating general theories. Ignorance of unique cultures has resulted in attempts to posit “universal” theorizes that are strongly ethnocentric and fail to represent large segments of the population. Another major problem Fish finds with psychology is its concepts of race and sex. Psychology problematically relies on three categories of race; Mongoloid, Caucasian, and Negroid, and two sexes, male and female. This is primarily done to simplify data into a more general and versatile format. The ignorance shown toward historical and biological ideas of race and sex as well as differing cultural conceptions of these conceptions leaves psychology with a troublesome definition of race and sex. Ultimately, Fish believes that psychology has much to learn from anthropology.

NATHANIEL MARSH Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Fish, Jefferson M. What Anthropology Can Do for Psychology: Facing Physics Envy, Ethnocentrism, and a Belief in “Race”. American Anthropologist September, 2000 Vol.102 (3): 552-563.

In this article, Fish, a clinical psychologist married to an anthropologist, attempts to describe American psychologists’ approach to their discipline and address three areas within the field (“physics envy”, ethnocentrism, and belief in “race”) that could be aided by the integration of anthropological approaches. Although Fish acknowledges the growing number of culturally informed studies in psychology, he concludes that psychology as a whole is inherently ethnocentric. In his view, current culturally informed research in the field has functioned primarily to legitimize psychology and has not been incorporated into its practice.

The first aspect of psychology Fish addresses is “physics envy,” or psychologists’ belief that disciplines can be ranked in a hierarchy according to their prestige and “scientificness.” Psychologists believe themselves to be the most “scientific,” and therefore, the most prestigious of the social sciences. The result of these beliefs is a view of “science” within psychology that dictates what methods can be used and, consequently, what questions can be asked. The quantitative, experimental study of behavior under controlled laboratory conditions is seen as more scientific than the description of behavior, and the study of animal behavior in these conditions is more scientific than the study of human behavior. The word “human” has been intentionally omitted from the definition of psychology as the “study of behavior” in order to facilitate cross-species studies and exclude characteristics that are intrinsically human. This approach downplays the importance of contexts, habitats, and culture and relies upon biological, as opposed to social, explanations of behavior. Fish believes that anthropology can rectify this perceived problem by sharing its knowledge of methods and topics considered “non-scientific” by psychologists.

The second issue Fish addresses is ethnocentrism. American psychology is a field composed primarily of monolingual, monocultural individuals who have done little fieldwork abroad. As a licensed profession as well as an academic discipline, psychologists generally identify with the upper middle class and must deal with unique status issues. “Diversity” in the discipline refers to minority groups within the United States as opposed to those around the world, resulting in the acceptance of “universal” theories that are unintentionally culture-specific. Since the behavior that psychologists study is generally the behavior of individuals, psychologists also have a tendency to attribute all behavior to individual knowledge and norms. Cultural explanations of behavior are resorted to only when a psychological explanation is not available. Anthropology can aid in this area by persuading psychologists that universality of principles needs to be investigated rather than assumed and that behavior is affected by cultural as well as individual knowledge. Incorporating anthropology’s concepts of etic and emic, as opposed to psychology’s concepts of quantitative and qualitative, would help psychologists acknowledge that most of their generalizations are based upon American cultural categories and data.

The final area Fish comments upon is psychologists’ belief in “race” due to their ethnocentric acceptance of American folk categories and their desire to make biologically based generalizations about human behavior. By encouraging them to include data from outside the United States, anthropologists could help psychologists begin to question rather than study the categories they have been trained to use. Unfortunately, the justification of the continued use of these categories to allow for comparability of results across studies negates such critiques.

In conclusion, Fish acknowledges that his critique of psychology applies to other disciplines as well. He calls for future critiques from historians, political scientists, lawyers, doctors, and sociologists on what anthropology can contribute to their discipline. Each of these fields has its own form of ethnocentrism that needs to be addressed.

JESSICA HORNING Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Galey, Jean-Claude. Louis Dumont(1911-1988). American Anthropologist June, 2000 Vol. 102(2):324-329.

Louis Dumont was a methodical and thorough anthropologist committed to pushing the theoretical envelope. Galey expounds upon our debt to Dumont’s work on the analysis and critique of Euro-American modernism. Dumont also combined extensive fieldwork and a thorough knowledge of Sanskrit to show that the Indian caste system and its values were an illustration of what society produces. He did this by noting very real differences and similarities in the structure of societies. The research was monumental in its new way of organizing information and its confirmation of the status of truth.

The scope and full importance of his work have not yet been measured, but Dumont’s contribution to sociology alone is enormous. Dumont relentlessly worked his ideas with great insight and demanding analytical exactness taking on new and unpopular issues. He approached his work by “Painstakingly organizing the theoretical horizon of his ambition upon an establishment of minutely observing fact” (325). He looked at the workings of the “modern” mind and confronted the materialist modes of thinking he saw.

Dumont amassed a huge body of specialized work throughout his career, with other topics ranging from the Development of the individual in the Christian Church to German idealism. Galey suggests that the recurring theme in Dumont’s work was concern about human intentionality as recognized through its varying social expressions. Throughout this he remained a modest scholar and stated that intellectual achievement is a collective effort. He left us with the idea that it is possible that the human social recognition of the other is just another universal.

JULIA E. MACKESSON Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Gillespie, Susan D. Rethinking Ancient Maya Social Organization: Replacing “Lineage” with “House.” American Anthropologist September, 2000 Vol. 102 (3):467-484.

The author discusses debates about the definition of Maya social organization and argues that the current terminology falls short of a full explanation of the social organization. A major argument among Maya scholars concerns the role of patrilineal descent in determining group organization. Additionally, residence is a determinant of group membership, and scholars have debated the extent to which this is a factor. According to the author, these points of contention, combined with an irregular body of information, have made it difficult to accurately describe Maya social groups. Gillespie cites three key points of disagreement: How descent and residence combined to form corporate groups; what descent rules were used to form these groups; and how ancestor veneration functioned to define the groups.

By drawing on ethnography, archaeological evidence, hieroglyphic inscriptions, and ethnohistorical accounts, particularly those of the colonial Spanish, Gillespie shows discrepancies between the common Maya lineage model and a variety of actual or inferred practices. Corporate groups were primarily determined by descent, but lowland and highland Maya showed variation in group size and the degree to which descent affected group affiliation. While descent rules, inheritance, and succession are commonly considered to have been patrilineal, Gillespie provides evidence that burial practices, royal succession, and name inheritance did not follow this model. The author argues that the body of evidence points to matrilineal elements in the descent system. Ancestor veneration was an aspect of group organization, but the article argues that the practice moved past strict descent ties and aimed to maintain continuity with the past.

As the title of the article implies, Gillespie prefers to discard the current “lineage” model with the more flexible concept of “house.” As explained in the paper, lineage does not completely explain Maya social organization. The house is malleable; it is rooted in the ancestral origins of the house and continuity with that past, but does not rely on genealogy to construct the group. Gillespie concludes the paper by noting that because the house model acknowledges the importance and variability of social and political processes, it can help form new research questions and new insights into Maya social organization.

REBECCA DEEB Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Gillespie, Susan D. Rethinking Ancient Maya Social Organization: Replacing “Lineage” with “House”. American Anthropologist September, 2000 Vol. 102(3): 467-484.

In this article Susan Gillespie confronts a topic of debate that has not been answered for quite some time. As stated over twenty years ago by Marcus, “the social organization of the Classic Maya has been a subject of argument for years.” The main focuses of Gillespie’s article are Mayan kinship, lineages, and descent groups. The lines of descent throughout Mayan households has not been effectively characterized as either patrilineal, matrilineal, or both. Therefore the role of descent becomes a factor in determining social status, both within the living group and the society as a whole. Thus descent and kinship lie at the base of the issue and Gillespie discusses these and provides her own method of interpreting the Mayan social groups.

Gillespie initially differentiates the different corporate groups and separates them from residential kin groups. She also suggests replacing the typically used term “lineage” with the term “house”, as defined by Lévi-Strauss. His model of a “house” refers to a corporate, long-lived unit that is organized for specific ends. House members utilize relationships based on blood and love to legitimize the houses’ existence. Gillespie discusses issues dealing with the characterization of residential groups as descent groups, the descent principles underlying these and other groups, and ancestor veneration as a basis for defining descent groups. She also includes localized lineages in her discussion of the Mayan “house” to show that there existed a familial body between the size of a modern family and a community.

Gillespie concludes that the Mayan households can no longer be viewed analogously because of the implications the analogies draw. Instead, the Mayan “house” should be viewed as a long-lived corporate group independent of what today’s social familial constructs may be like. By doing this, more insight will not only be provided into Mayan social studies but also studies of early social groups located around the globe.

LINKOLN R. GUNTHER Davidson College (Eriberto Lozada)

Goldschmidt, Walter. Historical Essay: A Perspective on Anthropology. American Anthropologist December, 2000 Vol.102 (4): 789-807.

Goldschmidt traces the historical development of the discipline of anthropology over the past seventy years, centering his examination around his own career in anthropology, which corresponds with this time frame. He outlines the major theoretical shifts within the discipline, contextualizing them in accordance with major historical events such as the Great Depression, the World Wars, and the counter-cultural movement of the 1960s, as well as equating them with major intellectual figures in anthropology and related social sciences. Goldschmidt criticizes anthropological theories on the basis of simplification and intellectual arrogance. He identifies himself as a disciple of “eclecticism,” a blending of aspects of various theories, of which the tenets are cultural evolutionism, acculturation, language as a major constructive force, and the inherent complexity of human existence. Such an approach combines ideas from theories as temporally and intellectually disparate as Boasian historical particularism and contemporary postmodernism.

In chronologically tracing the “changing ecology” of anthropology, Goldschmidt outlines the discipline’s major intellectual influences as coming from psychology, sociology, biology and linguistics. Respectively, these related fields contributed to: the idea of culture as subliminally transmitted; the concept of social dynamics; evolutionism, cultural ecology, and behavior studies (from primatology); and the notion of human beings as constructed (cognitively) by language. Although this outlining of anthropology’s influences is by no means exhaustive, it fully encompasses Goldschmidt’s experience as a U.S., Depression/interbellum era-trained anthropologist.

Goldschmidt examines changing trends in anthropology, both theoretical and ethnographic (i.e. where is the field?). He contextualizes these trends within the changing sociopolitical climates of the past seventy years. For example, World War II limited the possibility of ethnographic study abroad, hence the switch to an “anthropology of home” approach. Similarly, the counter-culture movement of the 1960s incited the reversal, a return of focus to the domain of the “Other,” but without the notion of “savage.” Hence, theories arise from real conditions, that impose limits and suggest directions; such real conditions also determine the work that anthropology is both able to and needed to conduct.

In this reflexive commentary on anthropology’s history, Goldschmidt provides an analytic insight into a discipline that has only recently begun its own introspection. He criticizes anthropology’s long-standing beliefs in “savages” and the ethnographic present, which have persisted for much of the duration of his career. Such misconceptions, he maintains, have crippled the discipline, both in limiting the holism that anthropology preaches and inviting unnecessary critique. Goldschmidt finds that, for the most part, every anthropological theory has strengths and weaknesses that, unfortunately, are overlooked in the discipline’s tradition of identifying strongly with a single theory. His notion of “eclecticism” is a step towards a return to anthropologists’ role as “keepers of a holistic faith;” it is an approach that combines the perceived strengths of most anthropological theories.

NATALIE METTLER Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Gose, Peter. The State as a Chosen Woman: Brideservice and the Feeding of Tributaries in the Inka Empire. American Anthropologist, 2000. Vol.102(1):84-97.

Gose’s article explores the notion of mink’a and the theory of brideservice to better understand how the Inka invoked gender to ensure their authority within the state tributary system. According to Gose, existing studies of the Inka tributary system tend to essentialize gendered hierarchies in this system (i.e. the Inka state was patriarchal in its exploitation and oppression of women). Gose takes a postmodern approach in his response, asserting that the Inka tributary system mobilized multiple gender hierarchies. He adds that these hierarchies were both localized and situationally specific.

Gose uses existent anthropological research on hierarchies inherent to mink’a – what he refers to as a “pre-Columbian” notion that (male) land ownership is expressed by (virginal females) feeding those who cultivate the land – to illustrate one aspect of the multiplicity and specificity of gender constructions in the Inka tributary system. The hierarchy of mink’a equates feeding workers with wealth and working for food with dependency and need. This hierarchy, then, serves both as a means of female status elevation and as a means of Inka control over female labor. Gose clarifies that through mink’a, the Inka state represents itself as powerful through the female – which it adopts through the selection of “chosen women” from its conquered populations – while simultaneously distinguishing this form of labor from the (tributary) labor of a wife.

In order to further his proposition for the multiplicity and specificity of gender constructions in Inka tributary labor, Gose applies other anthropological research on the hierarchies that are implicated in brideservice. According to Gose, brideservice involves the Inka state’s acquisition of women through conquest, and its subsequent “giving” of these women to its soldiers. He explains that the hierarchy of brideservice is such that the wife-giver (the state) is seen as having more prestige and thus subordinates the wife-taker (the recipient soldier). When this is paralleled with the above notion of mink’a, the Inka state’s manipulation of gendered constructs to maintain control becomes increasingly evident. That is, Inka rulers use mink’a to claim the right to all women in their empire so that when a woman is given to a man he must work as a tributary laborer to fulfill his debt to the state. As the giving of these women results from conquest by the state, the soldier-tributaries who capture them are actually reproducing their own indebtedness. The state thus embodies the role of both wife-giver and wife-taker, allowing it to secure control throughout its formation and expansion.

According to Gose then, constructions of gender in the Inka tributary system are not unified, but rather, are fractured, sometimes contradictory, and multidirectional in the ways they work to ensure state control.

LAURA M. GLAESER Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Gose, Peter. The State as a Chosen Woman: Brideservice and the Feeding of Tributaries in the Inka Empire. American Anthropologist March, 2000 Vol.102(1):84-97.

Mechanisms of the Inka state, such as conquest and brideservice, have been perceived as “gendered” by various researchers. The Inka state is personified as male in its roles as conqueror and wife-giver and as female when it acts as provider towards its dependent tributaries. Gose evaluates these genderings and works towards a synthesis of gendered power in the Inka state.

The Andean notion of “Mink’a” is central to the understanding of how a feminized Inka state wielded power. Mink’a contains the idea that the provider outranks the provided-for. Thus, by providing its conquered tributaries with sustenance, the state underlines its supremacy with a traditionally feminine action. In fact, a special class of “chosen women,” known as aqllas, performed these tasks as personifications of the state.

Conversely, the Inka also acted in a masculine role as wife-provider to their tributaries. This placed the state in the position of superiority and entitled it to brideservice from its male subjects. As feminine representatives of the state, aqllas served the tributary populations, spurring the desire of conquered subjects. These men would then perform agricultural labor as a form of brideservice to a masculine-identified state. In this way the two gender frameworks reinforced each other.

An important metaphor invoked in agricultural service was that of warfare, and tributary laborers were known as “masters of war.” Agriculture and warfare were tied together conceptually and in reality, as fighting was another task of male tributaries. These two activities of the Inka state, wife-giving and conquest, gendered it male.

Gose tackles the apparent gender contradiction with the proposition that the Inka state was neither male nor female, but shifted between the two positions according to situational advantage. He also shows how the male and female frameworks supported each other to maximize the power of the state.

BROOKE BOCAST Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Gose, Peter. The State as a Chosen Woman: Brideservice and the Feeding of Tributaries in the Inka Empire. American Anthropologist March, 2000 Vol. 102(1):84-97.

In this article Peter Gose examines the complex gendering of the Inka state and how this influenced the power structure within the empire. The Inkas made use of gender as a means to divide the society because it either skipped over or incorporated and transmitted other kinds of hierarchy. Gose contends that while certain aspects of society were clearly masculine, as in military conquest and physical labor, the state most clearly represented its power through mink’a, the feminine activity of feeding its conquered tributaries. He explains the interdependency of the Inkas on their tributaries, and the tributaries on the chosen women, and establishes his argument that through this interdependency, the state actually controlled all actions regarding both the public and private domains of society.

Gose divides his argument into five sections, first beginning with and introduction and explanation of the Inka tribute system in order to best explain the role of gender, how it mediates and is mediated by other social realities. Next he sets up his argument for the paper in a discussion on the “chosen women” (aqllas) and the cultural practice of brideservice. In the third section Gose refocuses earlier studies on Inka society and suggests that Inka labor-tribute system was based on a model of hierarchy and brideservice where the state benefited from the community level relation of production called mink’a. The fourth section expands on the idea of the mink’a, and the role of the aqlla in society, while the fifth and final section emphasizes the importance of the brideservice system to the hierarchical power structure of the Inka state.

Gose explores the power structure of society, both masculine as seen in the tributary system as well as the feminine, brideservice system. He explains how the opposed gendering of the Inka state actually worked in unison to form a single complex. He expands on previous studies done on the topic by more closely examining the role of the state as opposed to focusing on the status of men and women in society.

CATE SCHENNING Davidson College (Eriberto P. Lozada Jr.)

Green, Glen Martin & A. Endre Nyerges. The Ethnography of Landscape: GIS and Remote Sensing in the Study of Forest Change in West African Guinea Savanna. American Anthropologist June, 2000 Vol.102(2):271-289.

Glen Green and A. Endre Nyerges delved into the issue of deforestation, which existed heavily in the continent of Africa, specifically West Africa for this particular ethnographic report. Using an Amazonian Model for comparison, they wanted to determine the extent of the damage by applying advanced technological photographic means to aid in gaining a clearer compilation of data. They were not discounting the validity of past or present field ethnographers but hoped to gain an unbiased account of the large districts they had chosen to explore. They used new data collecting devices to aid in the quality and specifics of the information that they wanted to receive, and as a result, Green and Nyerges offered many graphs and other pictorial images throughout their article as a means to try and aid in their discussion of comparative land layout such as locations of forests, rivers, and the surrounding human populations.

Green and Nyerges used four methods within their study of landscape theories: Political ecology, The ecology of practice, The social life of forests, and The ethnography of landscape. These approaches in particular discussed with the aid of maps, aerial photos, digital analysis of countless pictures, and other technical photographic methods offered more in depth knowledge within the subject of landscape (186). Making use of all of these approaches, Green and Nyerges decided to compare Kilimi and Kisidougou, two land sites located in West Africa that had varying climates, rainfall, and other such comparative environmental differences, in order to see what their similarities and differences were within the realm of forest growth and decline. While Green and Nyerges wanted to gain knowledge pertaining to these land areas, they did not realize until later that their base model, the Amazonian Model, was not a sufficient comparative account when using the more technical research methods such as GIS and Remote Sensing techniques that were used in their current study.

In conclusion, Green and Nyerges gained a vast understanding of the variations of the land surrounding Kilimi and Kisidougou, but they found it difficult to begin to compare their results to the Amazonian Model. Even though their desired result was to gain a better understanding of the forest growth and decline in Africa compared to the Amazonian Model, they had to accept gaining new information without a comparative base due to the technological differences in the data presented by each of the landscape studies. Their study of the landscape in West Africa can be looked on as a positive projection for future studies. By using the GIS and Remote Sensing photographic techniques, Green and Nyerges discovered a more specific data collecting method that will positively affect future studies in this field of anthropological research.

TAMARA R. GALLEN Davidson College (Eriberto Lozada)

Greenfield, Patricia. What Psychology Can Do for Anthropology, or Why Anthropology Took Postmodernism on the Chin. September, 2000 American Anthropologist Vol. 102(3): 564-576.

While Postmodernist critique has heavily criticized and encouraged a change in the methodology of cultural anthropology, psychology has successfully addressed the problems identified by this theoretical notion. Greenfield’s article examines why psychology has been able to withstand attacks by Postmodernism and what psychology can offer anthropology in solving the problems described by the theory’s critique. Greenfield believes that psychology’s use of empiricism gives it the ability to flank the assaults of Postmodernism. On the other hand, anthropological traditions such as empiricism, scientific generalizations, objectivity and the differentiation between the self and the “other” have subjected the discipline to much criticism and are heavily derided. Patricia Greenfield encourages readers to see the benefits of condemning the previously listed traditions in anthropology, as well as to accept that they do not represent an abandonment of empirical methodology.

Greenfield presents sundry lessons that anthropology can learn from psychology. She states psychology can be helpful by challenging anthropology’s inclination for objectivity with multiple subjectivities. Greenfield believes that anthropologists should include explicit descriptions of their perspectives and relationships with their subjects in their ethnographies. Unlike anthropology, psychology has steered relatively clear from issues of objectivity because the discipline’s assumptions are strongly based on method. Multiple subjectivities can also assist with anthropology’s traditional focus on non-Western and non-literate peoples. Postmodernism has called anthropology to be reflexive and inclusive of minorities in the discipline. Postmodernist thought also states that anthropologists should study the West and their own communities. Greenfield observes that psychology has dealt with the other by having a tradition that does not define the discipline as a science of others. Psychology has also been inclusive to a host of minorities, which has allowed for several unique perspectives on a subject. Furthermore, Greenfield wants anthropologists to see that there are no set truths. While some anthropologists fear that this belief undermines the discipline, Greenfield and the Postmodernist psychologist, Kenneth Gergen argue that this is ridiculous because all truths and sciences are narrative constructions.

Only a few of Patricia Greenfield’s solutions to anthropology’s problems have been listed in this summary. She provides many lessons for anthropology to learn from psychology as well as criticizes anthropology’s purported apolitical nature, the politics of research and the discipline’s focus on cultural customs instead of cultural structure (574). Patricia Greenfield believes that psychology can greatly benefit anthropology by providing the discipline with the basics to change the problems identified by Postmodernist theory. She believes that this will result in a better anthropology.

NEDRA LEE Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Greenfield, Patricia. What Psychology can do for Anthropology, or Why Anthropology Took Postmodernism on the Chin. American Anthropologist September 2000 Vol:102(3):564-576.

In this article Greenfield reworks an essay originally presented at the University of Constance’s conference entitled, “The Concept of Anthropology: Transdisciplinary Approaches to the Human.” The author, a psychologist with a background in anthropology, attempts to remedy the blow that postmodern critique dealt to anthropology because she fears this criticism will change the way in which anthropology is approached. There are six major topics addressed throughout the article that she believes came under the most fire by postmodern critique. Greenfield feels that anthropology has been unwilling to assimilate any advice from other fields. She argues that some problems created by postmodern critique of anthropology could be solved by incorporating aspects of methods from psychology.

For each of the six topics the author explains the postmodern critique leveled against anthropology, why psychology has not had the same problems and possible applications that could help anthropology. 1) Objectivity in ethnography is often neglected due to flaws in data collection and conclusions are unsubstantiated. 2) Anthropology has historically treated the cultures they study as a “unitary whole” another area in which the field has been recently criticized. Instead of studying the “other,” the author recommends that anthropologists make a switch to working exclusively within their own culture. 3) In the era of postmodernism, anthropologists now face the challenge of reconsidering their data (“facts”) as being more of an “interpretation.” 4) Anthropologists under fire for issues of “truth” and “constructivism” in ethnography. 5) Greenfield brings up how anthropology is really the science of the “other,” which has inherent problems, namely, the four aforementioned topics. 6) Finally, the author describes the challenge postmodernism brought regarding the universal validity of “truth” and “science.” While presenting the arguments above, Greenfield also addresses why psychology has been less affected by postmodern critique. Focus on the individual instead of the group and contextualizing informants and very thorough standards in regards to data collection are a few of the reasons the author mentions. Differences in interpretation are another way in which psychology has been more neutral, leaving little room for speculation. As the author illustrates, anthropologists are able to draw their own conclusions, while psychology operates within its own sphere (“Intelligence is what the intelligence tests measure”).

Greenfield concludes by suggesting that anthropology should learn from psychology. The author also asserts that psychology is less ethnocentric and more empirical. She suggests that studying structure rather than “specific customs” would be beneficial to anthropology. Also, expanding methodology to include some empirical psychology techniques would preserve this important part of anthropological fieldwork.

ANNA MCCARTNEY-MELSTAD Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Groce, Nora Ellen and Jonathan Marks. The Great Ape Project and Disability Rights: Ominous Undercurrents of Eugenics in Action. American Anthropologist. December 2000 Vol. 102 (4): 818-822.

In their essay, Nora Ellen Groce and Jonathan Marks discuss the effects of a discourse of scientific comparisons between great apes and disabled humans in what is called the Great Ape Project. Those arguing for the extension of human rights to great apes have often compared apes’ intellectual and emotional capabilities with certain human groups: children, the elderly, and humans with disabilities. The authors argue that this discourse has negative implications for these groups, especially the disabled whose human rights are often vulnerable, at best.

The authors first discuss the history of the comparative discourse that links animals and disabled humans. Popular genetic rhetoric at the turn of the century set up an evolutionary framework in which disabled humans were categorized as lesser humans. This discourse resulted in such events as the Nazi’s sterilization and execution of disabled Germans. This same comparison has not only been accepted without question by some authors working on the Great Ape Project, but also used as a viable argument for their cause.

The Great Ape Project says that since apes are similar, if not more advanced, than some human groups that they should have human rights. Groce and Marks note this discourse’s significance for the anthropological community, outside of the historical links between anthropology, evolutionary frameworks, and eugenics programs. Recent anthropological work has shown that disabilities are often cultural, reflecting the importance of a certain skill in a particular society. Those with socially undesirable characteristics are discriminated against, thus increasing the stigma surrounding the disability. The arguments of the Great Apes Project take this even further, as those with disabilities are effectively no more human than animals. This has sweeping implications for areas such as human rights for the disabled, employment, and health care. Groce and Marks argue that the discourse within the Great Apes Project is not only detrimental to the rights of the disabled, but shows how little is understood about those with disabilities. In closing, they ironically note that the blurring of the line to extend human rights for apes, may ultimately dehumanize those whose rights are already precarious.

Clarity: 5
BRIENNE CALLAHAN Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Guillet, David. Reconsidering Institutional Change: Property Rights in Northern Spain.American Anthropologist December, 2000. Vol. 102 (4):713-725.

Guillet investigates the distribution of ground water for farmers with irrigation-intensive farms in the region of the Orbigo River in northwestern Spain. He discusses two different forms of property rights, and proposes a new approach to understanding institutional change, based on the integration of a cultural model with an analysis of the economics of the institutions.

At the turn of the 20th century, with an introduction into northwestern Spain of sugar beets, beans and other water intensive crops, groundwater irrigation became a necessity for farmers. Guillet investigates the subsequent actions of the farmers.

Guillet first presents a cost-benefit relationship. The crops (beans, sugar beets, etc.) are of high value, but also high cost, as they are very water intensive. Unless the farmer was in an area where groundwater was the only source for irrigation, or the farmer was a wealthy land owner who had the funds to meet with the heavy start up costs, it wasn’t worth it for an independent farmer to invest in irrigation.

However, many farmers did irrigate, and were able to combat the costs with effective partnerships. Guillet shows how small groups of landowners would get together and form ‘noria partnerships,’ where water was divided into units of time. These partnerships depended on time shares of water that each member was allotted. One could trade the shares to obtain water to irrigate a distant field, and one could sell shares. (Prices were negotiated for each field due to their distance from the well and the difficulties of conveying the water). In this way, “access to groundwater could be adjusted to maintain factor proportionality.” Guillet uses cultural principles of duality, complementarity and reciprocity in the explanation of noria partnerships, and thus provides a cultural basis for the system.

Here, Guillet synthesizes political, economic and environmental factors to describe the emergence of private property rights for ground water irrigation. The integration of an economic approach and a cultural approach explains the institutional mechanism of noria partnerships.

In the 1950’s a dam was built upstream on the Orbigo River which made irrigation much less necessary. Today, however, population growth, industrialization and recent droughts have led to major shortfalls in the surface water available. Some in the area are returning to groundwater irrigation, and in many ways, says Guillet, the situation today is the same as it was at the turn of the 20th century. However other factors come into play, and the return to a groundwater partnership might be more difficult than imagined.

MICHAEL SEVERINO Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Guillet, David. Reconsidering Institutional Change: Property Rights in Northern Spain.American Anthropologist. December, 2000. Vol. 102(4):713-725.

In this article David Guillet examines property rights and groundwater irrigation in Northern Spain during the first half of the twentieth century. Guillet looks at ethnographic data describing the varying forms of property rights as well as economic theories that have been utilized to interpret these practices. Guillet attempts to offer an alternative explanation for the existence of both private and collective ownership of groundwater irrigation materials and land in this area. His explanation differs from previous ones offered by ethnologists and historians because he utilizes a different framework for understanding the situation. Guillet argues that a new approach to analyzing institutional change is necessary and, as such, he proposes a new framework for examination , which combines schema theory and the new institutional economics (NIE). In sum, Guillet suggests that a theoretical balance of agency and structure must be applied when considering the reasons for the existence of multiple systems of property rights in Northern Spain.

Guillet discusses previous historiographical and ethnographic descriptions of the presence of both collectivist and private property institutions, but argues that the economic and cultural models derived from these descriptions are limited because they offer a reductionist perspective of historical and economic change. Advances on these previous interpretations as well as newer ethnographic material has attempted to highlight the importance of cultural contexts and thus, move away from the from the reductionist perspective. However, Guillet contends that these interpretations have also been limited in their ability to draw a clear link between cultural contexts and economic rationale.

Guillet suggests that a combination of the new institutional economics and schema theory can help explain these differing modes of property rights and make the links between economic rationale and cultural context clearer. NIE, unlike neoclassical economic theories, asserts that transaction costs, the cost of gaining, transferring and protecting property rights are positive aspects of the market. In assigning transaction costs value, NIE recognizes that market relations are imperfect and that culture, or cultural knowledge affects the market. However, Guillet argues that NIE is limited because it derives its view of culture from cognitive science, failing to recognize larger “cultural models,” or schema that influence people’s decisions. He suggests that property rights lend themselves to “cultural models,” but that “cultural models” alone do not provide sufficient means for explaining property rights. He suggests that while schemas and cultural models can motivate agency, there are also external forces that affect people and cause them to act that must be recognized.

Guillet states that the varying systems of property rights in Northern Spain can be examined in many different lights. As such, he provides an economic justification for the differing systems of property rights by providing a cost analysis of installing groundwater irrigation technology under collective and under private ownership. He suggests that in the pàramo area of the Orbigo valley (the region examined), due to the larger size of their land, private ownership of the rights to groundwater irrigation was more economical whereas, for smaller land owners in the ribera, collective ownership was more profitable. He also cites the long history of social relationships that made this collective ownership possible.

Guillet argues that the “cultural models” applicable to the examination of collective experiences in Northern Spain offer a compromise between structure and agency. While these models recognize the structures dictating private property, they also recognize agency and the people’s ability to choose alternatives to the institutions offered to them. NIE attempts to incorporate these social contexts and models, but rather than viewing them as an externality, it seeks to recognize them within the analysis of the institution of property rights. Thus, a blend of schema theory and NIE suggests an examination of property rights that recognizes the overall structure or market that dictates them as well as the cultural models and organizations that inform decisions on property rights.

Clarity: 3
NATASHA WINEGAR Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Guillet, David. Reconsidering Institutional Change: Property Rights in Northern Spain.American Anthropologist December, 2000 Vol. 102(4): 713-725.

In this article David Guillet examines property rights in northern Spain, specifically the control of water for farming and irrigation. For almost fifty years, from the turn of the twentieth century to around 1950, farmers in the Orbigo River region of northwestern Spain were forced to lift their water for farming and irrigation. Consequently two forms of property rights emerged from this. The farmers immediately within the region had wells and water-lifting devices that were considered common property. The farmers above them considered their own devices to be private, including the groundwater. By the 1990s, a lack of surface water led to the establishment of all wells and water-lifting devices as private property. Guillet attempts to explain this institutional change of property rights through the use of schematized interpretive frameworks and cultural models combined with real-world factors (actor’s money, luck, social clout, etc.)

Through the use of schema theory, Guilllet is able to use cultural knowledge to interpret the emergence of subsequent institutional changes. Thus cultural models are more useful than mental models in this instance because they relate to the public and the institution rather than the individual. Transaction costs play heavily on the agency of the individual. If transaction costs are low, there is a high tendency for people to claim private property. However, if the transaction costs are high then there needs to be a moderating form of economic organization. Guillet’s emphasis on the use of cultural models is concluded in his last section with the discussion of “models of the appropriate.”

Guillet concludes that through the synthesis of schema theory and the theoretical perspective known as the new institutional economics, previously unviewed aspects such as small partnerships or rotating credit organizations can be brought into light with regards to comparative economic organization (721). The reasons behind institutional changes and their subsequent consequences are not always obvious and straightforward.

Clarity Ranking: 4
LINKOLN R. GUNTHER Davidson College (Eriberto Lozada)

Hayden, Robert M. Rape and Rape Avoidance in Ethno-National Conflicts: Sexual Violence in Liminalized States. American Anthropologist March, 2000 Vol.102(1):27-41.

Robert Hayden examines several instances of ethno-national conflict in search of a theory behind mass rape. He looks at the war in Bosnia from 1992-1995, the partition of Punjab in 1947, and race riots in Delhi in 1985 and in Hyderabad in 1990. Using these examples as case studies, Hayden proposes that mass rape occurs when the following circumstances are present: a heterogeneous society is being divided into separate homogenous entities, rule over territory is undecided, and women’s honor is symbolic of the honor of each group. Hayden then criticizes the international response to incidents of mass rape using the theoretical model he established.

The war in Bosnia and the partition of Punjab are two instances in which sexual violence was deployed by one or all of the parties. From 1992-1995, Bosnia was violently sundered into three distinct geographical and ethnic units. The dominant group, the Serbs, raped masses of Muslim and Croat women in the course of the conflict. In Punjab in 1947 the Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh communities sought to create new respective homelands following the dismantling of the colonial state. In a massive population exchange, millions of Hindus and Sikhs emigrated to India and millions of Muslims crossed over to the new Pakistan. During this transfer, thousands of women on both sides were raped by men from the opposing community. Hayden uses the commonalties between these two situations to assess when mass rape is likely to happen. In both cases, the control and habitation of previously shared territory was in question. This creates what Hayden calls a, “liminalized state.” In such a situation, rape is an effective tool for asserting dominance over and instilling hatred in one’s enemies. Thus rape is utilized by the dominant group to ensure that the victims leave and never come back.

Hayden uses two examples of ethnic conflict in which mass rape did not occur, race riots in Delhi and Hyderabad, to further elucidate his theory of rape and rape avoidance. In Delhi in 1985 and in Hyderabad in 1990, Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims were again engaged in violent conflict but state borders were not in question. It was assumed that the members of all groups would continue living in close contact with each other after the violence subsided. Therefore, Hayden proposes, rape was not utilized because the repercussions of sexual violence are more severe than those of generic violence and would render future cohabitation impossible.

In light of this theory, Hayden finds international responses to mass rape, which tend to focus on the violence of the act and retributory justice, problematic. First, as rape is a congruent part of conflict in liminalized states, the prosecution of rape as a war crime is unlikely to deter future assailants. Second, the emphasis on rape as an unreconcilable crime strengthens the validity of its use in liminal situations. Finally, the focus on sexual violence ignores instances of rape avoidance and legitimate unions between women of the victimized group and men of the dominant group.

BROOKE BOCAST Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Hayden, Robert M. Rape and Rape Avoidance in Ethno-National Conflicts: Sexual Violence in Liminalized States. American Anthropologist March, 2000 Vol. 102(1):27-41.

This article, by Robert M. Hayden, focuses on the issue of mass rape and its role in ethnic and nationalistic conflicts. It examines mass rape in situations where the partitioning of territories causes conflict between different ethnic or national groups. Hayden uses evidence from the Bosnian conflict in the 90s and the Punjab conflict in India in 1947 where mass rapes occurred from ethnic conflicts. These two conflicts are compared to similar conflicts in Delhi and Hyderabad India where rape and sexual violence could have occurred, but were avoided. In these situations, Hayden takes an anthropologists look at mass rape and sexual violence. He challenges the traditional views on rape brought forth by feminist and national organizations, and seeks to learn more about its role in conflicts.

Hayden wishes to learn why mass rape occurs in these conflicts. He examines the sexual, violent, powerful, and genocidal characteristics that people assign to rape. Next, this study analyzes the different reactions of the two groups of victims and perpetrators. Hayden finds differences in the way that the Serbs and Croats report the mass rapes that occurred to their people. In doing so Hayden additionally examines the treatment and punishment of mass rape as a war crime. He evaluates whether or not the punishment of mass rape affects future partitioning conflicts. The victims are often overlooked in these situations, and the after affects are important.

In this article, Hayden concludes that mass rape is used as a tool in conflicts to drive out a minority group and to ensure that two differing groups will not have to coexist in the future. Women, and sometimes men, are looked upon as territory to be conquered by opposing forces. Mass rape occurs in order to scare and intimidate the minority groups so they will flee from a certain partitioned area. Only when two groups expect to coexist after a conflict is mass rape avoided. Mass rape becomes unacceptable, because the two groups could not live in close contact after such a violation of humanity. In those cases, non-sexual violence is used to show dominance of one group. Hayden also argues that mass rape occurs not out of hate for the victims, but in order to make the victims hate the perpetrators. Mass rape also rarely occurs because orders were given, but because it is a more powerful weapon than murder that assists in alienating an ethnic group. Finally, he concludes that prosecuting rapists for war crimes after the fact may not prevent future mass rapes from occurring during partition. Prosecution does not make the mass rape go away, and mass rape still occurs in other ethnic conflicts.

W. PAUL WORLEY Davidson College (Dr. Lozada)

Hayden, Robert M. Rape and Rape Avoidance in Ethno-National Conflicts: Sexual Violence in Liminalized States. American Anthropologist March, 2000. Vol.102(1): 27-41.

In this article, the author’s main goal is to show that mass rape is often committed, or intentionally avoided, during Ethno-National conflict, in which partitioning of territory, and its population, is the desired end result. The article shows why some groups fall victim to mass rape while similar groups use other forms of violence and completely avoid mass rape.

Hayden begins the article with vast legal definitions and classifications of violence, sexual violence, battery, and rape. This is beneficial for the reader to understand the changes that have taken place over time as to what does, and does not, constitute rape and sexual violence.

Hayden uses four specific case studies to compare the circumstances under which mass rape and rape avoidance are committed. His two cases for mass rape are that of Bosnia, from 1992-1995, and of Punjab, India in 1947. Two Indian cities, Delhi in 1985 and Hyderabad in 1990, are the cases where mass rape was avoided amidst conflict. The reader is given history of the events that occurred in all cases, each being discussed individually. Hayden’s comparison between the Balkans and South Asia is effective because the religious nations, in the Balkans, and religious communities, in India, were fighting for territory they once shared while living together as neighbors, before conflicts began.

Each case involved territory once considered a single state being divided into more than one state. In these situations, the problem arises when ethno-national groups, who think of themselves as unique from other groups, begin to lay claims to territory and initiate competition with one and other for control of these territories. Hayden concludes that rape avoidance takes place amidst these conflicts when the “group asserting dominance expects to keep on living” (p.32) with those that they are dominating. In these cases, rape is unacceptable, as the groups would be unable to continue living with each other after committing mass rape. In situations where mass rape occurs, the author suggests, the goal of each competing groups is to cleanse their territory of all other ethnic groups. Hayden states, “when the lesson” of the dominating group “is to show that life together is finished, rape is an extremely effective tool in conveying that message” (p.32) to the ethnic group they are trying to exterminate. Through his case studies, Hayden supports these conclusions very effectively. Hayden also discusses the role of women in these rape conflicts and how further implications for his research may exist, in terms of determining why rape is used in different circumstances.

A problem with this article was that it was confusing in many areas. The reader is given so much information, in regards to many events and ideas, that it requires very careful attention and more than one read to fully comprehend the article. There are extensive footnotes, which help to give further background in certain areas, but these create more material to try and relate back to the author’s main point. Overall, the article did defend its argument well and presented some very interesting conclusions regarding mass rape and rape avoidance.

MELISSA MCCLUSKEY University of Alberta (Dr. Heather Young Leslie)

Hendon, Julia A. Having and Holding: Storage, Memory, Knowledge and Social Relations. American Anthropologist. March, 2000 Vol.102 (1):42-53

Hendon’s article is an attempt to place the concept of storage in its proper historical context. To do this she compares what storage communicates to archeologists, who interpret the significance of historical finds to the original participants. Hendon points out that storage has multiple uses and can imply many different things. Based on the context of their finds, archeologists can usually infer that storage meant some type of surplus and therefore could mean a variety of things: settled life, a horticulture based subsistence pattern, population growth, monumental architecture and social hierarchies. Hendon wants to show how people in their own time used and viewed storage. She focuses her discussion on a several specific locales, namely Mesoamerica, Neolithic Europe and the Trobriand Islands. The amount of storage and the way in which it was presented had much to do with the wealth and class of the homeowner. Traditionally lower classes conceal their storage in pits or other hidden areas of their homes and yards. In higher-class households, people were more obvious about their storage, displaying their accumulations in open view, usually freestanding sheds or prominent rooms within their homes. Storage does not necessarily show absolute wealth, but can show the potential for wealth. That is, it can show objects that will bring wealth to the owners. For example, Trobriand Islanders often display valuable yams, which will bring wealth only when they are exchanged. Besides the more obvious uses of storage, objects in storage can have extended meanings to the owner that may not be readily apparent. Hendon argues that hidden storage implies knowledge and memory, which equals a sort of power over others. This is to say, as Hendon describes it, the memory of a hidden object is a valuable thing. Exchange economies are as much about holding as they are about trading. Even though an object is out of circulation, e.g. buried in a pit, it can still be remembered and “used”. An object does not lose its value because its inaccessible, it can still serve an important symbolic purpose. Storage can carry out various functions and mean many things to an individual. Hendon uses this article to point out the various uses and values placed on storage that may not be appreciated and considered by modern anthropologists.

NATHANIEL MARSH Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Hendon, Julia. Having and Holding: Storage, Memory, Knowledge, and Social Relations. American Anthropologist 2000 Vol.102 (1): 42-53.

Julia Hendon’s article, argues that the definition of storage (putting aside and preserving items, food for later and continued use) should be expanded. She believes that storage can give much more info about people then what is currently believed. The way in which humans store their food, tools, and even the way they bury their dead can enlighten anthropologists today about how “groups construct identity, remember, and control knowledge as part of a moral economy” (pp.42).

Hendon gives many examples to prove her points. She explores whether an archaeologist’s mutual knowledge would be the similar to the people that they are studying. She uses such examples as the “Burned House Horizon” and Mayan storage to illustrate that the locale of everyday activities and garbage disposal may have symbolic meaning and thus tell about social relations. Hendon continues on and argues that storage space can also show evidence of social status, as shown by Mesoamerican storage. Symbolism of social relations she says can also be seen in maize storage. Maize storage not only holds grain but also shows the ties within a family, which she compares to Trobriand yam houses. She refutes the idea that storage belongs to “separate spheres of society” (pp. 50 ) which many archaeologists hold true. Much more can be gleaned by closely examining the way in which people store belongings.

The author supports her theories through examples in a clear fashion. Her arguments are quite convincing. Though sometimes she starts writing about a certain group of people then suddenly discussing another group making it easy to forget whom she was talking about.

RHIANNE MCKAY University of Alberta (Heather Young Leslie)

Hendon, Julia A. Having and Holding: Storage, Memory, Knowledge, and Social Relations.American Anthropologist March, 2000 Vol. 102(1): 42-53.

In this article, Hendon explores whether considering storage as a part of mutual knowledge may help us in understanding the links between material culture and constructed space, on one hand, and social interaction and moral authority, on the other. Using Giddens’ concept of mutual knowledge as the body of knowledge that members of a group assume they share, which enables social interaction, she explores the connections between storage, knowledge, and memory. Drawing on archaeological and ethnographic evidence from a wide range of societies, she argues that storage is a way in which groups construct and negotiate their identity, memory and knowledge. She claims that ritual storage and utilitarian storage are linked, and that both are tied to the moral economy of a society.

Hendon claims that storage is a situated practice, and decisions about what and where to store things are informed with symbolic meaning. She argues that storage is part of the complex interaction between humans and constructed space, which constructs and reflects social relations. She cites archaeological evidence from Mesoamerica of elites storing things inside of the house, whereas people with less political power would store things in pits outside of the house, visible to others. This reflects that people of lower status were concerned about the appropriate type of display, while elites may have been reinforcing their power by controlling what is visible. The mutual knowledge of storage is important because it reinforces roles and values in a society. Since people may be evaluated on the basis of their storage, storage is tied to the creation of moral systems.

Hendon goes on to discuss hidden storage, objects that are intentionally hidden from view. Hendon argues that hidden things, such as burials and caches, are not a completely separate category from storage. Hidden storage highlights the unequal access to knowledge. One example of hidden storage is at an Olmec site in Mexico, where 16 stone figurines were covered in sand and hidden by a floor. At a later point the occupants put holes in the floor, showing that they had knowledge about what was hidden and where it was. When items are hidden their memory becomes important. The items associated with burials and caches, and the fact that they are hidden, means that they are a way in which people create and manage memory and their contribution to mutual knowledge.

Hendon is arguing for the importance of examining storage as a part of the mutual knowledge of the people being studied. She claims that storage is important because it is a way in which groups display and reflect upon their identities and memory. It is also a space for social interactions that construct the moral systems in which people live.

OWEN ANDERSON Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Hirschkind, Lynn. Sal/Manteca/Panela: Ethnoveterinary Practice in Highland Ecuador. American Anthropologist June, 2000. Vol. 102 (2):290-302.

In this article Hirschkind analyzes the feeding of ‘salt balls’ (a mixture of salt, lard and raw sugar) to cattle by farmers in the southern Ecuadorian highlands. The salt balls provide nutritional gain for the cattle and conceptual gain for the owners, as cows and other domestic animals are treated similar to humans, and are thought to have similar human needs and desires. What’s more, Hirschkind says, is that it is their only choice in an economically poor and environmentally unstable environment.

Hirschkind divides her analysis into explicit reasons and implicit reasons that the Ecuadorian farmers have for feeding salt balls to the cattle. Both practices, she says, join in determining the actual practice of raising the animals.

Cattle are the most valuable commodity for these people, mostly for the fresh cheese that is produced. Milk provides the foundation of the weekly budget. However, bulls also plow fields, and haul firewood and other heavy items for construction.

Explicitly they feed cattle salt balls because they lack the means, information and capitol for ‘modern’ medicine inputs. Thus they opt for the lower cost, more care-rich procedures. These procedures are generally called estimado el ganado, or esteeming one’s cattle. With the salt balls, the farmers invest to keep the cattle healthy and to produce more milk and meat.

Also with the salt balls, the farmers attempt to ‘fatten’ the cattle, meaning to simply make the cattle healthy and meaty. Finally, the farmers try to keep a balance between hot and cold body humors. This anthropomorphism reflects human conditions being applied to animals and more implicit beliefs about the nature of livestock.

Implicitly, there is a base connection between man and livestock. This entails similar curing principles for livestock as for man, especially with cattle. As people also need salt, sugar and lard as part of the diet, part of this implicit connection lies in the salt balls. “By feeding salt balls to cattle, farmers implicitly acknowledge the fundamental similarities in nutritional requirements between people and cattle.” However, for cattle they are fed the morsels raw. This is in conjunction with the implicit belief that livestock, in contrast with people, have a ‘rawness’ to them that corresponds with the raw food they eat.

Salt is a nutritional and cultural necessity for human existence. Amazon peoples who did not eat salt were considered savages, and salt became a symbolic staple of civilization. By extension salt is necessary for cattle ‘civilization.’ Thus salt for both symbolizes civilization, culture and domesticity.

Fattening and cleansing are two reasons for feeding salt balls to cattle, and they have both implicit and explicit interpretations by the farmers. Without any other resources, by believing that cattle are controlled by the same forces that act on humans, the Ecuadorian farmers can affirm the maintenance of the health of the cattle as they do their own health.

MICHAEL SEVERINO Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Hirschkind, Linda. Sal/Manteca/Panela: Ethnoveterinary Practice in Highland Ecuador.American Anthropologist. June, 2000 Vol 102(2):290-302.

In this article Linda Hirschkind analyzes the feeding of salt, lard, and raw sugar balls to cattle in the south Ecuadorian Highlands. These salt balls provide nutritional sustenance to cattle. Domestic animals are thought to share many human characteristics, needs, and desires. Cattle are the most valuable type of domestic animal most Ecuadorian farmers own. The loss of one is a grave matter. By defining cattle as vulnerable yet responsive to the same medical treatments that apply to humans, owners may hope to exercise some control over the destiny of their animals. The feeding of salt balls affirms that what is good for humans is good for cattle. It is thought that with this principle in mind cattle could be treated under the same medical practices as humans.

Hirschkind explains this study from two complememtary perspectives. One perspective is based on the explicit and practical ideas of animal nutritional needs and management. Explicit understandings are logical interpretations of cattle management and refer to concrete experience, practice, and take into account environmental, economic, and social conditions. Economic factors at the local, regional, and national levels all have a powerful influence on cattle raising and farming options. Prices, demand, availability, and credit all play a role in determining what and how much is produced. Economic conditions are continually adjusting the farming system. The other perspective is intuitive and relates to conceptual models of what an animals is and how productive an animal can be in the context of available economic resources. Implict understandings are self-evident amongst farmers and an explanation is not needed. Implict understandings include are based on the ideas that animals characteristics in turn are modeled on human characteristics and social relations.

In sum salt feeding symbolizes civilization, culture, and domesticity for the Ecuadorians. Its lack signifies wilderness, savagery, and disorder. Economic reasons are usually given for feeding or not feeding salt balls with economic status affecting geographic location and thus affecting salt ball feeding. The decision to feed expensive salt balls is made under the same pretext as the decision to use expensive medical care on unhealthy humans. Both are only done as a last resort and an outlay of cash for medicine on cows or humans is only done after local remedies have been tried and have failed. Thus in choosing or not choosing to feed salt balls, cattle are like humans: they are treated as a kind of family member because they are regarded as family.

KATHERINE H. CASHWELL Davidson College (Eriberto P. Lozada Jr.)

Hollan, Douglas. Constructivist Models of Mind, Contemporary Psychoanalysis, and the Development of Culture Theory. American Anthropologist September, 2000 Vol. 102(3):538-550.

In this article Douglas Hollan discusses some of the various models of the mind and the implications such theories have on culture theory. He reminds us that our assumptions on how people learn, think, and are motivated shape our conceptualizations of culture.

He begins by discussing how recent research on the organization of cognitive and emotional process has been integrated into the way we think about human consciousness and subjectivity. In this section, Hollan also discusses why these newer conceptualizations are helpful for picking apart a wide range of clinical and ethnographic concepts. He notes that this theory does not lead to simplistic explanations of psychological experience, nor does it over-generalize the importance of either external or internal concepts. Rather it challenges us to look at each case to understand how and to what degree the mind is both the creator and the product.

In the second part of the paper Hollan talks about the possible implications of the constructivist model of the mind for the development of culture theory. He feels that the fluidity and complexity of the mind should be represented in theories of culture because they are the psychological states that underlie the cultural process. The contemporary models of the mind become helpful to cultural theorists because they focus our attention on the text behind what is learned.

Hollan concludes by discussing the limiting factors of cultural and psychological fluidity and proposes “person-centered ethnography as one of the methods by which we can explore the complex relations among culture, mind, and behavior” (538). He reminds us that theories must account for, not explain away, the complexity and dynamics of the human actor.

JULIA E. MACKESSON Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Hollan, Douglas. Constructivist Models of Mind, Contemporary Psychoanalysis, and the Development of Culture Theory. American Anthropologist September, 2000 Vol. 102(3): 538-550.

In this article, Hollan examines emerging constructivist models of the mind and their implications for culture theory. He argues that assumptions about the development of the mind influence the way we conceptualize the relationship between culture and human behavior. The recent constructivist psychoanalytical models show fluidity of the mind, implying the ways in which individuals enact cultural processes are similarly dynamic. He proposes that person-centered ethnography, which studies the “phenomenolical world and culturally constituted behavioral environment of actors through the use of extensive, open-ended interviews,” may be an effective way to explore the relationship between the mind of the subjective self, culture and behavior (Hellon 2000, 547).

According to the constructivist model of the mind, consciousness must be constructed from our various interactions with the world. This view allows for the existence of divisions of consciousness, which may serve a positive role in dealing with needs or thoughts that may be inexpressible. Hollan uses the example of spirit possession in which suppressed and conflicting knowledge in a community can be publicly voiced. The model also allows the conceptualization of the many ways people may not know their own motivations or intentions. That is to say that forgotten events are not necessarily repressed—it may be that resources provided by the individual’s culture might not provide ways to remember those things. Another advantage Hellon sees in this model is that unconscious personas that may arise, like in spirit possession, are viewed as highly organized and imbued with meaning—they are not senseless acts.

Hellon then explores the possible implications of this constructivist model on culture theory. He argues that people are not simply empty vehicles that accept cultural values and attitudes without question. Rather, people have varying self states, consciousness and subjectivity, so people do not internalize culture in that same way. Culture, then is constantly being changed and modified. Thus, cultural values may be accepted or rejected in different ways depending on the individual. Hellon gives the example of scarification among Toraja men in Indonesia. Through examples of four Toraja men he shows that scarification had a different meaning for each man, showing that even apparently standardized cultural practices are internalized differently depending on the individual. Hellon argues that is this subjectivity potential that allows populations to adapt quickly and efficiently to a number of different circumstances.

Hellon believes that person-centered ethnography is a method by which the subjectivity of an individual can be explored with relation to mind, behavior and culture. He feels the complex and fluid constructivist model of the mind shows the importance of looking at how an individual both shapes and is shaped by their experiences with the world.

OWEN ANDERSON Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Holliday, Trenton W. Evolution at the Crossroads: Modern Human Emergence in Western Asia. American Anthropologist March, 2000 Vol.102(1):54-68

The Levant region of Western Asia has long been one of controversy regarding the evolution of modern humans. At one point it was thought that the Neandertal finds of this region predated the more anatomically modern specimens, which allows for the possibility that the modern humans evolved from the Neandertal populations. However, more advanced dating methods now show that the more modern looking hominids from Qafzeh and Skhul actually predate the Neandertals of Amud and Kebara. This supports three different theories. First, that Neandertals are not ancestral to modern humans and that the different finds represent biologically distinct lineages that could not interbreed., but did occupy the region at the same time. Another possible theory is that the finds represent one, highly variable population of pre-modern hominids. The last theory is that the populations were biologically distinct and that they occupied the region at different times.

Body shape is largely genetically controlled and can be approximated from the skeletal material, so in order to determine how distinct the populations are Holliday chooses to examine the body proportions and body shape that can be seen in skeletal material. If the replacement hypothesis of two biologically and temporally distinct populations, with relatively recent human origins, is true, then the skeletal evidence should show distinct groups with ecogeographical patterning on the more human specimens in keeping with the tropical conditions of Africa. There is evidence to show that climatic selection on body form is a slow process, so it is reasonable to assume that these hominids would retain the tropical proportions for some time before adapting to the colder, drier climate of the Levant.

After taking measurements from the various hominid fossils of this region Holliday finds that the Neandertal have a body shape more adapted to the cold while the hominids from Qafzeh and Skhul seem to be more tropically adapted, although it is unclear if these hominids are more similar to sub-Saharan or Northern Africans. All told, the differences in body shape are of a magnitude to suggest that the Qafzeh-Skhul hominids are a distinct population. This evidence supports the Replacement model and the two-population model, but does not allow for the hypothesis of local genetic continuity. Also, the data lend further support to African, not Asian origins for modern humans.

SARAH MULLEN Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Holliday, Trenton W. Evolution at the Crossroads: Modern Human Emergence in Western Asia. American Anthropologist March, 2000 Vol.102(1):54-65.

In this article, paleoanthropologist Trenton Holliday examines postcranial measures in an attempt to resolve the two theories of Upper Pleistocene human evolution in Western Asia. In the Levant, where the continental landmasses of Asia, Africa, and Europe meet, hominids were taken from the Israeli sites of Qafzeh and Skuhl and from sites such as Amud, Kebara, and Tabun. The hominids from the former site are historically considered anatomically modern, while those from the latter are widely accepted as “Neandertal” in morphology. Recent scientific dating methods, however, indicate that remains from Amud and Kebara are 30,000 to 40,000 years younger than Qafzeh-Skuhl hominids.

Two evolutionary scenarios emerge from this data. The first maintains that these two seemingly morphologically distinct populations are actually a single, highly variable population. This “Multiregional Evolution” model contrasts with the “Replacement” model of modern human origins, which argues that the two types of hominids occupied the region at different times. Previous research only considered cranial measurements, but the author believes postcranial morphology can be used to assess the modernity of the specimens. Individuals with longer, lower, and more robust crania, referred to as “archaic,” are not automatically linked with tropical body proportions, in the same way modern human body shape does not necessarily follow a less robust, more rounded crania.

Multiregional Evolution predicts that those individuals craniometrically more “modern” will consistently have a different body shape from those considered “Neandertals.” The Replacement model expects modern humans in the Levant to exhibit tropically adapted body proportions, assuming Africa is the center of modern human origins. Holliday determined Qafzeh-Skuhl hominids to be more tropically adapted, characterized by smaller heads and longer limb segments. Cranio-facial and postcranial morphology show Qafzeh-Skuhl hominids are similar to sub-Saharan Africans. Neandertals, on the other hand, display a cold-adapted physique of larger heads and shorter limb segments. These results support the Replacement theory more than the Multiregional Evolution theory.

The early dates of Qafzeh-Skuhl hominids lead to speculation that modern humans emerged from Southwest Asia—not Africa. This possibility is countered by the African-like attributes of these remains, which strongly suggests equatorial Africa is, indeed, modern humans’ birthplace. Holliday cannot completely prove whether modern humans originate in Asia or Africa; however, he concludes that his analyses require a reconsideration of modern humanity’s presumed center of origin.

HEATHER BUESSELER Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Kahn, Miriam. Tahiti Intertwined: Ancestral Land, Tourist Postcard, and Nuclear Test Site. American Anthropologist March, 2000 Vol. 102 (1):7-26.

This article is primarily concerned with the application of ideas derived from Foucault, Lefebvre, and Soja about thirdspace and how they relate to an understanding of “Tahiti” as a complex constructed place. Kahn believes that the idea of “place” has been neglected for much of anthropology’s history. Place is no longer simply understood from only one perspective – places are socially imagined, connected, sung, narrated, and mapped, and are thus internally constructed and negotiated. Kahn views Tahiti as a “habitat of social practices,” – a complex lived space constructed from within historical and spatial dimensions.

Tahiti is often viewed as a paradise, a type of heaven on earth. Since the onslaught of French colonization, the colonial powers have propagated a seductive, exotic image of Tahiti, primarily to enhance and consolidate their economic and political power. The inherent constructed nature of these images served French colonial interests and continues to enforce the status quo. The “space” of Tahiti is locally inhabited yet defined and dominated by global politics. This inherently is in conflict with the indigenous view of Tahiti. For Tahitians, a sense of place is firmly rooted in the relationship to the land. Land, not the ocean or the beaches, is the most valuable commodity in Tahiti.

Romantic artists (such as Gauguin and Boullaire) have always been seduced by Tahiti through the colonial export of the idyllic imagery of an exotic paradise. When one thinks of Tahiti, beautiful beach scenes come to mind rather than indigenous Tahitians growing taro. In the 1960s, tourism as a industry began to develop. Alluring images of an exotic Tahiti became common within the tourism industry, and the Office of Tourism monopolized the production of images for distribution outside Tahiti. France also began to develop French Polynesia as a new nuclear testing site, and with this development came a massive economic infusion – it resulted in an increased colonial dependency and artificial prosperity.

With the resumption of nuclear testing on September 6, 1995, after a three year hiatus, the idyllic image of Tahiti was shattered. A record number of protesters took to the streets, and the international media were there to capture the image of the real, unrefined Tahiti. The tourist industry foundered momentarily, and the government of Tahiti urged calm in order to revive the slowing tourist industry. Thus, the image of Tahiti as a place was in constant flux, shifting between colonial and indigenous visions. The local Tahitian perspective and the global economic agenda are not separate, but rather independent realms operating in a “constant, daily, intertwined dialogue.” Tahiti as a thirdspace emerges at the junction of worldwide politics, the global economy, mass media, and the daily life of indigenous Tahitians. Concluding, Kahn argues that space can no longer be seen as a fixed entity, explainable from only one viewpoint. Tahiti is a land of overlapping, contradictory intertwined landscapes.

MICHAEL BOBICK Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Kahn, Miriam. Tahiti Intertwined: Ancestral Land, Tourist Postcard and Nuclear Test Site. American Anthropologist March 2000 Vol. 102 (1): 7-26.

Miriam Kahn uses her fieldwork in Tahiti (a French colony also known as French Polynesia) to suggest that anthropology’s concern for space and “place making” would benefit from the concept of “thirdspace,” which was originally articulated by Henri Lefebvre and then expanded by scholars like Michel Foucault and Edward Soja. Firstspace is physical, perceived space, while secondspace is mental, conceived space. Thirdspace exists beyond these dualisms to form lived or social space. She writes against ethnographies that turned space into a “static physical backdrop” and seeks to assist in the creation of a coherent theory of space that thus far has been elusive.

Kahn examines three primary forces that shape notions of space in Tahiti: 1) the tourist imagination manifested in postcards, 2) the local response to unwelcome nuclear testing and 3) local conceptions of and relationships with the land. She traces prevalent images of Tahiti and its “exotic” women found in the postcard industry and tourist brochures back to 18th and 19th century art and literature produced during colonization. She contrasts these idyllic representations with the turbulent images the media captured during the widespread protests that erupted after the French government decided to resume nuclear bomb testing on one of the islands. She suggests that the agentive Tahitians rioted because the decision violated their nurturing, reciprocal relationship with the land, which she suggests is best exemplified by the practice of mothers burying their babies’ placenta in the ground. She argues that these three contradictory forces should not be understood separately, but jointly in the complex and often ambiguous thirdspace of “Tahiti intertwined.”

An underlying theme of her argument is that space is political; Kahn evokes Foucault when she asserts that the tracing of the history of space is the tracing of the history of knowledge and power. She locates this power not only in discourse, but in concrete practices of the French government. Tahiti’s relationship with France means that her case study necessarily complicates discussions of postcolonialism. Although the current global era has been characterized as being postcolonial, Tahiti remains an official colony of France, both politically and economically controlled by the motherland. The political nature of space, however, extends beyond the colonial atmosphere to include the choices that are made about the representation of Tahiti and its people.

JESSICA M. SMITH Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Kahn, Miriam. Tahiti Intertwined: Ancestral Land, Tourist Postcard, and Nuclear Test Sites.American Anthropologist March 2000 Vol.102(1):7-26.

Kahn attempts to understand social action in Tahiti by expanding on ideas of social thirdspace. Tahiti has a long history of colonial interaction both in the forms of tourism and nuclear testing. These outside influences have a profound effect on the social actions of Tahitians as well as the construction of space as a social discourse.

Kahn works through the various aspects of Tahitian life that add to this discourse, which constructs Tahitian society. In one respect, the Tahitian people have a very strong connection to the land. This is played out and reinforced through traditions, rites, and practices. For over 200 years though, tourism has been an inseparable aspect of Tahitian life. The tourist industry conveys a different image of Tahiti throughout the world. This image emphasizes white sand beaches, beautiful green water, and beautiful, scantily clad Tahitian women. In addition, France transferred its nuclear testing sites to Tahiti in the 1960’s. This has been the source of widespread social protest and hysteria at different points in Tahitian history. The global media has, in times of protest, portrayed a different picture of Tahiti as a dangerous place prone to riots and violence. The interaction of these three factors has lead to the modern construction of social space in Tahiti from not only a global perspective, but a Tahitian perspective as well.

RYAN G. CARVALHO Davidson College (Eriberto P. Lozada Jr.)

Kaufman, Sharon R. In the Shadow of “Death with Dignity”: Medicine and Cultural Quandaries of the Vegetative State. American Anthropologist March, 2000 Vol. 102(1):69-83.

Sharon Kaufman explores the paradoxical problems caused by the blurring of the concepts of “nature” and “culture” in Western Medicine. To illustrate this point she tells us the stories of two patients that are in the “persistent vegetative state”. She explore how the patients “live” without higher consciousness when medical knowledge can no longer help, only sustain. The hospital units where they exist are a distinct part of western cultural tradition, where economics, the meaning of life and death, and conceptions of need, rights, and autonomy all converge and leave us with a moral quandary and a political issue.

Medical technology has blurred our conception of the naturalness of death, for both life and death can be prolonged almost indefinitely. Kaufman notes that even medical science has not been able to categorize the “gray area” between complete unconsciousness and partial awareness. The health care workers that she interviewed said that the patients seemed to have “something”, some “human quality”, but they also agreed that this is not what they would want for themselves. The people in the facility she studies, for the most part, have families/spokespeople who were forced to make a moral choice about something that does not fit well in our culture. Kaufman writes about how the families were confronted by having to allow someone to die, to actively end their lives. Nature has been made unnatural, living made cruel. In one case this unnatural state of being is now “natural” and better than nothing, better then death. In another case, the family decides that this is not what the patient would have wanted and they end the “unnatural” medical treatments and allow the patient to die.

It is in this place where technology meets medical practice and imperatives that the blurring of the line between nature as a thing and nature as a construct of culture is the most visible. These patients live in a permanent state of liminality, with death as their only recourse to a defined state of being. They are a new type of cultural life form, presenting a challenge for understanding the place of culture in nature and of nature in our definition of culture.

JULIA E. MACKESSON Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Kaufman, Sharon. In the Shadow of “Death with Dignity”: Medicine and Cultural quandaries of the Vegetative State. American Anthropologist March 2000 Vol 102(1):69-82.

In her research Kaufam examines persistent vegetative state (PVS) and its relation to medical practices as sites of technological development and cultural production. Throughout her article she questions the societal and philosophical implications of maintaining “life” artificially and exposes the constructed conceptions of “nature” and “normal” in a medical setting. She introduces larger debates of identity and subjectivity, using situations where a patient is in PVS to expand of the issues of choice and the boundaries between life and death. Kaufman uses a largely postmodern approach to consider the bio-ethics of medical standards, technological processes and moral codes using fieldwork to elucidate concerns about the nature image of bodily normalcy is constructed.

Kaufman conducted her research in a California clinic that had over fifty PVS patients. She uses numerous interviews with staff and family members, as well as the cases of two individual patients to illustrate her article. One if these examples is a woman who is kept in a state of PVS through the wishes of her husband; she is described as a comatose person, not maintaining life on her own, yet keeping her personhood. The other case was a woman who had legally arranged not to be kept in PVS and is not infused with the same personhood as the first woman; Kaufman argues that the second woman is endowed with choice by her husband and the staff; while in the second case the agency of choice rests with the medial staff and the family. She frames the problem in terms of decision making-and subjectivity.

The medical condition of PVS is a poorly defined term that is inconsistently applied by health care professionals. Medical personnel in the clinic wanted to give the “best possible care” regardless of their personal feelings and moral questioning. Kaufman ascribes these standards of care, or norms, to technological developments, which change the view of bodily normalcy. While Kaufman uses the ideas of liminality to describe PVS, she discusses the connotations of the “betwixt and between” state as not appropriate for people in PVS because there is little or no possibility of moving out of the state towards recovery. Kaufman sees in this hotly debated issue the opposition of “culture” and “nature” playing out in yet another arena. The choices and contemporary options continually define the societal standards of normality for medical care and health.

EMILY OMURA ( Macalester College ) Karen Nakamura

Kaufman, Sharon R. In the Shadow of “Death with Dignity”: Medicine and Cultural Quandaries of the Vegetative State. American Anthropologist March 2000 Vol.102(1):69-83.

Kaufman addresses problems surrounding the “persistent vegetative state” (PVS) and the use of technological advances like artificial respirators in shaping modern conceptions of life and death. Her ethnographic work at a hospital for patients whose brains had ceased to function gave her the chance to analyze modern society’s notions of personhood, the boundary between life and death, and what constitutes a valuable life in relation to modern practices to keep brain-dead patients alive.

Issues concerning cultural ideas of death, personhood, and the vegetative state were addressed through interviews with hospital staff and stories of patients in the hospital ward. She found that the moral questions surrounding the vegetative state were not a topic of concern for family members of patients or staff at the hospital because the condition is normalized through daily routine and justified by goals of modern medicine to preserve life. Kaufman’s objective of the article is not to draw conclusions about moral issues concerning patients in vegetative states, but to raise questions concerning the cultural disturbances caused by new technologies capable of sustaining life beyond the natural state. The state of patients at the hospital raise new concerns about how medicine and new technology should be used and popular distress over such issues will help ensure that these questions be answered.

JULIE F. ROWELL Davidson College (Eriberto P. Lozada Jr.)

Keating, Elizabeth. Moments of Hierarchy: Constructing Social Stratification by Means of Language, Food, Space and the Body in Pohnpei, Micronesia. American Anthropologist June, 2000 Vol. 102(2): 303-320.

In this article Keating examines the many ways in which social ranks are expressed and constructed in Pohnpeian society, based on the semiotic aspects of body, space, language, and food. These various types of expression are not just used singularly, but simultaneously and sometimes in contradiction. Keating attempts to show how various expressions of status compete for ultimate conclusiveness.

First Keating discusses the primary theoretical background from sources such as Kant, Sapir, Bordieu, and Duranti. She argues that that language, body movement, spatial relations, and the sharing of food are all indexical of status and overall hierarchy. She then moves to a description of the history of hierarchical systems in Pohnpei and in the Pacific in general as a basis for understanding how Pohnpeians view hierarchy as part of their basic social make-up. She then describes the various uses of natural and constructed spaces in defining relative status, based on the relative positions of people within the space.

Feasts in general are the basis for this discussion, first in relation to the ranked spaces that they create and then in relation to food that is shared at such feasts. The posture of the body is also discussed as a marker of status. Language and grammatical structures that mark status are described in general. Keating then continues by discussing ways in which language and the other markers of status (food, body and spatial location) are used as additive or as subtractive in contradiction to these other markers. In general, Keating shows how these various markers can be combined or contrasted to create and express status and position within the hierarchy.

Keating concludes by discussing how special feasts for installing an individual with a title specifically indicative of a certain rank are particularly poignant moments in the construction of hierarchy, as they are acted out with relation to body, food, space and language within the moment of the title-giving feast. They are also continuously present thereafter, as statuses are thus directly marked with the naming of a rank and title.

GWENDOLYN KELLY Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Keating, Elizabeth. Moments of Hierarchy: Constructing Social Stratification by Means of Language, Food, Space, and the Body in Pohnpei, Micronesia. American Anthropologist, June 2000 Vol.102 (2): 303-320.

This article explores the complexity of the social hierarchy in matrilineal Pohnpei, Micronesia. The majority of classification is developed through physical and sensory semiotics. Keating explores these concepts focusing on the use of language, distribution and consumption of food, horizontal and vertical physical space, and the placement of the body. This article differs from other constructions of social hierarchies in that the author attributes both additive and contradictory sign interpretations, which actively produce and negotiate the social hierarchy. Keating explores the ways in which hierarchy is created and symbolized in Pohnpei society through the use of language, food distribution, spatial relations, and the additive and contradictory interpretation of signs.

Every person in Pohnpei holds a gender specific title. A man’s title is usually based upon the land that he holds or the land that he works; a woman’s title is the feminine counterpart of her husband’s. Titles are the most evident and reaffirming aspect of the social hierarchy and thus are very important. It is “…a composite, highly portable insignia used in everyday interactions between people across contexts”(Keating 313). A person is continually addressed and categorized by their title everyday, in every interaction. A person’s status is relayed through their title and this status is reaffirmed through language use and the spatial location of the body. Differences in hierarchical levels can be seen in one’s, “…seating position, size of food shares, sequence of food and kava serving, title, entry to structure, language, and facing relations …”(Keating 308). The higher the rank of a person, the sooner they will enter a feast through a specially designated door and they will sit at the front of the room which is considered horizontally superior. They will also receive a larger portion of the best (or “highest”) food and the majority of the kava. They are addressed by specific pronouns and are bowed to by people of lower echelon.

The contradiction of these signs is also very important in the hierarchical construction and the maintenance of social order. “[T]he idea of social difference in Pohnpei is built not only out of additive sign systems but also out of contradictory signals or subtractive signs. Participants negotiate the meaning of often oppositional images to create a local idea of inequality”(Keating 311). For example, a person can be referred verbally on a low level while physically occupying a high spatial position. This is possible because of the multiplicity of signs and interpretations that contribute to the creation of hierarchical rank.


Keating, Elizabeth. Moments of Hierarchy: Constructing Social Stratification by Means of Language, Food, Space, and the Body in Pohnpei, Micronesia. American Anthropologist June, 2000 Vol. 102(2): 3003-331.

Elizabeth Keating examines how the body, food, space, and language create and reinforce ideas of hierarchy in Pohnpei, Micronesia. Although all of the aforementioned elements combine to legitimate social stratification during feasts, Keating also analyzes how sometimes these signs contradict each other. Keating’s work focused on the chiefdom of Madollhenihmw.

Space signifies status by determining where people are located during a feast. The leaders of the community are elevated. They usually sit in metal chairs while others sit on the ground. The size of the nahs or feast house also serves to stratify society with the most important members owning the largest nahs. The nahs is a U-shaped structure, and the chief of a society sits against the back wall. The other guests rank can be determined by how far away they are seated from the chief.

During a feast, food, which is taken away from the feast, is distributed to all the guests. The amount and quality of the food given is established based on societal rankings. Those with the highest ranks receive the most and finest parcels of food. This distributive method ensures that the most important members of society are able to maintain a large body size, which is a further symbol of societal significance.

Language also denotes social status. For most verbs there are three forms. One is used when referring to a person of high status, another for a person of low status, and a third for objects which are not associated with a status. Titles are also important status markers. A critical event in every child’s life is when they are given a title. This marks their formal entrance into society. Once they are given a title they will always be referred to by that title. This allows members of the society to make status distinctions upon meeting any new person by learning their title.

While feasting some of the elements that signify status contradict each other. Members of high status often refer to themselves in the form of low status. This is a sign of humbleness and is praised. Also, the people serving the food occupy a higher spatial position than the chief despite being of lower status.

Keating concludes that even when signs of status disagree with each other they still act to reinforce stratification. They do so by drawing attention to the contradiction and recognizing it as an abnormality.

WARREN E. CHRISTIAN Davidson College (Eriberto P. Lozada Jr.)

Kus, Susan and Victor Raharijaona. House to Palace, Village to State: Scaling up Architecture and Ideology. American Anthropologist March, 2000 Vol. 102(1): 98-113.

In this article Kus and Raharijaona set out to discuss how state society in Merina District, Madagascar developed through the ideological positioning of the royal family, in which they used the potent symbol of the common house as a metaphor for the ruler. The physical structures and layout of this house became the basis for the architectural projects of rulers in creating their homes and palaces.

The article starts out discussing the symbolic significance of the traditional Merina house, the specific orientations around the center, the andry, or the center pillar around which the house is built. This is part of what Kus and Raharijaona call the local knowledge of the people, and the symbolic significance of this pillar is often referred to in everyday life. It is a metaphor for the father and for the center of the cosmos. This central pillar is the point from which distinctions about space are made and which is the point of reference for these abstract divisions of space. The metaphors of this central pillar are thus extended to the ruler, as the patron, which comes from the original concept of the pillar as father-like because one leans on it for support. The house of the ruler and later the palace are also based on this common architecture, and Kus and Raharijaona claim they are meant to represent the ultimate manifestation of the orders of space and divisions. Thus the capital and palace are metaphorically linked with the axis mundi, and are identified as the center of the realm and the cosmos.

The article then discusses what Kus and Raharijaona consider to be the significance of this act in making a state with a valid authority. The construction of palace (house) and kingdom (cosmos) through the building of a traditional house common to all residents of the region is seen as significant in terms of constructing an ideology of legitimacy, which ultimately is based on the similarity between people and ruler. The authors conclude by looking at the costs of this ideological project in terms of the thousands of lives lost, in one instance, in corvée labor to a queen who wanted to have the largest ever pillar in her palace.

GWENDOLYN KELLY Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Kus, Susan and Victor Raharijaona. House to Palace, Village to State: Scaling Up Architecture and Ideology. American Anthropologist March, 2000 Vol.102 (1): 98-113.

This paper examines the complex relationship between traditional architecture and the development of the state in the Merina culture of central Madagascar. Susan Kus and Victor Raharijaona trace the replication of symbols from villagers’ homes to noble palaces. Incorporating post-Structuralism’s ideas about the roles of the sacred and the common in constructing worldview, the authors also show how oral tradition and ritual carried such symbols through the emergence of cities and the transition from local culture to sovereign state.

Kus and Raharijaona build their argument around the principles of Merina architecture, which is characterized by the ritual placement of symbols. Drawing from Eliade’s theory of the axis mundi, the authors claim that direction is of extreme ritual importance in the Merina home, and the point of reference is a single central pillar, called the andry. From the andry, members of the household can orient themselves in respectful positions for meals, prayer, and other ritual activities. Understanding of such symbolic features and their functions, especially by ritual specialists called mpanandro, is considered local knowledge. Beginning in the 16th century, the state utilized such local knowledge to develop itself as both the protector of Merina people and land, and as the progenitor of national identity. Kus and Raharijaona follow the establishment of the state through folktales of the early nobility and find that the metaphor of the andry links the unification of a peaceful state around a central capital with the central pillar of the rural home.

The folktales that recount the founding of the Merina state show how the nobility used shared local knowledge to impress state ideology upon an emergent nation, thereby establishing its power. According to Kus and Raharijaona, this was possible because the state intentionally incorporated the local understanding of the cosmos into its organization and architecture.

ELIZABETH TULL Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

LeVine, Robert A. John W. M. Whiting(1908-1999). American Anthropologist. March 2000 Vol.102(1):135-138.

John Wesley Mayhew Whiting died at home on May13, 1999, on Martha’s Vineyard where he spent most of his life. During his more than 30 years at Harvard, Whiting helped found contemporary psychological anthropology, and was particularly noted for his ease in both psychology and anthropology as disciplines. He was a major figure in the psychology of child development. Recently, his contributions to the field were compiled in Culture and Human Development: The Selected Papers of John Whiting.

Whiting was born and grew up on Martha’s Vineyard. He studied at Phillips Academy, Andover, and Yale. At Yale he started graduate work in anthropology and worked under George Peter Murdock. He also studied with Edward Sapir and John Dollard, and did his dissertation work with the Kwoma of the Sepik region of New Guinea. He continued on to do postdoctoral work at Yale, and worked with Malinowski who was visiting at the time. It was at this time that he developed an interest in psychology and began to study the subject. Whiting also worked with Mudock on the Human Relations Area Files.

In 1947, Whiting left Yale to work with Robert R. Sears at the Iowa Child Welfare Research Station. When Sears left to found the Laboratory of Human Development at Harvard, he took Whiting with him, and Whiting succeeded Sears as director of the laboratory in 1953. Whiting was committed to the study of child rearing in diverse cultures, and together with Irvin Child and William Lambert, he formed the Study of Socialization in Five Cultures (later expanded to six cultures). Beatrice Whiting, his wife, coordinated the field studies. The Whitings also addressed the ethnocentrisms common to child psychiatry and developmental psychology by providing evidence from other cultures. Whiting considered himself to be a materialist, and his studies examine the impact of ecological factors on household structure and child care practices. He was most interested in how a child internalizes the values of his cultural environment, particularly defense mechanisms such as guilt, and how children acquire gender and other identities.

As a teacher, Whiting’s greatest strengths came out in the informal setting. While he was not an extraordinary lecturer, he excelled at creating an environment of intellectual excitement for his students through the formation and critical evaluation of ideas in the group context. Whiting tried to embody the principles he believed in, not just to preach them, and so endeared himself to his students and colleagues. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1982, along with Beatrice Whiting, he received the American Anthropological Society’s Distinguished Contribution Award. He also was the first president of the Society for Psychological Anthropology and received its Career Contribution award, again with his wife, in 1989.

SARAH MULLEN Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Robert, LeVine A. Obituary: John W.M. Whiting (1908-1999). American Anthropologist 2000 Vol. 102 (1): 135-138.

On May 13, 1999, John Whiting died in his home in Chillmark, Massachusetts. In LeVine’s account of his career, he states that although Whiting was both an anthropologist and psychologist Whiting was an anthropologist at heart. He attended Yale University, completing his undergraduate work in 1931, and received his PhD in 1938. Throughout his career he worked at Yale, the Iowa Child Welfare Research Station and finally Harvard University as a professor in the Graduate School of education and in the departments of Anthropology and Social Relations. He worked with many important figures during his life such as Edward Sapir and Bronislaw Malinowski, as well as publishing several papers with his wife and collaborator Beatrice B. Whiting.

Whiting’s major interest and contribution to anthropology was the in the field of child development. The question that loomed largest in his mind was how a child internalizes the values of his or her culture. His dissertation, Becoming a Kwoma (1941), examined childhood experience in New Guinea using both learning theory and functional anthropology. Because of his varied background Whiting easily blended approaches in his work and blurred lines between the disciplines of psychology and anthropology. One of his goals, which remains unfinished, was to create a broad cross-cultural network of individuals studying child development within their own cultures, so that developmental psychologists could exchange data and compare results. Whiting had a materialist view of the world and constantly sought empirical evidence to support theory. For example, he made attempts to test Freudian theory using data from across a diverse range of cultures. The conjunction of developmental studies and cultural variability in Whitings work has proven very useful for contemporary studies in multiculturalism.

LeVine stresses Whiting’s unique approach to teaching and research as much as his academic accomplishments. Whiting always sought to test theory in a real life setting, combining his two academic fields of inquiry. Never one to create totalizing theories, he consistently took into account cultural specificity. In his teaching he encouraged free exchange of ideas and challenges to prevailing notions, creating a vibrant learning environment open to multiple perspectives.

NED MEINERS Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Murray, David A. B. Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Power and Powerlessness of Transnational Narratives among Gay Martinican Men. American Anthropologist June, 2000 Vol.102(2):261-270

David Murray draws from his fieldwork among self-identified gay Martinican men to expose the limits of the “global gay” identity. Murray’s subjects, as citizens of a French protectorate, spent substantial amounts of time in France while maintaining their homes in Martinique. Because of the difficulties encountered in these two locations (racism in France and homophobia in Martinique), these men imagined Quebec as a utopia for gay people of color. Murray believes that Quebec was chosen in part because he himself is Canadian and because the men had had positive experiences with Canadian tourists.

Murray’s subjects experienced Martinique as a homophobic and economically impoverished island. Murray outlined five strategies used by gay Martinican men to adapt to their society’s compulsory heterosexuality. The most popular was the strategy of nondisclosure of sexual difference and the pretense of heterosexuality. The least popular strategy was the public admission of one’s homosexuality. These men viewed France not only as a place of economic opportunity, but also as a cosmopolitan arena of gay acceptance.

Their actual experiences in France left them disappointed. While France offered economic improvement and the acceptance of gay European men, the men from Martinique were met with unequivocal racism. Feeling thus stranded between, “a rock and a hard place,” the men Murray interviewed selected Quebec (where they had never been) as an idyllic location for gay men of color.

Murray suggests that this idealization reflects the dual struggles of gay men in the African-pan-American diaspora. When exposed to foreign gay communities in which men are proudly “out,” Martinican homosexuals lament their native society. Yet the “global gay” identity, one constructed by white American and European gay men, is not available to third-world men.

BROOKE BOCAST Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Murray, David A. B. Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Power and Powerlessness of Transnational Narratives among Gay Martinican Men. American Anthropologist, 2000. Vol.102(2):261-270.

Murray’s article takes a functionalist approach to exploring how homosexuality is stigmatized in Martinique and how self-identified gay men work to deal with this stigma. Murray homosexual Martinican men use transnational narratives as a means of managing the problems being black, homosexual males in a small, former colony poses. These narratives tend, according to Murray, to contain African diasporic and racial undertones, idealize Quebecois society, and illustrate familiarity with the notion of the “global gay.”

Murray bases his argument on fieldwork he conducted with self-identified gay men in Martinique, acknowledging the potential effects his own identity as a white, Canadian, self-identified gay male may have had on the information he collected and his subsequent analysis of it. According to Murray, a man’s social status and the respect he is given in Martinique are largely determined by the strength of his desire for and conquest of female bodies. Homosexual men, who are often characterized as male bodies that display female desires, are thus seen as repulsive and dangerous. As Martinique is such a small island, homosexual men engage in a number of adaptive strategies such as masking, or acting heterosexually, which are designed to protect their own and their families’ reputations.

Due to the large amount of in- and out-migration on the island, Martinican gay men come in contact with many individuals from other countries who are also dealing with the stigma associated with homosexuality. These international homosexual populations, who tend to fit the image of gayness produced and represented in the media in countries that are purported to be more open to homosexuality, such as France, are what Murray refers to as the global gay. It is in part from these interactions with and awareness of the stigmatization experienced by other homosexuals that Martinican males are able to use narrative as an adaptive strategy. Murray explains this narrative as thinking about, discussing, and planning to leave Martinique for a place that is perceived to be more accepting of homosexuals.

Murray states that the men sharing these narratives talk at length about escaping to France, but tend to discover upon their escape that, while the gay community is less marginalized there, Martinican gay men must confront the additional issue of racism. This issue of race marginalizes and exoticizes Martinican men in France’s gay community and in French society at large. As a result of this double-marginalization in France and other European communities that are seen to be more accepting of homosexuals, many narratives idealize Quebec as a more accepting place for Martinican homosexuals. This idealization is due in part to the fact that Quebec was a French colony and in part because it is perceived to be more open-minded about issues of homosexuality and race.

Thus, according to Murray, self-identified homosexual men in Martinique are stuck between a rock and a hard place – between facing the challenges their homosexuality poses in Martinique and the challenges their race poses in other, more accepting homosexual communities. To deal with this, Martinican gay men use a series of adaptive strategies, which encompass discourses such as race and the notion of a global gay, to manage the challenges and threats homosexuality in Martinique poses.

LAURA M. GLAESER Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Murray, David A.B. Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Power and Powerlessness of Transnational Narratives Among Gay Martinican Men. American Anthropologist June, 2000 Vol. 102(2):261-270.

In this article Murray contextualizes the experiences of gay Martinican men within other narrated experiences of homosexuality within the African-pan-American diasporic discourse. He is interested in the pervasiveness of the “global gay” identity among the “gai” men of Martinique.

Murray argues that the experiences of “gai” Martinican men in Martinique, France, or Canada parallels the experiences of their homosexual, African-descended counterparts due to the centrality of race to their identity. He finds that the narratives of the “gai” men in Martinique reveal an awareness and idealized view of other societies with more tolerance of homosexuality, especially Quebec. He also notes that while there is an awareness of the “global gay” identity in Martinique, there is culturally based resistance to outward assertion of homosexuality.

Murray combines testimonials from his interviews with historical and current trends in the acceptance of homosexuality globally, to explore the effects of the “double marginality” of “gai” Martinican men. The author clearly evaluates the limitations of applying Anglo-American definitions of homosexuality to another culture. He also defines the variations of homosexual labels, such as branché or gai, which vary in degree of social acceptability in Martinique. Murray clarifies that his identity, being Canadian, white, and/or homosexual, may have influenced the disclosure of information from his participants.

Murray finds that the normative heterosexuality evident in most societies, forces gai men to “mask” their homosexuality behind “acting” heterosexual. Other adaptive strategies that Murray identifies include keeping a “man on the side” of heterosexual social relationships, psychotherapy to treat homosexuality, public declaration of one’s sexual orientation, and attempting to escape to a more tolerant place. Murray argues that the escape strategy is the most popular, as it is usually coupled with another strategy. The author also argues that Quebec is seen as the ideal escape for the gai men due to the language compatibility, perceived friendliness of Quebeckers, and the idea that people in Quebec were more open minded about homosexuality and race.

Murray’s investigation of gai men’s adaptive strategies emphasizes that escape and liberation are common themes throughout the Diaspora, which reflect frustration with racial and economic oppression for African-pan-Americans. Finally, the author finds that the identity and adaptive strategies of the gai Martinican man are complicated by geographic, racial, and sexual identities that cause them to experience marginalization in different contexts.

JANEEN L. BRYANT Davidson College (Eriberto P. Lozada)

Nyerges, A. Endre and Glen Martin Green. The Ethnography of Landscape: GIS and Remote Sensing in the Study of Forest Change in West African Guinea Savanna. American Anthropologist June, 2000 Vol.102 (2): 271-289.

Nyerges and Green cite the problematic application of Amazonian models of forest cover change to the Guinea savanna. The Amazonian model they refer to holds that if frontier settlers and ranchers cause deforestation, indigenous populations do not; rather, they conserve existing forests and establish new ones. Their goal is to develop an alternative and explicitly African-centered model of forest dynamics in the Guinea savanna that will be comparable to Amazonian deforestation research. Their methodology includes political ecology, the ecology of practice, the social life of forests, and the ethnography of landscape. Furthermore, ethnography of landscape will depend on the use of maps as a basis for a GIS (Geographic Information System), the analysis of aerial photographs, the digital analysis of satellite images, and the quantitative analysis of geographically registered and calibrated images so that forest area changes can be accurately measured in relation to known land use practices. The key strength of the integration of all these approaches is the ability to combine technological and ethnographical approaches on a wide temporal and spatial scale.

The authors examine research documenting the growth of peri-village forest islands in the area of Kissidougou, Guinea, which challenges the view that Guinea savanna deforestation is not caused by human activity. Nyerges and Green demonstrate the significant differences in soils, climate, and forest distributions between the Kissidougou and Kalimi sites in Guinea. Their findings discredit the previous application of the Kissidougou model to other Guinea savanna sites. They show that a Kissidougou-type model for peri-village forest growth is not applicable to the whole region due to other environmental change processes operating there.

MARGARET BERGER Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Nyerges, A. Endre, and Glen Martin Green. The Ethnography of Landscape: GIS and Remote Sensing in the Study of Forest Change in West African Guinea Savanna. American Anthropologist June, 2000 Vol.102 (2): 271-289.

Nyerges and Green examine processes of forest change in the Guinea savanna environment of western Africa, focusing on the regions of Kissidougou (Guinea) and Kilimi (Sierra Leone). They critique the application of Amazonian forest change models to the African context and identify a need to create an explicitly African model of forest dynamics. To this end, the cases of Kissidougou and Kilimi can tentatively be viewed as representative of the general western African environmental condition. These two regions, through their examination and comparison, provide a context for the authors’ proposed “ethnography of landscape,” an alternative methodological approach that combines strengths of scientific and anthropological approaches. In addition to challenging the indiscriminatory application of the Amazonian model to the African setting, the authors also question the notion that indigenous peoples, or local residents, are merely acting to preserve forest environments. Rather, these native inhabitants of forest areas, through their long historical relation with these environments, have constantly been transforming “nature.” This interaction between man and nature has not always been positive, as has previously been assumed. Thus, the myth of the “ecologically noble savage,” as protector of the forest, is just that, a myth.

The methodological and theoretical approaches taken by the authors are highly scientific. Indeed, they strongly advocate the integration of geographical technology, most notably that of remote sensing technologies (aerial photography and Geographic Information Systems) into the social sciences, creating the aforementioned “ethnography of landscape.” This approach claims that the qualitative, contextual fieldwork data of ethnography will complement, and be complemented by the synoptic, multitemporal view of remote sensing technologies. In addition to the “ethnography of landscape,” the authors advocate the use of three other linked methodological approaches: political ecology, ecology of practice and social life of forests. Applying such methodological approaches to their study of Kilimi, they were able to use remote sensing images to research an unsafe, inaccessible area, given the state of guerrilla warfare of Sierra Leone. This situation, however, prevented the authors from fully realizing their own “ethnography of landscape” approach, as they were not able to collect fieldwork on the ground to support the hypotheses they drew from satellite pictures. Instead, they were reduced to fabricating explanations, such as in the case of the proximity of Kilimi villages to more heavily forested areas, which they attribute to speculated traditional resource use patterns.

The implications of Nyerges and Green’s research remain unclear. They stress that as ecological anthropologists, their priority is to determine what is happening to an environment. By adhering to their proposed “ethnography of landscape” approach, they hope to attain a more accurate and grounded understanding of the forest change processes in western Africa, combining anthropological, historical, ecological and geographical factors to effect a comprehensive understanding of this region’s environmental reality. They admit that there remain significant gaps in their approach, both theoretical and practical, which they aim to overcome as the “ethnography of landscape” is applied towards the development of an African model of forest change.

NATALIE METTLER Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Otterbein, Keith. Five Feuds: An Analysis of Homicides in Eastern Kentucky in the Late Nineteenth Century. American Anthropologist June, 2000 Vol.102(2):231-243.

The author’s initial research question deals with “troubles” in the hills, or “wars” which took place in Kentucky during the late nineteenth century. The initial research questions deals with whether these killings were simply homicides or whether they were indeed feuds, and through an analysis of selective feuds the author hopes to determine their nature and origin. Otterbein immediately sets out to find a standard definition of feuding in order to begin his analysis, and comes up with three elements common to feuds: kin groups are involved in homicides that occur as revenge for acts of injustice, three or more killings or violent acts occur, and the acts of violence occur within an “overall political authority.” In order to better understand the context of these feuds, Otterbein investigates the typical feuding kinship group of Kentucky, and describes an ambilineal line of descent, headed by an important man and all of his children and grandchildren. The historical origins of feuding in America help elucidate how feuding in the Appalachian Mountains differs from other types of feuding, and also how the particular economic and geopolitical location of Kentucky (as a border state in the Civil War) alters and enhances the overall setting of the conflicts.

The methodology Otterbein employs is a variant of the trouble case method developed by Llewellen and Hoebel, and all of the feuds come from John Ed Pearce’s Days of Darkness. The main variables used for analysis of the feuds were parties involved (individual v. individual, group v. individual, group v. group, etc.) and tactics employed (surprise, chance, encounter, arranged, etc.). After analysis, Otterbein lists similarities and differences common to all feuds studied. Kin groups had political influence through access to local political and judicial offices and economic influence through wealth illegal activities. The differences had to do with events of the individual feuds. Other similar killings are investigated historically, and Otterbein focuses on dueling and the absence of dueling within Kentucky feuds. The absence of dueling in Kentucky is noted, as dueling occurs mainly in areas with a developed aristocracy, which is absent in Kentucky.

Comparatively speaking, Kentucky feuds are odd in that they lack the development of the institution of blood money, a way of ending feuds peacefully. The author ultimately asserts that in the market economy of the time, economic and political power usurped honor as a critical factor in shaping Kentucky feuds. The dishonorable methods used by the kin groups in Kentucky (hiring contract killers, using illegal political influence) are comparable to the methods employed by the Sicilian mafia.

MICHAEL BOBICK Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Otterbein, Keith F. Five Feuds: An Analysis of Homicides in Eastern Kentucky in the late Nineteenth Century. American Anthropologist June, 2000 Vol. 102(2):231-243.

Through an analysis of five feuds that took place in Eastern Kentucky during the late 1800s, Keith F. Otterbein presents an alternate explanation that cannot be provided by the often-used functional/equilibrium model. While the functional/equilibrium model explains feuding in terms of a conflict that is resolved through monetary compensation, an explanation of feuds in Kentucky must move beyond this model as usually no “blood money” is used end a conflict. Beginning with a definition of feud, Otterbein uses a historical documents and economic analysis to show the feuds of Eastern Kentucky as market based, competitive avenues to gain control over economic and political power, where the participants have little reason to end a feud. This historical past coupled with the emerging market based system, accounts for the feud structure in Eastern Kentucky.

Otterbein first demonstrates that the conflicts in question all follow the three basic tenants in the definition of a feud: 1). the conflict must be kin-involved. 2). three of more killings or acts of violence must take place. 3.) the killings or violence must occur within an overall political authority. Some times there is a forth tenant: that the feud is located While following these basic rules, feuds generally manifest five different forms: ambushes, gunfights, house attacks, encounter battles, and arranged battles. While the structure of Kentucky feuds can be derived from these manifestations, Otterbein points out that each feud differs greatly from the others.

Originally brought by settlers from the border regions of Scotland and England, Otterbein asserts that the feud structure employed in Appalachia changed with the transition to capitalism in from 1700 to 1860. According to Otterbein, the unstable conditions and resulting self-reliance of the settlers shaped the society into one in which individual skill with weapons was highly valued. Thus, physical conflict was relied upon to settle disputes. This is demonstrated by the fact that most of the families involved in feuds were wealthy, large families (a critical ingredient for feud is the availability of large groups of male affiliates). There motivation to continue the feud, unlike feud systems that follow the functional/equilibrium model’s rule of ending a feud with compensation, was the struggles for economic control of such activities as lumber and illegal bootlegging. In order to make feuding more successful, participants often sought political control that they would then use to defeat other rival kin-groups.

SPECTRA MYERS Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Sanjek, Roger. Color-Full before Color Blind: The Emergence of Multiracial Neighborhood Politics in Queens, New York City. December, 2000 American Anthropologist Vol. 102(4): 762-772.

Roger Sanjek’s article traced the political interactions of the multiracial and multiethnic community, Elmhurst-Corona in Queens, New York. In 1960, Elmhurst-Corona was predominantly white. By 1990, African-American, Latin American, Asian and other immigrants came to the neighborhood resulting in a “majority-minority” transition where the population of whites gradually fell to less than 50%. Sanjek was specifically concerned with how far the diverse Queens community had come in forming an inclusive political organization where all perspectives were represented and all people worked together to find “common ground (762).” Sanjek observed several significant occurrences, which characterized the neighborhood’s gradual moves to become inclusive. The events were the following: white residents initial disdain and resistance of non-white newcomers to Elmhurst-Corona; increased participation of African-American, Latin American, Asian and other immigrants in community politics; female activist’s continuous participation in community affairs; the acceptance that whites and non-whites shared similar concerns about their physical surroundings (762).

Roger Sanjek examined Elmhurst-Corona’s cross-racial and ethnic political interaction primarily through the neighborhood’s Community Board 4 (CB4) and other small civic associations. These organizations are usually at the center of local politics as their responsibilities consist of land-use review, city budget recommendations, and the monitoring of municipal service deliveries (763). These groups often coincided with Elmhurst-Corona’s burgeoning ethnic and racial population (763). Although New York City had crossed its “majority minority” threshold in the 1980s and this phenomenon was reflected in the city’s neighborhoods, the influx of non-white residents into Elmhurst-Corona was frowned upon. Whites of Elmhurst-Corona attributed the increase of non-white residents in their community to welfare and problems in the Immigration and Naturalization Service. These beliefs were often stated within the meetings of the predominantly white civic groups.

Ignorant assumptions such as those mentioned above were not challenged until a fiscal crisis and other government matters affected both the white and non-white residents of Elmhurst-Corona. In response to problems such as crime and a decline in municipal services, smaller community associations began to unite and encourage non-white membership in these organizations and the CB4. The involvement of women in civic politics and their main ability to relate to other women on non-racial matters resulted in the creation of formal and informal networks. The new and diverse participants within these smaller organizations and CB4 resulted in an open and inclusive forum for the multiracial and ethnic groups of Elmhurst-Corona to interact with each other and the government.

Roger Sanjek argues that in 2080 the United States will undergo a “majority minority” transition similar to the one in Elmhurst-Corona of Queens, New York. Therefore, studies such as the one conducted in Elmhurst-Corona are significant because they provide a glimpse of and hope for future racial and ethnic relations in the United States.

NEDRA LEE Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Sanjek, Roger. Color-Full before Color Blind: The Emergence of Multiracial Neighborhood Politics in Queens, New York City. American Anthropologist, December 2000. Vol. 102(4):762-773.

In this article, Sanjek discusses how neighborhood groups can and should organize in order to assert their agency in urban areas and enact social change in their communities. Specifically, multiracial neighborhood politics have the potential to cross ethnic and racial boundaries to improve quality of life, as seen in the example of civic activism and community organizing that has taken place in the Elmhurst-Corona neighborhood of Queens, New York City. Sanjek maintains that it is important to examine the Elmhurst-Corona example because this community is an early location of the “majority minority” shift, in which Americans of African, Asian, and Latin American descent outnumber those of European descent, which is a trend that is anticipated to occur throughout the rest of the United States by the end of the twenty-first century. Sanjek argues that it is important for the rest of the country to learn to organize as communities in order to maintain a world where people can live and work together despite their varying racial or ethnic backgrounds, are not fully marginalized from the world of the privileged, and can rely on the government and on each other to maintain their desired quality of life.

Sanjek participated in a research team whose charge it was to assess how far Elmhurst-Corona’s diverse population has come in forming what Lani Guinier calls “an integrated body politic in which all perspectives are represented, and in which all people work together to find common ground.” Elmhurst-Corona’s white population has fallen over time from 98% in 1960 to 18% in 1990, and the community is now home to what has been described as the most ethnically mixed community in the world. In his ethnographic work, Sanjek has examined how the community managed to make this “majority minority” transition, and how it has gone from the location of destructive misrepresentations of non-white and immigrant communities to the location of multi-ethnic, multiracial community political organizing and civic activism. To do this, the community connected the levels of urban existence that exist in the inherently powerful city and the politically powerless street neighborhood by using the district to mediate the two. Power began to emerge from numerous neighborhood associations such as political groups and block associations. The interweaving of such groups into a district created a power effective enough to fight City Hall as well as form relationships among people of a variety of backgrounds.

In watching this process, Sanjek learned three major lessons for how the rest of the country can successfully manage the “majority minority” transition that is to come, in order to maintain the integrated body politic that appreciates diverse perspectives and works together to find common ground. He suggests that communities listen to women, because they listen to each other and are socialized to privilege interpersonal, relational, and connection-based relationships over the male socialized tendency to privilege hierarchy and independence. He also urges communities to realize that government matters. The American government is deeply involved in the outcomes of local communities and community boards should be formed as an effective way to interact with the government. Finally, he argues that communities be color-full before color blind. Racial categories are something learned from childhood and are in constant use. As such, the goal should be to see racial identity as one of many aspects of each person and appreciate the full range of diversity that exists in this interconnected and color-full world. By following these three major lessons learned from the Elmhurst-Corona example, the author believes that multiracial neighborhood politics can be used to maintain and improve quality of life for the diverse communities of the United States.

NICOLE MILLER Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Sanjek, Roger. Color-Full Before Color Blind: The Emergence of Multiracial Neighborhood Politics in Queens, New York City. American Anthropologist December 2000 Vol. 102(4): 762-772.

In this article, Roger Sanjek explores the importance of relationships among multi-racial sub-communities in a Queens, New York City neighborhood, Elmhurst-Corona, from 1983 to the mid-1990s, following the city’s fiscal crisis of 1975. Called by some the “most racially diverse neighborhood in the world,” the many ethnic groups of Elmhurst-Corona learned to work together to support each other politically, economically, and culturally, through civic unions, community boards, and the work of individual aggressive citizens, especially women. He stresses, most importantly, the need for ethnic groups to maintain themselves as distinct political entities, so that they may fight for their specific interests, and avoiding “color-blind” political blanketing of classes and groups and the assumption that they all have the same needs and wants.

In fourteen sections, Sanjek’s examination of the growth of these inter-racial relationships moves in chronological order from the time when Elmhurst-Corona’s inhabitants were mostly white to completely culturally diverse. He highlights the movement of ethnic groups into the neighborhood in the late 1970s, the white community’s response and initial animosity, and the neighborhood’s movement into cooperation and political action in light of governmental changes and restrictions that took place resulting from New York City’s fiscal crisis of 1975. This movement towards Elmhurst-Corona‘s becoming “an integrated body politic in which all perspectives are represented, and in which all people work together to find common ground,” occured first through racial tolerance and next through neighborhood activist groups that formed in response to deteriorating quality of life.

The people of Elmhurst-Corona would have been unable to strongly voice their opinions and fight for their causes if they had not been united in action. Their political victories are based on their cooperation and willingness to network and reach out to and have faith in each other. Catering to each others’ cultural and language barriers and standing united for the validity of the needs of each ethnic group was their formula for success.

CHELSEA STAIRES Davidson College (Eriberto Lozada)

Sheriff, Robin E. Exposing Silence as Cultural Censorship: A Brazilian Case. American Anthropologist March, 2000 Vol. 102 (1): 114-132.

In this article, silence, or “cultural censorship,” is made the object of anthropology. The author asserts that in focusing on salient discourses, contested cultural domains, and other public forms of conflict and power, anthropologists have overlooked the significance of different forms of communal silence in shaping the political and social landscape. “Cultural censorship,” as opposed to state-sponsored censorship, is practiced in the absence of coercive measures and enforcement. Although not explicitly articulated by dominant groups, cultural censorship tends to be circumscribed by the political interests of dominant groups.

Culturally codified silence is both a consequence and an index of unequal distributions of power. The analysis of cultural censorship both complicates and clarifies assumptions about the relationship between cultural and political consciousness and discursive praxis. The context of the author’s research is the discourse surrounding racism in Brazil.

Brazilian state ideology articulates a national idea of a democracia racial, or racial democracy, which maintains that racial prejudice and discrimination are mild or even nonexistent in Brazil. Despite this state ideology and discourse on race, everyday Brazilians rarely confront the subject of racism and the role race plays in everyday life. Segregation and insulation exists within all socioeconomic levels of Brazilian society.

Both middle class whites and poor Brazilians of African ancestry all avoid the topic of race, but for different reasons. Cultural censorship involves a degree of agency, for it is a “form of forgetting,” as well as a reason for “trying not to remember” painful incidents of racism or discrimination.

The author concludes by stating that alternative forms of resistance to hegemony such as cultural censorship must be studied in the future. A fuller critique of domination requires not only that attention be paid to explicit form of resistance, but also to alternative means of suppressing narratives of resistance, which need to be investigated in their particular locations and historical moments.

MICHAEL BOBICK Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Sheriff, Robin E. Exposing Silence as Cultural Censorship: A Brazilian Case. American Anthropologist June, 2000 Vol.102(1):114-132.

In this article, Sheriff focuses on the significance of communal forms of silence in shaping the social and political landscape of Morro do Sangue Bom, Brazil. Sheriff’s analysis of customary silence surrounding the subject of racism in Brazil provides a case study of “cultural censorship;” censorship which is practiced in the absence of explicit coercion or enforcement. She argues that silence should not be read as an absence of political consciousness or knowledge, but rather an adaptation or defense to existing unequal power relationships.

Sheriff’s theory behind cultural censorship takes into account various models of the nature of hegemony. She argues that cultural censorship complicates and at the same time offers a degree of clarification to these models in that its examination challenges assumptions about the relationship between political and cultural consciousness and discursive practice. While previous theorists describe silence in conversational contexts, they fail to recognize the broader, often cross-contextual practices that characterize cultural censorship.

Sheriff examines three distinct groups in her analysis of cultural censorship concerning racism in Brazil: middle class whites, activists in Brazil’s nascent black consciousness movement, and poor Brazilians of African descent; focusing most heavily on the latter. Sheriff suggests that specific references to racism are avoided in public discourse not only because they suggest the speaker is inappropriately preoccupied with racial difference, but that calling attention to issues of racism only exacerbates what is better left unsaid. Silence, she argues, has been publicly constructed through the ideology of “racial democracy,” a set of discourses which maintain that radicalized prejudices and discrimination are nonexistent in Brazil. Interviews with Brazilians revealed that the widespread silence toward racism existed prior to the repressive regime of Brazil, and has remained uncontested throughout Brazil’s democratizing process. Thus, the contractual nature of the cultural censorship surrounding racism is perhaps the most significant obstacle to the development of an anti-racist movement in Brazil.

From her interviews and observations, Sheriff concludes that it is not a false consciousness or true hegemony that lies behind political passivity but rather a withdrawal into a consciously maintained silence. The people of Morro do Sangue Bom, Brazil suggest that not only are they deeply aware of racism, but that it is encountered on a regular basis; however, for personal reasons (protecting oneself from anger or pain) they maintain this silence and thus appear to accept the claims of racial democracy.

MOLLY O’SULLIVAN (Macalester College) Karen Nakamura

Sheriff, Robin E. Exposing Silence as Cultural Censorship: A Brazilian Case. American Anthropologist March, 2000 Vol.102(1):114-132.

In this article Robin Sheriff analyzes the ways in which silence is institutionally ingrained within public and private discourse of racism in Brazil. He reveals an issue too infrequently investigated within the social sciences that manifests itself in behaviors that are culturally codified and at the same time concealed. Sheriff demonstrates how a communal silence surrounding issues of ethnicity, being constantly reinforced by an unequal balance of power, has resulted in the avoidance of any discussion of race and ethnicity among Brazilians. Societal problems are apparent, practically never approached, and embedded within unwritten laws of racism, indifference, and denial. By drawing upon the experiences of three different groups of Brazilians: middle-class whites, poor Brazilians of African descent, and activists in Brazil’s black consciousness movement, Sheriff not only emphasizes the silences that pervade gaps of misunderstanding and ignorance between the groups, but also those silences revealed within the study of anthropology as it listens only to audible voices.

His argument moves from definitions of silence and cultural censorship to a recounting of interviews conducted with individuals from each of the above groups of Brazilians. Sheriff begins by sharing the difficulties experienced by middle-class whites in attempting to define or describe examples of racism despite the fact that their daily lives are infused with negative references to race and color. He continues with poor Brazilians of African descent who, although they may recount experiences of racism that are filled with emotional discomfort, at the same time will avoid discussing those issues in either public or private contexts. Finally, Sheriff converses with a number of militants who insist that all Brazilians have a consciousness that cannot deny the existence of racism; and it is this discussion that must necessarily be pursued if all Brazilians are ever to understand what poor Brazilians of African descent know and live.

Sheriff concludes that the cultural censorship of silence will only be fully understood once that silence has been broken. From there, anthropology may learn the equal importance of that which is seemingly absent though presented in psychological, cultural, political, and social dimensions (127). Knowledge and information via speech or the written word does not necessarily assert its worthiness over that which is not heard. Silence in Brazil may stem from different motivations as dependent upon the respective group, but it is the interaction of these groups in common arenas and practices that creates a shared consciousness of oppression.

LYNN A. BURNETT Davidson College (Eriberto P. Lozada Jr)

Shackley, M. Steven. The Stone Tool Technology of Ishi and the Yana of North Central California: Inferences for Hunter-Gatherer Cultural Identity in Historic California. American Anthropologist December, 2000. Vol. 102 (4):693-712.

Shackley examines the arrowhead manufacturing techniques of Ishi and compares them with archeological data from the Yana (the group Ishi was identified with) as well as other groups in the area of North Central California from where Ishi emerged, ninety years ago.

Shackley begins by summarizing the story of Ishi, who, when found in 1911, was said to be ‘the last of his kind.’ He was quickly taken in by anthropologist A.L. Kroeber, and for the next five years until his death in 1916 lived at the Museum of Anthropology in San Francisco.

While Ishi was at the museum, anthropologists thought they were witnessing the traditional Yana process of producing arrowpoints. However, Shackley finds that when comparing Ishi’s arrowpoints to the ones found at historic and prehistoric Yana sites, the points are quite different. Instead, Ishi’s points were found to bear very close resemblance to arrowpoints found at another site occupied by the Wintu/Nomlaki. Shackley uses ‘exploratory multivariate analysis’ to compare similarities of the points and finds a very strong overlap between Ishi’s points and the points at the Wintu/Nomlaki site.

Linguistic tests show that Ishi spoke a Yana language, yet archeological tests show that he made Wintu/Nomlaki points. Shackley concludes by saying that this may have happened for a variety of reasons, but he believes that Ishi is a representation of ‘the adaptation of a hunter-gatherer group under severe environmental and social stress.’ Shackley says that in the 19th century cultural mixes exemplified by Ishi’s manufactures were becoming much more common, especially after the Anglo intrusion into the area. About the time Ishi was born, says Shackley, all Native American groups in the area were being herded onto reservations and only a small group were able to hide. Thus the effects of the time favored the creation of a mixture, and, says Shackley, is a reflection of the ‘adaptability of humans to tremendous long-term cultural stress.’

MICHAEL SEVERINO Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Shackley, Steven M. The Stone Tool Technology of Ishi and the Yana of North Central California: Inferences for Hunter-Gatherer Cultural Identity In Historic California. American Anthropologist 2001 Vol. 102 (4): 693-712.

Shackley’s article questions the ethnic identity of Ishi, a presumed member of the Yahi hunter-gatherer group. In 1911, Ishi wandered into a slaughterhouse in northern California close to death after living alone in the wilderness for years. Rather than being taken to a reservation he was brought to the Anthropology Museum at the University of San Francisco where he lived until his death from tuberculosis in 1916. His time in San Francisco provided “one of the most complete (and uninfluenced) informant-born cultural records of any hunter-gatherer group in North America,” as well as a detailed example of lithic technology (695).

Shackley’s study is unique because it focuses on the lithic technology of a single individual, instead of a group or region. He examines Ishi’s knapping tools and projectile points and determines that they exhibit some deviance from the normal characteristics of Yahi technology. A preliminary explanation of this variation is that the only verifiable specimens of Ishi’s tools in existence were produced after his arrival at the museum of anthropology. At this point he had greater access to tools for making side points, or changed his form in order impress the public with exotic looking tools. Shackley also finds that although Ishi’s projectile points are different from most Yahi tools, they are nearly identical to those of the Wintu/Nomlaki. Although Ishi never revealed who taught him to make the points, Shackley hypothesizes that Ishi may have learned his technique from Wintu relatives. Another possibility is a process of cultural exchange between Wintu and Yahi society during Ishi’s lifetime, as records show the groups were on good terms with one another in Ishi’s lifetime and numbers of Yahi were diminishing. Shackley does not rely on a rigid notion of ethnic identity and does not see cultures as isolated entities. Instead, identity is fluid and changes with social interaction .

Shackley’s article questions Ishi’s identity at a critical point. At the time he wrote this article Ishi’s brain had recently been found at the Smithsonian Institute and returned to Yana descendants living in Pit River and Reding Rancheria.. This has raised ethical issues surrounding Ishi’s stay at the University of San Francisco, such as the assertions that he was taken advantage of by the university for commercial interests and contracted tuberculosis because of his atypical surroundings. Although keeping a person’s brain in a jar after death is obviously abhorrent, Shackley argues that the anthropology museum was ethically sound in maintaining a home for Ishi, who given the opportunity to go to a reservation decided to stay in San Francisco. Shackley is somewhat dismissive of the arguments of contemporary anthropologists, but overall provides some good insight into the debate.

NED MEINERS Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Shokeid, Moshe. A. L. “Bill” Epstein (1924-1999). American Anthropologist December, 2000 Vol.102(4):858-869.

Arnold Leonard Epstein, scholar and retired professor, passed away on November 9, 1999. Epstein worked in Africa and Melanesia and among North American Jews, and within two theoretical paradigms. He began his career as a British functionalist and later explored psychological anthropology. His teaching posts included Canberra (1970-72) and the University of Sussex (1972-81). He published some of the first studies on the urban Copperbelt of Northern Rhodesia, works on the Matupit in Melanesia, and later in his career, studies on ethnic identity and the experience of emotion in different cultures. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

BROOKE BOCAST Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Shokeid, Moshe. A.L. (“Bill”) Epstein (1924-1999). American Anthropologist. December 2000 Vol. 102 (4): 858-859.

Moshe Shokeid, former student of Bill Epstein (1924-1999), marks the passing of the distinguished British professor and anthropologist. Originally a law student, Epstein decided to pursue anthropology after happening across a volume by Malinowski. Epstein primarily studied the urban scene in the Copperbelt of Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) through its courts of law and black/white politics in mining trade unions. Later in his career, he studied social structures and identity in Melanesia. The topic of identity was important to him, as he often brought his own Jewish roots into such discussions. Although Epstein was part of the British functionalist school at Manchester, he often worked outside the paradigm, studying psychology and emotions in addition to providing cultural descriptions and case studies typical of the British school. He was a professor and chair briefly at the Australian National University in Canberra before returning to teach permanently at Manchester. Shokeid remembers a man who was not only talented, but also modest, patient, and soft-spoken. He was beloved by students and faculty, as well as his informants, who in Melanesia inducted him into the highest grade of tubuan cult, an impressive honor. He left behind a large body of work, a “legacy of thick descriptions and exemplary case studies.” A.L. (“Bill”) Epstein will be missed for his contributions to anthropology and his students.

Clarity: 5
BRIENNE CALLAHAN Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Sperling, Susan. Ashley Montagu. American Anthropologist September, 2000 Vol. 102(3):583-587.

Ashley Montagu was a brilliant and witty man. He used his long life to broaden and enrich the field of anthropology and to combat racism. Ashley Montagu was born Israel Ehrenberg in 1905 in London’s East End. Early on he exhibited a love for knowledge and an interest in things anthropological. He was one of Malinowski’s first students at the London School of Economics, and with a back ground in biometrics, Montagu would become an important critic of eugenics theory; he coined the term “sociobiologist.”

Ashley Montagu moved to America in 1927. It was on the ship to the United States that he met his wife Marjorie. As early as the 1930s Ashley Montagu was speaking publicly against racisim. His unpopular views on race and his anti-McCarthy stance caused him to loose his teaching position at Rutgers in 1953. At this point in his life Montagu made the move toward the public realm with articles for such publications as Ladies Home Journal, and books that found a larger audience such as The Natural Superiority of Women. It was during his time as a popular anthropologist that Montagu helped to influence a whole generation of parents in their child rearing.

CHRISTINA BURRIS Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Sperling, Susan. Obituary of Ashley Montagu. American Anthopologist September, 2000 Vol.102(583-588).

Ashley Montagu is remembered in this piece as a prolific evolutionary anthropologist whose contributions affected not only biological and sociocultural anthropology and psychology, but also the general public. Montagu, born Israel Ehrenberg in London in1905, was a talented writer who had diverse interests although most of his professional work centered around three areas of concentration: the incorporation of evolutionary biology and behavior in the study of human development, the destruction of the biological myth of race, and the repercussions of integrating anthropology into public education.

Already having demonstrated an interest in human behavior and anatomy as a child, Montagu began his formal anthropological and psychological education at University College London. Studying under the founders of the British Eugenics movement, he began to develop his criticism of attempts to use science to explain human inequality. Montagu witnessed the naissance of British social anthropology at the London School of Economics, where he attended lectures by Bronislaw Malinowski. Ashley left England seeking a more socially just climate in the United States. In 1934, entered graduate studies in the “Culture and Personality” school at Columbia University, where he studied with Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict.

Montagu held a number of notable professional posts, including chair of a developing department of Anthropology at Rutgers University. But he is most well known for his outspoken views regarding human development and race. Throughout the 1940s and 50s, his “un-American” views distanced Montagu from academia and led him to a vocation of directly addressing the public on themes from childrearing to feminism to sociobiology. He published widely in popular magazines. During this period, Montagu wrote Man’s Most Dangerous Myth: the Fallacy of Race, his most influential book. In an ongoing public debate against other prominent scholars, Montagu successfully used scientific data to support his argument that race is not a biological category.

Ashley Montagu is revered for his wide academic range, and his long involvement in the field of anthropology, though his greatest contribution lies in his desire and ability to share his knowledge with the public and make it useful to them.

ELIZABETH TULL Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Susser, Ida S. Delmos Jones (1936-1999). American Anthropologist September, 2000 Vol.102(3):581-583.

Delmos Jones, winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society for the Anthropology of North America in 1998, passed away on February 4, 1999. Throughout his long and distinguished career, Jones maintained a focus on social justice. He conducted fieldwork among the Lahu in Thailand, the Australian Aborigines, and in underprivileged communities in the United States. He did pioneering research among the urban poor and helped to develop the field of urban anthropology. In 1970, Jones published a groundbreaking study of native anthropology in which he advocated the study of indigenous populations by their own members. He is survived by his wife, Mary Lou Jones.

BROOKE BOCAST Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Susser, Ida. Delmos Jones (1936-1999). American Anthropologist September 2000 Vol:102(3):581-583.

This obituary recollects the life of Delmos Jones who died February 4, 1999. Jones, an African American anthropologist, made great strides for social justice in his work among groups such as the Lahu from Northern Thailand, the Papago Indians of Arizona, Australian Aborigines and under-privileged communities in the United States.

Jones was born in 1936 in Alabama but his family moved all over the southern United States in search of work during his childhood. His sister sparked a political interest in Delmos and he quickly became recognized as a potential Africa American leader. Jones, the first in his family to receive a college degree, held that the advancement of science is the only way to address inequality. He earned his B.A at San Francisco State College, Masters at the University of Arizona and PhD at Cornell University. In 1970, Jones refused to surrender his research in Thailand to the CIA, which earned him commendation from the American Anthropological Association Committee on Ethics.

Domestically, Jones worked intensely with the urban poor, which included a Head Start program, the state’s part in dividing ethnic groups and decentralization in New York City. He also headed the community studies department of the Fighting Back initiative, which worked against drug and alcohol use in youth. His term “Culture of Achievement” changed the way in which poverty stricken people are viewed and referred to.

Jones was a bit before his time when, in 1970, he suggested that subordinates studying their own cultures would be the best way to get the most complete work. 25 years later, Jones decided “the position of a native anthropologist in his or her own group does not necessarily assure the representation of the political complexity of the group.”

Jones won the 1998 Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society for the Anthropology of North America. He published over 30 articles throughout his career and received a Research Scientist Development Award from the National Institute of Mental Health. He was also a Fulbright Fellow in 1970. Among others, Jones taught at the University of Colorado, Boulder and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

ANNA MCCARTNE-MELSTAD Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Suzuki, Peter T. and Han F. Vermeulen. Patrick Edward de Josselin de Jong (1922-1999).American Anthropologist September , 2000 Vol. 102(3): 577-588.

In this obituary of the Dutch anthropologist, Patrick Edward de Josselin de Jong, the authors, Suzuki and Vermeulen, discuss his character, theories, fieldwork, and the honors bestowed on him. They note his educational background and his role in an underground organization opposing the Nazi occupation. They discuss how his work moved forward after this hiatus and brought him to the theoretical perspectives of structuralism and fieldwork in Malaya and Thailand.

The account moves chronologically through de Josselin de Jong’s engagements with structuralism and his development of a theory of political myth. De Josselin de Jong’s work was acclaimed by many of his contemporaries in America and Europe. His works on the sociopolitical structures in Sumatra, Sarawak and among Malayan minorities in Thailand were very well received. He often went beyond the basic methods of ethnography to look at myth and history and politics in order to understand the social elements within the cultures he studied.

He was honored by invitations to comment on the work of Levi-Strauss in Paris at a convention to honor the French theoretician. He was also honored with honorary membership and fellowship in organizations such as the Royal Asiatic Society and the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland.

He was, as the authors conclude, an important contributor to work in Indonesia and Malaysia and was a talented administrator despite his distaste for the task. Above all he was, they conclude, a thoughtful, kind, generous, and loyal man.

GWENDOLYN KELLY Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Suzuki, Peter T. and Han F. Vermeulen. Patrick Edward de Josselin de Jong (1922-1999).American Anthropology September, 2000 Vol.102(3): 577-582.

Patrick Edward de Josselin de Jong, Professor Emeritus of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Leiden, died at age 76 on January 1, 1999. De Josselin de Jong’s major accomplishments include refining the theory of structuralism, developing cognitive anthropology, developing the theory of “political myths” and establishing the “field of anthropological study” in Southeast Asia.

In 1940, he enrolled at the University of Leiden to pursue studies in Malay language and literature, Arabic, Islam and cultural anthropology. After the Nazis closed the university that November, de Josselin de Jong continued his studies in the homes of his professors and joined the resistance movement. After the war, he resumed his studies at Leiden, focusing on Indonesian languages, linguistics, and cultural anthropology. The latter subject included classes on kinship systems taught by his uncle, Jan P. B. de Josselin de Jong.

De Josselin de Jong was greatly influenced by both his uncle and Levi-Strauss’s work on kinship and marriage, resulting in his doctoral dissertation: “Minangkabau and Negri Sembilan: Socio-Political Structure in Indonesia.” The goal of this research was to examine the possibility of asymmetric exchange and double descent existing in the same culture. Levi-Strauss had argued that it could not, but de Josselin de Jong concluded that although they did not currently exist among the Minangkabau and Negri Sembilan, they must have at an earlier period.

In 1953, de Josselin de Jong relocated to the University of Malaya with his wife to lecture and conduct fieldwork. During this work he discovered that although his informants agreed with the double descent structure he had described in his dissertation, they did not agree with his asymmetrical alliance principle. As a result of this fieldwork, he began to reconsider the models he had used in his work and the cultural ideals and perceptions of his informants. In later publications, he focused on the importance of cognitive dimensions of culture and “political myths,” or the way a people’s history is explained and perceived through myths.

Eventually, de Josselin de Jong returned to Leiden and resumed his role in the “Paris-Leiden connection,” a series of exchanges between French and Leiden anthropologists discussing theoretical issues involving kinship and social structure. In his lifetime, he authored over two hundred publications, including nine books, supervised twenty-seven doctoral dissertations, and held a number of honors. It is his support of and loyalty to his students, however, that is best remembered.

JESSICA HORNING Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Terrell, John Edward Anthropological Knowledge and Scientific Fact. American Anthropologist December, 2000 Vol.102:808-817.

While acknowledging that communication between science disciplines exists, anthropologist John Terrell argues that this communication is insufficient for having successful research collaborations in the future. He calls for a better understanding of the frameworks from which different disciplines operate in order to maintain their validity in the academic world. Terrell uses a small-scale example from his own experience, what he refers to as the “Little Lizard Controversy,” to illustrate the problem of communication between disciplines. He was asked to review evolutionary biologist Christopher Austin’s article on the two exclusive hypotheses concerning the colonization of the Pacific Islands, which was being considered for publication in Nature magazine. Austin’s analysis was based on an article that Terrell published concerning this subject, and Terrell claims that Austin in fact misread his article. He suggests that Austin failed to understand the anthropological controversies he attempted to resolve with his data of the DNA of lizards native to the Pacific.

Despite Terrell’s negative review of Austin’s original and revised manuscript, Nature ended up publishing its revised addition, due in part to the praise it received from two other reviewers. The majority of Terrell’s essay is devoted to understanding why in fact Nature decided to publish Austin’s article. He does this not because he thought they should have more seriously considered his critique, but in order to consider some of the larger implications of the decision. Terrell uses his interpretation regarding the differing cultures of scientific disciplines to explain the potential for misinterpretations between these fields. To him, the culture of science at the turn of the century gives reason to why Nature decided to publish Austin’s article. According to Terrell, just as each culture has key elements that are crucial to its organization, so do scientific disciplines. He argues that the metaphors used by scientists in different disciplines are not hypotheses that can be tested, but rather are simply ways of viewing history and the world. This is where Terrell, Austin, and the publishers at Nature misread each other. The different ways of doing science interfere with having a complete understanding of what experts are saying in other disciplines

According to Terrell, while understanding different cultures in the world is important, so is the comprehension of the root metaphors and key scenarios of different disciplinary fields. To him, it is unfortunate that Nature published an article that misread his hypothesis in anthropology. It will be more unfortunate if scientific experts continue in failing to understand and thus misrepresent other disciplines. This might lead to not only difficulties in future collaborations across fields, but it might also threaten the academic validity of the sciences.

JEHAN-MARIE ADAMJI Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Tuttle, Russell H. Sherwood Larned Washburn (1911-2000). American Anthropologist December, 2000 Vol.102 (4): 865-869.

Washburn’s was the twentieth century’s preeminent physical anthropologist, and he worked towards spreading a physical anthropology without typology or biological determinism. His goal was to apply scientific knowledge to get rid of racial discrimination. He began his research collecting, dissecting, and observing primates in Thailand and East Malaysia in 1937 and later spearheaded a resurgence in behavioral primatology in anthropology. He also studied human anatomy with a focus on functional morphology and choice of comparable traits in biometric studies. His analyses featured a regional functional approach rather than routine bone-by-bone biometrics.

He was an advocate for studying human variability based on population genetics rather than racial or constitutional typologies. His social consciousness was a driving force in his work. In 1944, he began publishing essays on race, arguing that race is a strictly anatomical concept that has nothing to do with intelligence, language, or other cultural traits. He served as president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (1951-52) and the American Anthropological Association (1962). His honors include the Viking Fund Medal for 1960 and membership in the National Academy of Sciences. He taught at Columbia University (1939-47), University of Chicago (1947-58), and University of California, Berkeley (1959-1979). He served as Chair of Anthropology at Chicago (1952-55) and at Berkeley (1961-1963).

MARGARET BERGER Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Tuttle, Russell H. Sherwood Larned Washburn (1911-2000). American Anthropologist December, 2000 Vol. 102(4):865-869.

Russell H. Tuttle offers an academic and personal remembrance of preeminent North American physical anthropologist Sherwood (Sherry) Washburn. Schooled at Harvard University (B.A., 1935; Ph.D., 1940), he served tenures and Columbia University (1939-47), the University of Chicago (1947-58), and the University of California, Berkeley as chair of the Department of Anthropology (1961-63).

Washburn’s early work at Harvard in the 1950s spearheaded a renaissance of behavioral primatology in anthropology. In response to conversations with colleague Gabriel Ward Lasker, Washburn focused on human variability based on population genetics rather than racial and constitutional typologies. Tuttle emphasizes Washburn’s work to free physical anthropology from the assumptions of biological determinism and the naïve use of genetic information that promoted discrimination.

Washburn’s research on primates as materials and models to save human lives and advance medical science stressed a regional functional approach to analyses on bones, nerves, and muscles. Tuttle highlights Washburn’s numerous calibrations and professional relationships at the University of Chicago that helped shift his focus to primate behavior. However, Tuttle concludes reemphasizing Washburn’s belief in humankind’s uniqueness and arguement against the use of genetics and sociobiology in the social realm.

SPECTRA MYERS Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Webster, Anthony K. and Rushforth, Scott. Obituary: Morris Edward Opler (1907-1996)American Anthropologist. June, 2000 Vol.102 (2):328-329

Morris Edward Opler was a cultural anthropologist who specialized in Apache ethnography. He studied and worked with a number of the prominent anthropologists of the 20th century. Opler was born in Buffalo, NY and went to school in the area, getting his BA in Sociology and MA in Anthropology from the University of Buffalo. He got his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. At separate times both Radcliffe-Brown and Sapir sat on his dissertation committee. The later influenced his intellectual development, causing him to focus on the “individual relative to culture”. Opler’s professional career involved teaching at several different schools; his longest stint was a twenty year position at Cornell. His wartime research on interned Japanese motivated him to become a champion for their rights and he later become a strong proponent of Asian studies. His real contribution to the discipline of anthropology is his ethnographic work on the Apache. He published several books on Apache folklore and social systems. He also became a strong supporter of Native American rights, publishing some scathing attacks on the government’s handling of reservations. Opler was a dynamic anthropologist involved in numerous projects that have added much to 20th century anthropology.

NATHANIEL MARSH Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Webster, Anthony K. and Scott Rushforth. Morris Edward Opler (1907-1996) American Anthropologist. June, 2000 Vol. 102, n. 2. 328-329.

Cultural anthropologist and Apache ethnologist Morris Edward Opler died on May 13, 1996. Opler received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Buffalo and his PhD from the University of Chicago. Edward Sapir started as the chairman of the committee that reviewed Opler’s dissertation about Apache social organization as it related to systems of relationship. When Sapir left for a position at Yale, Radcliffe-Brown replaced him as chair. Thus, Opler was torn between the theoretical frameworks from which both individuals worked; between looking at the individual in relationship to culture as Sapir did, and the functionalist approach of Radcliff-Brown. Ultimately, Opler tried to understand culture through “dynamic” themes that motivate social behavior.

Dr. Opler was a professor of anthropology sporadically for about 40 years at several universities. The majority of his research concerned numerous Apache groups in New Mexico, but he also worked for the Office of War Information and conducted ethnographic fieldwork on war-time Japanese interns in California. His crucial ethnographies of Apache folklore, history, rights and society gave him the means from which to advocate for improved conditions of Apache reservations. Opler also wrote legal briefs defending Japanese American civil rights, two of which were brought before the U.S. Supreme Court. He was president of the American Anthropological Association for a year towards the end of his career and was named Professor Emeritus at Cornell and University of Oklahoma before retiring for good. His contributions to the discipline of Anthropology prove to be numerous and his presence will be missed.

JEHAN-MARIE ADAMJI Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Williams, Dee Mack. Representations of Nature on the Mongolian Steppe: An Investigation of Scientific Knowledge Construction. American Anthropologist September, 2000 Vol. 102 (3): 503-519.

In this article, the author investigates and illustrates the international, national, and local dimensions of scientific practice that condition the production of environmental knowledge. Extensive land degradation across the Mongolian steppe has resulted in a wide array of multinational and multidisciplinary research projects. The competing bases of knowledge come from a wide variety of academic fields and cultures: natural vs. social scientists, nationalist Chinese vs. ethnic Mongolians, urban intellectuals vs. indigenous herders, etc.

By a critical analysis of all subjects involved with regard to the issue of land degradation, from herders to Chinese scientists to international academics, the author seeks to identify and illustrate how power is central to an understanding of science and knowledge. The land management policies on the Mongolian steppe illustrate these conflicts.

International academics researching the problem of land degradation are often empirically at the mercy of Han scientists, employed by the Chinese government, who control filter information and research to the larger scientific community at large. The Han scientists are a distinct group of outsiders in their research context. The outsider status of these scientists, who place a higher faith in scientific knowledge and Chinese nationalist ideology over indigenous beliefs about nature and conservation, directly shapes their interpretations, research methods, and empirical results. Much like the scapegoating of other minority groups in China, the localized problems of indigenous minorities are often attributed to their lack of a modern civilization (economic development, national progress, and scientific rationalism). Most of the blame for land degradation is attributed to the local populations.

The scientific knowledge of the Chinese national scientists, who virtually control the access international scientists have, is often gained through confiscation of local resources and unequal power relationships. No common ground is ever sought – the Chinese superiority always usurps indigenous beliefs. These unhealthy dependencies create distorted data collection and close off opportunities for alternative knowledge bases.

The article ends with some ideas about how the nature of “discourse” and the relationship between empirical evidence and ideology. Are discourses political fictions, or do they represent a more tangible reality? The continued practice of scapegoating local minorities, through wholesale dismissal of their perceptions, does not advance the goals of science.

MICHAEL BOBICK Oberlin College (Jack Glazier)

Williams, Dee Mack. Representations of Nature on the Mongolian Steppe: An Investigation of Scientific Knowledge Construction. American Anthropologist September 2000 102(3):503-519.

In this article, Williams juxtaposes three competing systems of from the Mongolian steppe in an investigation of the extensive land degradation in the region. He argues that the exercise of social power privileges non-local representations of nature, which exploits the indigenous Mongol community. The author aims to point out that scientific representations, which are typically construed as objective and rational, are always culturally embedded and socially constructed. In detailing the three competing knowledge systems he shows how the local population is scapegoated, their preferences ignored, and their perceptions dismissed.

On the arid steppelands of Inner Asia, land degradation has become an acute social and environmental problem as grasslands are being lost to sand at an alarming rate. This concern has prompted an array of international research efforts in an attempt to raise agricultural productivity in the grasslands. New research, however, has not resulted in any major policy changes in China or Mongolia, which the author believes is due to a series of ideological oppositions and divergent social interests at international, national, and local levels. At the international scientific level, natural versus cultural analyses of the situation remain separate and non-conversant in their assessments. Natural landscapes are typically relegated to the domain of natural scientific inquiry while cultural phenomena are assigned to the domain of social scientific inquiry. In Chinese grassland ecology specifically, social factors in ecosystem dynamics have been routinely ignored.

From the Chinese perspective, blame for land degradation is diverted away from the current political regime to either previous irresponsible governmental regimes or to local, minority land users. National discourse generally considers the mobile herders of Inner Mongolia and the environment in which they live to be long-standing obstacles to economic development, scientific rationalism, and national progress and therefore require intensive administrative control from the state. Recent policy has attempted to transform the Mongol system of open-range communal grazing into a ‘scientific’ system of enclosed pastures, irrigated forage production, stall feeding, machinery, improved breeding, and chemical fertilizer.

The Mongolians correctly perceive this as a tool of external control, causing them to feel vulnerable and resent the transformations. Many forms of opposition arise, for instance herders do not usually implement rangeland policies as intended and there is much vandalism at the scientific research station and on their equipment in the area. Mongolians believe good grazing requires landscape diversity and mobility across large areas and are therefore opposed to enclosed pastures. Moreover, they are critical of a government who is alarmed of degradation yet resists substantial investments in the land and its people. Williams concludes that the Mongol perception of nature is concealed because scientists from Western nations invariably rely on Chinese scientists for access to virtually all field data. This allows an imposed vision of reality and representation of nature to become further entrenched and prevents dialogue between competing systems of knowledge.

HEATHER BUESSELER Macalester College (Karen Nakamura)

Williams, Dee Mack. Representations of Nature on the Mongolian Steppe: An Investigation of Scientific Knowledge Construction. American Anthropologist 2000 Vol.102(3):503-519.

In this article Dee Mack Williams examines local, national, and international scientific endeavors among the Chinese and Mongolians to formulate environmental knowledge. He asserts that together, these three areas emphasize local influences in scientific practice while at the same time reflecting Foucault’s theory about the role that social power plays in understanding such information. Williams demonstrates how these social relations help invoke scientific knowledge of Chinese grasslands, but also how scientific study is often used as a form of that social control. He focuses on the importance of creating an intellectual forum or space for critiquing current and future environmental land policy concerning the Chinese grasslands.

His argument includes a discussion based on knowledge from natural vs. social scientists, ethnic Mongolians vs. nationalist Chinese, and indigenous herders vs. urban intellectuals. With these groups Williams seeks to understand individual perceptions on economic development, scientific study, and ideas or concerns about local landscape ecology. The discussion begins surrounding issues of intellectual territory where natural scientists are no longer the only ones with answers to questions concerning the environment, and where politics is playing a greater role. He moves to an overview of conflicts between native Mongolians and nationalist Chinese; here he emphasizes cultural misunderstandings and ignorance as the latter group pushes forward into modernization, insisting that environmental restoration is only possible if the Mongolians leave the grasslands. Williams further highlights this cultural barrier as he discusses tools that the Chinese use, at the expense of the Mongolians, as forms of economic exploitation.

Williams concludes that it is the lack of understanding between Mongol herders and the Western scientists that ultimately is causing this strife over environmental degradation. The group in power refuses to listen to the minority and their unique circumstances or world views, thus resulting in imposed realities and contending social values. Thus both discourse and greater understanding about the relationship between ideology and empirical evidence are essential.

LYNN A. BURNETT Davidson College (Eriberto P. Lozada Jr)