Current Anthropology 1967
Beals, Ralph L. International Research Problems in Anthropology: A Report from the U.S.A. Current Anthropolgy December, 1967 Vol.8(5):470-475.
In his detailed article, Beals addresses the research problems that anthropologists from the United States face when conducting international research. To provide evidence that problems exist, Beals outlines the various problems associated with research in other countries. The Fellows of the American Anthropological Association have agreed with Beals’ identification of the research problems. The Association published a statement critiquing the more serious problems and possible solutions to be applied in order to promote better anthropological research conditions abroad. Beals investigates each instance and provides his own comments. The purpose of investigating international research problems is to establish a standard set of rules and regulations to protect the anthropologist as well as the culture or group being studied.
Initially, Beals explains the difficulties surrounding social sciences, especially anthropology, on an international scale. The difficulty lies in the “assessment of man’s potential” because each man “lives within enormously differing social and cultural systems.” The realization of this problem gave rise to comparative research which needs to be conducted across cultural, national, and international boundaries. Although there have been many advancements in international research, many problems have also emerged. For example, past anthropologists were interested in observing “primitive” cultures and, therefore, have been stereo-typed as only being interested in the “primitive.” As a result, the underlying theoretical motives behind advanced anthropology have not been appreciated.
Additional problems stem from criticisms that anthropologists are merely interested in observation and theoretical pursuits rather than finding solutions to studied problems. Recently, much suspicion has surrounded anthropologists in the international field because of their associations with either their own government agencies or the host-country’s government. There have been instances when the governments have sought the aid of anthropologists to implement undesirable policies to the cultures studied.
There have been more problems associated with the increase of field researchers for anthropology. The United States has produced more anthropologists than any other country, and these anthropologists have more resources to help in conducting international research. This has created an unbalanced field dominated by American-trained anthropologists.
In November 1965, the government created an Executive Board called the Committee on Research Problems and Ethics to address international research difficulties for anthropologists. After conducting a thorough survey of anthropologists, the Committee observed certain principles associated with international research. Beals outlines three of these observations. First, anthropologists should reveal and/or publish all the data of their international study including in it a financial assessment and objectives. Second, no anthropologist should publish anything that will harm the subject group investigated. And finally, no anthropologist should work secretly or with secret funding from the United States or another country.
After explaining the Committee’s observations, Beals outlines their criticisms. Visiting anthropologists are usually motivated by money or a doctorial dissertation and do nothing to benefit the host-country. While in the host-country, anthropologists are sometimes ignorant of local traditions or situations that might be sensitive to the group. The anthropologist often has disagreements with the host-country officials and, in addition, do nothing to promote more anthropologists native to the host-country. After an anthropologist has done international research, the conclusions are usually not published or made available in the host-country’s language. Sometimes, due to lack of funding, the results are not published until many years later or never published at all. Although, anthropologists are allowed to do international research abroad, other countries are often denied the access to do anthropological research in the United States. Since the market of anthropologists has significantly increased, many desire to visit the same countries, at the same time, to do the same research. And finally, the problems deemed important by the anthropologists are usually seen as irrelevant to the host-country.
The Committee, the American Anthropological Association, and Beals have claimed that there are serious problems that accompany international research. Beals asserts that to solve the problems, certain regulations must be enforced by all anthropologists “regardless of national origins.”
ERIN EDWARDS University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo).
Beals, Ralph L. International Research Problems in Anthropology: A Report from the U.S.A. Current Anthropology December, 1967 Vol.8(5):470-475.
In this article, Beals examines the difficulties that anthropologists encounter when participating in comparative research. He points out that recently, the emergence of new interests in anthropological research, the expansion of the field and the “development of ‘big social science’” have impeded the full development of international standards for research (471). He also notes that freedom of research is compromised by the role of the state and its military in employing and funding anthropological research.
For Beals, even though these issues regarding research are international, he believes that American anthropologists have encountered most of the difficulties for a couple of reasons. First, American anthropologists have encountered most of the difficulties because the United States simply has more anthropologists, and more students are being educated in the United States. Second, American anthropologists have more money, and sabbaticals for conducting international research are easier for American anthropologists to obtain.
Some of the issues regarding international research have been investigated by the Committee on Research Problems and Ethics, which was established by the Executive Board of the Council of Fellows of the American Anthropological Association. The Committee issued a summary report, which suggested changes in the way comparative research should be conducted. The suggestions are as follows. First, American anthropologists participating in international research “should make full disclosure of the sponsorship of their research, the source of its finances, and its objectives” (472). Second, anthropologists should not submit a report or allow data to be used in a way that will “injure the individuals or groups studied” (472). Third, “anthropologists should not work for secret sponsors or with secret financing, and they should not make secret reports, either to their sponsors or to the host government, of material they would not publish” (472). He also discusses some of the concerns in anthropology, which were reported to the Committee on Research Problems and Ethics. Finally, for Beals, the Fellows of the American Anthropological Association have supported what he believes to be the “basic principles to be observed in both domestic and foreign research” (475).
CHRISTA TAYLOR Okanagan University College (Diana E. French)
K.C. Chang Major Aspects of the Interrelationship of Archaeology and Ethnology.Current Anthropology June, 1967 Vol.8(3):227-243.
The purpose of this article is to explore the viable aspects of using ethnology and archaeology together, to their mutual advantage. Chang acknowledges that archaeology and ethnology are two completely separate disciplines with their own ways of accomplishing set goals. However, he maintains intercommunication, where applicable, between the two (and all disciplines associated with anthropology) should provide each discipline with a more complete view. He asks several questions of each field as to what is important and by which process they accomplish their goals. He does acknowledge that ethnography examines more closely the present through written works, oral traditions and direct participant-observation by the researcher and archaeology tries to reveal the past through the collection of the stuff left behind. He suggests the concepts used by which the ethnographer – type, analogy, social reconstruction and evolution – can be of some value to the archaeologist in trying to determine thought and ideology of the past.
Chang compares the two disciplines quite effectively by observing that the work of the archaeologist is to try and reconstruct the past from various remains and artifacts. With that in mind, he reminds us that that is the main goal of ethnology as well. However, ethnology attempts this by going directly to the source, the people. He suggests while archaeology and ethnology remain separate disciplines, subject to their own rules, goals and methods, they can and do have the ability in certain and warranted instances to provide information to each other, although he does divulge that archaeology gets the better end of the deal in most cases. He concludes by saying that in order for this to be practical, an avenue of communication must be laid down and an understanding of the roles of each discipline must be established by those attempting to use the resources of each to benefit the other.
The comments section of the article is replete with thoughts by some of the most famous anthropologists, including Lewis Binford and Julian Steward. The critiques of the essay were for the most part positive, and reinforced the theories introduced by Chang. Additionally, they included some very valuable alternative but relevant insights into Chang’s work and the conclusions that he draws. The negative comments were focused on fundamental incongruities the critics saw in the research, and provided alternative or substitute theories in order to best explain their point of view on the subjects proposed by Chang. Overall though the article seemed to be received well and most were appreciative of the extensive work undertaken by Chang.
Chang’s replies to the comments made by his colleagues were met with a general feeling of appreciation. However, he does have a fundamental problem with the negative comments offered by Binford and Cowgill. He focused much of his response to these and tries to offer explanations and evidence to further bolster his point of view, and provides his biggest critics with a scholarly debate about the details brought up in his research. Overall, his replies are very straight forward and seem to address all of the issues brought about by his paper.
JOE DESJARDINS Okanagan University College (Diana E. French)
Colson, Elizabeth. Competence and Incompetence in the Context of Independence. Current Anthropology, 1967 Vol.8(1-2):92-111.
Colson uses field notes from her time among the Tonga in Zambia to analyze the factors which classify someone as competent or incompetent, especially in the context of social change. Colson identifies two types of competence in her examination of pre- and post-revolutionary power in the country. These two types are technical competence, or the ability to employ physical objects, and political competence, the ability to manipulate influence for one’s gain.
Colson’s study on competence is analyzed from three perspectives: competency in the old system, new standards of competence, and the revolution in competence. In the old system, white Europeans dominated the African population politically and economically. For an African to gain advantages, he must depend upon a European patron’s assistance. This was due to the fact that most Africans left school after the first or second year, had little or no technical training, and were legally restricted from certain professions. The wealthiest Africans employed a patron-client relationship, which required Africans to have the assistance of a European to achieve goals, to their advantage rather than overthrowing it. With the patron-client system dominating, political competence was emphasized over technical competence. An election in 1962, in which large numbers of Africans were able to vote who were not previously permitted this right, elected an African government. This election allowed Africans the ability to handle situations without the assistance of a patron and established new standards of competence. The revolution in competence began to be evident long before the 1962 election, when Zambians discovered the possibility to bypass local political structure. Zambians with adequate education and capital traveled to England, discovering international politics. By networking internationally, the nationalist group developed political competence equivalent to Europeans’. Through publicity gained by international connections, the nationalists convinced Zambians of their ability to improve conditions in their country. Europeans in Zambia began to realize that their reign was ending. When the African government was installed, the few men with education became the new government. Village people, however, saw the new government as a patron-client system, with the difference from the European-dominated system being their direct access to leaders. While technical competence was still not emphasized, the village people felt that their political competence had improved and could gain them the material objects which they desired. These people were content with this for the current moment.
The general problem Colson addresses is the manner in which people perceive themselves as competent or incompetent and how this perception changes throughout history. She states that people establish their concept of their own competency through, “the ability to compete with others and the ability to get things done in an effective fashion.” In the final portion of her article, Colson discusses the fact that the leaders in the African government possess a much lower level of education than political leaders of other countries, despite the fact that they are among the most highly educated in their country. She uses the aforementioned discussion to point out that competence has varying definitions in different cultures.
Most commentators praise Colson for her article. However, several commentaries requested clarification of the definition of competence and incompetence. Other commentaries point out the inherent shift of power from one privileged group to another. Gutkind states that patron-client relationships are found in nearly all systems where one person holds greater skill and power than another. Many commentators compared Colson’s article to their own experiences with similar situations in different countries.
Colson acknowledges the difficulty in establishing an agreed-upon definition for competence and incompetence. She also addressed the commentators’ comparisons by suggesting that many of the countries on which they commented were still under colonial governments or recently coming out of these governments, and that the possibility exists that all of these countries could represent the other at a different stage in its revolution. In addition, Colson indicates that the countries, to which the commentators referred, for the most part, had indigenous rulers.
JESSICA MURAYAMA University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo)
Colson, Elizabeth. Competence and Incompetence in the Context of Independence.Current Anthropology February-April, 1967 8(1-2): 92-111.
In the article Competence and Incompetence in the Context of Independence, author Elizabeth Colson explains the life which transpired in pre and post independence Zambia. Formerly occupied by the British until the early 1960’s, Colson explains the attitudes of Europeans towards African, and vice versa. She makes it clear that the Africans were seen to be incompetent while the governing body of Europeans were far superior. Granted that the Africans had little school training, they were a cohesive people. As the 20th century continued, Zambia achieves complete independence from Britain, and Africans are no longer seen as being so incompetent, rather quite competent individuals. This is an interesting concept because racism continues to exist well after independence, by the Europeans.
Colson uses several examples which deal with British attitudes towards the Africans before and after independence was achieved in Zambia. Colson describes Zambia as being a very similar atmosphere to the American south, in that the blacks were looked down upon as being inferior to the Europeans, whom were the ruling classes of the area before independence. Colson also goes on to supply an example of this discrimination which says that Europeans received better treatment at the hospital while the Africans received little attention unless accompanied by a European.
Ironically, attitudes change after independence is achieved, and more Blacks assume more jobs with higher importance in society, like governmental positions. Although the attitude of the ruling white class dissolves, racism however persists within the whites. Here, Colson gives another example, which included a White abusing and verbally assaulting Blacks and figuring he could get away with the crime without punishment. The individual was later caught and incarcerated for his actions. The Whites simply could not accept Black domination.
Colson sheds light onto a subject which at this time, is a taboo issue in relation to racist feelings. Pierre Alexandre; however, not only feels that not enough information was given to the audience in this article, but a significant amount of more information is needed for this article. Others criticize Colson’s use of the word “competency”, and strongly suggest she use the words more carefully in the future due to the debate over its true definition. Most responses and comments tended to be very positive. Colson was obviously highly respected within the academic community at this time.
Colson’s reply seems to be one which addresses the issues questioned about her article. Clearly written and straight to the point, Colson answers these questions and justifies her position well. Unlike many other authors who can not take constructive criticism, Elizabeth Colson accepts where she went wrong, while justifying her beliefs arguing that she was working in the field while many of her critics were not.
KEITH WILSON Okanagan University College (Diana E. French)
Coon, Carleton. Hunt Edward. The Living Races of Man. Current Anthropology Feb.-Apr., 1967 Vol.8(1/2): 112-126
The authors of this book propose that the modern Homo sapien species is dived into subspecies, commonly know as races, and that these races arose from a combination of cultural and geographical and genetic difference. The authors argue that geographical differences cause groups to adapt differently and that geographical barriers limit the amount of gene flow between the newly adapted populations. Climactic factors such as wind, elevation and temperature cause people living in different areas to adapt differently. These adaptations can lead to many differences between populations of one geographical area or another, such as appearance. Examples of adaptations to climactic factors are discussed in chapter three. The authors claim that Europeans light skin can be attributed to the westerly winds and Gulf Stream which cause cool summers and dim light. This causes a decreased amount of melanin in the skin. The Authors argue that cultural differences, such as language, symbols, customs, rituals and marriage patterns create cultural barriers between a given culture and there neighbors. These cultural barriers retard gene flow between the contiguous populations. The argument that cultural factors lead to the development of race can be supported by a case from Africa. In chapter four the authors discuss the dawn of the Negro race. They do not claim that cultural changes were the cause but they do claim that cultural changes allowed the race to experience a population explosion. The race developed agriculture on their own but they changed the crops that they cultivated. Also presented in the work is the idea that genetics can help identify migration patterns and identify at what point speciation events occurred. This is achieved by tracing the genetic line back through time to identify where changes occurred. Another claim made by the authors is that genetics can be used to prove that the Mongoloid race arose from china and that they later spread though Southeast Asia as well as to the Americas.
Abbie disagreed with the evolution of the Australoid sub species and that appearance of the Australoid differed by geographic location within Australia. Angel said chapter on blood group did not contain enough information. Barnicot disagreed with some term usage. Bielicki thought the more graphs and charts could be included. Hiernaux states that not enough alternative opinions are given. Debetz corrects minor details pertaining to peoples in the book. Johnston feels that the five race model is inadequate. Lundaman sites minor errors in maps used
Fisrt Coon attempts to refute Abbies claim by presenting his evidence again. Coon agrees with angel about the chapter on blood groups and does not agree with Barnicots claims. The author feels that there could have been more charts but sites space limitations. Coon agrees with Hiernaux but sites space limitations. Coon does not agree with Lundman an claims Lundman misinterprets maps.
CHACE COTTRELL University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo)
Coon, Carleton S. and Edward Hunt. The Living Races of Man (Review). Current Anthropology February–April, 1967 Vol.8(1-2):112-126.
Coon initiates the discussion concerning his and Hunt’s collaboration, The Living Races of Man, by presenting its précis. It is one and a half pages long and describes the major aspects of the book, as well as relevant concepts from their earlier monograph, which is
entitled The Origin of the Races. Coon states as an overall summary of his book that The Living Races of Man is a racial history and a geographical distribution of living populations, and the mechanisms by which racial differences arise and are maintained”. The first and second chapters serve as an introduction to Coon’s theory of evolution, which suggests that the diversity which is found between the races is a result of adaptations in response to exposure to geographically determined environmental factors. Chapters three through seven discuss the distributions of, and physical descriptions of, the five subspecies of Homo sapiens that Coon has identified: Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Australoid, Capoid and Negroid. The ninth chapter concerns the frequency at which inherited traits occur within specific races, and with the aide of Hunt’s expertise, Coon alludes to explanations that are grounded in the newly emerging and highly respected field of genetics. Finally, the tenth chapter concludes the book with a brief history of the human races since 1942, speculation about their future, and a substantial 128 page photo-documented display of the great diversity to be found among Homo sapiens.
Thirteen reviews of Coon’s book were accepted for publication from the United States, England, Australia, Poland, the USSR, Belgium and Sweden. Common themes within the reviews focused on criticism of the significance of Coon’s data: some was proven
irrelevant by professionals, some was accused of being merely speculatory and co relational. Several reviewers offered Coon alternative theories with which he could examine his findings. Overall, the group appeared to be in admiration of Coon for his excellent efforts in his work.
The reply by Coon summarizes the history of racial evolution and addresses specific concerns that were brought forth by the commentators. He describes fieldwork that was undertaken in Australia and his findings concerning the indigenous peoples. Coon
admits that he is open to alternative explanations for the phenomena that he presents, yet when replying to a critical comment, he restates his original arguments, examples and evidence.
Hunt’s reply was much more brief, as his role in the production of the book was to provide Coon with the biological evidence for his arguments. Hunt says that he feels as though his ideas have been interpreted and popularized by Coon, therefore the comments are not addressed specifically to him to be answered.
JASMINE MARSHALL Okanagan University College (Diana E. French)
Dunn, Stephen. Dunn, Ethel. Soviet Regime and Native Culture in Central Asia and Kazakhstan. Current Anthropology June, 1967 Vol.8 No. 3
The purpose of the paper is summarize what can be learned from the work of Soviet social scientists dealing with the attempt by the Soviet state and Tsarist regime to make over a traditional culture according to the Western industrial model. The Tsarist method was in the typical colonial fashion. The upper levels of the local power structure were removed and replaced by colonials and an infrastructure was set up to facilitate the exploitation of the raw materials and industrialization of the area. The tsarist policies were to narrowly focused on specific regions and specific groups to foster any far reaching changes, though it did establish a pattern of seasonal migrant labor. These claims are supported by statistics showing that a minority of the indigenous population was still making a living from the traditional way of life. The Soviets goals in central Asia were predominantly concerned with economic development. The three major aspects of this policy were industrialization, revision of the economic base of rural life by converting the population to settled mode of life and transformation of the social structure including status of women and change of elites. The soviet policies had an effect on the people’s social structure, (example of this would be the break up of large patriarchal families), their material culture (for instance introduction of farming machinery), diet (such as the introduction of new crops, tomatoes). The above is an abbreviated list of the effects of Soviet policy on central asian cultures because of great amount of cases given by the authors. The backing of the data is general in nature, such as statistics on the number of tractors utilized by the studied people and is too extensive to be summarized here.
Mikluho-Maklaia Institute-feel that the Dunns have a distored view of U.S.S.R because they are opponents of the socialist system. They go on to criticize the data and sources used by the Dunns. Bacon, Vessac and Lopatain point out errors in pre-Revolutionary Central Asian history and kinship structure. Johansen-feels choice of Central Asia topic is unfortunate because of political complications.
The Dunns first thank the soviets for corrections, explanations and new data introduced. Next they defend their use of sources. The dunns thank Bacon, Vessac and Lopatain for pointing out errors but note that neither of these points were there main concern. The Dunns agree with Johansen that the topic might be unfortunate but should not exluded segments of anthropology just because of political ramifications. Next they try to clear up disagreements with soviets. Lastly they conclude with three things. 1 that their article does attempt to much 2 should be an agency, study group or center to follow Soviet developments in the field of culture change 3 that American universities should have area studies programs in Soviet Ethnography
CHACE COTTRELL University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo)
Dunn, Ethel and Stephen P. Dunn. Soviet Regime and Native Culture in Central Asia and Kazakhstan: The Major Peoples’. Current Anthropology June, 1967 Vol.8(3):147-208.
Dunn and Dunn illustrate the dilemmas and complexities encountered during efforts to shape traditional culture to that of Western industrial society. Due to a lack of available literature, the authors utilize limited and popular sources, and therefore only tentative judgments can be drawn about Soviet cultural and social policy in Central Asia and Kazakhstan. This article suggests that the Soviet experience in attempting meditated or spontaneous cultural change in Central Asia and Kazakhstan after 1917 can be used to understand similar situations around the world. The Soviet Union had three main goals, which were to encourage industrialization, a settled lifestyle, and to transform the existing social structure. The proposed land reform program was based on expropriation, re-organization of the population, and mechanization.
The first problem the Soviets faced was having an insufficient supply of infrastructure and a trained workforce. The solution was a type of culture change by educating the people into becoming a skilled labor force allowing for industrialization and for the mechanism of agriculture to develop. Dunn and Dunn’s research suggests that a limited progression towards abolishing the status inequality between sexes has replaced large patriarchal families. However, in reality, many families still keep the oldest male member of the family as the head of the house. This fact illustrates the difficulty in applying Western patterns of culture even while progressing to a non-Western goal. Also, the Soviet regime is based on social equality for men and women alike. However, despite efforts for gender equality, inferiority of women is manifested as an inherent belief among many Central Asian people. The authors use many examples and specific cases to support their hypothesis in this highly detailed and extensive account of the changes in indigenous culture under the Soviet regime in Central Asia and Kazakhstan.
In summary, this article is a study of the change in indigenous culture as a consequence of contact with the dominating Soviet regime; this process is also called acculturation. The ultimate objective of the Soviet regime was to create one central Soviet culture with only slight geographically based deviations mainly in the areas of technology, clothing, and housing. One of Dunn and Dunn’s objectives in this paper was to summarize and record the extent of that acculturation. In conclusion, the authors illuminate the fact that the Soviet regime has become conscious of the dysfunctional centralized planning and administration present in this system and are attempting to rectify the problem.
Dunn and Dunn are criticized for their unreliable as well as insufficient sources used for their research. Since the Soviet regime initiated a policy of decentralization, this paper was also dated by the time it was published. Commentators additionally negatively critique this article for presenting inadequate organization, the neglect to fully explain method or model, and for the false assumption that all cultures living in Central Asia and Kazakhstan before 1917 were basically the same. However, the authors are commended for collecting useful and scarce data on a part of the world that has been neglected by Western anthropology.
The authors begin by defending their sources and then clarifying that the valuable information mentioned by their contemporaries were not available to them prior to publication. Also, they justify their heavy reliance on the press as a source for behavioral information because fieldwork was not possible. Dunn and Dunn admit to bad placement of examples, and a lack of statistical data to support their arguments. They conclude by acknowledging that their paper attempts to research too much, and lacks the necessary detail.
SUSANNE TANJA WENGENMEIER Okanagan University College (Diana E. French)
Epstein, A. L. Urbanization and Social Change in Africa. Current Anthropology October 1967 Vol.8(4):275-295.
The main emphasis of this article is on the structural aspects of urbanization, including the examination of some of the variables that shape the structure of social relations in modern African towns. Since towns are not self-contained social bodies, but have their place within a wider field of social relationships, Epstein discusses the relations of these towns to other towns and to the rural areas, and considers the role of the towns within the developing nation.
The author begins with the conditions of urban social structure focusing first on the industrial structure, that is the organizational framework though which the town seeks to achieve those economic aims and purposes that brought it into existence, or give it its present importance. Secondly, the civic structure which derives from the policies and practices of its administration, and thirdly, the necessary demography which affects in a variety of ways the social composition of the town and the degree of urban commitment.
Epstein defines the social structure of the town with the complex network of social relations that includes kinship and tribalism or ethnicity. Tribalism is important since it remains the primary category of interaction and a ready means of mobilizing support that is evident in the emergence of large-scale Tribal Unions and tribal federations. This paper also discusses the relations between towns and raises questions about the spatial distribution of urban centres within a country, the relations that develop between them, and the implications that variation has for social change.
With regard to town, country, and nation, the author believes that the process of urbanization has several aspects. First, the demographic, involves the redistribution of population as people move from rural to urban areas. A second refers to participation in social relations in town and the changes in behavior patterns that such participation involves. The third aspect is a feedback process concerned with the influence of town on country and the implications of urban growth for social change.
In conclusion, Epstein states that urban existence involves situational change and cultural persistence that is obvious on African urban institutions fashioned on a model that is infused with elements that derive from tribal culture. He also believes that as more studies are made of urbanization and urbanism under conditions of independence, questions will be explored much further. This paper raises interesting issues regarding tribalism and the move to urban areas by African people.
Overall, the commentators found this paper to be a valuable contribution to modern urban African studies. One writer suggested that there be exploratory studies on how urban Africans view the urban areas in which they live. While labeling this article helpful and welcome, there were points raised regarding the weakness, failure and limitation in the author’s scope in terms of its theoretical perspective and coverage of particular topics. A comment was made of the importance of this paper since it stresses the need to develop new conceptual tools for understanding the forms and variations in patterns of African urbanization.
In his reply, Epstein discusses the points raised regarding the limitations of his paper, explaining they were self-imposed, and the points of emphasis made by two writers explaining clearly the misconceptions made. The author admits that his discussion of industrial and civic structure was not as clear as he had hoped and goes on to clarify this point. Epstein defends his stance on tribalism and points out more questions to be answered. In conclusion, the author agrees with comments made on his choice of towns for comparison and points out that his suggestion illustrates the regional divide he referred to.
LINDA J. BASTIEN Okanagan University College (Diana E. French).
Genovés, Santiago T. Some Problems in the Physical Anthropological Study of the Peopling of Americas. Current Anthropology October, 1967 Vol.8(4):297-312.
This article addresses, what Genovés views as stagnation in the recent research concerning the study of the genetic affinities of the first Americans to Old World populations. Outlined in the article are several of the most pressing problems with current research and some suggestions for improvement. The types of problems mentioned with the current research include a lack of certain kinds of studies, preconceived erroneous conclusions about findings, and misinterpretation of data.
There are several types of studies Genovés believes warranted at the time of publication. These include comparative studies between skeletal remains, and an integration of data with other fields such as prehistory, and geology. Both of these problems, Genovés suggests, could be resolved through greater cooperation and points to Old World efforts as an example of such cooperation. Genovés also makes note of physical anthropologists over reliance on cranial material, and calls for a more in-depth study of other osteological evidence, particularly long bones.
The author’s criticism of outdated preconceived conclusions and techniques mainly focuses on whether or not Amerindians can be definitively said to have a biological unified source. Specific criticisms on this point include mention of skeletal material that does not appear mongoloid, possible explanations for how non-Asian elements could have reached America, and the misuse of climate driven evolutionary theories to explain the differentiation in Amerindian populations.
Lastly, Genovés makes note of what he believes to be several methodological errors in determining Amerindian ancestry. As he points out there is no reason to believe contemporary remains will be similar due to the effect of varying evolutionary change. This has led in some cases, Genovés believes, to erroneous deductions based on unrepresentative sample populations. He recommends an increased diversification of samples be taken from an array of both Old and New World sources to eliminate some of the subjective tendencies in current interpretation.
Genovés concludes with a call for more scholarly research to review existing data, and for an attempt to more thoroughly synthesize the currently collected research into a better understanding of Amerindian origins. The primary issue he calls attention to is a need to better understand the contributions to the heterogeneity of Amerindian populations. Genovés accounts for some of this heterogeneity with factors such as genetic drift and differential selection in varied environments, however, he also mentions research which points towards multiple migrations to America as a possible explanation for genetic diversity.
Six responses accompany this article with varying suggestions. James Bellis questions the usefulness of reexamining collected data. Adelaida de Díaz Ungría and Erik Reed defend the single origin theory for Amerindians, and claim that post New World entry evolutionary factors can explain the diversity of Amerindian populations. R. Hafer discusses the obstacles that New World studies are faced with as opposed to those in the Old World. Marshall Newman proposes metabolic factors as a stimulus for evolutionary change. Phil Orr complains of archaeologist’s inability to spot materials of use to physical anthropologists. Overall, the criticisms focus mainly on interpreting one faucet of the research differently or recommending material that might have been included, especially in the case of Juan Schobinger.
Genovés in his reply focuses largely on the sections of his paper that are ommonly agreed upon, such as the fact that little progress has been made in the field recently. He acknowledges most of the points made by the commentators in regards to the ongoing controversy over multiple or single migration models. In regards to the material various commentators felt had been left out, he defends the exclusion of some work as not worthy of mention and others as not yet available to him at the time of publication.
MATTHEW PAILES University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo)
Hickerson, Harold. Some Implications of the Theory of the Particularity, or “Atomism,” of Northern Algonkians. Current Anthropology, October 1967. Vol. 8 (4): 313-343.
This article presents information about the two types of “the theory of the particularity…of Algonkian collectors,” which was developed mainly by Frank G. Speck. The socioeconomic type of “atomism” means: “Every man was for himself or for his own family; and there were few activities which linked the isolated families together.” The personality structure of the Algonkians is also highly individualistic, representing the second type of “atomism.”
Hickerson argues that particularism also affects social theory. It was thought that “individual ownership of land in the status of savagery” was not possible; land supposedly stayed communal until the upper stage of barbarism and civilization. The studies of Algonkian cultures contradict both Morgan’s and Marx’s theories of social evolution, since private ownership of land occurs in these communities within the upper stage of barbarism.
It is at this point in the article that Hickerson defines his purpose: “My intent is not to prove that Algonkians were one thing or another in aboriginal and historical times, but rather to suggest that certain stereotypes long held on northern and northeastern sections of this far-flung family have no basis in fact.”
Hickerson goes on to elaborate on the theories of supporters of “Speck’s theory of the individualistic nature of property ownership among Algonkians.” Included are Lowie, Eiseley, and Cooper.
He then asserts that as the Algonkians become recognized more and more as a particularistic society, particularist theories began to be applied to other aspects of “primitive life,” such as psychology.
Hickerson points out that early and modern Algonkians differ so greatly in their way of life that what is observed about modern Algonkians cannot necessarily be applied to the study of their ancestors. “It is unjustifiable to look at such remnant societies as representative of autonomous forerunners.”
Hickerson explains that “[his] own idea has been to approach depth studies of Algonkians, including Chippewa, from the point of view of history.”
Twelve scholars commented on Hickerson’s article. J.P. Averkieva disagrees with “Hickerson’s assertion that the unilineal descent groups of ancient Chippewa and other northern Algonkians were patrilineal and patrilocal. Victor Barnouw disagrees with Hickerson’s argument that “the Chippewa formerly had cohesive, collective social institutions.” William Caudill “see[s] a less direct connection than does Hickerson between aspects of wider social organization and personality.” Harold E. Driver disagrees with Hickerson’s assertion that “the elimination of pre-Columbian “atomism” of these Indians vindicates the overgeneralizations of Morgan, Marx, and Engels.” R. W. Dunning comments that Hickerson’s article is “a most satisfactory study.” Ernestine Friedl criticizes Hickerson’s use of “value judgements.” John J. Honigmann says that “Hickerson has written a stimulating paper” but disagrees with Hickerson by asserting that “historical evidence of aboriginal personality can frequently be found.” James H. Howard gives Hickerson praise for “pointing out the danger of equating the least acculturated present-day reservation group…with the pre-contact ancestral group.” Edward S. Rogers comments that “Hickerson has written an interesting and provocative article.” Arthur J. Rubel applauds Hickerson’s “yeoman service in collecting and creatively interpreting a mass of ethnohistorical data.” Omer C. Stewart “can do little more than express [his] complete agreement.” Rosalie Wax and Murray Wax claim that Hickerson “ignores the fact that conservative Indians do have distinctive tribal personalities.”
Hickerson responds in detail only to Barnouw because “he is the only one seriously to question the integrity of my data and he alone appears to be acutely concerned about my relationship with Marx. Hickerson gives short replies to the criticism of the other scholars with a discussion of the “inadequacy of the space-time continuum” at the conclusion of his reply.
AUDREY COLWELL University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo)
Hickerson, Harold. Some Implications of the Theory of the Particularity, or “Atomism,” of North Algonkians. Current Anthropologist October, 1967 Vol.8(4):313-329.
This paper is a discussion of the implications of the theory of atomism among various groups of the Algonquian nation. Harold Hickerson explores many different theories and hypotheses ranging from social to psychoanalytical all used to interpret various observed behaviors by Algonquian peoples. He begins the paper with a discussion of Frank Speck’s work theories of behavior. Speck described a system of ownership of bounded hunting tracts among the Chippewa, Montagnais-Naskapi, Micmac and Abanaki peoples, fifty years prior. His description detailed a system of inherited trapping territories within paternal or bilateral families with inherent rules guarding against trespass and owners rights, concluding that it was a characteristic of ancient property rights. The hypothesis presented Speck the basis for the general theory of particularity (atomism) of the Algonquian peoples.
According to Hickerson, the theory has two forms, the first being the theory of social and economic particularity of the limited extended family and the second the theory of Algonquian personality as having an atomistic structure. These theories were used and expanded upon by future archeologists including Barnouw who, using the first theory regarding economics, stated in his 1950’s article that there was no economic relationship outside the family group.
Furthering his discussion on the implication of the theory, Hickerson moves on to a discussion of the social theories of Morgan and how they influenced the interpretation of particularism and atomism as related to the question of Algonquian socialization and property distribution. Examining these points within a historical context, Hickerson takes the time to explore different stereotypical views of the Algonquian peoples through time and how they originated as well as who propagated them. He looks to Marx and the various ideologies stemming from him as propagating the idea of collective norms, returns to Speck to explore ideas of individual property ownership and returns to Morgan and his statements regarding clans and tribes and their separate territorial holdings. From this point, Hickerson moves into the realm of psychological anthropology and explores various traits that have been attributed to these people and how over time they have evolved and changed. In particular, the work of Nicolas Perrot is studied in regard to his observation of social and economic cooperation among Algonquian peoples, an observation opposite that of many others recorded.
Hickerson challenges, but does not object to, the viewpoint of the Algonquian peoples as being a primitive society. He looks at the implications of the theory of particularism and atomism, discusses their failure in certain aspects, and finally concludes that there is a need for more research, be it historical, archeological or social on the complex relationships of social and economics within the various groups of Algonquian people, but clearly states that this research needs to be done without pre-defined ideas and theoretical dispositions.
Anthropologists commenting on this article come from a variety of backgrounds and add much to the discussion of the article. J.P. Averkieva comments that Hickerson’s concerns over the misinterpretation of the social and economic economies of the Algonquian are well founded and the argument he brings forward does much to further the social ideas of Morgan’s theories. He goes on to say that while Hickerson’s article is well written and brings forward many important ideas for future investigation, he is not overly convincing in his argument. The next commentator is Victor Barnouw. He does not agree with Hickerson’s argument regarding his ideas that the Algonquian people were a social collective unit before interaction with Europeans. He brings to light the fact that much of the evidence used to support this argument as well as many other articles has been fragmentary at best. He states that Hickerson’s main argument is to prove the idea of Marxist communistic society existing in the Americas before European integration because of his own ideological beliefs in this system. Barnouw goes on to say that Hickerson purposely misinterpreted his position of economic factors on the role of warfare among the Iroquois. From here the comments tend to be more generalized. William Caudill, Rosalie and Murray Wax and James H. Howard all speak out in disagreement over Hickerson’s idea of communal society among the Algonquians, with Howard specifically remarking about how many archeologists studying the Algonquian people have at there discretion used particular data to support there argument and disregarded data that repudiated them. In support of Hickerson’s paper, Harold Driver, R.W. Dunning, Ernestine Friedl, John Honigmann, Edward Rogers, Arthur Rubel and Omer Stewart all comment on his use of historical documentation to support his argument and acknowledge his work for clarifying social and economic organization among the Algonquian people.
Hickerson writes specifically to explain or clarify any of his data that were questioned or commented upon. He directly address Barnouw’s comments regarding his Marxist approach, saying that he has found the ideology useful in explaining social organization. He also addresses Barnouw’s concerns regarding the integrity of his data, but clarifies each point raised, bringing in Barnouw’s own data and arguments to substantiate his argument. Replying to James H. Howard’s comment on the selective use of data, Hickerson goes so far as to say that all data is open to interpretation by its reader and should be thought of as always partially tainted by another person’s point of view.
KARA OTKE Okanagan University College (Diana E. French)
Jacob, Teuku. Recent Pithecanthropus Finds in Indonesia. Current Anthropology December, 1967 Vol.8(5):501-504.
Jacob’s article briefly summarizes fossil finds in Indonesia from 1960 to 1965. He describes five different specimens and where each were found, including a map for reference. The first fossil described is a mandible found in 1960 near the village of Mlandinganon. The fossil is labeled Mandible C because of its close resemblance to a previously discovered specimen and due to its location should geologically classified into P. modjokertensis. Jacob includes precise measurements of all aspects of the mandible, including that of the corpus, the mental foramen, the interalveolar septum, and all the teeth in great detail while including the overall condition of each. Also included are three pictures of the mandible from different perspectives. The second specimen Jacob examines is a skull cap, labeled Skull VI, according to the order of previously discovered skulls, found in Tandjung in 1963. Detailed recordings of the surface finds in the area, the state of the skull, and a picture, displaying the sphenoid shape of the skull, are included. Jacob proposes the skull is that of a young adult male, because the supraorbital torus is large, close to the thickness of “Zinjanthropus” and the mastoid process is well developed.
The third specimen is a highly fossilized left upper third molar found in Sangiran in 1963; through comparisons with other molars it appears the molar is pithecanthropine. Each aspect of the molar, including the root canal and cusps, is listed with detailed measurements. Skull VII, the fourth fossil, is a completely fossilized pithecanthropus skull discovered in Putjung in 1965. Jacob briefly explains the size and condition of the specimen, speculating that it is an adult skull, but states any further data or interpretation is absent because the skull is still being studied. He suspects it is most likely an adult skull. Lastly, Jacob examines skull fragments that were found in Sangiran in 1965. Most of the pieces are of parietal bones; however, any further data is unavailable because research on these items are also still in process. The article concludes by stating further research continues in this area, and hopefully it will be extended to other sites in Java and Indonesia soon.
KIM TOWNSLEY Okanagan University College (Diana E. French)
Köbben, A. J. F. Why Exceptions? The Logic of Cross-Cultural Analysis’. Current Anthropologist. February-April 1967 Vol.8 (1-2): 3-34.
The author explores the issue of functional relationships in studies of social situations. Köbben is concerned with the frequent occurrence of varied correlations to the rules of society across cultures. He criticizes others efforts to gain cohesion to the rules by making the operational statement too vague, or simply becoming content with a few studies conformity.
Köbben makes his own functional relationship for this dilemma by stating ‘where an anthropological rule, there exceptions’ (pp. 4) Then he proceeds to describe why variations to the rule occur. Problems that the author points out occur include classification errors and the strength of the operational statement, misassignment of causality, intervening variables, external influences, cultural lag, coincidence, personality, and a interaction of all factors.
Köbben sums it all up by stating that there will always be the exception to the rule. But he encourages those in the social sciences to persevere. Cross-cultural correlations are important to discovering patterns in human behavior making the exceptions all the more important to anthropological study.
The author gives many examples and tables, which he describes in detail as he develops his hypothesis. The inclusion of a few graphs makes the article very interesting and readable. Köbben knows how to tie thing together in a nice package for delivery to the reader. A very good article for a new comer.
The commentators were unanimously in support of this paper and in agreement that uniformity between schools is needed. The main critique was that Köbben was too ‘middle of the road’ which was the author’s point to begin with. Unity in cross-cultural studies with an explanation of outliers. Comments made were more along the line of criticisms of the examples and explanations given.
The author’s response to the comments was as clear as the article itself. His poignant reply to Sugg’s criticism was the most interesting as the commenter was criticized for a statistical error in his argument. Otherwise, he thanked them for the interesting arguments and challenges.
CYNTHIA HENGGE University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo)
Köbben, A.J. Why Exceptions? The Logic of Cross-Cultural Analysis. Current Anthropology February-April, 1967 Vol. 8(1-2):3-34.
Köbben begins his article with the observation that hundreds of universal statements regarding functional relationships between social phenomena have been reported when conducting cross-cultural analysis in anthropology. He purports that in the social sciences (especially social anthropology) there are no general rules, laws, or statements cross-culturally without exceptions and that these exceptions, large or small, should always be explained. He summarizes this as, “where an anthropological rule [exists], there [are] exceptions.” He attempts to answer why and how exceptions occur by breaking the possible causes down into eleven factors as follows: 1) defective classification by ethnologists (comparative anthropologists), e.g. mislabeled data or confusion with the meaning of the terms used, 2) defective classification by ethnographers, e.g. observational errors, possibly due in part to their personal educational and cultural influences, or too few informants, 3) multi-causality, i.e. omitting one of many causes, 4) parallel causality, i.e. omitting independent parallel causes, 5) functional equivalents, i.e. omitting interchangeable functions/social phenomena such as religion versus nationalism, 6) intervening variables, i.e. extraneously occurring causes, 7) diffusion, i.e. impact of external influences, 8) cultural and social lag (similar to parallel causes), 9) coincidence, i.e. when an independent cause and effect happen to meet, 10) personality i.e. encountering an uncommon personality from the group studied such as a prophet, and 11) combinations of any number of these factors. Köbben analyzes numerous cross-cultural examples and references for each factor and makes proficient use of tables and figures to illustrate his arguments.
Regardless of the sizeable combinations of factors that can cause exceptions to an anthropologist’s laws or statements, Köbben maintains that legitimate proclamations and theories are espoused regularly. The identification of the exceptions and weeding them out or including them in the final analysis, makes the theory more complete. The researcher believes the science of anthropology can only benefit by incorporating this process.
The majority of the commentators express praise for the researcher’s contribution to the discussion of methodology in anthropology. Some assert that the outlined list of causes for exceptions could serve as a useful guide in deconstructing cross-cultural data. Criticisms are mostly with regard to particular aspects of Köbben’s analysis of the examples he presented for each factor. However, some do question one of his suggestions to reduce exceptions by using only “extreme cases” (data) when conducting cross-cultural studies. A few also express concerns regarding increasing reliance on computers versus humans, in analyzing data.
Köbben responds to approximately half of the commentators. He upholds his opinion regarding the utilization of only extreme cases in cross-cultural analysis. He bases this on his review of unstable classifications from the past, stating that if pertinent (i.e. extreme) data are not present then analysis should not be completed at all. He also defends the time saving value of computers in the application of data computations. Further replies are in regard to general points of clarification or regarding specific examples Köbben presented throughout his paper.
GRETA TRODD Okanagan University College (Diana E. French)
Lewis, Oscar. The Children of Sanchez, Pedro Martinez, and La Vida. Current Anthropology December, 1967 vol.8(5):480-500
The article focuses on the study of the poverty subculture via the study of the family group. The author uses interviews he conducted of family members in a lower-class Mexican families in a Latin American society, and performs them in a way so that the individuals tell their life stories in their own words, in order to remove the elements of investigator bias, and thus avoiding most common hazards of the investigation of the poor. He first utilizes the case study of The Children of Sanchez, which is an in depth look at a family eking out a meager existence in a one room apartment in a slum. He attributes his study of the close ingrained relationship of the individuals in the family to the outside world of the city, and how it can be used to distinguish the cultural rather than the attribution of situation effects on the individual. He secondly uses the case study of Pedro Martinez, in which he documents the introverted, emotionally constricted, life of a rural village man in contrast to that found in The Children of Sanchez. He uses this to attribute Pedro’s activity in his community, and his experience of being affected by the Mexican revolution of 1910 first hand. He then focuses on the case study of La Vida, in which he focuses on a Puerto Rican family in an urban lifestyle. He uses this as an even more extreme contrast to Pedro, as the individuals portrayed here are even more unbridled and emotional than those individuals in The Children of Sanchez. He additionally compares the language styles of each of the families, and notes that amongst those, the characters from La Vida use a strikingly poetic form of speaking, and often times bar on what some would call extreme sexual metaphor, whereas those in the rural village, many are bilingual in an Aztec derivative and Spanish, and often times intermingle the two. Those whom have reviewed this article comment that the autobiographical approach has problems with wholeness, its implications, and its degree of importance. Many also mention that the interview method also provides numerous instantiations of redundancy. There is also the problem of Lewis not shedding his voice on the data gleamed from the interviews, and leaving it for the audience to interpret, in their own way. Many others say that his works have a complete lack of structure and follow a precedent akin to fiction, and is oft times hostile to his subjects in his practices. Lewis responds by mentioning that he appreciates the critiques he received on the methods of interviewing and the autobiographical approach, as well his distinction between culture and the poverty sub-culture. However, he refutes the statements made about him being hostile toward his subject, citing that he often times had “second families” amongst them, and that because he portrayed items which may not be acceptable in our society, such as disciplining children with physical violence, it is perfectly acceptable and expected in theirs.
MATTHEW COLEMAN University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo)
Marshall, Donald Stanley. General Anthropology: Strategy for a Human Science.
Thompson, Laura. Steps Toward a Unified Anthropology. Current Anthropology February-April, 1967 Vol.8(1,2):61-91.
The essays by Marshall and Thompson concern the integration of all of the sub-disciplines of Anthropology into one discipline. According to Marshall, the task of Anthropology should be to fulfill its definition in that it “should embrace the study of all that is man” (61). Thompson states that although Anthropology has a “short history” in the academic sense, “biophysical anthropology and sociocultural anthropology have never been unified” (67).
Dr. Marshall’s main argument is that Anthropology should take a “generalizing approach” (61). He argues that the anthropologist’s main task is “to understand human behavior” and to explain “why” members of a society act in certain ways (61). Dr. Thompson’s main argument is that Anthropology is “fractionized” and that it should focus on a “multidisciplinary approach” (75). Both Marshall and Thompson believe that these approaches are necessary for future Anthropology to “unify” and to “integrate” the subdisciplines so that the anthropologist will have a better understanding of “the science of man” (67).
Marshall quotes Francis Bacon when he said, “I have taken all knowledge to be my province” (62). Marshall argues that a generalist approach was one in which Franz Boas was concerned with which included “an extensive knowledge of the overall literature of the study of man” (62). The “strategy for general Anthropology” according to Marshall should include both diachronic and synchronic aspects. Marshall claims that the generalist approach should utilize the “comparative study of at least two or more groups of peoples” and to develop concepts and theories only after long-term, “repeated fieldwork” has been done (65).
Thompson’s overall goal of a multidisciplinary approach is to “formulate a general theory of mankind”, based on empirical evidence and to utilize the study of the “isolated communities” (76). Thompson argues that a society should be studied from “many different points of view simultaneously” (69). She claims that the best “unit of study” is the “near-isolated community” because phenotypes can be effectively studied due to the “isolated gene pools.” In relation to microevolution of these populations, Thompson draws on the work by B. S. Kraus and C. B. White (1956), that only through a “detailed study of social institutions” can one define the “true breeding population” (75). She claims that only through this type of integrated approach can anthropologists begin to understand the “problems of ongoing human evolution” (77).
Some of Marshall and Thompson’s colleagues find the essays of little merit while others tend to view them as useful but incomplete. One reply involves the small, local populations in relation to research. John W. Bennett for example, draws attention to globalization and to the “disappearing” “primitive” communities. Others, such as John J. Honigmann believe that adding more to the graduate studies of the anthropology discipline is too demanding, but if achieved would require more fellowships to enable the student to research and study such an interdisciplinary approach.
Dr. Marshall replies by stating that the general anthropological approach is not for every student of anthropology. It is only the “scholar who has fundamental concepts firmly in mind” that would be best suited to the approach (85). Marshall also concedes that his “small-group” analysis “should be tested against large groups” for validity (85).
Dr. Thompson replies that the significance in relation to the studies of “isolated human communities” is that “it reduces the number of significant variables to be controlled and therefore renders the scientific problem more manageable” (86). Thompson answers her colleagues question as to why a general theory by claiming that “if not by anthropologists”, then by someone “less well qualified than ourselves.” (87).
MICHAEL R. TAYLOR University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo).
Marshall, Donald Stanley. General Anthropology: Strategy for a Human Science. Current Anthropology February-April, 1967 Vol. 8(1-2):61-66.
In this article, Marshall argues for a greater effort toward unification within the discipline of anthropology. He presents his notion of unification in two ways. First, he describes anthropological knowledge in terms of both its scope and effectiveness in describing human behavior, which he identifies as the primary goal of anthropology. Second, he describes the methodology through which a unified approach to anthropological study could be applied. Marshall identifies different levels of anthropological knowledge, ranging from general to specialized. He attributes the formulation of theories to general knowledge, and cites specialized knowledge as the source of data from which theories are postulated, as well as the basis from which they are tested.
Marshall asserts that a comprehensive understanding of humanity can only be developed from a broad knowledge base, and for this reason the discipline must be unified. He describes a unified anthropology as one in which specialists from all sub-disciplines and methodological approaches work together, and in coordination with general anthropologists that possess a broad understanding of anthropological concepts. With regard to methodology, Marshall stresses the importance of fieldwork, preferably in geographic areas comprising multiple ethnic groups and variable social organization in terms of complexity. He also advocates a comparative approach, stating that theories should only be developed from research that considers at least two separate geographic areas.
BEN VAN DER GRACHT Okanagan University College (Diana E. French)
Nash, Manning. Primitive and Peasant Economic Systems. Current Anthropology, June 1967 Vol. 8 (3): 244-250.
This is mostly a set of reviews of a book titled, “Primitive and Peasant Economic Systems,” written by Manning Nash. The reviews are preceded by a short précis by the author. Nash tells the reader that his book attempts to address the issues and problems associated with economic anthropology. He briefly points out specific topics discusses within his book, including the relationship of economy to the rest of the social system, accounting for changes in primitive and peasant economic systems, and the problems associated with the modernization of these economies.
Following the author’s précis, several commentators give their opinions of Nash’s book. The commentators include F. G. Bailey, Cyril S. Belshaw, Audrey J. Butt, Edward E. LeClair, Jr., K. S. Mathur, Iso Reksohadiprodjo, and Zofia Sokolewicz. Most of the comments given are positive ones. They all point out Nash’s views of the relationship between economics and anthropology to be logical and consistent. There are a few negative comments however, such as the lack of ecological factors and the omission of folk cultures. Le Clair’s goes as far to say that “Unfortunately, Nash has sent a boy to do a man’s work.” By this, Le Clair means to say that a 152-page book can hardly scrape the surface of the issues abound in economic anthropology.
Nash responds to his criticism with sensible explanations and some questions of his own. One of his strongest statements was that he did not intend his work to be the definitive statement of economic anthropology, nor did he intend for it to be the end-all of facts, finding, and fictions within this field. His attempts to capture the major theories and results in a field that is rapidly developing is meant to be a beginning point for future studies.
ROBERT CURLEE Oklahoma University (Karl Rambo)
Charlotte M. Otten. On Pestilence, Diet, Natural Selection, and the Distribution of Microbial and Human Blood Group Antigens and Antibodies. Current Anthropology June, 1967 Vol.8(3):209-223.
In this article written by Otten, she raises the topic of some individuals poorer resistance against viruses or bacteria that carry antigenic specificities similar to those of their own blood group substances. The hypothesis of some of the writers she mentions, note that the “closer the structural correspondence between ABH and microbial capsular antigens, the poorer the resources for resistance in the host.” Therefore, whether the individual carries the anti-A or anti-B antibodies, is a determining factor for some protection against certain categories of organisms. Blood group specificity is a characteristic of the entire organism rather than just certain parts of the blood stream. She then discusses several factors that help support or question the hypothesis of the relationship between resistance and blood types. One of these is the dietary factors of groups of people. It suggests that there are high A frequencies associated with meat-eating and high B frequencies associated with carbohydrate-eating. However, there is a problem that arises with this and that is the lack of information on aboriginal diets. In sum, there may be evidence that they may not be done with the idea of diet being a selective force in blood group frequency distribution. The next notion is that of antibodies, this is explained through a variety of experiments and studies. One is of gamma globulin secretion which may have a significance on natural selection. These antibodies must selectively defend the portals of entry against bacterial and viral invasion and that the selection must have a “very specific dependence upon individual blood group character.” The final discussion is that of intestinal and gastric microbiota. This basically says that the intestinal flora can affect the organism’s vitality and growth. It claims that a shift in diet whether it was a change from carnivorous to herbivorous content (or vice versa) has an effect on the composition of intestinal flora. She concludes with a discussion of the lactobacilli and its association with growth enhancing activity.
The commentators who wrote about her paper were for the most part supportive of her work and found it very interesting and the data she presented to be informative. Several of them share her opinion on the “disapproval of the uncritical acceptance of the idea that infectious diseases have significant selective effects on certain blood group genes.” Most of the commentators had positive things to say about Otten’s work and shared her views. They were impressed with the material that she presented, in addition to the likeability of her work; they also presented ways in which she could strengthen her argument and where information could be lacking.
Otten seems to be appreciative of the comments and suggestions that were pointed out to her about her paper. She also seems glad of the constructive criticisms that were pointed out to her. Otten also is apologetic towards any harness or unkindness directed toward some of the writers in her discussion and says that it was unintentional. She then thanks a couple of the writers (Barnicot and Mourant), for pointing out a paper of McDonald and Zuckerman that discusses the effectiveness in the production of antibodies against A2 influenza virus in persons with type O, A, or B blood. She seems to meet the constructive criticisms of her paper by going on to discuss aspects or suggestions that some of the commentators have mentioned.
CLARITY : 3
MELISSA ARDLE University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo).
Otten, Charlotte M. On Pestilence, Diet, Natural Selection and the Distribution of Microbial and Human Blood Group Antigens and Antibodies. Current Anthropology June, 1967 Vol.8 (3):209-221.
This article discusses the distribution of the ABO blood group, the theories of geographic distribution, and how they correlate with diet and immunity to certain infectious diseases. The author states her disagreement with these theories is due to inconsistencies in the research methods and results and therefore provides little evidence to prove infectious diseases favour certain immunilogical characteristics. This leads the article into a discussion of organisms and their immunilogical capabilities in the production of antibodies against viruses or bacteria that carry antigenic characteristics similar to those of their own blood group.
Research results to support this theory are provided. The research analyzed the bacillus of the bubonic plague in Europe in particular, the areas most intensely affected by the outbreak. The findings provide evidence that the areas hardest hit by the plague have diminishing O frequencies that are unable to defend against the H-specific antigens of the plague. Smallpox is another example used; the theories discussed associate high A-antigen frequencies with the spread of the A-reactive smallpox virus. Other theories discussed in this article include evaluating the relation of diet and ABO frequencies. These theories attempt to find a correlation between high A frequencies and higher fat intake and between high B frequencies and high carbohydrate intake. The inconsistencies in this theory are made apparent when O frequencies are not found to correlate with anything in specific.
One explanation for the results found in this study can be attributed to the lack of information on the effects of having a diet high in carbohydrates and starchy staples. A second explanation provided for these results can be that the occurrence of diets high in carbohydrates and starchy diets has only happened recently, perhaps too recently to see the effects on the gene frequencies and therefore, too recently to prove or disprove this theory.
The comments accompanying this article all state that it was interesting, descriptive and well done for the length. The comments agree with the author that it is too early to make assumptions such as those made by the scientists mentioned in this article but believe that this is a topic worth further investigating.
LORISSA ZOOBKOFF Okanagan University College (Diana E. French)
Sorenson, E. Richard. A Research Film Program in the Study of Changing Man. Current Anthropology December, 1967 Vol. 8 (5): 443-450.
This article describes the importance of cinema film in anthropological science from its first use in 1882 to the rapid and amazing technological advancements in filming in 1967. A survey of the history of filming in anthropological science shows how cinema film has grown into an indispensable tool for anthropologists. Sorenson describes a specific method for the production of research films with a focus on the retention of the film’s information for future investigation. The importance of recording time and place of filming is stressed. The special value of cinema film in recording non-recurring and exceptional phenomena is emphasized and a method for assembling research films using technological advancements to ensure future access to original filming is described in a specific seventeen step process. This process of developing research films helps to avoid problems with filming that can lead to valuable information loss or distortion during filming and the subsequent storage and future study of the film.
The variety of different ways cinema film can be used to further science such as demonstrative films, special-category research films, and ethnographic films are discussed. Demonstrative films developed from research filming for education, documentation, and/or entertainment are the most popular form of cinema filming in science. Special-category research films on specific areas or circumstances provide an excellent record with images and sounds of exceptional or non-recurring events in human history that otherwise may never be witnessed by those not present. Ethnographic films provide a record of human societies that are rapidly changing and in some cases disappearing never to be witnessed again except through the research films now being produced.
With the advances of digital filming, some of the seventeen steps in Sorenson’s process for production of research films are somewhat outdated, but the basic principles outlined for surety in collection and maintenance of quality images, sounds, and data in scientific research films remains as important concepts in scientific filming.
CASEY DAVIS University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo).
Sorenson, E. Richard. A Research Film Program in the Study of Changing Man. Research Filmed Material as a Foundation for Continued Study of Non-recurring Human Events.Current Anthropology December, 1967 Vol.8(5):443-68.
Sorenson has been very involved in the study of why using the correct cinema methods can be a useful research aid in the study of non-recurring human events. He frames his article around three basic points, when, why and how cinema can be used for research. “Point one, as an aid to research where the nature of what is sought is known but where elements of it cannot be discovered because of the limitations of the human eye; (2) for the demonstration of a discovery, insight, or special interest where other means of presentation such as written reports do no do as good a job; and (3) for the preservation and study of data from non-recurring, disappearing, or rare events” (443).
In the initial part of this article, Sorenson spends time explaining the general history of how cinema was in the past, used for ethnographic purposes with some records dating back as far as 1895. Sorenson foresees a problem with the process involved on editing and re-using film. Since no one can foresee all the questions that could be generated in the future, Sorenson stresses how important it is to save all parts of the original film in its initial form. The issue of how to archive research film is what the remaining part of the article examines. Sorenson explains that even prior to archiving old and new research films, proper assembling of research film is required. Since, Sorenson felt there was no real guidelines on how to achieve this, he created seventeen steps that should be considered when assembling research films.
The article concludes with the author’s strong conviction that research films are not summaries of information, nor are they an expression of conclusions, or a scheme of knowledge about already structured ideas, but instead a source of visual material with research interests about events that have already taken place.
The majority of commentators feel that this study by Sorenson was well thought out and well needed. Generally, all express that film can be an important tool, as long as proper steps in production are taken to ensure that the film can be used as a scientific aid in research. The only criticism that stands out is the one addressing the seventeen steps Sorenson gave, as guidelines in assembling research film are too long and expensive.
The reply stresses the importance of cinema as an aid in research. Again the author points out that research films are tools that can only be used for very specific purposes, which make them a film category all of their own. To the concerns that his seventeen steps are too costly, Sorenson compares the cost it takes in preparing a research film to that of the high cost of editing a demonstrative film. For example, the cost of taking a half-hour excerpt from an already finished film, cost about $500.00, compared to $10,000 for a demonstrative excerpt, and to Sorenson that cost comparison is self explanatory (467).
EVA-MARIE C. KOVACS Okanagan University College (Diana E. French)
Thompson, Laura. Steps Toward a Unified Anthropology. Current Anthropology February-April, 1967 Vol. 8(1-2): 67-77.
Similar to Marshall, Thompson’s article argues in favour of a movement toward a unified discipline of anthropology. It includes three important components. She begins by examining the need for anthropology to be unified, then describes the requirements for unification to be a plausible idea, and finally presents a methodology for pursuing anthropological study from a unified perspective. In discussing the need for a unified anthropology, Thompson describes several study interests that require the integration of various types of specialized knowledge. For example, linguistic analysis demonstrates the interplay between cultural systems and human physiology (a biological process). This necessity of integration is Thompson’s proof that a complete understanding of humanity requires a unified approach to anthropology.
For Thompson, such a unified approach requires a general and comprehensive theory about humanity, as well as a multi-disciplinary methodology through which that theory can be tested. Thompson does not venture to propose such a theory; however, she does attempt to fully describe humanity, an endeavour that she cites as a necessary prerequisite to formulating general theory. This description attempts to be accurate and broad enough to include all the complex and dynamic elements of human existence. It also must be sufficiently coherent to facilitate the unification of the discipline. She describes humanity in terms of various characteristics related to individual biological organisms, social communities, and collectivities of shared cultures. It is important to note that these three aspects of her description regard each of the three major sub-disciplines of the time, biological, social, and cultural anthropology.
Although Thompson does not use her description of humanity to develop a general theory about human existence, she does provide a methodology through which that theory could be used in a unified approach. Thompson identifies the best unit of study as a small community that is isolated in terms of both geography and breeding population. She suggests that this context is best suited to examining the developmental interplay between “microraces” and “microcultures”, and that an analysis of this interrelated development would demonstrate the conceptual relationship between biological and cultural elements of humanity. Thompson also notes that such a study would need to incorporate the expertise of multiple sub-disciplines of both anthropology and other academic fields.
Peer comments to these articles are varied. There is a general appreciation for Marshall and Thompson’s efforts to address such a complex and problematic topic, as well as a general consensus that unification would benefit the discipline. Many scholars, however, are unsure as to whether such an effort could realistically be accomplished. They cite several problems including the choice of small, segregated populations as units of study, the difficulties inherent in unifying such conceptually different themes as culture and biology, the lack of a clear theoretical context in which such a unification would be applicable, the lack of anthropologists trained with general knowledge, and correspondingly, the lack of anthropologists interested in pursuing that type of training over specialization, the debate as to whether a single individual could even acquire sufficient knowledge to be considered a general anthropologist, and the fact that a unified approach has not been demonstrated to be effective.
The authors respond to these and other criticisms in two ways. One type of response is to elaborate on their idea. For example, peer dissatisfaction with small communities as units of study led to the elaboration that this method would be necessary only in early efforts to apply the theory, and that as a unified anthropology became better developed more complex social contexts could be examined. In other instances, the criticisms were simply refuted. The authors maintain the importance of a unified approach for properly explaining human behavior and existence.
BEN VAN DER GRACHT Okanagan University College (Diana E. French)
Wolanski, Napoleon. Basic Problems in Physical Development in Man In Relation to the Evaluation of Development of Children and Youth. Current Anthropology, 1967 Vol.8(1-2):35-60.
Wolanski summarizes methods and purposes for analyzing growth and development in children with the purpose of stimulating discussion and further research in cultural and physical anthropology. In addition, Wolanski hopes to identify general problems in measuring development and aide future researchers in applying correct and consistent methods, as well as attempting to direct possible development.
Wolanski categorizes problems into two groups: basic problems in physical development and methodological problems in the evaluation of physical development. Wolanski divides the basic problems in physical development into essential aspects of physical development in man, kinetics and dynamics of development, averageness, normality, and regularity, and patterns of development. In this portion of the article, he establishes definitions for each of the groups, as well as describes the factors which are taken into consideration when establishing normal data limits. He places much emphasis on evaluating both biology and environment when composing normal limits of growth. Wolanski also discusses the variation among growth rates in different stages of childhood. In the methods portion of the article, Wolanski establishes the purpose of evaluation of child development, methods for the evaluation of physical development, development norms, or standards, as well as discusses specifics of child development in various stages of ontogenesis, specifics of development in different environments, methods of evaluation of physical development in a population, and problems of integration of methodology for the evaluation of development. It is in this section that Wolanski identifies the usefulness of data in worldwide comparisons, in addition to recognizing areas where comparison is functionally impossible.
Besides citing various studies, Wolanski cites his own research among rural and urban children in Poland to emphasize the problems with determining methods to improve health among the world’s children, and inherently the entire world population. He reveals the complexity of identifying objective criterion for defining what is normal for an individual, age group, and environment. He also points out proven methods for obtaining consistent quantitative data. Wolanski identifies the overall problem as being one of lack of communication among researchers. He asserts that once researchers establish comparative studies, consistent methods and conclusive data can be used for prophylactic purposes, identifying adaptive capabilities, identifying specific biotypes, and treating child ailments.
Most of the commentators applaud Wolanski for stimulating a discussion on an aspect of anthropology which has been largely overlooked. Drobny suggests that the terminology detracts from the emphasis of the article by complicating the situation. Hunt criticizes Wolanski for describing certain aspects of growth as “new.” Krogman asserts that references from the US are lacking in Wolanski’s discussion.
Wolanski states that the definitions discussed were intended to merely clarify the context of terms used within the article. He replies to Hunt that he recognizes that certain aspects of growth are not new, but have been newly identified by anthropologists. Wolanski justifies his use of little American references by stating he used only the studies he felt were consistent and reliable. He goes on to discuss, in detail, misunderstandings, mistranslations, as well as clarifications. Wolanski reestablishes his goal of defining patterns in development for future research.
JESSICA MURAYAMA University of Oklahoma (Karl Rambo)
Wolanski, Napoleon. Basic Problems in Physical Development in Man In Relation to the Evaluation of Development of Children and Youth. Current Anthropology February-April, 1967 Vol.8(1-2):35-56.
The author’s objective is to inform the reader of the scientific foundation of the physical development of people. The study looks at the following concepts in the development of modern humans. The first element of development that the author addresses is the basic concepts of physical development. There is a specific focus on the following issues: “growth, differentiation, maturation, kinetics, dynamics, averages, normality, regularity, and patterns of development” (44). The second issue that the author addresses is the methodological problems in the evaluation of physical development. Some of the problems include the methods that were used to measure development overlapped with the individual’s pattern of growth. Another problem which the author discusses is “the elaboration of developmental norms” (44). There is no way of knowing whether or not the sample chosen is representative of the population. The last problem is that there is considerable variation in physical development due to ontogenetic stages and different environments.
Both positive comments and the limitations of this research are provided. Some of the positive ones from a number of sources include that he was right when he stated “that human biology must direct development”(50). Many also give the author credit for his contribution to physical anthropology because it is a subject that not many have tried to tackle. Problems concerning his research are also addressed. One source notes that he disagrees with the major problems, which the author addresses. The source thinks that the author should substitute the following in their place: “What are the goals of the study of human growth? How can the theoretical structure be made compatible with modern and evolutionary theory? and, What methods are available to answer questions raised by goals and theory?” (45). Another commentator claims that the author’s use of terminology is complicated and hard to understand. He notes that a better understanding could be accomplished if the author used more clearly defined words.
In response to these comments, the author addresses some of the limitations of his study. He states how it is unfortunate that some of the commentaries do not share his view of his “single model of a child” (53). He further states that his study did not by any means include all the theoretical and practical aspects of acceleration. He discusses that he feels his study has helped contribute to a better understanding of the individual standards of humankind and its ability to adapt to different conditions in the environment.
TRICIA VELTRI Okanagan University College (Diana E. French)