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Human Organization 2004

Algar, Michael. An Anthropological Problem, A Complex Solution. Human Organization, 2004 Vol.63 No.4

This article is designed to introduce agent based models to an anthropological audience that is unfamiliar with complexity science. It does so by presenting a study on how serious illegal drug epidemics can be explained. This is a problem that is too complex to be accurately explained by traditional anthropological studies. The author hopes to encourage anthropologists to realize the value of these alternative sciences and computer models as tools in their research. Algar does not wish to entirely replace traditional research methods as he needed a large amount of data in order to identify all the variables in his models.

Algar wants to help anthropologists to move away from attempting to produce definitive predictions. Instead, he offers a method that can help to formulate plans based on changes and contingencies over time. This would allow anthropologists to identify likely contingencies and connections and watch out for unexpected ones. He claims that is will be more useful than attempting to manufacture the certainty that clients often desire.

The particular method that Algar uses is called an agent based model. The model shows how structure will emerge from complexity over time. This structure is based upon separate entities mutually influencing each other. The process will produce different results each time but can offer a range of predictions in which the final result is likely to fall between.

The example Algar uses is how flocks of birds are formed. If a mass of seagulls takes off from the beach at the same time and flies in the same direction, a flock will eventually form. The flock will not form the same way or in the same amount of time, but will form nevertheless. This is actually quite similar to how drug epidemics form because both examples are based around a few key aspects. First you have nonlinearity, meaning lots of connections and interaction between variables. Then, you have contingency, meaning small events that can have huge consequences. Finally, you have a dynamic environment, with lots of changes over time. This is a convenient fit for drug epidemics, and birds, but also for most ethnographic research.

BENJAMIN FICKETT University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Aswani, Shankar and Pam Weiant. Scientific Evaluation in Women’s Participatory Management: Monitoring Marine Invertebrate Refugia in the Solomon Islands. Human Organization Fall 2004 Vol. 63(3): 301-317

The overall goal of the article was to discuss a community-based marine protected area that was established to sustain marine invertebrate resources because the marine habitat was slowly deteriorating from loss of land and overfishing. The general issue that authors deal with is to incorporate the women of the community into their research to educate them on the declining marine resources and make the women feel involved in the research project. As a way to offset lost income, the authors also implemented a sewing development project in 1999 for the women to participate in. The article highlights the importance of incorporating scientific and social data because the women possessed ecological knowledge that could benefit fisheries science. The use of this knowledge in combination with marine science is preventive and cost-effective approach to enhancing biodiversity conservation, to protect particular species, and to improve stock abundance.
The data was collected through in situ and ex situ monitoring. In situ monitoring consisted of the women going out into the field and recording the abundance and size of the marine invertebrates and this monitoring was conducted in September 2000, May 2001, August 2001, and May 2002. Ex situ monitoring consisted of household surveys that were given to the household after they collected their share of marine invertebrates and these surveys were given in May 2001. The data from the monitoring techniques showed that marine resources did increase in size and abundance with the selective closing of some areas.
The overall project was effective when it came to increasing marine resources and incorporating the women of the community into the project but the development project was very ineffective. Older women would take the sewing machines as a sign of seniority in the community which led to disputes between them and the men felt disfranchised from the project and they in turn boycotted it. In 2002 and 2003 the church intervened and encouraged the women to set up cash enterprises to boost their role in the community and church and this change the attitude for many community members. The project at first seemed to be culturally insensitive to the men in the community and fit poorly within the community. However adjustments such as a women’s clubhouse, more time invested in the project, and an expanded scope of the project have made the sewing project more efficient and suitable for the community’s needs.

KELLY KILIAN University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Austin, Diane E. Partnerships, Not Projects! Improving the Environment Through Collaborative Research and Action. Human Organization Winter, 2004. Vol. 63(4): 419-429.

In her article Austin argues that today environmental policy has moved from national to local levels. Austin calls it, “the devolution of authority”. This devolution has led to a gap between the root of environmental issues and the decisions made concerning them. Consequently many people who are trying to solve an environmental issue are not aware of the greater social, economic and political implications it may have on a localized area. Adversely, people who are negatively contributing to environmental issues may not be aware of it due to the large disconnect between themselves and policy makers.

Austin suggests the use of partnerships as opposed to projects as a means to close the growing gap between small communities and policy makers. Austin outlines four major steps to effectively implement partnerships:

1. Stage 1- Initiate a partnership.

2. Stage 2- Maintain the partnership through ongoing assessment and change.

3. Stage 3- Expand the membership and scope of the partnership.

4. Stage 4- Reinforce effective networks.

This is the largest concern Austin tries to tackle- the gap between those who engage in activities which harm the environment and those who feel the negative impacts. Austin suggests partnerships which foster community-based research as a possible solution. The main objectives of these partnerships are, “developing pilot projects to address specific local problems and moving outward to engage in larger debates and explore systematic issues” (Austin, 2004: 420).

Austin uses the example of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora to support her solution of ‘partnerships versus projects’. The stages the partnership in Nogales went through were first to get acquainted, then work together in close cooperation and maintain the relationship, third to solidify the relationship and expand and finally reinforcing effective networks.

Using partnerships versus merely investing in ‘projects’ create outlets for people to become involved and promotes long term relationships which rely on trust, shared goals and leadership from all members. Austin’s overall argument is that these partnerships will help to be most effective under the social, political and environmental conditions which we are now living in.

LAURA KUZZY University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Austin, Diane. Partnerships, Not Projects! Improving the Environment Through Collaborative Research and Action. Human Organization Winter, 2004 Vol.63(4): 419-429

In this article, Diane Austin argues long-term partnerships are the key to addressing environmental concerns of communities. Although the author uses her specific experiences addressing ecological issues with the two communities in Nogales, her points are applicable to any local issue. Long-term, collaborative partnerships can address the social, political and environmental needs of a community in ways that decentralized policy cannot. She argues for the return of civil society, or the “segment of society existing beyond household and outside of state and marketplace,” (420) as the mechanism by which people can renew their interest and reseize power over their communities. Environmental policy is generally made on the national level, and is therefore not always aware of the needs of individual populations. National policy is likely to use stand-alone projects as goals, rather than “vehicles through which we identify our strengths and weaknesses and develop trust, con?dence, and direction” (422). Thus, collaborative alliances on the local level are more effective tools for confronting problems and instituting change. However, she warns partnerships to be wary of the fact that local perception of causative factors may not always reflect the source of the problem, which may originate far away. Austin uses her decade-long involvement in a partnership between Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora as an example of an effective collaboration. The project evolved from initiation of the partnership, to maintenance through ongoing assessment and change, then expanding the scope through new members and new projects, and finally reinforcing effective networks. The partnership was framed around starting small to address specific, local problems, and then grew to tackle complex, systemic issues. In addition to describing the evolution of a community partnership, Austin outlined the phases that individual partners experience in collaborative relationships. First, time is spent getting acquainted and developing a basic partnership. Next, there is a period of close cooperation, which leads to a consolidation and a productive, long-term phase. Finally, there is a period of termination. According to Austin, this is a cycle which progresses naturally in a partnership.

CAITLIN RIVERS University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Berlin, Brent and Elois Ann Berlin. Community Autonomy and the Maya ICBG Project in Chiapas, Mexico: How a Bioprospecting Project that Should Have Succeeded Failed.Human Organization, 2004 Vol. 63 (4):472-484.

In Brent Berlin and Elois Ann Berlin’s article, Community Autonomy and the Maya ICBG Project in Chiapas, Mexico: How a Bioprospecting Project that Should Have Succeeded Failed, they analyze the Maya International Biodiversity Groups (ICBG) project in Chiapas, Mexico and how local community autonomy was taken from indigenous communities that had agreed to participate in an international development project on drug discovery, biodiversity conservation and sustained economic development.

Berlin and Berlin explain that the project arose out of the belief that industrialized nations could benefit from the environmental knowledge and practices of indigenous peoples who have been conservators of their environment for centuries. This was further backed by the UN Summit on the Environment held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 which resulted in the Convention on Biological Diversity. The 1992 Convention explicitly affirmed the rights of sovereign nation-states to absolute control over access to their natural resources within national boundaries and to establish their own regulations for granting access to those resources as a way for traditional people to benefit economically from the use of their natural resources.

The Maya ICBG project backed by MolecularNature Ltd. and began in 1998. Berlin and Berlin attributed the initial success of the project to three cohesive associate programs that were mutually synergistic and worked for the common goal of drug discovery while at the same time incorporating native knowledge of local flora and remedies for various ailments in the hopes of benefiting the Maya economically. The sharing of benefits, as outlined by the authors, was to manifest itself in a trust fund which would receive and disburse any milestone payments or royalties resulting from the testing or sales of drugs. This strategy, which was briefly discussed, provided a weak plan for compensation, with no monitoring of funs to ensure their fair disbursal.

The projects eventual failure was due to small, local healer NGOs which argued the consent of native project participants was invalid and that Maya ICBG had understated the project’s economic potential in order to exploit local knowledge for commercial purpose. Although Berlin and Berlin participated in the project with the idealistic belief that traditional peoples should benefit economically from the use of their natural resources, they didn’t take into account the history of exploitative harvesting, extraction and development of resources in the tropics until depletion. The inherent distrust of local peoples regarding industrialized countries leads to the conclusion that Local indigenous community autonomy as envisioned in the 1992 Convention on Biodiversity is more myth that reality in the access-to-biological-resources.

KATIE MCCAY University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Blake D. Ratner and Alberto Riveria Gutierrez. Reasserting Community: The Social Challenge of Wastewater Management in Panajachel, Guatemala. Human Organization, 2004. Vol. 63, No. 1: 47-56.

The authors discuss an attempt to reestablish the social network, or reassert the community of Panajachel, Guatemala to address wastewater pollution, which is threatening their public health and tourism. This effort included arranging community meetings, gathering insight from community members and reviving interaction around common interests of the people. The authors’ defined “community” not a fixed set of people, but as a group with shared interests and networks of social relationships. The construction of a wastewater plant provided an opportunity to actively involve the community with local problems and have local officials and citizens work together and solve their town’s problems.
Based on extensive ethnographic research, interviews, and group consultations the authors learned the following throughout their study. The problem was that the community itself did not see the benefits of having this plant and they were not interested in maintaining or controlling it if it did not provide anything towards them. The major controversy was the fact that there was a lack of common interest to involve the community with the wastewater plant. The mayor had no idea how to restore common interest about the wastewater plant to the community.
Through the organization of community meetings focuses on education and inclusion the authors were able to bring together local community members and business owners to address the wastewater issue. After considerable feedback, they got their results and installed a new irrigation system for everyone around the community.
The community understood that by having this new system installed, they have access to healthier water, which means better economy, tourism and improved health for everyone in the community. The places that acquired the most wealth such as hotels and wastewater plant workers would help pay for maintenance and operation expenses. Because of this action, identifying social problems and addressing them improved thus the community can get involved in any dispute and help out. By identifying this problem, locals were able to establish community awareness, analyze the situation and solve it.

DAVID MURCKO University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Boeri, Miriam Williams. “Hell, I’m An Addict, But I Ain’t No Junkie”: An Ethnographic Analysis of Aging Heroin Users. Human Organization Summer, 2004 Vol. 63(2): 236-245.

Focusing on baby boomers, the author examines how heroin drug use evolves over the lifetime of an individual. Boeri focused on this group because individuals 35 years or older are the fastest growing age group of heroin users today (Boeri, 236). However, there little is known about their drug use due to their social roles and control over their drug use and how these two factors affect drug use. Based on this research Boeri creates nine typologies centered on changes in social roles and control of drug use.
The methods used in this article were questionnaires, participation observation, interviews, targeted sampling and snowball sampling. Boeri discusses how social roles and control of drug use affect a drug user’s life and their heroin intake. Based on this research, Boeri defined nine typologies of heroin users. The typologies are controlled occasional user, weekend warrior, habitué, marginal user, problem addict, relapsing addict/ junkie, using dealer/ runner, using hustler/ sex worker, and junkie. These categories are important because society tends to lump all drug users into one category and that being the drug user who doesn’t have control over their use of heroin and they are a junkie who lives from one high to another. The typologies will help drug treatment facilities be able to better provide support if they know what category that particular user is in. These typologies allow a researcher to see how individuals can move in and out of phases during their heroin career. Boeri research shows that drug users to participate in society but in varying degrees depending on their control of heroin use and what typology the individual falls into.

The research was effective and it gave insight into how drug users define themselves within the nine typologies. Some problems with the research are that Boeri couldn’t find established individuals who had a heroin problem because of their roles in society and she didn’t mention treatment facilities in her research. Overall the research was informational and made me look twice about how I look at drug users in general.

KELLY KILIAN University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Bourgois, Philippe. The Everyday Violence of Hepatitis C among Young Women Who Inject Drugs in San Francisco. Human Organization Nov, 2004 Vol.63(3): 253-264

Using ethnographic data, Bourgois, Prince, and Moss seek to create a more holistic epidemiological approach than academia currently offers. They suggest that epidemiology focuses too much on quantitative, rather than qualitative data and that employing anthropology as a means to evaluate factors and cofactors of infectious disease would augment the effectiveness of disease control. Direct quotes are plentiful in the article, which lend credibility to both the validity of the situation described, and to the suggestion that current epidemiological theory does not offer the entire picture. Epidemiologists identified having a sexual partner with whom one also does drugs as the most significant risk factor for contracting hepatitis C. The authors disagree: their long-term ethnographic research led them to the conclusion that the everyday violence that female heroin users in San Francisco experience encourages them to enter partnerships with “abusive and economically parasitical” men. These relationships require the woman to surrender control to her partner, including control over her drug use. They are not permitted to use drugs with other women, or even to learn how to prepare and inject their own heroin. Instead, the men inject their partners using dirty needles, thus exposing them to hepatitis C. For the women on the streets, being in a relationship offers protection against unwanted attention, and severe violence from other, random men. The intimate-partner violence is also symbolic violence in that it is believed, “The harder he hits you, the more he loves you.” The authors also recognize structural violence as a factor in the problem; the women “blame themselves for structural subordination,” and therefore do not recognize that their situation is not entirely their fault. The authors urge anthropological considerations in public health and epidemiological evaluation. Rather than advocating safe drug practices, or blaming the high rate of female infection on a two-dimensional sexual dynamic, the authors suggest public health officials address everyday violence as a means of tackling both the transmission of disease, and symbolic violence.

Clarity 5
CAITLIN RIVERS University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanksa)

Casagrande, David. Conceptions of Primary Forest in a Tzeltal Maya Community: Implications for Conservation. Human Organization Winter, 2004 Vol.63(2): 189-202

A shrinking primary forest in Chiapas, Mexico has conservationists concerned. The threatened forest is vital for maintaining ecological diversity. However, the indigenous people, the Tzeltal, have converted the forest to horticultural use in order to provide for their growing population, intensified land use to augment income, and turned to tourism for economic stimulus. The author suspected there was a gap between the vocabulary, values, and knowledge of the Tzeltal and conservationists from outside the community. Casagrande outlined three research objectives: to compare the semantics of Tzeltal habitat classification with scientific classification, to determine the Tzeltal’s knowledge of the primary forest compared to surrounding habitats, and to test for correlation between frequency of visits to primary forest and knowledge about primary forest-resources. The methods the researcher used to achieve his objectives were a blend of scientific, ecological, and ethnological methods. He used free list elicitation in order to determine associations with the forest (i.e. Slippery, big trees), individual interviews with dried specimens, botanical collections, vegetation surveys, focus groups, and open-ended question interviews. Casagrande found that the scientific community and the Tzeltal share some classificatory parameters, but differ in others, which complicates communication between the two parties. He also determined that the Tzeltal had no strong positive association with the forest; there were even some negative associations. For example, some interviewees described the forest as dangerous, or supernatural. This is in contrast to the conservationist’s positive associations with the ecological diversity of the forest. Therefore, Casagrande suggests that conservationists should not emphasize preserving the scientific value of the forest. The value of the forest to the community is decreasing, and thus conservation discourses focusing on the forest as a source of well-being for the community may not be relevant. Instead, environmentalists should use flexibility and ambiguity to bridge gaps, and improve communication. In order to help support the community, the author suggested that ecotourism would serve as an important economic opportunity, since it would provide income with which to support the growing population, thus relieving the agricultural burden placed on the land. Alternatively, integrated conservation and development with sustainable quotas could also help to conserve the primary growth forest.

CAITLIN RIVERS University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Chavez, Leo R. A Glass Half Empty: Latina Reproduction and Public Discourse. Human Organization, 2004 Vol. 63 (2):457-468.

In Leo Chavez’s article, A Glass Half Empty: Latina Reproduction and Public Discourse, the author asks the questions: Is the construction of Latina reproduction and fertility accurate, or is the story more complicated? The popular discourse of Latina reproduction is alarmist, Chavez explains, in that it becomes part of a discourse of threat and danger to U.S. society and even national security.

His article uses research on media representations of immigration-related issues to raise questions that are examined through the use of empirical data collected in another project he was also involved in. Although the two research projects were independent, the use of one research project to generate research questions for analysis with data from another exemplifies the possibility and benefits of combining research in this way. The results of the ordinary least squares (OLS) regression found that age, marital status, education and language acculturation are more important than ethnicity for understanding fertility.
Chavez writes that Latina fertility has been a hot subject of social science interest since the early 1970s and that the emphasis has been on high fertility levels among Mexican-origin women with less emphasis on the rapid drop in fertility rates among Mexican and Mexican American women between the 60s and 90s. The data, however, shows that Latina girls had lower rate of sexual activity than non-Latino girls but the increasing acculturation to U.S. norms and values have them engaging in sexual activities at earlier ages and are now more likely to have births out of wedlock.
The author’s data is impressive, but without a strong background in sociology and statistics the tables may be difficult to decipher and some of the impact of their meaning could potentially be lost. In spite of this, Chavez raises awareness that Latina reproduction numbers are in fact not that far from Anglo women. It is even possible to characterize Anglo women as having “comparatively low” birth rates, and that these low fertility rates are leading to demographic changes and increased pressure for immigration. His strongest argument regarding Latina reproduction discourse is a call for more attention being paid to understanding the social, economic and cultural influences on decreasing fertility among all women across the board.

KATIE MCCAY University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Clemmer, Richard O.“ The Legal Effect of the Judgment”: Indian Land Claims, Ecological Anthropology, Social Impact Assessment, and the Public Domain. Human Organization 2004 Vol. 63(3):334- 345.

In this essay Richard Clemmer critiques the standard method used when evaluating the best use of public domain land, the social impact analysis (SIA). His goal in this essay is to demonstrate the need for the incorporation of a political dimension into the SIA. Clemmer focuses on the perceived plurality of the shareholders in the SIA, a false claim which fails to recognize various power relations, in this essay specifically those between the United States government and Western Shoshones.

In order to prove that a political element would have made the SIA process more equal, Clemmer provides two examples where because of past political encounters with the US government one group of shareholders, the Western Shoshones, are not given the respect that their history and indigenousity aught to provide them. In the first situation, a group of Western Shoshones who had a high interaction rate with the quarry (public domain land) were not given the opportunity to voice their opinions. The circumstance behind this restriction involves their past history with the US government, leaving them distrustful. At the time the SIA of the quarry was taking place, this group was boycotting tribal meetings because of the lack of respect given to them when making decisions. In the second instance the Shoshone shareholders that would be impacted most by the decisions of the SIA could again not voice their opinion. In this circumstance the forced relocation of tribe members made it difficult for SIA workers to locate people with a connection to the site. Once this group of Shoshone were located became apparent that their connection with the land was more religious than economic, and although the Shoshones religions rights are respected through the government, in the SIA this aspect does not need to be considered.

In this essay Clemmer clearly demonstrates the need for applied anthropology in the SIA process. He points out that historically exploited people, in the current system, are not able to successfully voice their opinions. That in the middle position, as an applied anthropologist, there is the possibility to create and implement policy that would emphasize the voice of the Shoshone, decreasing the and possibly eliminating the inequality found in the system.

Clarity: 4
SARAH CRANE University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Gozdziak, Elzbieta. Training Refugee Mental Health Providers: Ethnography as a Bridge to Multicultural Practice. Human Organization Nov, 2004 Vol.63(2): 203-210

Gozdziak draws on the research of others, as well as her own experience as a migration researcher, to assert that mental health professionals are ill-equipped to help refugees and victims or wartime violence, because they have a different perspective of suffering. The article uses strong language to “question whether mental health professionals are adequately prepared to serve ethnically, culturally, and religiously heterogenous populations,” (204). The author highlights many ways in which different cultures may perceive and experience suffering. She believes the Western trauma model promotes a “culture of victimhood” in which the “medicalization of human suffering” is treated by mental health professionals, using a curriculum that “privileges biology over culture” and “pathology over pathos.” She expounds by asserting that in the West, “trauma confirms suffering and confers moral status and the basis for legal rights, so there is readiness for individuals to identify themselves as traumatized,” (206). In contrast, unspecified, non-Western cultures are perhaps not traumatized by the refugee experience, as “distress may be a normal, even constructive existential response to suffering,” (207). Gozdziak argues that Westerners tend to perceive suffering and sadness as abnormal, and therefore try and eliminate these feelings, unlike cultures that incorporate existentialism. The aforementioned deviations in mental health models make Western mental health professionals ill-equipped to serve nonWestern populations, according to the author. Care providers don’t take into account variances in culture, religion and circumstance which are vital to appropriate support. Thus, Gozdziak suggests that rather than treating refugees using a biomedical model, mental health professionals should view suffering in a social and cultural context. She also advocates for the incorporation of anthropological curriculum into the training of all care providers. Suggested curriculum includes the integration of emic perspectives, using narratives as a part of the illness experiences, and awareness of social, political and personal interest factors in suffering.

CAITLIN RIVERS University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanksa)

González, Roberto J. From Indigenismo to Zapatismo: Theory and Practice in Mexican Anthropology. Human Organization Summer, 2004 Vol. 63(2):141-150.

This article takes a critical look at the difference between American anthropology and Mexican anthropology. According to González there are some fundamental differences between the two, namely in their approaches of connecting theory and practice.

Mexico has had much success with incorporating public policy, politics and popular movements into their anthropology. The article attributes this to Mexico’s unique history. González spends the first portion of the article giving a brief overview of Mexico’s history, beginning in 1821 with her independence from Spain and continuing until 1910, when Mexican anthropology was born.
Mexican anthropology was created in the wake of the 1910 revolution. The timing on this is important because Mexico was trying to, “analyze the Mexican character as a unique entity, not just a derivative of European society” (González, 2004: 142).

In contrast, when American anthropology was established the United States was not in crisis and consequently did not need to find her own unique identity. The article states that this is a notable distinction because it mandated that Mexico be more aware of national social, economic and political issues; all of which required a more “hands on” approach from anthropologists.
Gonzalez spends a large part of the article going over different stages of Mexican anthropology specifically Indigenismo and “Third Wave Anthropology” (1980’s-90’s). Indigenism has been found to be based on racial homogenization (similar to U.S. assimilation) and one Mexican anthropologist called the indigenista position, “unacceptably ethnocentric” and he proposed an alternative solution- “indigenous autonomy and cultural pluralism in the form of a true multiethnic state.”

In the 1980’s Mexican anthropologists took up positions as public intellectuals. Their opinions were considered in major social and political decisions. This not only created a link between the people of Mexico and the policy makers but it also brought anthropology to a local level. González notes that, “the discipline in Mexico has successfully engaged public policy and politics in different ways, ranging from participation in the construction of nationalist ideologies to development anthropology to cooperation with popular movements” (González, 2004: 141). He also comments that many Mexican anthropologists are household names, whereas American anthropologists are not.
The article links the problems within American anthropology to disconnections between academic professionals and nonprofessionals, a disconnect between theory and practice where practice is often marginalized, and that these issues stem largely from “the complex and sometimes contradictory effects of applied anthropology during World War 2 and the cold war” (González, 2004: 147).

González uses the work of past Mexican anthropologists as evidence to bolster his argument. Overall I found the article to be very research intensive and lacking in an applied aspect, creating an interesting twist on the argument. Yet it was fluid, well written and researched and González raised some very interesting and thought provoking issues.

LAURA KUZZY University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Hackenberg, Robert A. and Beverly H. Hackenberg. Notes Toward a New Future: Applied Anthropology in Century XXI. Human Organization Winter, 2004 Vol.63(4):385-399.

Predicting the future is no easy task, especially in a field as fluid and diverse as applied anthropology. The Hackenbergs effectively outline this problem in their article, emphasizing that the discipline’s fuzzy future can be attributed to the way globalization has caused a transformation of the sociocultural landscape into a series of networks of interaction based upon chaos and connections. These networks and the agency of individuals operating within them make up “nonlinear dynamic systems” (388) or NDS, which recognize the constantly forming and dissolving nature of social units. NDS provides a conceptual framework in which we can understand the phenomenon of globalization and its sometimes contradictory tendencies. The authors deem the overarching effect of these contradictions as the “inverse of globalization” (386). Although globalization is a homogenizing force, bringing the world closer together spatially with transportation and temporally with technology; it has actually fragmented the cultural landscape of the world, dissolving the community by creating social distance and delocalizing resources, services, and authority. So what are applied anthropologists to do in this chaotic twenty-first century world?

The Hackenbergs list three techniques that applied anthropologists need to adopt into their methodologies in order to better operate within this multidimensional ethnoscape. The first is a collaborative method where the community becomes an integral part in designing and implementing the research project. This creates an atmosphere of mutual education, where the realistic priorities of the community can be identified and worked on. The second technique is the creation and execution of rapid research designs, which allow for practical action to take place and urgent community problems to be addressed. As the socicultural landscape is constantly changing, research models and methodologies need to keep up. The final technique that applied anthropologists need to employ is what the Hackenbergs successfully do in this article: recognize contemporary theoretical approaches like NDS that take into account the systemic nature of the world and all of its complexities. Luckily, adopting these postmodern theoretical perspectives relieves the anthropologists of the responsibility of predicting the future of their field, which is one responsibility I am sure many are willing to forsake.

MEGHAN HIGGINS University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Hearn, Adrian H. Afro-Cuban Religions and Social Welfare: Consequences of Commercial Development in Havana. Human Organization Spring, 2004 Vol. 63

This article discusses three related development projects in Havana, Cuba, which were organized through cooperative partnerships between two local government institutions, the GDIC (Group for the Integrated Development of the Capital) and the Office of the Historian of the City, and community religious groups.

While the projects varied significantly, each aimed to promote social interaction and cooperation, the dissemination of health information, and the spread of religious values and morals of Santería and other Afro-Cuban religions. By utilizing existing social and religious networks, all three of the projects were able to generate financial resources from performances of Afro-Cuban religious dance and music to pursue their social goals.

Each project faced some struggles at the beginning stages of partnership, which temporarily shifted the focus away from its original goals. The first project was a collaboration between the GDIC and a priest of Santeria in a community called Atarés. Together, they started anti-drug and volunteer programs, and renovated the local temple and turned it into a public Santería museum which featured Afro-Cuban dance and music performances for both tourists and locals. Over time, however, the project lost sight of these original goals, instead focusing mainly on turning a profit from tourists. The other two projects faced similar issues. In all three cases, the loss of direction was the direct result of conflict between government and local interests, with regards to funding and “professionalism”

Fortunately, in each case, these problems were resolved through the hard work of dedicated community members. This article is clearly written, and as such effectively points out the importance of the utilization of existing social networks and consistent community participation in development projects. At the same time, however, it warns against the potential for problems when creating partnerships between actors with different goals and interests.

COOK, JENNIFER University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Heyman, Josiah McC. The Anthropology of Power-Wielding Bureaucracies. Human Organization Winter, 2004 Vol.63(4):487-500.

As anthropological work tends to be focused on the people and populations being studied, the bureaucracy associated with this work is both voluntarily and involuntarily neglected as a topic for research. Heyman draws attention to this fact and calls for a more in depth look at the bureaucratic structures that are pervasive throughout the field of applied anthropology in the form of NGOs, the government and various corporations that anthropologists deal with. Heyman equates the study of bureaucracy with the study of power, as bureaucratic action can be viewed as “reflections of the combination of various internal and external power relations surrounding the organization, often crystallized into patterns of organizational routine” (489). Therefore, studying both the internal and external aspects of bureaucracies can lead to clues about the “governing ideologies” (489) present in society.

Now one can begin to see why the rarely exciting topic of bureaucratic affairs might be important for applied anthropologists. Heyman introduces a series of ways that bureaucracies shape anthropologists politically: setting funding procedures, defining research and application problems, naming objectives, targeting populations, reviewing proposals, providing some of the data, and shaping underlying data categories (495). In addition, bureaucracies also administer funding for graduate training projects, the provision of postgraduate jobs, career trajectories, and even orientations to knowledge (495). Consequently, one can see that bureaucracy is present in nearly every phase of anthropological research, even the development of one’s own “orientation to knowledge” (495). Heyman then discusses some advantages of this mutual anthropological engagement with bureaucracy: richer understandings of the people, values and power structures involved, which are key anthropological insights. Furthermore, Heyman introduces the concept of “finding the practical” (495), which allows the anthropologist to balance his or her actions and desires with the value commitments we have adopted as a society and embedded into bureaucratic practices. He uses the example of accepting a flawed needs assessment, which is something an anthropologist normally might have an ethical problem with, solely because the assessment coincides with the bureaucratic requirements for proposals and, therefore, effectively extracts the funds needed for the community involved. In other words, finding the practical can mean compromising what one normally would not in order to comply with existing bureaucracies to eventually reach the ends desired.

Heyman also discusses some disadvantages of anthropological engagement with bureaucracy, the first being a greater chance of doing harm. As actions of anthropologists trickle through the complex bureaucratic power structure, they might accumulate unintended consequences along the way. Then, Heyman introduces the concept of “finding the practical” once again but in a new, negative light, writing that this can often mean accepting institutional or political barriers to change simply because the bureaucracy involved is too complex and overarching to work against.

Heyman concludes with the discussion of an alternative to bureaucracy – the “alternative policy center” (496), which is a collaborative group of researchers and activists that strive to become centers of “alternative information, perspective and policy conceptualization on issues usually controlled by dominant society policy actors” (496). These centers would value participation, openness, responsiveness, and alternative priorities versus the rigid organization of most bureaucracies. Although he recognizes that any organized group requires a degree of bureaucracy, Heyman emphasizes that the alternative policy center’s purpose is to be a “counterweight” (496), perhaps inspiring a shifting of the internal and external power structures that are actualized in the today’s dominant societal bureaucracies.

MEGHAN HIGGINS University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Honneland, Geir. Fish Discourse: Russia, Norway, and the Northeast Arctic Cod. Human Organization, 2004 Vol. 63(1):68-77.

In this article Geir Honneland addresses why varying sections of the populations of Norway and Russia constantly ignore the fishing quotas suggested by scientists. By breaking up the participants into various factions, Honneland analyzes the social, economic, and political factors that influence this debate. He utilizes the concept of Discourse Analysis to show how and why these factions function in relation to the Fisheries’ situation.

The author begins the article with a brief history of the political situation between Norway and Russia over their bilateral management of the Barents Sea fisheries. The countries work together to establish a total allowable catch or TAC based on scientific recommendations, which they split 50-50. However, throughout the 1990s, the recommendations have been increasingly ignored and TACs have been set far above them. In later paragraphs, Honneland details the scientific community’s participation in the situation. He mentions that the Advisory Committee for Fisheries Management has given recommendations since the 1960s. Much of this section is devoted to the fluctuations between the recommend TAC and what was established during the 1990s. Very few years during the period had an established TAC that was equal to, or lower than the recommended TAC. The author begins to ask questions on why these are ignored and offers to find explanations through discourse analysis.

In the following section the author discusses the concept of Discourse Analysis through various authors’ works. He quotes several definitions of discourse from Iver Neumann’s book on Discourse Analysis such as “a process reflecting a distribution of knowledge, authority, and social relationships, which propels those enrolled in it”(69). He continues on with several other author’s definitions of what discourse is and how their analysis provides information on the relationships between humans and the situations that they become connected with. Noted at the end are similar situations of discourse analysis being used on fishing debates like the “Salmon Wars” between the United States and Canada (70).

The author then delves into the categorized Discourses that he has established. The first of which is the Sustainability Discourse, which is held by the Norwegian faction of the dispute. It is actually comprised of 2 sub-groups, Official and Critical. The Official sub-group is made up of politicians and members of the large fishing organizations, and while they state that sustainability is their focus, they tend to allow the TAC to go over the recommendations on the grounds that the Russians are to blame for wanting the TAC to be so high. The Critical sub-group on the other hand is made up of NGOs and smaller fishing organizations and they want to the TAC to be set at the recommendations so that sustainability of the fish stocks can be ensured. The Russian faction holds the Cold Peace Discourse, and they see this situation as a kind of return to the Cold War. The name comes from the situation being a divide on economic grounds with the 50-50 split of the TAC, instead of one on military or political ideology. Because Norway has started breeding artificial cod, the Russians feel that lowering the TAC will only continue to help Norway gain an advantage. The Seafaring Discourse is held by a combination of fishermen from both Norway and Russia, and they don’t believe in the projections given by the scientists because the scientists are not out on the seas every day like they are. If there was any difference in the cod stocks, they believe that they’d be the first to notice it, and not some scientist in a lab. The final discourse is the Pity the Russians Discourse, which is held by some Norwegians. They feel that since Russia is in greater disparity that they must allow the TAC to be set higher because human life is of more importance than fish. The author covers the opinions held by those in each of the discourses with op-eds and articles from newspapers.

Ending his article, Honneland discusses how the focus of the article was not to provide answers, but how the situation has been influenced by those in it. While several of the factions are at odds with each other, those odds are not split down the middle like the TAC. Each of the factions nudging at each other gave the Russian side enough opportunity to push hard enough to allow their interests to be met.

Clarity: 4
LUKE JAVELLE University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Janes, Craig R. Going Global in Century XXI: Medical Anthropology and the New Primary Health Care. Human Organization, 2004 Vol. 63 (4):457-468.

In Craig R. Janes article, Going Global in Century XXI: Medical Anthropology and the New Primary Health Care, he outlines a need for medical anthropology to innovate conceptual and methodological tools that will work effectively within complex social spaces created by the articulation of the global and the local in the liberal nonstate. He argues that the new primary care model advanced by global health policy makers produces serious inequities, delivering little more than poor medicine for poor people. In addition to this he explains that while local community remains the locus of our actions and advocacy, applied medical anthropologists must become much more effective in working at the points where the local communicates with the global in an increasingly borderless world.

The author gives detailed histories of global health aid such as policies that had arisen from World Assembly in Alma Ata in the Soviet Union in 1978. The primary care strategy prevention was prevention, which utilized immunizations, reproductive health care, sanitation and many other services. The emphasis on prevention was backed by services provided by paraprofessionals and in extreme cases emergency referral system. It was cheap effective socialized health care in which human rights, social justice and equity were central principles. It was challenged, however, as overly ambitious and expensive, resulting in a more narrow strategy implementation that focused on a few cheap & effective interventions put forth by the World Bank in 1993 World. Janes critiqued their new strategies on many levels; most important being that it was founded on the premise that diseases are more important than the people suffering from them.

After outlining the minimum package model dilemma Janes explains that health care inequities shouldn’t be the main cause of impoverishment and that social justice and economics-based perspectives would help greatly in this area. He also described how common interest needed to be built among uncommon social groups as a way of creating a civil society. Social capital is also part of his argument, “As experts in ‘the local’ it’s up to anthropologists to call when they see stratification or discrimination from civil society,” which is also important in eradicating inequality and strengthening civil society.

Although Janes gives a comprehensive look into the world of Primary Health Care and medical anthropologists’ potential roles within it, he offers absolutely no suggestions as to how to correct this crisis, with the exception of community participation as an essential first step toward ensuring that health systems are locally responsive and equitable. In addition to his lack of helpful strategy proposals Jane’s also explains that in order to work on behalf of the local community medical anthropologists must ultimately be able to set them aside and advocate for a universal system of global health values that challenge the narrow economic paradigm that currently governs health development. This thought, which is at odds with the principal theory of applied anthropology, discredits Janes’ otherwise weak article.

KATIE MCCAY University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Jordan, Brigitte and Putz, Peter. Assessment as Practice: Notes on Measures, Tests, and Targets. Human Organization, 2004 Vol. 63(3): 346-358.

In this article the authors discuss a variety of assessment practices from every day life, as well as in the workplace. The primary discussion in the article is on one form of assessment that is overly used in the workplace, and the many consequences that occur during and after the assessment process. The article also gives recommendations to researchers, and managers in ways that they can change their assessment practices and better utilize the data they’ve gathered.

The article starts off with two observations from the Palo Alto Research Center, and the Institute for Research on Learning, “1) assessment is a normal ubiquitous part of all social interaction; and 2) formal assessment methods as used in organizations frequently lead to undesirable results”(346). The first observation leads into two out of the three forms of assessment mentioned in the article, Inherent and Discursive. The authors discuss inherent assessment as the unspoken observations of every day life. Discursive assessments are when those unspoken observations become spoken. The second observation ties into the third form of assessment mentioned in the article, the Documentary assessment. A documentary assessment is usually a test or survey performed inside a school or workplace.

The authors discuss three large problems with the Documentary form, with the first being numbers manipulation. “Manipulation of Numbers” involves the participants fixing data by putting things into different categories. The authors use an airline for this example, when a delay occurs, the workers would enter the cause of the delay as the fault of a different section. “Changing Work Practices” is the second problem, where new regulations are supposed to be implemented, but are not. When it comes time for an assessment, the workers will temporarily put the regulations in place. An example given by the authors is of the Mexican auto industry, where the workers would clean up before an inspection, and practice answers to give the inspectors. The final problem mentioned in the article is “Modifying Organizational Structure, Climate, and Culture”. This involves a change in how the workers operate, such as newfound competitiveness between coworkers, departments etc.

The authors continue to discuss the consequences of the problems associated with the form of Documentary assessment, such poorer inter-party cooperation for shared goals, and the data manipulation among other things. The authors state that all 3 forms of assessment must be used in unison to better suit the needs of those being assessed, either in the workplace or school.

Clarity: 4
LUKE JAVELLE University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Kottak, Conrad Philip. An Anthropological Take on Sustainable Development: A Comparative Study of Change. Human Organization, 2004 Vol.63 No.4

This article explains the author’s attempt to use a comparative approach on two long term anthropological studies to explore sustainability science. The author is exploring this topic in response to a call from the United Nations for intensified research on sustainability, integrating physical, economic, and social sciences to better understand human impact on the environment.

Kottak conducted long term studies in Arembepe, Brazil and Ivato, Madagascar. Kottak argues that Ivato has been crippled by an “overdose of environmentalism” while Arembepe has been “dominated by development.” This argument can be simplified to conservation versus preservation. Ivato has one of the world’s largest nature preserves and local interaction with this preserve is extremely limited. The preserve is instead utilized by scientists from the outside world who conduct their studies and leave, making the preserve of limited economic use to the locals. In contrast, Arembepe has grown from a subsistence fishing community to a cash based economy supported by tourism based upon a sea turtle research station that employs locals as well as outside experts. The fishing trade has turned from subsistence to a marketable product. The influx of tourists has given locals access to modern health care, which in turn has stabilized the population rate due to access to birth control. A nearby chemical plant also boosts the economy, but has a negative impact on the environment. Locals have growing ecological concerns, but still see the plant in a positive light.

Ivato has also transitioned to a cash based economy, but the main export, a rice crop, does not earn enough to support the economy. Locals have turned to cattle rustling and digging precious stones to earn money. The precious stone mining ruins the fields used to grow crops making for a positive short term investment, but has devastating consequences over the long term. Locals have little access to health care or birth control. These factors combine to give Ivato a growing population with dwindling natural resources. This has lead to emigration to nearby urban centers.

BENJAMIN FICKETT University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Lamphere, Louise. The Convergence of Applied, Practicing, and Public Anthropology in the 21st Century. Human Organization, 2004 Vol.63 No.4

This article is primarily concerned with what Lamphere calls a “sea change” in the field of anthropology. Lamphere claims that over the last thirty years there has been significant changes in the types of communities and topics that are studied, and to the relationship between anthropologists and their subjects. Anthropologists are working closer to home, often with local populations, organizations, or special interest groups. They are increasingly concerned with social issues and policy. The subjects of these studies are no longer just subjects, but are becoming collaborators and partners. This collaboration between researcher and subject is the main focus of the article. Lamphere uses this new relationship to suggest that responsible researchers should make the results of their studies available to their subjects in an manner that is easily accessible to them.

As the title of the article suggests, the fields of applied, practicing, and public anthropology are increasingly similar and there is no longer always a clear line separating what each type of anthropologist might study.

Lamphere uses several recent studies as examples of collaboration and outreach to the public. One of these studies concerns an archaeological dig overseen by Mark Lewine of Cayahoga Community College in Cleveland. Lewine, with the help of Al Lee, and local students and community members excavated a site on college property. Academic and public presentations of this work stimulated local interest in community history and drew national attention to the effective use of collaborative archaeology and the use of archaeology for historical community research.

A study on cervical cancer among women of the Yakima tribe is presented as evidence of both collaboration and changing topics of anthropological study. The study addresses a public health concern, helps to provide more effective care for the community, and built an effective working relationship between the tribe and outside researchers.

BENJAMIN FICKETT University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

McAllister, Patrick. Labor and Beer in the Transkei, South Africa: Xhosa Work Parties In historical and Contemporary Perspective. Human Organization Spring, 2004 Vol. 63

This article investigates the historical connection between cooperative labor and beer rituals in the Transkei region of South Africa. First, the author focuses on the characteristics of work parties, with regards to the Transkei’s history as a Bantustan under the apartheid regime. Generally, cooperative labor was utilized as a strategy to overcome household or “homestead” labor-shortages, which were the result of a number of social changes including declining polygamy, the influence of missionaries, and other factors.

The author then goes on to discuss his observations in Shixini Ward, where he lived with a Xhosa family and attended many work parties. At this point in the article, McAllister highlights the complex system of reciprocity that revolves around cooperative labor parties. Basically, a person who requests and receives help from a work group is obligated by the social norm to provide two types of repayment; 1: the provision of beer to the volunteers during the work, and 2: returning the favor by helping out in future labor requests from work party participants.

There are a variety of social customs and rules which govern this cooperative labor system, particularly with regards to the drinking of beer. The author proposes that the best framework in which to analyze work parties and beer drinking is that of the territorial relations within Shixini Ward. Subward, section, and homestead divisions are all used to indicate who should receive beer at a work party, in what order, and how much.
McAllister also highlights the different kinds of work parties, which are each used under different social circumstances, and have varying implications with regards to reciprocity. Some of the types of work parties (in order of increasing size) include “isicelo,” plowing “companies,” “home groups,” and “subward groups.” Ultimately, the author wishes to impress upon the reader the extreme complexity of the work party system as it relates to beer, and proposes that we must look at cooperative labor in a multi-dimensional fashion.

COOK, JENNIFER University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

McMichael, Celia and Lenore Manderson. Somali Women and Well- Being: Social Networks and Social Capital among Immigrant Women in Australia. Human Organization Spring 2004 Vol. 63(1):88-99

The main concern of this article was the loss of social relationships for Somalia refugees due to civil war and displacement. The authors argue that the loss of social capital leads to depression and sadness for most of the women relocated in Australia. Due to war and unrest, many Somalia women and children are brought as refugees to other countries to escape the war. Community organizations and social networks are an important part in Somali life because they provide support, social capital and a sense of belonging. The women saw war and relocation as causes for loss of social capital because the war left a legacy of mistrust. Relocation tore families’ apart and caused conflicts between Somali clans because clans were fighting in Somali and this caused distrust in their new surroundings.

The methodologies were in-depth interviews with 42 Somalia women who were apart of the Refugee and Humanitarian Program. The author conducted participant observation of celebrations and social functions between August 2000 and July 2001. The interviews with women provided information on how the women felt about their new homes, their loss in social capital, their kinship ties, and reason for why they were sad and depressed. The data showed that the loss of social capital was due to the erosion of reciprocity and trade, and lack of community involvement among women. Women were relocated to a new country, without their husbands, fathers, or brothers and put into a new neighborhood where there wasn’t a sense of community. Without this sense of community, gossiping about individuals became a negative activity as opposed to a way for the women to share knowledge of Australia. Gossip was associated with mistrust, boredom, and the insularity of the small community. Gossip was the start of rumors because statements were easily misconstrued. This fear prevented women from sharing personal information with each other and establishing the level of intimacy that allows for the exchange of goods, services, and information. Many women stated that they were sad and depressed because they were usually separated from the men in their families and these separations eroded their social networks.

The evidence presented in the article was informational and gave insight into how refugees view their new surroundings. The authors suggest that social capital is neither portable nor easily established on migration. The authors state that family separation, dissolution of social networks through war and displacement, and condition of resettlement undermines the possibility of cohesion in the short term.

KELLY KILIAN University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Neves-Graca, Katja. Revisiting the Tragedy of the Commons: Ecological Dilemmas of Whale Watching in the Azores. Human Organization, 2004 Vol.63(3):289-300.

Neves-Graca begins her article by reexamining the concept of the tragedy of the commons, which suggests that a common-pool resource will become depleted over time because individuals are naturally self-interested and will extract as much as possible without regard to others or the ecological limits of the resource. Neves-Graca contextualizes this concept further by adding that most societies have social and/or cultural factors that prevent the tragedy of the commons by occurring through limiting access to common pool-resources. She uses the example of the ecological industries surrounding whales in Lajes de Pico, a village in the Azores region of Portugal.

The village was originally a whale hunting community. In the late 1989, it made the transition to a whale watching community, which many assumed represented a transition to a more ecologically sustainable industry. However, some locals, including former whale hunters, found this activity just as detrimental as hunting, citing the fact that whales are negatively affected by underwater noise disturbance and the “ecological resilience” (290) of the whales might be compromised. This ecological “dilemma” (290) turned into a political one, as the people of Lajes de Pico were forced to review what socio-cultural mechanisms they had for limiting access to the common-pool resources of whales. A second dilemma arose as they attempted to refer to both local ecological knowledge as well as “nation-state law or international treaties” (290), which tended to contradict one another.

Neves-Graca, in her elaboration on the regulation attempts of the villagers of Lajes de Pico, addresses the idea that regulation in any form comes from top-down abstract approaches, based upon economic theories that are not contextual. Therefore, any rule or regulation, although seemingly effective in its initial form, can change considerably upon implementation. Furthermore, arbitrary nation-state definitions and boundaries often do not coincide with that of naturally occurring ecosystems, allowing further implementation problems to develop. She goes on to exemplify this by describing the process the village of Lajes de Pico took to decide how to regulate access to the whales.

The initial decision to regulate access was, contrary to what the theory of the tragedy of the commons implies, a result of the own industry’s recognition of the eventual depletion of the resource, which would ultimately lead to bankruptcy for the various whale watching corporations. Therefore, the whale watching operators, along with government officials, scientists, and “the socioeconomic elite of Lajes” (296) gathered for a conference to determine access rights. They came up with three models for the future of the whale based ecotourism. The first was a highly commercial model with no regulations in regard to the ecosystem, which was entirely denounced. The second was a “high end exclusive model” (296), where specific and more valued areas like whale nurseries were given limited access by boats. The third was an “ecologically friendly” (296) model, where access is not as limited, but multiple rules are in place to avoid “overexploitation” (296) of the resource. These rules included limiting the number of “platforms” (297) allowed in the industry as twelve, which, coincidentally, was the number of boats owned by a whale watching association that held the dominant views of the conference. This third approach came out of the conference as the winner, trumpeted by the various scientists and bureaucrats that were present and who, consequently, made it easier to translate into policy.

However, others present at the conference disagreed with this decision and favored the high end model because it respected, from their point of view, the spatial and temporal boundaries of the ecological community at risk. This group, which consisted of a number of former whale hunters, was taking a more precautionary stance out of “a strong ethical commitment to the welfare of oceanic mammals” (297). Neves-Graca labels these people as “deep ecologists” (297) and regards their position as rooted in traditional ecological knowledge; however, she says that this knowledge was overlooked at the conference because it came from people that had once participated in the killing of the same species they were trying to protect.

Neves-Graca’s article challenges the reader to view ecologically sustainable practices in a different light. Is the sustainability of a specific practice a “by-product of profit seeking behavior” (290) or is it the result of a genuine principle of precautionary action because of a deep, ethical concern of the welfare of a resource? In order to answer this question, Neves-Graca suggests that we abandon top-down and completely formal, scientific approaches to incorporate local and traditional knowledge. Furthermore, the local socio-culture context of the resource in question needs to be taken into consideration if true sustainability is to be reached.

MEGHAN HIGGINS University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Olivia Salcido and Madelaine Adelman. “He Has Me Tied with the Blessed and Damned Papers”: Undocumented-Immigrant Battered Women in Phoenix, Arizona. Human Organization, 2004. Vol. 63, No. 2: 162-172.

The authors argue that undocumented battered women who migrate illegally from Mexico into the U.S. need more protection from their abusive husbands and the law. Immigration rights, domestic violence, illegality and border crossing are some key factors that play in these women’s rights. Immigration policies over the last century have helped millions of women gain their freedom, equality and legality throughout Mexico and the U.S. Although these policies have been created with good intentions, a number of men are able to exploit them to their advantage allowing them to mentally and physically abuse their wives. The men manipulate the women and transform them into something the women resent. Based on ethnographic research and their interviews with women who have illegally migrated, the authors collected their data.
According to their research, the men threaten undocumented women by refusing to petition her LPR (lawful permanent resident), destroying legal paperwork, hiding mail or turning them in for participating in illegal activities. To an extent, immigration policy has been used as an additional battering method and against these women. Women who cross the border illegally to escape abuse face two problems: if the women stay in the U.S. and the police find them they will be deported, if the women go back home, their husbands will find them, probably cause more harm, and potentially kill them. Border crossing does not always assure safety and protection from danger. The border itself becomes a symbol of crossing the line between illegality and violence (p 168).
The authors highlight the fact that although domestic violence advocates urge these women to get help that may not always be the best option, especially if the police do not have cultural sensitivity training. Let us walk in their shoes and understand the four ways illegal immigrants struggle to survive and avoid detection. First, the women are considered criminals by the U.S. government, they are eligible for deportation unless they are qualified for the VAWA (Violence Against Women Act). Second, while trying to elude authorities they may work and perform illegal activities such as driving without a license and presenting fraudulent papers to gain financial aid. Third, battered women may be witnesses to their spouse’s abuse or even worse engage in criminal activities, which would instantaneously deport them if they were turned in. Finally, women who cross legally in the U.S. may become illegal if their husband refuses to turn in paperwork or their LPR.
Undocumented battered women have a significant amount to worry about apart from their abusive counterparts. Although border crossing may seem like a good idea, the line between border crossing and illegality is very thin. Immigration policies have helped women over the last century but there is still a long way to go. One suggestion presented by the authors is that NGO’s should be established to better understand and help these battered women and give them a home, food, safety and security.

DAVID MURCKO University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

O’Neill, Tom. Weaving Wages, Indebtedness, and Remittances in the Nepalese Carpet Industry. Human Organization Summer, 2004 Vol.63(2):211-229.

O’Neill embarks on an explanation of the current trends in the Nepalese carpet industry, which are overshadowed by consistent reports of child labor exploitation. However, O’Neill introduces the idea that the children are more victims of global capitalism than of traditional forms of indentured servitude. Furthermore, the portrait of child labor that is painted by the usual research and reports does not paint an adequate picture of the situation for the majority of carpet weavers.
Most weavers are recruited to the carpet industry in Kathmandu, Nepal from surrounding agricultural villages.

Recruitment is made easy for the common carpet factory owner, called a “saahu-ji” (211), as they are more than a few pulls for urban migration, the first being that the average daily wage for a weaver is almost twice that of an agricultural worker. In addition, the job has a better stigma than that of a porter or a dishwasher, as well as it is a job that can be considered suitable for unmarried women. A family member who migrates to the city also relieves pressure on his or her family, while acquiring the change to escape the rural life for a more urban setting.

However, despite these advantages, the saahu-ji and his labor contractor, called a “thekadaar” (211) still use two forms of coercive labor control to recruit villagers. The first is called “peskii” (212), which are wage advances that aid the initial migration of potential weavers but eventually trap them in a cycle of debt that is nearly inescapable. The peskii is cut directly from their salaries, rendering them incapable of meeting their daily needs with their wages and, consequently, leads to more peskii. The second strategy for coercive labor control is remittances, which are portions of a worker’s wage that is sent back to his or her family. The advantages to remittances are that they end up acting as a supporting mechanism for the rural families of urban workers. They also tend to become subsidies for rural agriculture, as most of the families are involved in this form of livelihood. In addition, they provide for a continuing connection between the worker and his or her family, so that the two do not become estranged. However, there are various disadvantages to this practice of remittances, the first being that it further depletes the weekly wages of workers, forcing them to request more peskii and trapping them further into their cycles of debt. Furthermore, remittances can sometimes act as a form of exploitation, as families might willingly send their children to the city purely for economic gain and without concern for the well-being of the children.

O’Neill introduces another factor that contributes to the indebtedness of weavers, which is that they participate in a wage system defined by piecework, which means they get paid per centimeter of carpet woven, as opposed to the amount of hours worked. External conditions like frequent holidays, a community curfew, and various delays to production often prevent the weavers from being able to produce, lowering their wages. In addition, the increased cost of living and recent inflation means that many weavers cannot keep up and produce enough finished carpet to pay for their needs. Ironically, one of the biggest factors in the increasing debt of weavers is that the demand for carpets has been lowered significantly by the consistent reports of child labor exploitation in the industry, which in turn prevents workers from being able to earn enough to escape their cycles of debt.

O’Neill concludes the article with his recognition that child labor is “pervasive in Nepal and visible in most sectors of the economy” (218); however, it does not characterize the whole of the carpet industry. Many workers, although technically free to come and go as they please, are still trapped in an exploitative situation that is justified not by a particular slave master or factory owner, but by the entire economic system of global capitalism itself.

MEGHAN HIGGINS University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Paciotti, Brian and Borgerhoff Mulder, Monique Sungusungu: The Role of Preexisting and Evolving Social Institutions among Tanzanian Vigilante Organizations. Human Organizations Spring 2004 Vol. 63(1):112-124.

In this article Paciotti and Mulder investigate the Sungusungu, a successful social institution in Tanzania. Their goal by investigating this social institution is to highlight the importance of institutional matches between future and preexisting institutional arrangements; how self help and other types of organizations function best when groups can build off of preexisting institutional resources.

In order to prove this argument, Paciotti and Mulder fallow the movements of the Sungusungu from its historical origination to the attempt of the institution to spread throughout Tanzania, ending with the attempt the State made to further spread the institution from the rural areas to the urban. By mapping the history of the institution Paciotti and Mulder are able to understand the social situations that the institution was created under. These situations include environmental ones such as a weak state and an influx of newly armed unemployed men and internal ones which included a strong political leadership system, extensive community participation and a strong custom of generosity. In the original cultural system, Sungusungu system worked best if more people became involved which encouraged the spread, for this reason groups of people who had similar social systems to the originators of the institution were able to successfully implement the institutions, but the spread of the organization to groups of people with dissimilar systems was limited for a few reasons: the misunderstanding of what becoming a member entailed, the lack of reciprocity that certain classes of people would experience by joining, and in some instances historic disputes between various clans. Lastly Paciotti and Mulder investigate the attempt of the state to implement a Sungusungu type organization in urban areas. The state failed in this attempt firstly because of the lack of incentive for individuals to participate, and secondly for the disintegration of traditional values that for the original Sungusungu held it together, and in the urban instances left room for the institutions to seek profit.

Paciotti and Mulder clearly demonstrate the ways in which a social institution successfully evolves overtime by incorporating preexisting social institutions for its benefit. In this way Paciotti and Mulder also provide a frameworks and example for applied anthropologists to follow when handling similar situations and when organizing new social institutions.

Clarity: 4
SARAH CRANE University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Pfeiffer, James. Civil Society, NGOs, and the Holy Spirit in Mozambique. Human Organization, 2004 Vol. 63(3): 359-372.

In James Pfeiffer’s article, he discusses how the concept of civil society and how funding is removed from public services and instead goes to NGOs. In relation to this, he discusses how churches with donations made only by members; make greater progress in their communities than the greater funded NGOs. Also discussed are the efforts of AIDS prevention in Mozambique, and the stances held by those of the NGOs and of the churches.

The author goes over a short history of Mozambique, and how NGOs have taken root there. After gaining independence in the 1970s, the government instituted socialist policies. However, after civil war, foreign debt, and a series of other factors, the country was forced to
seek aid from the International Monetary Fund. While the economy stabilized, inequality between the rich and poor grew. Because of this inequality, NGOs and Church organizations went to see how they could help.

When seeking aid from the IMF, countries are expected to restructure much of their government’s policies in order to receive the funds. One prime example is the lowering of wages of those working in the public sector, with many skilled individuals making little above the poverty line. In turn, when the NGOs came onto the scene, they would hire the skilled locals. But with multiple NGOs, the locals could force competition of the wages, getting a much greater salary than those around them. This caused the disparity between the rich and poor to become greater, and made public sector jobs not very enticing. Local NGOs’ budgets in turn became drained from workers’ salaries, and little was left over for projects to benefit the communities they were designed to help.

The Churches faced much greater success, as they were part of the communities that they were located in. All the funding and manpower to build them came from the local people. The Churches also had health centers of the medicinal and faith healing variety, youth and women’s groups, schools, and more. Although some outside the churches thought that the Pastors were doing it to get money and access to women.

The big point of contention in the article was over condom use and AIDS prevention. The Ministry of Health with help from NGOs marketed a brand of condoms to the public, which failed in a variety of ways. The marketing was centered on a more western perspective of success in love than on a local or safety perspective. Many in turn thought this promoted promiscuous behavior, which is how AIDS spread, and because of that, the condoms caused AIDS. Others bought the brand as a sort of social status symbol, but never used them. The churches were against the condoms for moral reasons, and because of the marketing campaign, cut off ties with health educators.

The author concludes that NGOs must be extremely careful not to contribute to the growing disparity by hiring up all the local talent, and having little left in the budgets to work with the people. Any projects that do go underway must have input from the populace so it doesn’t send them away, or have them work against it. He also discusses the church groups and their successes, but states they could be more effective if the public sector was adequately supported.

Clarity: 5
LUKE JAVELLE University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Pfeiffer, James Civil Society, NGOs, and the Holy Spirit in Mozambique. Human Organizations 2004 Vol. 63 (3):359-372.

The NGO is a powerful force in development for many Third World countries, such as Mozambique, the origin of Pfeiffer’s research with NGOs, the local health system, and local churches (African Independent Churches or AIC, Zionists, and Pentecostals). Throughout the essay, Pfeiffer’s main goal was to point out the role of “civil societies” in NGOs programs and distinguish why some institutions such as the church are able to institute successful civil society-like organizations, where NGOs are incapable of transitioning from former organizational qualities to successful systems of civil society.
In order to argue these claims Pfeiffer goes on to explain the actions of NGOs within Mozambique, highlighting the amount of inequality created by NGOs through their methods used to pay its indigenous workers which as a result creates demand for the NGO jobs and a potential for high amounts of corruption by indigenous workers in order to receive even more NGO money. With this information, Pfeiffer then goes on to provide two situations where a civil society model was used by his NGO group. The first situation was an attempt to implement community councils, providing places where local leaders would be given the opportunity to voice the opinion and needs of the people. These councils failed to attract the local leaders in the communities, but succeeded in attracting the leaders of the church, the other implanted organization. The second situation was an attempt to promote a new condom through advertising, in the hopes to encourage more condom use. The marketing scheme failed because of the inappropriate communicative nature of advertising in these communities, along with the mixed opinions being given by the advertisements and the church. In both situations the civil society framework was unable to communicate efficiently or encourage volunteer participation.
Pfeiffer also provides an example of another foreign institution, the church, which was able to successfully encourage participation in civil society type programs. The church was able to encourage participation initially because of the many similarities it had with the local religion regarding healing and causation beliefs. Also, because of the community’s commitment to the church, it became a sustainable entity within the community, providing aid, religious needs, and political insight.
With all this information Pfeiffer addresses the difficulties that NGOs, state programs, and churches have when attempting to solve health related issues. Pfeiffer suggests that inevitably the most productive way to solve these health related issues will lie in the hand of State run programs, incorporating local ideologies and civil society.

Clarity: 5
SARAH CRANE University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Pike, I.L. The Biosocial Consequences of Life on the Run: A Case Study from Turkana District, Kenya. Human Organization, 2004 Vol.63 No.2

This article describes the struggle of a semi nomadic people who live in a harsh physical environment and are threatened with violence on all sides. This lifestyle of hunger and fear effects their emotional well being as well as their ability to seek basic social services such as healthcare.

The Ngisonyoka Turkana live in an environment constrained by water and resource availability. Livestock raiding has always been a part of their history, but since 1997 the violence has intensified. Automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades are now common. An entire schoolhouse was killed in 1998. The Kenyan Government has attempted to quell the violence, but efforts have been largely unsuccessful.

The Turkana have been forced to alter their traditional family and herd structures to stay alive. Instead of traveling in immediate family groups entire extended families form mobile villages of three hundred people or more. This allows for a large concentration of guards and weapons. It used to be common for only men to travel with the herds and for women and children to live in more permanent base camps. The men can no longer risk leaving their families unguarded.

The stress of being constantly on the move weighs heavily on the women who are not used to this lifestyle. Women are responsible for the majority of the packing when a move occurs as well as for all of the normal household chores. Food is scarcer than ever before as even limited agriculture is now impossible.

Women’s stress comes primarily from fear of hunger and fear of their children being injured in a raid. Men report primary stressors as fear of raids and fear of being unable to provide for their families. Older women are more likely to be afraid of raiding violence and younger women are more likely to fear hunger and starvation.

BENJAMIN FICKETT University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Rao, Pamela; Arcury, Thomas A; Quandt, Sara A; Doran, Alicia. North Carolina Growers; and Extension Agents’ Perceptions of Latino Farmworker Pesticide Exposure. Human Organization Summer, 2004 Vol. 63 (2): 151-161.

In this article, the authors examine the issue of pesticide exposure amongst agricultural workers in the North Carolina Christmas tree industry. Specifically, they interview eight growers; those who run and often own the farms, and 7 extension agents; experts employed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to educate and support growers in pesticide safety efforts. They asked questions about perceived and actual compliance with pesticide safety regulations, in order to better understand different perspectives about the risks pesticide exposure to their workers. The authors explain their findings by highlighting three major difficulties that emerge when dealing with pesticide exposure and farm workers.
The first major theme that emerges from the interviews (for both growers and workers) is “time is money.” It is difficult for growers to spend a sufficient amount of time on safety training with employees because it takes away from productivity and therefore reduces profits. On the other hand, workers are reluctant to complain about pesticide exposure because they worry they will lose their only source of income.
Secondly, Rao et. al find that growers and workers suffer from constant miscommunication. The growers and extension agents interviewed generally view the risks of pesticide exposure as being over exaggerated, specifically with regards to particular types of pesticides, which are perceived to be harmless to humans. They believe that the training and protective equipment that workers receive is sufficient, and that there is a high rate of compliance to regulations amongst workers. Growers and extension agents tend to view non-compliance as the result of laziness or lack of personal hygiene, instead of recognizing the impact of cultural or language barriers present between the migrant Latino workers and American growers. Growers also tend to rely upon personal experience as an indicator of the threat posed by pesticide exposure, rather than medical or scientific evidence.
The authors conclude that the biggest problem is the power imbalance between growers and workers. Generally, growers have control over access to safety information, protective equipment, and other resources. The workers, on the other hand, are impoverished and vulnerable, and therefore “are less likely to take workplace safety measures” (Rao 2004:152) because they feel they have no control over their circumstances. The solution suggested by the authors addressed this problem by encouraging the use of cooperative safety partnerships which would give both growers and workers shared responsibility for protection from pesticide exposure.

COOK, JENNIFER University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Ratner, Blake D. and Alberto Rivera Gutierrez. Reasserting Community: The Social Challenge of Wastewater Management in Panajachel, Guatemala. Human Organization, 2004 Vol. 63(1): 47-56.

The main discussion of the article is about what happens when a managerial role normally held by the community is taken away. The authors discuss the construction of a wastewater treatment plant in Panajachel Mexico, in 1999. Once completed it became apparent that there were several economic and social problems that needed to be addressed in order to make the program work in a sustainable manner.

The first section immediately dives into the two main problems. One is that while construction of the facility was financed by the European Union, the ability to run and maintain the facility was not. The other problem was that few in the community saw a need for it. Because much of the area was still rural, and that they could dump their waste in the irrigation ditches, they did not see why they should pay for something that they already do for free.

The authors follow up by discussing “The Tragedy of the Commons” concept and how it applies to the situation at Panajachel. This concept revolves around a limited resource and how it is distributed by rules set up by a community in such a way that it would not be lost through overuse. The community manages the irrigation ditches and everyone has certain obligations in making sure it runs properly. The creation of the plant ignored the social systems that were in place for running the previous system, and removed responsibility of the community in the management of their resource.

Because the townspeople had been dumping their waste into the irrigation ditches; there was a massive health risk. And since the town was near Lake Atitlan, a major tourist spot in the country and an additional source of income, they needed to keep the area clean. To make the program work, it was obvious that the community needed to be involved in the running of the wastewater plant. Involvement was focused around meetings from the poorest in the community, all the way to the richest in the tourism industry. They worked on agreements where the hotels would pay most of the bill because they pollute the most, and to protect the tourism industry. On the other side of the spectrum, the average people would form neighborhood committees to connect to the treatment plant. They would dig the channels and lay the pipes in, while making sure everyone in their neighborhood pays for the water usage. This creates a new community based organization for the people to feel that they have control over part of their community, and allow for the plant to be run properly.

The author concludes the article by discussing how projects suffer from lack of research or interaction with a community. Those who wish to work on improving the lives of others must realize that situations are more than just water being dirty and causing a health risk. They need to look at how the community functions and help them to form a new set of rules, regulations, and social obligations to run the various projects that are built up around them.

Clarity: 4
LUKE JAVELLE University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Roberto Santiso-Galvez and Jane T. Bertrand. The Delayed Contraceptive Revolution in Guatemala. Human Organization, 2004. Vol. 63, No. 1: 57-67.

The authors try to answer the following question: Why does Guatemala differ so greatly in terms of contraceptive use compared to every other Central American country? Guatemala has the second lowest level of contraceptive use at 38%. The authors state that Guatemala has had a family planning program for 30 years however that does not mean that it was effective during that time.

Based on extensive ethnographic research, the authors conclude that there are four main factors to contribute towards Guatemala’s slow progress towards the contraceptive revolution. Factors included leftists movements of the 1960’s and 1970’s, indigenous populations, civil war, the alliance between the Catholic Church and the government. Minimal health coverage, inadequate budgeting and spontaneous changes in health policy became a hassle for maternal and child health.

First factor the authors discuss are the leftists groups. They saw the slow population growth and family planning program as “part of an imperialistic plot by the United States to control the of its developing-country neighbors.” (59). Due to this belief, the leftist groups had a devastating effect on two levels. The groups could reinforce the idea of rejecting family planning and spread the word onto other local officials. This also hindered development of doctors, nurses and future medical students.

The second factor the authors discussed is the indigenous populations. The majority of Guatemala is composed of Mayans and Ladinos (Mayan descendants but they have broken away from standard tradition). The authors discovered that a significant amount of the Mayans live in extreme poverty, they are illiterate and the women have very low status. All factors that are associated with high levels of fertility. The Mayans also have refused family planning as it is not culturally sensitive to their beliefs. The Mayan believe that man was created to live with harmony with natural environment and to deny the birth is to violate the will of the Supreme Being.

The authors mentioned that civil unrest has also greatly affected health care on several levels. Triggered by “mounting communist influence” and guerilla movements, this outbreak brought sabotage to every aspect of life. Several NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) and international agencies were shut down due to threats.

The last factor the authors touch upon is the alliance between the Catholic Church and the government. The authors have learned that during the 1970’s and the 1990’s, the Catholic Church played an important role in impeding family planning programs. The government combined with the church has proven to be a factor that has hindered family planning services for decades.

The authors noticed that there was change within the family planning program by the late 1990’s. APROFAM (The Association of Family Well Being), the leading Guatemalan institution for family planning started to do more community work. This included community based distributions, mobile clinics, STD/HIV screenings, vasectomies, etc. International aids started donating money towards the health programs in Guatemala. Culturally appropriate programs are being established for Mayans who want reproductive health services but do not want to break their cultural norms. Changes in social conditions became apparent in 2000 when Alfonso Portillo took control and endorsed family planning programs. There was an increase in education along with ownership of television and radio. Portillo helped improve overall reproductive health by broadcasting heath programs on the TV and radio.

DAVID MURCKO University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Sanjek, Roger. Going Public: Responsibilities and Strategies in the Aftermath of Ethnography. Human Organization, 2004. Vol. 63: 444-456.

In Roger Sanjek’s article, Going Public: Responsibilities and Strategies in the Aftermath of Ethnography, Sanjek looks at anthropologists’ responsibility to engage “society as a whole” at all the different stages of research.

Sanjek begins his article by outlining the 6 various sets of responsibility an anthropologist has according to the Society for Applied Anthropology’s Statement of Ethical and Professional Responsibilities. Sanjek then lists the responsibilities as follows first to the people studied, then to the communities affected by the work, to professional colleagues, fieldwork team members and to research sponsors (Sanjek 2004). The final responsibility, which Sanjek quotes from the Society of Applied Anthropology, is to ‘society as a whole’.

After outlining the ethical responsibilities of anthropologists Sanjek summarizes Franz Boas’ work with Native and African Americans. Boas had originally said people of different ethnicities should reproduce so as to shrink the gap between ethnic variations and make everyone’s features less distinct. He reevaluates the importance of Boas in the history of American anthropology and suggests an alternative history. His alternative includes Morgan, Cushing, Wilson and Goldschmidt all of whom Sanjek feels did a better job of reaching ‘society as a whole’.

After summarizing the work of Morgan, Cushing, Wilson and Goldschmidt Sanjek goes on to describe his own research. From 1983-1996 Sanjek did a study in Queens, New York. The purpose of the study was to “identify factors that promoted or impeded interracial and U.S.-born/ immigrant interaction, cooperation, and political efficacy in this complex Queens setting, one which mirrors larger transformations in American society” (Sanjek 2004, 448).

Sanjek spends the second half of the article reviewing his research in Queens and outlining how he reached ‘society as a whole’ during each stage of his work. He began by reaching out to the Queens community and informing them of the work he was doing. Sanjek suggests a local newspaper and cable television programs as two of the best ways to reach people at the community level. Sanjek then moves beyond the community level to New York City at large. He spread awareness about his research through public speaking at libraries, rallies, various clubs and philanthropic societies and through increased media coverage. Lastly, Sanjek addresses how he reached society at large. It was essentially similar to the community level, but on a much larger scale. He was covered by National Public Radio, “National Geographic”, “Newsweek”, the international news program, “The World” and various other newspapers and television programs.

Sanjek finishes his article by outlining 10 different strategies for public engagement. Sanjek’s use of his own work as an example served as an effective model for how to reach ‘society at large’. I found Sanjek’s style of writing to be easy to read and accessible. It was especially helpful to have key points outlined so as to easily distinguish the best steps to take.

LAURA KUZZY University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Smith-Morris, Carolyn M. Reducing Diabetes in Indian Country: Lessons from the Three Domains Influencing Pima Diabetes. Human Organization, 2004. Vol. 63, No. 1: 34-43.

The author argues that Type II Diabetes among the Pima Indians has exponentially increased since the 1960’s and that health programs must be established to complete this trend. According to the author, there are three important factors that play into Pima health: political-economic, genetic and cultural. The author also outlines six strategies of success that she learned from her experience while working with this group. These include cultural sensitivity, community participation, importance and influence of genetics, health care to match that of community, need for political-economic change within tribes and need for financial aid for health care programs.

Among the study population approximately 95% of people with diabetes are overweight, nearly 20% of accounted deaths are diabetes related and over half of the Pima Indians who are over 35 have diabetes.

According to the author political-economic factors include the change from farming to wage labor and the need for alternative food sources including government and processed food. This led to the consumption of lower quality of food and a decrease in physical activity, which greatly impacted Pima health.

Cultural factors include having unhealthy food for social, symbolic or religious reasons. Eating a particular type of food can raise reputation and social status. Being fat could be a sign of being wealthy and well-fed. It may also be an indication of acceptance. Limited health care access is also a problem for the Pima Indians. They recognize it as a problem within society and they symbolize it as experience of culture contact.
Potential genetic factors include several controversial theories. Some scientists believe the Pima have a quick insulin trigger, fewer receptor cells for sugar, or enhanced metabolism. Acculturative stress and hypertension (which are two long terms symptoms of diabetes) may have played a role.

The six strategies for success that the author learned during her ethnographic research are as follows. The first one is the importance of cultural sensitivity. Always make sure you understand the culture before initiating a program. Some areas may not want a health program. Do community surveys to make sure that a health care program is vital for their society. The next strategy states that community participation is vital. Community based programs are the most successful. Communities dedicated towards the goal will be the ones that succeed. Maintaining community-based organizations though is difficult. Members need to be found as soon as possible, get them involved, have them manage participation and help build programs. Another strategy is that although genetics are important, they are not dominant – we need to look at other aspects such as cultural and political-economic factors. The next strategy was the fact that health care programs need to match of that community’s style and no one else’s, which decodes as saying certain ideas may not work depending on the community. Consider the landscape and everyone’s lifestyle before establishing health care. Another motive was that political economic changes within tribes are needed for community change meaning that each tribe will require different needs. Provide affordable health care, food, diabetes workshops, hospitals, schools, etc if they want it and need it. The final strategy she highlights is that diabetes prevention requires significant amounts of financial distribution and in order to maintain the hospitals and program, money is required to keep them running or they will lose funding.

DAVID MURCKO University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Stone, Glenn Davis. Biotechnology and the Political Ecology of Information in India. Human Organization, 2004 Vol. 63 (2):127-136.

In Glenn Davis Stone’s article, Biotechnology and the Political Ecology of Information in India, he begs the questions of how genetically modified crops will alter the ongoing processes of agricultural change—in particular the way in which famers acquire information and adopt management practices based on that information. Stone’s primary concern with the introduction of GM crops is the agricultural deskilling which arises from rapid technology growth, inconsistency and unrecognizability of crops.

His article outlines the genetically modified Bollgard cotton recently introduced in India, which offers an enormous market for crop biotechnology. Stone makes a point of bringing to the reader’s attention the differing of opinions within India regarding the crops success by quoting both the Agricultural Minister as well as the Environmental Minister. These differences of opinion are undoubtedly due to the lack of long term data produced by Bollgard’s creators, Mahyco-Monsanto, whose trials have never been released or are currently tied up in litigation. This is assuming that the data is accurate, which is unlikely considering the charges of “information espionage” with which the company has previously been accused.

Stone argued that the real question with GM crops is not whether they affect otherwise static agricultural practices, but how they are going to alter the process of this ongoing change. He also explains that it is unrealistic to believe that all cotton cultivation in India is sustainable and that genetically modified crops are the complete and only solution, the idea with which they are marketed. Stone concludes that agricultural practices, influenced by culture, change all the time and that skilling is a constantly changing process and with the introduction of GM crops, the idea that local cultural practices will remain unchanged is off the mark.

He furthers these notions by explaining that most farmers gain agricultural knowledge through social processes. They become skilled through observing other farmers practices, discussing various applications and participating in other’s operations. A large majority of the knowledge about crops, seeds, insecticide sprays and pests are passed from person to person with the use of lore. However, when new crops are introduced the farmers don’t have that basis of knowledge and in many cases don’t understand the reason for their practices which are instructed to them by Mahyco-Monsanto workers. Stone’s conclusion regarding farmer’s dynamic agricultural processes lack’s a stance on whether the use of Bollgard in India is helping form productive agricultural processes, or harming the otherwise useful practices.

KATIE MCCAY University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Vásquez-León, Marcela and Diana Liverman. The Political Ecology of Land-Use Change: Affluent Ranchers and Destitute Farmers in the Mexican Municipio of Alamos. Human Organization, 2004. Vol. 63, No.1: 21-33.

This article looks at the connections between environmental, political and economic policies. It focuses specifically on the community of Alamos, Sonora. Vásquez-León and Liverman outline five various ‘sub-groups’ within the over-arching community of Alamos that effect policy. They include large commercial ranchers, small scale farmers, ejiatarios (communal land users), bureaucrats and environmentalists.

The study looks at the impact buffelgrass has had on the community of Alamos. Buffelgrass is a type of grass which was introduced to the area in the 1970’s in order to stimulate cattle ranching and production of calves for the United States market. Ideally the plan was to create a new source of income for the area and stimulate the economy.

From an economic stand-point it would be fair to say this program has been successful, in the short run. For many small and commercial farmers producing cattle or producing food stuffs for cattle is their main source of income. But from an environmental perspective, this program has been a complete disaster. Ecologically buffelgrass has threatened many different plants and wildlife species, depleted soil nutrients, caused erosion and altered habitation.

In an attempt to stop all the environmental degradation the Mexican government established a biosphere reserve in 1996. There has also been a lot of outside pressure from NGO’s, environmental organizations, and local conservation biologists.

The authors spend a majority of the article outlining the disparity between large scale commercial ranchers and ejiatarios/small land owners. Large scale commercial ranchers own the largest areas of land and benefit the most from government support programs. They’ve got a strong infrastructure and have much better access to the markets.

Small scale farmers and ejiatarios on the other hand are suffering the most. Within this group there is a huge lack of consistent government policies and a very poor infrastructure. Almost all ejiatarios are not guaranteed land tenure and consequently cannot receive credit. This often leads to a greater reliance on buffelgrass as opposed to new ranching/farming techniques.

The authors describe the huge disparity between economic and environmental concerns. In concluding they emphasize the importance of moving away from the “one size fits all” approach. Instead they push for governments and people alike to find practical solutions which reflect an understanding of environmental, political and economic policies. The goal, according to Vásquez-León and Liverman is to find a “community-based medium and long-term plans which promote sustainable rural livelihoods” (Vásquez-León & Liverman, 2004: 31).

LAURA KUZZY University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Velez-Ibanez, Carlos G. Regions of Refuge in the United States: Issues, Problems, and Concerns for the Future of Mexican-Origin Populations in the United States. Human Organization 2004 Vol. 63(1):1- 20.

In Velez-Ibanez’s address to the audience of the Society for Applied Anthropology’s Malinowski Award, he addresses the problems surrounding the increase of Mexican-origin residents both legal and illegal, a term he calls “the distribution of sadness”. His goals within this address are to heighten awareness within the United States of this dire problem and to emphasize the use of applied anthropology to educate the public and act as representative of these disadvantages people through policy reform.

In order to drive the direness of the situation in which these men and women are placed in, Velez-Ibanez presents data from three different viewpoints: demographic, an ethnographic view, and the mental side deemed “the distribution of sadness”. In the demographic section he highlights many different statistics including the education levels of incoming Mexicans to third generation Mexicans compared with whites and African Americans, percentages of racial composition in the United States, and a comparison of wages between whites and other minority groups. In the ethnographic section he follows the evolution of a colonias in New Mexico “El Recuerdo” recording the ways in which these people live day to day, the continuous cycle of debt surrounding banks and other money lenders, and the ways in which these people manage to support themselves and even create towns out of nothing. In the third section the distribution of sadness he outlines some results of the situations these men and women are placed in, including domestic violence, drug use and the imprisonment rate, and the disproportionate ratio of Latinos enlisted in the military and becoming the first casualties in war.

Inevitably Velez-Ibanez sees two direct ways to combat these occurrences: the simple recognition of colonias and urban networks as civil societies, and education used directly to emphasize development of social scaffolding that may have been weakened from one generation to the next. But as an overarching reality, Velez-Ibanez sees that the most pressing issue is one of human rights with the continued devaluation and commodification of Mexican-origin populations. And Velez-Ibanez believes that it is applied anthropologists that can make the most difference in these situations while at the same time bring the nations attention to these realities.

Clarity: 5
SARAH CRANE University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Vélez-Ibáñez, Carlos G. Malinowski Award Lecture, 2003. Regions of Refuge in the United States: Issues, Problems, and Concerns for the Future of Mexican-Origin Populations in the United States. Human Organization Spring, 2004 Vol. 63

In this article, Vélez-Ibáñez suggests that the growing population of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans living in the United States can be understood in terms of the concept of “regions of refuge,” on which he elaborates throughout the article. The author discusses these regions of refuge as areas which exhibit structural inequalities and suffer from numerous economic and social problems as a result. He puts this discussion in the wider context of societal stratification and the marginalization of minorities in the United States.

The author divides this section into three parts; I: “The Future in the Present: The Demography of Mexican-Origin Peoples,” II: “A Miniethnography of a Region of Refuge,” and III: “The Distribution of Sadnesses: The Prices of Subsidizing Regions of Refuge.” In Part I, the author describes the issues that Mexican-origin populations face in the US. He uses charts and statistical information to explain where and how Mexicans live in the United States, and how they lead lives of poverty, with no access to education or health care, and few opportunities for employment.

Part II relates the findings of the author’s research in one region of refuge, El Recuerdo, New Mexico. The community is utterly impoverished. There are virtually no sanitation or refuse collection services, and the only source of employment is agricultural or migrant labor. Vélez-Ibáñez also notes that access to credit is highly risky, as it depends upon informal loaning—a practice which usually traps borrowers in a cycle of debt.

Part III elaborates on the struggles faced by Mexican Americans and Mexican-origin populations in the United States, which are disproportionately high compared to other populations. According to the author, Mexican-origin populations suffer chronic illnesses without treatment, and have the highest cervical cancer and mortality rates. Work-related accidents and deaths are much more common than other populations, and for both males and females homicide is the leading cause of death in some areas of the country. Rates of domestic abuse, mental disorder, substance abuse, and imprisonment are higher for Latinos. In addition, Latinos—mainly of Mexican-origin—are overrepresented in the armed forces, which the author states is due to the recruitment strategies of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

In his conclusion, the author highlights some solutions to these problems; including the recognition of these regions of refuge as civil societies—thus giving them a political voice. Ultimately, he highlights the importance of applied anthropology’s role in the improvement of the status of Mexican-origin populations in the United States, concluding that it is “one of the few disciplines that can…reduce the probably outcomes of inattention to these matters.”

COOK, JENNIFER University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)

Wayland, Coral. Infant Agency and Its Implication for Breast-Feeding Promotion in Brazil. Human Organization Fall 2004 Vol. 63(3): 277-287

The goal of the article is to highlight the ineffectiveness of Brazilian breast- feeding educational programs because they don’t take into account infant agency. The article states that early weaning and supplementation of breast milk before a infant is six months of age leads to intestinal pathogens and malnutrition. In an effort to combat this, the Brazilian government uses promotional campaigns and education. However, the promotional campaigns and education don’t take into account that mothers give their infants agency and allow them to make their own feeding decisions. According to the author, most mothers know the recommended length of breast feeding and they intend to follow the guidelines but infants encounter nipple confusion or they wean themselves off the breast.

The data was collected during a 20 month period through a survey and ethnographic research during the years 1995-1996 and 2000 in the neighborhood of Triunfo. The survey was a maternal-child health questionnaire that was conducted by Community Health Workers during September 1996 and was given to 180 households through random sampling with at least one child under the age of 5. The ethnographic research was conducted during 1995-1996 and in May and June 2000. The author conducted observations and informal interviews in 30 randomly selected households. The data collected showed that women had intentions of breast-feeding their infants till six months of age but either infants decided to wean themselves or infants experienced nipple confusion. Nipple confusion occurs when mothers give bottles of water to their infants to fight off dehydration and the infants become accustomed to the bottle nipple and they refuse their mother’s nipples because the nipples feel different.
Mothers are educated and intended to breast feed their infants until they turn six months old but due to infant agency and nipple confusion they were forced to stop before the recommended time. Mothers are left feeling anxious and out of control because they know what they should be doing but can’t. One of the reasons for this is that ads in Brazil promotes the idea that mothers control the breast feeding as opposed to infants but when mothers state that their infant made the decision then they are left feeling confused. Until promotional campaigns take into account infant agency and reformulate their model of decision making mothers will be left stressed out and resorting to early weaning and supplementation. The author suggests that a new model could design new strategies to help mothers and infants make feeding choices that are in their best interests.

KELLY KILIAN University of New Hampshire (Courtney Kurlanska)