American Ethnologist

Published by American Anthropological Association
Online ISSN: 1548-1425
Print ISSN: 0094-0496
Publications
The number of kidneys transplanted to people over age 70, both from living and cadaver donors, has increased steadily in the past two decades in the United States. Live kidney donation, on the rise for all age groups, opens up new dimensions of intergenerational relationship and medical responsibility when the transfer of organs is from younger to older people. There is little public knowledge or discussion of this phenomenon, in which the site of ethical judgment and activism about longevity and mortality is one's regard for the body of another and the substance of the body itself is ground for moral consideration about how kinship is "done." The clinic, patient, and patient's family together shape a bond between biological identity and human worth, a demand for an old age marked by somatic pliability and renewability, and a claim of responsibility that merges the "right to live" and "making live." Live kidney transplantation joins genetic, reproductive, and pharmacological forms of social participation as one more technique linking ethics to intervention and the understanding of the arc of human life to clinical opportunity and consumption. Significant in this example is the medicocultural scripting of transplant choice that becomes a high-stakes obligation in which the long-term impacts on generational relations cannot be foreseen.
 
Many New Orleans residents who were displaced in 2005 by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the subsequent levee failures and floods are still displaced. Living with long-term stress related to loss of family, community, jobs, and social security as well as the continuous struggle for a decent life in unsettled life circumstances, they manifest what we are calling "chronic disaster syndrome." The term refers not only to the physiological and psychological effects generated at the individual level by ongoing social disruption but also to the nexus of socioeconomic and political conditions that produce this situation as a long-term and intractable problem. Chronic disaster syndrome emerges from the convergence of three phenomena that create a nexus of displacement: long-term effects of personal trauma (including near loss of life and loss of family members, homes, jobs, community, financial security, and well-being); the social arrangements that enable the smooth functioning of what Naomi Klein calls "disaster capitalism," in which "disaster" is prolonged as a way of life; and the permanent displacement of the most vulnerable populations from the social landscape as a perceived remedy that actually exacerbates the syndrome.
 
The "surrogate colonization" of Palestine had a foreign power giving to a nonnative group rights over land occupied by an indigenous people. It thus brought into play the complementary and conflicting agendas of three culturally distinguishable parties: British, Jews and Arabs. Each party had both "externalist" [those with no sustained practical experience of day to day life in Palestine] and "internalist" representatives. The surrogate idea was based on a "strategic consensus" involving each party's externalist camp: the British ruling elite, the leadership of the World Zionist Organization and the Hashemite Dynasty of Arabia. The collapse of this triangular consensus, which put an end to the policy but not the process of surrogate colonization, resulted from irreconcilable antagonisms within and between the major currents of each internalist camp. A focus on the land problem in Palestine highlights contradictions in each party's internalist agenda, which forestalled a rift between the Jewish and British sides of the consensus long enough for the Zionist settlement in Palestine (Yishuv) to acquire territory and to develop a largely self-sufficient economic, cultural, political and military infrastructure.
 
Since the late 1970s, ceramics producers in the Nicaraguan village of San Juan de Oriente have repeatedly transformed both the design of and the technology for making their products. Different types of Scandinavian museums exhibited the most recent form of San Juanense pottery in 2006–08, which provided me with an opportunity to reflect on the history and character of the pottery in light of my own involvement with its producers since the early 1980s. This article unpacks those reflections in terms of the discourse of authenticity that anthropologists have elaborated over the past three decades. [multiple forms of authenticity, ceramics production, artisan communities, San Juan de Oriente, Nicaragua, role of anthropology, systems of value]
 
In this article, I examine how Chinese citizens in China and abroad used discourses of Chinese backwardness to make sense of tragic news events while simultaneously trying to avoid becoming identified with that backwardness. I focus on various interpretations of NATO's bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade in 1999; the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; the sinking of a Chinese ferry in 1999; and the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic to explore how Chinese citizens negotiated between their own ambivalent loyalties and the contradictory official, unofficial, local, national, and international narratives in which these events were embedded. These negotiations suggest that global information flows are creating a transnational panopticon that increasingly enables neoliberal governmentality to operate on transnational levels.
 
An inherent tension exists between the meanings of the World Trade Center site created by dominant political and economic players and the significance of the space for those who actually live near it. Most of the writing on and analysis of the site have focused on the construction of a memorial space for an imagined national and global community of visitors who identify with its broader, state-produced meanings. But New Yorkers, in general, and downtown residents, in particular, bring to meaning making their own personal involvement in and knowledge of a located history that has social, political, and economic significance for their everyday lives. These meanings are as much a part of memorialization as the dominant players' political machinations and economic competition for space and status. Uncovering and eliciting these local memorial discourses is part of an ethnographic project that focuses on how personalized narratives of loss emerge and are manipulated within mass-mediated representations of the World Trade Center space. My contribution to understanding how the memorial process works has been to analyze what downtown residents say about their experience of September 11 and its aftermath, to record their feelings about a memorial, and, in so doing, to contest, expand, and modify the dominant media and governmental representations of September 11 and its memorialization.
 
Names, World Trade Center (March 2004). 
Names in the USS Arizona Memorial shrine room. 
Pearl Harbor survivor Richard Fiske in video conference with high school class. 
Pearl Harbor survivor Everett Hyland giving a talk at the USS Arizona Memorial. 
Pearl Harbor survivor Richard Fiske talking with visitors at the USS Arizona Memorial. 
Despite a long tradition of writing on collective representations of the past, anthropology has contributed relatively little to the expanding literature on national memory. Yet ethnographic approaches have the facility to delineate practices that create historical narrative and give it emotive power while keeping in view longer-term political forces that underwrite dominant imaginaries. In this article I inquire into the discursive origins of emotional involvement in national history by juxtaposing two events of spectacular violence, September 11 and Pearl Harbor. Focusing on the representation of these events in public culture and at memorial sites, I argue that personal narratives play a central role in formations of national subjectivity, at times emotionalizing dominant memories and at other times opening possibilities for alternative visions.
 
Most time allocation studies have been conducted during daylight hours alone. However, an exploratory study of time allocation among the Samukundi Abelam, a horticultural group of Papua New Guinea, revealed that significant activities take place after dark. Furthermore, the nature and duration of these activities differ from those observed during daylight hours. Results suggest that time allocation studies confined to daylight hours alone may contain selective biases. By extension, comparative economic analyses utilizing such studies may also be biased. A sampling strategy employing limited, differentially weighted nighttime observations is suggested.
 
1492–1992: American Indian Persistence and Resurgence. KARL KROEBER, ed. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1994. iv + 261 pp., appendixes, contributors, index.
 
Plains Indians, A.D. 500-1500: The Archaeological Past of Historic Groups. KARL SCHLESIER. ed. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1994. xxvii. 479 pp., illustrations, maps, tables, list of contributors, bibliography, index.The Cheyenne in Plains Indian Trade Relations 1795-1840. JOSEPH JABLOW. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994. xix. 100 pp., maps, bibliography, Index.
 
Examination of the internal structure and system of tribute in the pre-Hispanic city of Tetzcoco, Mexico, indicates that the city contained several kinds of territorial groupings that received the services of commoners. These commoners were organized into calpolli, which were basically groups with common tributary obligations. They gave service either in food production, unskilled labor, or specialized skilled work, but it was usually part-time, compensated with lands for subsistence, and this gave the city a dispersed layout. [Aztec, calpulli, craft specialization, tribute, urbanism]
 
The abolition of the kapu (tabu) system of Hawaii after the death of Kamehameha I in 1819 has been a continuing source of interest as a problem in the explanation of culture change. Divine intervention, church-state conflict, cultural fatigue, women's liberation, cultural imperialism, socioeconomic evolution, and the politics of state formation have been offered as explanations. The cultural revolution is here reexamined from the integrative framework of “political culture.”
 
This exploration of hegemony, law, and politics attempts to expand recent anthropological approaches to hegemony and the law both topically and temporally. Specifically, I try to insert notions of coercion, class formation, agency, and political process into what have largely been cultural approaches to hegemony; I do so by exploring the workings of a local court through time. This court, in the context of a colonial state, brought together numerous agents (landlords, laborers, farmers, and retailers) who had conflicting and also sometimes converging economic and political interests and understandings. Through their interaction, the court became a theater, forum, and arena while, over time, it proved simultaneously to be both a civilizing device and a way of reproducing local class experience.[hegemony, historical anthropology, political-legal anthropology, class formation, courts, Ireland, colonialism]
 
Designations used by colonizers to describe colonized populations emerge through a multi-layered process that is affected by local social relations, by the colonizers' sociocultural outlook, by imperial tensions and by the metropolitan context. This paper describes the emergence of such a designation, the centurylong process by which cultivators in Dominica came to be called “peasants” by British colonists. Proponents and opponents alike saw in the word a metaphor for the acknowledgment of new relations of production that gave cultivators firmer control of the labor process.[Naming, colonialist discourse, British colonialism, peasantry, Dominica, Caribbean]
 
Fredrik Barth's classic work on Basseris (1961) demonstrated the importance of Iranian pastoral nomads' exchanges with the settled world. In this article I examine historical variations in the nature of exchange relationships and the political and economic context in which these were embedded. I argue that the “friendly” relations described by Barth were an anomaly associated with the Pahlavi dynasty's destruction of tribal elites, and I demonstrate that tribespeople have a long history of actively contesting unfavorable conditions of trade.
 
Franz Boas: The Early Years, 1858–1906. Douglas Cole. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999. vii. 360 pp., photographs, notes, bibliography, index.
 
In this article I apply the methodology of the Subaltern Studies group, especially Ranajit Guha's theory of negative consciousness, to an instance of indigenous insurgency in Mesoamerica. During the Caste War of Chiapas, 1867–69, the Maya apparently crucified a boy and, emboldened by this “Indian Christ,” they swept out of the hills killing non-Indians indiscriminately. I argue not only that Guha's “elementary aspects of peasant insurgency” (1983) aid in understanding the ferocious mimesis of the Mayan crucifixion, but also that the Caste War has a disruptive history that challenges theories of resistance as well as the relation of the historian and the ethnographer to the subaltern and to the “colonizer” subject.
 
Fields of Wheat, Hills of Blood: Passages to Nationhood in Greek Macedonia 1870-1990. ANASTASIA N. KARAKASIDOU. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997. xxiv. 334 pp., maps, gallery, appendix, tables, notes, bibliography, index.
 
To Die In This Way: Nicaraguan Indians and the Myth of Mestizaje, 1880-1965. Jeffrey L. Gould. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998. xiv. 305 pp., bibliography, Index.
 
After Tylor: British Social Anthropology 1888-1951. GEORGE W. STOCKING. JR. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1995. xx. 570 pp., illustrations, notes, references, manuscript sources, oral sources, index.
 
Passions of the Tongue: Language Devotion in Tamil India, 1891–1970. Sumathi Ramaswamy Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997. xxii + 303 pp., figures, notes, bibliography, index.
 
Colonial 'Reformation' in the Highlands of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, 1892–1995. Albert Schrauwers. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000. ix. 279 pp., tables, photographs, notes, bibliography, index.
 
My central argument in this article is that the pueblo de indios of 18th-century central Mexican highlands should be seen as the continuation of pre-Hispanic indigenous landed estates. The pueblos were highly stratified entities and were ruled by a small elite of families, usually referred to as caciques. The local level elite either traced descent from the pre-Hispanic nobility or had taken the place of that nobility by acquiring parts of early post-conquest grants in which pre-Hispanic demesnes were recognized. Consequently, Spanish institutions might have changed the form but not the basic substance of indigenous forms of lordship.
 
Normalized data: marriaaes. 1951-75 (all numbers are percenta1es). 
This paper explores the declining endogamy of the Kayasth subcastes of Hyderabad, India, by analyzing patterns of endogamous and exogamous marriages from 1900 to 1975. The data are divided into three time periods: 1900-25, 1926-50 and 1951-75. So that marriages can be analyzed in terms of preference or pattern, we have removed the effects of unequal population sizes via a normalization technique (Romney 1971). Marriage choice is expressed by using an odds-ratio. Exogamous marriage patterns are analyzed using this index of choice between each pair of subcastes for each time period. The results indicate a striking change in marriage preferences over the three time periods. The Kayasths move from a highly endogamous system to one that is only moderately endogamous. [normalization technique, endogamy, subcastes, Kayasth, Hyderabad, India]
 
Historical changes in the composition of households in Western society have largely been analyzed without reference to social theory. Two empirically-based theoretical models of changing household composition have recently been presented; the first predicts change as a result of class conflict in the development of a capitalist economy, and the other predicts change as the result of adaptation to changes in a community's level of economic diversification. Using data from a rural U.S. community, both models are tested to evaluate their relative explanatory power. [household structure, social change, social organization, cultural ecology, rural United States]
 
Ourselves and Others: The Development of a Greek Macedonian Cultural Identity since 1912. PETER MACKRIDGE and ELENI YANNAKAKIS. Oxford and New York: Berg, 1997. xii + 259 pp., contributors, notes, bibliography, index.
 
Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, and Highland Bali: Fieldwork Photographs of Bayung Cede, 1936–1939. Gerald Sullivan. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999. vii. 213 pp., photographs, glossary, notes, references, index.Malinowski's Kiriwina: Fieldwork Photography 1915–1918. Michael W. Young. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998. vii. 306 pp., maps, photographs, appendixes, glossary, notes, index.
 
The momentous transition from empire to nation-state in the early 20th century entailed a challenge for European states to produce “national” subjects–citizens. Scholars examining how diverse populations were incorporated into national projects have typically taken the nation-state's territorial boundaries as analytical boundaries and have rarely considered nation-building comparatively or investigated the creation of national subjects as an international practice. Taking the case of the League of Nation's supervision of the Greco–Bulgarian Convention Concerning Reciprocal and Voluntary Emigration in the 1920s, I explore collaboration between international and national agents in disambiguating multistranded affiliations of certain subjects in pursuit of homogeneous nation-states. [international institutions, nation-building, supervision, subjects, migration, borders, minorities]
 
Cadres and Kin: Making. Socialist Village in West China, 1921-1991. Gregory A. Ruf. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1999. xi. 249 pp., photographs, appendix, notes, work cited, index.
 
Event, Metaphor, Memory: Chauri Chaura, 1922–1992. Shahid Amin. Berkeley: Universty Of California Press, 1995. xiv + 256 pp., IIlustrations, appendix, notes, bibliography, Index.
 
Picturing Bushmen: The Denver African Expedition of 1925. Robert J. Gordon. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1997. xiii. 208 pp., figures, maps, notes, bibliography, index.
 
Sudanese Nuer draw a marked distinction between “the money of work,” you lad, and money acquired through the sale of cattle, you or “the money of cattle.” This dichotomy is balanced by a similar distinction between two sorts of cattle: purchased cattle, youni or “the cattle of money,” and cattle received as bride-wealth, nyët or “the cattle of girls.” Together these four wealth categories, along with several subsidiary ones, play a prominent role in determining relations of autonomy and dependence among the Nuer. This article traces the emergence of these categories over the last half century and analyzes their centrality. [culture and political economy, commoditization, exchange, money, cattle, the Nuer]
 
In this article, I examine the role of show trials in 1930s socialist Mongolia as a precursor to state violence. I argue that the show trial I focus on here, held in October 1937, paved the way for imminent state violence by portraying a threat against the state from an extensive conspiracy of high-ranking Buddhist figures and former government leaders. The trial not only served to justify the violence that was to come but also sought to turn people against the Buddhist hierarchy, which posed a threat to the socialist state's sovereignty. Through an examination of the narrative of the conspiracy it presented at the trial, I highlight the ways in which the state attempted to shift allegiances and convince people to accept the coming violence as necessary. Given the contested and precarious position of the socialist government in the 1930s, this study also highlights the role of the show trial in state formation. [state formation, violence, Mongolia, show trials, Buddhism, socialism, political theater]
 
Newspaper reports of the first month (July 1931) of multiple visions at Ezquioga in the Spanish Basque region provide an opportunity to study the process of negotiation whereby would-be visionaries are Accepted or rejected, and visions come to have a content significant and appropriate to the preoccupations of the immediate audience and the wider society.
 
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