George Gmelch

George Gmelch
University of San Francisco and Union College · sociology and anthropology

PhD anthropology, UCSB, 1975

About

114
Publications
28,937
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1,303
Citations
Citations since 2016
29 Research Items
468 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
2016201720182019202020212022020406080

Publications

Publications (114)
Article
Full-text available
On each pitching day for the first three months of a winning season, Dennis Grossini, a pitcher on a Detroit Tiger farm team, arose from bed at exactly 10:00 a.m. At 1:00 p.m. he went to the nearest restaurant for two glasses of iced tea and a tuna fish sandwich. When he got to the ballpark he put on the unwashed sweatshirt and jock he wore during...
Article
Full-text available
An obituary essay written for the American Anthropologist on the life and contributions of Richard K Nelson to Alaska native studies, ethnobiology, and nature writing.
Book
Full-text available
Examines what cultural anthropologists do in the field through lively, and often entertaining, accounts of the authors' lives and work in varied cultural settings. Describes the various forms fieldwork can take, the kinds of questions anthropologists ask, and the common problems they encounter. From these often accounts and the experiences of stude...
Book
Full-text available
This book offers an invaluable look at what cultural anthropologists do when they are in the field. Through fascinating and often entertaining accounts of their lives and work in varied cultural settings, the authors describe the many forms fieldwork can take, the kinds of questions anthropologists ask, and the common problems they encounter. From...
Chapter
The concluding chapter teases out threads running through the preceding narratives while examining how fieldwork and, more generally, cultural anthropology has changed over the past half-century. It reveals much about the strengths of anthropology and why its methodology has been adopted by other disciplines.
Chapter
The authors spend a year living in a horse-drawn wagon in a camp among Irish Travellers, a nomadic group similar to the Roma. There they experience firsthand what it is like to be members of a socially marginalized group. The chapter discusses the relationships created between anthropologists and the people they study and the daily routines and cha...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter explores the nature of “fieldwork” and its central place in the identity and methods of anthropology. It begins with a brief history of the fieldwork as anthropology’s hallmark methodology, its role as a rite of passage in becoming an anthropologist, and the preparations anthropology students receive before going off to the field. It a...
Chapter
This chapter describes the experiences of the field school students the authors have taken to the island of Barbados over a 20-year period. There each student lives in a separate rural village with an Afro-Caribbean family while learning to “do” anthropology. The chapter examines what students learn about the tribulations and joys of doing research...
Chapter
The chapter introduces the subfield of applied anthropology. Here the anthropologists are commissioned by the British Department of the Environment to find out what kind of “sites” should be built for highly nomadic British Gypsies. The goal is to minimize the negative impact their arrival in urban areas has on local residents and government author...
Chapter
In a five-year interdisciplinary team research project on the migration and mobility patterns of rural Newfoundlanders, the author learns the strengths and drawbacks of collaborative research. In this case, the other researchers are sociologists and geographers whose jargon and ways of doing research the anthropologist must learn in order to collab...
Chapter
Full-text available
While nothing can equal the experience of doing fieldwork in an unfamiliar culture, it is possible for students to approximate it close to home. Two fieldwork assignments the authors use in anthropology classes give students hands-on experience. One involves conducting participant observation in local bingo halls. In the other, students interview i...
Chapter
The aim of this applied research, conducted for Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game, is to examine how residents, both Native and non-Native, of an “urban” Alaskan community harvest and use wild foods. At the time, most research on “subsistence” (or household provisioning) was conducted in small villages with majority Native populations. The goal...
Chapter
Full-text available
After two decades of taking students to rural Barbados, the authors move their field school to Australia, to the Tasmanian city of Hobart. This chapter explores how different urban fieldwork is from traditional village ethnography. The advantages and disadvantages of urban vs. rural research and the difference between anthropology of the city and a...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter describes the experiences of anthropology students in the East African city of Moshi, Tanzania. Moshi, located on the lower slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro and home to the Chagga people, is a center for mountain climbing and wildlife tourism. The students live with local families and cope with the challenges of life in an developing countr...
Chapter
Full-text available
George returns to professional baseball after a 30-year absence to study the sport. The culture of baseball has changed much during his absence. The role of serendipity in research, along with the benefits and drawbacks of studying your own group, that is, being a “native anthropologist” are explored.
Chapter
This chapter discusses visual anthropology and several related research projects. One involves an analysis of historical images to explore the introduction of photography into Tlingit territory and the uses to which early photographs were put. A second uses old photographs of Irish Travellers in interviews with them to elicit their reflections on t...
Chapter
For professional anthropologists, thinking anthropologically is part of everyday life, not just something they do while engaged in field work. This is demonstrated on two occasions when the authors, as visiting faculty at a Japanese university, can’t help doing research. For Sharon it is among Japanese mothers and at the yochien or kindergarten the...
Chapter
Full-text available
In a very different sort of applied research, one of the authors is hired by the National Park Service to study Tlingit Indian and white fishermen in a remote area of Glacier Bay National Park. Both groups are suspicious of the research and some individuals are hostile, fearing the Park Service intends to impose new regulations. Shunned at first, t...
Article
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Book
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Baseball Beyond Our Borders celebrates the globalization of the game while highlighting the different histories and cultures of the nations in which the sport is played. This collection of essays tells the story of America’s national pastime as it has spread across the world and undergone instructive, entertaining, and sometimes quirky changes in t...
Article
Full-text available
Baseball Beyond Our Borders celebrates the globalization of the game while highlighting the different histories and cultures of the nations in which the sport is played.This collection of essays tells the story of America’s national pastime as it has spread across the world and undergone instructive, entertaining, and sometimes quirky changes in th...
Article
This essay describes the encounter of a white, minor-league ballplayer, now an anthropologist, with segregation in the American South in the 1960s. As an autoethnography, it examines what Jim Crow practices meant for young professional baseball players, both black and white. It treats how the author came to the research topic and the consequences f...
Book
an inside look at the world of Caribbean tourism as seen through the working lives of 21 men and women in the tourist industry of Barbados.
Book
In 2011, the authors returned to Ireland to seek out the Travelling families they originally met forty years earlier when they conducted their first fieldwork as anthropologists. How have the lives of Irish Travellers changed since the days the authors lived among them in a horse-drawn wagon in a makeshift encampment on the outskirts of Dublin? Mos...
Article
In March, as my departure for my first spring training approached, I was of two minds. I was eager to see what spring training would be like and proud to be going off to Florida to play professional baseball. But I was also unsure of myself after not putting up very good numbers in Jamestown (New York-Penn League) during my rookie season. My confid...
Article
It had been two weeks since I had signed a minor-league contract with the Detroit Tigers; now, finally, I was on my way to Minnesota to play for the Duluth Dukes of the Northern League. The Dukes were an oddity, a joint Detroit Tigers-Chicago Cubs farm club with each organization contributing half the team’s players. The Northern League was also un...
Book
In the eastern Caribbean the expression “behind God’s back” refers to a place that is remote or far away. This book examines the social fabric of Barbados’ most rural parish and the enormous influence of global factors such as television, tourism, and migration. Written with students in mind, The Parish Behind God’s Back draws on the authors’ field...
Book
Tourists today want to experience the world through all five senses. In this book, the authors tell the story of tourism in California’s Napa Valley, from its beginnings to the more than five million people who now visit every year to taste fine wines, eat fine food, and consume other sophisticated pleasures in the midst of bucolic beauty. What is...
Article
Full-text available
Ever since I was a youth watching Puerto Rican winter league games on Saturday-morning television, I've had an interest in how baseball is played in other cultures. A few years ago, when my wife and I decided to move our anthropology term abroad from Barbados to the Australian island state of Tasmania, I wondered if there might be baseball there (i...
Book
what does urban mean? How do places and spaces change when they become urban? Why are people drawn to cities? How do anthropologists and others study urban places and the people who occupy them?
Article
Sue MacKay lives only a few minutes from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum where, for the past fifteen years, she has been the Registrar of the collections department. With a staff of three, she oversees the organization, maintenance, and preservation of the museum’s 38,000 three-dimensional artifacts. With a lifelong interest in both h...
Article
Full-text available
This article compares the research and field experiences of students studying in rural villages with those studying in a city. The student subjects are participants in two anthropology field training programs (rural Barbados and urban Tasmania) designed to give them a hands-on experience of anthropological fieldwork. The comparison of rural and urb...
Article
Mike Murphy has worked in the clubhouse and managed baseball equipment for the San Francisco Giants since the team moved west in 1958. Likely the longest reigning employee of any major league organization, Murph is immensely popular among past and current ballplayers. In recognition of his service, the Giants named the clubhouse at AT&T Park in his...
Article
This essay describes the experiences of an anthropologist who once having been a professional baseball player returned to study his former profession. Discussed are personal challenges in doing fieldwork among elite athletes, the fallibility of memory, the transfer of skills from sport to academe, and the opinions of professors towards the study of...
Article
Although a patent for a metal baseball bat was first issued in 1924, it was nearly fifty years before one was used in a baseball game. There wasn’t much interest in developing a metal bat until the 1960s, when some companies began to look for an economical alternative due to the shrinking supply and declining quality of ash, the wood from which mos...
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Jim Mann, a shoe engineer and ex-Nike technician, is cofounder of 3N2, a start-up company that makes baseball and softball shoes. Forty-two years old, six feet tall, and built like a catcher, Mann is a former ballplayer and champion race walker who early on became fascinated with athletic shoes. In this narrative he talks about baseball cleats—how...
Article
NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture 14.2 (2006) 129-132 Nicknames are more common in childhood than later in life, except in sports. And in no sport are nicknames more pervasive than baseball. Who hasn't heard of "Slammin Sammy" or "The Rocket" or "The Big Unit"? Baseball nicknames often tell us something about the player. Names like "P...
Book
A televised baseball game from Puerto Rico, Japan, or even Cuba might look a lot like the North American game. Beneath the outward similarities, however-the uniforms and equipment and basic rules-there is usually a very different history and culture influencing the nuances of the sport. These differences are what interest the authors of Baseball wi...
Article
NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture 14.1 (2005) 152-154 We know what professional baseball players do on the field, but what about after the game? Most players who have had a bad game usually leave the clubhouse swiftly, while those who have had a good game don't mind lingering, savoring their success and enjoying the banter. Either way...
Article
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture 13.1 (2004) 133-134 George Gmelch I grew up an avid Yankee fan—in San Francisco. My parents were New Yorkers, and the Giants hadn't yet moved to the West Coast. When I was in sixth grade my father took me out of school to travel back Ea...
Article
NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture 11.2 (2003) 135-142 On the third floor of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, just down the hall from the African mammals, is the new traveling exhibition Baseball As America. In museum parlance the "big idea" for the exhibit is the intimate relationship between baseball and Ameri...
Article
Behind the Smile is an inside look at the world of Caribbean tourism as seen through the lives of the men and women in the tourist industry in Barbados. The workers represent every level of tourism, from maid to hotel manager, beach gigolo to taxi driver, red cap to diving instructor. These highly personal accounts offer insight into complex questi...
Article
NINE: A Journal of Baseball History and Culture 10.2 (2002) 170-171 Jules Tygiel's Past Time shows how fascinating the history of baseball can be when you get beyond mere records, teams, and player personalities. This loose collection of nine essays (a clever design element treats them as innings) spans the history of baseball from the rise of the...
Article
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This article focuses on how the structure and constraints of the occupation of professional baseball shapes the lives of the players' wives. The major constraints on the role of baseball wives include high geographical mobility, the husband's frequent absence, lack of a social support network, and the precariousness of baseball careers. Baseball wi...
Article
Widespread public awareness of “groupies”—women who seek relationships with male celebrities—in American professional baseball dates to the 1970s, particularly to the release of popular films such as Bull Durham and the publication of several insider accounts of the lives of ballplayers. This article, based on interviews with groupies and with majo...
Article
Full-text available
This paper is concerned with what students do and learn when they travel abroad. First, the behavior and daily routines of American college students travelling in Europe, while on a term abroad, are examined through their journals and travel logs and the researcher's observations. What the students learn about other cultures is often superficial, y...
Article
It is often said that you have to live in another culture before you can understand your own. But what is it that we learn and how do we learn it? To answer this question this paper examines the experiences of American students living and doing field research in villages on the eastern Caribbean island of Barbados. The students field experiences in...
Article
This research, undertaken between 1979 and 1982, focuses on why migrants return from Canada to Newfoundland's outports, their readjustment to rural life after working in urbanised industrial areas, and the impact they have on their home communities. The paper outlines the self-reliant life-style which has developed in the study area and considers t...
Article
Most empirical studies of return migration have found that migrants contribute very little to the development of their homelands. Most studies, however, have been conducted in rural areas among peasant migrants, whose largely unskilled industrial work experience in foreign countries has little relevance to the agrarian economies to which they retur...
Article
Until the late 1950s, Irish travellers lived primarily in rural areas and travelled within relatively confined areas. With the urbanisation of the last quarter century, their traditional sources of income have dried up and they have had to adjust to very different circumstances. Emigration, whether temporary or permanent, to Britain was one means o...
Article
This study examines two vital issues in return migration behavior in two populations: (1) the characteristics of return migrants, and (2) their reasons for returning to their homelands. Comparisons between Irish and Newfoundland returnees are made possible by the use of an identical interview schedule. Sex, age and occupational selectivity, years s...
Article
In the last 15 years, anthropology and other disciplines have begun to treat migration as a system. The article reviews the findings of the growing body of literature on return migration, attempting to synthesise the various typologies of return migrants, reasons for return, adaptation and readjustment of returnees, and the impact of return migrati...

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Project
documentary film and related book. here is a short trailer: https://youtu.be/jwio270NSzE-