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ANTH 1003: Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology (Fall 2015)

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Micha Rahder

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Transcript of ANTH 1003: Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology (Fall 2015)

Making the strange familiar, making the familiar strange
Space, Place, and Belonging
ANTH 1003: Intro to Social & Cultural Anthropology
Tradition and Change
Bodies and Medicine
Kinship
Nature, Capitalism, Globalization
Culture & Communication
Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity
How to think like an anthropologist
Sex & Gender
Timesense
August 25
September 3
What is "culture"?
food
art
beliefs
values
religion
clothing
language
power structures
sense of
place
technology
economy
tradition
family
race, ethnicity
gender
identity
How do anthropologists study culture?
Participant observation
"deep hanging out"
Interviews
Ethnography (describe & interpret)
Surveys, archives, contextualization, etc
+
+
=
norms and expectations
Cultural Anthropology Today
Understanding other cultures
New perspectives on our own culture
Empirical research
Continuity and change
Context context context! Understanding how history, politics, social forces, and other factors affect our lives
What is natural? What is universal?
Practices - what people do
Symbols and meaning - what people think, how they interpret their world
Norms and values - what people feel, take for granted
August 27
The "exotic" Nacirema
"the extremes to which human behavior can go"
A ritual shrine
"women bake their heads in small ovens"
"Looking from far and above, from our high places of safety in the developed civilization, it is easy to see all the crudity and irrelevance of magic. But without its power and guidance early man could not have mastered his practical difficulties as he has done, nor could man have advanced to the higher stages of civilization."
Us and Them
Making distinctions between cultures and people
Progress narratives
Cultural relativism
Evidence and Interpretation
Objectivity, subjectivity,
reflexivity
Recognizing our own assumptions and biases
A cultural analysis should make explicit the social positions of the person doing the analyzing and the people being analyzed, as well as the differences of power and status among the individuals and groups being studied.
(Delaney p.18)
from primitive to civilized
every culture on its own terms
So... can we make judgements? On what basis?
Death Without Weeping
by Scheper-Hughes

Does "Mother Love" exist under conditions of violence and extreme poverty?
Fieldwork, Orientation, & Disorientation
Learning from "culture shock"
Key questions for fieldwork (from Delaney p. 21):
Why do people do things the way they do?
What are their motivations and goals?
How are they constrained by the cultural definitions of their race, gender, age, class, and so on?
"Culture" and Interpretive Anthropology
Culture (symbols, meaning) vs society (structures, institutions)
“…man is an animal suspended in webs of significance that he himself has spun, I take culture to be those webs, and the analysis of it to be therefore not an experimental science in search of law but an interpretive one in search of meaning.”
- Clifford Geertz
Culture
is: Learned not inherited
Shared not idiosyncratic
Particular not universal
Where to start? Start with
practices


Everyday spaces
Home, school, work, shops, parks, etc.
Public vs Private
parks
sidewalks
streets
schools
libraries
public buildings

unfenced/marked land
gated communities
porches
apartment building hallways
hotels
homes
locked/fenced land
private storage spaces
shops
restaurants
theaters
Homes
Shotgun house
Tiger Manor
Dayak longhouse (from Helliwell 1992, "Good Walls Make Bad Neighbors")
Think of a time when you found yourself in a place where you "didn't belong":

Where were you?
How did you know you didn't belong?
How did you react to finding yourself there? What did you feel or think?
How did other people react to you?
How did you react to other people you saw there?
Space, Social Identity, and Power
Segregate (v):
1) set apart from the rest or each other, isolate or divide
2) separate or divide (people, activities, or institutions) along racial, sexual, or religious lines
Gendered use of public space (from Delaney):
Germany - women sunbathing topless in parks, unbothered by men
Rural Turkey - women must have permission from male head of household to leave the house, or the village
USA - women are given nominal freedom of movement, but held responsible for anything that happens to them in public ("stay safe" "don't dress in provocative ways" "travel w friends" etc)
Racial segregation in Baton Rouge: http://demographics.coopercenter.org/DotMap/index.html
Maps, Nations, and Territory
Do cultures belong to places?
Gupta & Ferguson (1992)
Borderlands
Cultural Multiplicity
Colonial/post-colonial cultures
Border crossings
Online connection
How do we start to think about culture and place differently?
US-Mexico border wall (from Boston.com)
“The move we are calling for, most generally, is away from seeing cultural difference as the correlate of a world of ‘peoples’ whose separate histories wait to be bridged by the anthropologist and toward seeing it as a product of a shared historical process that differentiates the world as it connects it” (Gupta & Ferguson 1992: 16)
From billiard balls to complex inter-regional networks
From naturalness to political/economic/historical process
From territory vs "deterritorialization" to how space and place are
constructed
or
produced
How do claims about place, space, and culture get made, and how do they come to seem natural? How do they intersect with power relations at different scales?
September 8
Homework: Trade and Grade
1. In Chapter One of In Search of Respect, Phillipe Bourgois recounts his
experience of living in East Harlem. Relate his experience to the questions we answered in lecture on Thursday:
How did he know that he "didn't belong" or was out of place?
How did he react to being there, what did he think and feel?
How did other people from the neighborhood react to him?
How did he react to other people who lived there?

2. Following up on the above questions, how does Bourgois' description of
"violating apartheid in the United States" demonstrate the links between space, social identity, and relations of power?

1. How is Bourgois' book different from other studies or depictions of drug culture that you have seen before?
How does the book demonstrate an aspect of cultural anthropology (e.g. reflexivity, cultural relativism, or questions of representation - pick one) that we talked about in week one?

2. How did Bourgois know that he "didn't belong" in East Harlem or was out of place? How did other people from the neighborhood react to him? How did he react to other people who lived there?
How does Bourgois' description of "violating apartheid in the United States" relate to last week's lecture on space, social identity, and relations of power?

3. Bourgois draws on several theories to help interpret people's behavior, including:
political economy versus individual responsibility (aka structure vs agency, p.17-18)
inner city street culture (p.8-11)
the culture of terror (32-37)
Pick one of these major ideas and explain it in your own words (you may use examples or stories from the text).

4.
What do you think Bourgois is trying to argue in this book?
Why did he write it? What does he want us to learn?

5.
Find something from the book that people in your group disagree with each other about
, and discuss for a few minutes with the whole group (until each person can explain
why
people disagree)

6.
Find something from the book that everybody in your group finds hard to understand
(if anybody can explain it, they MUST explain it)
October 6
Throwing Like a Girl...?
For the purposes of this course, NOTHING about gender differences is "natural" - you cannot appeal to bodies, innate differences, brain structure, hormones, muscles, etc, to answer questions about gender
Gender in El Barrio: The Rules of the Game
Form small groups within your side of the room
While discussing, make sure EVERY member of your group can answer the questions
All specific examples should come from chapters 5 & 6
Write down your answers to the
last two questions
with all your names and hand in
You have until 2:20 to answer all the questions

I will call on random people from each side to answer each question. The side of the room with the best answers will get the freebie question on next week's quiz.
Why does Bourgois choose to write such horrific and brutally violent stories? Relate your answer to a specific anthropological tool or concept we have discussed in class
How do the common middle school activities for boys described in Chapter 5 (cutting class, petty theft, drinking alcohol) lead to such extreme violence and drug culture in East Harlem, when the same activities might get written off as "boys will be boys" and lead to comfortable middle-class lives in another context?
How does the structure/agency debate relate to Bourgois' description of Candy's life history in Chapter 6? Which aspects of her story might be "structure"? Which aspects seem more like "agency"?
Like Abu-Lughod, Bourgois argues that mainstream (white) US feminism has done little for women in El Barrio. What is his argument?
What is the "crisis in patriarchy" that Bourgois describes in Chapter 6? How is it connected to violence against women?
What is "cultural capital"? Find an example that illustrates the concept other than those mentioned in pages 175-187.
What is a gender norm? Find an example of a specific gender norm derived from traditional jíbaro identity and explain how it has transformed in the new context of East Harlem
Find something that people in your group disagree about
Find something from that everybody in your group finds hard to understand, that nobody can explain to the rest of the group
September 29
Sex-Gender Systems and Gender Norms
Gender Norm:
culturally-specific expectation for different genders, usually expressed in terms of what is "natural" or "normal" for men, women, or other genders. There can be many gender norms within a particular sex-gender system, including contradictory norms.
Sex-Gender System:
a broad and flexible cultural framework that includes gender norms and differently gendered bodies. A sex-gender system will not only define gender norms, but also define which bodies are considered to belong to which gender.
"There is no such thing as 'the body'"
-Delaney, p. 208
Bodies and Genders
Arjuna (Indonesia): Hero of Hindu mythology, masculinity as delicacy as well as strength
Ajith Bhaskaran Dass
Techniques of the Body
Body image & Beauty Standards
Bodies that don't fit our expectations
Clothing &
Gender

Norms
"Marked" and "Unmarked" categories
Women are the "marked" category and men are "unmarked" (changing a bit in the U.S., but still generally true)
Transgender people are "marked" and cisgender people are "unmarked"
Whiteness is "unmarked" and other racial categories are "marked"
the "unmarked" category is always at the top of an implied hierarchy of value, taken for granted as "universal," "neutral", "general," "normal," etc.
brave
daring
publicly celebrated

too masculine
threatening
publicly criticized
sexy
feminine
publicly desired
culturally inscribed ways of moving & using the body
taught by word, example, and imitation
training can be explicit/conscious (don't sit like that!), implicit/unconscious (opening a jar "like a girl"), or a combination of both (gendered ways of walking)
Gendered techniques of the body differ around the world: e.g. SE Asian masculinity as delicacy and control as well as strength
Cultural beauty/body ideals change over time
Ideals for whom? Gender norms differ by race, class, nationality, religion, etc...
Ideals are not "just cultural" - linked to economies, institutions, etc:
Gender and body image are big business!
Increasing focus on men's bodies as well as women's - how and why is this changing?
intersex bodies & history of forced medical/surgical gender assignment
Transgender bodies vs cisgender bodies, emerging trans rights movement
Genderqueer, androgynous, in-between and back-and-forth bodies
Non-Western alternative gender categories, e.g. Two-spirit (berdache) Native Americans, xanith Omanis, etc.
Are you your body, or do you have a body?
How are bodies and identities linked together? What happens when they come into conflict?
ugly
funny
publicly gawked at/beat up
October 15
Race & Ethnicity as Systems of Classification
understandingrace.org
human variation (continuous)
marked by arbitrary distinctions and boundaries (discrete categories)
with real life consequences (real)
Racial & ethnic categories are culturally-specific, not universal
Membership in different categories changes over time (e.g. whiteness in the U.S.)
Criteria for inclusion in categories can change, be contradictory (e.g. "one drop rule")
Ideas about the links between biology and race changing (from "natural fact" to "social construction" to genetics/genomics, new debates)
Census categories and social categories reflect each other
From the U.S. Census Bureau:
"The racial categories included in the census questionnaire generally reflect a social definition of race recognized in this country and not an attempt to define race biologically, anthropologically, or genetically. In addition, it is recognized that the categories of the race item include racial and national origin or sociocultural groups. People may choose to report more than one race to indicate their racial mixture, such as “American Indian” and “White.” People who identify their origin as Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish may be of any race"
http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/08/05/fourth-largest-tribe-united-states-mexicans-150740
"The 1930 census racial categories included:
Chinese, Filipino, Hindu, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Negro, White.
The 1930 census added Mexican, then dropped the category under pressure from the Mexican government. According to census department documents, the Mexican population was added to the white category in revised reports. Mexicans counted as white until 1970 when they were reclassified in the census as Hispanic origin." (From race project website)
Alienation and Identity
marked and unmarked categories, implied social hierarchy
Alienation
is a condition of social isolation (from self and group), disconnection, meaninglessness, powerlessness, loss of cues/norms
"Alienation" by Ribeyro
"Social constructions" have
real
effects
How much do racial disparities in illnesses reflect biological differences?
Hypertension affects 30% of white Americans and 40% of African Americans, so people started looking for genetic differences...
...Instead a number of studies found that living as an African American with the effects of racism led to increased stress, including cardiovascular stress, resulting in chronic hypertension
Whiteness in the United States
Hari Kondabolu
"Establishing the Fact of Whiteness" by Hartigan
1. Efforts to "mark" the unmarked category
Invisibility is power, "white privilege"

A small selection of white privileges, identified by Peggy McIntoch, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack":

20. I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.

21. I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.

22. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world's majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.

23. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.

24. I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the "person in charge", I will be facing a person of my race.

25. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven't been singled out because of my race.

26. I can easily buy posters, post-cards, picture books, greeting cards, dolls, toys and children's magazines featuring people of my race.
"Studies of whiteness are demonstrating that whites benefit from a host of apparently neutral social arrangements and institutional operations, all of which seem - to whites at least - to have no racial basis." (Hartigan 1997, p. 496)
2. Whiteness is a "relational identity" (p. 496)
Defined by Others, by what it is not
Membership changes
3. Racism is a systemic problem, not an individual one
And a big part of the problem is the invisibility of whiteness, not just "race" as Others
4. The "fact of whiteness" does NOT mean that all white people share a racial identity
differences of class, gender, etc within the U.S. can "undermine unmarked status" (p. 502)
different racial category construction in other parts of the world (e.g. South Africa)
October 20
Black and Indigenous: Garifuna Activism and Consumer Culture in Honduras
by Mark Anderson
Early colonial history (16th & 17th C.) on St Vincent: stronghold of Caribes (Native caribbean islanders), plus influx of marooned, shipwrecked, and stolen African slaves
Deported en masse by British to Central America in 1797, less than half survived
Coastal settlements in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Subject to ongoing racism against Blacks. Legal recognition as "indigenous" in late 20th century.
So the Garifuna are
both
"black" (racial identity) and "indigenous" (ethnic identity), although these categories are sometimes contradictory, or get called on differently in different contexts
Homework: Trade and Grade
Write up a 1-2 page description of your second round of observations, focused on describing what people do that is related to answering your research questions. Try to be as detailed as possible in describing the practices that relate to your research question, and practice describing and interpreting what people do without inserting your own judgements or opinions. Make up names for people (and maybe places) to protect the anonymity of your research subjects.
Indigeneity
Black Diasporic Identity
Roots and Routes
Consumerism, Clothing, & Identity
"the commodification of Black power can contradict its original political impulses" (p. 173)
Black/Blackness
African American
Garifuna
Indigenous
Mestizo
Black America
Racial category referring to all Afro-descendent people, although meanings associated with the category differ across contexts
Ideas and discourses about African American culture as discussed in Garifuna communities
Ethnic category referring to black people in the United States
Ethnic category referring to particular group on the Atlantic coasts of Central America, classified as racially black
Ethnic group with minority status, unique ethnic identity based on traditional culture, and strong ties between cultural identity and particular place, "belonging" to particular territories. Legal category.
Dominant national ethno-racial category in Honduras (and many countries in Latin America). Explicit recognition of historical mixture of European (Spanish) and Native American ("Indios") races, combined with the ideology of homogenous national identity
Garifuna: Black and Indigenous
Mark Anderson
KEY TERMS
Black AND Indigenous?
Cosmopolitan vs Rooted in place
Modern vs Traditional
Shared/connected vs Particular/unique
Latin American context, social movements of the late 20th century.
Against assimilationist mestizo national ideologies, for rights to cultural autonomy and land rights ("territory")
Legal
category, not just a social category
Different definitions, insistence on right of self-definition
Garifuna Community: The entirety of families of Afrocaribbean ancestry who share sentiments of identification bound to their aboriginal past and who maintain traits and values of their own traditional culture, as well as their own forms of autonomous social organization and control.
Pueblo Indígena: The entirety of Garifuna communities which maintain a historical continuity and are determined to preserve, develop and transmit to future generations their traditional territories in accordance with their own cultural values, social organizations, and legal systems (OFRANEH, draft proposal of "Garifuna Territorial Law")
NOT just a simple "mixture," e.g. mixed black and indigenous heritage
"The tensions between different modes of identification reflect the difficulties in navigating contemporary structures of power and difference, where Garifuna are both recognized as an "ethnic subject" with collective rights and cultural value and stigmatized as a Black, racial-cultural other still at the margins of modernity and the nation." (Anderson p. 9)
Interpellation: Identity from the outside-in
"One is not black simply by choice; one's identity is always in part constituted - sometimes against one's will - within a structure of recognition, identification, and subjectification." (David Scott, quoted in Anderson p. 16)
Diaspora is not just about displacement, but about a process involving relations, identification, exchange, and dialogue between people grounded in particular locations
"Peoples in independent countries who are regarded as indigenous on account of their descent from the populations which inhabited the country, or a geographical region to which the country belongs, at the time of conquest or colonization or the establishment of present State boundaries and who, irrespective of their legal status, retain some or all of their own social, economic, cultural, and political institutions." (ILO Convention 169 on the rights of indigenous peoples, ratified by Honduras)
1968
2003
"Blackness is
constructed
and
performed
rather than given and assumed" (p. 183)
"Experiences of racial interpellation, identification, and discrimination have given shape to a sense of racial self... Nonetheless, it is not inevitable that the Garifuna should identify themselves as Black. Rather, Garifuna actively produce specific forms of blackness through their own modes of signification and 'imitation,' especially in fashion. Black America is a site of significant attention here, a site for producing sameness and differences within the racial category Black and a site for imagining, through comparison and contrast, what it means to be Black in Honduras." (p. 186)
Clothing carries multiple meanings of status and power: with Black America/visions of powerful Blackness, with wealth, and with participation in transnational modernity, through access to clothing not available in Honduras
Changing (economic) position of Garifuna in Honduras, due to transmigration to the US: material goods provide symbolic evidence of this change
Cultural appropriation and global capitalism:
"the production of blackness by Blacks exceeds its commodification; that is one reason why it is commodified. The resourceful self-fashioning and oppositional creativity of Black diasporic subjects thus become subject to renewed cycles of branding and profiteering." (p. 197)
Claims for political and cultural rights
Resistance to national integration
Claims for participation in global modernity
Resistance to racial exclusion and hierarchy
November 3
Love
makes a family
Kinship Studies
Kinship Studies in Anthropology
Henry Lewis Morgan David Schneider
Marriage
What is a marriage?
(Contract? Commitment? Symbolic union? Exchange? Legal category? Religious institution? Lifelong vs temporary?)
Why get married?
(Love? Creating a household? Reproduction? Legal rights? Solidifying social ties?)
What happens to the individuals in a marriage?
(Blending/union? Independent/no change?)
Who can get married?
(cousins? specific kinship groups? siblings? same gender? different religion/race/class?)
Reproduction
All
biological assumptions about kinship are
always
tied to specific cultural gender norms (also understood as "natural")
Kinship and society
Kinship is the study of not just who is "family," but also
what it means to be part of a family
social roles and obligations


relationship between kinship structures and broader social life
Biology
makes a family
Culture
makes a family
Law
makes a family
Classification of kinship systems
Consanguinity (related by blood) vs affinity (related by marriage)
evolutionary/hierarchical scale
Classificatory kinship system
Descriptive kinship system
non-hierarchical kinship studies
American kinship: intermingling of social and biological ideas of personhood, relatedness
"blood
symbolizes
kinship relations, but does not create them" (quoted in Delaney, p. 174)
Men
= active, creative, culture vs
Women
= passive, nurturing, nature
Gender norms shape how we understand the science of reproduction
Emily Martin (1991) "The Egg and the Sperm: How Science has Constructed a Romance Based on Stereotypical Male-Female Roles"
With modern reproductive technology, is "biological" relatedness the same as "natural"? Kinship as "blood" and kinship as "genetics" might be different!
material support?
love and emotional support?
socialization?
kinship structures
private
life, not public (US)
kinship structures all social relations (Australian aboriginals)
raising individuals vs raising good citizens
Bourgois Chapters 7 & 8
November 5
Homework Trade and Grade
Family Ethnography:

A) Describe the composition of your family, that is, its members and their relationships to each other

B) Arrange these people in a diagram that shows their relative closeness to you. You can devise any kind of chart you like, as long as it reflects what to you determines closeness and distance

C) Describe the allocation of tasks and duties within your family. In other words, who does what for the family as a whole, and who does what for their own satisfaction or maintenance?
September 22
Reading Check-In
Terence Turner describes changes in Kayapo cultural expression between his first visit to Gorotire village in 1962 and his return 25 years later. What is one example of change he encountered?
First Encounter: Gorotire 1962
Return to Gorotire: 1987
Kayapo Culture
"The changes had no intrinsic meaning for the Kayapo, but had been imposed because of the meanings they held for dominant outsiders, the whites” (p. 291)
Anthropology
Looking for
"authenticity"


Culture
as unchanging, object-like


Anthropology
as apolitical, objective, unreflexive


“We were depressed, upset, and confused… by Gorotire’s failure to live up to our idea of what a Kayapo village should look like” (p. 289)
“anthropology… defined itself in abstraction from the ‘situation of contact’ as the antithesis of ‘change’ and the enemy of ‘history’” (p. 292)
Kayapo Culture
Anthropology
Internal and External shifts towards political autonomy and self-definition

Change
as process of internal-external relations

Tradition
= resource for political claims, self-aware

Culture
=
Ethnicity,
one among many "Indian" or "indigenous" groups
Realizing impact of previous studies on the changes he saw within Kayapo culture

Looking for
dynamic ways of being in the world, exchange and interplay between groups, not just within them

Culture
as complex symbolic processes and exchanges, always in context and connection

Anthropology
as reflexive, participatory, political
"cultural consciousness"

Audio-visual media savvy and the politics of (self-)representation

Images of "tradition" circulate in "modern" ways to create political change

“As an anthropologist, in short, I had become a cultural instrument of the people whose culture I was attempting to document” (p. 310)
So... what happens to "
authenticity
"???
“They had become expert in articulating these traditional notions with the ideas, values, and causes of Western environmentalist, human rights, and indigenous support groups. These creative adaptations, and the bold policies and acts of political resistance and collective cultural assertion of which they formed part, are
authentic manifestations of Kayapo culture
” (p. 311)
September 10
Time is cultural...

One of the most deeply taken-for-granted aspects of our experience of daily life, but all definitions, orientations, experiences, and measures of time are ARBITRARY and not universal.
Yet most of the world uses the same systems and concepts of time... why?
Time is Money
Global capitalism and the regulation of time
Senses of Time
Linear time:
external, christian, progressive, "universal" science
vs
Cyclical Time:
past as co-present, repeating (many cultures and versions)
vs
Other notions of time, e.g. "reversed":
Past in front, future behind (Aymara)
Cosmological
Time
Clock
time vs
Social/Event
time
external vs internal
time can be wasted vs self/energy can be wasted
"Don't waste your time!" – productivity as moral imperative
spend save waste budget manage borrow
clock time – industrial capitalism & wage labor
time zones – railroad development and global trade
flex time – transnational global capitalism
Shouldn't "progress" and "technological change" give us more "free time"?
origins of agriculture technolabor
September 17
Working Legit: Discussion Groups
1. What is the difference between planning for the future and "getting by"?
Find an example from chapters 3 or 4 that illustrates one or the other of these ways of making decisions, and explain why the person made their decisions this way.
2. How does the way that men in El Barrio talk about their lives reflect the idea of "productivity as a moral imperative"?
Find a specific example from chapters 3 or 4 and explain how it demonstrates this idea.
3. Many of the ways that the men in El Barrio talk about working in legal vs illegal jobs are contradictory.
Find one example of contradictory statements or beliefs expressed by a single person (can be at different moments). How or why do you think they can maintain both views at once?
4. Many social norms of "oppositional street culture" do not fit with the legal jobs available to men in East Harlem.
Find one example of a belief, norm, or value from street culture and explain how it disadvantages men in the legal economy.
5. How do the discussions of work in the legal and illegal economy relate to Bourgois' big theoretical question about "structure vs agency"?
6. Find something from chapters 3 or 4 that people in your group disagree with each other about.
7. Find something that everybody in your group finds difficult to understand
, that nobody can explain to all other members of the group.
October 8
Communication in Context
October 13
Homework: Trade and Grade
[Somebody you are not connected with on any social media]
4.2 How does your conversational style change depending on whether you are talking to another student or with a professor? Think of as many aspects of communication as possible - not only verbal ones - that differentiate your conversations with fellow students from those with professors.
How do context, social identity and cultural assumptions shape communication?
Race and Language
"Code switching"
Gender and language
Intonation - women more likely to use wider range, rise at end of sentence
Word use: um vs uh, like, I mean, very, extremely, etc...
Language and Social Change
Gender: from "Man" to "Human"
rise of gender-neutral language standards
search for a singular 3rd person neutral pronoun
New words: http://www.merriam-webster.com/new-words/2014-update.htm
Debate: Should we have bilingual education?

Prescriptivism vs Descriptivism
Prescriptivism:
language is a formal system, use should follow rules

Descriptivism:
language is evolving, rules should follow use
"Online" is a context
Oral cultures vs written cultures - memory, history, social connection

Speaking, writing, and the anticipation of response: is communication via social media more like speaking or writing?

"The media is the message"
- Marshall McLuhan
ALL communication happens in particular contexts and within particular relations of power (race, class, education, gender, sexuality, formal authority, etc)
African-American Vernacular English (AAVE):
NOT "slang"
distinct grammatical structures with strict rules, e.g. the habitual be
Racism: judged by non-speakers in most contexts as "bad English"

Sexism: "vocal fry" and "hireability" study
“It is also another instance of the dumbing down of the United States to the lowest common denominator rather than encouraging all to speak well.” (Delaney, p.141)
Class, education, and what counts as "proper English"
Who decides?
Reading Check-In
If you remembered to pay attention to when you heard a different language...
How many people were speaking?
Where were they?
What were they doing?
Could you understand anything they were talking about?
Could you tell what language they are using?
Semiotics: The Study of Signs, Symbols, and Meaning
Saussure's "semiology":

Signifier + signified =
sign
Language shapes our reality
“No two languages are ever sufficiently similar to be considered as representing the same social reality.
The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached.
” (Edward Sapir, quoted in Delaney p. 115)
Language and Identity
Bilingual education debates - learning language is learning other ways of being in the world

Canada: bilingual education, Quebecois identity deeply tied to language
Language vs Communication
Ursula K. LeGuin's "Author of the Acacia Seeds"

Do animals have language, or do they just communicate?

Human exceptionalism and multispecies anthropology
Language
and
Culture
1. Language is a symbolic system
2. There is no transparent relationship between words and things
3. Meaning is not the same as reference
4. The system is relatively arbitrary
(Delaney p. 119)
Does "Tree" =
???
Words are more than just names for things - they tell us what things there are to name
Sapir-Whorf hypothesis:
There is a direct correlation between language structure and culture or worldview
e.g. conjugation tenses and sense of time
Not strictly true, we can say "I am coming to class tomorrow" (present tense) but still understand that it's about the future
But taken as a guiding principle rather than a strict rule, useful for understanding different ways of being in the world
Language and
C
o
l
o
r
Perception
"In short, the range of stimuli that for Himba speakers comes to be categorized as "serandu" would be categorized in English as red, orange or pink. As another example, Himba children come to use one word, "zoozu," to embrace a variety of dark colors that English speakers would call dark blue, dark green, dark brown, dark purple, dark red or black.

Roberson and her colleagues explain that different languages have differing numbers of "basic color terms." English has 11 such terms, the same as in many of the world's major languages, and Himba has five, each of which covers a broader range of colors."
(Adelson, 2005,
http://www.apa.org/monitor/feb05/hues.aspx)
Gendered languages
German: feminine noun
"elegant, slender"
Spanish: masculine noun
"strong"
Spatial Metaphors and Orientation
Left or North?
Right or South?
In front or East?
Behind or West?
Recognizing Metaphoric Language:
I was forced into crack against my will. When I first moved to East Harlem - "El Barrio" - as a newlywed in the spring of 1985, I was looking for an inexpensive New York City apartment from which I could write a book on the experience of poverty and ethnic segregation in the heart of one of the most expensive cities in the world. On the level of theory, I was interested in the political economy of inner-city street culture. From a personal, political perspective, I wanted to probe the Achilles heel of the richest industrialized nation in the world by documenting how it imposes racial segregation and economic marginalization on so many of its Latino/a and African-American citizens.
I thought the drug world was going to be only one of the many themes I would explore. (...) By the end of the year, however, most of my friends, neighbors, and acquaintances had been swept into the multibillion-dollar crack cyclone: selling it, smoking it, fretting over it.
I watched them, and I watched the murder rate in the projects opposite my crumbling tenement apartment spiral into one of the highest in Manhattan.
Language and the Senses
"Seeing is believing" by Dundes
vs.
"Sound and Sentiment" by Steven Feld
"ordinateur"
November 17
Nature vs Culture
November 24
Homework: Trade and Grade
When you were planning to leave home for college, what did you think you would need to bring? (or answer for the first time you left home).
- what did you bring? why?
- what do you think will prove to be important? unnecessary?
- What do you wish you had brought?
- what has been the most difficult thing to get used to? How is it different from your former life?
[somebody whose name you don't know]
Completed all parts of all questions
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Put
lots
of thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Homework: Trade and Grade
(a different person whose name you don't know)
1. A) Draw a rough map of campus that reflects the places important to
you (don't use official map as a guide)

B) Answer the following questions (about 1pg): What kinds of spatial divisions are noticeable? How does space relate to different categories of people? In what ways are activites classified by space?



Completed all parts of all questions
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Put
lots
of thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Completed all parts of all questions
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Put
lots
of thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
September 24
"Kayapo: Out of the Forest" - Discussion questions
1. What is one example from the film of the Kayapo self-consciously using their "traditions" or "culture" for an explicitly political purpose? In this example, how does their tradition mix with international discourses like environmentalism or indigeneity?

2. In his article, Turner writes about what he learned while making this film, in particular the back-and-forth exchange between his own anthropological research and Kayapo conceptions of themselves and their political struggles. How does this awareness of his own role in the Kayapo's political struggles shape the film? Can you identify any choices he made as a filmmaker that reflect this awareness?
sex-gender systems
are built on a combination of bodies (and their differences) and social-cultural roles and expectations
You can never fully separate "sex" (nature) from "gender" (culture),
they both shape each other
Iris Marion Young (1980): "Throwing like a Girl: A Phenomenology of Feminine Body Comportment Motility and Spatiality"
Why is it easier for women to dress as men than the other way around?
Homework: Trade and Grade
Somebody with a different background or heritage than you
Completed all parts of all questions
Demonstrated that they did all the website activities and the Alienation reading
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
1. Do the "global census" activity, under the lived experiences section of the website. How many different racial/ethnic categories do you belong to across these eight countries? Did any of the categories you belong to surprise you? Did you have a hard time figuring out your category for any of the countries? Which ones, and why?

2. Take the quiz "who is white," under the lived experiences section of the website, and then write 3-4 sentences about your reaction to the quiz. Did you learn anything? Were you surprised by anything?

3. Watch the video "a girl like me," under the lived experiences section of the website. How might you relate this video to the short story "Alienation" by Ribero?
Categorization of skin color and other phenotypic features, understood to be based on shared ancestry e.g. African, Asian, European, or Native American/Indian

Categorization of cultural heritage and history, still "inherited" but more about culture, tradition, language, or nationality than skin color or biology
RACE:
ETHNICITY:
Social constructions with real effects
http://understandingrace.org/lived/video/index.html
White
-ish
?
October 27
Homework: Trade and Grade
Completed all parts of all questions
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Put
lots
of thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Completed all parts of all questions
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Put
lots
of thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Completed all parts of all questions
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Put
lots
of thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Completed all parts of all questions
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Put
lots
of thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Wrote answers to all five questions
Learned something surprising unexpected in the interview
Learned something that will help answer research questions
Well-written: clear, full sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Write up a short summary of your interview that answers the following questions:
How did the interview go (was it hard, easy, successful, useless, awkward, fun, etc)?
What was one thing from the interview that gave you an "insider's perspective" on your event/routine/ritual, that was different from your outsider observations?
What was one example of something about the person you are interviewing (social identity, life experiences, etc) that shaped the way they saw the event/routine/ritual?
What was one thing that came up in the interview that will help you answer your research question?
What was one unexpected or surprising thing you learned from the interview?
What is affirmative action?

Do you think affirmative action does more to reduce racial disparities or create racial tension?
Categorization of skin color and other phenotypic features, understood to be based on shared ancestry e.g. African, Asian, European, or Native American/Indian

Categorization of cultural heritage and history, still "inherited" but more about culture, tradition, language, or nationality than skin color or biology
Race
Ethnicity
Diaspora/Black Atlantic:
Understanding black racial
identity
through transnational exchange and connection, as much as through rootedness in place (Africa)
Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
What does it mean to be “indigenous” to a particular place?

Does it make sense to claim indigeneity in Central America while also recognizing African descent and claiming to be black? Why or why not?
Why do Garifuna people now relate their blackness more to US African-American culture than to African cultures, if the latter is their actual heritage?

Does their use and identification with symbols of “Black America” contradict their claims to be indigenous? Why or why not?
Garifuna people (especially men) use brand name clothing and other consumer goods to express their blackness. Can clothing really express something like racial identity, or is it just superficial when they change from their indigenous clothes to brand name clothes?

Can you think of any contradictions or problems raised by using consumerism to express identity?
(Paul Gilroy, Stuart Hall)
Empowerment
(
identity
) vs
Opression
(
political-economic
)
"Quit Sniveling, Cryo-Baby. We'll Work Out Which One's Your Mama!"
Charis M. Cussins
Opaque
vs
Transparent

Gestational surrogacy

A
+
B
+
C
Egg source (person
A
) + Sperm Source (person
B
) + pregnancy carrier (person
C
)
who counts?
Donor IVF


A
+
B
+
C
vs.
Giovanna
Donor IVF
Giovanna's pregnancy needs to become
opaque
, her egg donor needs to become
transparent
choosing a friend (emotional bond - love)
choosing another Italian American (ethnicity as genetics/genetics as culture - biology)
emphasizing significance of gestation, "blood" relation and shared bodily substance (biology)
emphasizing length/time of biological investment in genetics vs pregnancy (biology)
Paula
Donor IVF
Paula's pregnancy needs to become
opaque
, her egg donor needs to become
transparent
... except that she draws on social norms within her community that allow for more biological ambiguity
choosing someone from her community, sister or friend (social bond - love)
choosing an African American donor (race as genetics, vs genetics as individuality - biology)
emphasizing normality/natural-ness of mothering of sisters' or friends' children (African American social norms - culture)
Kay
Gestational Surrogacy
Rachel's pregnancy needs to become
transparent
, Kay's egg provision needs to become
opaque
... and Rachel is Kay's husband's (the sperm provider) sister
choosing a family member (commitment, compliance - love)
casual talk about heredity, emphasizing genetics and turning "blood/substance" into "environment" (biology as genetics)
emhasizing Rachel's infertility/tied tubes (biology, incest avoidance)
framing surrogacy as extended family care - "staying with their auntie for a few months" (culture)
Flora
Intergenerational Donor IVF
Flora's pregnancy needs to become
opaque
, her egg donor needs to become
transparent
... but her egg donor is also her daughter (from a previous marriage)
choosing daughter (carrying/representing Flora's genes, biology as linear descent)
drawing on existing social norms among Mexicans/Mexican Americans, intergenerational parenting (culture)
clear trajectory for embryos created by daugher/step-father - intitiated pregnancy becomes opaque but frozen embryos still troubling (technology)
Ute
Intergenerational donor IVF
+
Gestational surrogacy
Vanessa's surrogate pregnancy needs to become
transparent
, Ute's daughter's (from a previous marriage) egg donation needs to become
transparent
, Ute's genetic relation needs to be made
opaque
choosing a daughter (genetic similarity, biology)
keeping egg donation secret (cultural)
emphasizing genetics over shared blood/substance (biology)
contracted surrogate, excluded from social relations after birth (legal, financial)
Completed all parts of all questions
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Put
lots
of thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Completed all parts of all questions
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Put
lots
of thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Completed all parts of all questions
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Put
lots
of thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
What is a family?
How do you distinguish between people inside and outside your family (how do you know who your relatives are)?
How do you relate differently to people inside or outside your family?
Technology
makes a family
Money
makes a family
Someone with a different number of siblings than you
Completed all parts of all questions
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Put
lots
of thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Completed all parts of all questions
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Put
lots
of thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Completed all parts of all questions
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Put
lots
of thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Which pairing feels more incestuous?
Biological siblings who were raised in different households
Non-biological siblings raised together
1. Answer all the questions in discussion, making sure that everybody in your group understands the answer
5. You can answer the questions in any order, all specific examples should come from chapters 7 & 8
6. When your group has finished, write down your answers to the
last two questions
with all your names and hand in. Indicate whether your group is in the "bio sibs" or "non-bio sibs" side.
7. I will call on random people to answer each question - every person on your side of the room should be able to answer any question
Kinship and Families in El Barrio
According to the social and gender norms in El Barrio, whose job is it to raise children? What are parents' responsibilities to their kids? What are kids' responsibilities to their parents?
How do women talk about having children - what do babies mean to them? Why do they want to have kids (or not)?
How do men talk about having children - what do babies mean to them? Why do they want to have kids (or not)?
Bourgois points out a seeming contradiction between the affection and love expressed for babies and children in public, and the frequent abuse and neglect they receive at home. How does he explain this contradiction?
Bourgois discusses media portrayals of crack-addicted mothers as monstrous abusers, and argues that perhaps they could be seen instead as "self-destructive rebels" (p.285). Explain both interpretations, and why Bourgois argues against the media.
People inside and outside El Barrio blame single-parent (mother) households for poor parenting, arguing that they need men back in the family. Why does Bourgois argue against this? What does he say is the real problem?
What does "marriage" mean to people in El Barrio? What are the social expectations associated with marriage?
Find one traditional aspect of rural Puerto Rican (jíbaro) kinship structures, and explain how that structure has changed in the new context of East Harlem. What are the consequences of this change?
Find something that people in your group disagree about, and discuss/argue for a few minutes with the whole group (until each person can explain why people disagree)
Find something from that everybody in your group finds hard to understand, that nobody can explain to the rest of the group (if anybody can explain it, they MUST explain it)
November 10
Bodies and Biology in Everyday Life
What is "healthy"?
Unhealthy, worthy of concern, requiring some kind of treatment or intervention
Healthy, normal, no need to worry, change anything, or treat anything
Doctors and Medicine
I completely agree with this statement
I completely disagree with this statement
Sleep
Do you get enough sleep? How much is enough?
How much is too much sleep? What happens if you sleep too much?
How much is not enough sleep? What happens if you don't get enough?
What should you do if you can't fall asleep?
What should you do if you can't stay awake?
Why do we sleep all night and stay awake all day?
Sleep disorders:
Medicalization
Pathologization
Dirty Bodies
(Mary Douglas -
Purity and Danger)
1. Arrange the following bodily substances from most to least gross (imagine somebody else's on your hands)
2. If you arrange in terms of embarrassment (imagine somebody else exposed to your own), does the order change?
blood
semen
menstrual blood
sweat
tears
feces
urine
snot
spit
Fat
(our favorite national obsession)
statistics vs individuals
"health" and moral judgements
feedback cycle: negative health effects of social stigma
Dirt
is "matter out of place"
Completed all parts of all questions
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Put
lots
of thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Identified more than one aspect of communication (verbal, written/email, body language, etc...)

Included specific details, not just general statements

Put some thought or creativity into the answers

Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
I was forced
into
crack against my will. When I first moved to East Harlem - "El Barrio" - as a newlywed
in
the spring of 1985, I was
looking
for an inexpensive New York City apartment
from
which I could write a book
on
the experience of poverty and ethnic segregation
in

the heart
of one of the most expensive cities
in
the world.
On the level of
theory, I was interested
in
the political economy of
inner-city
street culture.
From
a personal, political
perspective
, I wanted to
probe the Achilles heel
of the richest industrialized nation
in
the world by documenting how it imposes racial segregation and economic
marginalization

on
so many of its Latino/a and African-American citizens.
I thought the drug
world
was going to be only one of the many themes I would
explore
. (...) By the end of the year, however, most of my friends, neighbors, and acquaintances had been
swept

into
the multibillion-dollar crack
cyclone
: selling it, smoking it, fretting
over
it.
I
watched
them, and I
watched
the murder rate in the projects opposite my crumbling tenement apartment
spiral

into
one of the
highest in
Manhattan.
How many...
metaphoric spatial words/phrases?
metaphoric visual words/phrases?
other metaphoric words/phrases?
18
4
8
Old theory: written cultures are visual, oral cultures are aural (or oriented around other senses)
"the medium is the message"
Environmental Anthropology
Nature vs Culture
Naturecultures
Environmental anthropology
explores human relationships with everything in the non-human world (living, non-living, built, grown, wild, tame) and describes the patterns and practices that define those relationships.
OUR PATTERN
splits "
nature
" (aka the world, reality, physical objects, wilderness, biology, body, etc...) away from "
culture
" (aka beliefs, values, knowledge, resource use, mind, etc...)

This pattern is one of the most fundamental to our culture, it shows up everywhere:
sex vs gender
race vs ethnicity
natural sciences vs social sciences/humanities
nature vs nurture debates
spatial arrangements of cities, parks, farms, wilderness, etc.
Dividing Nature/Culture
Origins
Plato
Nature vs Law/Rationality
Judeo-christian bible
Earth created by God for Man
Knowledge = separation from nature
Descartes
Scientific revolution
modern philosophy
Nature = resources
human labor (culture) = property
Consequences
Persistence of the split not only drives environmental destruction, it makes it harder to find effective solutions...
oil palm plantation, Indonesia
Global environmental change
: climate change, nuclear background radiation, biodiversity loss, ocean acidification, toxic trash, etc...
Health, education, wellbeing
: "nature deficit disorder," health outcomes, happiness
Environmental justice
: disproportionate distribution of harms/goods, toxic waste siting, getting access to "nature" requires time, money, ability to travel, equipment, etc.
technological hubris:
Technical fixes to complex naturecultural problems, e.g. geoengineering, fire suppression, Atchafalaya river control etc.
cultural hubris
: assuming our models will work everywhere: park-like wilderness, economic incentives, etc.
New Problems...
... and Problematic Solutions
How can anthropology help?
Studying, recognizing, and
taking seriously
other ways of being in the world
How to get around the nature/culture split in our own discipline?
Indigenous knowledge
Animism
Swidden agriculture
Hunting/gathering
Gift economies
Cultural analysis of science, technology
Atchafalaya
John McPhee, "the Control of Nature"
Old River Control Structure
"Nature, in this place, had become an enemy of the state" (p.7)
Unexpected effects:
technical intervention leads to new political demands/problems (who decides how much water flows where?)
feedback loops: more engineering and control leads to more engineering and control
troubling of nature/culture boundary - who or what is responsible for a major flood?
How do people in Louisiana frame their relationship to the river? How do people interact with it? Talk about it?
What are the consequences of this relationship, and for whom?
Tropical forests: population, deforestation and conservation
Homework: Trade and Grade
Two major strategies for forest conservation are currently practiced around the world:

1) Forests are designated as "wilderness" or "parks," human use and access is restricted, and the areas are protected using armed guards, surveillance drones, fences, and other technologies. This strategy assumes that local people are destructive and forests must be kept safe from their impacts at any cost.

2) Integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs) are implemented, which create economic activities for local people that are linked to use of the forest - for example, small-scale harvesting of wild orchids for international markets. This strategy assumes that local people are economically-motivated and forests must be made valuable to be saved.

Questions:

Which of these two strategies seems better to you, and why?
What cultural biases can you identify in the two strategies? How might these lead to poor conservation outcomes?
Can you imagine any other strategies or ideas for forest conservation?
Completed all parts of all questions

Identified cultural biases in both strategies and evaluated their impact

Came up with an alternative idea for forest conservation

Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Reading check-in
In Harold Miner's article,
Body Ritual among the Nacirema
, what ritual practice did you find strangest or most shocking?
Did you get the "joke" of the article? (Answer no if you have no idea what this question means)
Answer on an index card, don't forget your name!
Reading Check-in
What does Delaney refer to as the "Space that is no place"? How much time do you estimate you spend in this "space" every day?
(index card, don't forget your name!)
September 15
In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio
Phillippe Bourgois
Reading check-in
Write down a
specific
story or detail that let Bourgois know he was "out of place" in East Harlem


In Search of Respect: Group Discussion
Discuss the following questions in your group. Write down answers to the bolded parts of the questions and hand in with all your names (one set of answers per group). The five groups who give the best answers to question #4 will get a "freebie" point on this weekend's quiz.
Reading Check-In
What is the origin of the seven-day week?
Homework: Trade and Grade
1. Write up a schedule of a 24 hour period based on how you think you spend your time on an average day.
2. Record how you spend your time over an actual 24 hour period, either manually or using a time tracking app (e.g. Toggl). Be as detailed as you can.
3. How did your estimate and your actual day compare? What kinds of reactions do you have when you see how you spend your time (e.g. does it make you anxious? proud? guilty? etc)? Do you regularly try to deal with time differently, or did this exercise make you want to deal with time differently?
How much time did you spend on homework in your 24 hours? Find somebody who spent at least one hour more or less, and trade with them.
Completed all parts of all questions
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Put
lots
of thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors

Reading Check-In
Name one ethnic group that lived in the East Harlem neighborhood before Puerto Ricans
Data
Participant observation

Interviews

Describe practices

Ethnography gives us a sense of what it is like to be a part of the action, an insider's view
Argument
Interpretation
Reflexivity
Cultural Relativism
Theory
Context
Big ideas that help you make sense of the data
Structure vs. Agency
Political economy, history, segregation, racism, generational poverty, poor social services, poor infrastructure, etc...
Individual choices, autonomy, personal responsibility
vs.
Who or what is responsible (for violence, poverty, drug abuse, etc)?
Culture of Terror
What happens when violence is a common everyday experience?
"They were used to police brutality and expect it" (group 8)
"Outsiders were the most afraid" (group 4)
"At any time an act of violence could occur and not just by criminals but by the cops who patrol the area" (group 0)
"When one is out in the streets, you can't seem weak or you would be assaulted or even killed" (group 9)
"violence is so common it becomes taken for granted and
normalized
" (group 5)
Silences/isolates peaceful members of the community
Increases distrust in one's neighbors and community
Reinforces racist stereotypes
Maintains segregation through fear
Contributes to cycles of violence
Inner City Street Culture
aka
Oppositional Street Culture
How do people deal with being excluded from mainstream culture and society?
"Inner city street culture has set a way of living that rebels against the mainstream world's standards. They are searching for dignity within the streets because they don't have any dignity in the outside world." (Group 1)
"Although street culture emerges out of a personal search for dignity and rejection of racism and subjugation, it ultimately becomes an active agent in personal degradation and community ruin" -Bourgois, p. 9
Chapter Two - El Barrio: A Street History
Jíbaro Identity
Tradition and Change
Long history of U.S. colonial relations with Puerto Rico
Structural (political economic) changes in Puerto Rico, and in New York
Origin of "oppositional" culture, personal dignity and respect
Change of context: change of meaning
History of the Neighborhood
Long history of racial/ethnic exclusion in New York, intertwined with space and economy
Definitions of racial/ethnic groups change over time, while racism as a system continues
History of non-Puerto Rican street culture and illegal economy: learning from watching the Italian Mafia
"Political economy analysis is not a panacea to compensate for individualistic, racist, or otherwise judgemental interpretations of social marginalization. In fact, a focus on structures often obscures the fact that humans are active agents in their own history, rather than passive victims. Ethnographic method allows the "pawns" of larger structural forces to emerge as real human beings who shape their own futures. Nevertheless, I often caught myself falling back on a rigidly structuralist perspective in order to avoid the painful details of how real people hurt themselves and their loved ones in their struggle for survival in daily life... this analytical and political problem can be understood within the context of the theoretical debate over structure versus agency, that is, the relationship between individual responsibility and social structural constraints...
Through cultural practices of opposition, individuals shape the oppression that larger forces impose on them.
" (p. 17)
Using reflexivity, relativism, theory, and context, to make sense of people's lives in a violent place:
"He recognized he would be different, so he didn't judge their culture. He was very open" (group 4)

"He demonstrates reflexivity by submerging himself into the culture and keeping his bias in mind. He includes in his writings that the people around him show interest in his writings but some are worried about him being undercover" (group 7)
"his book demonstrates reflexivity by him documenting his own experiences and emotions throughout the time he spent in El Barrio" (group 0)
Taking the researcher into account: cultural bias, reactions, how others change their behavior when being observed, etc.
Suspending judgement, understanding a culture on their own terms, getting the insider point of view
Why did they let him in?
(Why didn't he intervene?)
group 9: question about anthropologists "facing power"... what exactly is this "power"?
Give your group a name.
Discuss the following questions in your group. Write down answers to the bolded parts of the questions and hand in with all your names (one set of answers per group). The five groups who give the best answers to question #5 will get a "freebie" point on the next quiz.
Homework: Ethnographic Paper Part I
Pair with somebody who observed something different from you
They observed something outside their regular routine (you will have to ask to find out)
They wrote at least one full page of description
They wrote about how they were surprised by something, OR they wrote something that you would not have expected
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Part II: Define your Questions
due ONLINE by Tuesday 9/22
You will need a central research question, and 3-4 sub-questions.

Your
central question
should be about the ritual/event/routine that you chose to observe, and connect it to a topic from the course - stay grounded in your observations.

The
sub-questions
will relate to specific practices and observations.

e.g. You observed a church service and decided on the central question, "
how do the different activities involved in Sunday service at the Church of Friendly People relate to different uses of space?
" Your sub-questions might be:
How do people behave differently inside and outside the church?
Are certain areas reserved for certain kinds of people? (e.g. different genders, long-time churchgoers vs newcomers, people with official roles in the service vs attendees, etc)
Do certain areas of the church have different kinds of religious meaning? How does the way people interact with them reflect these meanings?

e.g. You observed a sorority event, and decided on the central question: "
how does being a sorority member affect women's sense of belonging at LSU?
” Your sub-questions might be:
What kinds of symbols are used to mark insider/outsider status? (clothing, objects, gestures, etc)
How do sorority members interact differently with other members versus outsiders?
How do sorority members demonstrate their belonging while outside the sorority, such as in classrooms, UREC, the quad, etc?
How do members talk about being in a sorority in terms of their sense of self and belonging?
Work together to start defining your questions
1. Start from something that surprised, confused, excited, upset, or otherwise drew your attention during your observations
hmmm, men seem to speak a lot more than women in this engineering class...

2. Keep your questions grounded in your particular event, don't jump from your observations to a big general topic.
too general:
how does gender relate to education?
better:
how does gender affect participation in engineering classes at LSU?

3. Make sure you ask questions that you can answer with observations or in an interview, not something you would answer using other kinds of research or using common sense
non-anthropological research:
how do men and women at LSU compare in terms of GPA? Graduation rate?
better:
how often do women and men speak in class? How long do they speak for? How loudly?

4. Your question should be somewhat open-ended, it can't be a yes or no question
yes or no:
Do gender differences exist in classroom participation at LSU?
open-ended:
What kinds of gender differences exist in classroom participation at LSU?

5. Avoid "why" questions, as these are hard to answer and get stuck on individual motivations. Instead, rephrase your questions so they start with "what" or "how" to stay focused on practices:
hard to answer:
why do men and women participate differently in the classroom?
better:
what does the professor do that encourages men and women to participate differently in the classroom?
What is "tradition"? What is "authentic"?
Think of a traditional activity you participate in
Think of something you do regularly that isn't a tradition
How often does it happen?
How long has it been happening? Do you know the origin of the tradition?
Does this tradition connect you with any groups or identities?
Is this tradition an “authentic” part of your identity, family, community, or culture?
How often does it happen?
How long has it been happening?
Does this activity connect you with any groups or identities?
Is this activity an “authentic” part of your identity, family, community, or culture?
Why isn't this activity a "tradition"?
Not isolated, but marginalized/dependent on missionaries and representatives of "Brazil"

Change
imposed from the outside


Tradition
= "way things have always been done," apolitical

Culture
=
cosmology
, natural order of things
Western Feminism and the idea of "the Other"
Abu-Lughod 2002
Western Feminism aiming to "liberate women." From what? And to what?
Assuming there is a universal "woman" identity (what categories are going unmarked)?
Why does saving women become so important in some cases (Afganistan) but not in others (Guatemala)?
Colonial histories of "justified" intervention, cultural arrogance
Maybe "liberation" or "freedom" aren't their main goal? E.g. stable/close family structures, closeness to god, life without war, etc.
Marked
by strangeness, foreignness, implied hierarchy
start w
cultural relativism
(why don't women throw off their burqas after we save them?), but that's not enough...
Can't focus on "culture" as independent from history, politics, economics,
context
"respect for difference"
Flipping the script: What do Afgan women think of US women? (remember context, who has power to impose their beliefs?)
Solidarity
,
coalitions
,
alliances
, instead of salvation
The Problem with "Saving" Afgan Women...
Cultural "Others" - Us vs Them
"Honor killings" vs "Crimes of Passion"
Does a focus on
the other
absolve our own responsibility for violence against women?
France has a large Muslim immigrant population because of its former colonies in North African and the Middle East. In 2004, France instituted a national law that banned the wearing of “conspicuous religious symbols” in public schools. The law has generally been interpreted as designed to target Muslim women’s head coverings. Supporters of the law argue that immigrants should “assimilate” to French secular culture, and that the law prevents the oppression of women symbolized by Muslim head coverings. Opponents argue on the basis of maintaining religious and ethnic freedoms, and suggest that the law targets Muslim immigrants because of prevailing racist attitudes in France.

Discussion: French headscarf ban
1) What might Abu-Lughod argue about this ban?

2) In this example and in the Abu-Lughod article, oppression of women is used as a key argument for intervening on other people’s cultural beliefs or practices. Why are women so often used as justification for this kind of intervention, instead of other aspects of those cultures?

Homework: Trade and Grade
In her article, Abu-Lughod argues that "cultural relativism" is not good enough, and we should think instead in terms of "respect for difference." According to her argument, what is the difference between these two approaches? Why should we switch from one to the other?
Included definitions/discussion of both "cultural relativism" and "respect for difference"
Explained why Abu-Lughod argues for switching from one to the other
Their explanation is clear and makes sense
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
[Find somebody you haven't traded with yet]
October 1
Homework Trade and Grade
Completed all parts of all questions
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Put
lots
of thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Completed all parts of all questions
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Put
lots
of thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Completed all parts of all questions
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Put
lots
of thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Find two advertisements from a popular magazine, one featuring a man and one featuring a woman. For each ad:
Describe the person in the ad: body image, stance, expression, etc
Discuss why you think this image helps sell whatever product is being advertised
Discuss how this image communicates something about the culture's notions of males and females. (Gathering comments from others is optional)
Found two ads, one featuring a man and one featuring a woman
Answered all three questions for each of the two ads
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Reading (Listening) Check-In
What is a stereotype associated with "up talk"?
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/06/02/study-women-with-creaky-voices-also-known-as-vocal-fry-deemed-less-hireable/
What is "cultural capital"?

Pierre Bordieu, "symbolic capital"
Ray and navigating bureacracy in Chapter 1
Story about Primo starting school, conflict between his mother's authority and the school system (school undermines his mother, then rejects him)
Candy dressing "inappropriately" for her court date
Certain ways of acting, speaking, looking, body language, accent, etc, ("culture") that shape access to resources and opportunities, act as a form of "capital" (non-monetary assets)
"The enforcement at school of the symbolic paramaters of social power is an unconscious process for everyone involved" (Bourgois, p. 177)
=
March 5
Writing Your Ethnographic Paper
1. You have feedback on your research questions - use it!
2. Use your questions for a second round of observations, write up due next
Thursday 10/20
3. Find somebody to interview after the second round, write up due the following
Thursday 10/27
4. The paper is due two weeks after the interview,
Thursday 11/12
5. There will be
NO opportunities to revise or raise your paper grade after the due date
. If you want feedback and the opportunity to revise your paper and get a better grade, you must bring a rough draft to meet with me or Erin
before the due date
.
How to Interview
Your goals in this interview are:
1) to gather information about your interviewee's perspective on the course and classroom
2) to gather information about your interviewee's life history, social identity, politics, etc, that might shape their interpretation of the course
3) to gather information that will help you answer your research question, e.g. things they think affect their own success or failure, and things they observe about other students and how well they do

General Tips:
Ask questions that address all three goals above
Start with general questions ("tell me about why you decided to go to college") and then get more specific ("why LSU? How did you end up in this course?")
Listen carefully as your interviewee answers, and ask follow up questions: "can you give me an example?" or "what do you mean by 'unfair'"?
Don't stick too closely to your written questions, if you hear something interesting, ask about that
Research question: What social and cultural factors affect how well a student does
in this course
?
3 minutes to brainstorm questions

5 minute interviews (if you run out of questions in your 5 minutes... you just have to sit there. I will tell you when to switch)
At the end of Chapter 4, Delaney goes into some detail about the history of a particular non-English language. Which language is it?
What language is being sung in this video?
Reading Check-in
What is one specific example of white privilege from McIntosh's "Invisible Knapsack"?
Reading Check-In
Give one example of a specific symbol of "Black America" used or worn by Garifuna men in Honduras
Wrote at least one full page of description
Described details that helped answer their research questions
Wrote without inserting judgements or opinions
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
Writing without Judgement
Your paper should
not
address what is "good" or "bad" about people's behavior, according to your opinion or perspective. (Code words: "should," "ought," "appropriate," "morals," "degrading," "right/wrong," many more...)
Analysis
can
include description of who gets included/excluded, has advantages/disadvantages, etc
examples:
Research Q: How does being a part of a historically African American sorority affect women's sense of racial identity and belonging at LSU?

One sub-q: How do the faith-based practices of this organization affect sorority members' sense of belonging?
GOOD DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS:
“In the chapter meeting I observed, some members regularly referred to God in talking about the chapter’s activities, while others did not, but did not seem to mind. One or two looked down, fidgeted, and looked uncomfortable when religious faith came up. In my interview, I asked Tylia about her beliefs and the sorority, and she told me that her sorority had strong ties to the church that she grew up in, and she found those ties to be comforting and helpful in creating a sense of belonging when she left home and came to LSU. She did say that some of the other girls were not religious, but she didn’t seem to think that was a problem. Based on my observations, the links between specific faiths and the sorority organization can be empowering for many members, but will cause conflict or discomfort for a few others whose opinions are silenced in the larger group.”

GOOD DESCRIPTION, JUDGEMENT INSTEAD OF ANALYSIS:
“In the chapter meeting I observed, some members regularly referred to God in talking about the chapter’s activities, while others did not, but did not seem to mind. One or two looked down, fidgeted, and looked uncomfortable when religious faith came up. In my interview, I asked Tylia about her beliefs and the sorority, and she told me that her sorority had strong ties to the church that she grew up in, and she found those ties to be comforting and helpful in creating a sense of belonging when she left home and came to LSU. She did say that some of the other girls were not religious, but she didn’t seem to think that was a problem. Sororities should not be religious places, and this is a big problem for members that don’t belong to the same churches as most of the girls. The organization should learn to separate their faith from their other activities so that everybody can be included equally.”

MORE JUDGEMENT THAN DESCRIPTION:
“In the chapter meeting I observed, some of the members brought religion into the conversation in inappropriate ways. All the talk about God was really out of place. Sororities should be separate from churches because then they will be more inclusive of people from all faiths. In my interview with Tylia, she didn’t seem to think this was a big problem, which is really disrespectful to other non-religious members of her sorority. There should be a rule about making sure that faith-based practices are not included in this sorority because it is unfair to people who don’t belong to the same church.”

Research Q: How does the use of space reflect social factors at a Tigerland bar?

One sub-q: How do people behave differently inside and outside the bar?
GOOD DESCRIPTION AND ANALYSIS:
“I noticed a difference in the way men and women who were strangers interacted inside and outside the bar. When they were inside, people of both genders would strike up conversations with people of the other gender who were strangers, though more men than women started these conversations. When they were outside, people seemed to move in packs of friends they already knew, many of which were all women or all men, and didn’t interact much with strangers. The only exceptions I saw outside the bar were two examples of drunk guys hitting on women as they walked by. This observation shows that bars are seen as spaces where it is ok to talk to new people, particularly to meet people of the other gender, but that outside on the street is a space where people (especially women) prefer to be left alone by strangers.”

GOOD DESCRIPTION, MORE JUDGEMENT THAN ANALYSIS:
“I noticed a difference in the way men and women who were strangers interacted inside and outside the bar. When they were inside, people of both genders would strike up conversations with people of the other gender who were strangers, though more men than women started these conversations. When they were outside, people seemed to move in packs of friends they already knew, many of which were all women or all men, and didn’t interact much with strangers. The only exceptions I saw outside the bar were two examples of drunk guys hitting on women as they walked by. Guys should stop hitting on women in the streets because it’s disrespectful and rude. But women are sending mixed messages by being in Tigerland, and should stop talking to guys in bars if they don’t want to be hit on while they are out.”

MORE JUDGEMENT THEN DESCRIPTION:
“Tigerland is like the law of the jungle, where men are the predators and women are the prey. Out on the streets you can see this with girls moving in packs trying to protect themselves from dangerous men. But once they enter the bar, they are clearly signaling that they are ready to be hit on. I saw guys on the street trying to hit on women but they were drunk and it didn’t work, but inside the bar girls were much more likely to respond to guys who started talking to them and would even start conversations themselves. People go to Tigerland just to get drunk and get laid. It is degrading to women and a symptom of the loss of traditions and morals in our society today.”
What is "cultural capital"?

Pierre Bordieu, "symbolic capital"
Ray and navigating bureacracy in Chapter 1
Story about Primo starting school, conflict between his mother's authority and the school system (school undermines his mother, then rejects him)
Candy dressing "inappropriately" for her court date
Certain ways of acting, speaking, looking, body language, accent, etc, ("culture") that shape access to resources and opportunities, act as a form of "capital" (non-monetary assets)
"The enforcement at school of the symbolic paramaters of social power is an unconscious process for everyone involved" (Bourgois, p. 177)
=
Cultural relativism
25%
of your paper grade is based on your ability to describe and interpret people's practices without judging them.
Brazil in Black and White
Reading Check-in
Cussins' article is based on anthropological observations made in what kind of location?
Reading Check-In
Name a form of body modification that Delaney discusses that takes place in a culture (or cultures) outside the U.S.
Homework: Trade and Grade
Completed all parts of all questions
Put some thought or creativity into the answers
Put
lots
of thought or creativity into the answers
Well-written: full, clear sentences; no major spelling or grammar errors
1. Think of your earliest memory of being close to nature, and describe the experience. How did you feel? What kind of nature did you encounter? Was there any human influence or control over that "nature"?

2. Try to define the word "nature" using your own words and ideas (don't look up formal definitions, just write your understanding of the word)

3. Do you think there is any "nature" that exists free from human influence?
Someone whose earliest memory of nature is different than yours
Reading Check-In
John McPhee describes the efforts of the U.S. government to control the flow of the Mississippi river. Which government agency is responsible for this control?
https://prezi.com/nc_pnsfxugq1/reserve-full-of-rooftops-anth-2/
"A Reserve Full of Rooftops"
Reading Check-In
In her conclusion, Kaus proposes different ways of measuring and defining the population of the Mapimí Biosphere Reserve in Mexico. What is one of the ways she defines population (who is included or excluded)?
In small groups, write down answers to the following questions, and hand in with your names:

1. How is this book different from other depictions of drug culture or inner city culture that you have seen? (news, pop culture, other academic disciplines, etc)

2. How does this difference relate to some of the key ideas of cultural anthropology we have talked about this semester? Make two specific connections to other lecture or reading materials.

3. What is the main argument that Bourgois is making in his book? Why did he write it?
What is Plagiarism?
What does "in your own words" really mean?
direct quotes must be put in quotation marks and the source cited in-text (Author, date, page #).
rearranging
words into a new order or
replacing
them with synonyms is
plagiarism
Gender Norm (from lecture slide):
culturally-specific expectation for different genders, usually expressed in terms of what is "natural" or "normal" for men, women, or other genders.
Gender Norm (plagiarism):
Expectations of what is normal or natural for men, women, or other genders according to a particular culture.
finding definitions, information, or explanations
online
without citing your sources is
plagiarism
e.g. Interview with Bourgois about his book on anthropologyworks.com
e.g. Wikipedia, online "study aid" sites, etc.
ALL CASES OF PLAGIARISM, NO MATTER HOW MINOR, WILL BE REPORTED TO THE UNIVERSITY. THIS WILL DELAY YOUR GRADE IN THE COURSE, AND MAY RESULT IN RECEIVING NO CREDIT FOR THE QUESTION OR THE WHOLE EXAM, DEPENDING ON THE SEVERITY OF THE PLAGIARISM.
December 1
Full transcript