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The Pan African Anthropological Association (PAAA) marked the 10th anniversary of its creation by holding its 9th Annual Conference in Yaounde, Cameroon - the city and country of its birth, from 30 August-2 September 1999. The conference, themed "The Anthropology of Africa: Challenges for the 21st Century", was attended by some seventy participants, mostly African. Among the international participants was Dr Sydel Silverman, President of the Wenner Gren Foundation at the time, a long term partner of the PAAA who was present at the inaugural conference in 1988. The conference proceedings were initially published in 2000 with very limited circulation. Given the continued relevance of the papers presented, and in view of the call by the President of the PAAA for African anthropologists to reunite anthropological theory and practice in the teaching programmes of African universities, the PAAA has republished the proceedings of its landmark 9th Annual Conference. The book consists of forty three divided into eight parts, namely: teaching anthropology in the decades ahead; Health Challenges: HIV/AIDS Anthropological Perspectives; NGOS: Use and Misuse of Anthropology; Anthropological Focus on Environment; Some Applied Issues in Anthropology; The African Family in Crisis; Ethnicity and Ethnic Conflicts; and Population issues and anthropology: Fertility Crisis. Paul Nkwi concludes his introduction to the volume with these words: "The Anthropology of Africa will remain for a long time, fundamentally applied if it is to meet the challenges of the 21st Century."
Essays on Culture and Species Death
We live in an era marked by an accelerating rate of species death, but since the early days of the discipline, anthropology has contemplated the death of languages, cultural groups, and ways of life. The essays in this collection examine processes of—and our understanding of—extinction across various domains. The contributors argue that extinction events can be catalysts for new cultural, social, environmental, and technological developments—that extinction processes can, paradoxically, be productive as well as destructive. The essays consider a number of widely publicized cases: island species in the Galápagos and Madagascar; the death of Native American languages; ethnic minorities under pressure to assimilate in China; cloning as a form of species regeneration; and the tiny hominid Homo floresiensis fossils ("hobbits') recently identified in Indonesia. The Anthropology of Extinction offers compelling explorations of issues of widespread concern.
"As the first collection to bring together anthropological case studies of labor unions, The Anthropology of Labor Unions will hopefully encourage more anthropologists to engage in this important field of study. As a sophisticated treatment of labor and labor unions, this very readable collection will be of interest not only to anthropologists but to historians, sociologists, and all of us interested in labor studies."—Steve Striffler, Journal of Anthropological Research
The Anthropology of Labor Unions presents ethnographic data and analysis in eight case studies from several very diverse industries. It covers a wide range of topics, from the role of women and community in strikes to the importance of place in organization, and addresses global concerns with studies from Mexico and Malawu. Union-organized workplaces consistently afford workers higher wages and better pensions, benefits, and health coverage than their nonunion counterparts. In addition, women and minorities who belong to unions are more likely to receive higher wages and benefits than their nonunion peers. Given the economic advantages of union membership, one might expect to see higher rates of organization across industries, but labor affiliation is at an all-time low. What accounts for this discrepancy? The contributors in this volume provide a variety of perspectives on this paradox, including discussions of approaches to and findings on the histories, cultures, and practices of organized labor. They also address substantive issues such as race, class, gender, age, generation, ethnicity, health and safety concerns, corporate co-optation of unions, and the cultural context of union-management relationships. The first to bring together anthropological case studies of labor unions, this volume will appeal to cultural anthropologists, social scientists, sociologists, and those interested in labor studies and labor movements.
Genes, Biology, and Culture
What do we know about race today? Is it surprising that after a hundred years of debate and inquiry by anthropologists, the answer not only remains uncertain but the very question is so fraught? In part, this reflects the deep investments modern societies have made in the notion of race. This volume arises out of the fracturing of that consensus and the attendant recognition that asserting constructionist stance is no longer a tenable or sufficient response to the surge of knowledge claims about race.
Into the New Millennium
This volume combines ethnographic accounts of fieldwork with overviews of recent anthropological literature about the region on topics such as Islam, gender, youth, and new media that are of particular relevance for understanding the "Arab Spring" of 2011. It addresses contemporary debates about modernity, nation building, and the link between the ideology of power and the production of knowledge. Contributors include established and emerging scholars known for the depth and quality of their ethnographic writing and for their interventions in current theory.
The Ethnographic Frontier in German New Guinea, 1870–1935
Anthropologists and world historians make strange bedfellows. Although the latter frequently employ anthropological methods in their descriptions of cross-cultural exchanges, the former have raised substantial reservations about global approaches to history. Fearing loss of specificity, anthropologists object to the effacing qualities of techniques employed by world historians—this despite the fact that anthropology itself was a global, comparative enterprise in the nineteenth century. Rainer Buschmann here seeks to recover some of anthropology’s global flavor by viewing its history in Oceania through the notion of the ethnographic frontier—the furthermost limits of the anthropologically known regions of the Pacific. The colony of German New Guinea (1884–1914) presents an ideal example of just such a contact zone. Colonial administrators there were drawn to approaches partially inspired by anthropology. Anthropologists and museum officials exploited this interest by preparing large-scale expeditions to German New Guinea. Buschmann explores the resulting interactions between German colonial officials, resident ethnographic collectors, and indigenous peoples, arguing that all were instrumental in the formation of anthropological theory. He shows how changes in collecting aims and methods helped shift ethnographic study away from its focus on material artifacts to a broader consideration of indigenous culture. He also shows how ethnological collecting, often a competitive affair, could become politicized and connect to national concerns. Finally, he places the German experience in the broader context of Euro-American anthropology. Anthropology's Global Histories will interest students and scholars of anthropology, history, world history, and Pacific studies.
Attending to the End of Culture
Posing a powerful challenge to dominant trends in cultural analysis, this book covers the whole history of the concept of culture, providing the broadest study of this notion to date. Johnson and Michaelsen examine the principal methodological strategies or metaphors of anthropology in the past two decades (embodied in works by Edward Said, James Clifford, George Marcus, V. Y. Mudimbe, and others) and argues that they do not manage to escape anthropology's grounding in representational practices. To the extent that it remains a practice of representation, anthropology, however complex, critical, or self-reflexive, cannot avoid objectifying its others.Extending beyond a critique of anthropology, the book reads the twinned notions of the human and culture across the long history of the human sciences broadly conceived, including anthropology, cultural studies, history, literature, and philosophy. Although there is no chance, they argue, for a newanthropology that would not repeat the old anthropology's problem of disciplining the other, they also recognize that there may be no way out of anthropology. We are always writing, thinking, and living in anthropology's wake, within its specific compass or horizon. Moreover, they demonstrate, we have been doing so for a very long time, since at least the beginning of the institution of philosophy in Plato and Aristotle.
Public and Personal Worlds in Human Theory
How can we hold both public and personal worlds in the eye of a unified theory of meaning? What ethnographic and theoretical possibilities do we create in the balance? Anthropology Through a Double Lens offers a theoretical framework encompassing both of these domains—a "double lens." Daniel Touro Linger argues that the literary turn in anthropology, which treats culture as text, has been a wrong turn. Cultural analysis of the interpretive or discursive variety, which focuses on public symbols, has difficulty seeing—much less dealing convincingly with—actual persons. While emphasizing the importance of social environments, Linger insists on equal sensitivity to the experiential immediacies of human lives. He develops a sustained critique of interpretive and discursive trends in contemporary anthropology, which have too strongly emphasized social determinism and public symbols while too readily dismissing psychological and biographical realities.
Anthropology Through a Double Lens demonstrates the power of an alternative dual perspective through a blend of critical essays and ethnographic studies drawn from the author's field research in São Luís, a northeastern Brazilian state capital, and Toyota City, a Japanese factory town. To span the gap between the public and the personal, Linger provides a set of analytical tools that include the ideas of an arena of meaning, systems of systems, bridging theory, singular lives, and reflective consciousness. The tools open theoretical and ethnographic horizons for exploring the process of meaning-making, the force of symbolism and rhetoric, the politics of representation, and the propagation and formation of identities. Linger uses these tools to focus on key issues in current theoretical and philosophical debates across a host of disciplines, including anthropology, psychology, history, and the other human sciences..
Collected Works in Paleoanthropology by L.G. Freeman
"It is my sincere hope that this volume will be much read and reflected upon by new generations of American students of prehistoric archaeologists. Freeman's career is a model for long-term international collaboration, theoretical eclecticism, the centrality of field research, and the ability to 'dream big', but with a commonsense approach to the record and its limitations." —Lawrence Guy Straus, Journal of Anthropological Research
L.G. Freeman is a major scholar of Old World Paleolithic prehistory and a self-described "behavioral paleoanthropologist." Anthropology without Informants is a collection of previously published papers by this preeminent archaeologist, representing a cross section of his contributions to Old World Paleolithic prehistory and archaeological theory. A sociocultural anthropologist who became a behavioral paleoanthropologist late in his career, Freeman took a unique approach, employing statistical or mathematical techniques in his analysis of archaeological data. All the papers in this collection blend theoretical statements with the archeological facts they are intended to help the reader understand.