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This twenty-eighth edition of Annual Editions: Anthropology is a compilation of articles selected from the best of the public press including magazines, newspapers, and journals. This title is...read more
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This twenty-eighth edition of Annual Editions: Anthropology is a compilation of articles selected from the best of the public press including magazines, newspapers, and journals. This title is supported by Dushkin Online (www.dushkin.com/online/), a student website that provides study support tools and links to related websites. 1.
Doing Fieldwork Among the Yanomamö, Napol This twenty-eighth edition of Annual Editions: Anthropology is a compilation of articles selected from the best of the public press including magazines, newspapers, and journals. This title is supported by Dushkin Online (www.dushkin.com/online/), a student website that provides study support tools and links to related websites. 1.
Doing Fieldwork Among the Yanomamö, Napoleon A. Chagnon, Yanomamö: The Fierce People, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1992 Although an anthropologist's first field experience may involve culture shock, Napoleon Chagnon reports that the long process of participant observation may transform personal hardship and frustration into confident understanding of exotic cultural patterns. 2.
Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief, Richard Kurin, Natural History, November 1980 In transforming an anthropologist into one of their own, villagers of Punjab say, "You never really know who a man is until you know who his grandfather and his ancestors were". In this way, Richard Kurin finds, selecting a village for fieldwork is a matter of mutual acceptance and mutual economic benefit. 3.
Eating Christmas in the Kalahari, Richard Borshay Lee, Natural History, December 1969 Anthropologist Richard Borshay Lee gives an account of the misunderstanding and confusion that often accompany the cross-cultural experience. In this case, he violated a basic principle of the !Kung Bushmen's social relations—food sharing. 4.
Coping with Culture Clash, Anver Versi, African Business, May 2002 The inability to understand someone else's business culture has cost multinationals so much that many have now put culture awareness at the top of their management agenda. Africa is probably where the culture clash stakes are the highest. UNIT 2.
Culture and Communication New! 5. Fighting for Our Lives, Deborah Tannen, The Argument Culture, Random House, 1998 In America today, there seems to be a pervasive warlike tone to public dialogue.
The prevailing belief is that there are only two sides to an issue and opposition leads to truth. Often, however, an issue is more like a crystal, with many sides, and the truth is in the complex middle, not in the oversimplified extremes. 6.
"I Can't Even Open My Mouth", Deborah Tannen, from I Only Say This Because I Love You, Random House, 2001 Since family members have a long, shared history, what they say in conversation—the messages—combine with meanings gleaned from past memories—the metamessages. The metamessages are formed from context—the way something is said, who is saying it, or the very fact that it is said at all. 7.
Shakespeare in the Bush, Laura Bohannan, Natural History, August/September 1966 It is often claimed that great literature has cross-cultural significance. In this classic article, Laura Bohannan describes the difficulties she encountered and the lessons she learned as she attempted to relate the story of Hamlet to the Tiv of West Africa in their own language. New!
8. Body Art As Visual Language, Enid Schildkrout, Museum of Natural History Publication for Educators, Winter 2001 As a visual language, body art involves shared symbols, myths and social values. Whether as an expression of individuality or group identity, it says something about who we are and what we want to become.
UNIT 3. The Organization of Society and Culture 9. Understanding Eskimo Science, Richard Nelson, Audubon, September/October 1993 The traditional hunter's insights into the world of nature may be different, but they are as extensive and profound as those of modern science.
10. Mystique of the Masai, Ettagale Blauer, The World & I, March 1987 Living in the midst of tourist traffic and straddling two nations struggling to modernize, the Masai have retained their traditional culture longer than virtually any other group of people in East Africa. 11.
Too Many Bananas, Not Enough Pineapples, and No Watermelon at All: Three Object Lessons in Living With Reciprocity, David Counts, from The Humbled Anthropologist: Tales From the Pacific, Wadsworth Publishing, 1990 Among the lessons to be learned regarding reciprocity is that one may not demand a gift or refuse it. Yet, even without a system of record-keeping or money being involved, there is a long-term balance of mutual benefit. 12.
Prehistory of Warfare, Steven A. LeBlanc, Archaeology, May/June 2003 Rather than deny the prevalence of warfare in our past, says the author, anthropology would be better served by asking "why do people go to war?" and "why do they stop fighting?" 13. The Founding Indian Fathers, Jack Weatherford, from Indian Givers, The Ballantine Publishing Group, 1988 According to current American mythology, the United States government derives from European precedents and Americans gave civilization to the Indians.
Actually, Native Americans played a major role in the writing of the U.S. Constitution and in the creation of the political institutions that really are uniquely American. UNIT 4.
Other Families, Other Ways 14. How Many Fathers Are Best for a Child?, Meredith F. Small, Discover, April 2003 The ways in which people view biological paternity says a lot about the power relationships between men and women, the kinds of families they form, and how the human species evolved.
15. When Brothers Share a Wife, Melvyn C. Goldstein, Natural History, March, 1987 While the custom of fraternal polyandry relegated many Tibetan women to spinsterhood, this unusual marriage form promoted personal security and economic well-being for its participants.
16. Death Without Weeping, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Natural History, October 1989 In the shantytowns of Brazil, the seeming indifference of mothers who allow some of their children to die is a survival strategy geared to circumstances in which only a few may live. 17.
Our Babies, Ourselves, Meredith F. Small, Natural History, October 1997 Cross-cultural research in child development shows that parents readily accept their society's prevailing ideology on how babies should be treated, usually because it makes sense in their environmental or social circumstances. 18.
Arranging a Marriage in India, Serena Nanda, Stumbling Toward Truth: Anthropologists at Work, Wareland Press, 2000 Arranging a marriage in India is far too serious a business for the young and inexperienced. Instead the parents make decisions on the basis of the familie's social position, reputation and ability to get along. 19.
Dowry Deaths in India: ‘Let Only Your Corpse Come Out of That House', Paul Mandelbaum, Commonweal, October 8, 1999 Dowry deaths occur when brides are harassed—sometimes murdered—over the gifts they bring to their new marriage. Although the custom of dowry is rooted in marriage traditions that seem to have been corrupted, a full understanding must take into account the current state of India's caste system and economy. New!
20. Who Needs Love! In Japan, Many Couples Don't, Nicholas D.
Kristof, The New York Times, February 11, 1996 Paradoxically, Japanese families seem to survive not because husbands and wives love each other more than American couples do, but rather because they perhaps love each other less. As love marriages increase, with the compatibility factor becoming more important in the decision to marry, the divorce rate in Japan is rising. UNIT 5.
Gender and Status 21. A World Full of Women, Martha C. Ward, from A World Full of Women, Third Edition, 2002 Even though some jobs may be "women's work" and others are defined as "men's work", such tasks are not the same in every group.
Moreover, the relative power of men versus women has to do with who has the ability to distribute, exchange, and control valuable goods and services to people outside the domestic unit. 22. The Berdache Tradition, Walter L.
Williams, Spirit and the Flesh, Beacon Press, 1986 Not all societies agree with the Western cultural view that all humans are either women or men. In fact, many Native American cultures recognize an alternative role called the "berdache", a morphological male who has a nonmasculine character. This is just one way for a society to recognize and assimilate some atypical individuals without imposing a change on them or stigmatizing them as deviant.
23. A Woman's Curse?, Meredith F. Small, The Sciences, January/February 1999 An anthropologist's study of the ritual of seclusion surrounding women's menstrual cycle has some rather profound implications regarding human evolution, certain cultural practices, and women's health.
24. Where Fat Is a Mark of Beauty, Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times, September 30, 1998 In a rite of passage, some Nigerian girls spend months gaining weight and learning domestic customs in a "fattening room".
A woman's rotundity is seen as a sign of good health, prosperity, and feminine beauty. 25. The Initiation of a Maasai Warrior, Tepilit Ole Saitoti, from The Worlds of a Maasai Warrior, Random House, 1986 In virtually every society, certain rites and ceremonies are used to signify adulthood.
This article describes the Maasai circumcision ceremony that initiates an individual into adulthood. UNIT 6. Religion, Belief and Ritual New!
26. Eyes of the Ngangas: Ethnomedicine and Power in Central African Republic, Arthur C. Lehmann, Magic, Witchcraft and Religion, Mayfield Publishing Co., 2001 Because of cost, availability and cultural bias, many people rely on ethnomedical or traditional treatment of illness rather than biomedical or Western treatment.
Actually, says Lehmann, both systems are effective in their own ways and should be integrated in developing primary health care in the Third World. New! 27.
The Adaptive Value of Religious Ritual, Richard Sosis, American Scientist, March–April 2004 Rituals promote group cohesion by requiring members to engage in behavior that is too costly to fake. Groups that do so are more likely to attain their collective goals than are groups whose members are less committed. New!
28. Shamans, Mark J Plotkin, Medicine Quest, Penguin Books, 2000 The Western tendency to disregard shamanic healing practices is supremely ironic when one considers the extraordinary therapeutic gifts they have already provided us and the invaluable potential that is still out there—if we can get to it before it disappears. 29.
The Secrets of Haiti's Living Dead, Gino Del Guercio, Harvard Magazine, January/February 1986 In seeking scientific documentation of the existence of zombies, anthropologist Wade Davis found himself looking beyond the stereotypes and mysteries of voodoo and directly into a cohesive system of social control in rural Haiti. 30. Body Ritual Among the Nacirema, Horace Miner, American Anthropologist, June 1956 The ritual beliefs and taboos of the Nacirema provide us with a test case of the objectivity of ethnographic description and show us the extremes to which human behavior can go.
31. Baseball Magic, George Gmelch, Elysian Fields Quarterly, All Star Issues, 1992 Professional baseball players, as do Trobriand Islanders, often resort to magic in situations of chance and uncertainty. As irrational as it may seem, magic creates confidence, competence, and control in the practitioner.
UNIT 7. Sociocultural Change: The Impact of the West New! 32.
Why Can't People Feed Themselves?, Frances Moore Lappé and Joseph Collins, from Food First: Beyond the Myth of Scarcity, Random House, 1977 When colonial governments force the conversion of subsistence farms to cash crop plantations, peasants are driven onto marginal lands or into a large pool of cheap labor. In either case, the authors maintain, they are no longer able to feed themselves. 33.
The Arrow of Disease, Jared Diamond, Discover, October 1992 The most deadly weapon that colonial Europeans carried to other continents was their germs. The most intriguing question to answer here is why the flow of disease did not move in the opposite direction. 34.
The Price of Progress, John Bodley, from Victims of Progress, Mayfield Publishing, 1998 As traditional cultures are sacrificed to the process of modernization, tribal peoples not only lose the security, autonomy, and quality of life they once had, but they also become powerless, second-class citizens who are discriminated against and exploited by the dominant society. New! 35.
The Social Psychology of Modern Slavery, Kevin Bales, Scientific American, April 2002 Throughout history, slavery has meant a loss of free will and choice backed up by violence, sometimes exercised by the slaveholder, sometimes by elements of the state. Today, slavery is not a simple matter of one person holding another by force—it is an insidious mutual dependence that is remarkably difficult to break out of. New!
36. Egypt's Young and Restless, Mary Knight, Natural History, May 2004 As young Egyptians confront the universal questions regarding access to high-quality education, women's evolving social roles and career development, and deeply held religious beliefs are affecting their interaction with the world at large. New!
37. The Surprises of Suicide Terrorism, Josie Glausiusz, Discover, October 2003 Contrary to popular belief, suicide bombers are not poor and crazed, but well-educated and often economically stable individuals with no significant psychological pathology. So, why do they do it?
For the same reasons people have always sacrificed themselves—for the greater good of the "family". 38. Alcohol in the Western World, Bert L.
Vallee, Scientific American, June 1998 The role of alcohol in Western civilization has changed dramatically during the past millennium. Our current medical interpretation of alcohol as primarily an agent of disease comes after a more complex historical relationship. 39.
A Pacific Haze: Alcohol and Drugs in Oceania, Mac Marshall, Contemporary Pacific Societies: Studies in Development and Change, Prentice Hall, 1993 The relatively benign use of psychoactive drugs, such as betel and kava in the Pacific Islands, is deeply rooted in cultural traditions and patterns of social interaction. Today, as a result of new drugs and disruptive social and economic changes introduced from the outside, a haze hangs over Oceania. 40.
When Will America Be Discovered?, Jack Weatherford, from Indian Givers, The Ballantine Publishing Group, 1988 Little do they know it, but in the 500 years since Columbus's voyage to America, the people of the world have benefitted greatly from Native Americans. Even so, the world may have lost even more than it has gained. 41.
The Last Americans, Jared Diamond, Harper's, June 2003 The world today is suffering from the same problems as the ancient Maya, although on a much larger scale: increased pollution, environmental degradation, and potential economic collapse. The difference so far, says Jared Diamond, is "that we know their fate, and they did not. Perhaps we can learn".
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