JOURNAL of
ANTHROPOLOGICAL
RESEARCH
Volume 50, Number 2, Abstracts

FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY YEAR


Home Page Index of Abstracts Manuscript Information Subscription Information


THE GOLDEN DREAMS OF THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONIST

David Francis
Department of Social Science, Manchester Metropolitan University,
Manchester M15 6BR, England

The social constructionist approach taken by Watson and Goulet in their recent paper on the belief system of the Dene Tha is critically examined. In arguing that Dene Tha reality is "socially constituted," Watson and Goulet's paper displays many of the characteristic assumptions of social constructionist analysis: in particular, the use of a dichotomy between an empiricist and a constructionist conception of knowledge and a claim that knowledge is structured into epistemologically equivalent "socially constituted realities." These assumptions are shown to take their plausibilily from basic confusions about the term "reality." It is argued that rather than shedding light on Dene Tha ritual beliefs and their practical uses, the effect of the social constructionist perspective, here as elsewhere, is the imposition of arbitrary and unwarranted designations on the ethnographic facts.


A REPLY TO DAVID FRANCIS

Graham Watson and Jean-Guy A. Goulet
Department of Anthropology, University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4


A RESPONSE TO WATSON AND GOULET'S "A REPLY TO DAVID FRANCIS"

David Francis
Department of Social Science, Manchester Metropolitan University,
Manchester M15 6BR, England


WAYS OF KNOWING: TOWARDS A NARRATIVE ETHNOGRAPHY OF EXPERIENCES AMONG THE DENE THA

Jean-Guy A. Goulet
Department of Anthropology, The University of Calgary,
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4

This paper reviews and finds insufficient the explanations so far advanced for the generally recognized lack of progress in the description and analysis of Dene, or Northern Athapaskan, religion. The paper argues that significant progress in the study of Dene religion will be possible when investigators gain experiential knowledge in the course of engaging in Dene ritual processes "in coactivity with their enactors." The epistemological significance of this view, held by the Dene and espoused by a number of anthropologists, leads to the integration of the anthropologist's experiences into the ethnographic description and thus to narrative ethnography.


LITHICS AND ADAPTIVE DIVERSITY: AN EXAMINATION OF LIMITED-ACTIVITY SITES IN NORTHEAST ARIZONA

Lisa C. Young
816 Third St., Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Upham (1984) proposes that prehistoric populations frequently oscillated between mobile and sedentary adaptive strategies and then uses this idea to reinterpret abandonments in the American Southwest. In areas where limited-activity sites are common, he argues that many of these sites represent the remains of hunter-gatherers rather than sedentary agriculturalists. This paper suggests that differences in lithic technology provide a better method for distinguishing the remains of highly mobile groups from those of sedentary populations. Lithic assemblages from limited-activity sites within the Homol'ovi area of northeastern Arizona are then analyzed to evaluate whether mobile groups were present during periods when the area is assumed to have been inhabited by sedentary populations.


TEN YEARS AFTER: ADAPTIVE DIVERSITY AND SOUTHWESTERN ARCHAEOLOGY

Steadman Upham
Graduate School, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403


ADAPTIVE DIVERSITY AND LIMITED-ACTIVITY SITES VERSUS LOGISTICAL MOBILITY AND EXPEDIENT TECHNOLOGY: ADRIFT IN NORMATIVE THOUGHT

Allan P. Sullivan III
Department of Anthropology, University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH 45221-0380


LOGISTIC MOBILITY AND EXPEDIENT TECHNOLOGY: A RESPONSE TO SULLIVAN

Lisa C. Young
816 Third St., Ann Arbor, MI 48103


SEEKING AN ETHICAL BALANCE IN ARCHAEOLOGICAL PRACTICE IN ECUADOR

Michael A. Morse
Department of History, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637

An examination of the context in which archaeology is practiced in Ecuador demonstrates that two current ethical concerns within the discipline-the conservation of the archaeological record and the recognition of local cultural autonomy-often conflict with one another. Under circumstances where only one ethical concern can be adequately addressed, archaeologists face a difficult decision. Because each archaeologist reacts differently to such a decision, it is not possible to construct a universal archaeological ethic. Ultimately, this situation derives from the fact that archaeology, and the study of the past in general, can play a crucial role in the construction of cultural identity.


COMMENTS ON "SEEKING AN ETHICAL BALANCE IN ARCHAEOLOGICAL PRACTICE IN ECUADOR," BY MICHAEL A. MORSE

Garth Bawden
Maxwell Museum, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131


WITTFOGEL'S NEGLECTED HYDRAULIC/ HYDROAGRICULTURAL DISTINCTION

David H. Price
St. Martin's College, Lacey, WA 98503

Karl Wittfogel's writings on the evolution of irrigation systems are examined in light of his distinction between hydraulic and hydroagricultural systems. Wittfogel recognized that different hydraulic conditions allowed for the development of different types of irrigation systems: hydraulic societies have tended to develop in massive riverine environments, while hydroagricultural societies have tended to develop along smaller water sources in regions where geographical features hydraulically compartmentalized the countryside. Robert Hunt's recent refutation of Wittfogel's model is examined in light of Wittfogel's own writings about the size and density of hydraulic and hydroagricultural societies. It is argued that Hunt's critique of Wittfogel's model fails because it ignores the specific variables which Wittfogel postulated as primarily influencing the administrative character of irrigation societies.


REPLY TO PRICE

Robert C. Hunt
Department of Anthropology, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA 02254


BOOK REVIEW

Iberia before the Iberians: The Stone Age Prehistory of Cantabrian Spain. Lawrence Guy Straus. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1992, v + 336 pp., maps, figs., $40.00 (cloth). Reviewed by Francis B. Harrold, University of Texas at Arlington.

JAR's Home Page