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ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH

Volume 61, Number 2, Abstracts

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KILLING WHAT YOU LOVE: An Andean Cattle Branding Ritual and the Dilemmas of Modernity

 

Juan Javier Rivera Andía
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Maestria en Gerencia Social. Av.
Universitaria s/n. Cdra. 18
San Miguel, Lima, Perú and Universidad de Lima, Perú

 

I analyze a livestock branding ritual in a group of villages near Lima as a cultural phenomenon whereby Andean villagers grapple with key ideological dilemmas of Peruvian modernity. Some ideological internal contradictions at issue involve ancient cosmology. However, more to the fore are conflicts felt by Andean villagers drawn to life in modern Lima. I examine ritual lyrics for their discourses on modernity. Analysis of these songs and the emotional world of the singers gives access to folk views of troubled migration journeys and problematic attempts to integrate into the national society.

 


WHY DO SUBSISTENCE-LEVEL PEOPLE JOIN THE MARKET ECONOMY? Testing Hypotheses of Push and Pull Determinants in Bolivian Amazonia

Ricardo Godoy, Victoria Reyes-García, Tomás Huanca
Sustainable International Development Program
MS 078, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University
Waltham, MA 02454-9110
USA


William R. Leonard
Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois 60208
USA

Vincent Vadez, Cynthia Valdés-Galicia, and Dakun Zhao
Sustainable International Development Program, Brandeis University

 

Why would subsistence-level indigenous people join the market economy? The question matters because, in answering it, one contributes to a venerable debate about the effects of markets on well-being. Anthropologists have generally treated market participation as exogenous. Market participation is in fact endogenous if it reflects choice. We review hypotheses of determinants that push or pull people to the market, including resource scarcity from population pressure and encroachment, desire to increase level of and reduce variability in food consumption, and the allure of foreign goods. To test the hypotheses we use different series of panel data from Tsimane’ Amerindians, a foraging-horticultural society in the Bolivian Amazon. We correct for the endogeneity of market participation by using outside traveling traders as an instrumental variable for market participation. We find no support for push determinants and mixed support for the allure of foreign goods. We find no evidence that markets raise nutritional status, but they do seem to reduce its variability.

 


 

STAFF, STEWARDS, AND STRIKES: Labor’s Communication Gap

 

E. Paul Durrenberger and Suzan Erem
Department of Anthropology, Penn State University
409 Carpenter Building, University Park, PA 16802

Union staffers think that the willingness and ability of the workers they represent to strike is the key to getting better contracts. Worksite leaders, however, think the key is the speaking and legal skill of the union representatives who bargain for them. This difference is rooted in their everyday experiences, but it leads to a communication gap of which neither is aware. Thus, stewards are likely to see a call for a strike authorization vote to give union staff members bargaining power a failure of the negotiator’s skills, but staffers are likely to see a failure to authorize a strike as indicating a failure of worksite leaders to organize their units.

 


BERTILLON FILES: An Untapped Source of Nineteenth-Century Human Height Data

Glenice J. Guthrie
Department of Anthropology, Buffalo State College
1300 Elmwood Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14222

Sharon Jenkins
Department of Anthropology, State University of New York at Buffalo
Amherst, NY 14221

Height data were collected from a set of Bertillon records housed at the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. The 1,021 individuals represent a cross-section of American society in the nineteenth century. They include males and females of all socioeconomic levels (determined by occupation), native and foreign-born, who had come to western New York from all areas of the United States. A brief description of the Bertillon method is presented, followed by a description of the sample. While not statistically significant (P < 0.05), the results of male height data analysis suggest that military records of height for this time period used by previous researchers are not fully representative of the United States population.

 

 


 

BOOK REVIEWS

 

 

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Sediments in Archaeological Contexts. Julie K. Stein and William R. Farrand. Reviewed by Carlos E. Cordova.




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