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Volume 61, Number 3, Abstracts

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FIVE APPROACHES TO EXPLAINING "TRUTH" AND "DECEPTION" IN CHINA

Susan D. Blum
Department of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556

 

This article identifies five approaches through which I have attempted to understand the topic of deception and truth. (The “topic” itself changes along with the frame, however.) It traces an intellectual journey through anthropological explanation, tacking back and forth among views that (1) deception in public life is prevalent in China because of a particular set of assumptions about language use and interaction, (2) deception is conceived more honestly in China than in, say, the U.S., (3) deception is prevalent and lamented in contemporary China, and its historic particulars must be considered in evaluating the newness of what is considered a problem, (4) deception occurs throughout human societies but with varying degrees of concern and frequency, and (5) deception is a fundamental part of the human capacity for language, though all societies struggle between the ease of deception and the desire for honesty and trust.

 


ACADEMIC CAPITAL OR SCIENTIFIC PROGRESS? A CRITIQUE OF KIBBUTZ STRATIFICATION

Reuven Shapira
Western Galilee Academic College, Israel
Kibbutz Gan Shmuel, Mobile Post Hefer, Israel 38810

Why did six decades of kibbutz studies not discover the existence of complex social stratification? This curious blindness is explained by the dominance of a coalition in the study of this complex social field, which includes both kibbutzim and federative organizations. The uniqueness of kibbutzim enabled this coalition to perpetuate a series of partial truisms, including a supposed lack of stratification. Critics have exposed some degree of status differentiation but ignored the primary evidence of stratification and missed its true extent. The author’s desire to address his own society’s problems led him to engage in a “long effort applied to oneself which [converted] . . . one’s whole view of . . . the social world” (Bourdieu 1990:16), and this view exposed the true extent of stratification in this social field. Thus, the motivation to reform the kibbutz led to a level of understanding which traditional academic research had not achieved, supporting Whyte’s (1992) assertion that social scientists must seek social theories for action, not for pure knowledge, and Wallerstein’s (2004) thesis that division of the social sciences and humanities into separate disciplines hinders scientific progress..

 

 


THE CREATION OF A MAPUCHE SORCERER: SEXUAL AMBIVALENCE, THE COMMODIFICATION OF KNOWLEDGE, AND THE COVETING OF WEALTH

Ana Mariella Bacigalupo
Department of Anthropology, State University of New York at Buffalo
380 MFAC Ellicott Complex, Buffalo, NY 14261-0005

I analyze Jorge’s case as paradigmatic of Mapuche sorcery in Chile because he epitomizes many of the contradictory ways in which Mapuche perceive and categorize people they believe embody evil and threaten sociality. Capitalist consumption and individual success are both desired by Mapuche and criticized as antithetical to spirituality, morality, and community values. Mapuche see sorcerers as people who (a) draw on older Mapuche notions of ambivalent shamanic powers rather than on Catholic moralities; (b) challenge local sociopolitical hierarchies and communal egalitarian ideals; (c) accumulate wealth and prestige through engagement with modern beliefs and practices, self-proclaimed political and religious roles, capitalism, and foreign influences; (d) are excessively poor or wealthy; (e) challenge dominant Chilean gender norms and are suspected of being sexually “deviant”; (f) challenge Mapuche norms of sociality through aggression, individualism, and amorality; and (g) commodify indigenous knowledge for their own benefit rather than that of the community. I show that sorcery engenders change because it is linked to fractures that develop within the community when people take different positions in relation to modernization, capitalism, and foreign influence. I show how the “traditionalizing” of Mapuche sorcery operates simultaneously with its modernization and how both were played out in Machi Jorge’s life and practice.

 

 


SOCIAL RELATIONS AND THE“TRILOGY” IN IBIBIO KINSHIP: THE CASE OF IBIBIO IMMIGRANTS IN AKPABUYO (EFIKLAND), NIGERIA

Joseph O. Charles
Department of Sociology, University of Calabar
Calabar, Nigeria

The paper discusses cultural continuity and change in kinship relations involving ayeyin (grandchild), ukod (in-law), and imaan (blood brother) relationships among Ibibio immigrants in Efikland. Mixed marriages involving the Efik hosts and Ibibio immigrants are also examined in relation to this “trinity.” The trinity constitutes a cultural fulcrum upon which Ibibio kinship, ethnic identity, and intergroup relations revolve. Infraction of its tenets is supernaturally sanctioned. Social change seems to have affected the three kinship relations and their contents only minimally, even among Ibibio immigrants in distant Akpabuyo in Efikland, in spite of several problems experienced in the process of living together. When two or more groups from different sociocultural backgrounds interact, people are more predisposed to abandon or significantly modify aspects of their culture that are not supernaturally protected, and so do not threaten their existence or survival as individuals and as a corporate entity. To break the normative expectations of the trinity inside or outside Ibibioland is to destroy Ibibio ethnic identity.


BOOK REVIEWS

 

Ambiguous Images: Gender and Rock Art, by Kelly A. Hays-Gilpin. Reviewed by Anne Solomon.

Cosquer Redécouvert, by Jean Clottes, Jean Courtin and Luc Vanrell. Reviewed by Lawrence G. Straus.

The Human Fossil Record, Volume 3. Brain Endocasts: The Paleoneurological Evidence, by Ralph L. Holloway, Douglas C. Broadfield, Michael S. Yuan, Jeffrey H. Schwartz and Ian Tattersall. Reviewed by William H. Kimbel.

Bifaces y Elefantes. La Investigación del Paleolítico Inferior en Madrid, by Joaquín Panera and Susana Rubio, eds. Reviewed by Lawrence G. Straus.

Aggregate Analysis in Chipped Stone, by Christopher T. Hall and Mary Lou Larson, eds. Reviewed by Utsav A. Schurmans.

A Prehistory of the North: Human Settlement of the Higher Latitudes, by John F. Hoffecker. Reviewed by Lawrence G. Straus.

Archaeology and Colonialism: Cultural Contact from 5000 BC to the Present, by Chris Gosden. Reviewed by Margarita Díaz-Andreu.

Olmec Art at Dumbarton Oaks: Pre-Columbian Art at Dumbarton Oaks, No. 2, by Karl A. Taube. Reviewed by Richard A. Diehl.

K’axob: Ritual, Work, and Family in an Ancient Maya Village, by Patricia McAnany, ed. Reviewed by Allan L. Maca.

The Ecology of Power: Culture, Place and Personhood in Southern Amazon, AD 1000–2000, by Michael J. Heckenberger. Reviewed by Neil L. Whitehead.

In Darkness and Secrecy: The Anthropology of Assault Sorcery and Witchcraft in Amazonia, by Neil L. Whitehead and Robin Wright, eds. Reviewed by Steven Rubenstein.

Modern Inquisitions: Peru and the Colonial Origins of the Civilized World, by Irene Silverblatt. Reviewed by Rachel Sarah O’Toole.

Don’t Let the Sun Step Over You: A White Mountain Apache Family Life, 1860–1975, by Eva Tulene Watt with assistance from Keith Basso. Reviewed by Julie Cruikshank.

Indians, Missionaries, and Merchants: The Legacy of Colonial Encounters on the California Frontiers, by Kent G. Lightfoot. Reviewed by Ann F. Ramenofsky.

In a Hungry Country: Essays by Simon Paneak, by John Martin Campbell, ed. Reviewed by Douglas J. Anderson.

Real Country: Music and Language in Working-Class Culture, by Aaron A. Fox. Reviewed by Joli Jensen.

Managing Animals in New Guinea: Preying the Game in the Highlands, by Paul Sillitoe. Reviewed by Peter D. Dwyer.

Anthropology and Consultancy: Issues and Debates, by Pamela J. Stewart and Andrew Strathern, eds. Reviewed by Steven A. Romanoff.

Fire in the Plaça. Catalan Festival Politics after Franco, by Dorothy Noyes. Reviewed by Carles Feixa.

Changing Fields of Anthropology: From Local to Global, by Michael Kearney. Reviewed by Les Field.

Witchcraft, Violence, and Democracy in South Africa, by Adam Ashforth. Reviewed by Mary H. Moran.

Made in China: Women Factory Workers in a Global Workplace, by Pun Ngai. Reviewed by E. Paul Durrenberger.

Biological Anthropology and Ethics: From Repatriation to Genetic Identity, by Trudy R. Turner, ed. Reviewed by Jay T. Stock.



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