Volume 63, Number 3, Abstracts

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Challenges to Motherhood: The Moral Economy of Oaxacan Ceramic Production and the Politics of Reproduction

Ramona L. Pérez
Department of Anthropology, San Diego State University

In less than two decades, female ceramic artisans of Santa María Atzompa, Oaxaca, Mexico (Atzompeñas), have become integral political and economic actors in their community as a result of a dialectic that has allowed a redefinition of motherhood and a renegotiation of traditional maternal responsibility to family and community. They have been able to accomplish this by invoking a responsibility toward reproduction that moves beyond the biological and places emphasis on the social and economic as their production has moved from household craft to the work of global artisans. In recent years, a threat to their autonomy and power has developed from the exceedingly high levels of lead in the green glaze that dominates their ceramic production. This threat is currently being mediated through a discourse rooted in a contradictory political and moral economy that views the obtained power and status of women as having more value than the current health and, in many cases, the lives of their children and families.

KEY WORDS: Craft production; Global artisan; Lead poisoning; Moral economy;
Motherhood; Oaxaca; Tourism; Women and work

The Provenance and Concentrated Production of Hohokam Red-on-buff Pottery: Implications for an Ancient Arizona

David R. Abbott, Joshua Watts, and Andrew D. Lack
School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University

Recent advancements in determining the production sources of prehistoric Hohokam pottery from the Phoenix basin, Arizona, have shown that ceramic manufacture was highly concentrated during the Sedentary period (ca. AD 950–1100). For example, nearly all of the bowls and small jars consumed in the lower Salt River valley were decorated red-on-buff pots imported from the middle Gila River valley to the south. An analysis of the sand temper in the buff wares showed that many, if not most, of these red-painted vessels were made in one locality along the Gila River, thereby supporting the idea that a reliable and efficient mechanism for commodity exchange was extant at that time, possibly in the form of periodic marketplaces associated with ritual ballgames. The pottery results imply a level of dependence on ballgame-related transactions that had not been recognized before, indicating their central importance to the Hohokam Sedentary period economy.

KEY WORDS: Ballcourts; Ceramic provenance; Hohokam; Marketplaces; Phoenix
basin; Red-on-buff pottery; Sand temper; Sedentary period

Interpreting Instant Messaging: Context and Meaning in Computer-Mediated Communication

David Jacobson
Department of Anthropology, Brandeis University

Little attention has been paid to knowledge as a context of computer-mediated communication (CMC) and to differences in meaning attributed to the same message when located in different contexts. Drawing on concepts in anthropological usage and on those used in other disciplines, especially the constructs of “common ground” and “relational cultures,” this paper addresses that gap. It examines in instant messaging, a particular mode of computer-mediated communication, how individuals with different kinds of knowledge interpret online interaction.

KEY WORDS: Common ground; Computer-mediated communication; Context;
Instant message (IM); Online interaction; Relational culture

The Agency of Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Caroline B. Brettell and Kristoffer E. Alstatt
Department of Anthropology, Southern Methodist University

Through an analysis of interview data and biographies of entrepreneurship, we demonstrate in this article the diverse paths to immigrant self-employment across a range of immigrant populations. We address the utilization of ethnic and occupational niches for establishing businesses and the resources that immigrant entrepreneurs draw upon as they move into self employment. By drawing on the concept of biographical embeddedness and by emphasizing the agency of individual actors and their motivational and experiential resources, this article moves the analysis of immigrant entrepreneurs beyond the “disadvantage hypothesis” that has characterized much of the previous work on this subject.

KEY WORDS: Agency; Biographical embeddedness; Entrepreneurship; Ethnic niche;
Immigrants; Occupational niche


Michael Gurven: The Evolution of Human Life History,
Kristen Hawkes and Richard R. Paine, eds.

LynnDianne Beene: The History of the English Language,
Richard M. Hogg and David Denison, eds.

Cathleen D. Cahill: Archive Stories: Facts, Fictions, and the Writing of History,
Antoinette Burton, ed.

David B. Small: The Roman Clan: The Gens from Ancient Ideology to Modern Anthropology,
by C. J. Smith

Stanford Zent: Time and Complexity in Historical Ecology: Studies in the Neotropical Lowlands,
William Balée and Clark L. Erickson, eds.

Judith A. Boruchoff: Mixtec Transnational Identity,
by Laura Velasco Ortiz

Susan Kellogg: Engendering Mayan History: Kaqchikel Women as Agents and Conduits of the Past, 1875–1970,
by David Carey Jr.

Jeremy Kulisheck: Fugitive Landscapes: The Forgotten History of the U.S.–Mexico Borderlands,
by Samuel Truett

William P. Murphy: Child Soldiers in Africa,
by Alcinda Honwana

David Graeber: Global Shadows: Africa in the Neoliberal World Order,
by James Ferguson

Alan Smart: Law and Disorder in the Postcolony,
Jean Comaroff and John L. Comaroff, eds.

Carol J. Pierce Colfer: The Fourth Circle: A Political Ecology of Sumatra’s Rainforest Frontier,
by John F. McCarthy

LeeRay M. Costa: Wayward Women: Sexuality and Agency in a New Guinea Society,
by Holly Wardlow

Paige West: Reverse Anthropology: Indigenous Analysis of Social and Environmental Relations in New Guinea,
by Stuart Kirsch

Andrew Walsh: Conservation Is Our Government Now: The Politics of Ecology in Papua New Guinea,
by Paige West

David Leheny: Home Away from Home: Japanese Corporate Wives in the United States,
by Sawa Kurotani

Bruce Bernstein: Fine Indian Jewelry of the Southwest: The Millicent Rogers Museum Collection,
by Shelby J. Tisdale

Bruce Granville Miller: New Perspectives on Native America: Cultures, Histories, and Representations,
Sergei Kan and Pauline Turner Strong, eds.

Jennifer S. H. Brown: Maps of Experience: The Anchoring of Land to Story in Secwepemc Discourse,
by Andie Diane Palmer

Nobuhiro Kishigami: Social Life in Northwest Alaska: The Structure of Iñupiaq Eskimo Nations,
by Ernest S. Burch, Jr.

Joe E. Watkins: Eastern Cherokee Fishing,
by Heidi M. Altman

Charles Keil: Blues for New Orleans: Mardi Gras and America’s Creole Soul,
by Roger D. Abrahams

Paula G. Rubel: Ruth Benedict: Beyond Relativity, Beyond Pattern,
by Virginia Heyer Young

Salmaan Keshavjee: Muslim Youth: Tensions and Transitions in Tajikistan,
by Colette Harris

Lawrence G. Straus: Neandertales Cantábricos: Estado de la Cuestión,
Ramon Montes and Jose A. Lasheras, eds.

C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky: Excavating Asian History. Interdisciplinary Studies in Archaeology and History,
Norman Yoffee and Bradley L. Crowell, eds.

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