Lofink, Hayley Elizabeth, U. of Oxford, Oxford, UK - To aid research on 'Underweight, Overweight, and Obesity in British Bangladeshi Adolescents, in East London,' supervised by Dr. Stanley J. Ulijaszek
HAYLEY ELIZABETH LOFINK, then a student at University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom, was awarded funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Underweight, Overweight, and Obesity in British Bangladeshi Adolescents in East London,' supervised by Dr. Stanley J. Ulijaszek. Research on the health behavior of low-income, ethnic minorities has assumed that the poor are uneducated, and that if delivered the necessary knowledge, behavior will change. If poor nutrition and low levels of activity are attributed solely to individual-level decision making, it is unlikely that broader social and structural influences will be acknowledged. This research employed a biocultural framework to examine socio-cultural and political-economic factors influencing dietary and activity patterns and resulting underweight, overweight and obesity among British Bangladeshi adolescents (aged 11-14 years old) from low-income families in East London. Quantitative (anthropometry and survey data) and qualitative (semi-structured interviews and participant observation) methods were integrated to develop a nuanced understanding of adolescent weight, dietary and activity patterns, and the local level and larger scale processes influencing those patterns. Quantitative analysis will include multinomial logistic regression and other techniques to test the relative importance of a range of factors affecting weight status. Narrative analysis will be used to explain statistical results in order to move beyond a mere documentation of a relationship between poverty and obesity, and offer explanations of how local and broader level factors influence health inequalities in this context.
Benson, Peter B., Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Family Farming, Migrant Labor and Citizenship in North Carolina Tobacco Country,' supervised by Dr. James L. Watson
PETER B. BENSON, then a student at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded a grant in November 2004 to aid research on 'Family Farming, Migrant Labor and Citizenship in North Carolina Tobacco Country,' supervised by Dr. James L. Watson. The research phase funded by the Wenner-Gren was the primary phase of doctoral research on tobacco farming and farm labor in North Carolina. The funding supported 12 months (January 2005 to December 2006) of ethnographic fieldwork in Wilson County, which is located one hour east of Raleigh. The project culminated with the dissertation, 'To Not Be Sorry: Citizenship, Moral Life, and Biocapitalism in North Carolina Tobacco Country.' The research focused on how senses of citizenship are challenged and transformed among farm families in North Carolina's tobacco region, given ongoing social processes that have rendered their livelihood economically difficult and ethically suspect. Such processes include the decline of federal subsidies, the public health crisis related to smoking, and the rise of Mexican and Latino migrant farm labor. The research involved extensive archival research at the Wilson County Public Library as well as ethnographic fieldwork with tobacco farmers and farmworkers. In sum, 300 in-depth interviews were conducted, including 50 with migrant farmworkers, 200 with farmers, and 50 with community members and other individuals employed in the local tobacco industry.
Benson, Peter. 2008. Good Clean Tobacco: Philip Morris, Biocapitalism, and the Social Course of Stigma in North Carolina. American Ethnologist 35(3):357-379
Hepner, Tricia M. Redeker, Michigan State U., East Lansing, MI - To aid research on 'Of Eritrea and Exile: Trans/Nationalism in the Horn of Africa and the United States, ' supervised by Dr. Laurie K. Medina
Frekko, Susan E., U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Policing the Borders: Catalan Language Purism in Barcelona,' supervised by Dr. Judith T. Irvine
SUSAN E. FREKKO, while a student at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was awarded a grant in April 2002 to aid research on language purism in spoken Catalan in Barcelona, Spain, under the supervision of Dr. Judith T. Irvine. While some Catalan speakers police their own linguistic practice and avoid Castilian Spanish influences, others do not, even if they claim to espouse the ideology of Catalan purity. This discrepancy between ideology and practice raises some important theoretical questions. Why do language ideology and language practice coincide for some and not for others? If language ideology does not determine language practice, then what social function does it serve? In previous research, Frekko had acted as a participant observer in an adult Catalan language class in Barcelona and had observed Catalan language specialists at newspapers, at a television station, and in the Catalan parliament. In this phase of the project, she spent time with her classmates outside of school, in order to observe their linguistic practices in everyday life. She lived with a family that was part of the extended family of a Catalan newspaper copy editor, which allowed her to observe Catalan speech in a home and to enter the social network of a Catalan language specialist whom she had already observed on the job. This housing arrangement also brought her into social contact with several other language specialists whom she had observed in their professional capacity, thus enabling her to observe contextual differences in their linguistic purism.
Wheeler, Dean H., U. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - To aid research on 'Elite Management of Intensive Agricultural Production: A Comparison of Two Late-Terminal Classic Maya Polities,' supervised by Dr. Olivier de Montmollin
DEAN H. WHEELER, then a student at University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was awarded a grant in February 2005 to aid research on 'Elite Management of Intensive Agricultural Production: A Comparison of Two Late-Terminal Classic Maya Polities,' supervised by Dr. Oliveir de Montmollin. A full coverage systematic regional survey in the Upper Grijalva Basin, a Mayan setting in Chiapas, Mexico on the southwest periphery of the Maya lowlands, collected data on two neighboring Late-Terminal Classic (A.D. 650-950) Maya polities with differing needs for agricultural intensification due to differences in the distribution and extent of soils good for farming, and in the availability of water resources. The data collected will be used to address the primary research objective -- to determine the degree to which elites managed intensive agricultural production on terraces in these two polities. During the survey, architecture was the primary feature used to define sites. Architectural features were divided into two general categories -- terraces and structures -- and were mapped using Brunton compass, tape, and GPS. Although data analysis is in the preliminary stages, the evidence collected has already revealed much in regards to the research objective. In the more agriculturally marginal piedmont zone of the Morelos polity 812 agricultural terraces were recorded, whereas no agricultural terraces were found in the San Lucas polity where the extensive distribution of alluvial soils results in ample prime agricultural land. This indicates that elites in the San Lucas polity were not involved in the management of intensive agricultural production on terraces. In the Morelos polity, the high number of agricultural terraces recorded, and the proximity of agricultural terraces to elite dwellings and civic structures, leaves open the possibility that elites directly managed food production on terraces.
Koh, Kyung-Nan, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid 'Corporate Discourses about 'Giving': An Ethnographic and Discourse Based Study,' supervised by Dr. Gregory P. Urban
KYUNG-NAN KOH, then a student at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received an award in November 2004 to aid research on the rhetoric and practices of corporate social responsibility in the U.S., under the supervision of Dr. Gregory P. Urban. Research was conducted at two different companies in Pennsylvania and in an island of Hawai`i, and was concerned with how corporate social responsibility help companies relate to the community and develop corporate personhood. The research focused on areas of corporate giving, community engagement, and marketing, and data was gathered in the form of internal documents and audio or digital photographic recordings of everyday work activities, meetings, and social gatherings. The data sets show that corporate outgoing 'texts' and 'things' undergo a meticulous entextualization process and that during the dynamic processes of their production, are mobilized as collective representations that appeal to imagined rather than contacted communities: as tools for recruiting interests from, and relating the corporation to, various socio-cultural groups that have potentials to enter into exchange relations. In a sense, contemporary displays and performances of social responsibility are corporate communicational attempts to locate audiences and form entrusting relationships, for employees that cope with uncertainties about maintaining organizational continuity.
Albanese, Jeffrey Scipione Black, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Social Alterity and Regulation in Legally-Recognized Homeless Tent Cities,' supervised by Dr. Damani Partridge
Preliminary abstract: Over the past decade, politically-organized homeless encampments, often called 'tent cities,' have emerged in cities across the US and have sometimes achieved legal-recognition. This is somewhat surprising as scholars and homeless advocates working in diverse local and national contexts have, over the same period of time, identified widespread patterns of urban administrative and (re)development practices that have, in effect, 'criminalized' homelessness. My project asks how such marginalized groups have managed to appropriate urban space and, at times, achieve formal recognition. Working with a legally-recognized encampment in a Pacific Northwest city, I consider recognition's regulatory effects on the social, economic, and moral alternatives that animate residents and activists involved with homeless tent cities. Anthropologists studying a variety of rights- and identity-based claims have argued that contemporary forms of recognition tend to suppress difference by producing and regulating subjects through forms of social protection that delimit possible actions and ways of being. My project asks whether similar dynamics are at work when incorporation proceeds through such legal technologies as zoning ordinances and building codes. The tent city I am working with was incorporated largely as a component of the built environment, rather than a liberal right protecting specific social practices. My research considers how the exigencies of such a form of recognition affects a tent city's social organization and everyday life and whether urban and municipal laws can facilitate, foster, or limit such alternative social projects.
Pennesi, Karen E., U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Communication and Uses of Traditional and Scientific Climate Forecasts in Ceara, Brazil,' supervised by Dr. Jane H. Hill
KAREN PENNESI, then a student at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, received funding in January 2005 for dissertation fieldwork on rain predictions in Ceará,Northeast Brazil, under the supervision of Jane H. Hill. The project investigated how environmental knowledge is communicated differently by traditional 'rain prophets' and meteorologists. A central question was how communication practices affect the interpretation, evaluation, and perceived relevance of climate forecasts to smallholder farmers. During 13 months of fieldwork, Pennesi observed the generation and interpretation of traditional and scientific climate forecasts. Field trips and interviews with rain prophets (who make predictions based on continual observation of the ecosystem) provided insights into traditional practices. In the scientific domain, understanding grew from weekly interactions with meteorologists and attendance at workshops, press conferences, and presentations. Information from recorded interviews, focus group discussions, media broadcasts, and public events was used to develop a 4 survey administered to 189 rural households in three regions of Ceará state: Quixadá, Tauá, and Cariri. The survey explored knowledge of both traditional and meteorological rain indicators as well as opinions related to climate forecasting. Pennesi has now cataloged over 900 traditional rain indicators. Further questions about agricultural practices, religion, government, and science provided data used to elucidate cultural models affecting how climate forecasts are interpreted and judged. Feedback on preliminary conclusions was obtained from rain prophets, meteorologists, and farmers. In the final months, Pennesi's research was used as part of a communication plan in development at the Ceará Foundation for Meteorology and Hydrological Resources.
Dudgeon, Matthew R., Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'Birth after Death: K'iche '-Mayan Men's Influences on Maternal-Infant Health after Guatemalan Civil War,' supervised by Dr. Carol M. Worthman
MATTHEW R. DUDGEON, then a student at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, received funding in December 2001 to aid research on 'Birth after Death: K'iche '-Mayan Men's Influences on Maternal-Infant Health after Guatemalan Civil War,' supervised by Dr. Carol M. Worthman. This dissertation research conducted 12 months of fieldwork in a K'iche' Mayan- speaking Community of Populations in Resistance in the Ixil region of Guatemala on reproduction and reproductive health problems. The research investigated men's roles in maternal and child health, as well as men's reproductive health problems. Moreover, the research examined the impact of the Guatemalan civil war on patterns of reproduction in the community, which was heavily impacted by counterinsurgent violence. Research consisted of a combination of reproductive and family health surveys, nutrition surveys, anthropometric data, and life history and illness narratives with both men and women, focusing on narratives of reproductive experience and loss. Participant observation was conducted both within the community with a land collective and with groups of midwives and religious specialists, as well as outside the community in the regional ministry of health and with regional non-governmental organizations working in health care.
Tretjak, Kaja, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'U.S. Conservatism in Decline?: Power, Governance, and Knowledge Production in the Contemporary University,' supervised by Dr. Leith Mullings
KAJA TRETJAK, then a student at City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, New York, received funding in October 2009 to aid research on 'U.S. Conservatism in Decline? Power, Governance, and Knowledge Production in the Contemporary University,' supervised by Dr. Leith Mullings. This project explores the resurgence of libertarianism in the US, particularly among youth, examining a rapidly expanding transnational network of thousands of activists connected through student groups, community organizations, and established classical liberal institutions, as well as through social media and a vast array of online forums. Funding supported twelve months of in-depth ethnographic fieldwork in Princeton, New Jersey, and Austin, Texas. Research included attendance of over 150 libertarian and conservative events; over 50 unstructured and semi-structured interviews as well as six life-history interviews, and countless hours of informal day-to-day interactions. Preliminary analysis highlights the importance of the libertarian movement's internal heterogeneity and the emergence of liminal spaces between 'right' and 'left' political formations through which participants challenge existing political economic arrangements and construct utopian visions of possible futures. Ongoing analysis will provide additional frameworks to understand how such spaces emerge from a shifting economic, political, and cultural context through investigating how the everyday practices of participants reproduce and contest established institutions and trends. By rethinking the translation of political knowledge, the intersection of social movements and political rationalities, and the role of expertise in these processes, the project will contribute to U.S. ethnography, political anthropology, and social movement studies.