DeCaro, Jason A., Emory U., Atlanta, GA - To aid research on 'The Social Ecology of Childhood Stress: Reactivity and Family Function in North Central Georgia, U.S.A.' supervised by Dr. Carol M. Worthman
JASON A. DECARO, while a student at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, was awarded a grant in November 2001 to aid research on the social ecology of childhood stress in north-central Georgia, U.S.A., under the supervision of Dr. Carol M. Worthman. DeCaro's research was designed to evaluate whether children's reactivity (physiological response to stress or arousal) during the transition from preschool to kindergarten was related to their parents' economic security; whether the 'routinization' of family life and stability in the social ecology of the home predicted children's reactivity during this transition; and whether the stability of children's social environment and their reactivity predicted functional outcomes. Ethnographic interviews with parents in forty-five metropolitan Atlanta families focused on work, finances, economic security, time management, and school and neighborhood choices and satisfaction. Prior to and following the transition into kindergarten, DeCaro collected saliva samples from children and parents three times a day for seven days, in order to test for levels of cortisol, a hormone of physiologic arousal. He also monitored children's heart rates during a puppet-based psychobehavioral interview. Parents were asked to track on hand computers their and their children moods, contexts, and experiences for seven days. Questionnaires covered children's behavioral and somatic symptomatology and preschool educational outcomes. Preliminary analysis suggested that cardiovascular response during a mild social challenge predicted the density of parents' schedules but that mothers' and fathers' types of 'busyness' had different effects on household ecology and on children's responses to experience. The study was expected to provide insights into the cultural construction of the 'work' of the family, which profoundly affects both the actual form and the perception of family life by family members and thus what precisely is 'stressful' about it.
DeCaro, Jason A. and Carol M. Worthman. 2006 Cultural Models, Parent Behavior, and Young Child Experience in Working American Families. Parenting: Science and Practice 7(2): 177-203.
Sweetman, Lauren Elizabeth, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Healing Maori(ness): Music, Politics, and Forensic Mental Health,' supervised by Dr. David Samuels
Preliminary abstract: In Aotearoa/New Zealand, Maori are overrepresented in criminal and mental health contexts, comprising over 50% of institutional populations, yet only 14.6% of the nation. In response to these trends, new models of care are emerging that seek to decolonize health and to address these imbalances in culturally viable ways. The Mason Clinic's Te Papakainga O Tane Whakapiripiri unit is a secure forensic psychiatric facility in Auckland for mentally ill criminal offenders. Run 'by Maori for Maori,' this unit offers an explicitly indigenous paradigm of healing that marries Western biomedical frameworks with intensive cultural education and therapy. Music, spirituality, and language are utilized as integral aspects of treatment. This program continues a post-1970s trajectory of increasing Maori self-determination that has seen the infusion of Maori culture into public institutions. And yet, paradoxically, Maori indigeneity is being constructed through the very state mechanisms that have historically hindered it. In my doctoral research, I question how hybridized medical knowledge is created and maintained through self-determined health programming, and how traditional indigenous culture functions when codified through government systems. It is my hope that this investigation will contribute to a growing critical discussion finding connections between health, governance, the arts, and indigenous rights.
Huang, Mingwei, U. of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - To aid research on 'The Political Economy of Friendship After Bandung: Mapping Sino-Afro Contemporaries in South Africa,' supervised by Dr. Karen Ho
Preliminary abstract: My research is an interdisciplinary study of the contemporary spectacular reemergence of Sino-African relations, particularly Sino-African friendship, in South Africa. I am interested in how the geopolitics of diplomatic 'friendship' and transnational capital flows between China and South Africa are localized in the everyday encounters and friendships between Chinese migrants, South Africans, and African migrants in South Africa. I ask, how is Sino-African friendship--an embodied affect-laden social relationship--constituted and experienced? Moreover, what is the relationship between friendship and capital? I examine how friendship and capital are linked through productive sentiments such as amity and trust in addition to everyday social practices of exchange and transactions. In so doing, I conceptualize how friendship and capital are mutually constitutive in a 'political economy of friendship' and a local 'friendship economy' in commercial spaces of transnational capital. Through ethnographic, historical, and cultural and media studies methods, I examine three Sino-African capital and cultural flows vis-à-vis friendship: mass Chinese tourism in Cape Town, China Malls--Chinese-import shopping malls--in Johannesburg, and PRC sponsored cultural diplomacy events in South Africa. My research theoretically contributes to anthropological approaches to friendship, capital, globalization, and 'south-south' relations.
Morino, Luca, Rutgers U., New Brunswick, NJ - To aid research on 'Behavioral and Hormonal Correlates of Male Reproductive Strategies in the Siamang,' supervised by Dr. Ryne A. Palombit
LUCA MORINO, then a student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, received a grant in November 2007 to aid research on 'Behavioral and Hormonal Correlates of Male Reproductive Strategies in the Siamang,' supervised by Dr. Ryne Palombit. The research focuses on the social behavior and endocrinology of a small, arboreal and prevalently monogamous Southeast Asian ape, the siamang. In particular it explores how hormones and behavior interact in the following contexts: dominance relationship between males within a social group; defense of the territory/mate from neighboring groups; impact of female's choice and reproductive status on intra- and inter-group dynamics; male parental care. Behavioral data were gathered on eleven groups over two years, and 1005 hormonal samples were non-invasively collected from 38 individuals. The resulting hormonal profiles are determined for the first time in this primate family. This research will improve existing theoretical models by providing data on an arboreal monogamous/polyandrous species, since most of the previous testing was conducted on terrestrial polygynous ones. Data will also allow the testing of hypotheses regarding mechanisms of non-aggressive sexual competition, specifically the inhibition of sexual function of subordinate individuals, by means of pheromonal cues from dominant ones. Information on the endocrinological mechanisms underlying the pair bonds of an ape species will allow inferences on the evolution and maintenance of human pair bonds, monogamy, mate guarding and paternal care.
Morino, Luca. 2009. Observation of a wild marbled cat in Sumatra. Cat News 50:20.
Cherkaev, Xenia Andrej, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'I Don't Know Why, but that One Wants Me: The Saturation of Use and the Agency of Things in Russia,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth A. Povinelli
XENIA A. CHERKAEV, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'I Don't Know Why, but that One Wants Me: The Saturation of Use and the Agency of Things in Russia,' supervised by Dr. Elizabeth A. Povinelli. In 2011, Putin warned that the American-funded political opposition would falsify the election results' falsification, and might kill someone off, to blame the government. Attempting to write a history of this present, where universal corruption accusations blend easily into conspiracy theory, this project examines changing regimes of circulation, and the correlating changes in regimes of truth. It begins in late-Soviet Leningrad, asking how people made and obtained everyday things by using their positions in the centralized distribution system, their access to surplus material hoarded by enterprises, and the reified norms of State institutions - and how State Secrecy, permeating everyday life as another monolithic norm, guaranteed a truth, just out of reach: 'It irritated! There were certain things some idiot didn't want me to know!' It then asks how regimes of both truth and circulation changed with the post-Soviet transition, in which the sudden disclosure of previously unavailable materials correlated with widespread political discussion, extrasensory and religious activity, sharp commodity deficit, and new economic policies, which allowed people to make cash on State surplus and informal deals that 'took the country apart by the screws ? swiped everything from precious metals to Arab horses... fantastic times!'
Shi, Lihong, Tulane U., New Orleans, LA - To aid research on 'Embracing a Singleton-Daughter: An Emerging Transition of Reproductive Choice in Rural Northeast China,' supervised by Dr. Shanshan Du
LIHONG SHI, then a student at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, was awarded funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Embracing a Singleton-Daughter: An Emerging Transition of Reproductive Choice in Rural Northeast China,' supervised by Dr. Shanshan Du. This dissertation field research was conducted in a rural community and the surrounding areas in Liaoning in northeast China from August 2006 to August 2007. The grantee explored an emerging transition of reproductive choice in rural northeast China where a substantial number of peasant couples have chosen to have a singleton-daughter (only one child, a daughter), rather than take advantage of the modified birth-control policy that allows them a second child if their first birth has produced a girl. Based on intensive interviews, surveys, participant observation, and archival research, the grantee examined the scope and the socio-cultural underpinnings of the emerging transition of reproductive choice. The field research reveals that an emerging transition of peasant couples embracing a singleton-daughter is taking place in rural Northeast China. This transformation of reproductive preference is closely associated with a gendered shift of old-age support, a weakened dedication to the patrilineage, and women's empowerment in making decisions concerning their own reproduction.
Hargrove, Melissa D., U. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN - To aid research on 'Reinventing the Plantation on Gullah-Contested Landscape: Gated Communities and Spatial Segregation in the Sea Islands,'supervised by Dr. Faye V. Harrison
MELISSA D. HARGROVE, while a student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee, received funding in May 2003 to aid research on gated communities as a means of spatial segregation-the new 'plantation'-in the Sea Islands of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, under the supervision of Faye V. Harrison. Hargrove conducted twelve months of ethnographic research in 2003-4 into the conflicts resulting from the divisive practice of mapping social inequality onto the power-mediated landscapes of gated communities. Her research methods included participant observation, convening focus groups of residents of both gated and Gullah (African American) communities, conducting formal and informal interviews with people on various sides of the dispute, and analyzing associated literature. Preliminary findings were that the gated community phenomenon represented, for Gullah people, the racialized oppression and exploitation associated with plantation slavery and that the term plantation served as a device of knowledge production in reinvented versions of Sea Island history. Hargrove identified dichotomous interpretations of plantation slavery, each equipped with rationalizations dependent on social and historical memory. She also found that the predicament of postcolonial recolonization was being met with grassroots mobilization by Gullahs against threats to the vital resource necessary for maintaining their cultural lifeway: their ancestral land inheritance. Unable to garner political and economic power at the local level, Gullah community leaders chose to respond by crafting a platform for self-determination in the global arena of human and minority rights.
Marsteller, Sara Jane, Arizona State U., Tempe, AZ - To aid research on 'Dietary Practices, Mortuary Rituals, and the Social Construction of Ychsma Community Identity (c. AD 900-1470),' supervised by Dr. Kelly J. Knudson
Preliminary Abstract: Ancient communities are often rendered as predetermined, homogenous social units associated with specific archaeological sites. Challenging these perceptions, many archaeologists argue that the community is a dynamic phenomenon that is symbolically constructed via the social practices and interactions of individual members and thus must be assessed empirically rather than assumed a priori. The applicant builds on this social approach to community construction by utilizing bioarchaeological data linked to the social practices of specific individuals in order to investigate (1) the relationship between symbolic community boundaries and geographic space, (2) intra-community diversity in the interpretation and enactment of symbolic community boundaries, and (3) the negotiation of community boundaries by outside individuals. Using the Late Intermediate Period (c. AD 900-1470) Ychsma society on the central Peruvian coast as a case study, the proposed project will focus on dietary practices and mortuary rituals as social practices potentially used to denote Ychsma community identity. To reconstruct the dietary practices and mortuary treatments of Ychsma individuals, osteological, biogeochemical, and mortuary contextual data will be collected and assessed from the archaeological skeletal remains and associated mortuary contexts of burials previously excavated from two Ychsma sites, Armatambo and La Rinconada Alta.
Brant, Erika Marie, U. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - To aid research on 'Ancestors and Aggrandizers: Modeling Political Power and Ancestor Veneration in a Post-collapse Andean Society (AD 1000-1450),' supervised by Dr. Stephen Plog
Preliminary abstract: Anthropologists have long viewed ancestors as a source of kin-based authority which leaders draw upon to validate claims to power. An alternative viewpoint posits that ancestor worship may prevent the emergence of centralized authority and provide the ideological foundations for more equitable forms of sociality. The proposed research evaluates contrasting theories of ancestor veneration in the Titicaca Basin of Peru through surface collection and targeted excavations at Sillustani -- the foremost necropolis of the Colla ethnic group (AD 1000-1450). Following the collapse of the Tiwanaku state, the proliferation of modest forms of burial and commemoration in the Colla region seems to indicate a rejection of aggrandizing ideologies and the use of ancestors to promote more equitable social relations. Such a model is supported by local lore and limited archaeological research which describe Sillustani as an empty pilgrimage center where varying groups gathered periodically to honor lineage forebearers. Conversely, colonial documents characterize the Colla as a highly centralized kingdom and raise the possibility that Sillustani was a political capital. If the Colla were as centralized as Spanish documents attest, and Colla leaders resided at Sillustani, it is probable that much of their power derived from their proximity to Sillustani's ancestors, thus casting doubt on an egalitarian model of Colla ancestor veneration. Employing faunal and ceramic analyses to gauge status and wealth inequalities at Sillustani, my project evaluates the extent to which ancestor worship promoted or constrained the development of centralized authority in Colla society. Research at Sillustani also places ancestors at the center of debates surrounding the regeneration of hierarchy in post-collapse societies.