Larchanche, Stephanie, Southern Methodist U., Dallas, TX - To aid research on 'The Cultural Politics of Immigrant Health: The Experience of West African Women in Paris, France,' supervised by Dr. Carolyn Sargent
STEPHANIE LARCHANCHE, then a student at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'The Cultural Politics of Immigrant health: The Experience of West African Women in Paris, France,' supervised by Dr. Carolyn Sargent. This research sought to critically evaluate the reciprocal interaction between France's immigration politics and the strategies employed by West African immigrant households in Paris, France, to negotiate state institutions, in particular, the social welfare and public health systems. The researcher studied grassroots social and healthcare services, as well as three 'specialized' mental healthcare centers that cater specifically to West African immigrants. Research findings establish that the incapacity of the French public health system and/or of social services to take care of immigrants -- thereby resulting in referrals to 'specialized' mental healthcare institutions -- generally stems from institutional resistance in accommodating the multilayered needs that immigrants have, and which are often hastily reduced as resulting from mental disorder or cultural misunderstanding. In the mental healthcare context, immigrants themselves question the limits of the public health system and of social services, precisely because their demands are rarely exclusively related to a mental disorder, but intricately linked to negotiations between immigrants and the referring institutions themselves, for additional social benefits such as State welfare and housing. This project thus questions the French institutional reframing of immigrants' socio-economic vulnerability as psychological and cultural in origin.
Bazylevych, Maryna Y., State U. of New York, Albany, NY - To aid research on 'Ukrainian Women Physicians at a Post-Socialist Crossroad: Negotiating New Roles,' supervised by Dr. Gail Heidi Landsman
MARYNA Y. BAZYLEVYCH, then a student at State University of New York, Albany, New York, was awarded a grant in November 2007 to aid research on 'Ukrainian Women Physicians at a Post-Socialist Crossroads: Negotiating New Roles,' supervised by Dr. Gail H. Landsman. This project sought to understand the factors and implications of increasing participation of women in the biomedical profession in post-socialist Ukraine while their numbers in other previously female-dominated fields were decreasing. Research activities included comparative investigation of the medical professionals in private and state health care facilities in the capital city of Kyiv and the peripheral city of Vinnytsia in central Ukraine. In-depth interviews, free listing, focus groups, life histories, and participant observation were used as methodology. Through investigation of rapidly changing biomedical field and its actors, the researcher found that the concept of professional prestige is deeply gendered and contextualized. Perception of prestige in an unstable society with transforming value system depends on a wide range of factors, including a person's experience, education, family, gender, media, etc. It is also conditioned by a broader context of lack of trust between the newly emerged state and individuals. Furthermore, the relationship between private and public spheres is not dichotomous, and the boundaries between these two loci of the biomedical employment are blurred. The study suggests that this complex interplay of broader social issues provides a well-informed explanation for women's appropriation of the biomedical field as a suitable venue for income earning and self-actualization.
Pfeil, Gretchen Elisabeth, U. of Chicago, Chicago, IL - To aid research on 'Reckoning Charity's Risks and Rewards: Sufi Muslim Alms and Evangelical Missionary Gifts in Urban Senegal,' supervised by Dr. Michael Silverstein
GRETCHEN PFEIL, then a student at University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, received funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Reckoning Charity's Risks and Rewards: Sufi Muslim Alms and Evangelical Missionary Gifts in Urban Senegal,' supervised by Dr. Michael Silverstein. The research was designed as a study of the large and vibrant economy of charitable giving in Dakar, Senegal. It frames these acts of giving as a site in which local Muslim and expatriate Christian actors attempt to realize ideal forms of sociality by managing the manipulation of objects in transaction. The research proposed that Muslim and Christian givers employed different kinds of moral judgment in the management of small-scale transaction, resulting in distinct modes of circulation of goods revealed in differences in social formation at larger scales. Prepared meals, commodity foods, and money were tracked in charitable transactions to follow three objects of analysis: material goods, persons/social roles, and verbal/affective signs. The research employed individual and focus group interviews, participant observation and apprenticeship in related tasks (such as food preparation and shopping) and media studies to identify 'divisions of charitable labor' in the household and salient moments of judgment in practice. The research found that Evangelical giving focused on judgment about the proper accounting of the relationship between gifts and their stakes. Senegalese Muslim charitable practice, however, focused on enacting two other values: sutura and masla (Wolof 'discretion' and 'tolerance'). Enacting these values entails limitation of circulation of information and goods. Thus, not only do Muslim and Christian forms of giving rely upon and enact different kinds of moral judgment, they also involve different operative values, which not only create different forms of circulation as hypothesized, but also entail substantially different constitutions of agents/ givers.
Fioratta, Susanna, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Clean Money for New Mosques: Remittances, Morality, and Contestation in the Republic of Guinea,' supervised by Dr. Michael McGovern
SUSANNA FIORATTA, while a student at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, was awarded funding in April 2009, to aid research on remittances, morality, and Islamic reform in Guinea, West Africa, under the supervision of Dr. Mike McGovern. The grantee conducted eighteen months of ethnographic research in two ethnic Fulbe Guinean villages and among Guinean Fulbe migrants in Dakar, Senegal, exploring the social contexts in which people send and receive money by focusing on the moral and religious controversies that arise around this money's use. Field research methods included interviews, personal life histories and migration narratives, oral histories of French colonialism and the pre-colonial Fouta Djallon theocracy, and extended participant observation among both rural village residents and urban migrants. Because the research took place during a politically volatile period in Guinea, much of the ethnographic material collected also relates to state electoral politics, military violence against civilians, inter-ethnic conflict, and fears of civil war. Within this broader context of hope, uncertainty, and near-crisis, the research examines changing expressions of Fulbe ethnicity in relation to contested ideas of proper Islamic practice, reshaped expectations surrounding remittance money and migrants' return, and intensified claims to state political power.
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.
Kattan, Shlomy, U. of California, Berkeley, CA - To aid 'Language Socialization and Language Ideologies among Israeli Emissaries: A Global Ethnography of Transnationalism,' supervised by Dr. Sahara Patricia Baquedano-Lopez
SHLOMY KATTAN, then a student at University of California, Berkeley, California, received funding in April 2006 to aid research on 'Language Socialization and Language ideologies among Israeli Emissaries: A Global Ethnography of Transnationalism,' supervised by Dr. Sahara Patricia Baquedano-Lopez. This multi-sited ethnography examines language socialization, linguistic ideologies, and identity practices amongst families of Israeli emissaries and their young children, following their transition from Israel, through their residence in New York, and until their return to Israel after two years. During the first funded year of research, observations, interviews, and audio and video recording have been carried out in both countries at home and in school. In-home observations capture the methods used to socialize children to being bilingual, record family conversations about Israel and New York, and document changes in participants' language use. In-school observations document changes ininteractional practices between the focal children, their teachers, and peers. Observations document how focal children enter into and form social groups, how they negotiate their position as language learners and as non-locals, and how they utilize their changing linguistic skills. The data provide empirical support that the transition and socialization of the children are negotiated across sites, and illustrate how such negotiations take place across the sites. Socialization practices are not positivistic or objective, but rather derive rom participants' changing ideologies vis-à-vis children's abilities in English and Hebrew, as well as their perceptions of the children's fluctuating needs in those languages.
Addison, Brian James, Harvard U., Cambridge, MA - To aid research on 'Coping with Collisions: Calcaneal Trabecular Bone Structure, Impact Resistance and the Evolution of Bipedalism,' supervised by Dr. Daniel E. Lieberman
Preliminary abstract: Human walking is a pervasive aspect of our daily life. The evolution of bipedal walking in the hominin lineage resulted in millions of impacts being applied to the human heel every year. Impact forces differ from other habitual forces that humans experience both in magnitude and rate, and natural selection likely acted strongly on the human skeleton to resist these extreme forces. The repetitive impacts encountered by the human heel bone (the calcaneus) in particular make it an ideal bone to test hypotheses about how natural selection shapes bone structure to cope with impacts. Specifically, natural selection is likely to act on trabecular, or spongy, bone tissue because of the critical role it plays in absorbing impact energy. In this proposal, I discriminate between two competing hypotheses for how selection shapes trabecular bone tissue to resist collisions. The first hypothesis predicts that bone should evolve to resist fracture, while the second predicts that bone should evolve to protect cartilage. I will test between these two hypotheses using trabecular bone structural data obtained by high-resolution CT scanning of human and African great ape calcanei. My preliminary data suggest that trabecular bone in the calcaneus has evolved to protect cartilage, in contradiction to prevailing assumptions. The data collected in the proposed project will thus provide exciting new ways to use trabecular bone morphology to elucidate when and with what species heel-striking bipedalism evolved. Further, insights gained from this project will be of use in studying the evolution of other bones frequently hypothesized to be adapted to cope with impacts, such as the cranial vault of early Homo. This project will therefore increase our knowledge of the selective pressures that shaped human skeletal evolution.
O'Neill, Matthew C., Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore, MD - To aid research on 'Linking Laboratory and Field Studies of Primate Energetics,' supervised by Dr. Christopher B. Ruff
O'Neill, Matthew C. 2012. Gait Specific Metabolic Costs and Preferred Speeds in Ring-Tailed Lemurs (Lemur catta), with Implications for the Scaling of Locomotor Costs. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 149(3):356-364.
Di Rosa, Dario, Australian National U., Canberra, Australia - To aid research on 'Remembering the Colonial Past: Histories and Historicities of Kerewo People (Gulf Province, Papua New Guinea),' supervised by Dr. Christopher Hugh Lewis Ballard
Preliminary abstract: Blending archival research and ethnographic fieldwork, the present project explores what role knowledge of the colonial past plays in understanding 'modernity' among Kerewo people of Papua New Guinea. When the missionary James Chalmers was killed in a Kerewo village in 1901, the colonial government intervened with three subsequent punitive expeditions. Shortly after, Kerewo people were incorporated in the colonial state and under the mission influence, leading to the suppression of head-hunting and their incorporation into an unstable labour market. Memories of these experiences, read through the lens of indigenous epistemology, today form a means of understanding present relations with global forces such as Christianity, capitalist development and the nation-state. Through an ethnography of historical consciousness and the micro-politics of remembering, I intend to contribute to contemporary debates about notions of 'historicity' on one side, and 'modernity' on the other, paying attention to the role played by history in everyday life as a source for understanding relations which shape individual agency in the present/future.
Starr, Julie Elisabeth, U. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA - To aid research on 'Cultivating the Ideal Body in China: Race, Suzhi, and Beauty in Contemporary Shanghai,' supervised by Dr. John R. Shepherd
JULIE STARR, then a graduate student at University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, was awarded funding in October 2011 to aid research on 'Cultivating the Ideal Body in China: Race, Suzhi, and Beauty in Contemporary Shanghai,'supervised by Dr. John R. Shepherd. Drawing on ten months of fieldwork in Shanghai, China, this research compares how Han Chinese and white Western professional women-all living in Shanghai and all between the ages of 25-35-understand, discuss, and moralize the pursuit of better bodies. Through examining daily practices and discussions about eating, working out, and going to beauty salons it illustrates and compares how these women view self, gender, and race as constituted in and through their bodies. In general, the findings of this research suggest that gender, race, and social status were much more bodily for the Chinese women and yet less essentialized: bodies and selves were assumed to be constantly changing and thus daily modifications were not seen to endanger a unique or authentic bodily-self. Furthermore, for the Chinese women, bodies were a legitimate site to work on the self in order to improve one's social standing. Whereas for the Western women, there was tremendous tension between seeing bodies as part of 'who one is' and denying that bodies have any relevance to one's social position. This research argues that the attitudes of these women toward body modification practices reveal important differences in their understandings of power, nature, and social change.