Burch, Melissa Lynn, U. of Texas, Austin, TX - To aid research on 'To Shed the Mark: A Critical Examination of Employers, Job Seekers and Advocates,' supervised by Dr. Joao Costa Vargas
Preliminary abstract: To Shed the Mark: A Critical Examination of Employers, Job Seekers and Advocates seeks to contribute to efforts to increase the number of employers who are willing to hire workers with criminal convictions. It does so by asking a question unanswered in the literature: what differentiates employers who are willing to hire people with past convictions from those who are not? Despite broad consensus that employment is essential to reentry success, we know very little about what drives or informs employer behavior. While a significant body of literature documents the scope of employer aversion, few accounts have analyzed how or why employers make their decisions and none explain shifts from reluctance to willingness. This study is premised on the idea that in order to transform the status quo, we need more nuanced and precise analyses of employer perspectives and behavior, as well as those of job seekers and the advocates who assist them. How do the analytic and practical strategies of job seekers and advocates speak to, or speak past, employers concerns and motivations? With these questions in mind, I will undertake a longterm ethnographic study of employers, job seekers and advocates, using the qualitative methods of participant observation, interviews and focus groups. My belief is that through social scientific attention to the perspectives and behaviors of all three actors--what informs them and how they shift--this research will strategize new theoretical and practical pathways to increase access to employment and reduce the stigma associated with a criminal record.
Sandesara, Utpal Niranjan, U. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Prenatal Kinship and Selective Reproduction: The Process of Sex Selection in an Indian Community,' supervised by Dr. Philippe Bourgois
Preliminary abstract: Over the past three decades, the selective abortion of female fetuses has emerged as a prominent form of gendered violence in northwestern India. While state institutions have attempted to combat the practice, the number of sex-selective abortions has remained constant or risen in most regions during the past twenty years. I propose to explore this situation by conducting twelve months of multi-sited ethnographic research on the process of sex selection in Mahesana, Gujarat. Tracing the process across household, clinical, and governmental settings will allow me to connect the views, experiences, and practices of reproductive-aged women with those of husbands, senior relatives, clinicians, brokers, and government officials, thereby elucidating the gendered power relations that sustain sex selection despite efforts to combat it. My project will empirically link gender-kinship norms with medicalized reproduction and state governance by exploring three key questions: What norms and practices underlie desires for sons over daughters in the present sociohistorical context? How do biomedical practitioners come to participate in sex selection, and how do different clinical actors manage the technical, economic, and moral ambiguities in the process? And how do state policies construct, engage, and impact sex selection as a social crisis? Through a focus on the simultaneous reproduction of individual bodies and the social order, and using the analytic of gendered violence, my project will generate a framework for exploring gender, kinship, and violence in the prenatal period. (This submission requests funding for the second phase [last six months] of the project.)
Gould, Sarah A., U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid 'An Ethnographic Study of Child Fosterage in Madagascar,' supervised by Dr. Michael Lambek
SARAH A. GOULD, while a student at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario, received funding in May 2001 to aid an ethnographic study of child fosterage in northwestern Madagascar, under the supervision of Dr. Michael Lambek. Gould conducted her fieldwork during a period of political conflict following the presidential elections of 2001, during which two competing models of nationalism drew upon and reified the ideas of kinship, culture, ethnicity, and class underlying identity politics. Drawing on two themes-the fluidity of kinship and personhood in life and the fixity of descent among the dead in Madagascar-Gould focused on child fosterage as a means of elucidating the process of kinship and the flexibility and boundedness of identity. She investigated networks of kinship that reached from rural and urban areas in the province of Mahajanga to the capital city and overseas, focusing on children's roles within households and kinship networks and exploring how children's movements between households fit into wider patterns of exchange, reciprocity, and hierarchy. She also explored the innovative ways in which individuals enacted, negotiated, and transformed kinship ties in response to the socioeconomic demands of life in the region and considered the ways in which kinship, as moral practice, reflected and reproduced the principles of community. To answer questions of identity, she addressed patterns of child rearing, residence, and burial in relation to the meanings, uses, and practices of kinship and focused on the processes of incorporation and exclusion that created ties to kin and ancestors over a lifetime. Living with a Sakalava ruler, Gould also explored the ways in which metaphors of kinship in royal politics structured relations between subjects, rulers, and royal ancestors in a polyethnic setting.
Lindsay, Ian C., U. of California, Santa Barbara, CA - To aid research on 'Late Bronze Age Power Dynamics in the Armenian Highlands: A Community Perspective on Political Landscape, ' supervised by Dr. Stuart T. Smith
IAN C. LINDSAY, then a student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, California, received funding in July 2004 to aid research on 'Late Bronze Age Power Dynamics in the Armenian Highlands: A Community Perspective on Political Landscape,' supervised by Dr. Stuart T. Smith. The grant was used to fund the sourcing analysis of archaeological ceramics and several clay sources as a means for tracing the origin and circulation of Late Bronze Age pottery in northwestern Armenia, contributing to dissertation research on political and economic transformations in the south Caucasus during the mid-second millennium B.C. The project employed instrumental neutron activation analysis and petrographic analysis to determine the clay sources of 200 sherd samples from a Late Bronze Age fortress lower town located in the Tsaghkahovit Plain, northwestern Armenia, and to compare them with sources of ceramics from the fortress citadel. Neutron activation data from clay beds located within the Tsaghkahovit Plain and in the neighboring Shirak Plain, Pambak River Valley, and Aparan Valley were used as a baseline to establish the sources and circulation patterns of local and non-local ceramics recovered from elite and non-elite contexts of a single fortress system. Preliminary neutron activation results were supported by the results of petrographic analysis, both of which provide strong evidence that ceramics from both elite (fortress citadel) and non-elite (lower town) contexts were made from clay derived locally within the Tsaghkahovit Plain. These data suggest a remarkable level of economic insularity after nearly a millennium of nomadic pastoralism during the previous Middle Bronze Age period (c.2200-1500 B.C.). These important shifts seem to reflect that, with the construction of stone cyclopean fortresses beginning in the Late Bronze Age, the emergence of the region's first sustained political institutions necessitated the production of new spaces to legitimize and map the new socioeconomic order.
Bekelman, Traci Allison, U. of Colorado, Boulder, CO - To aid research on 'Using the Protein Leverage Hypothesis to Understand Socioeconomic Variation in Diet and Body Size,' supervised by Dr. Darna Dufour
Preliminary abstract: The primary objective of the proposed research is to provide insights into the factors responsible for the larger body size of urban Latin American women of low- versus high-socioeconomic status (SES). To accomplish this we intend to focus on dietary factors, of which surprisingly little is known, and specifically to test hypotheses derived from the Protein Leverage Hypothesis, a theoretical model developed by Simpson and Raubenheimer. Guided by the Protein Leverage Hypothesis, this study will test an explanation for the inverse relationship between SES and body size: limited access to dietary protein in low-SES women leads to a lower proportion of protein in the diet which, in turn, drives higher energy intake. To accomplish the research objective, anthropometry and weighed food records will be collected from 134 urban women in low- and high-SES neighborhoods in San José, Costa Rica. We will also examine perceived economic barriers to protein access using structured interviews and the strategies women use to overcome those barriers using a Geographic Information System (GIS). This research will generate new knowledge about how biology, culture and the physical and social environments interact to influence energy intake and body size.
Raviele, Maria Elena, Michigan State U., East Lansing, MI - To aid research on 'Evaluation of Maize Phytolith Taphonomy and Density Through Experimental and Archaeological Residue Analysis,' supervised by Dr. William A. Lovis
MARIA ELENA RAVIELE, then a student at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, received funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'Evaluation of Maize Phytolith Taphonomy and Density through Experimental and Archaeological Residue Analysis,' supervised by Dr. Willaim A. Lovis. The goal of this study was twofold: first, to determine if quantification of maize phytoliths, based on density was feasible; and second, to apply those experimental results to archaeological ceramic residues derived from sites located within the Saginaw River Valley of Michigan. Quantification of maize phytoliths was determined through experimental residues utilizing different forms of maize: ground flour, dried whole kernel, dried cracked kernel, green kernel, whole green cob. The experimental results determined that maize phytolith quantification was not possible due to differential inclusion of phytoliths based on the form of maize used. It was found however, that the presence of maize starch and/or phytoliths could potentially indicate if green or dried maize was utilized; use of green maize was more likely to include the incorporation of phytoliths into a residue. The archaeological component resulted in the identification of maize starch and phytoliths from ceramic residues dating to an earlier time period than prior dates on macrobotanical remains. Results from AMS dates are pending but utilizing local ceramic chronology, it appears maize was incorporated at some level by AD 300. In addition to the identification of maize, starch and phytoliths from other economic plants, including aquatic tubers, were identified.
Francis, Michael, U. of Natal, Durban, South Africa - To aid research 'On the Borders of the Zulu Nation: Multiple Identities among Zulu of San Ancestry,' supervised by Dr. Keyan Tomaselli
MICHAEL FRANCIS, then a student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa, received funding in 2004 to aid ethnographic research into the people of the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa that trace Zulu and San/Bushmen ancestry, supervised by Dr. Keyan Tomaselli. Francis found that as these people attempt to reclaim rights lost through colonization, assimilation, and Apartheid, they are creating new rituals and attaching new significance to rock art sites. He also found that the contemporary ethnography of the Drakensberg peoples can aid interpretations of the rock art and also challenges established hegemonies of interpretation. The research also challenges the ethnic/cultural distinctions that are assumed to be salient between peoples of South Africa and adds to the 'Kalahari debate' by questioning notions of an either or situation of assimilation or subordination. The ethnohistorical record indicates a much more complex web of relations existed historically than is related in the dominant academic discourses. The extent to which these people will be recognized as aboriginal remains to be seen, and currently they are creating social and political links with San organizations with the hopes of future gains and political recognition of their rights and identity.
Welton, Megan Lynn, U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Mobility and Social Organization in Early Bronze Age Anatolia: Isotopic Analysis of Remains from Ikiztepe,' supervised by Dr. Timothy P. Harrison
MEGAN LYNN WELTON, then a student at University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, was granted funding in April 2008 to aid research on 'Mobility and Social Organization in Early Bronze Age Anatolia: Isotopic Analysis of Remains from Ikiztepe,' supervised by Dr. Timothy P. Harrison. This research utilizes strontium and oxygen isotope analysis of human remains from a large Early Bronze Age cemetery at Ikiztepe in northern Turkey in combination with spatial and biodistance analysis and various dating techniques to identify potential immigrants to the site and to examine larger issues of residential mobility and social organization. Chronological issues were addressed through fluoride and AMS radiocarbon dating of the skeletal remains, creating an absolute and relative chronology for the burials. The results indicate that the cemetery dates a millennium earlier than previously supposed. Strontium and oxygen isotope analyses allowed the identification of individuals whose bone chemistry suggests they were possible long distance immigrants to the site, as well as suggesting the existence of a group of mobile individuals who may represent a transhumant segment of the Ikiztepe population. Immigrant individuals and nomadic or semi-nomadic segments of the population do not appear to have been distinguished in any observable way from their sedentary local counterparts, displaying similar burial types, grave goods and spatial locations. The results suggest that assumptions about funerary practices as important indicators of cultural identity and lineage affiliation may represent an over-simplification of complex patterns of interaction and integration among and within populations.
Kocamaner, Hikmet, U. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'Governing the Family through Television: Neoliberalism, Islamic Television Broadcasting, and the Family in Contemporary Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Brian Silverstein
HIKMET KOCAMANER, then a student at University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, received funding in April 2011 to aid research on 'Governing the Family through Islamic Television: Neoliberalism, Islamic Broadcasting, and the Family in Contemporary Turkey,' supervised by Dr. Brian Silverstein. Turkey has witnessed a proliferation of Islamic television channels since the liberalization of television broadcasting in the 1990s. Initially, these Islamic TV channels produced shows in which divinity professors and men of religion educated viewers in the culture of scriptural Islam. Recently, however, most of these channels have started producing what they call 'morally and socially appropriate' entertainment programs to provide a safe haven for the Turkish family in what they deem to be a degenerate media scene. An overview of the programs aired on these Islamic channels reveals that the family -- more than the ritualistic and scriptural aspects of Islam -- has become their main focus. This project examines the relationship between the increasing prominence placed by Islamic television channels on the family and changing constellations of religion and secularism as well as emerging forms of governance in contemporary Turkey. Through an ethnographic investigation of media professionals involved in Islamic television production, viewers of Islamic television stations, and state institutions and officials taking part in the regulation of broadcasting in Turkey, this dissertation explores how Islamic television channels in Turkey establish the family as the generator of a neoliberal idea of citizenship and of a modern yet Islamically appropriate lifestyle.
Aga, Aniket Pankaj, Yale U., New Haven, CT - To aid research on 'Genetically Modified Politics: Transgenic Agriculture, Contested Knowledge, and Democratic Practice in India,' supervised by Dr. K. Sivaramakrishnan
Preliminary abstract: At the intersection of democracy at work and science in action, I will follow the life of a specific public policy controversy in Indian agriculture - whether to allow the commercial release of genetically modified (GM) or transgenic food crops - that may well transform agriculture and food irreversibly. India is one of the most important countries for the global transgenics debate: It has one of the largest populations of small farmers in the world who may adopt transgenic food crops. Empirically, my research will trace the controversy over GM vegetables from corporate seed laboratories to the farm through government offices and anti-GM NGOs. It will examine how dynamic processes, such as farmers choosing seeds, capital making investments, activists making claims, and bureaucratic regulation, enable and transform democratic politics. I will focus on how decision-making, across levels and sectors of government and society, meshes with political and scientific contingencies to produce policy outcomes which affect national anxieties and local lives. Thus, my study foregrounds uncertainty in order to trace decision-making, structured by contentious sciences, across the interlocking gears of the democratic machine. In this way, the study clarifies the relationship between science and politics in a democracy of the global South.