Hernandez Corchado, Rodolfo, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Mexican Indigenous Migrants in New York City: On the Cross of Inequality and Ethnic Stratification,' supervised by Dr. Michael Lawrence Blim
RODOLFO HERNANDEZ CORCHADO, then a student at City University of New York, Graduate Center, New York, New York, received a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'Mexican Indigenous Migrants in New York Ctiy: On the Cross of Inequality and Ethnic Stratification,' supervised by Dr. Michael L. Blim. For this research observation, informal and formal interviews, and oral life stories were conducted in New York City with indigenous Mixtecos and Mestizos migrants from the Montana region in Mexico. Evidence was gathered in three different New York City neighborhoods, where a majority of Guerrerenses have settled, and are now being incorporated into the labor process mainly as undocumented workers. In these places they have begun to create their own religious, communitarian, and recreational institutions for collective organization. As part of this research, more than 150 formal interviews were conducted to create life stories and examine the different process of labor and migrant incorporation that exists within a segment of the Mexican migrant stream that is previously differentiated in terms of ethnicity and class.
Zadnik, Laurel, U. of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada - To aid research on 'Converting to Mormonism in Madang, Papua New Guinea: Self, Kinship, and Community,' supervised by Dr. Sandra C. Bamford
LAUREL ZADNIK, then a student at the University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, received funding in August 2004 to aid research on 'Converting to Mormonism in Madang, Papua New Guinea: Self, Kinship, and Community,' supervised by Dr. Sandra C. Bamford. Field research was carried out from October 2004 to October 2005 and explored the sociocultural implications of the growth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (commonly known as the Mormon or 'LDS' Church) in Papua New Guinea. The project focused on the multiple ways that LDS Church members in Papua New Guinea have altered their discourses and practices of self, kinship and community. The data collected from this project will be used to contribute to debates on religious conversion processes, as well as 'modernity' and globalization issues.
Matza, Alexis R., U. of Iowa, Iowa City, IA - To aid research on 'The Medicalization of Masculinity: Comparing Testosterone Therapy in the Aging Male and Transgender Populations,' supervised by Dr. Ellen Lewin
ALEXIS R. MATZA, then a student at University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, was awarded a grant in May 2005 to aid research on 'The Medicalization of Masculinity: Comparing Testosterone Therapy in the Aging Male and Transgender Populations,' supervised by Dr. Ellen Lewin. While all healthy male and female bodies produce testosterone, in North America testosterone is thought to be the substance that makes men masculine. Testosterone therapy, the use of synthetic testosterone as a hormone replacement therapy, at once establishes, maintains, and enforces a coherently embodied gender. Testosterone is at once a symbol of cultural notions of masculinity and a commodity, a metaphor and an object. This research analyzed multiple discourses of testosterone and disparate usages of testosterone therapy in two intriguingly divergent populations in North America. Aging men (ages 40-70) and transgender men (male-identified, though not born biological men), illuminate the extent to which masculinity is a cultural construction, influenced by culture, biology, and technology. This project explores how masculinity is pursued, not just through the accumulation of culturally sanctified behaviors, but also through technological modifications of the body. The findings of this project include the realization that ordinary men, subject at once to their individual desires and society's hegemonic demands of appropriate masculinity, do not always conform to stereotypes of appropriate masculinity. In addition, this project found that both transgender and non-transgender aging men use gendered performance as a type of mask, a phenomenon that the grantee calls Maskulinity.
Cho, Sumi, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Multiculturalism, Okinawan Popular Culture and the Politics of Ethnicity in Osaka, Japan,' supervised by Dr. Jennifer E. Robertson
SUMI CHO, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding in May 2007 to aid research on 'Multiculturalism, Okinawan Popular Culture, and the Politics of Ethnicity in Osaka, Japan,' supervised by Dr. Jennifer E. Robertson. The project explored how the recent Okinawa Boom and multiculturalist trend influenced the practices of Okinawan popular music and dance in mainland Japan. For decades, Okinawan music and dance were shunned in Osaka, performed only by Okinawans, and only in private to avoid ethnic stigmatization (except for a few instances of cultural resistance against the dominant ideology of Japanese ethnic and cultural homogeneity). Now Okinawan music and dance genres are becoming increasingly an object of cultural appropriation by Japanese -- to watch, listen to, learn, and perform themselves. While such popularity among Japanese is publicly regarded as a welcome sign of recognition of Okinawan culture, some perceive Japanese appropriation of Okinawan music and dance as another form of Japan's cultural domination -- a threat to the authenticity of Okinawan music and dance, and to authenticity of Okinawan identity itself. However, the divisions between seemingly opposite aspects of Okinawan popular culture are neither clear-cut in practice, nor do they necessarily follow the ethnic lines between participants. As individuals with diverse interests intermingled through Okinawan dance and music performances, they created complex consequences to notions and practices of Okinawan music and dance, and by extension, to attitudes towards the politics of ethnicity in Japan.
Ha, Guangtian, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Reshaping Governance in a Liberalizing China: A Study of the Ethnically Unmarked Chinese Hui Muslims,' supervised by Dr. Myron L. Cohen
GUANGTIAN HA, then a student at Columbia University, New York, New York, received funding in May 2010 to aid research on 'Reshaping Governance in a Liberalizing China: A Study of the Ethnically Unmarked Chinese Hui Muslims,' supervised by Dr. Myron L. Cohen. In contrast to the admiration the Chinese government often receives from the world for its impressive economic achievement, its treatment of religion and ethnic minorities has come under incessant attack from around the globe in the name of human rights protection. This research studies a particular minority group in China that is situated between religion and ethnicity. The Hui are ethnically unmarked (physically and, to a large extent, culturally indistinguishable from the majority Han) and stand in a disputed relation to Islam (some Hui find their identity defined solely by their Muslim identity, while others vociferously reject this religious definition and insist on a secular ethno-nationalist one). This research is based upon two years of fieldwork in Zhengzhou, Henan Province, and Yinchuan, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. The research addresses how the separation between the religious and the secular socio-ethnic affairs is discursively constructed by a series of governmental regulations on religion and ethnicity and how this separation affects the ordinary Hui. It also analyzes the history and the current forms of the United Front (the major strategy deployed by the Communist Party to cope with religion and ethnic minority in contemporary China), the intricate ways this strategy works either for or against the logic of governance formulated more openly by the State Council, and how this strategy produces internal conflicts within the Hui, producing peculiar forms of subjectivity on the side of the Hui officials. The research examines the complex history of Hui-Han interaction, especially the debate on Hui ethnicity in the Republican period, how this history is inscribed on the body of the Hui, etched into its depth, and how this history puts the newly converted Han Muslim in a paradoxical situation. And, finally, it addresses Chinese intellectual and scholarly discourses on the politics of ethnic minority, especially those that draw an analogy between neo-Confucianism and US liberal constitutionalism as the framework for multi-culturalism.
Webb, Sarah Jayne, U. of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia - To aid research on 'Materials Reformed, Materials of Reform: Value and Forest Product Trade on Palawan Island, the Philippines,' supervised by Dr. Wolfram Dressler
SARAH J. WEBB, then a student at University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, received a grant in April 2011 to aid research on 'Materials Reformed, Materials of Reform: Value and Forest Product Trade on Palawan Island, the Philippines,' supervised by Dr. Wolfram H. Dressler. This project traces how values of Palawan forest honey are produced through socio-economic relations between Tagbanua harvesters, middle traders, civil society, and, the state. Value-adding such non-timber forest products (NTFPs) is heralded as a market-based solution to sustainable forest use. The grantee's multi-sited ethnography highlights the need to consider the specificities and complexities of how value is made through everyday exchanges. Rather than relying on linear production-to-consumption models dominating forest product valuations, this study uses a commodityscape approach. Well established in anthropological studies of globalization, the approach suggests commodity values are contextually created within the networks of people, places, ideas, and, things through which products circulate. Data from participant observation, workshops, interviews, and, surveys were collated with secondary sources to document how a product with a relatively localised market is embedded within national, regional, and global value-making networks. This study contributes an analysis of how marginalizations of Tagbanua families from broader meanings made about honey value, and the romanticisms of forest-livelihoods which make it valuable are not abnormalities external to processes of 'value-adding,' which can be technically amended, but cultural politics endogenous to the creation and communication of value.
Listman, Jennifer Beth, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Genetic Marker Bias Effects on Inferences of Human Evolutionary History,' supervised by Dr. Todd Richard Disotell
JENNIFER LISTMAN, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, was awarded funding in October 2006 to aid research on 'Genetic Marker Bias Effects on Inferences of Human Evolutionary History,' supervised by Dr. Todd Disotell. Saliva samples were collected from individuals from five ethnic minorities (Akha, Lisu, Lahu, Hmong, and Karen), commonly referred to as Hill Tribes, residing in Northern Thailand. DNA from these samples -- as well as from European American, African American, Thai, and Chinese populations, which were already available -- was used to collect population genetic data based on 32 unlinked autosomal microsatellite markers. Evaluation of these data describe genetic variation within and between these populations and show that the amount and type of information provided by microsatellite markers is, in part, related to the histories of the populations under study. The results demonstrate a lack of Asian intracontinental genetic homogeneity detectable with relatively few markers. The results indicate that forensic panels -- which consist of tetranucleotide markers, possibly due to homoplasy -- are not reliable for phylogenetic analysis of human populations. Hmong were found to be the most genetically distinct of the Hill Tribes and are the most linguistically distinct of all the Asian populations sampled as well as the most traditionally resistant to assimilation. Their linguistic and behavioral barriers are effectively influencing mating behavior and thus, genetic distance between Hmong and their neighbors.
Listman, J.B., R.T. Malison, K. Sanichwankul, et al. 2010. Southeast Asian Origins of Five Hill Tribe Populations and Correlation of Genetic to Linguistic Relationships Inferred with Genome-wide SNP Data. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 144(2):300-308.
Budden, Ashwin, U. of California - San Diego, La Jolla, CA - To aid research on 'Remaking Illness, Class, and Cultural Selves in Brazilian Ecstatic Religions,' supervised by Dr. Steven M. Parish
ASHWIN BUDDEN, then a student at University of California - San Diego, La Jolla, California, was awarded funding in January 2005 to aid research on 'Remaking Illness, Class, and Cultural Selves in Brazilian Ecstatic Religions,' supervised by Dr. Steven M. Parish. This dissertation research investigates how Brazilians of different social classes participate in and use charismatic and spirit mediumship religions as therapeutic modalities and how, consequentially, moral knowing and moral selves are cultivated in the context of Brazil's medical and religious pluralism. Ethnographic fieldwork, using intensive participant-observation, semi-structured and person-centered interviews, and questionnaires, was carried out between February 2005 and July 2006 in the Amazonian city of Santarém. The primary venues for research were several Afro-spiritist terreiros, Kardec Spiritist centers, Pentecostal churches, and a community mental health clinic. The dissertation compares the cultural values and explanatory frames that are embedded in and intersect across these spiritual and secular institutions, their practices, and social class formations, which together comprise a medico-religious marketplace. It focuses specifically on how these values, in coordination with sensory and emotional experiences of distress, illness, and ritual, shape medical decision-making, social identities, and conceptions of moral selfhood. In these respects, this dissertation research will contribute to studies of religion, health, and modernity in Brazil, to an anthropology of urban Amazonia, and to theories of embodiment, suffering, and personhood within psychocultural and medical anthropology.
Poggiali, Lisa, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Testimony and Texting: Mobile Phone Technology and Emergent 'Publics' in Contemporary Kenya,' supervised by Dr. Sylvia Yanagisako
LISA POGGIALI, then a student at Stanford University, Stanford, California, received a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'Testimony and Texting: Mobile Phone Technology and Emergent 'Publics' in Contemporary Kenya,' supervised by Dr. Sylvia Yanagisako. Twelve months of ethnographic research in Nairobi, Kenya was undertaken with the following populations: developers in the 'Information and Communications Technologies ('ITC') community; residents of the informal settlement of Mathare, who were trained in digital cartography skills by a NGO that aimed to map the neighborhood; and governmental and non-governmental figures who engaged with digital mapping and/or urban planning in Nairobi's informal settlements. Both the epistemological underpinnings of the technical work of writing code and designing software, and the social and political effects of the technology in non-technical settings was examined and analyzed. Significant findings include the following: 1) technical activities such as writing code and designing software are culturally situated practices connected to local understandings of political patronage and corruption, labor markets, and consumption patterns, despite the fact that developers often described their work as 'value-free;' and 2) concepts such as 'transparency' and 'accountability' were regularly mobilized by disparate groups of informants to explain the benefits of digital mapping, but the meaning of these terms was dependent upon the identity of the speaker and the discursive context. This resulted in different understandings of the underlying ethics and politics at stake in digital mapping projects, and different barometers for measuring the 'success' of related projects.