Clark, Terence N., U. of Toronto, Toronto, Canada - To aid research on 'Rewriting Marpole: The Path to Cultural Complexity in the Gulf of Georgia,' supervised by Dr. Gary Coupland
TERENCE N. CLARK, then a student at University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, was awarded a grant in April 2006 to aid research on 'Rewriting Marpole: The Path to Cultural Complexity in the Gulf of Georgia,' supervised by Dr. Gary Coupland. This grant funded museum based research at the Royal British Columbia Museum, the Burke Museum, the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser Museum of Archaeology as well as several smaller institutions. Original analysis of over 22000 artifacts from 48 site components was coupled with data acquisition of published and unpublished site reports and field notes of faunal, mortuary, household, language and art style. These data streams were then examined using Integrated Distance Analysis (IDA) which was successful in delineating prehistoric group identity within the milieu of the mobile hunter gatherer societies of the Northwest Coast.
Schiffer, Jeffrey Joseph, Columbia U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Everyday Work of Achieving and Reproducing Indigeneity: Cases from the Northwest Coast,' supervised by Dr. Herve Varenne
JEFFREY J. SCHIFFER, while a student at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York, was awarded a grant in December of 2010 to support ethnographic research on 'The Everyday Work of Achieving and Reproducing Indigeneity: Cases from the Northwest Coast,' supervised by Dr. Hervé Varenne. The one-year period of research comprised the primary phase of the grantee's dissertation research conducted in a large Aboriginal organization for child and family services in Vancouver, British Columbia -- the largest of its kind in Canada. In the midst of an organization providing child welfare and family support services to Aboriginal peoples from more than 100 communities across Canada, the grantee queried the process by which particular discourses, concepts, and practices are achieved and reproduced as indigenous in the diverse urban setting of Vancouver. Primarily by means of interviews, focus groups, and participation in ceremonies, feasts, special events, and daily activities within the organization, the grantee engaged his research participants in a collaborative exploration of the manner by which contemporary Aboriginal organizations for Aboriginal child and family have been and continue to be shaped by inherited colonial structures, histories of residential schooling, policies banning indigenous cultural practices, and attempted cultural genocide.
Hare, Elizabeth Maree, U. of California, Santa Cruz, CA - To aid research on 'Haunting the Future: Tracing the Production of Climate Forecast Models,' supervised by Dr. Andrew S. Mathews
Preliminary abstract: This project aims to further understanding of climate science through an ethnographic investigation of the development of a regional forecast model. I will conduct one year of fieldwork among an interdisciplinary network of climate scientists who are working to strengthen the validity of simulation models using high-resolution paleoecological data. This fieldwork will allow me to follow the process of developing a model, including both the material practices and the experiential and embodied knowledge that are necessary for successfully translating a landscape into computer code. This research will be attentive to political concerns as a part of the knowledge making process, rather than assume they are corruptive. The resulting ethnography will strengthen the claims of mainstream climate science by showing how it works to produce robust information through the interface of scientific objects, models, and political concern.
Makram-Ebeid, Dina Waguih, London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Steel Lives Under Neo-liberalism: Everyday Politics of Labour in Helwan, Egypt,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan P. Parry
DINA W. MAKRAM-EBEID, then a student at London School of Economics, London, United Kingdom, was awarded a grant in April 2009 to aid research on 'Steel Lives Under Neo-liberalism: Everyday Politics of Labor in Helwan, Egypt,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan P. Parry. This grant supported the second half of a research project focusing on steel workers in one of Egypt's oldest public-owned plants in Helwan governorate. The researcher conducted ethnographic fieldwork on two shop-floors inside the steel plant and among workers' community in the neighboring 'Company Town.' The ethnographic investigation highlighted how workers and their households incorporate the drastic changes in industrial policies, which occurred over the past two decades, into their everyday lives. The research findings suggest that the new work conditions in the plant and living conditions in the Company Town are creating new relations among various groups of workers and between workers and management. These new relations, for example, between young workers employed casually and old workers with stable contracts; production and maintenance workers, and workers and engineers, in turn, influence the work culture of the plant and the values that are (re-) produced among the community of workers. This research thus, encourages linking the analysis of wider changes in community relations and values to the shifting conditions of work worldwide.
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.
Robbins, Jessica Choate, U. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - To aid research on 'Making and Unnmaking Polish Persons: Aging and Memory in Postsocialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Gillian Feeley-Harnik
JESSICA C. ROBBINS, then a student at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, received funding in October 2007 to aid research on 'Making and Unnmaking Polish Persons: Aging and Memory in Postsocialist Poland,' supervised by Dr. Gillian Feeley-Harnik. This research investigated how experiences and ideals of aging relate to changing formations of nation and state through the study of contemporary practices of memory in Wroc?aw and Pozna?, Poland. This research sought to understand how older persons become transformed through practices of memory in personal, familial, and national contexts (e.g., telling life histories, creating photo albums and other material evidence, or following public debates on pension reform). To understand how current interpretations and ramifications of the last century's large-scale changes matter in the lives of aging Poles, and how the oldest generations matter to the Polish nation and state, this research consisted of an ethnographic study of aging Poles' gendered practices of reminiscence in a variety of social, political, religious, and economic contexts (e.g.,a church-run rehabilitation hospital, a state-run home for the chronically ill, a day care center for people with Alzheimer's disease, and Universities of the Third Age). This research demonstrated that experiences and ideals of aging are deeply gendered, and that older people's practices of memory are intimately bound up with transformations of persons, collective memory, and nationalisms, and tied to national practices of remembering Poland's past and creating the proper future path of state and nation.
Goebel, Alison Day, U. of Illinois, Urbana, IL - To aid research on 'Reconfiguring Middle-Class Whiteness: Global Capitalism, Race, and U.S. Small Cities,' supervised by Dr. Alejandro Lugo
ALISON D. GOEBEL, then a student at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, received funding in October 2007 to assist research on 'Reconfiguring Middle Class Whiteness: Global Capitalism, Race, and US Small Cities,' supervised by Dr. Alejandro Lugo. This ethnographic research investigated how middle class dominance and white racial privilege are being altered under global capitalism and the significance of urban space in these changes. The grantee conducted twelve months of fieldwork in Mansfield, Ohio -- a small, deindustrializing, multiracial, city in the United States -- and utilized discourse analysis to interpret data gathered through participant observation, fieldnotes of everyday talk, unstructured and semi-structured recorded interviews, mapping exercises, and archival research. This case study indicates that small city space brings inhabitants of a range of economic and racial backgrounds together in close residential, occupational, and social proximity. Residents' racial and class worldviews derive from this familiarity. However, ethnography analysis indicates that despite city-wide anxiety over constrained economic opportunities, middle class white Mansfielders are relatively insulated from the debilitating effects of economic restructuring. The grantee concluded that although structures of racial and class advantages have not significantly diminished in Mansfield, middle class whiteness constantly adjusts and recalibrates to changing economic political processes and social formations.
Whitten, Margarete Jean, City U. of New York, Graduate Center, New York, NY - To aid research on 'Decentralizing Compassion: Biomedical Politics of Ethics and Life in US Community Health,' supervised by Dr. Dana Ain Davis
Preliminary abstract: The Affordable Care Act is predicted to spur a decentralization of hospitals in the United States, stimulating the growth of localized community health centers and services to accommodate 32 million formerly uninsured people. In the absence of universal health care, how is the responsibility to care for vulnerable populations directed and organized? How has the connection between structural inequality and suffering in vulnerable populations been elided and reconstrued as incidental, blameless and random? How does an ethical commitment to compassion undermine or support the 'right' to access care? My research will address these questions by studying the work of community health nurses in Massachusetts, the state that has served as the model for national reform, to map expanding and increasingly localized networks of care that explicitly target vulnerable populations. I will investigate (1) how the increasing authority, autonomy, and scope of practice of community health nurses enable them to redefine the administration and justification of care; and (2) how nurses use new health information technologies to legitimize an expanded notion of care and to redefine their obligations and responsibilities as care providers. I will collect data through a combination of participant observation in three community health sites, an analysis of bureaucratic document production in the use of health information technologies and materials, and oral history with nurses who have worked in multiple clinical paradigms through generations of reform. I hypothesize that increasing the influence of community health nurses will enable an activation of professional caring ethics to reimagine the role of medicine to shape the quality of life of vulnerable populations in an unstable neoliberal moment.
Lau, Timm, Cambridge U., Cambridge, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'The Development of Moral Knowledge and Identity Formation in a Tibetan Community in Baijnath, India,' supervised by Dr. James A. Laidlaw
TIMM LAU, while a student at Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom, was awarded funding in March 2004 to aid research on 'The Development of Moral Knowledge and Identity Formation in a Tibetan Community in Baijnath, India,' supervised by Dr. James A. Laidlaw. This research, undertaken for the duration of 15 months from March 2004 until July 2005, set out to investigate the development of moral knowledge in a Tibetan settlement in North India, and its relationship to the formation of identity in this exile community. Ethnographically, it contributes to existing research in providing an in-depth description of Tibetan exiles in India, which includes interaction with the Indian host population. The most notable of these outside the Tibetan settlements is widespread itinerant trading in the Indian marketplace. Descriptions of Tibetan refugees' evaluations of Indians sheds light on issues of morality and identity: negative moral evaluations are often constructive of Tibetan identity through ascription of difference. They are also shown to be instrumental in dealing with contradictions in the lives of Tibetan refugees, which are largely shaped by Tibetan cultural preservation, but to some extent influenced by the pop-cultural sensibilities of their Indian host nation. Furthermore, the ethnography of the Tibetan emotional notions of harmony and shame establishes them as effective in moral development, through the construction of moral emotions, and also as instrumental in the construction of relationships within the family and the wider community.
Belmar Pantelis, Carolina Andrea, U. of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina - To aid research on 'Plant Exploitation amoung Steppe Hunter Gatherers: An Approach from Plant Microfossils, Baño Nuevo 1 Cave Site,' supervised by Dr. Cristian Favier Dubois
CAROLINA BELMAR PANTELIS, then a student at University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina, received a grant in May 2010 to aid research on 'Plant Exploitation among Steppe Hunter Gatherers: An Approach from Plant Microfossils, Baño Nuevo 1 Cave Site,' supervised by Dr. Cristian Favier Dubois. This project was oriented to study the plant remains at a Patagonian steppe hunter-gatherer site, Baño Nuevo (11,480-3000 AP, Aisén, Chile), which is a type of evidence not commonly used in hunter-gatherer investigations. In order to determine what plants are being exploited at Baño Nuevo, our studies focused on plant microfossils present in stone tool residues and fruits and seeds recovered from the Early, Middle and Late Holocene Occupations defined for the site. The archaeological seeds and fruits demonstrate the exploitation of local plants -- shrubs with edible fruits and herbaceaous plants -- that are recurrent during the three periods of occupation. Residue analysis show the use of a diverse set of stone tools for the procurement and/or processing of plant resources, indicating the multifunctionality of these instruments. There is also a constant in the plants that were identified for each occupation, which corresponds to local herbaceaous plants. Tus we were able to identify plant remains for th