Zlolniski, Dr. Christian, U. of Texas, Arlington, TX - To aid research on 'The Global Fresh-Produce Industry and the Settlement of Indigenous Workers in Baja California'
DR. CHRISTIAN ZLOLNISKI, University of Texas, Arlington, Texas, received funding in April 2008 to conduct research in the San Quintin Valley in Baja California, Mexico. His study examines how the growth of the export-oriented fresh-produce industry has affected the employment opportunities and labor migration patterns of indigenous farm laborers who come from southern Mexico. He conducted participant observation and household interviews with Mixtec, Triqui, and Zapotec workers and families. Preliminary results show that these families have improved their living conditions, have longer seasons of employment, and more stable income from agricultural jobs. Child labor has declined, while health, sanitary, and safety conditions have improved as a result of demanding regulations to export fresh produce. Yet, wages and employment benefits have not kept up with the growing productivity in agriculture, which have increased substantially due to new technologies such as greenhouse production. In contrast to the expectations of this neoliberal model of economic development, adult members are migrating to the United States to help offset the costs of settlement and housing. Perhaps the most damaging effect, however, has been a sharp decline in the quality and quantity of water resources fueled by the intensification of export agriculture and overexploitation of underground water resources, causing water insecurity, social unrest, and political protests in the Valley.
Nadasdy, Dr. Paul, U. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI - To aid research on 'A Cultural Analysis of Kluane First Nation Land Claim Negotiations, Canada'
DR. PAUL NADASDY, of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, was awarded a grant in May 2003 to aid research on 'A Cultural Analysis of Kluane First Nation Land Claim Negotiations.' Paul Nadasdy completed one year of fieldwork in the southwest Yukon, where he explored the sociocultural dimensions of the negotiation/implementation of land and self-government agreements recently signed by Canada, the Yukon Territory, and the Kluane First Nation (KFN). Building upon past experiences observing and participating in KFN's negotiations, Nadasdy worked in KFN's Land Claims office and observed KFN's transition from an Indian Act band into a fully self-governing First Nation. He participated in several intergovernmental processes, including a formal nine-year review of the existing land and self-government agreements in the Yukon. Much of the talk at this review was necessarily interpretive, as the parties sought to characterize what they thought negotiators had originally intended (to determine whether the agreements have lived up to those intentions), thus providing Nadasdy with an important window into the meanings different parties assigned to provisions of the agreements. Nadasdy also conducted extensive research in KFN's Land Claims office and in the Yukon Archives. These repositories contain a wealth of documents on land claim negotiations in the Yukon. Analyzing them has enabled him to better understand the impact specific historical events had upon negotiations. In addition, Nadasdy conducted interviews with key negotiators and implementation officials from all three governments. The interviews not only helped him understand officials' various understandings of the agreements, but provided him with an understanding of the social relations, values, and practices in which they are enmeshed and which necessarily inform and constrain the positions they can take at the table. Finally, while Nadasdy was in the field, his graduate research assistant finished transcribing approximately 70 tapes of Kluane First Nation's land claim negotiations. These provide him with a verbatim account of KFN's land claim negotiations between 1994 and 1998.
Nadasdy, Paul. 2005. Transcending the Debate over the Ecologically Noble Indian: Indigenous Peoples and Environmentalism. Ethnohistory 52(2):291-331.
Nadasdy, Paul. 2007. The Gift in the Animal: The Ontology of Hunting and Human-Animal Sociality.American Ethnologist 34(1):25-43.
Nadasdy, Paul. 2012. Boundaries among Kin: Sovereignty, the Modern Treaty Process, and the Rise of Ethno-Territorial Nationalism among Yukon First Nations. Comparative Studies in Society and History 54(3);499-532.
Gurung, Hari B., U. of Georgia, Athens, GA - To aid research on 'Environmental Perception, Cognition, Concern and Behavior: An Anthropological Inquiry into Everyday American Environmentalism,' supervised by Dr. Robert E. Rhoades
HARI B. GURUNG, while a student at the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia received funding in June 2003 to aid research on 'Environmental perception, cognition, concern, and behavior: An anthropological inquiry into everyday American environmentalism,' under the supervision of Dr. Robert E. Rhoades. Anthropology has seldom studied everyday environmentalism in contemporary post-industrial societies, such as the United States. This research studied differences in environmental perception, concern, and behavior, and correlation between concern and behaviors in Clarke, Laurens, and Bibb counties in Georgia as defined by a set of sociocultural variables. The variables comprised level of activism (laypersons, activist environmentalists, and non-activist environmentalists and science/environmental professionals), ethnicity, gender, age, education, income, years lived in county, political orientation, perceived nature of nature (benign, perverse/tolerant, capricious, and ephemeral), perceived human-nature relationships (orientalism/anthropocentrism, paternalism, and communalism), social network, perceived environmental problem (presence/absence), belief in science, personal competence, and social orientation (individualistic, egalitarian). Analyses indicated level of activism and gender differences in ecosystem, environmental state, and environmental protection orientations. Consumptive, aesthetic, and ecological were the primary environmental values held by the sample. Although environmental concern and behaviors varied significantly by level of activism, the sample expressed general environmental concern. Concern expressed and behaviors reported were invariant in the layperson sample. However, correlation between concern and behaviors was weak. Public policies to enhance public environmental knowledge are important to reduce discrepancy between concern and action. Future research into discrepancy in a social dilemma and cognitive dissonance theoretical framework is suggested. Contrary to the much publicized anti-ecological Christian ethics, research participants invoked their Christian belief positively to express environmental beliefs, values, and concern. Religion has received little attention in environmental research. Future research should examine its potentiality as an institution and a medium to achieve environmental sustainability and human survivability.
Andrews, Dr. Tracy J., Central Washington U., Ellensburg, WA - To aid research on 'Culture, Health, and Childhood Illness: Hispanic Explanatory Frameworks and Treatment Behavior'
DR. TRACY J. ANDREWS, Central Washington University, Ellensburg, Washington, received funding in November 2004, to aid research on 'Culture, Health, and Childhood Illness: Hispanic Explanatory Frameworks and Treatment Behavior.' This project documents beliefs among 36 Hispanic migrant, immigrant, and settled families in central Washington State about the etiology, symptomology, and appropriate treatments for their young children's diarrheal illnesses. Similar information about childhood diarrheal illnesses was gathered from 12 care providers at several area biomedical facilities. The project was developed in cooperation with a large community/migrant health center and four other local programs serving Hispanic immigrant and migrant farm workers. The data was gathered through predominantly qualitative, open-ended interviews with the goals of understanding: 1) how ethnomedical beliefs about, and perceptions of, illness causation affect family treatment choices; 2) what other factors, including health care access and affordability, affect treatment choices; 3) biomedical care providers knowledge of patient use of folk healing and patient opinions about cause of diarrheal illness; and 4) intra-cultural variation in use of folk healing and biomedical treatment among the recent Mexican immigrants, migrant workers from California and Texas, and settled-out family participants in this study. The research data will contribute to assessing how the families' ethnomedical explanatory frameworks overlap, or are discordant with, biomedical models and treatment goals for childhood diarrheal diseases.
Polat, Bican, Johns Hopkins U., Baltimore, MD - To aid research on 'Assessing 'Attachment': A Multi-sited Ethnography of Psychological Conceptions of Emotional Bonding,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das
BICAN POLAT, then a student at John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, was awarded a grant in October 2009, to aid research on 'Assessing Attachment: An Anthropological Analysis of the Changing Scientific Practices of Infant Attachment,' supervised by Dr. Veena Das. This project explored the emergence and development of scientific conceptions, technologies, and practices used to study mother-infant relationship in early years of infancy. The research objective was to provide data and insight into the contextual character of scientific knowledge practices in attachment research, with an aim to laying bare the inbuilt frameworks and criteria upon which scientific judgments acquire traction. Through in-depth ethnographic research conducted over a year period, the grantee investigated the ways in which scientific ideas on infant attachment are operationalized in distinct scientific communities allowing their cross-disciplinary, cross-regional, and cross-species dissemination. The project followed the varied instantiations of the attachment construct through distinct field sites such as two neurobiology laboratories in New York City, which studied the biological determinants of attachment through animal models, and a psychology laboratory in Ankara, Turkey, which conducted research on cross-cultural variations of infant attachment. The ethnographic fieldwork considered the daily practices of scientists and researchers as they develop measures and protocols, conduct experiments, and generate criteria on aspects of what they defined as 'attachment.'
Howes-Mischel, Rebecca Ella, New York U., New York, NY - To aid research on 'Gestating Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Personhood in Discursive Prenatal Practices in Oaxaca and Los Angeles,' supervised by Dr. Rayna Rapp
REBECCA E. HOWES-MISCHEL, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received an award in May 2007 to aid research on 'Gestating Subjects: Gender, Citizenship, and Personhood in Discursive Prenatal Practices in Oaxaca and Los Angeles,' supervised by Dr. Rayna Rapp. Outlining the connections between rural Oaxaca and urban, southern California with research on a indigenous community that is simultaneously and intensely local and transnational, this dissertation analyzes the intimate and public domains of knowledge mobilized in the production of reproductive selves. Drawing together these micro and macro-level lenses, it offers a framework for analyzing the biomedical models that circulate within clinical, community, and transnational narratives-illustrating how the social valences of medical practice are integrated into the production of social actors across multiple contexts as they in turn are shaped by national and international discourses. Moving between hospital and community-based ethnography, this dissertation analyzes: 1) how subjects are produced through biomedical encounters (including subsequent talk generated about these encounters); 2) how populations (as ideational categories) are formed in the nexus of national health policies and women's bodily practices; and 3) how research might approach the practices of modern self-making across a transborder indigenous community. It looks at the 'spaces in-between,' where women create syncretic notions of personhood and incorporate 'traditional' practices into neoliberal health models. This project uses reproduction as a lens into larger projects of subjectification via complicated and value-laden frameworks for 'good' mothering at the individual, community and transnational level.
Buchbinder, Mara Helene, U. of California, Los Angeles, CA - To aid research on 'Communication and Subjectivity among Adolescent Chronic Pain Sufferers in Los Angeles,' supervised by Dr. Elinor Ruth Ochs
MARA BUCHBINDER, then a student at University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, received funding in May 2008 to aid research on 'Communication and Subjectivity among Adolescent Chronic Pain Sufferers in Los Angeles,' supervised by Dr. Elinor Ochs. This ethnographic and linguistic study examines how care for adolescents with chronic pain is organized across clinical and family settings. During 2008-2009, fieldwork was conducted in a university-based multidisciplinary pediatric pain program in southern California. Data include open-ended interviews with 22 families and 30 pediatric pain clinicians; observations of medical consultations in the pain clinic and of the pain team's weekly meetings; and longitudinal video-recordings of four focal families in a range of clinical and community settings. The grantee documented: 1) how families implement care and respond to adolescents' suffering in their everyday lives; 2) how the multidisciplinary clinical team instantiates collaborative care for adolescent patients; and 3) how the team socializes adolescents and their families into institutionally organized ideologies and practices concerning pain management. By combining interview and observational data, the research considers not only narrativized responses to pain, but also the ways in which such responses and their corresponding logics of care are enacted and transformed in unfolding social interactions.
Buchbinder, Mara. 2011. Personhood Diagnostics: Personal Attributes and Clnical Explanations of Pain. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 25(4):457-478.
Sadre-Orafai, Stephanie Neda, New York U., New York, NY- To aid research on 'Producing Racial and Ethnic Types: Language, Perception & Embodied Differences in New York's Fashion Industry,' supervised by Dr. Bambi B. Schieffelin
STEPHANIE SADRE-ORAFAI, then a student at New York University, New York, New York, received funding in June 2006 to aid research on 'Producing Racial and Ethnic Types: Language, Perception, and Embodied Differences in the New York Fashion Industry,' supervised by Dr. Bambi Schieffelin. The project explores the production of commercial racial iconography through an analysis of the model-casting process in the New York fashion industry. Identifying casting interactions as interrelated and co-constructed productions of media, persons, perceptual experiences, and categories of difference, the researcher examined the visual technologies, linguistic techniques, and embodied practices used by casting professionals and models to create, delimit, and blur commercial categories and types. Drawn from interviews, ethnographic research, and recordings at a leading New York casting agency, a high fashion women's modeling agency, and an international photo production company, the research provides a unique insight on the production of people as media by highlighting the ways in which the casting professionals and models attend to and modulate taken-for-granted features of social interactions and performances. The dissertation will explore casting both as a situated practice within the New York fashion industry and as a metaphor for broader categorical thinking -- racial or otherwise -- in contemporary US.
Arumugam Karunithy, Jeyanithe, U. of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom - To aid research on 'Violence, Trauma, and the Transformation of Personhood/Identity: Sri Lankan Tamils Making Refugee Claims in Canada,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan Robert Spencer
JEYANITHE A. KARUNANITHY, then a student at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom, received a grant in December 2008 to aid research on 'Violence, Trauma and the Transformation of Personhood/Identity: Sri Lankan Tamils Making Refugee Claims in Canada,' supervised by Dr. Jonathan Robert Spencer Tamil refugees have spread to all corners of the world as a result of the three decades of civil war and political violence, exacerbated by a 1983 pogrom in Sri Lanka. Tamil refugee claimants have been experiencing tightened immigration control since 9/11, as they hope to find 'refuge' in Canada, their preferred destination. Under the circumstances of refugee and asylum dilemma, this study is designed to explore the paradox of institutional practices of state, refugee law and psychiatric practices (e.g., the discourse and diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), by focusing on its impact upon the process of transformation of personhood. The fieldwork was conducted in the Tamil neighborhoods in Toronto, involving forty in-depth interviews with a group of refugee claimants of Sri Lankan Tamil origin. The data collected on the claimants' experiences of Canadian asylum and strategies of their identity (re)construction will be used to analyze the politics of recollection (memory), interpretation and narrations of the event by using the oral-histories as narrated by asylum-seekers themselves. In other words, the detailed narratives of refugee claimants (which are difficult to narrate and sometimes violate cultural norms), will be analyzed to understand the ways in which the state's practices -- marked by heavy 'bureaucratization' and 'medicalization' -- trigger suffering of refugees who are at the social margins created by the conditions of 'illegality' and 'deportability.'