• Lessons from New New Journalism

      Burke, Brian; Leckman, Phil; Sturzen, Andrea; Van Vlack, Kathleen; Villanueva, Hecky; University of Arizona (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2006)
      Writing is critical to two main anthropological goals: to communicate useful knowledge about humanity and society; and to stimulate interest, discussion, and action on issues that are of societal import. To achieve these goals anthropologists must write in accessible styles for diverse audiences. In this paper, we review the work of five popular nonfiction writers to determine the extent to which their approachable writing styles are compatible with anthropological rigor and nuance. While none of these authors meets all of our hopes for anthropological analysis, each does manage to blend some elements of scholarship with a readable style. We therefore highlight some of their stylistic approaches in the hope that these might help anthropologists engage more effectively in public debate.
    • Arizona Anthropologist Number 17, Winter 2006

      Unknown author (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2006)
    • ¡Me Gusta Hip-Hop!: Evidence of Popular U.S. Culture Among Mexican Border Youth

      Hawkins, Brian; University of Arizona (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2006)
      This paper examines a fragment of the evident cultural exthange occurring along the U.S. — Mexico border in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. Many Nogales youth are absorbing American popular culture through purchasing American popular culture commodities, such as music. The paper raises questions of how and why the Nogales youth purchase their pop culture commodities, and of the interpretations the Nogales youth make of said commodities' symbolic significance. After methodologies and context of the study are discussed, the paper defines popular culture and its relationship to commodity production. It then focuses on how the youth access their pop culture products and the factors that influence their buying decisions. At its end, the paper compares the interpretations of the Nogales youth with those of American youth in terms of pop culture goods.
    • Negotiating the Moral Politics of Transnational Motherhood: Conducting Ethnographic Research in Central America

      Goldade, Kate R. (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2006)
      In this narrative, the author reflects on the personal and ethical dilemmas she faces currently in the beginning stages of conducting dissertation research fieldwork, an aspect often glossed over by retrospective accounts. She is conducting ethnography of Nicaraguan labor migrant women working in Costa Rica's coffee agro-industry, with an emphasis on reproductive health and motherhood. In addition to her social position as a Western, advanced graduate student-researcher, Goldade is also a wife and mother, arriving in the field with her baby daughter just under 4 months of age. She grapples with the challenges of negotiating the moral politics of motherhood and ethnography, seeking collaboration among host country nationals and recruiting study participants, as well as the balancing act of working motherhood.
    • Editor's Introduction to Issue #17

      Villanueva, Hecky (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2006)
    • Trans-Cultural Bilingualism and Second Language Acquisition: Understanding the Sociolinguistic Effects of International Tourism on Host Communities

      Johnson, Eric; Arizona State University (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2006)
      This paper analyzes the nature of linguistic interactions between host communities and international tourists. The tourism-based context provides an excellent platform from which to describe the sociolinguistic influences that American tourists have had on Mexican communities. Specifically, the language use of local vendors in Puerto Peñasco/Rocky Point, Mexico, is described in terms of the various linguistic characteristics that constitute their particular dialect of English. Not only does this work emphasize the sociocultural foundation of language acquisition, it also illustrates the type of language that is learned in economically motivated situations. The results also emphasize how the growing ubiquity of (American) English in tourism contexts establishes distinct attitudes towards the United States and those who live there.
    • Agent-based models as behavioral laboratories for evolutionary anthropological research

      Premo, L. S.; Department of Human Evolution, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2006)
      Agent-based models can provide paleoanthropologists with a view of behavioral dynamics and site formation processes as they unfold in digital caricatures of past societies and paleoenvironments. This paper argues that the agent-based methodology has the most to offer when used to conduct controlled, repeatable experiments within the context of behavioral laboratories. To illustrate the potential of this decidedly heuristic approach, I provide a case study of a simple agent-based model currently being used to investigate the evolution of Plio-Pleistocene hominin food sharing in East Africa. The results of this null model demonstrate that certain levels of ecological patchiness can facilitate the evolution of even simple food sharing strategies among equally simple hominin foragers. More generally, they demonstrate the potential that agent-based models possess for helping historical scientists act as their own informants as to what could have happened in the past.
    • Language as Practice and Self-Dialogization: Examination of Language and Self in Ta'arof

      Abe, Satoshi; University of Arizona (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2006)
      The relationship between language and self has interested anthropologists for a long time. They have raised, for example, such questions as follows: Is language (i.e., a corpus of vocabulary words) the representation of one's worldview? Or is it language that affects one's worldview? In this study I attempt to examine the relationship between language and self from a different angle; a self dialogized in the process of language interactions. Although comprehension of language structure (such as grammatical rules) among interlocutors is crucial for communication, there are other elements that influence the ways the individuals communicate. My examination of the Iran language practice of ta'arof, hopefully contributes to an understanding of such elements. In ta'arof, Iranians communicate with one another by conveying what they do not mean to say. Examination of ta'arof allowed me to explore a dynamic mechanism in which a self is dialogized through language interaction. I studied this aspect by using research findings that gathered in Iran and the U.S.
    • Preface

      Olsen, John W.; University of Arizona (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2006)
    • The Arizona Anthropologist: History, Heritage, and Prospects

      Murphy, John T.; University of Arizona (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2005)
    • The Steel Dog in the Canadian Arctic: A Historical Case Study of Technological Change

      Pavri, Eric Hoshang; University of Arizona (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2005)
      During the "Snowmobile Revolution" of the late 1960s, the snowmobile largely supplanted the dog team as the main form of transport in the Canadian Arctic. This essay draws from historical and ethnograpphic sources to investigate practical advantages and disadvantages to adoption of the new technology, and then considers whether this episode of rapid technological change resulted in "cultural loss" in Arctic communities. While it is clear that widespread adoption of the snowmobile technological complex (machines, fuel, tools, skills, knowledge) caused significant changes in life in the Far North, it also appears that the meanings and values associated with traditional subsistence hunting were generally not lost, and in some cases were reinforced during this period of technological transition. Finally, drawing on various academic traditions such as the Social Construction of Technology school, ecological models of convergent cycles, postmodern critiques of modernization and development, and the appropriate technology movement, the essay then questions simplistic notions of cultural loss by considering the common evolution of culture and technology.
    • Person and Place in Preclassic Maya Community Ritual (400 BC - AD 300)

      Bachand, Bruce R.; Bachand, Holly Sullivan; University of Arizona; University of California, Berkeley (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2005)
      Preclassic Maya centers were vibrant stages of performance where communities gathered to reaffirm and redefine themselves. Ceremonial pyramids and plazas were tangible and powerful receptacles of past and present forms of community identity. Archaeological remains enable us to develop a multi-generational sketch of public ritual life in the Maya lowlands from 400 BC to AD 300. Transformations in public performance and community participation corresponded with a series of modifications to ceremonial precints. Public architecture in many communities became increasingly less accessible to a large audience of observers. The artistic imagery associated with these buildings also changed markedly - initially depicting zoomorphic or masked beings and ultimately culminating in the portraiture of real historic personages. Concomitant with these changes were pronounced innovations in ritual interment as certain community members began to be entombed in and around public architecture. Taken together, these features suggest Preclassic Maya communities altered their ritual practices to accommodate emerging social realities and inchoate political identities.
    • Arizona Anthropologist Number 16, Winter 2005

      Unknown author (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2005)
    • Computer Recycling: Networks and Possibilities for Expansion in Tucson, Arizona

      Perin, Jodi; Altrichter, Mariana; Cudney-Bueno, Richard; Gulick, Jennifer; Hershdorfer, Mary; University of Arizona (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2005)
      Sociological and anthropological studies have shown that while most individuals express concern with the state of the natural environment, this concern translates into pro-environmental behavior only in certain social contexts (Derksen and Gartrell 1993). With this in mind, our paper considers computer recycling in Tucson, Arizona by examining people's attitudes and knowledge level of computer recycling opportunities and investigating the current local institutions and networks that exist to recycle computers. In a broader sense, this helps to place electronic refuse such as old computers in the context of wider U.S. material culture and to consider the cultural implications of these objects. As a response to various citizens' initiatives to begin and expand computer-recycling programs in Tucson, Arizona, the authors conducted a study of computer recycling in this city, which was then presented to interested parties in December of 2001. This paper is adapted from our final report. Our results suggest that the demand for used computers within Tucson currently exceeds the supply, due largely to a lack of awareness of and incentives to participate in local computer recycling programs. However, we see possibilities for solidifying computer-recycling programs if communication barriers are surpassed.
    • Editor's Introduction to Issue #16

      Valado, Martha Trenna (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2005)
    • Timed Out: Temporal Struggles between the State and the Poor in the Context of U.S. Welfare Reform

      Coelho, Karen; University of Arizona (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2003)
      Welfare reform, in its attempts to order the lives of women on cash assistance, uses time as a means of controlling women. Single mothers living in poverty experience, perceive and use time in ways that the state welfare bureaucracy fails to recognize and/or refuses to work with. Poverty is anchored in a historical and cyclical dynamic based on low valuations of people's time, structured by race, class and gender. This essay shows how specific temporal sequences, orderings and flows are implicated in the etiology of poverty, forming cumulative feedback loops that challenge the linear trajectory of the welfare-to-work model. It argues that the welfare state bureaucracy practices a powerful politics of time, consisting in the imposition of forms of order and rigid temporal structures on the highly contingent and unpredictable lives of the poor. These temporal devices of control, rather than facilitating women's efforts to move from dependence to self-reliance, only exacerbate their struggles to manage the vagaries and irregularities of time in their lives. Time thus constitutes a locus of struggle in the welfare relationship, between women on welfare and the welfare agency.
    • Selective Remembrance: Narratives of Ethnic Reconfiguration and Spatial Displacement in the Life of Queho, 1880s-1940

      Carroll, Alex K.; University of Arizona (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2003)
      Social memories and collective representations act as vehicles for configuring, legitimizing, and sustaining particular constructs of knowledge and power in the world of lived relations, while simultaneously marginalizing or negating others. This paper explores constancy and change in popular and official histories of a Southern Paiute man who lived in southern Nevada from the 1880s-1940. Accused of killing between seven and thirty people between 1910 and 1940, Queho became the center of multiple historical accounts written over the course of one hundred years. This diachronic analysis highlights the continuous reconfiguration of Queho's ethnicity and place of origin followed by a discussion of the theoretical and practical implications of reconstructing these social memories.
    • Large Diameter Trees and the Political Culture of "Restoration": A Case Study with the Grand Canyon Forest Partnership, Flagstaff, Arizona

      Coughlan, Michael Reed; Northern Arizona University (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2003)
      The material presented in this paper resulted from ethnographic research conducted with the Grand Canyon Forest Partnership (GCFP) of Flagstaff, Arizona, in the fall of 2001, as well as continued attention to the public discourse of commercial timber harvesting, forest fire prevention, ecological restoration, and ecosystem management in Southwestern ponderosa pine (Pin us ponderosa) forests. In general terms, the paper reflects an increasing concern for and attention to the nation's forest lands, primarily in response to what forest experts consider unnatural forest fire behavior. These fires, in turn, constitute a symptom of declining health and sustainability of forest ecosystems. More specifically, this paper concerns the "large tree" or "diameter cap" issue involving Flagstaff area forest restoration prescriptions. Because the "large tree" issue is central to the debate over forest policy and management in the American Southwest and elsewhere, it has become a focal point for regional conflict. The story of this issue as it played out within the GCFP illustrates a local community-level example of what has become widespread in national environmental political culture.
    • Indian Trappers and the Hudson's Bay Company: Early Means of Negotiation in the Canadian Fur Trade

      Honeyman, Derek; University of Arizona (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2003)
      The fur trade and arrival of the Hudson's Bay Company had numerous effects on northern North American indigenous populations. One such group is the Gwich'in Indians in the northwestern portion of the Northwest Territories. Aside from disease and continued reliance on goods imported from the south, the fur trade disrupted previous economic relationships between indigenous groups. In some examples, the presence of the Hudson's Bay Company furthered tension between indigenous groups as each vied for the control of fur-rich regions and sole access to specific Company posts. However, due to the frontier nature of the Canadian north, the relations between fur trade companies and indigenous peoples was one of mutual accommodation. This was in stark contrast to other European-Indian relations. This paper examines how credit relations between the Hudson's Bay Company and the Gwich'in reveals a model of resistance.
    • Editor's Introduction to Issue #15

      West, Colin Thor (University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, 2003)