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Introduction to Anthropology

19.4 Applied and Public Anthropology and Indigenous Peoples

Introduction to Anthropology19.4 Applied and Public Anthropology and Indigenous Peoples

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Table of contents
  1. Preface
  2. 1 What Is Anthropology?
    1. Introduction
    2. 1.1 The Study of Humanity, or "Anthropology Is Vast"
    3. 1.2 The Four-Field Approach: Four Approaches within the Guiding Narrative
    4. 1.3 Overcoming Ethnocentrism
    5. 1.4 Western Bias in Our Assumptions about Humanity
    6. 1.5 Holism, Anthropology’s Distinctive Approach
    7. 1.6 Cross-Cultural Comparison and Cultural Relativism
    8. 1.7 Reaching for an Insider’s Point of View
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary
    11. Critical Thinking Questions
    12. Bibliography
  3. 2 Methods: Cultural and Archaeological
    1. Introduction
    2. 2.1 Archaeological Research Methods
    3. 2.2 Conservation and Naturalism
    4. 2.3 Ethnography and Ethnology
    5. 2.4 Participant Observation and Interviewing
    6. 2.5 Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis
    7. 2.6 Collections
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary
    10. Critical Thinking Questions
    11. Bibliography
  4. 3 Culture Concept Theory: Theories of Cultural Change
    1. Introduction
    2. 3.1 The Homeyness of Culture
    3. 3.2 The Winkiness of Culture
    4. 3.3 The Elements of Culture
    5. 3.4 The Aggregates of Culture
    6. 3.5 Modes of Cultural Analysis
    7. 3.6 The Paradoxes of Culture
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary
    10. Critical Thinking Questions
    11. Bibliography
  5. 4 Biological Evolution and Early Human Evidence
    1. Introduction
    2. 4.1 What Is Biological Anthropology?
    3. 4.2 What’s in a Name? The Science of Taxonomy
    4. 4.3 It’s All in the Genes! The Foundation of Evolution
    5. 4.4 Evolution in Action: Past and Present
    6. 4.5 What Is a Primate?
    7. 4.6 Origin of and Classification of Primates
    8. 4.7 Our Ancient Past: The Earliest Hominins
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary
    11. Critical Thinking Questions
    12. Bibliography
  6. 5 The Genus Homo and the Emergence of Us
    1. Introduction
    2. 5.1 Defining the Genus Homo
    3. 5.2 Tools and Brains: Homo habilis, Homo ergaster, and Homo erectus
    4. 5.3 The Emergence of Us: The Archaic Homo
    5. 5.4 Tracking Genomes: Our Human Story Unfolds
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Critical Thinking Questions
    9. Bibliography
  7. 6 Language and Communication
    1. Introduction
    2. 6.1 The Emergence and Development of Language
    3. 6.2 Language and the Mind
    4. 6.3 Language, Community, and Culture
    5. 6.4 Performativity and Ritual
    6. 6.5 Language and Power
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Critical Thinking Questions
    10. Bibliography
  8. 7 Work, Life, and Value: Economic Anthropology
    1. Introduction
    2. 7.1 Economies: Two Ways to Study Them
    3. 7.2 Modes of Subsistence
    4. 7.3 Gathering and Hunting
    5. 7.4 Pastoralism
    6. 7.5 Plant Cultivation: Horticulture and Agriculture
    7. 7.6 Exchange, Value, and Consumption
    8. 7.7 Industrialism and Postmodernity
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary
    11. Critical Thinking Questions
    12. Bibliography
  9. 8 Authority, Decisions, and Power: Political Anthropology
    1. Introduction
    2. 8.1 Colonialism and the Categorization of Political Systems
    3. 8.2 Acephalous Societies: Bands and Tribes
    4. 8.3 Centralized Societies: Chiefdoms and States
    5. 8.4 Modern Nation-States
    6. 8.5 Resistance, Revolution, and Social Movements
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Critical Thinking Questions
    10. Bibliography
  10. 9 Social Inequalities
    1. Introduction
    2. 9.1 Theories of Inequity and Inequality
    3. 9.2 Systems of Inequality
    4. 9.3 Intersections of Inequality
    5. 9.4 Studying In: Addressing Inequities within Anthropology
    6. Key Terms
    7. Critical Thinking Questions
    8. Bibliography
  11. 10 The Global Impact of Human Migration
    1. Introduction
    2. 10.1 Peopling of the World
    3. 10.2 Early Global Movements and Cultural Hybridity
    4. 10.3 Peasantry and Urbanization
    5. 10.4 Inequality along the Margins
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Critical Thinking Questions
    9. Bibliography
  12. 11 Forming Family through Kinship
    1. Introduction
    2. 11.1 What Is Kinship?
    3. 11.2 Defining Family and Household
    4. 11.3 Reckoning Kinship across Cultures
    5. 11.4 Marriage and Families across Cultures
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Critical Thinking Questions
    9. Bibliography
  13. 12 Gender and Sexuality
    1. Introduction
    2. 12.1 Sex, Gender, and Sexuality in Anthropology
    3. 12.2 Performing Gender Categories
    4. 12.3 The Power of Gender: Patriarchy and Matriarchy
    5. 12.4 Sexuality and Queer Anthropology
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Critical Thinking Questions
    9. Bibliography
  14. 13 Religion and Culture
    1. Introduction
    2. 13.1 What Is Religion?
    3. 13.2 Symbolic and Sacred Space
    4. 13.3 Myth and Religious Doctrine
    5. 13.4 Rituals of Transition and Conformity
    6. 13.5 Other Forms of Religious Practice
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Critical Thinking Questions
    10. Bibliography
  15. 14 Anthropology of Food
    1. Introduction
    2. 14.1 Food as a Material Artifact
    3. 14.2 A Biocultural Approach to Food
    4. 14.3 Food and Cultural Identity
    5. 14.4 The Globalization of Food
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Critical Thinking Questions
    9. Bibliography
  16. 15 Anthropology of Media
    1. Introduction
    2. 15.1 Putting the Mass into Media
    3. 15.2 Putting Culture into Media Studies
    4. 15.3 Visual Anthropology and Ethnographic Film
    5. 15.4 Photography, Representation, and Memory
    6. 15.5 News Media, the Public Sphere, and Nationalism
    7. 15.6 Community, Development, and Broadcast Media
    8. 15.7 Broadcasting Modernity and National Identity
    9. 15.8 Digital Media, New Socialities
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary
    12. Critical Thinking Questions
    13. Bibliography
  17. 16 Art, Music, and Sport
    1. Introduction
    2. 16.1 Anthropology of the Arts
    3. 16.2 Anthropology of Music
    4. 16.3 An Anthropological View of Sport throughout Time
    5. 16.4 Anthropology, Representation, and Performance
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Critical Thinking Questions
    9. Bibliography
  18. 17 Medical Anthropology
    1. Introduction
    2. 17.1 What Is Medical Anthropology?
    3. 17.2 Ethnomedicine
    4. 17.3 Theories and Methods
    5. 17.4 Applied Medical Anthropology
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Critical Thinking Questions
    9. Bibliography
  19. 18 Human-Animal Relationship
    1. Introduction
    2. 18.1 Humans and Animals
    3. 18.2 Animals and Subsistence
    4. 18.3 Symbolism and Meaning of Animals
    5. 18.4 Pet-Keeping
    6. 18.5 Animal Industries and the Animal Trade
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary
    9. Critical Thinking Questions
    10. Bibliography
  20. 19 Indigenous Anthropology
    1. Introduction
    2. 19.1 Indigenous Peoples
    3. 19.2 Colonization and Anthropology
    4. 19.3 Indigenous Agency and Rights
    5. 19.4 Applied and Public Anthropology and Indigenous Peoples
    6. Key Terms
    7. Summary
    8. Critical Thinking Questions
    9. Bibliography
  21. 20 Anthropology on the Ground
    1. Introduction
    2. 20.1 Our Challenging World Today
    3. 20.2 Why Anthropology Matters
    4. 20.3 What Anthropologists Can Do
    5. Key Terms
    6. Summary
    7. Critical Thinking Questions
    8. Bibliography
  22. Index

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Explain how tribal cultures are using anthropology to secure rights to sites of cultural significance.
  • Describe how anthropologists and Native scholars aid Indigenous peoples using anthropology.
  • Discuss how Indigenous peoples create networks to help one another.

Applied anthropology, which applies anthropological research and methods to contemporary problems, addresses much of the critique of anthropology offered by Vine Deloria Jr. and others. Many Indigenous peoples have become active participants in applied anthropological research, both seeking out and collaborating with anthropologists to work on projects that they themselves have defined. Many tribes now take a directive approach with researchers, offering contracts and funding for anthropologists who will work on issues that the tribes think are important. As tribes develop their reservation infrastructure, many have established archaeology programs to protect their rights to sites of importance. Many have asked scientists to create GIS (geographic information system) products, which feature layers depicting various resources and characteristics on a map, to manage their lands and help them effectively consult with states, the federal government, and private agencies. The layering of information in the GIS can create deeply immersive maps and models that include information about types of vegetation, the environmental history of lands, changes to lands, and any other information than can be captured and mapped. Layered information can be activated or removed from a map to meet specific aims. Tribes can now reference both the information available through scholarly studies and information about their lands and peoples from their own internal studies, which they do not typically share outside of the tribe. In many ways, tribes are now more knowledgeable about the archaeology of their territory than most institutions and are making plans to protect and preserve cultural sites and resources.

Public anthropologists aim to engage with communities and involve the general public in their work as much as possible. In doing so, they empower communities to address their own problems. Many public anthropologists publish their research in readily accessible formats, such as newspapers and popular magazines. The Internet offers many ways for public anthropologists to reach a broader audience. Blogs and digital journals make it possible for anthropologists to make information broadly available in order to benefit the greatest number of people.

The author of this chapter, David Lewis, describes his own efforts to make anthropological research more readily available:

I produce a blog, the Quartux Journal, which I began in 2014. At that time, I was engaged in a decade-long series of studies of the tribal peoples of western Oregon. Years of research had given me much to write about. The blog offered a means of releasing that information quickly and without charge to a broad group of colleagues and the public who desired information about Native peoples. Many of my readers are educators seeking content for high school or college classes they are teaching about Native peoples. This blog began at a time when Native groups and the state of Oregon were developing Native curricula for public schools, and it has become an essential curriculum tool for educators in the region. Educators have written back about the lack of resources and the great aid the blog has offered in filling their need for facts about the tribes of Oregon. The blog has now grown to more than 450 essays about tribal peoples throughout western Oregon and beyond. Its essays are easily read in about 10 minutes and are not jargon laden. There are currently more than 1,000 subscribers to this blog. The essays have inspired additional research on Native peoples’ history and has lent Native contextual details to local studies of the histories of Oregon.

Mini-Fieldwork Activity

Research Activity: Native American Peoples

 

Conduct research into Edward S. Curtis’s photographs of Native North American peoples. The majority of his images are online in the Library of Congress Edward S. Curtis Collection.

After picking at least one image, research the circumstances under which Curtis took the photograph. Curtis himself offers clues to his subject and location, sometimes even identifying his subjects by name. Then, research the tribe the subject(s) was or were a part of, including where the tribe was living at the time the photo was taken and their socioeconomic situation. Expect to conduct research to locate the correct historic sources. Finally, compare the culture portrayed in the photo and noted by Curtis’s information with your research findings. Note differences and ways in which Curtis may have altered the context.

One reference for research is the video Edward Curtis: Photographing the North American Indian, available from the Smithsonian Institution.

Present your research in a formal report of 3–5 pages, including full references and the image being researched.

Suggested Readings

Biolsi, Thomas, and Larry J. Zimmerman, eds. 1997. Indians and Anthropologists: Vine Deloria, Jr., and the Critique of Anthropology. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.

Deloria, Vine, Jr. (1969) 1988. Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Deloria, Vine, Jr. (1970) 2007. We Talk, You Listen: New Tribes, New Turf. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Deloria, Vine, Jr. (1995) 1997. Red Earth, White Lies: Native Americans and the Myth of Scientific Fact. Golden, CO: Fulcrum.

Deloria, Vine, Jr. 1999. Spirit & Reason: The Vine Deloria, Jr., Reader. Edited by Barbara Deloria, Kristen Foehner, and Sam Scinta. Golden, CO: Fulcrum.

Deloria, Vine, Jr. 2003. God Is Red: A Native View of Religion. 3rd ed. Golden, CO: Fulcrum.

Harrison, Faye V., ed. 2011. Decolonizing Anthropology: Moving Further toward an Anthropology for Liberation. 3rd ed. Arlington, VA: American Anthropological Association.

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o. 1986. Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Said, Edward W. 1978. Orientalism. New York: Pantheon Books.

Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. 2021. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. 3rd ed. London: Zed Books.

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