Society for Applied Anthropology 2007

GLOBAL INSECURITIES, GLOBAL SOLUTIONS AND APPLIED ANTHROPOLOGY IN THE 21 ST CENTURY, 67 th Annual Meeting.

Tampa, Florida. March 27 th – April 1 st .

Session organizer: Patricia J. Hammer, Center for Social Well Being
Session title: Global Influences, Cultural Resilience: Examples from the field.

As we engage in the 21 st century the magnitude of global impacts in nearly all facets of human endeavor is apparent, though indisputably complicated, requiring careful, insightful and innovative analysis and interpretation. Contemporary ecological crises and the dissolution of humanitarian sensitivity in industrialized nations reveal the inadequacy of century-old notions of “progress, development and modernity” to describe processual tendencies in societies undergoing rapid change. The kinds of transformations currently underway are clearly not linear nor chronological, and thus call for truly representative models and terminology that can only come from the expressions, perceptions and experiences of communities faced with powerful global influences and impositions. This collection of papers presents the dynamic qualities of cultural resilience to strengthen local identity and stimulate continuity of traditions that value social and environmental relationships. Participatory action research is highlighted as a method to raise consciousness and motivate collective action.

Key words : critique of development, participatory action research, cultural resilience

 

1) DUQUE-PARAMO, María Claudia ( Pontificia Universidad Javeriana )  

Colombian Children's Voices on Punishment: Suffering, Cultural Resilience, and Global influences

This paper presents the results of an ethnographic participatory research study conducted, using long term participant observation, in-depth interviews and group sessions, with children who live in a poor neighborhood in Bogotá. Children's voices reflect at the same time experiences and knowledge about diverse kinds of punishment; ideas of refusing maltreatment or any type of punishment; and acceptance of its value as an educational tool. I will analyze children's voices as related to the local context where they live and to the global influences on their lives. Finally, based on children's voices and actions, I will outline participatory strategies looking to transform their daily suffering.  

Key words : Colombian children, punishment, cultural resilience, global influences 

 

2) HAMMER, Patricia J. ( Center for Social Well Being)

“Western technology is inadequate for our social, cultural and environmental well being.” Andean critique of the modern.

This presentation attempts to elucidate the expressions of Peruvian highland residents dedicated to the active preservation and revitalization of Quechua knowledge, traditions and lifeways. Bilingual teachers, musicians, dancers, and community leaders share their perceptions of the value of maintaining fundamental principles of reciprocity in social and environmental spheres of interactions. Relationships composed of respect, mutual aid, and humility provide meaning to fortify cultural endurance that necessarily includes the conservation of local management of native seeds, water sources and ritual practices. Contemporary cultural resilience incorporates modern means, such as the internet and university seminars, to communicate, teach and debate local issues that have implications for global perseverance.

Key words : cultural resilience, critique of the modern, participatory action research

 

3) HANSEN, Cherilyn ( University of South Florida )

Local politics and development in a context of
Community Participation in Peru

In our globalized world, the neoliberal model has denoted the "right" standard of living, economic system, and governmental organization. The vast linguistic and culturally constructed gap between "first" and "third" world countries creates a hierarchy of development that negatively distinguishes small scale farmers from those who mass market products, such as Coca-Cola. My research in the Andes of Peru has shown me some of the negative implications of this demagoguery and how the effects of “development" have actually caused a decrease in the quality of life. This paper examines the methodologies of Participatory Action Research, with examples ranging from participation in medical seminars to voting processes, to show that communities have the capacity to take their futures into their own hands, regardless of whether or not certain Western capitalist perspectives agree with their direction.

Key words : 1) critique of development 2) PAR 3) Peru

 

4) CHISHOLM, Stephanie ( Center for Social Well Being )

Cultural Resilience against Western Progress:
A close-up of one community´s resistance to Westernization

This presentation focuses on the people in Marian, Peru, a small campesino village in close proximity to Huaraz, the capital city of the province of Ancash. Although this community has constant interactions with the city and foreigners who frequently pass through, the town has maintained its local culture, defining themselves in opposition to the foreigners and people of Huaraz. The challenge for Marian is finding a balance between true ´progress´ so that the community can flourish without loosing their traditional lifestyle. Key words : 1) cultural resilience 2) identity 3) Peru

 

5) MORGAN, Jennifer ( California State University at Fresno )

Rural Midwifery: The Fulcrum of Andean Society

Our thoughts and beliefs directly affect the way in which we relate to the earth and our bodies. In Peru I found three areas that I am going to discuss in order to illustrate this assertion. First, the Andean Highlands which consists of traditional thought- the People and Pacha Mama, where family assisted or no assistance at births take place. Second, are the Rural Areas which consist of blended thought- neighbor to neighbor, where a high number of midwife assisted births take place. Thirdly, we find the Urban Areas, where there is an overall influence of National Thought- people and the government, where a majority of the births take place in hospitals. With the Rural Blended Thought of life there is a dichotomy between Pacha Mama and the traditional ways of thought contrasted with the urban influences of modern medicine.

Key words: midwifery, cultural resilience, Peru

 

6) HICKS, María ( Western Washington University )

Revolutionary Methods? Feminist Methods in Social Research
and the Revolution of “Perspective”

The most basic of human endeavors is captured in how we define and, as researchers, study the life course. Traditional, imperialist notions of linear progression persist in how we view the life course and are evident in the proliferation of large-scale demographic research into this area. In this paper, I posit that feminist methods of research create a richer and multi-dimensional picture of the life-course. Using Johnson-Hanks' notion of "vital conjunctures" as opposed to life stages, we see how individuals simultaneously enact social norms while also agentically create their own realities. We see how different settings call for different definitions of who we are. I argue that feminist methods such as Johnson-Hanks' are no less revolutionary than how we now view the use of perspective in Western European art.

Key words : 1) participatory research 2) cultural resilience 3) feminist perspective

 

Discussants:

  1. KALMAN, Rowenn ( Michigan State University at Lansing )
  2. LANE, Aline ( Western Washington University )

 

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