Accent on Privilege looks at the complexities of immigration, asking how native and immigrant construct race, gender, class and national identity. Katharine Jones investigates how white English immigrants live in the United States and how they use their status as privileged foreigners to gain the upper hand with Americans. Their privilege, she finds, is created by both American Anglophilia and the ways they perform their identities as "proper" English women and men in their host country. Jones looks at the cultural aspects of this performance: how English people play up their accents, "stiff upper lip," sense of humor and fashion—even the way they drink beer.
The political and cultural ties between England and the US act as a backdrop for the identity negotiations of these English people, many of whom do not even consider themselves to be immigrants. This unique exploration of the workings of white privilege offers an important new understanding of the paradoxes of how class, gender, and race are formed in the US and, by implication, in the UK.
Scott A Sandage Harvard University Press, 2005 Library of Congress HN90.M6S25 2005 | Dewey Decimal 303.372097309034
This is a pioneering work of American cultural history, which connects everyday attitudes and anxieties about failure to lofty ideals of individualism and salesmanship of self. Sandage's storytelling will resonate with all of us as it brings to life forgotten men and women who wrestled with The Loser--the label and the experience--in the days when American capitalism was building a nation of winners.
How are boundaries created between groups in society? And what do these boundaries have to do with social inequality?
In this pioneering collection of original essays, a group of leading scholars helps set the agenda for the sociology of culture by exploring the factors that push us to segregate and integrate and the institutional arrangements that shape classification systems. Each examines the power of culture to shape our everyday lives as clearly as does economics, and studies the dimensions along which boundaries are frequently drawn.
The essays cover four topic areas: the institutionalization of cultural categories, from morality to popular culture; the exclusionary effects of high culture, from musical tastes to the role of art museums; the role of ethnicity and gender in shaping symbolic boundaries; and the role of democracy in creating inclusion and exclusion.
The contributors are Jeffrey Alexander, Nicola Beisel, Randall Collins, Diana Crane, Paul DiMaggio, Cynthia Fuchs Epstein, Joseph Gusfield, John R. Hall, David Halle, Richard A. Peterson, Albert Simkus, Alan Wolfe, and Vera Zolberg.
Throughout the “New South,” relationships based on race, class, social status, gender, and citizenship are being upended by the recent influx of Latina/o residents. Doing Good examines these issues as they play out in the microcosm of a community health center in North Carolina that previously had served mostly African American clients but now serves predominantly Latina/o clients. Drawing on eighteen months of experience as a participant- observer in the clinic and in-depth interviews with clinic staff at all levels, Natalia Deeb-Sossa provides an informative and fascinating view of how changing demographics are profoundly affecting the new social order.
Deeb-Sossa argues persuasively that “moral identities” have been constructed by clinic staff. The high-status staff—nearly all of whom are white—see themselves as heroic workers. Mid- and lower-status Latina staff feel like they are guardians of people who are especially needy and deserving of protection. In contrast, the moral identity of African American staffers had previously been established in response to serving “their people.” Their response to the evolving clientele has been to create a self-image of superiority by characterizing Latina/o clients as “immoral,” “lazy,” “working the system,” having no regard for rules or discipline, and being irresponsible parents.
All of the health-care workers want to be seen as “doing good.” But they fail to see how, in constructing and maintaining their own moral identity in response to their personal views and stereotypes, they have come to treat each other and their clients in ways that contradict their ideals.
This collection brings together recent scholarship that examines how understandings of honor changed in Latin America between political independence in the early nineteenth century and the rise of nationalist challenges to liberalism in the 1930s. These rich historical case studies reveal the uneven processes through which ideas of honor and status came to depend more on achievements such as education and employment and less on the birthright privileges that were the mainstays of honor during the colonial period. Whether considering court battles over lost virginity or police conflicts with prostitutes, vagrants, and the poor over public decorum, the contributors illuminate shifting ideas about public and private spheres, changing conceptions of race, the growing intervention of the state in defining and arbitrating individual reputations, and the enduring role of patriarchy in apportioning both honor and legal rights.
Each essay examines honor in the context of specific historical processes, including early republican nation-building in Peru; the transformation in Mexican villages of the cargo system, by which men rose in rank through service to the community; the abolition of slavery in Rio de Janeiro; the growth of local commerce and shifts in women’s status in highland Bolivia; the formation of a multiethnic society on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast; and the development of nationalist cultural responses to U.S. colonialism in Puerto Rico. By connecting liberal projects that aimed to modernize law and society with popular understandings of honor and status, this volume sheds new light on broad changes and continuities in Latin America over the course of the long nineteenth century.
Contributors. José Amador de Jesus, Rossana Barragán, Sueann Caulfield, Sidney Chalhoub, Sarah C. Chambers, Eileen J. Findley, Brodwyn Fischer, Olívia Maria Gomes da Cunha, Laura Gotkowitz, Keila Grinberg, Peter Guardino, Cristiana Schettini Pereira, Lara Elizabeth Putnam
At the time of Spanish contact in A.D. 1540, the Mississippian inhabitants of the great valley in northwestern Georgia and adjacent portions of Alabama and Tennessee were organized into a number of chiefdoms distributed along the Coosa and Tennessee rivers and their major tributaries. The administrative centers of these polities were large settlements with one or more platforms mounds and a plaza. Each had a large resident population, but most polity members lived in a half dozen or so towns located within a day’s walk of the center. This book is about one such town, located on the CoosaRiver in Georgia and known to archaeologists as the King site.
Excavations of two-thirds of the 5.1 acre King site reveal a detailed picture of the town’s domestic and public architecture and overall settlement plan. Intensive analysis of architectural features, especially of domestic structures, enables a better understanding of the variation in structure size, compass orientation, construction stages, and symbolic cosmological associations; the identification of multi-family households; and the position of individual structures within the town’s occupation sequence or life history. Comparison of domestic architecture and burials reveals considerable variation between households in house size, shell bead wealth, and prominence of adult members. One household is preeminent in all these characteristics and may represent the household of the town chief or his matrilineal extended family. Analysis of public architectural features has revealed the existence of a large meeting house with likely historical connections to 18th-century Creek town houses; a probable cosmological basis for the town’s physical layout; and an impressive stockade-and-ditch defensive perimeter.
The King site represents a nearly ideal opportunity to identify the kinds of status positions that were held by individual inhabitants; analyze individual households and investigate the roles they played in King site society; reconstruct the community that existed at King, including size, life history, symbolic associations, and integrative mechanisms; and place King in the larger regional political system. With excavations dating back to 1973, and supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Geographic Society, this is social archaeology at its best.
In Côte d’Ivoire, appearing modern is so important for success that many young men deplete their already meager resources to project an illusion of wealth in a fantastic display of Western imitation, spending far more than they can afford on brand name clothing, accessories, technology, and a robust nightlife. Such imitation, however, is not primarily meant to deceive—rather, as Sasha Newell argues in The Modernity Bluff, it is an explicit performance so valued in Côte d’Ivoire it has become a matter of national pride.
Called bluffeurs, these young urban men operate in a system of cultural economy where reputation is essential for financial success. That reputation is measured by familiarity with and access to the fashionable and expensive, which leads to a paradoxical state of affairs in which the wasting of wealth is essential to its accumulation. Using the consumption of Western goods to express their cultural mastery over Western taste, Newell argues, bluffeurs engage a global hierarchy that is profoundly modern, one that values performance over authenticity—highlighting the counterfeit nature of modernity itself.
The Mexican Revolution was a tumultuous struggle for social and political reform that ousted an autocrat and paved the way for a new national constitution. The conflict, however, came late to Yucatán, where a network of elite families with largely European roots held the reins of government. This privileged group reaped spectacular wealth from haciendas, cash-crop plantations tended by debt-ridden servants of Maya descent. When a revolutionary army from central Mexico finally gained a foothold in Yucatán in 1915, the local custom of agrarian servitude met its demise.
Drawing on a dozen years of archaeological and historical investigation, Allan Meyers breaks new ground in the study of Yucatán haciendas. He explores a plantation village called San Juan Bautista Tabi, which once stood at the heart of a vast sugar estate. Occupied for only a few generations, the village was abandoned during the revolutionary upheaval. Its ruins now lie within a state-owned ecological reserve.
Through oral histories, archival records, and physical remains, Meyers examines various facets of the plantation landscape. He presents original data and fresh interpretations on settlement organization, social stratification, and spatial relationships. His systematic approach to "things underfoot," small everyday objects that are now buried in the tropical forest, offers views of the hacienda experience that are often missing in official written sources. In this way, he raises the voices of rural, mostly illiterate Maya speakers who toiled as laborers. What emerges is a portrait of hacienda social life that transcends depictions gleaned from historical methods alone.
Students, researchers, and travelers to Mexico will all find something of interest in Meyers's lively presentation. Readers will see the old haciendas—once forsaken but now experiencing a rebirth as tourist destinations—in a new light. These heritage sites not only testify to social conditions that prevailed before the Mexican Revolution, but also remind us that the human geography of modern Yucatán is as much a product of plantation times as it is of more ancient periods.
Late Antiquity, which lies between Classical Antiquity and the Middle Ages (ca. A.D. 250-750), heralded the gradual decline of Mediterranean classical civilization, and the initial formation of a strictly western European, Christian society. During this period, three momentous developments threatened the paternalistic Roman social system: the rise of the Christian church, the disintegration of the Roman Empire in the west, and the establishment of the barbarian kingdoms.
The first of its type, this volume presents a collection of Latin source documents illustrating the social upheaval taking place in the Late Roman and early medieval worlds. The texts included in this volume provide the original Latin for the selections that are translated in People, Personal Expression, and Social Relations in Late Antiquity, Volume I. The 140 selected texts gathered from 70 different sources offer the reader firsthand experience with the ways that the Latin language was being used during the transformative period of Late Antiquity.
Ralph W. Mathisen is Professor of Ancient and Byzantine History; Louise Fry Scudder Professor of Humanities; and Director, Biographical Database for Late Antiquity at the University of South Carolina.
A Place on the Corner
Elijah Anderson University of Chicago Press, 1978 Library of Congress HM133.A55 | Dewey Decimal 301.440977311
"Anderson's mix of the language of sociology and the more colorful street idiom makes a complex social phenomenon accessible to a broad audience. . . . An important work."—Gerald Lee Dillingham, Contemporary Sociology
This paperback edition of A Place on the Corner marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Elijah Anderson's sociological classic, a study of street corner life at a local barroom/liquor store located in the ghetto on Chicago's South Side. Anderson returned night after night, month after month, to gain a deeper understanding of the people he met, vividly depicting how they created—and recreated—their local stratification system. In addition, Anderson introduces key sociological concepts, including "the extended primary group" and "being down." The new preface and appendix in this edition expand on Anderson's original work, telling the intriguing story of how he went about his field work among the men who frequented Jelly's corner.
In Private Bodies, Public Texts, Karla FC Holloway examines instances where medical issues and information that would usually be seen as intimate, private matters are forced into the public sphere. As she demonstrates, the resulting social dramas often play out on the bodies of women and African Americans. Holloway discusses the spectacle of the Terri Schiavo right-to-die case and the injustice of medical researchers’ use of Henrietta Lacks’s cell line without her or her family’s knowledge or permission. She offers a provocative reading of the Tuskegee syphilis study and a haunting account of the ethical dilemmas that confronted physicians, patients, and families when a hospital became a space for dying rather than healing during Hurricane Katrina; even at that dire moment, race mattered. Private Bodies, Public Texts is a compelling call for a cultural bioethics that attends to the historical and social factors that render some populations more vulnerable than others in medical and legal contexts. Holloway proposes literature as a conceptual anchor for discussions of race, gender, bioethics, and the right to privacy. Literary narratives can accommodate thick description, multiple subjectivities, contradiction, and complexity.
With the decline in the size of our industrial work force and the rise of the service occupations, the professions today are prominent models for a singular kind of social position. The professions and "professionalism" seem to offer an escape from vexing supervision at work as well as from some of the depersonalization and uncertainty of markets and bureaucracies. In taking account of our hunger for professional status and privileges, Samuel Haber presents the first synthetic history of major professions in America. His account emphasizes the substance of each profession's work experience, told from the vantage point of the doctors, lawyers, ministers, and their emulators whose work gave them a high sense of purpose and a durable sense of community.
Contrary to those who regard the professions as exemplary and up-to-date specimens of social modernization or economic monopoly, Haber argues that they bring both preindustrial and predemocratic ideals and standards into our modern world. He proposes that the values embedded in the professions—authority and honor, fused with duty and responsibility—have their origins in the class position and occupational prescriptions of eighteenth-century English gentlemen. Such an argument has implications for the understanding of American society; it underscores the cumulative and variegated nature of our culture and suggests the drawbacks of trying to describe society as a system. It also accords with Haber's endeavor to write a history that rescues for description and analysis mixed motives, composite conditions, and persons and parties acting upon contradictory explanatory schemes.
Haber traces the cultural evolution of the professions through three stages—establishment (1750-1830), disestablishment (1830-1880), and reestablishment (1880-1900). He shows that when the gentlemanly class declined in the United States, the professions maintained status even in somewhat hostile settings. The professions thus came to be seen as a middle way between the pursuits of laborers and those of capitalists. Massive in scale and ambition, this book will have a formidable impact among scholars newly attuned to the history of American middle-class culture.
The dominant trend in pastoralist studies has long assumed that pastoralism and pastoral gender relations are inherently patriarchal. The contributors to this collection, in contrast, use diverse analytic approaches to demonstrate that pastoralist gender relations are dynamic, relational, historical, and produced through complex local-translocal interactions. Combining theoretically sophisticated analysis with detailed case studies, this collection will appeal to those doing research and teaching in African studies, gender studies, anthropology, and history. Among the topics discussed are pastoralism, patriarchy, and history among Maasai in Tanganyika; women's roles in peacemaking in Somali society; the fertility of houses and herds; gender, aging, and postchildbearing experience in a Tuareg community; and milk selling among Fulani women in Northern Burkina Faso.
Status is ubiquitous in modern life, yet our understanding of its role as a driver of inequality is limited. In Status, sociologist and social psychologist Cecilia Ridgeway examines how this ancient and universal form of inequality influences today’s ostensibly meritocratic institutions and why it matters. Ridgeway illuminates the complex ways in which status affects human interactions as we work together towards common goals, such as in classroom discussions, family decisions, or workplace deliberations.
Ridgeway’s research on status has important implications for our understanding of social inequality. Distinct from power or wealth, status is prized because it provides affirmation from others and affords access to valuable resources. Ridgeway demonstrates how the conferral of status inevitably contributes to differing life outcomes for individuals, with impacts on pay, wealth creation, and health and wellbeing. Status beliefs are widely held views about who is better in society than others in terms of esteem, wealth, or competence. These beliefs confer advantages which can exacerbate social inequality. Ridgeway notes that status advantages based on race, gender, and class—such as the belief that white men are more competent than others—are the most likely to increase inequality by facilitating greater social and economic opportunities.
Ridgeway argues that status beliefs greatly enhance higher status groups’ ability to maintain their advantages in resources and access to positions of power and make lower status groups less likely to challenge the status quo. Many lower status people will accept their lower status when given a baseline level of dignity and respect—being seen, for example, as poor but hardworking. She also shows that people remain willfully blind to status beliefs and their effects because recognizing them can lead to emotional discomfort. Acknowledging the insidious role of status in our lives would require many higher-status individuals to accept that they may not have succeeded based on their own merit; many lower-status individuals would have to acknowledge that they may have been discriminated against.
Ridgeway suggests that inequality need not be an inevitable consequence of our status beliefs. She shows how status beliefs can be subverted—as when we reject the idea that all racial and gender traits are fixed at birth, thus refuting the idea that women and people of color are less competent than their male and white counterparts. This important new book demonstrates the pervasive influence of status on social inequality and suggests ways to ensure that it has a less detrimental impact on our lives.
A definitive analysis of the most successful tribute system in the Americas as applied to Afromexicans
During the eighteenth century, hundreds of thousands of free descendants of Africans in Mexico faced a highly specific obligation to the Spanish crown, a tax based on their genealogy and status. This royal tribute symbolized imperial loyalties and social hierarchies. As the number of free people of color soared, this tax became a reliable source of revenue for the crown as well as a signal that colonial officials and ordinary people referenced to define and debate the nature of blackness.
Taxing Blackness:Free Afromexican Tribute in Bourbon New Spain examines the experiences of Afromexicans and this tribute to explore the meanings of race, political loyalty, and legal privileges within the Spanish colonial regime. Norah L. A. Gharala focuses on both the mechanisms officials used to define the status of free people of African descent and the responses of free Afromexicans to these categories and strategies. This study spans the eighteenth century and focuses on a single institution to offer readers a closer look at the place of Afromexican individuals in Bourbon New Spain, which was the most profitable and populous colony of the Spanish Atlantic.
As taxable subjects, many Afromexicans were deeply connected to the colonial regime and ongoing debates about how taxpayers should be defined, whether in terms of reputation or physical appearance. Gharala shows the profound ambivalence, and often hostility, that free people of African descent faced as they navigated a regime that simultaneously labeled them sources of tax revenue and dangerous vagabonds. Some free Afromexicans paid tribute to affirm their belonging and community ties. Others contested what they saw as a shameful imposition that could harm their families for generations. The microhistory includes numerous anecdotes from specific cases and people, bringing their history alive, resulting in a wealth of rural and urban, gender, and family insight.
Trade and Taboo addresses the legal, literary, social, and institutional creation of disrepute in ancient Roman society. Tracking the shifting application of stigmas of disrepute between the Republic and Late Antiquity, it follows particular groups of professionals—funeral workers, criers, tanners, mint workers, and even bakers—asking how they coped with stigmatization.
In this book, Sarah E. Bond reveals the construction and motivations for these attitudes, and to show how they created inequalities, informed institutions, and changed over time. Additionally, she shows how political and cultural shifts mutated these taboos, reshaping economic markets and altering the status of professionals at work within these markets.
Bond investigates legal stigmas in the form of infamia and other marks of legal disrepute. She expands on anthropological theories of pollution, closely studying individuals who regularly came into contact with corpses and other polluting materials, and considering communication and network formation through the disrepute attached to town criers, or praecones. Ideas of disgust and the language of invective are brought forward looking at tanners. The book closes with an exploration of caste-like systems created in the later Roman Empire. Collectively, these professionals are eloquent about economies and changes experienced within Roman society between 45 BCE and 565 CE.
Trade and Taboo will interest those studying Roman society, issues of historiographical method, and the topic of taboo in preindustrial cultures.
There is an inherently powerful and complex paradox underlying HIV/AIDS prevention—between the focus on collective advocacy mobilized to combat global HIV/AIDS and the staggeringly disproportionate rates of HIV/AIDS in many places. In Treating AIDS, Thurka Sangaramoorthy examines the everyday practices of HIV/AIDS prevention in the United States from the perspective of AIDS experts and Haitian immigrants in South Florida. Although there is worldwide emphasis on the universality of HIV/AIDS as a social, political, economic, and biomedical problem, developments in HIV/AIDS prevention are rooted in and focused exclusively on disparities in HIV/AIDS morbidity and mortality framed through the rubric of race, ethnicity, and nationality. Everyone is at equal risk for contracting HIV/AIDS, Sangaramoorthy notes, but the ways in which people experience and manage that risk—and the disease itself—is highly dependent on race, ethnic identity, sexuality, gender, immigration status, and other notions of “difference.”
Sangaramoorthy documents in detail the work of AIDS prevention programs and their effect on the health and well-being of Haitians, a transnational community long plagued by the stigma of being stereotyped in public discourse as disease carriers. By tracing the ways in which public knowledge of AIDS prevention science circulates from sites of surveillance and regulation, to various clinics and hospitals, to the social worlds embraced by this immigrant community, she ultimately demonstrates the ways in which AIDS prevention programs help to reinforce categories of individual and collective difference, and how they continue to sustain the persistent and pernicious idea of race and ethnicity as risk factors for the disease.
Are the prerogatives of age universal? This first-ever anthropological
exploration of relationships between older and younger women suggests
that this may be the case.
Cross-cultural in nature, the volume looks at relationships between women
of different age groups in a village in Taiwan, a town in central Sudan,
a rural setting in western Kenya, an Andean peasant community, a horticultural
village in Melanesia, and an Aboriginal community in Australia. Adding
an interspecies perspective is a study of two age groups of Japanese Macaques.
Included is an ethnographic bibliography that lists books with a wealth
of information on women in sixty societies.
The volume will appeal not only to anthropologists but also to readers
interested in women's issues, gender studies, life course studies, gerontology,
and intergenerational relations.