A forum to discuss how economic anthropology might be regenerated by taking advantage of new social forms such as this one.
Latest Activity: Apr 7
Hann&Hart toc and intro.doc
Nishibe labour money.pdf
Started by Keith Hart. Last reply by Keith Hart Dec 9, 2012.
Started by John McCreery May 2, 2012.
Started by Nathan Dobson. Last reply by Nathan Dobson Apr 30, 2012.
Started by Keith Hart. Last reply by Nathan Dobson Apr 30, 2012.
Started by Nathan Dobson. Last reply by Nathan Dobson Mar 21, 2012.
hello sir ...
i am doing anthropological study on informal female embroidery workers .in the context of informal sector ... so advise me
This is interesting and I think speaks to the point I am making about the possibility of Indigenous perspectives being able to penetrate the large ideologically driven insitutions such as the UN, IMF or World Bank. Here is the article on Bolivia's new law regarding the Rights of Mother Earth on par with those of humans.Yet these political movements, the result of immense grassroots and collaborative engagements, are ignored and dismissed by the UN as they do not fit well within their ideologies of progress, where the 'rights' discourse is one that is more acceptable when it is in the sphere of the more commonly accepted meanings associated with liberal imperialism and cultural imperialism (if you prefer). This would be a powerful move here in Canada, but communities that are oppose mining and the kinds of dirty development that are still being forced by companies like Teseko mines here in BC on Tshilqot'in land against their wishes, will get you on a terrorist watch list (see the article I posted in my previous post) in Canada- numerous First Nations communities are on a terrorist watch list for opposing governemnt backed development projects that would destroy most of their lands.
Here is the position Canada takes towards First Nations:
on a lighter note ... brains and politics. a study sponsored by Colin Firth, the British actor:
I agree that it is insufficient to motivate change... by itself. But all it takes is convincing enough people. And this has succeeded in stopping many government and development projects. Sol Tax succeeded in the 1960s and is remembered well by many communities, but not by anthropologists for his work. I am part of a local organization in my home town that teaches free anthropology classes, which has brought together several cross-sections of the community from street folks to upper middle class people who are interested in the issues, but dont know where to go for good information. The government does not provide it and the media does not either.People do take offense and that is why it is important to frame the problem in ways that different audiences can understand and locate themselves in it. Many people wont, but through our work, enough people get involved, they learn, which Treaty area they live in.
I agree, too, that coalitions and common ground are key- thats what the Treaty framework was about- mutual obligations and cohesiveness. But it is impossible to build a coalition with the government or corporation that seeks to assimilate you or destroy you, either directly or systemically. And that was my question to Kathryn, not to argue whether or not it is the best, but I wonder what ways we can engage with powerful organisations like the World Bank and the IMF to incorporate entities or voices that will certainly not jive with their ideology? I have already seen the successes of public engagement, when it is done in an inclusive and positive tone. I have seen immense results and changes in people when they understand, in a positive way, how it is all of our problem and that their are ways to address it. This is the work that Sol Tax engaged in and made anthropology relevant to the colonial issues of Native peoples all over North America. He answered Deloria's call for anthropolgosits to do something other than study the 'Indian' and write dissertations about it. These moves were positive and well received.
I am sure that the worst we could do is to say that is too hard to take a stand on the most ignored issues in North America by seeing them as unrealistic or too hard.. or too offensive. This is one way that colonialism works and is guaranteed to thrive if we are, too, apathetic to our complicity in it as it is not somethign that 'happened' or is 'over'. It continues here in Canada in rudimentary ways, in systemic ways and much of the legal scholarship on the relationship here shows how Canada is in the same situation that South Africa was a hundred years ago. We live in an unacknowledged apartheid.
Awareness building is important, but a common academic misconception is to think of it as sufficient to motivate change. Speaking from personal experience, I would say that any politically active person rapidly becomes the target of a broad and endless stream of appeals to support some cause in which the sender feels a particular interest. Unless the issue has some particular relevance for the individual who receives the message, its most likely fate is, if not to be ignored entirely, to go to the bottom of a stack of things that might be attended to at some later time that recedes endlessly into the future. The most effective messages are those which evoke a shared predicament, and this, to me, is the greatest weakness in the way in which Joshua has framed his issue. Not entirely a First Nation's issue? Fine, good starting point. Entirely a "settler society" issue? A turnoff for most of the people you hope to influence, who have a lot of other things on their minds and are, if they pay attention, more likely to react by being offended than convinced. That is what makes the discovery of common ground and building coalitions on it so important to successful political action.
The anti-Vietnam War movement in which I myself participated is a good case in point. The news coverage vastly expanded horrified awareness of what was going on; but the primary driver of the movement was the threat to young men of being drafted and put in harm's way for a cause in which they no longer believed. The post-Vietnam elimination of the draft has, whether intended or not, had the effect of gutting the peace movement's protests against the U.S.'s current wars in the Middle East. The professionalization of the military has made war somebody else's problem for most members of the middle class, who are, in any case, far more worried about finding and keeping jobs in a down economy than horrors that, with memories of 9/11 fading, remain safely on the other side of the TV screen.
Native Americans? First Nations? The predictable response is, "Life's a bitch. Not my problem." That is the barrier that effective political action on behalf of these groups must overcome. Academic engagement is the first step, but only a first step on a long, long journey in which, to borrow Paul Wellstone's formula, how to mobilize, energize and organize is a deeply serious set of problems.
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