Local actions cultural activism power and public life in america. Local Actions: Cultural Activism, Power, and Public Life in America by Melissa Checker 2019-02-28

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Local actions : cultural activism, power, and public life in America (eBook, 2004) [naber.io]

local actions cultural activism power and public life in america

They sought to understand and document Native American religions, languages, technologies, histories, and cosmologies before they were completely transformed or eradicated. For de Tocqueville it is primarily through group affiliations that the American individual defines who he or she is. Only after integrating themselves into a particular society could anthropologists communicate with people from a common basis of assumptions and then understand and interpret what those people were doing and how they explained their actions. It is therefore our hope that the essays in this volume exemplify the myriad ways in which a new generation of anthropologists is developing its commitments to activism and moving toward a more active engagement in public life. We believe ethnography is a particularly effective method of doing research and making sense of the actions, motivations, structures, and settings that lead to social change. Anthropologists posed different questions and developed different methods than American sociologists, for example, who specialized in societies like their own, which they studied with the new technologies and methods of statistics and questionnaires.

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Introduction : Local Actions Cultural Activism, Power, and Public Life in America

local actions cultural activism power and public life in america

The papers we have chosen for this volume provide excellent examples of how a new generation of anthropologists is using ethnography to better understand and speak about issues in our own society. The activists in this volume, therefore, share a characteristic American desire to join collectivities in order to define themselves and to redefine society at the same time. Cable Choice The volumes focus on activism and identity provides a compelling image of an activist strategy for advancing social research. As they develop critiques of American society, the contributors question the power relationships between researcher and subject and offer ways that an activist-oriented approach to research can bring balance to those relationships. Thus we gear this book not just to academics but to activists who may use it as a tool for reflection and to see their work in a broader context. Rather, they challenge our most entrenched ways of understanding political practice and its relation to culture, economy, society and nature 1992:7. Prices do not include postage and handling if applicable.

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Product Details for Local Actions Cultural Activism, Power, and Public Life in America by Melissa Checker

local actions cultural activism power and public life in america

However, Shankar argues that if we see Multicultural Day as the one available space for these teens to take an active role in representing themselves, we can view the brief period in which they seize the stage as a distinctly political moment. Through their anthropological approach these portraits of American society suggest the inherent possibilities in identity-based organizing and offer crucial in-depth perspectives on such hotly debated topics as multiculturalism and the culture wars, the environment, racism, public education, Native American rights, and the Christian right. Cohen, Argumentation And Advocacy The strength Checker and Fishman's Local Actions is in its clearly written, accessible case studies of efforts at social change. As a result it has become possible for social scientists to explicitly relate our research to political, ethical, and critical concerns. On what basis do people reach across boundaries, form coalitions, and increase their constituencies? Her research focuses on grassroots environmental justice activism, the politics of urban sustainability, and post-disaster recovery on Staten Island. Instead, we examine particular activist projects as they unfold on the ground. Thus in this volume we contend that identity-based organizing actually offers a multitude of possibilities and promises for coalition building and for harnessing collective power.

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Local actions : cultural activism, power, and public life in America in SearchWorks catalog

local actions cultural activism power and public life in america

In particular, we are often told that the absence of unified social action is swiftly diminishing the potential for Americans to effect large-scale changes that will improve their lives. For instance, Melissa Checker looks at recent efforts of African American grassroots environmental justice activists in a small neighborhood in Augusta, Georgia to work with professional environmentalists. These studies illustrate how individuals transform basic and undramatic acts of life, such as choosing what to eat or wear, into moments of protest for instance Comaroff and Comaroff 1991; Ong 1987; Scott 1985; Taussig 1980. Thus cultural activism comprises multiple kinds of public actions, both formal and informal, that people use to alter the circumstances of their lives—such as teaching art to public school children, interpreting Scriptures, staging public protests, and lobbying Congress. Indeed we find these activists in different niches, bearing different relationships to traditional or formal activism, variously organized and structured according to the diverse circumstances that produced them. Yet, as these activists work to change their public image, they must also rely on and participate in a legal system whose terminology emphasizes their victimhood. We also invite general audiences to read these chapters and discover alternative points of view on taken-for-granted notions about American life.

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Local actions : cultural activism, power, and public life in America

local actions cultural activism power and public life in america

However, by presenting and making comprehensible alternative ways of life, ethnographies have the potential to be subversive. . Thus, as we examine the various strategies and cultural resources upon which activists draw in their efforts to reconstruct an America that resonates with their own experiences, we also make explicit the strategies and. Indeed many of those Americans determined to construe something positive from that disastrous day have pointed out that, for the most part, ¹ it brought Americans together. We answer these questions through the wide variety of ethnographic case studies that make up this volume. For instance, works such as those by Obeyeskere 1992 and Said 1979 argued against the very notion of native.

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Introduction : Local Actions Cultural Activism, Power, and Public Life in America

local actions cultural activism power and public life in america

For example, in the collection Uncertain Terms: Negotiating Gender in American Culture the contributors make it clear that they write from an unapologetically engaged position. For fiction works, please see. As Marcus and Fischer have convincingly demonstrated in their seminal work of the 1980s, Anthropology as Cultural Critique, many anthropologists have historically used the analysis of other cultures to highlight problems in their own society: As they have written detailed descriptions and analyses of other cultures, ethnographers have simultaneously had a marginal or hidden agenda of critique of their own culture, namely, the bourgeois, middle-class life of mass liberal societies, which industrial capitalism has produced. He argued that Americans were joiners who created a sense of belonging by forming committees and joining voluntary associations. For we contend that it is only through collective social action that resistance develops the potential for political transformation.

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Local actions : cultural activism, power, and public life in America : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

local actions cultural activism power and public life in america

As anthropologist Anthony Giddens has pointed out, social actors think critically about the structures and systems they inhabit and that constrain their actions see Giddens 1990. Each one examines a social change effort as it unfolds on the ground. Because the distinction between native and researcher was central to the paradigm of anthropological research, academic anthropologists did not study their own society—at least not directly. Activism is alive and well in the United States, according to Melissa Checker and Maggie Fishman. One hundred and sixty years after de Tocqueville put his observations on paper, we argue that contemporary cultural activism in America emerges from a tradition of collective attempts at self-definition through group affiliation.

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Local actions : cultural activism, power, and public life in America (eBook, 2004) [naber.io]

local actions cultural activism power and public life in america

Eschewing esoteric questions about the nature of reality that preoccupied post-Kantian European scholars, American pragmatists combined historical consciousness with an emphasis on social and political matters, providing a model for scholars today. Understanding the significance of these efforts means expanding the definition of what we consider political—for some a high school dance performance or filming an autobiography counts as socially transforming work. For most of the last century many academics have perceived their job to be one of dispassionate analysis. In the past twenty years, however, the same factors that produced a new multiplicity of activist forms have shifted the terms of academic practice, encouraging the questioning of old stances, posing challenges to former ways of doing business, and raising new possibilities for engaging with public issues through our research. Our goal is not to judge the paths taken by cultural activists in terms of prognoses for future mass actions but rather to gain a better understanding of how diverse groups of people across America conceive of, and take steps toward, social change.

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Local Actions: Cultural Activism, Power, and Public Life in America by Melissa Checker

local actions cultural activism power and public life in america

These authors, who hailed from the so-called exotic societies that anthropologists traditionally study, addressed their writing to academics as well to the people in the texts themselves. The E-mail message field is required. Ten absorbing studies present activist groups across the country -- from transgender activists in New York City, to South Asian teenagers in Silicon Valley, to evangelical Christians and Palestinian Americans. Instead of seeking to discover the consistent, objective rules and norms that govern societies, they began to study the ways in which individuals explain those rules and act upon them. Anthropology—the disciplinary home of ethnography and of most of the contributors to this volume—exemplifies this trend.

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Local actions : cultural activism, power, and public life in America / edited by Melissa Checker and...

local actions cultural activism power and public life in america

Responsibility: edited by Melissa Checker and Maggie Fishman. In the midst of such activist-oriented vitality, American academics are rethinking and reshaping their own roles in public life. For example, in 1963 sociologist Roland Warren wrote that community in America was changing drastically, in part because of the development of differentiated interests among local people who thus associate more often on the basis of specialized interests than on the basis of merely living in the same place 1963:5. Ginsburg and Tsing 1990:3 Because they have a personal stake in the outcome of struggles over the gendered cultural discourses, resources, and rights that they describe, the work of feminist anthropologists exemplifies ethnography that strives to equalize power relations by providing the otherwise undescribed, on-the-ground perspectives that should inform public policy and decision making. In so doing, they are redefining themselves as more powerful members of society and they are attempting to reshape mainstream ideas about who they are and what they are capable of. Influenced by the global feminist movement and its consciousness-raising groups, feminist anthropologists had highly personal reasons for taking on their particular subjects of study.

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