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Applied Anthropology

Search Volume 29, No. 1-2 of The Applied Anthropologist


The Applied Anthropologist

Volume 29, Numbers 1 and 2, 2009

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Volume 29, Number 2, 2009

Pregnant, Uninsured, and Undocumented: Prenatal Care for Immigrant Women in South Texas
K. Jill Fleuriet
No. 1, Vol. 29, 2009, pp 4-21

Prenatal care has been shown to improve maternal and birth outcomes, reduce birth- and birth-related morbidity costs, and serve as a means to link medically needy children with health and health care resources. Yet prenatal care options for uninsured, low-income undocumented immigrant women living in the United States are insufficient and frequently inaccessible. In this paper, I use qualitative research to detail and assess U.S. prenatal care experiences among undocumented immigrant women from Mexico. I situate their experiences in the larger context of publicly supported prenatal care in the United States for undocumented immigrant women. I argue that policies targeting undocumented immigrants and low-income pregnant women are misdirected and ineffective because they stem from hegemonic political discourse rather than actual medical needs. I conclude with recommendations to amend policy in order to incorporate prenatal care preferences and expressed needs of undocumented immigrant women. [prenatal care, immigration, reproductive rights, U.S. health care policy]

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Some Thoughts on Helping Inconsolable Organizations to Heal
Howard F. Stein

No. 1, Vol. 29, 2009, pp 22 - 32

This paper explores how an applied anthropologist might consult with traumatized organizations that have undergone and/or are undergoing downsizing, reengineering, restructuring, and other forms of “managed social change.” The author proposes a distinction between organizational healing by “splitting” and organizational healing by “integration.” Healing by integration is made possible by acknowledgment of loss and mourning.

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Native American Consolation: Bureau of Ethnic Research and Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology Models, A Comparative Study
Kathleen Van Vlack
No. 1, Vol. 29, 2009, pp 33 - 45

Applied Anthropology has a long history of working with contemporary communities to find solutions to social, cultural, environmental, and economic problems, and many have spent their careers working on these issues with Native American communities. This essay explores how the Bureau of Ethnic Research (BER) and its contemporary form, the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology (BARA), set the standards for research conducted in Indian country through their contrastive research approaches. This paper describes the BER top-down approach of American Indian development projects and the BARA ground-up approach of the Nevada Test Site American Indian Program projects. Attention is given to how these initiatives have affected social-cultural issues and long-term research relationships with Native American communities. [Applied Anthropology, Native Americans, Methodology, Consultation]

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Peter Van Arsdale, editor

Genocide, Ethnocide, and Ethnic Cleansing: An Exploratory Introduction
Peter Van Arsdale
No. 1, Vol. 29, 2009, pp 46 

Genocide, Ethnocide, and Ethnic Cleansing: An Exploratory Review
Peter Van Arsdale, Mellissa Jessen, Nicole Hawthorne, Kellie Ramirez, and Cathy Smith
No. 1, Vol. 29, 2009, pp 47-71

This article is exploratory in nature. It takes a cross-cultural, case-based approach in outlining factors associated with the processes of genocide, ethnocide, and ethnic cleansing. The works of anthropologists, sociologists, historians, political scientists, human rights analysts, and others are cited. Within the category of genocide, the Iraq/Kurdistan and Rwanda cases are featured. Within the category of ethnocide, the Cambodian case is presented. Within the category of ethnic cleansing, the cases of Palestine/Israel and Bosnia are covered. Processes of particular interest to anthropologists, both cultural and applied, include intrusion, denial, bystanding, victimization, expulsion, intervention, and reconciliation. That of perpetration remains the most obvious. One assertion is that definitive theories of genocide are lacking; on the other hand, helpful analytic frameworks are shown to exist. “Warning signs,” “touchstones,” and “lessons learned” are highlighted. The role of the state is discussed. This article is not a “how to stop genocide” or “how to redefine genocide” treatise, but is intended to highlight five of the most important cases of the twentieth century and also to provide suggestions – explicit or implicit – as to how anthropologists can continue to contribute to the field. [genocide, ethnocide, ethnic cleansing, human rights, humanitarian assistance, Kurdistan, Rwanda, Palestine, Bosnia, Cambodia]

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Commentary: Holodomor: Ukraine’s Secret Famine-Genocide of 1932-1933
Roxolana B. R. Wynar
No. 1, Vol. 29, 2009, pp 72 - 77

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Commentary: Talking the Talk and Walking the Walk 
Nicole Herrera
No. 1, Vol. 29, 2009, pp 78 - 81

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Commentary: Humanitarian Aid versus Humanitarian Intervention
Barbara Bonner
No. 1, Vol. 29, 2009, pp 82 - 86

Commentary: Gacaca in the Context of Reconciliation: The Case of Rwanda
Josiah Marineau
No. 1, Vol. 29, 2009, pp 87 - 91

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Commentary: Gendercide: A Critical Examination of Gender and Sex-Selective Mass Killing
Amy D. Bhalla
No. 1, Vol. 29, 2009, pp 92 - 94

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Community-Based Tourism and the Politics of Development
Daniel Eric Bauer
No. 2, Vol. 29, 2009, pp 98 - 112

This article examines the negotiation of community-based tourism development in coastal Ecuador. Based on fieldwork conducted in Manabí province and using local development practices as a case study, this article highlights the political dimensions of development practices by emphasizing the role of identity in the negotiation of community-based tourism development. I focus specifically on the intersection of identity and development while emphasizing the politics of development (the strategic use of politics and frames of understanding by local populations during the process of development). Through an examination of community-based development as it is experienced by local actors, I suggest that development can become a form of political capital that can be used as a mechanism for expanding and maintaining a local political base. [community development, tourism, identity, Ecuador]

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Community Conservation, Alternative Economy, and Holistic Landscapes: Ethnicity and Farm Household Decision-Making on the Great Plains
Michael Brydge and Kathleen Pickering Sherman
No. 2, Vol. 29, 2009, pp 113 - 126

Federally imposed political boundaries of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation forced the Lakota to end their nomadic lifestyle and consider other modes of subsistence by 1868. Subsequent federal policies confiscated Lakota lands that were not being used for agriculture and opened those lands to non-Indian agricultural operators. Some Lakota adopted agricultural practices, some worked as farm hands to avoid starvation, while others escaped the assimilative agricultural mandates and continued with traditional natural resource subsistence practices. Despite conflicts with non-Indian homesteaders, some Lakota households practice farming and ranching on the reservation to this day. One question that remains is whether ethnicity and cultural identity influence Lakota agricultural households to make decisions that differ from their non-Indian counterparts. Surveys were administered to seventy-one non-Indian and fourteen Lakota agricultural operators from 2005-2008 to assess agricultural practices, motives and attitudes toward the environment, community values and demographics. An analysis of correlated and closely correlated survey answers from the Lakota and non-Indian subsets reveal significant differences in their attitudes about nature, wildlife and the important of agriculture relative to wild resources. Differences between agricultural practices, land use strategies, community conservation and economic motives are discussed in this study. [Lakota agriculture, community conservation, Great Plains agriculture, farm household decision-making, environmental ethics]

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Short-Term Mission Trips and the Enhancement of Cultural Awareness
Kellen Gilbert and William T. Hamilton
No. 2, Vol. 29, 2009, pp 127 - 134

Many churches and religious organizations in the United States sponsor short mission trips to various locations around the world. These trips provide opportunities for service and spiritual gain and also for an experience in which missioners can enhance their cultural awareness and understanding. In this study we used surveys and interviews to collect data on the cross-cultural experience of short-term mission trip participants. We found that participants received little pre-trip preparation and most had insufficient foreign language skills. Missioners liked and benefited from the fellowship and service aspects of the trip but did not indicate that the experience led to increased cultural awareness. [missions, short-term mission trips, cultural awareness]

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Multiple Arrivals: Narratives of Hope and Promise among Inner City Youth
Jean N. Scandlyn
No. 2, Vol. 29, 2009, pp 135 - 142

This paper analyzes the narratives of four young adults, two men and two women, who participated regularly in programs at The Spot, an arts-based recreational center serving inner city youth ages 14-24 in Denver, Colorado. For many young people, The Spot represents their arrival at a place of refuge and support where they can express their hopes and dreams through the creative arts of hip hop, form lifetime friendships outside gang alliances, and interact with adults who acknowledge the marginalization and inequality they face outside its walls. While there, these young people create narratives that link their previous life experiences with their future plans. Given the exigencies of poverty, discrimination and limited opportunities, these narratives are characterized by multiple arrivals and departures and attempts at assembling disorder into an ordered life. Themes of order, progress and transformation drawn from mainstream American culture compete and merge with themes of positive ethnic identity; resistance to racism, sexism and classism; spirituality and anti-materialism drawn from hip hop and street punk culture. Graffiti murals, rap and hip hop music, break dancing, spoken word, and step dancing all serve to organize and explain life trajectories that are marked by incarceration, natural disasters, substance abuse and the search for life partners. Narratives developed through music, poetry, art and conversations with peers and staff also serve as means of rehearsing new departures, e.g., entry into a training program, a move to reunite with family, or the birth of a baby. [narrative, discourse, inner city youth, hip hop, program evaluation]

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Edge Dancers: Mixed Heritage Indentity, Transculturalization, and Public Policy and Practice in Health and Human Services
H. Rika Houston and Mikel Hogan
No. 2, Vol. 29, 2009, pp 143 - 170

This study uses grounded theory to explore the lived experiences of mixed heritage individuals through the anthropological framework of transculturalization. Qualitative data resulting from depth interviews of mixed heritage informants are utilized to identify three commonalities in the life experiences of these “edge dancers:” alienation, complexity, and celebration. Results also indicate that mixed heritage individuals use creative agency to “own” their respective identities and strategically manipulate their environments as they perform the social “dance” of identity negotiation that spans their entire lives. We propose a dynamic, emic agency model of mixed heritage identity construction followed by conclusions about how our study and model informs and expands our understanding of cultural change and transculturalization in the anthropological context. From an applied anthropological perspective, we also discuss the implications that this study and the proposed model have for enhancing public policy and practice in health and human services. [mixed heritage identity, transculturalization, cultural change, grounded theory, edge dancers, agency, public policy and practice, health and human services]

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