Archaeological Evidence of Chumash Social Complexity

Chumash Tomol (National Geographic)

Chumash Tomol (National Geographic)

Inferring the social complexity (also known as the “social inequality”) of a settlement from solely its material remains is a common task in archeology. Socially complex settlements have a social structure with a division of labor based on more than age and gender and a hierarchical ranking of certain groups with differential access to resources and power. A socially complex society implies an integration of differentiated social roles into a cohesive society with uniform expressions of solidarity or difference via language and culture–things that are variously manifest in its material culture. Continue reading

Girl in the Jungle: Female Anthropologists & Feminist Dilemmas –Part II

Hortense Powdermaker on Lesu (1920s)

Hortense Powdermaker on Lesu (1920s)

Feminist anthropologists have traditionally studied gender differences, female subordination and traditional feminine roles in a culture.  Early female anthropologists such as Margaret Mead, and Hortense Powdermaker aimed to correct the historically androcentric (male) bias in anthropology.   Later feminist anthropologists such as Annette Weiner, Patricia Zavella, Lila Abu-Lughod and Diane L. Wolf dealt with the contradictions of being a feminist working for social change and anthropologist studying a society as it is. These perceived feminist dilemmas in fieldwork are talked about in their work. Continue reading

Girl in the Jungle: Female Anthropologists & Feminist Dilemmas–Part I

Jungle Girl (1941)

Jungle Girl (1941)

What are  the advantages of being a female anthropologist in the field? According both male and female anthropologists, there are both advantages and disadvantages of being either gender.  The following is an essay about some of the issues of being a female or male anthropologist studying gender roles in the field (Part I), and the feminist dilemmas in fieldwork (Part II). Continue reading