The apparent point here is that land traditionally belonging to native tribes will be used to mine in the interest of the developed world. It makes me feel both sad and powerless. I do not have all the information, but stories like this always make me feel that those with the greatest physical, technological, or financial power, or all three, tend to have more power than even those with the right to a certain piece of land or way of living.
The second point confirms the previous observation, that the consistent support of those in power has resulted in the approval of the project without any regard for the rights of those who have possessed the land for far longer. Again, this gives me a sense of powerlessness when faced with decisions by politicians who have only their own interest at heart.
This is far longer than the mere hundreds of years during which the colonizers and current politicians have enjoyed any rights at all on the land. Yet, the "superior" technological and economic power enjoyed by the colonizers have caused them to supersede any claims to rights by those who have been there far longer. Like so much information of a similar nature, this just makes me sad.
Garbarino Chapter 4 and 5
Garbarino's point-of-view regarding imperialism, colonialism, and domination over the native tribes of the world continue to be interesting. In Chapter 4, for example, he makes the point that the debate about the relationship between anthropology and colonialism is "warmly conducted." With the center of the debate appearing to focus on the drive to "study" the anthropology of disappearing native tribes.
Also in Chapter 4, the author makes the point that British rule was operated on the basis of consent. In other words, British officials used tribal chiefs as a type of government agent to help establish a kind of peaceful rulership over the tribes.
In Chapter 5, the author makes the point that the European world between World War I and World War II was one of gradual urbanization as agricultural technology created a situation in which fewer farmers were necessary to feed the world.
When thinking about the anthropology/imperialism debate, I am left wondering if Garbarino somehow has access to a different history than the one that is commonly accepted in the world today. There is a large amount of evidence to suggest that the assumption of superiority caused the destruction of many of the tribes Garbarino claims to have been of anthropological interest to the same nations who destroyed them.
The second point is interesting to me and makes me begin to consider the idea that my own views of colonialism, especially in the United States, might be a little uninformed.
The point of agriculture and urbanization in Chapter 5 intrigued me a little, since I was not aware that urbanization was already a phenomenon so early in the history of Europe.
Malinowski "The Subject, Method, and Scope of this Inquiry
Like many of the other readings, Malinowski makes the point that the native tribes had particular prowess in various areas, adding the phrase "before their extinction." In this specific case, the native tribes are said to have been extremely skilled at navigation and training.
This point is followed by a more specific description of the trade relations among the tribes living at the South Sea Islands, along with the specific goods they used for trading.
In the third section of the chapter, Malinowski begins to describe the specific method involved in the anthropological research described in the chapter. It is an interesting and dramatic account of the practical challenges and physical environment the author faced during the study.
So many of the readings make statements that make me feel nostalgic for a time that I never experienced, but that I know existed on a purely intellectual level. The first point made in this reading brought this reaction. I feel sad, because I know that we will never know the excellence of knowledge and skill the native tribes displayed during their most successful years of existence. That they are extinct is simply tragic.
The second point mentioned above made me feel a little better, at least from the point-of-view that the cultures and lessons we can learn from them were at least not completely lost to the mists of time and imperialism. Indeed, I feel somewhat inspired to learn more
Learning about the specific physical and intellectual challenges the author faced during the study gave me a bit of pause in my enthusiasm to learn more. Perhaps this is best left to those who fully understand the challenges involved.
Linton: One Hundred Percent American
One of the first points Linton makes in this piece is the fact that the diffusion of culture traits is a continual process and that it most often occurs subconsciously rather than consciously.
A second point the author makes flows easily from the first, is that it is far easier to assume cultural diffusion than it is to prove it, precisely because it is so subtle in nature.
On the second page of the document, the author goes on to make the point that Americans tend to be very concerned with preserving what they regard as their culture, often disregarding the fact that this very culture is, more often than not, a mixture of many different cultures brought to the country's shores by immigration.
The first point is extremely intriguing to me and something I would not have considered to be true without some evidence. However, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. It is a human phenomenon to either consciously or subconsciously take on the characteristics of others. This happens in families and between friends. So there is no reason for it not to happen among cultures as well.
In terms of the second point, it helps me to understand my first reaction, in that the subtlety of culture trait diffusion makes it so difficult to detect. This makes it probable that most people who are not anthropological experts would find it surprising, at least initially, that this process takes place even today.
The third point is an interesting one. It is ironic to me, but not particularly surprising, that the United States, as a nation of immigrants, can be so very prejudiced against those they do not regard as part of the "American" nation, such as any new generation of immigrants.
Ember & Ember: "Marriage, Family, and Kinship"
The authors make several interesting points about marriage. The first is not surprising, in that there exist different rituals and rules, according to culture, for marriage and the ceremonies by which marriage partners are accepted as forming a new family.
Another point the authors make is that incest is a universal taboo among cultures.
The authors also explain the idea of marriage payments. In some cultures, such payments occur from the bride's family to the groom, while in other cultures, the groom's family makes the payment.
My reaction to the first point was not surprise, as it takes only a few years of life in the world to realize that there are different rules and ways by which a wedding is accomplished within the different cultures. My main reaction here is a desire to study and compare various marriage traditions among cultures. Finding parallels in the different rituals would be interesting.
One such parallel is made in the second point, in that incest is a universal taboo among cultures. What is interesting about this is the fact that this has not always been the case in human history. If ancient manuscripts such as the Bible are to be believed, for example, incest was a common practice to ensure the survival or numbers of a nation. It would be interesting, however, to verify the truth of this by historical investigation.
Again, I am not surprised to learn that marriage often involves payment between the families. What is interesting is that this tradition has been waning in today's western world,
where marriage is more often a contract between individuals than family-bound decisions.
Marx & Engels: The Manifesto of the Communist Party
The Manifesto makes some interesting and convincing points, the first of which is that the social history of the world has always involved class struggles.
The first refutable point the Manifesto makes is that what the authors refer to as the "epoch of the bourgeoisie" has simplified the antagonism among different classes.
From this point on, the Manifesto continues to make several points about the "bourgeoisie," which could be seen, from today's point-of-view, to be increasingly contentious. One of these points is that the family has been reduced to a number of relationships based upon economic prowess rather than emotions such as love and loyalty.
The first point is interesting for a variety of reasons, but mostly because of its…