A Different Drummer

A Different Drummer: Readings in Anthropology with a Canadian Perspective

Bruce Alden Cox
Jacques Chevalier
Valda Blundell
Copyright Date: 1989
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zt44m
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    A Different Drummer
    Book Description:

    This volume is a collective production by Carleton University's anthropology caucus, for use in introductory courses in cultural anthropology. It is an alternative to available textbooks which the caucus feels are mainly American in orientation, and not respectful of third and fourth world peoples.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-9580-4
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. None)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. None)
  3. NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. i-ii)
  4. PREFACE
    (pp. iii-iv)
  5. PART I METHODOLOGY
    • Chapter 1 THE ANTHROPOLOGIST AS STRANGER: THE SOCIOLOGY OF FIELDWORK
      (pp. 3-16)
      Joseph R. Manyoni

      The objective of this chapter is to re-evaluate one of the most crucial aspects of anthropological research, the fieldwork situation as encountered by the initiate ethnographer in an alien culture. Simmel’s well known, seminal concept of “the stranger” is applied to the position of the anthropologist in the field. I argue that the anthropologist in the field is at once “the stranger and an element of the group” he or she is studying, and that the concept of “stranger” as an integral factor of the ethnographer’s social situation merits serious analysis for its implication for research results. Further, I suggest...

    • Chapter 2 TRANSPERSONAL ANTHROPOLOGY: WHAT IS IT, AND WHAT ARE THE PROBLEMS WE FACE IN DOING IT?
      (pp. 17-26)
      Charles D. Laughlin Jr.

      Science in general, and anthropology in particular, is in a period of rapid change. Beginning in the 1950’s and 1960’s, this change has led us away from a mechanistic, hyper-rational conception of science toward a more holistic, self-reflexive, and perhaps less ethnocentric conception of science. Before this period of change, most scientists were fairly clear about what they were on about: science was seen as a means of solving problems while remaining itself largely non-problematic. The project of science was the explanation of facts, and facts were almost palpable things that fairly crunched when you stepped on them, and were...

  6. PART II CULTURAL POLITICS
    • [PART II Introduction]
      (pp. 29-30)

      While “culture” is a key concept in anthropological analysis, it is nonetheless a concept that is used in a number of different, albeit interrelated, ways. In its most general anthropological application, “Culture” is a way of life that characterizes a particular group, and includes the ideas and behaviours that its members share, as well as the objects, or “material culture,” that they produce. However, anthropologists also recognize that people create certain forms that are particularly effective for expressing their ideas about the world and, in the process, for evoking emotions such as pleasure or awe. Such cultural forms are found...

    • Chapter 3 HISTORICAL ANTHROPOLOGY
      (pp. 31-40)
      Bruce Alden Cox

      Historical anthropologists, or ethnohistorians as they are often called, usually try to produce “cultural biographies” of Third or Fourth World peoples.¹ In producing these cultural biographies, the ethnohistorian draws on as many kinds of testimony as he or she can muster - old photographs, finds from archaeological digs, folklore, traditions passed on by the elders. The purpose is often to give us a portrait of his or her subjects as they might have been before European influences reached them. That is often the purpose, but not always. Sometimes the ethnohistorian will focus on the interrelations between the Fourth World and...

    • Chapter 4 MUSEUMS AS BRIDGES TO THE GLOBAL VILLAGE
      (pp. 41-48)
      George F. MacDonald and Stephen Alsford

      The transformation, presently underway, from an industrial society to an information society - and thus toward a global civilization - is, like all such epochal transitions, difficult and confusing. The mass media, our principal information lifeline to the outside world, tantalize us with cursory exposures and make us aware that our own lives are deeply affected by what is going on elsewhere. Yet, ultimately, they fail to satisfy our need to know and, more important, our need to understand. Consequently, we are devoting more and more leisure time to a search for meaning through tourism.

      Tourism has been described as a personal...

    • Chapter 5 THE TOURIST AND THE NATIVE
      (pp. 49-58)
      Valda Blundell

      Tourists rarely visit Canadian native peoples in the settings of their everyday life. Nonetheless, each year travellers attend events, such as powwows and local festivals, that feature native-enacted forms of performance. Tourists also encounter a range of cultural productions that are, in various ways, about native peoples. Art and artifacts by natives are exhibited in museums and marketed in galleries and gift shops. Artful forms by non-natives contain images of Indians, Métis and Inuit And a staggering array of mass-produced trinkets sold as souvenirs replicate expected native forms or contain mechanically reproduced images of them or of natives themselves.

      Indeed,...

  7. PART III PRAXIS
    • Chapter 6 AN ANTHROPOLOGIST’S VIEW OF CANADIAN NATIVE PEOPLES
      (pp. 63-70)
      Valda Blundell

      The native peoples of Canada hold a unique position in Canadian society. Unlike other groups whose ancestors were immigrants to the Americas, they are indigenous (or aboriginal) peoples whose ancestors lived on this continent for many thousands of years. This fact alone means that native peoples have both a distinct cultural heritage and a special place among the other peoples of Canada. In contrast to the many groups of immigrants to North America who made deliberate decisions to adopt a new life style in a “New World”, the native peoples of this continent have consistently rejected total assimilation into a...

    • Chapter 7 THE POLITICS OF ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH: ABORIGINAL RIGHTS IN CANADA AND AUSTRALIA
      (pp. 71-80)
      John J. Cove

      Knowledge is generally thought of in positive terms, though as the above quote suggests, this may not always be the case. Its use, like any other form of human activity, can have unintended negative consequences. In the social sciences, the problem is intensified because their knowledge is about human beings. What is learned about people can, and does, go beyond the limits of academic discourse. Along with expertise, knowledge produced by social scientists enters a number of arenas. It is marketed to governments, corporations, and private organizations, and thus feeds into decision-making processes that affect people. It also partially shapes...

    • Chapter 8 THE FORT BLACK CO-OPERATIVE STORE: A SOCIAL EXPERIMENT AMONG THE ILE A LA CROSSE METIS
      (pp. 81-90)
      Victor F. Valentine

      In 1953, I was hired by the Department of Natural Resources in Saskatchewan as an anthropologist to make a study of social and economic conditions of the Métis living in northwestern Saskatchewan. I believe I was the first person to be hired by a Canadian government to work full-time as an applied anthropologist

      The Fort Black Co-op store was incorporated on June 21st 1955, five months after I came to live in the settlement of Ile à la Crosse with my family. The idea to start a co-op was not planted in the minds of the Metis by me, but...

    • Chapter 9 LAND REFORM AND CLASS STRUGGLE IN MEXICO
      (pp. 91-100)
      Jacques Chevalier and Daniel Buckles

      The rapid expansion of the cattle and petro-chemical industries throughout the world poses a serious threat to Indian and peasant populations. The land of subsistence farmers is being claimed and frequently abused by the growing cattle and oil industries. This conflict has created urgent environmental problems and is the root cause of rural unrest in many parts of Mexico and Latin America. While governments often try to ignore these issues, rural people are increasingly active. Demands for land are being made by numerous Indian and peasant organizations, and are meeting with varying degrees of success.

      This article examines the impact...

    • Chapter 10 CELTIC FESTIVALS AND BILINGUALISM POLICY: THE BARRA “FEIS”
      (pp. 101-112)
      J. Iain Prattis

      This essay examines the Barra Feis, a summer festival and year-round commitment to the performing Gaelic arts made by the population on the island of Barra, in Scotland’s Western Isles. My contention is that such events emerge only after certain preconditions about minority language maintenance, biculturalism and education have been met In order to set the stage for a discussion of the Barra Feis and its cultural significance, it is necessary to have a theoretical discussion about the general conditions of minority language bilingualism, and the specific bilingualism practices adopted by Comhairle nan Eilean, the regional council for the Western...

  8. PART IV RETHINKING THE PAST
    • [PART IV Introduction]
      (pp. 115-116)

      Anthropologists have long sought out the past by means of archaeology and physical anthropology. These are the “stones and bones” of the traditional curriculum of British universities, to which we might add the ethnohistorian’s materials and methods: archives, oral histories and such. However dry and seemingly unassailable, all these materials from the past – endocranial casts, explorers logbooks, archaeological digs -may appear, all are subject to interpretation. Derek Smith, for example, suggests that we read archaeological evidence as a “text” about the social practices of the past. If the remains of the past constitute texts, then their meanings must lie partly...

    • Chapter 11 SOCIAL ARCHAEOLOGY AND THE EARLY STATE
      (pp. 117-130)
      Derek G. Smith

      One of the major intellectual problems with early archaeology was its tendency to indulge in fantastic speculations about the peoples who had left the material remains which were its basic data. This tendency included ludicrously Irresponsible speculation about the social systems of prehistoric peoples. In their response to such early and discreditable work, archaeologists in a sense over-reacted. In their rush to dissociate themselves from speculative analyses, they became meticulous collectors and classifiers of potsherds and arrowheads and acquired a veritable horror of nearly any attempt to reconstruct the social systems of prehistoric peoples. Only recently has this trend begun...

    • Chapter 12 CONTEMPORARY ETHNOHISTORY: RETHINKING TRADE-DEPENDENCE
      (pp. 131-144)
      Brian J. Given

      A minister of the Government of Canada recently implied, during a discussion of Native Canadian aboriginal rights, that when Europeans encountered the Indians the latter were so primitive that they hadn't even invented the wheel: “Why, when we came here, they were still dragging things around on two sticks.”¹ While anthropologists were horrified by this remark, which appeared to reflect a profound contempt for Native culture, it cannot be denied that the assumptions upon which it was based are widespread. Many non-Native North Americans believe that the Native peoples were “primitive” when they first encountered the “civilized” Europeans, during the...

    • Chapter 13 BRAIN, CULTURE AND EVOLUTION: SOME BASIC ISSUES IN NEUROANTHROPOLOGY
      (pp. 145-156)
      Charles D. Laughlin Jr.

      The organ of our consciousness is our nervous system. Every thought we entertain, every emotion that we feel, every sensation we respond to, every activity we do in the world is produced in part by cells in our nervous system. When anthropologists study rituals, the behaviours they are watching are partly produced by the native’s nervous system. The myths recited around the homefire at night are being retrieved from memories layed down in the recesses of the nervous system. The knowledge required to carry out a successful hunt, to render a beautiful and useful pot, to fmd fresh graze for...