PATHS OF “DEVELOPMENT” • Research among indigenous peoples resemble one another

• Research among indigenous peoples
– Fear & expectation that all societies will soon
resemble one another
– Disappearing worlds
• Genocides and/or ethnocides
• “white man’s burden” – save their souls or zeal to acquire
land & resources?
– Researchers – salvage anthropology
• Work with a sense of loss at the prospect of cultural
• Preservation & holism
• “convergence thesis” – process of
The “modern”
• Human societies organized around
• Nuclear family
• Forces of bureaucracy
• Technological specialization
• Traditional or tribal societies marginalized
or engulfed by this new social order
• Gellner, the convergences thesis, & the
“end of history”
The primitive
• Categories
– The primitive & the civilized
– Tradition & modern
• Anthropology as research from somewhere
– Long standing association with the primitive
– Anthropology placed in the savage slot
• Enlightenment notion of nature
– Underlying drive of behavior
– As the real, objective universe as distinguished from the
spiritual, intellectual, or imaginary world
• Cartesian reductionism
– Nature denotes pre-cultural, primitive, uncultivated or
uncivilized in humankind
– Nature is independent of social law
– Nature refers to sub-human -- animal, plant, physical
– Nature remains when the peculiar qualities of sapiens the
sentient, cultural, and technological are omitted
– Notions of primitivity, sub-humanity, non-intellectuality,
emotionality linked to nature and non-white
The Enlightenment on Human Diversity: Stages &
• Condorcet (18th century) -- all peoples history fall somewhere
between OUR present degree of civilization & that which we
see among savage tribes
– nature distributes her gifts unequally
• from egalitarian small society to inequality within and among
• The primitive mind -- monstrous aberrations of idolatry of first
– Animatism & superstition
– The enlightened mind
• Progress & degeneration
– history of world presents to us more than once the spectacle of a
civilized people invaded by barbarians communicating in its manners its
language its knowledge & forcing them to make one people with it
• Primitivism
– Important trope/episteme/argument for rule
Enlightenment theories of human
• Hobbes -- competition & progress; we are all savages
• Rousseau -- savage-utopia configuration; also story of
savages in the forest – frightened
peace is first natural law
to seek nourishment & peace & the establishment of societies
with establishment of society -- lose feelings of weakness,
equality ceases, state of war begins
– The “noble savage”
• Locke – tabula rasa – we are all blank slates/empty
Nature and progress: 1915 anthropologists
• “we see that the higher civilized white man has
already in some respects out distanced others, that he
is rapidly diversifying, and that all about us those
who cannot keep the accelerated pace are being
eliminated by nature”
• Overemphasis of the naturalism of non-white
• some groups adapt by virtue of their natural attributes
while others adapt through sentient, cultural, and
distinctly human means
• Meld together
• T. Jefferson – “blacks, whether originally a
distinct race, or made distinct by time and
circumstances, are inferior to whites”
• Race and racial differences as a state of nature
• Sociobiological notion that racism derives
from genes that cause groups to compete
against those who are genetically different
– Nature outside of culture
race and ethnicity
• There are no biological human races
• up until 14th cent. in Europe cultural &
social evolution based on the idea of
progress from kin-based societies to civil
society through governance & law
• after 16th cent. in Europe ideas of blood
were used to characterize difference
After 1500
• European
exploration –
contact with
other human
• exploration
turned to
conquest and
feeling of
The Enlightenment: 17th & 18th
Century Europe
• race used interchangeably with type,
variety, people, nation, generation &
• race equated with “breeding stock”
• 1700s – Enlightenment science
– social phenomena and the world’s peoples
into natural schemes
Formal Human Classification
Linneaus Systemae Naturae, 1758
• Europeaeus
– White; muscular; hair – long, flowing;
eyes blue
• Americanus
– Reddish; erect; hair – black, straight, thick; wide
• Asiaticus
– Sallow (yellow); hair black; eyes dark
• Africanus
– Black; hair – black, frizzled; skin silky; nose flat;
lips tumid
1795 Johann Friedrich
Blumenbach: ”race” classifications
coined the term
"Caucasian" because he
believed that the
Caucasus region of Asia
Minor produced "the
most beautiful race of
1830s: Philadelphia doctor and
polygenist Samuel Morton
• collected hundreds of human skulls of known races
• measured them by filling the skulls with lead pellets
and then pouring the pellets into a glass measuring
• tables assign the highest brain capacity to
Europeans (with the English highest of all)
– Second rank goes to Chinese, third to Southeast Asians and
Polynesians, fourth to American Indians, and last place to
Africans and Australian aborigines.
 work establish the “scientific basis” for physical
anthropology but also the idea that race is inherently
Stephen Jay Gould:
“The Mis-measure of Man” (1981)
• Re-analyzed Morton’s
 Morton’s racist bias
-- prevented
identification of fully
among the racial
skull samples he
race and social difference
• Race as social grouping based on
perceived physical differences and
cloaked in the language of biology
• Charles Wagley’s term social races –
groups assumed to have a biological basis
but actually defined in a culturally arbitrary
rather than a scientific manner
• Racism – systematic social and political
bias based on idea of race
AAA statement on race
• “Evidence from the analysis of genetics (e.g., DNA)
indicates that most physical variation, about 94%, lies
within so-called racial groups.
• Conventional geographic ‘racial’ groupings differ from
one another only in about 6% of their genes….
• ‘Race’ thus evolved as a world view, a body of
prejudgments that distorts our ideas about human
differences and group behavior….
• The ‘racial’ world view was invented to assign some
groups to perpetual low status, while others were
permitted access to privilege, power, and wealth
from race to ethnicity
ethnicity forged in the process of historical time
subject to shifts in meaning
shifts in referents or markers of ethnic identity
subject to political manipulations
ethnic identity is not a function of primordial ties,
although it may be described as such
• always the genesis of specific historical forces
that are simultaneously structural & cultural
building blocks of ethnicity
• associated with distinctions between language,
religion, historical experience, geographic
isolation, kinship, notions of race (phenotype)
• may include collective name, belief in common
descent, sense of solidarity, association with a
specific territory, clothing, house types, personal
adornment, food, technology, economic
activities, general lifestyle
ethnicity and boundaries
• where there is a group there is some sort
of boundary
• where there are boundaries there are
mechanisms for maintaining boundaries
– cultural markers of difference that must be
visible to members and non-members
• Marked and unmarked categories
• "fluidity" of ethnic identity
• ethnic groups vanish, people move
between ethnic groups, new ethnic groups
come into existence
• ethnogenesis -- emergence of new ethnic
group, part of existing group splits & forms
new ethnic group, members of two or
more groups fuse
interactionist approach
• “I didn’t know I was Japanese until I came to the
United States”
• I am not a woman of colour
• First Nations
• Switch from the noun “identity” to the social
process of “identifying”
– Relational process
The State, The Nation, and
• 181 states but 5000 nations?
• idea that nation and state coincide is rare
• The appearance of ethnicity and the rise of the
• (Nash) nation-state responsible for the rise and
definition of social entities called ethnic groups last 500 years
• grew out of the wreck of empires, breakups of
• within borders of nation-state - social and
cultural diversity
Assimilation: “Melting Pot”
• melting-pot model of American identity, prevalent
at the beginning of the 20th century, immigrants
were encouraged to completely discard the
cultural heritage they brought with them.
• all ethnic groups acculturate to a universalistic
set of values and symbols with no ancestral
• there is two-way influence between ethnic
groups in the society such that no ancestral
group achieves symbolic dominance
Mosaic Model
• the mosaic model, people of different
backgrounds can fit together without losing
their original identity
• 'vertical mosaic' of distinct classes and
ethnic groups
• "vertical" implies that these ethnic and
racial groups are arranged into a hierarchy
• A similar term would be ethnic stratification
Development & Developmentalism
• accusations that indigenous peoples (ethnic
groups) stand in the way of development
• Should Abandon Separate Identities and
• Disappearance of Indigenous Cultures
Regrettable but Impede Modernization
• If Don’t Assimilate How Will Indigenous Peoples
Survive in Modern World
• Social Darwinism – stronger societies are bound
to extinguish weaker ones – survival of the fittest
Politics of embarrassment
• Or “recognition”
• The use of the media & public relations to
expose the inconsistencies & injustices of
government action
– The bigotry & impact of the government’s
negligence on the living conditions of native
Modernity & politics of recognition
• The State – The idea that there should be a single
supreme authority over a group of people occupying a
• The Nation -- communities of people who see
themselves as “one people” on the basis of common
ancestry, history, society, institutions, ideology,
language, territory, and (often) religion new idea as
form of political org.
• Contemporary multi-ethnic nation-states
• The focus on peoples and their rights
• politics of recognition rather than on states and their
The return of the primitive –
indigenous peoples & indigeneity
• Nations within – groups that formed
complete and functioning societies on their
historic homeland before being
incorporated into a larger state
• Typically been involuntary – colonization,
conquest, etc.
• Indigenous groups around the world
• Drive for recognition of rights
• Sovereignty and self-governance
Professional Primitives
• ecological “symbiosis”
• rural proletariat of the political economic
• “freedom fighters” of indigenous
The Cree of Québec
• Forest economy
• Hunting, fishing, trapping way of life
– Thread of continuity
• Attachment to forest life – source of efforts to
reform administration of justice, social services,
health care
– Claim that Cree are distinct society
– Greater claim to sovereignty & self-determination than
Québec’s francophone community