Rethinking Anthropological Perspectives on Migration

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9780813036076: Rethinking Anthropological Perspectives on Migration
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"Cabana and Clark have chosen to base their research into migration on careful study of how real people actually behave over time and space. We are well served by this rugged empiricism and by the multidisciplinary breadth of their approach."--Dean R. Snow, Pennsylvania State University

"A thorough survey of the ways in which anthropologists across the four subfields have defined and analyzed human migration."--John H. Relethford, author of Reflections of Our Past: How Human History Is Revealed in Our Genes<

All too often, anthropologists study specific facets of human migration without guidance from the other subdisciplines (archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistics) that can provide new insights on the topic. The equivocal results of these narrow studies often make the discussion of impact and consequences speculative.

In the last decade, however, anthropologists working independently in the four subdisciplines have developed powerful methodologies to detect and assess the scale of past migrations. Yet these advances are known only to a few specialized researchers.

Rethinking Anthropological Perspectives on Migrationbrings together these new methods in one volume and addresses innovative approaches to migration research that emerge from the collective effort of scholars from different intellectual backgrounds. Its contributors present a comprehensive anthropological exploration of the many topics related to human migration throughout the world, ranging from theoretical treatments to specific case studies derived primarily from the Americas prior to European contact.

Graciela S. Cabana is assistant professor of anthropology and director of the Molecular Anthropology Laboratories at the University of Tennessee. Jeffery J. Clark is a preservation archaeologist at the Center for Desert Archaeology in Tucson, Arizona.

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     The primary goal of this volume is to break down subdisciplinary boundaries within anthropology in migration research. This aspiration extends well beyond migration research. We would not be the first to voice concern that anthropology has fallen into a "fragmentation trap" where the exploration of new theories is restricted by subdisciplinary boundaries at the expense of the traditional "four-field," or holistic, approach (c.f., Knudsen 2003). Anthropology departments throughout the United States have taken different paths in dealing with the discipline's fragmentation, ranging from physical and intellectual segregation of subdisciplines to half-hearted calls for an integrated anthropology that more often than not fall on deaf ears. 
     This volume is the culmination of a symposium held at the December 2005 American Anthropological Association meetings in Washington D.C. This was followed by a two-day workshop held at Arizona State University in November 2006. Since then numerous email exchanges and phone conversations between the editors and participants have greatly enriched the contributions herein. Before you is the outcome of this long and fruitful dialogue. However, this volume is not intended to be the final word on this subject. Rather, our intention is to open up a new dialogue within anthropology about migration that crosscuts the various subdisciplines. And maybe, just maybe, this dialogue will result in a holistic model for studying migration in anthropology.
     The contributors to this volume are a diverse lot. Although most of us can be placed into one of the four anthropological subfields, we also provide unique perspectives on migration within our respective subfields. We came together with the common understanding that the discipline of anthropology allows for multiple voices on what migration means and why it is important while at the same time concurring that "migration" is an extremely important research topic.
Beyond that, we agreed to disagree about exact definitions of "migration," and the best methods for assessing its scale and impact.  Instead we laid a foundation for a fresh approach to migration studies by presenting work by current researchers. We also willingly engaged in some "creative destruction" of previous time-honored assumptions and vested interests. We make no claims in succeeding to have built a consensus in studying migration across and even within anthropological subdisciplines. However, we hope that with time the diverse chapters in this volume will inspire others both within - and outside of - the discipline to continue moving toward this worthy goal.

From the Back Cover:

"Cabana and Clark have chosen to base their research into migration on a careful study of how real people actually behave over time and space. We are all well served by this rugged empiricism and by the multidisciplinary of their approach."~ Dean R. Snow, Penn State University
"A thorough survey of the ways in which anthropologists across the four subfields have defined and analyzed human migration." ~ John H. Relethford, SUNY Albany

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Book Description University Press of Florida, United States, 2011. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. All too often, anthropologists study specific facets of human migration without guidance from the other sub-disciplines (archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistics) that can provide new insights on the topic. The equivocal results of these narrow studies often make the discussion of impact and consequences speculative. In the last decade, however, anthropologists working independently in the four sub-disciplines have developed powerful methodologies to detect and assess the scale of past migrations. Yet these advances are known only to a few specialised researchers. Rethinking Anthropological Perspectives on Migration brings together these new methods in one volume and addresses innovative approaches to migration research that emerge from the collective effort of scholars from different intellectual backgrounds. Its contributors present a comprehensive anthropological exploration of the many topics related to human migration throughout the world, ranging from theoretical treatments to specific case studies derived primarily from the Americas prior to European contact. Seller Inventory # AAN9780813036076

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