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One of the best accounts of how to become an anthropologist doing fieldwork! Students will enjoy this insightful portrayal of the pleasures and pitfalls that anthropologist Beverly Chias experienced while studying womens roles in the culture of the Isthmus Zapotec. The story of her long-term research, told here with honesty and grace, allows the reader to make several trips to the field in different roles: as graduate student gathering dissertation material, as young professional pursuing more sharply defined goals, and as mature researcher directing the work of assistants. The reader encounters Zapotec culture and people through the eyes of the questioning anthropologist-narrator, discovers the methods and techniques of anthropological investigation, and, instructed by the authors commitment to her Zapotec friends, learns how friendships may transcend cultural barriers. Includes eight-page color insert.
Since the concept of 'multi-sited' approaches in ethnography developed over fifteen years ago, it has attracted a growing number of researchers across the social sciences. This volume examines the evolution of the concept as well as the problems and possibilities multi-sited approaches have presented to researchers.
Middle Eastern immigration to Mexico is one of the intriguing, untold stories in the history of both regions. In So Far from Allah, So Close to Mexico, Theresa Alfaro-Velcamp presents the fascinating findings of her extensive fieldwork in Mexico as well as in Lebanon and Syria, which included comprehensive data collection from more than 8,000 original immigration cards as well as studies of decades of legal publications and the collection of historiographies from descendents of Middle Eastern immigrants living in Mexico today. Adding an important chapter to studies of the Arab diaspora, Alfaro-Velcamp's study shows that political instability in both Mexico and the Middle East kept many from fulfilling their dreams of returning to their countries of origin after realizing wealth in Mexico, in a few cases drawing on an imagined Phoenician past to create a class of economically powerful Lebanese Mexicans. She also explores the repercussions of xenophobia in Mexico, the effect of religious differences, and the impact of key events such as the Mexican Revolution. Challenging the post-revolutionary definitions of mexicanidad and exposing new aspects of the often contradictory attitudes of Mexicans toward foreigners, So Far from Allah, So Close to Mexico should spark timely dialogues regarding race and ethnicity, and the essence of Mexican citizenship.
Into the Hearts of the Amazons is part rousing travel adventure through a little-known world and part popular ethnography, exploring how Zapotec women earned their legendary status in a remote corner of southern Mexico. To satisfy his curiosity about this culture, Tom DeMott journeyed to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, where he discovered a thriving modern-day matriarchy among the people of the Isthmus—a cultural crossroads, breeding ground for rebels, and home to a half-million Zapotecs. DeMott integrated himself into the culture by joining in the rites of spring (where women pelt the men with fruit); by interviewing the women who control the marketplace where men are rarely seen; and by honoring the saints with drink and dance at all-night ceremonies. Evoking these singular women and their culture, DeMott tackles a primal question: What would life be like if women, rather than men, had the advantage? "For centuries the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, like a magnet, has attracted travelers, adventurers, scholars, romantics, and rebels. Something about Oaxaca and the Zapotec culture appeals to the curious and restless. DeMott's fine memoir captures the spirit of this quest. It will be of interest to anthropologists and general readers alike."—Howard Campbell, author of Zapotec Struggles "Driven by an unquenchable personal passion for his subject, Tom DeMott has produced an exceptional narrative that deconstructs the clichés of a Mexican region and a people shrouded in romance and myth. Acutely observed, richly experienced, Into the Hearts of the Amazons exposes issues of matriarchy and culture through intimate, often bizarre, and surreal yet indelibly moving close encounters with the people of Juchitán and Tehuantepec."—Tony Cohan, author of On Mexican Time and Mexican Days
"A fairly comprehensive monograph, highly suitable for classroom use, that offers a wide range of information fit into traditional anthropological categories. . . . an interesting study of cultural integrity and pattern in a setting of what appears to be complex sociopolitical chaos." —American Anthropologist "Whether or not one accepts Susan Lobo's optimistic analysis, her ability to translate the apparent chaos of shanty-town lives into such neat patterns and to help outsiders view life as the inhabitants do are important contributions." —Inter-American Review of Bibliography "An extremely competent ethnography, simple and straightforward." —Anthropos "A pleasure to read, a mine of information which will be useful in teaching students to formulate their own hypotheses." —International Journal of Urban & Regional Research "Very well written and provides a great wealth of the liveliest sort of ethnographic detail." —Latin American Research Review "Lobo's study of two squatter settlements in Lima provides a solid, well-written, detailed, traditional ethnography of poor families in a Third World urban setting." —Hispanic American Historical Review "This well-written account . . . has a lot of heart and feeling for the human face of the urban poor." —International Migration Review
This work offers an exploration into the worldview and social organization in a Zapotec town called Ixtepeji where people believe the world is threatening and filled with dangerous beings! Within the realm of cognitive anthropology, the author continually asks, "How do the people perceive their situation?" Through interview data and case histories the main topic unfolds of how Ixtepejanos perceive reality and how such perceptions affect, and in turn are affected by, the conduct of village life.

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