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a340-11f-101-07-ChavezIntroCh1SteckleyCh1 - Living in our...

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Living in our Globalized World: Notes 7 Ideas and discussion themes: Chavez Intro, Chapter 1; Steckley Chapter 1 Copyright Bruce Owen 2011 - Chavez: Shadowed Lives - Introduction, p2: Immigrant experiences range from migrant farmworkers to an established cement and brick mason - What about José Antonio Vargas for an even greater span of experiences? - undocumented Filipino journalist, came here at age 12, only learned that he was undocumented years later - won a Pulitzer prize for the Washington Post - recently outed himself as undocumented in a New York Times Magazine article - to draw attention to the DREAM act, which would allow people like him who came here as children and met certain criteria like finishing high school here to gain legal immigration status - p3: Look at the situation not as two separate societies in contact… - but as a single system: one labor market and consumer market with a border running through it - what exactly would the two societies really be, anyway? - US and Mexico? - English-speaking and Spanish-speaking? - Those with good, stable jobs and with hard, low-paying, unstable jobs? - Educated and less educated? - Rich and poor? - how does culture relate to this complicated boundary? - Anthropologists used to tend to think about cultures as separate, somewhat isolated units, - mostly understandable in terms of what happens within each culture - that is, in terms of those people’s own culture - and generally seeing interactions with other cultures as exceptions, - or complicated, unusual cases that don’t help us understand much and are not of central importance - but more recently, anthropologists have been recognizing that cultures have always interacted - that many aspects of any given culture are crucially affected by contact with other cultures - cultural features may be important in - distinguishing one’s identity as being from one group or a different one - a group only exists in that it marks a boundary between itself and some other group… - adopting desirable features of another culture - defining and prevailing in trade or political power relations - resisting domination or oppression by another group, and so on - understanding the interconnections between cultures is now seen as crucial, and interesting
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Anth 340.101: Living in our Globalized World F 2011 / Owen: Chavez Intro, Ch. 1, Steckley Ch. 1 p. 2 - p4: Rites of passage: Chavez makes an analogy between the anthropological concept of a rite of passage and the experience of an immigrant moving from (say) Mexico to the US - This metaphor structures much of the book (see p. 12) - So, what exactly is a rite of passage? - A rite of passage is a ritual that marks and produces a change in an individual’s identity - (“rite” is an old-fashioned word for “ritual”; it is not related to “right”) - Examples of rites of passage - baptism: transition from virtually pre-human infant in the natural, pre-cultural state to human infant accepted by God and Church - high school graduation, university graduation: transition from student to educated adult -
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