a340-11f-101-14-SteckleyCh4 - Living in our Globalized...

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Living in our Globalized World: Notes 14 Appealing myths: Steckley Chapter 4 Copyright Bruce Owen 2011 - Steckley: White Lies About the Inuit: Chapter 4, The Myth of the Blond Eskimo, pp. 77-102 - More illustrations of the social construction of knowledge: - Stories about “lost races”, especially of Europeans, particularly Norse in the Arctic, were common from 1890 through the early 20 th century in popular culture of entertainment fiction - 1890: The Ke Whonkus People - 1890: Serialized story of ancient Nordic race discovered in Northern Greenland - another in 1894, another in 1895… - First reports of Copper Inuit - 1850 McClure expedition - friendly encounter - after being trapped for two (three?) years, abandoned the ship and supplies to the Inuit and were rescued by another expedition - 1851 Collinson expedition - brief encounter - First claims that they were “blond” (actually “red haired”) - 1905-6 encounters by Christian Klengenberg; met with Stefansson in 1907 - 1910 Stefansson visited Copper Inuit, declared them “blond” - Interpretations - the idea was already out there, waiting to be exploited - the idea was easily accepted as fact because people had gotten used to hearing it as fiction - it would seem exciting, but not so unfamiliar as to be outlandish - Today it seems outrageous that an idea that started in pulp fiction for boys could be converted into common “knowledge”, taken seriously by much of the public, only 20 years later - Do times really change? - Can we be so sure that some features of common “knowledge” today won’t look as absurd in fifty years? - UFOs? - Conspiracy theories about 9/11? -
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This note was uploaded on 03/02/2012 for the course ANTHRO 340.101 taught by Professor Owen during the Fall '11 term at Sonoma.

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a340-11f-101-14-SteckleyCh4 - Living in our Globalized...

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