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Readings (due November 20)

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 4 months ago

To comment on the following readings, please first indicate your name, e-mail address, and the date of your post. Then, add your comments.

 

Example: [E. Kintz, kintz@geneseo.edu, 8/25]

 

 

IN THE FUTURE COMMENTS - LET'S BEGIN TO THINK LIKE CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGISTS AND USE THE SCHEMATA THAT SCHOLARS APPLY TO THE STUDY OF OTHER CULTURES. PLEASE IDENTIFY YOUR FOCUS FOR YOUR WIKI POST AS:

 

A. ENVIRONMENT

B. KINSHIP AND MARRIAGE

C. ECONOMICS

D. POLITICS

E. IDEOLOGY/SYMBOLISM

F. SOCIAL CHANGE

 

YOU NEED TO HAVE THREE COMMENTS FROM EACH READING USING AND IDENTIFYING THE CATEGORY ABOVE AND YOU MAY USE THE SAME TOPIC MULTIPLE TIMES IF YOU WISH. POSTINGS SHOULD BE LIMITED TO THREE SENTENCES. THIS WIKI IS DESIGNED TO ENSURE YOUR ATTENTION TO THE READINGS LISTED IN YOUR SYLLABUS AND TO ASSIST YOU IN MASTERING INFORMATION ON WORLD CULTURES AND PROVIDING YOU WITH A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE.

 

Student powerpoint, Australian Aborigines

 

Type your comments here . . .

 

 

 

"Should Australian Aborigines Succumb to Capitalism?" Journal of Economic Issues

 

http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=858397991&sid=2&Fmt=4&clientId=12447&RQT=309&VName=PQD">link to article

 

Type your comments here . . .

 

[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 11-18-07]

Should Australian Aborigines Succumb to Capitalism?

-It is very interesting that young males, after ritual circumcision was no longer practiced, turned to crime to prove manhood. What's especially interesting is not the crimes committed, but the desire to go to jail. They would do progressively worse things so as to insure a jail sentence rather than just a talking to. Surely ritual circumcision is better than having all your boys go to jail?!

END

 

 

Should Australian Aborigines Succumb to Capitalism?

[Lanh Nguyen, ltn2@geneseo.edu, 11/19]

Ideology: Groups within mobs would specialize in certain natural resources. Those responsible for a certain animal, for example, would know everything possible about their behaviors and how best to manage their population. There was something of a tribal or spiritual property right, where those wanting to hunt or gather something outside of their specialty had to seek permission….Change: Like all of the other indigenous cultures that we have studied this year, the Australian Aborigines were introduced with new species and unfamiliar disease which contributed to their depletion in population. This was all possible thanks to the Westerners who felt the need to deprive them of their land and resources.

END

 

 

[Dilek Canakci, dc11@geneseo.edu, 12/5]

 

 

 

 

Should Australian Aborigines Succumb to Capitalism?

**Similar to the Yanomamo, Westerners introduced diseases to the Australian Aborigines to control their population. It is awful that Westerners believe that they have the right to kill half a population of people that do not carry similar lifestyles or just not as civilized. It is obvious that Westerners are against indigenous cultures that like to keep their traditional lives and not use much technology like we do. It is just sad that the respect between different people is not there.****Ruby, Chapters 9 & 10Ruby Chapter 9Ruby Chapter 10chapter 9chapter 10Ruby Chapter 9&10Chapter Nine: In the Belly of the Beast: Eric Michaels and Indigenous Media Ideology: This chapter focuses mainly on the late Eric Michaels who was not only a student of Ruby’s but also a colleague and good friend. This chapter also focuses on Michaels great contributions to the anthropology of the media and his various works done with the Australian Aborigines. The importance of television and filming is seen throughout this chapter and one thing I noticed was what Michaels said: “The ‘meaning’ of television was sought in the social relationships of people who watch it, not in the ‘text’ of the programs” (Ruby 2000:223). This line is very true in that the true meaning is indeed seen in the social relationships among the people rather then on its texts. Furthermore, what I found most interesting was Michaels’ study done with the Australian Aborigines, its too bad he died before his studies were fully completed. Here this brilliant man tried to assess the impact of television on remote Aborigine communities and he did this by conducting a study on the before and after effects on the advent of television; by having the Aborigines make videotapes. In all, a great read in that it also makes one realize that one person can contribute a lot to this world as did with Erica Michaels. As Ruby said “The importance of his findings lies not so much in the uniqueness of the information but in the fact that prior to this work, many assumptions about media, information, culture, and television were suppositions or vaguely worded programmatic ideals supported by sparse empirical evidence” (Ruby 2000: 228). In all, it is sad that his life came to an end before he was completely done with his work. I just wonder if he was still alive what other things would he have accomplished. -END- Chapter Ten: Toward an Anthropological Cinema: Some Conclusions and a Possible Future Jealous Ideology: Again we see the importance of the audience in this chapter like we have seen throughout various others. Ruby makes it clear his views on ethnographic films and how they should be produced (Ruby 2000:239-240). Here in this chapter ruby goes on explaining how taking pictures of human activity helps to not only better visualize but to better understand ones culture which I must say he does make a good point in. I also agree when he said “A culture becomes enacted in the social life of its members… the role of the ethnographic filmmaker is to discover the scripts and discern which are the most useful and revealing of the aspect of culture under study, and to turn these performances into a film” (Ruby 2000:241). In all, Ruby makes good remarks on how film should be filmed and the importance of its audience and in all the importance of portraying a culture through the new technology out there… again such as filming. -END- "Steel Axes for Stone Age Australians"This is not on E-Res...?

 

 

Kaitlyn Northrop, krn3@geneseo.edu, 12/12

 

Should Australian Aborigines Succomb to Capitalism

 

After reading this article, all I can think about is how it is interesting that all of the times that the government and the western influences think they are helping the native peoples, they are actually harming their norms, values, and beliefs. The government enters many places thinking that they can make them better, and easier for the people to live in, but what they dont seem to ever understand is that the native people know what is best for themselves. They have survived for years and years with the resources they have and the land that they live on. With the westerers coming and introducing disease to the aborigine societies, they are saying that they are trying to control the population when in actuality they are only destroying population. There are enough deaths occurring from starvation and native disease, that new ones do not need to be introduced. If the governments really wanted to help, they would not bring in a disease that will wipe out millions, but rather they should bring in food that will help save the ones that can still be around.

 

-END-

 

Alfred Dilluvio Ajd12@geneseo.edu 12/12

 

I think this article shows how people attempting to "help" "underdeveloped" (notice the quotes which undoubtedly denote sarcasm) people of the world are often extremey backwards in their approaches. They shouldn't be there in the first place. We see how helping people really means destroying them and their traditions in hopes that their lives will become to unbearable and frustrating that eventully they will turn to the ways of white westerners and adopt practices and beliefs wholly foreign to them.

 

[Elen De Oliveira, emd10@geneseo.edu, 12/14]

 

Should Australian Aborigines Succumb to Capitalism

 

From this article I have gathered that the Australian Aborigines were really happy with the way they were living. Even those that were not part of their culture such as the Europeans commented that they were extremely happy with whatever they had to eat and with the way they were living. For this reason, I don't understand why the settlers would see the need to change thier way of life. It was clear that they were in no need of anybody's help. It is the exact same case as every other time outsiders such as the U.S. have tried to change other cultures and take over their land. The same thing happened with the Native Americans and the outcomes are always the same. Many people are murdered or killed by diseases they aren't immune to, children are taken away from their families, and cultures are broken. You would think we would learn that we do not always know what is best for other people just because we are a powerful country, but we seem to not be able to grasp that. We always apologize and recognize our mistakes after the fact, but unfortunately that doesnt bring back the many lives that were lost becuase of our stupidity.

 

 

 

[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 12/14]

 

Should Australian Aborigines Succumb to Capitalism?

 

CHANGE: The lives of Aborigines have been very stable until recently. With foreigners entering their lands, many new and different things have entered their lives as well, including diseases, invasive species, western ideas, and a capitalistic culture. However, the important question that comes into play is whether or not they should succumb to the changes or preserve their traditions. And if they do try to do both, where is the line drawn? What is the balance between keeping their traditions and changing to a capitalistic society?

 

END

 

[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 12/15/07]

 

Should Australian Aborigines Succumb to Capitalism?

Politics: Almost a quarter of the indigenous population is unemployed. There are policies like CDEP that provides jobs instead of unemployment benefits, but there is not difference in financial compensation. Indigenous Unemployment Policy tries to match Aborigines with mainstream labor markets but this is ineffective, since both groups are not provided with adequate funding. Another reason that these fail is due to the fact that they put indigenous people in jobs that are inconsistent with their culture. They also slow that accumulation of money for the culture that is so necessary for community development. This shows that groups such as these would benefit by taking a cultural perspective, so that they will better understand those that they are trying to help.

END.

 

(Cameron Mack, cfm6@genseseo.edu, 12/15)

 

Should Australian Aborigines Succumb to Capitalism?

 

- Change: Reading the first few sentences of this article proves the struggle that the Aborigines have gone through in the last 200 years. Prior to reading this article, I had not quite realized the amount of time the Aborigines occupied Australia. It is remarkable that they had remained in their native land for such an enormous period of time without being altered or directly influenced. Obviously, after being invaded by foreigners, their culture was indefinately changed. The question that this article poses has to do with capitalism in Australia and among the aborigines. The issue put forth by the authors is clearly an intriguing one. On one hand, the aborigines are in a situation where their culture can still be preserved; but on the other hand, the people of the society in danger of losing much more than their traditions. There is probably not a cut and dry answer to this complex question, yet is something that must be addressed immediately.

 

 

 

[Jonathon Baker, jlb22@geneseo.edu, 12/16/07]

Australian Aborigines Succumb to Capitalism

This is a very tough call…At first glance, I felt like they should just be left alone, free to practice their old ways and be independent of outside culture—it sounds as though they are perfectly happy on their own. It is more the future of that that worries me however. With environmental changes, as well as technological advances, I feel that they deserve to know what is going on in the larger world around them for their own benefit. Maybe it will be easier for them to adjust now then it will be years from now when something happens that forces them to adapt. Maybe now there is a better chance that some of their culture will be preserved. I suppose in the end, however, it should be their call…

END

 

 

 

[Steph Aquilina, sma8@geneseo.edu, 12/16]

 

Should Australian Aborigines Succumb to Capitalism?

 

POLITICS/SOCIAL CHANGE: Traditionally, Austrlian Aborigines used land symbiotic – it was collectively owned by the group, and invaders who wished to enter this land had to ask permission. Therefore, when new settlers brought cattle onto these lands (albeit unknowingly), the Aborigines saw these animals as rightful food sources, and they pursued them as such. However, according to the settlers, this act constituted a property crime. This cultural clash has dangerous implications because it punishes the Aborigines for following their customary ways of life and infringes on their inherent sense of territory and identity. Moreover, juvenile male crime rates increased because once ritualized circumcision disappeared, the rite of passage into maturity for teenage boys became incarceration. They would perform even petty crimes just to experience getting arrested and “becoming a man.” As Aborigine culture is exposed to Westernization, new influences may prove to be detrimental to the society as a whole – especially considering the potential for crime escalation if serious misdemeanors begin to signify a “manlier” image.

-END-

 

[Nicole Rothman, ngr1@geneseo.edu" href="mailto:ngr1@geneseo.edu" class="linkification-ext">ngr1@geneseo.edu, 12/16]

Should Australian Aborigines Succumb to Capitalism?

It’s interesting to see how governments believe they are helping native people, when in fact they are harming them. The values, beliefs and way of life for the natives change when the government steps in. a similar situation took place with the Native Americans and resulted in massive destruction of the population and culture. The government believes that they are helping an underdeveloped society when in fact they end up bringing diseases and outside influence and control, which end up destroying the culture and population.

END

 

[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu, 12/16]

 

Should Australian Aborigines Succumb to Capitalism

Change: I agree that if the Aborigines should decide to become part of capitalism, they should at least be able to do so on their own terms. If they are allowed to adapt themselves to this type of system, they will best be able to fit it to their own culture and their own needs. Who knows, they may actually find a new and better way to coexist with capitalism that may be beneficiary to other cultures facing the same problem. Another thing that I thought was interesting was that our society and the powers that be in Austrailia all seem to think that unemployment is a bad thing. In the case of a traditional people like the Aborigines, as long as the land they live on has enough food to live relatively well off of, why should they work? Why would they feel the need to? Granted, I’m sure some of the unemployed actually want to be employed so that they can partake in the whole money for really cool expensive toys or just a few everyday amenities and I think there should be effort made to encourage those people who chose to take that route. It should not be forced upon them nor should it be deprived of them. END

 

 

[Laurie Sadofsky, las22@geneseo.edu, 12/17]

Should Australian Aborigines Succumb to Capitalism?

Health/ Social change: What struck me most about this article are the disparities between the health of the indigenous and non-indigenous Australian people. The infant mortality rate is much higher and the life expectancy is significantly lower for indigenous people. In addition, they are more likely to die from heart disease, respiratory and digestive problems, diabetes and cancer than non-indigenous Australians. Diseases like these are common when indigenous people begin to eat processed Western food and change their traditional lifestyles. These medical problems add financial burdens on a culture already plagued by unemployment and a lack of control over their land and lives.

-END-

 

 

[Rebecca Coons, rsc2@geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]

Should Australian Aborigines Succumb…- Western civilization has introduced disease to the Aborigine culture as a means of population control and wiping out large numbers of native people. Of course western cultures believe that they are helping native peoples to become more civilized and assimilate to the “norms” but in reality we are destroying some of the most interesting and oldest cultures that exist. You’d think that we would have learned from looking at what we did to the Native American population, but we just apologize when all’s said and done, give them rights to open casinos, provide reservations, and hope the band-aid will stick. Nothing is being done to solve the problems of westernization.

 

Charlie Genao cg7@geneseo.edu 12/17/07

I think people dont learn from history. I think the people should not succumb to captialism because none of thier ideals matches with the political system's ideals. Westernization creates a dependency systems. Thus eventually they would stop thier self suffient ways and rely on outsiders and trade for thier basic needs. So no them with capitalism is not a good mix.

 

[Lok Yung Yam, ly5@geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]

Should Australian Aborigines Succumb to Capitalism?

 

After living for centuries on their own, Westerners came and changed the aborigines' lifestyles drastically. If the aborigines were to completely Westernize their society, they would live like Americans and live well. However, it would not be their culture they would be living; it would be an American lifestyle that is completely unnecessary. If living like people have done for twice as long as Americans have is lack of progress, then I

 

[Skye Naslund, sjn1@geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]

Australian Aboriginies Succumb to Capitalism

Politics and Economics-The issue of whether Aboriginies should turn to capitalism is not just an economic decision. The system that the Aboriginies have traditionally used has strong foundations in the political system and structural hierarchy among the people. Should they adapt economically to the modern system they will loose their traditional culture, not just economy.

 

 {Isobel Connors, icc2@geneseo.edu, 12/17}

 

Should Australian Aborigines Succumb to Capitalism?

 

POLITICS/ECONOMICS:  This article describes how Westerners have attempted to force their culture on Aborigines and essentially strip them of their own.  I think that often times these Westerners believe that they are truly helping these "unciviized" people; however, if they took a step back they would realize that most cultures are happy and comfortable with their own traditions.  Most importantly, these people were never asked if they wanted a change:  although they may benefit from a shift to capitalism, they will lose the culture that makes them unique.

~END.

 

Ruby Ch. 9: In The Belly of the Beast

[Lanh Nguyen, ltn2@geneseo.edu, 11/11]

Ideology: This chapter focuses on the late Eric Michael who was a students of Ruby's. Michael studied the anthropology of visual communication, aslo known as antrhopological study of the media. Michael was studying the Aborigines of Australia before he passed away. He discovered that television in Yuendumu was being used as a form of social organization. The people would post times for when certain groups were allowed to watch based on age and sex (Ruby 2000:227). Michael emphasizes the importance of leaving indigenous people to themselves if we want to see the impact of media on them. Western training and contact will hinder the naturalness of this process.

 

Ruby Ch. 10: Toward and Anthropological Cinema

[Lanh Nguyen, ltn2@geneseo.edu, 11/11]

Politics: Anthropological cinema is only achieved when filmmakers produce films that tell the story of the field research and of the people studied. They must do this in a reflexive manner which allow audiences to enjoy the cinematic illustrations without causing them to think that they were watching a reality show. The difficult is that we are never able to view the world through the eyes of the native. Hopefully, through these ethnographic films we are able to see the natives through the eyes of the anthropologist.

END

 

 

[Larkin Kimmerer, llk5@geneseo.edu, 11/25]

 

Change: There is a question arising in visual anthropology regarding the introduction of television and movies to traditional cultures. Most people have tried to use a single cause-effect relationship but Eric Michaels, the visual anthropologist, says that it is not the content--what the people see on the television (such as violence) but the form of the programs they see (Ruby 2000:231). So it is not a matter of seeing violence leads to violence, but a matter of the introduction of fictional narratives into Walpiri society that can challenge and change their worldviews.

 

 

Ideology: Ruby spends a fair bit of text in this chapter dissecting the metaphor "All the world's a stage" in an ethnographic film sense. The biggest difference, he says (Ruby 2000:251) is that on the stage there are directors and producers, but in "human social dramas" people are socialized into how they behave, not trained. It is an interesting question--should we view human behavior as acting?

END

 

 

 

[Jonathon Baker, jlb22@geneseo.edu, 11/21/07]

Ruby: Chapters 9 &10

Chapter 9

Change: What Michaels did in Northern Territory Australia was really cool. Teaching the Aborigines to make their own films about themselves was a great idea. This way I suppose is the most genuine way of generating truly ethnographic film, although I don’t believe it will produce too many candid moments, but at least the equipment and means of production are with the subjects of the work and not an outside party (page 227).

Chapter 10

Politics: For all the accusations that Ruby makes about other anthropologists’ “timid” attempts at fixing the problems that ethnographic cinema presents, he has hardly a perfect solution for any of them himself. I am wondering right now if Ruby has made any films of his own and if so when he is going to critique them and address the issues (pp. 258-262). (

END

 

[Elen De Oliveira, emd10@geneseo.edu, 11/30]

 

 

 

It is interesting to see how much impact ethnographers can have on the lives of their subjects which they are studying. Michaels, for instance, was able to introduce the art of videotaping into the Walpiri culture he was studying and teach them how to incorporate it into their lives. The fact that they continue to make their own recordings and films to this day shows the impact it had on them. Ethnographers have the ability to broadly change a culture which in some cases can be a great thing, while in other cases it can be a harmful thing for thier culture.

 

 

 

It is interesting how in all cultures, wether primitive or modern, there are rituals and certain methods of behaviors for different situations which everyone knows about and acts accordngly. We have weddings and funerals and doctors appointments, all of which have a specific flow to them. We know when to be quiet and when you clap and what questions to ask, so an outsider would be able to grasp our culture through these events. Even primitive cultures have these rituals where everyone acts a specific way whether it be dances or healing rituals and much of their culture is learned through the study of those things. As this chapter notices, alot of ethnographers use these as a base for their films as well.

 

END

 

[Heather Warren, hrw1@geneseo.edu, 12/2]

 

Ruby 9

 

Culture: In chapter 9 an interesting point was brought out. “Culture is itself information, and kinship and social structures are communication systems which bring certain people together, but exclude others, protecting communication pathways and the value of information they carry. This suggests a deeper and less obvious concern with media’s effects than simply worrying about whether viewers imitate anti-social or cultural destructive behavior they see on TV” (Ruby 225). This is important because so many people are focused on the issue of whether or not violent images on TV are causing people to act out violently but what they are completely ignoring is the underlying messages that are not only in TV but also in everyday cultural practices, which influence us much more deeply and subtly. Thus, the result goes unnoticed until it becomes a dangerous or unacceptable outburst.

 

 

Ruby 10

Culture / Social Change: In chapter 10, the idea of social acceptability and cultural regulations. It was commented that, “social life consists of the interplay between what one is supposed to do and what one actually does” (Ruby 241). The example they give is a wedding. We know how it is supposed to go if it is perfect, but people always have a way of deviating to suit their own needs while still having a successful result. Nothing ever manages to go perfectly which is why it is imperative that people know how to adapt to situations while remaining within the bounds of social acceptance. A sort of ‘bending the rules’ sort of thing. Of course, the other half of this is, that people judge each other and this social judgment is what helps us stay in line and not conflict overly much with each other. Without these social boundaries it is likely that we would have a great deal more conflictions. We can easily see this for example, when one culture comes in contact with another. They do not have the same socially regulations and often conflicts arise as a result. -END-

 

 

[Dilek Canakci, dc11@geneseo.edu, 12/5]

 

 

 

Ruby’s student, Eric Michael, is mentioned throughout this chapter. Ruby also talks about the importance of having a story throughout an ethnographic film. A story keeps the attention and interest of the viewers and it is what keeps the viewers thinking about the film after they view it. Ruby also talks about the certain kinds of behavior that we make sure to have in different situations. They are almost like rules to act appropriate and be acceptable in different situations.

 

 

[Shamiran Warda, sw11@geneseo.edu, 12/08]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kaitlyn northrop, krn3@geneseo.edu, 12/12

 

Ruby 9/10

 

9- It is always interesting to me to read about the impact that anthropologists and ethnographers can have on the people that they study. An example of this from Ruby's book would be Eric Michaels. He was able to introduce film making to the australian Aborigines, making them able to create a fairly genuine film about themselves and their native views and beliefs. With them making their own film, they are able to discus what they are doing, see what they have created, and then have a feeling of accomplishment.

 

10- It was interesting to read about how Ruby felt about social norms that cultures have. Some cultures, like ours, have weddings/funerals etc and these would be considered rituals in a way for us. Generally, people know how to act at a wedding or a funeral and they do so accordingly. This is because we were brought up to know these things and they were taught to us throughout our lives. Other cultures, however, have different social norms that they act accordingly. We may not understand theirs, and they may not understand ours, but generally filmmakers like to focus on these types of things in their films. Audiences generally like to learn about people who are different than them and things that they do differently, therefore the film can be considered a success based on its likeability by the audience.

 

END

 

Alfred Dilluvio ajd12@geneseo.edu 12/12

 

Chapter 9: I like the idea of giving the natives cameras and seeing what they feel is important or worthy of sharing of their culture. This seems to be the best way to keep an ethical base in making ethnographic film. I like the fact that what these people wish to share or think is important is what you will get depending it isnt edited or cropped. This reminds me of an exhibit in Milne which had pictures of what Hatian children made them happy or sad etc. etc.

 

Chapter 10: Overall, Ruby has shown me that there is no way to make a "good" ethnographic film. He has pushed me so far into postmodernism that i can't even remember what it was like to actually "show" someone anything the way it was meant to be. Can we actually show anything with all the possible ways it can be interpreted or edited? I am now able to say no we cannot. I wonder what a film would be like that Ruby might make? I don't think he would make any.

 

[Jennifer Ritzenthaler, jkr5@geneseo.edu, 12/13/07]

Ruby Ch. 9

Ideology: This chapter describes how it is important for ethnographic filmmakers to understand the way that their work affects the people they portray and those who view the images, rather than being concerned with making films that will be thought of as important. Eric Michaels has given cautionary tales about the long-term impact of ethnographic filmmaking and Jay Ruby agrees with what he says concerning it (Ruby 2000: 236). Ruby goes on to say on page 237, that “Anthropologists interested in attempting to pictorially represent indigenous people have no choice but to position their needs within a framework,” so that the community is involved in the way that they are represented. This might create some bias concerning how the culture views itself; however, an emic perspective is also very important in anthropological study.

 

Ruby Ch. 10

Methodology: Jay Ruby (2000: 239) describes his view of how ethnographic filmmaking should be the select province of anthropologists who are interested in making pictorial ethnographies. He says that this would require anthropologists to separate themselves from the current world of documentary and ethnographic film, which would be a very difficult task. This is important since it shows that what is popular in film is certainly not necessarily the best solution for understanding a culture and a lifestyle.

END.

 

 

 

[Anne Kim, ak13@geneseo.edu, 12/14]

 

Ruby Chapter 9

 

CHANGE: In this chapter, Hockings discusses Eric Michael’s works in anthropology. He discusses Michael’s pioneering contributions for the future of anthropology and ethnography. Hockings adds that Michaels was not an ethnographic filmmaker but an anthropology analyzer. However, Hockings believes that his publications are a step forward in the application of ethnographic methods. This change can allow more understanding of people’s lives.

 

Ruby Chapter 10

IDEOLOGY: Hockings sums up his ideas throughout his book in this chapter. He states that ethnographic filmmaking should be the exclusive province of anthropologists interested in making pictorial ethnographies. He puts much emphasis on filmmaking to other anthropologists to send their message to the audience by making films and using the media. However, he acknowledges the fact that this won’t be an easy task and that there will be many controversies along the way. However, he pushes others to try and to correct their mistakes film after film.

 

END

 

[Dan McConvey, dpm5@geneseo.edu, 12/14]

 

 

Chapter 9

Change: “TV is like an invasion…. We’re trying to teach kids you can be Aboriginal and keep your language and still mix in the wider community and have English as well” (231). This is interesting that the Aboriginines are being given the opportunity to get into the media, the chapter does a good job at acknowledging how careful the culture must be about not losing their language, and thus their culture, as a result of it.

It can almost be seen as counteractive to promote television with Aborigines because they are speaking English. This is going to create a draw for children to change because an English speaking Aborigine is the “idolized-figure” that they are going to see on TV and consequently aspire to be.

 

Chapter 10**

Change and future for Ethnographic Film:

Ruby offers the option of Anthropologists capturing the Ethnographic Film for a science of itself. The film that is being made is being placed in comparison to standard film because ethnographic film is being made along the same guidelines as the standard films. Instead of using producers and technicians the Anthropological realm needs to develop its own science and technique or it will forever be interpreted and judged along the guidelines of standard film. The anthropologist will find great difficulty in this because they must convince the audience that “the choices made were deliberate and not the result of incompetence” (239).

END

 

[Dan Lilly, djl5@geneseo.edu, 12/15]

 

Chapter 9

Chapter 9 was one of Ruby's less uplifting chapters, and that's kind of saying something. Big corporations, in any realm, are a very substantial foe, and media corporations are causing more problems than just the ethnographic filming issues Ruby points out. Of course, this makes me automatically want to side with Ruby even more, now that we have a common enemy. I thought it was interesting that indigenous films had to stay under the radar and would be ruined if they were found out by major media corporations because they would lose their uniqueness. Just another example of how the effects of something actually turn out to be the opposite of what you would think.

 

Chapter 10

Geertz's example of a twitch and a wink is an interesting one. Often we think of film as capable of capturing the most from actions and behavior without leaving room for misinterpretation, because we have visual motion and sound. What more could someone want? But the fact remains that misinterpretations exist even in direct contact between people, so inevitably, they'll happen in films too. The difference between a twitch and a wink seems like a miniscule detail, but it serves to poke a hole in the balloon of ethnographic film.

END

 

(Cameron Mack, cfm6@geneseo.edu, 12/15)

 

Ruby: Chapter 9 & 10

 

Chapter 9- In this section, Ruby discusses further the "pioneering contributions" of Eric Michaels to the anthropology "of the media and to indigenous media studies". As an anthropological analysist of the media and a facilitator of/for the production of images by Australian Aborigines, Michaels is able to deal with the issues of anthropology and ethnography, as well as how they adhere to the media and large corporations. I think it may be counter-intuitive to involve the aborigines in the media, altering their culture even further. I am not an advocate of the media or marketing in any way, however.

 

Chapter 10- Ruby's reading of Geertz in this section was an interesting analysis to me. His discussion and interpretation had to do with Geertz' view of how effective an ethnography is in extracting a cultures physical and visible behavior. Geertz claims further that the behavior of a culture must be treated in a certain manner in which to correctly portray the society. Ruby probes Geertz' thought that a culture can be seen in their visible behavior. He explains how the anthropologist proves his point about the visible behavior of the culture, but fails to conclude that it is able to be filmed. Ruby makes the claim that his thought is original and helpful in furthering the bonds of communications through ethnography, but is still contradictory in that he does not believe that the cinema can show this. I understand Geertz' ambivalence in this area. Although the culture can be seen in their visible behavior, there are many aspects of filming that alter the viewer's perception towards what they see (bias). A proper ethnography, however, should seem to overcome this hurdle.

 

[Nicole Rothman, ngr1@geneseo.edu" href="mailto:ngr1@geneseo.edu" class="linkification-ext">ngr1@geneseo.edu, 12/16]

Ruby Chapter 9

I thought it was very interesting that he taught the Aborigines to make their own films. This is the perfect way to see Aborigine culture through their eyes. People tend to take pictures and film things and events, which are important to them; this seems like a great way to learn about what is important to the Aborigines.

 

Ruby Chapter 10

Anthropological cinema is achieved when films have a balance of research and the studied people. However information must be presented in a way which allows the viewer to enjoy the information and not think it’s scripted or like a “reality show.” It’s rare to see a culture through their own eyes, which is why the idea and situation presented in chapter nine is interesting, for the most part films are made through the eyes of the anthropologist/ethnographer.

END

 

 

Type your comments here . . .

 

 

Shamiran Warda, sw11@geneseo.edu

Can't find this reading anywhere... sadly not on eres either... :(

 

[Laurie Sadofsky, las22@geneseo.edu, 12/17]

Ruby Chapter 9

Social Stratification: It is interesting that Ruby compares television to religion or other supernatural systems (Ruby 234-5). He points out that television molds the way we see the world. The media shows us very biased and hand-selected news stories. African-Americans and homosexuals are depicted in very stereotypical and often offensive ways. If national television can shape our minds so greatly about our own society, visual anthropologists need to be very careful about the impression their film makes on its viewers about the subjects and their culture. Ruby ties this to the work of Eric Michaels, especially his films on Australian Aborigines. It all boils down to giving the rights and power to those previously pushed to the side or prevented from receiving the profits derived from their existence. -END-

[Laurie Sadofsky, las22@geneseo.edu, 12/17]

Ruby Chapter 10

Methodology: Ruby finishes his book with a very long-winded explanation about the work of anthropologists who have made ethnographic films as well as critics of the combination of filmmaking and anthropology. He concludes that, if done correctly, they can ad should be a major part of ethnographic work if the anthropologist is interested in visual research that will actual show us the culture rather than let us put together an image in our head based on reading and a few photographs. He finishes with a hope that anthropology departments will encourage ethnographic film as a method in the field. Ruby would be pleased we watched films he would criticize very heavily like “Nanook of the North” as well as films he would deem truly informative and culturally revealing like “Bitter Melons” and “The Nuer.” More than anything, he might just be thrilled we read his book. -END-

 

 

[Rebecca Coons, rsc2@geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]

Ruby (Chapters 9 & 10) – Ruby talks about having a story to tell throughout the film to keep the audience interested. Unfortunately, adding a story often takes away from some of the anthropology behind the film and it becomes more about keeping the audience interested than about the people whose culture is being presented.

 

Charlie Genao, cg7@geneseo.edu 12/17/07

Chapter 9/10

 

[Lok Yung Yam, ly5@geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]

 

Ruby Chapter 9

I think aborigine-made film is a good idea regardless of the language that is spoken in them. At least the aborigines watching can somewhat relate to the people in the film. Also, by making the films themselves, the aborigines decide what to put in them, and how to portray themselves, rather than allow outsiders to do so. Even if these films were mass-marketed, I don't think their authenticity could be taken away.

 

Ruby Chapter 10

I think a balance of entertainment and facts is the best way to teach people about other cultures. It's hard to get me, a person uninvolved with anthropology, to be passionate about learning about the culture unless fancy video editing is involved. Although it does take away some of the facts and truth of the film, I'm watching it, and that should be a goal in itself.

 

[Skye Naslund, sjn1@geneseo.edu, 12/17/07]

Ruby Chapters Nine and Ten

Tradition and Change-The idea presented in chapter nine that western cultures seek to broadcast information to as many people as possible and that traditional cultures seek to “narrowcast” information by oral tradition in a very set pattern presents anthropologists with a dilemma. Because information is to be given according to specific rules of tradition, it may go against the culture of some people to have their ceremonies and information and stories recorded. On the contrary, our culture desires for us to gain as much information as possible and to store that information. Here the anthropologist has to decide which culture they are to follow. It makes me wonder if the natives being filmed always understand that they are being filmed and that their information is going to be displayed to many people.

 

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