Items Vol. 49 No.1 (1995)

Page 1

( SOCIAL SCIENCE RESEARCH COUNCIL) Volume 49/ Number 1 / March 1995 •

On Culture, Health, and Human Development: Emerging Perspectives II Introduction

by Frank Kessel* The SSRC's Committee on Culture, Health, and Human Development "is an international, interdisciplinary network of scholars who e chief concern is to bring comparative, cross-cultural and contextual perspectives to bear on our understanding of major issues in the nexus of health and human development."1 Its mandate and rationale arose out of two sets of circumstances. The first relates to large and widespread sociopolitical change and their negative impact on human development and health; and the second arises out of the increasingly recognized limits of existing biomedical models and research in generating knowledge to help address such changes and their attendant challenges. Given that starting point, the committee proceeded to formulate a series of broad programmatic and substantive purposes and themes. For example, "to explore in detail whether and how models and processes drawn from one domain (health or development) can yield a new understanding in the other"; to • FranIc Kessel, a psychologi t, is program director of the Committee on Culture, Health, and Human Development. He was responsible for editing the essays that comprise the present article and for providing the opening and closing comments. I Frank Kessel, "On Culture, Health, and Human Development: Emerging Perspectives." Items, 46(4): 65-72, December 1992.


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"strengthen theoretical foundations .. . by bringing to bear a deep and detailed conception of culture that can be explicitly integrated with existing biosocial points of view"; to undertake conceptual and empirical work where multiplicity and variation are seen as intrinsic to both health and human development and to intervention of all kinds, Against this background, the following essays by committee members are intended to serve as a sampling of the activities that they and others have subsequently undertaken and planned.2 2 The committee's initial planning discussions were supported by the William T. Grant Foundation. Since 1993 its core activities have been funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.


On Culture, Health, and Human Development: Emerging Perspectives II Introduction, Frank Kessel Cultural Practices: Toward an Integration of Development and Culture, Peggy Miller and Jacqueline GoodfWW 2 Ethnopediatrics: A 8egiMing Outline, 6 Corol Worthman Culture, Identity, and Conflict, Richard Shweder and Hazel Marbs


Social Suffering, Arthur Kleinman 13 Violence, Political Agency, and the Self, ~ena Das 16 Cultures of Biomedicine, MargarttLocA:


Conclusion, F. Kessel 21 Current Activities at the Council 24

Second Annual Abe Fellows' Conference Global Environmental ClIange Seminar Political Economy of Water in South Asia Training Workshop in

24 24 25

Central America 25 German-American Academic Council Summer Institutes 25 Recent Council Publications 27 The Future of International 30 Scholarship: An Exchange Post-Cold War "International" Scholarship: A Brave New Wood or the Triumph of Fonn over Substance? Robert T. Huber. Blair A. Ruble, and Peter J. Stavrakis 30 Toward a Moratorium on Litmus Tests, Stanley J. H~ginbotham


Cultural Practices: Toward an Integration of Development and Culture by Peggy Miller and Jacqueline Goodnow* As signaled by the e tablishment of this committee, and its program on "Cultural Constructions of Human Development," "context" and "culture" have been moving, in recent years, from the margins towards the center of developmental study (although as terms they are by no means newcomers to the discourse of developmental psychology and cognate disciplines). Symposia on development and culture have attracted large audiences at the last several meetings of the Society for Research in Child Development. Two new journals (Culture and Psychology and Mind, Culture, and Activity) have been established to meet the need for interdisciplinary inquiry into culture, p ychological functioning, and human development. And the forthcoming revision of the Manual of Child Psychology, the standard reference book in developmental psychology, will include a chapter on cultural psychology authored by Richard Shweder and other members of the committee's Human Development Program. These professional and substantive events reflect growing recognition of the enormous variation in the conditions under which "normal" development proceeds, both within and across ocietie . They al 0 reflect increasing awareness that for children everywhere-including tho e in our own backyards-<levelopment is an outgrowth of cultural life and i thus inextricably bound to particular contexts. However, as developmentalists take on the challenge of incorporating "context" and "culture" into their understandings of human development, the question often arise , What can one do with these concepts? How can they be translated into research? Aware that models that integrate the cultural with the developmental are till not readily at hand, we turned to the notion of "cultural practices" for po sible olutions to this problem. Cultural practices are meaningful actions that occur routinely in everyday life, that are widely hared by members of the group, and that carry with them normative expectations about • Peggy Miller is a professor in the Department of Speech Communication. University of Illinois. Urbana-Olampaign. Jacqueline Goodnow is a senior research fellow at M cquarie University in Sydney. Au tralia.


how things should be done. In recent years practice theories have had a major impact on thinking in sociology and anthropology. Ortner, for example, identified cultural practices as the "new key symbol" around which theoretical orientations and methods are being developed in anthropology) And practice approaches have also been prominent within tudies of language and narrative. 4 For developmentalists, cultural practices is an appealing concept becau e it offers a unified view of development and culture as intertwined proces es, and because it also provides a way to break down the separation between thinking, doing, feeling, and becoming. (These points will be developed more fully below.) The committee's particular work on cultural practice began in March 1993 with asymposium we organized at the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD).s Our aim was to survey the ways in which developmental re earchers were making use of the notion and to identify the strengths and limitations of this approach. Cutting across the papers was a concern with general proposals-e.g., that practices provide a way of concretizing "culture" or "cultural principles," a method for documenting the process of development by observing change in participation in practices, and a challenge to existing assumptions about the endpoint of development. By way of continuing and deepening the discussion begun at the symposium, we held a two-day workshop on Cultural Practices immediately following the SRCD meeting. Organized by Miller, Goodnow, and Kes el, the workshop brought together a group of 18 cholars working in the disciplines of anthropology, education, language studies, and psychology.6 In the course of discussions that ranged broadly across is ue of definition, methodology, implications, and re earch "Theory in Anthropology Since the Sixties." Soci~ty for Study ofSoci~ty and History. 26: 126-166. 1984. [In each of

3 Sherry Ortner. Comparotiv~

these essays only selective. iIIu trative references are provided- F.K.] 4 Bambi Schieffelin and Elinor Och • eds .• I.anguag~ Social'lOtion Across Culturts. New Yorlc: Cambridge University Pres • 1986. ~ The symposium was organized by Jacqueline Goodnow. Macquarie University. and Peggy Miller. University of lIIinoi . Other participants were Michael Cole. University of California, San Diego; Terezinha Nunes. University of London; and Barbara Rogoff. University of California, Santa Cruz. 6 In addition to the co-organizers. the wortcshop participan were: Margarita Azrnitia, University of California, Santa Cruz; Michael Cole. University of California, San Diego; Catherine Cooper. University of California. Santa Cruz; Sara Harkness. Penn ylvania State University; Kayoko Inagaki. Chiba University; Donald Kulick. New York University; Barbara Miller. George Washington University; Terezinha Nunes. University of London; Elinor Oehs. University of California, Los Angeles; VOLUME 49, N UMBER


directions, two clear points emerged. One was that the topic could be, in fact. a productive focal point for interdisciplinary analyse of development. The other was that interesting research undertaken from a practice perspective was beginning to emerge. The time therefore seemed ripe to bring out a collection of such work, geared toward extending specific proposals and re earch applications of cultural practice approaches to development. At this point we considered two possible next step for the committee to pursue. We could either undertake a slow-ta-produce large volume covering contributions from most of the workshop participants, or more rapidly edit a smaller monograph focused upon some central propositions highlighted by the workshop. We took the latter path and selected four research studies to serve as the core of a volume in the Jossey-Bass New Directions in Child Development series.' In the monograph these four chapters are framed by an opening chapter (written by Miller and Goodnow) which introduces the conceptual framework and reviews approaches that have emerged within studies of language but that are transferable to other content areas. Of the specific re earch chapters, two are by anthropologists (Barbara Miller; and Richard Shweder, together with Lene Amett Jen en and William Goldstein), and two by developmental p ychologists (Terezinha Nunes; and Barbara Rogoff and her coUeagues, Jacqueline Baker-Sennet, Pilar Lacasa, and Denise Goldsmith). The closing chapter, by Michael Cole (a scholar with interests in both disciplines), reviews overlaps between "practices" approaches and those placed under the label of Russian theories of "activity" or "activity system." What then are the key issues and propositions that have emerged from these various committee activities? Since these are discussed at length in the New Directions volume, we will provide here only a brief outline of several of these points. I. What do we mean by "cultural practices"? Not Bamara Rogoff. University of California, Santa Cruz; Bambi Schiemin. New York University; Roben Serpell. University of Maryland. Committee members Giyoo Hatano. DoIckyo University; Richard Shweder. University of Chicago; and Carol Worthman. Emory University. also participated. The workshop was supponed by a grant from the WiUiam T. Grant Foundation. 1 Jacqueline Goodnow. Peggy Miller. and Franlc Kessel. eds .• "Cultural Practices as Contexts for Development," N~ Directions in CIUId Develop~nt No. 67. San Francisco: Jossey·B • 1995. MARCH


urprisingly, given the variety of disciplines that have appropriated the term, there is no single definition of "cultural practice ." As already noted, there is also debate about the precise meanings of "activities" as distinct from "practice ," e pecially among developmentalists such as Cole who work within the Vygotskian tradition. Acknowledging that. and with an eye to the question-What would you do with the concept of practice?-we propo e a working definition that combines features from several disciplines and theoretical perspectives. Mo t fundamentally, practices are actions. The term refers to what people do (including what they do with language)-that is, to matters that are open to observation by the researcher and by others in a social group. Thus, one of the appeals of attention to practices lie in their ob ervability. However, what is open to observation is not behavior in the literal behaviorist sense but. rather, meaningful action, action that is situated in context and subject to interpretation. By this minimal criterion, all human actions would count as practices. A definition more useful for addressing developmental questions is one that adds these several qualifiers. Practices have a routine or repeated quality to them. Our definition also adds the qualifiers "social" or "cultural." These terms point to actions that are engaged in by many or most members of a cultural group and that carry with them normative expectations about how things should be done. s Thus cultural practices are not neutral; they come packaged with values about what is natural, mature, morally right. or aesthetically pleasing. These, then, are actions that may easily become part of a group's identity. As people learn the practice-its essential and its optional features-they also develop values and a sense of belonging and identity within the community. At the same time, the shared quality of the practice means that it may be sustained, changed, or challenged by a variety of people. 2. Practices provide a way of describing development-in-context, without separating child and context and without partitioning development into a variety of separate domains. This proposition addresses several interrelated concerns which, as mentioned above, have arisen in developmental study. The first is to move beyond the individual considered in isolation, to make • Laboratory of Comparative Human Coif\ition. "Culture and Cognitive Development." In William Kessen. ed .• Mussen's Handbook of Child Psychology, 4th ed .• vol. I. New York: Wiley. 1983.


a place for the sociaVculturaUhistorical context. The second is to move beyond the view of the individual as passively shaped by socializing agents, to make room for the active, constructive, transforming (or even resisting) person. To put this another way, what is sought is an understanding of society and individuals that avoids the twin hazards of "individual constructivism" and "social determinism." The former so emphasizes the individual that minimal attention is given to the way objects are socially defined, actions are socially constrained, and the acquisition of some forms of knowledge promoted while others are restricted or prohibited.9 The latter sees the social context as shaping the individual to such an extent that attention to, and the possibilities of, choice, intention, and resistance become minimal. Both of these extremes are avoided when the person-participating-in-a-practice is taken as the unit of analysis. Here individual and context are treated as interdependent and mutually active; individuals and society are seen as mutually constituted or co-created. Society constructs persons of a particular kind and, at the same time, people construct society. This perspective implies a conception of culture and of context very different than is commonly assumed, at least in developmental psychology. Cultures are not static givens but dynamic systems that are continually being produced, reproduced, and changed. Contexts are not dictated by the social and physical environment but ongoing accomplishments negotiated by participants. A cultural practice approach to development thus offers a holistic conception of individual and context as constituting an interlocking system in which the practice changes along with the person. IO As mentioned above, this approach is holistic in another way as well. It addresses the growing impetus in developmental psychology-indeed, in psychology as a whole-to break down the segregation of thinking from other parts of life, i.e., the separation of thinking from "doing" or "being," the division between the "cognitive" and the "social," "emotional" or "personal." In contrast to this separation, the concept of 9 Jacqueline Goodnow, ''The Socialization of Cognition: What's InvolvedT' In J.W. Stigler, R.A. Shweder, and G. Herdt, cds., Cultural Psychology: Essays on Comparative Human Development. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990. 10 Bubara Rogoff et aI. "Cultural Practices as Contexts for Development." In Goodnow, Miller and Kessel, cds., New DirtctiollS in Child Development. (See footnote 7)


practices recognizes that the acquisition of knowledge or skill is part of the construction of an identity or a person, and vice versa. I I 3. Practices reflect or concretize a social and moral order. From this perspective, development may be regarded as a process of coming to interpret, understand, and perhaps accept the principles that the social and moral order contains. The idea that cultural sy terns and their implicit principles are reproduced through the routinized activities of everyday life echoed throughout our discussions with researchers working from a practice perspective. But a major methodological issue arises in this connection, stemming from the fact that the meanings of a practice, a social and moral order's principles, are not transparent. 12 How then can researchers derive the system from the practice? One response to this question is based on reports of, and judgments about, practices solicited from participants. Practices often provide an easier basis for reporting than do beliefs or values. That is, I can tell you what I do and what I would find acceptable, and you can use that report as a means of exploring what the behavior means to me and what principles govern my decisions. This approach is exemplified by Shweder et al.'s study of who-sleeps-by-whom in Indian and American families. Their choices of which sleeping arrangements are acceptable, and which are not, provide insight into the moral and social meaning embedded in such practices. 13 Language studies have contributed other techniques adaptable to a variety of content areas. Following such techniques, one way to "read" practices is to ground the researcher's interpretation of the meaning of the practice in observations (or participant-observations)

II Terezinha Nunes, "Cultural Practices and the Conception of Individual Differences: Theoretical and Empirical Contradictions." In Goodnow, Miller, and Kessel, cds., New DirtctiollS in Child Development. 12 Martin J. Packer, "Social Interaction as Practical Activity: Implications for the Study of Social and Moral Development." In William Kurtines and Jacob Gewirtz. cds., Moral Development through Social Interaction . New York: Wiley, 1987. 13 Richard Shweder et at, "Who Sleeps by Whom Revisited." In Goodnow, Miller and Kessel, cds., New DirtctiollS in Child Development. This study is also an iIIu tration of "doing" cultural psychology, i.e., showing the way a particular people's practices, cultural morality, ethnopsychologicaJ theories, and personal psychological experiences are mutually supponive and confinning. See also Richard Shweder, "True Ethnography:' in Richard Jessor et aI., cds., Ethnography and Human Development: Context and Meaning in Social Inquiry. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.


of the practices them elve . So the researcher make audio- or video-recorded observation of children in the contexts of everyday life and then conducts microlevel analy e of particular type of routine discursive events, paying attention not only to the semantic content of what is said but to the form and function of di course. The researcher follow in the tracks of the discour e, exploiting the arne public cue that participants them elve use when they interpret one another's behavior "on-line."14 Another means of understanding the meaning of practice is children's inevitable departures from adult tandard and the en uing "correction ," explanation , and instructions from caregivers, older siblings, or teacher . These naturally occurring errors and repairs make tacit as umption available to participants and observers. Such method , then, allow re earchers to sy tematically explore not only the meaning that practices hold for people but aI 0 the degree of their commitment to or investment in them. 4. Practices provide the route by which children come to participate in a culture, allowing the culture to be "reproduced" or "transformed." Development may be regarded as a change in the nature of participation in a practice. The eemingly imple idea that children participate with others in cultural practices implie a much more complex relation hip between children and culture than i commonly as umed. In many theorie children are regarded as the temporary "have-not " of culture; they enter the world innocent of culture, with adulthood as their de tination. This view is tacit in the term "acquisition of culture" and in traditional under tandings of childhood ocialization and development. Without ignoring that child participants may get better at doing things or develop understandings that resemble tho e of more experienced member of their culture, a conception of development as change in participation challenges this view as too narrow. Adopting a different per pective, re earch on practices often de cribes children as becoming more fluent. more skilled, or more re ponsible participants. Indeed, for those who study young children, a chief advantage of a practice perspective is that it makes it possible to trace uch developments from their earliest roots. For example, by attending to the verbal and 14 See. for example. R. Bauman. and C. L. Brigg • "Poetics and Performance as Critical Perspectives on Language and Social Life." Annual Rmew of Anthropology. 19: 59-88. 1990.



nonverbal ways in which youngster partIcIpate in events of narration, one can study narrative development long before children are fully able to comprehend other ' storie , to tell their own storie without assi tance, or to name-"telling torie "-what they are doing. ls Taking this approach, re earchers have found that in orne cultural group the parent or other more experienced participant structure the task of conarration and gradually hand over to the child more and more respon ibility for telling the story.16 However, the notion of development as change in participation al 0 implie that children may participate with their companion in ways that are not nece arily "progressive." Certain styles of parental co-narration may actually impede fuller participation; and in her re earch on " haring time" in kindergarten clas rooms, Michaels describe the "di mantling" of minority children' tory telling-Teacher and child operate with different, ethnically-correlated narrative style and are unable to negotiate meaningful collaboration .17 In addition to challenging our as umptions about the inevitably progre ive direction of change, this proposition-particularly its tated po sibility of "transformation"-has one further implication. It prompts re earchers to look beyond a ingle form of participatioll-()ften one that is tandard in one's own cultural group-to the variety of way in which cultures structure children's everyday participation in cultural practices. The e multiple forms of participation not only imply plural developmental pathways and are therefore con istent with the committee's focal interest in plural norm and outcome . They al 0 point to the many ways in which children contribute to the production of culture; despite their relative powerlessnes , children's participation is crucial to the maintenance, reproduction, and change of a culture's practice. In urn, we believe that these and other i sue gleaned from the emerging literature on practice 15 Peggy Miller and L. Sperry. 1988. "Early Talk about the Past: The Origin of Conversational Stories of Personal Experience." Journal of Child Languag~. 15: 293-315. 1988. Peggy Miller et aI .• "The Narrated Self: Young Children's Con truction of Self in Rei tion to Others in Conversational Stories of Personal Experience." M~rrill·Pa/~r Quart~rly. 38: 45-67. 1992. 16 Robin Fivush. "Emotional Content of Parent-Child Conversations about the Past." In Charles A. Nelson ed .• M~mory and Affut in Dev~/op~nt. The Minnnota Symposia on Child Psychology, vol. 26. Hillsdale. NJ: Erlbaum. 1993. 11 S. Michael. "The Dismantling of Narrative." In A. McCabe and C. Peterson, eds .• Dev~/oping Narrotiv~ Structurr. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. 1991.


approaches to development underscore, as a minimum, the heuristic value of this perspective. In challenging common understandings of both culture and development, and in laying the ground for innovative research on a wide range of developmental topic ,1 8 our explorations of a practice per pective serve a specific case of the generativity of the committee' interdisciplinary conversations both among committee members and with valued non-committee colleagues.

18 As an indication of this range of topic , note that Barbara Miller's chapter in the New Directions monogruph focuses on how bicultural con¡ traints and opportunities for adolescent identity formation among Hindu immigrant communities in the United States affect adolescent development; and Terezinha Nune ' deals with how Brazilian children' everyday use of arithmetic strategies in treet selling contains symbolic sy tems that influence the ways they perceive and solve arithmetic problems in the c1as room.

Ethnopediatrics: An Outline

by Carol Worthman * At present, international variation in life expectancy arises largely from mortality differences in infancy and childhood. 19 Efforts to ameliorate the e differences have largely focused on structural conditional factors, but the uneven ucce s of these attempts has led to recognition of the "human dimension."20 Specifically, cultural-behavioral factors such as local conceptions and customary practices, rather than pathogens per se, have been found to playa central role in infant and child survival and well-being. The increasing export or borrowing of Western medicine, its concepts and practices, has brought the realization that cultures and subcultures vary widely in their views of what constitutes health, how it is maintained, and how departures from a healthy state come about and may be treated. This variation in beliefs and practices affects the response to and effectiveness of new • Carol Worthman is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, Emory University. Several other committee members, notably Robert leVine and Jacqueline Goodnow, contributed substantially to the shaping of the ideas presented here. 19 World Bank. World Dtvelopment Report 1993: Investing in Health. Washington, DC: Oxford University Press, 1993. 20 UNICEF, State of the World's Children . New Yorlc: Oxford University Press, 1986.


forms of health care. The need to recognize the "perspective of the actor" is therefore increasingly acknowledged in studies of adults and their iIIne e. In Angel and Thoits' term ,21 "what has been lacking in the epidemiological approach to the study of the impact of culture on illness is an understanding of the cognitive structures that mediate the illne -labeling and help-seeking process at different points." For adult states of health and illness, local cognitive structures or conceptionsone dimension of what we term "local biology"22..-are seen as including the vocabularies available for labeling states of health and iIInes , the granting of importance and a probable cau e to various states, the dimensions used to categorize forms of illness, and the decisions or considerations that lead people to either ignore "symptom " or take action. With respect to children, the proce es of iIInes labeling, wellnes -maintenance, and health- eeking are also grounded in adults' notion of human development. As discu sed below, in this domain relevant issues include: local understanding of acceptable ranges of behavior, function, and maturational status for developmental stage or age; beliefs about necessary and appropriate antecedents for and responses to the child's developmental change or deviation; and concepts of developmental vulnerability or resiliency that influence the perceiVed linkage of early maturational and health experiences with adult outcomes. Identification of such aspects of health and illness among children clearly lags behind research conducted concerning adults. Gaines makes this point in his analysis of case histories for children of immigrant workers in California. 23 These histories, he notes, leave "unexamined the conceptions, beliefs, logic, understanding or anything else, about the patient or his or her significant others." For example, with reference to a child with a heart condition, brought in the first time for treatment at age nine, he asks: ''What were the perceptions of parents of a listless child of abnormal stature and clubbed fingers? What did they 21 Ronald Angel and Peggy Thoits, "The Impact of Culture on the Cognitive Structure of Illness." Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, II : 465-494. 1987. 22 See footnote 60. II Atwood Gaines, "Cultural Constructivism: Sickness Histories and the Understanding of Ethnomedicines beyond Critical Medical Anthropologies." In B. Pfleidere and G. Bibeau, ed ., Anthropologies of Medicine: A Colloquium on West European and North American Perspectives. Wiesbaden: Vieweg, 1991.


think wa happening? Why was as i tance not ought? And why, for another child with polio-ba ed paraly i of both anTIS, wa the presenting ymptom one of poor appetite?"24 Questions uch as the e can best be answered through the integration of developmental with healthrelated dimen ion of local belief and cu tom, and by conceptualizing child well-being as embedded in everyday etting (and all that constitute tho e). In thi view, non-clinical, everyday proces e need to be recruited to maintain and improve health. We have labeled uch an integrative view "ethnopediatric " and conceive of it as a field of inquiry which explicitly aims, fir t, to characterize local under tanding and practices that inform behavior, and, econd, to determine their relation hip to child well-being. We u e ethnopediatric , then, as a provi ional term to signal the need both to pay attention to perceptions, beliefs and motivation of all actors who influence child well-being, and to view health and development of the young as socially and ecologically situated. Ethnopediatrics concerns culturally-determined et of beliefs and attitude about how development (physical, cognitive, ocial) and child urvival occur, and way in which tho e notions inform the actions of parent and other caregivers and ocializing agents. These beliefs are rarely arbitrary; they are grounded in observations, interpretations, and emphases of experienced reality. Furthermore, the actions of parents and socializer are seldom capriciou , but re pond to or are haped by action ,attainments, and perceptions of the child. Thus, a dynamic loop i closed. Treatment of children is grounded in ethnobiological beliefs that are grounded in some empirical reality, and the treatment of children both has direct effect on the health and development of children, and re pond to the tatu and behavior of the child. Ethnopediatrics thu eek to provide a framework for re earch, analy i , and planning in an area that has been poorly integrated and thu difficult to apply in public health and policy. To thi end, our goal i to promote review of exi ting analytic concept (e.g., "developmental niche," "differential care") and existing re earch from a variety of cultural ettings in order to: (I) con truct an integrated framework for under-

14 Among the few tudie of uch i u relating to children, Frankel and Roer路Born tein 's research on the differential acceptance of I mel's health services by Kurdi h and Yemenite immigrants i in tructive.



standing behavior relating to child health and illnes and, to thi end, promote dialogue among the social cience , biomedicine, and public health policy; (2) ugge t methods for inve tigation in thi area. including linkage between qualitative and quantitative data; (3) highlight areas and conceptual is ue that either urgently require work or would provide critical te ts of the approach; (4) provide a forum for articulating conflicting goal and values concerning child health. This last goal relates directly to decision-making about policy and allocation of re ource . Committee work in this area 0 far has been primarily compri ed of a work hop ("Ethnopediatric : Concepts and Practices Related to Health and Illne in Children"), held at the Carter Center at Emory Univer ity in October 1994.25 Organized by Carol Worthman, Jacqueline Goodnow, and Robert leVine, the work hop ought to advance the overall committee goal of bringing together ocial cience, biomedicine, public health and policy by focusing on a pecific developmental period (infancy) in pecific domains (survival and growth). Participants came from p ychology, public health and medical anthropology, pediatric, and anthropology.26 Importantly, young scholar and students who have worked in various countries al 0 participated.27 The work hop aimed to identify conceptual, analytical, and practical problems or is ues, viewed from the vantages of the various di ciplines repre ented at the meeting; to sketch out models for understanding the e issue ; and, ultimately, to evaluate whether an ethnopediatrics per pective bring extra purchase on the complex is ue of child urvival and development. The 15 We also convened a ses ion on "Ethnopediatric : Cultural Factors in Child Survival and Growth" at the February 1995 AAAS Meetings in Atlanta. The participants in that se ion were Ron Barr, Montreal Children's Hospital; Sara Harlrnes , Pennsylvania State University; Robert leVine, Harvard University; Jame McKenna, Pomona College; Karen Olne ,Case Western Reserve University; and Carol Worthman. 16 The participants were: Ron Barr, Montreal Children's Hospital; Margaret Bentley, Johns Hopkin University; Suzanne Dixon, University of California. San Diego Medical Center; Sara Harlrnes , Pennsylvania State University; Carol Jenkins, Papua New Guinea In titute of Medical Research; Betsy Lowfl', University of Michigan; Reynaldo Martorell, Emory University; and Catherine Panter-Brick, Durham University. They were joined by Beatrix Hamburg and Lonnie Sherrod from the William T. Grant Foundation, which provided supplementary upport for the workhop, and the SSRC president, David Featherman. The Council 's Comparative and Tran national Research Program was the source of the work hop's primary funding. 17 David Anyah. Harvard University; Stephen Harper, Emory University; Thorn McDade, Emory University; U ha Menon, University of Chicago; Lebo Setiloane, Harvard University; and Joy Stalling , Emory University.

meeting fonnat involved the u e of four published case studies as springboards for half-day discussion essions. These case studie were: infant feeding, crying and colic (Ron Barr); dietary management of diarrhea (Margaret Bentley); cultural beliefs, infant feeding practices, and growth faltering (Carol Jenkins); and maternal workload and infant urvival (Catherine Panter-Brick). In a fmal half-day discussion, participants ought to outline general theme , identify di ciplinary and practical need ,and advise on next teps. What, then, are some of the key i ues and ideas that framed the workshop? We sugge t that ethnopediatrics can provide an integrated conceptual framework that will support fruitful comparative research and provide a basis for policy fonnation. Such a framework can be expected to incorporate elements such as the following: Categories for states of health and illness among children. Societies differ in their etiologies and taxonomies of disease. They al 0 differ in categories for assigning vulnerability and resistance to disorders. For instance, cultural groups in Central and North America differ in their categorization of adult illnesses, and in the bases from which these groupings are derived. They also vary in the degree to which they categorize in tenns of children's versus old persons' illnesses. And within societies one may find multiple, perhaps competing or conflicting conceptual chemata relating to wellnesslillness, as well as subcultural diversity in these schemata. We now need ways to determine the dimensions used for identifying children's illnesses, the attributions made for health or illness, and the beliefs of vulnerability and resilience that are attached to various ages, genders, or phases in development. Agency and efficacy. Notions of agency, or who is responsible for child wellne s-maintenance, often allocate various domains of well-being to different agents. Responsibility mayor may not be linked with the material or social-political means to effect wellnes goals. Such differential efficacy of agents may be compounded by beliefs about causes and preventability of disease (see following section). Beliefs and practices about what can be done about child illness, and by whom, can be integrated into hierarchies of resort. In practice such hierarchies can become complex, especially when clashing systems of agency and efficacy (customary, biomedical, educational) require parents to pick their way among multiple conceptualevaluative systems, with each of these linked to access 8\ITEMS

to valuable social and material resources (e.g., medication, child care, ocial tatu). Illness concepts in relation to disease experience and base rates. Within societies, mode and complexity of explanation, as well as level of concern attached to illness, often vary by disease. Among adults in Western society, there is orne evidence that symptom which are widespread, as with common or endemic diseases, tend to be regarded as Ie serious than are tho e that are atypical. The least sophisticated explanation of specific illne ses are apparently given for tho e which have multiple cau es, invisible etiology, and diverse symptomatology. Thus, experienced degree of endemicity or prevalence and virulence of a disease can influence local notions of etiology, agency, and efficacy. The presence of such variations tends to be lost in the characterization of cultural constructions of "illness" for a society in general, but may have tremendous implications for culturally-differentiated responses to widespread maladies (such as malaria, measles, diarrhea). One may predict, for example, that views of and responses to malaria will vary in areas of differing incidence of malaria. In general, then, understanding of local illness concepts has been repeatedly shown to be crucial to understanding health-related caregiver decisions and actions. But this needs to be embedded in an analytic framework that also relates these decisions and actions to roles, values, and nonns concerning child development and caregiving. Reciprocally, local diversity in beliefs about illness, agency, and efficacy is affected by people's specific histories of illness and health care system experiences. Biological and social bases of developmental sequences. Cultures differ in their notions of developmental progression and how it occurs. Conversely, developmental progression varies across populations and is affected by cultural practices and social conditions: 28 the influence of local, culturally-constructed conditions on biological development and function is a second sense of the tenn "local biology.''29 Comparative analysis will require careful characterization of varying ideas about developmental sequences, how progression is expressed, and how it is driven and altered. We need to know the tenns used for children 21 Carol Wonhman. "Bio-culturallnteractions in Human Development." In M. Pereira and L Fairbanks. cds .• Juv~nil~ Primotu: Lif~ History. Develop~nt and Behavior. New York: Oxford University Press. 1993. 29 Again, see footnote 60.


49. NUMBER 1

at different age ; whether their needs for food, for attention, for training are regarded a hifting from one point to another; and whether parental expectations and re pon ibilitie likewi e hift. Perceived developmental contingencie require de cription in term of how adults think of the link between a child' state or experience at one point and at a later point. Do they, for instance, have a concept of a critical period, and think in term of provi ion of care or re ources being too oon or too late? Is there in i tence upon "one right path" to development or a recognized diversity of path to a healthy adult tate? A tarting point for uch research i provided by Jenkins and Heywood' analy i of the six- tage model of infant development u ed by the Amele (lowland New Guinea).30 Similar model , and ways to identify them, are needed for the entire period of immaturity in a variety of cultural seuings.3 1 The perceived value of children and of particular developmental trajectories. Children provide con tant evidence of change and variation. How that evidence is "read" depends in part on cultural factors. Interpretation of these igns, by both the child and other ,need to be regarded as part of a general value system and i , literally, the "evaluation" of developmental tatus. In addition, health or growth may not be the features mo t monitored and valued by caregivers; mothers often attend to and try to pre erve aspect of p ychomotor behavior (e.g., qualities of alertne , locomotion) or progres , rather than trying to maximize growth. More generally, children are known to be valued for a variety of reasons, uch as for their economic contributions or their entertainment value, or for the in urance they provide for emotional and material upport in old age. Children are also regarded as involving various co ts, and certain family characteristics of size, spacing, and gender compo ition come to be differentially valued from one ubgroup to another, and from one historical time to another. Perceived value of a specific child has been consistently found to affect the relative quality of care provided. Moreover, particular form of development are JO Carol Jenkins. Alison Orr-Ewing, and Peter Heywood, "Cultural A pect of Early Childhood Growth and Nutrition Among the Amele of Lowland Papua New Guinea" Ecology of Food and Nutrition. 14: 261-275, 1984. • 31 One uch model, framed in tenos of "developmental niche," i provided by C. M. Super and S. Harlm ,"The Developmental Niche: A Conceptualization at the Interface of Child and Culture." International Journal of Behavior Dtvelopment. 9: 545-569, 1986.



differently valued in variou groups; the Kaluli of New Guinea, for instance, place high value on a child's ability to peak and to use proper form of addre . The parental frame of value inform differential interpretation of a child' development and well-being. Thu one would not expect the Kaluli to respond negatively to a child' early peech, a do some other Pacific group , We need, then, to find ways to relate frames of value to the interpretation of developmental equence and individual difference . Further, a hierarchy of values ranking child, parental, and other material or ocial need implicitly or explicitly informs allocation of carce re ource . In other words, understanding the cultural frame of values is key to understanding differential parental and community allocation of care and other limited re ources among individual children and at different developmental stages.32 Co-construction of human development by biological and contextual factors. A key element of the ethnopediatric per pective i that human development is not imply an automatic matter of unfolding biological program , but occur through interactions between individual and context. Child health and development are interdependent with ocial proce es; they track, and are often used as an index of, environmental quality. Thu ,measure of developmental statu and phy ical state can provide a u eful basi for cro -cultural compari on.33 From the outset, well-being relie in part on others. Whether tho e other are parent , pediatrician ,or policy-makers, the belief, values, and intention which inform their behavior and decision are important determinant of health and development. Often, the e beliefs and value become 0 self-evident, natural, and tran parent a part of the "right way" to do thing that one does not even consider that they might be done differently, or that accepted practice may have orne unintended or negative effects on child 32 A related i ue i how variou individual differences-for example, within gender and age group ~ accounted for in variou (ub)culture and how uch accounts are related to the differential care that adults provide to particular children. 33 Such measure can be used as boIJI independent and dependent variables. A an instance of the fonner, in comparative tudies of Canadian and !Kung (Botswana) infant crying, Barr and hi colleagues have identified a clear developmental trajectory of crying which peaks at ix weeks in boIJI population , but also establi hed that the absolute amount of crying was inversely related to the amount of holding and canying. An instance of the I tter is Barr's finding that the occurrence and extent of colic in infan varies inversely with feeding frequency, due to the effects of mother's milk on int tinal function. Ronald G. Barr, "'The Early Crying Paradox: A Modest Proposal ." Human Nature. I: 355-389, 1990.


health and development. An important corollary of a biosocial view of development is that, beyond a universal base of phy ical similarity, babies' and children's bodie are not identical around the world, and their physical condition and needs must be viewed in a local context. That is, becau e human development emerge through bio 0cial interaction, details of phy iology and morphology differ acro s populations, from variable growth rates and ize to metabolic and body compo itional differences. Large population differences in infant growth and mortality due to contrasting infant feeding practices illustrate this point. Culture thus contributes not only to p ychological and behavioral variation, but also to biological variation. Ethnopediatrics, therefore, deals with these two aspects: the social practices, values, and conditions concerning child well-being, and the biological variation that arises through these different social ecologies. Having covered mo t of the ideas outlined in the conceptual framework above, the workshop discussion revealed several important, supplementary issues. These include the following: (I) Infants and children need also to be viewed as actors in their own health and development, and their goals and perceptions require greater attention. (2) Understanding the complete caregiving "package" is key to uncovering proximate factors in infant and child well-being; this will require considerable multi-level (micro to macro), cross-disciplinary research that is both closely attentive to local variation and tightly tied to everyday settings. (3) Methodologically, the previous point underscores the importance of quantitative and qualitative methods, of direct observations and epidemiological, as well as interpretive, analyses of behavior. (4) Social change can have complex and at times unpredictable effects on ethnopediatric systems influencing child well-being. (5) The effects of social-material constraints and competing demands on caregiver decisions and behaviors deserve greater attention; thus, workload can significantly con train maternal care, as could other demands on and availability of resources (such as time, food, energy/attention), and access to additional caregivers. (In such a context child labor remains a widespread but neglected factor.) (6) Directions for further work may include: biocultural perspectives on the "new morbidities" of childhood (homelessness, asthma, accidents, violence, developmental impairment); relations of the child and the IO\ITEMS

tate from a critical perspective; and the need for culturally informed and nuanced measures and research on childhood mental health.34 What, then, emerges from the e exploratory di cu ions and analyses? We are per uaded that an ethnopediatric perspective doe raise a rich range of conceptual and research challenges pertaining to i sue of child well-being, as much in the U.S. as elsewhere. We thu plan to continue to engage the challenge of how competing cultural ideals, biological ideals and everyday realities in child health and development might be framed and negotiated. Plurali tic views on what are acceptable health and development outcome need to be critically evaluated and perhap modified via the e competing frames. It i , in the end, worth remembering that one-third of the world's people are children, and that their survival, health and development are viewed as the bedrock of humanity's future. But programmatic efforts to improve outcomes for children have been hampered by conceptual polarities and bureaucratic exigencies, so that their needs and care are balkanized among disciplines and agencies. The adoption of an ethnopediatric perspective would, in the first instance, problematize received views and call into question existing institutional structures; but it should then allow us to identify and openly negotiate among conflicting goals and values, and better mobilize existing resources for child welfare. The committee thus seeks to uncover the disciplinary-conceptual barriers to articulation aero s the domains of theory, knowledge and praxis related to child health (broadly conceived as both functional and developmental well-being). Overcoming balkanization in how we conceptualize and tudy child well-being may, in the end, promote more integrated, real-world policy and programmatic approaehe.

:w In !he context of child well-being !he workshop participants also concluded that separation between "basic" and Napplied" social science is still to a degree desirable, because basic research provides independent

analysis and critique that can inform and invigorare program- and policydriven wort; reciprocaJly, !he Jatter provides practical Jessons in !he viability of existing models and exposes gaps in knowledge. VOLUME 49. NUMBER


Culture, Identity, and Conflict by Richard Shweder and Hazel Markus* The committee' recent work hop on Culture, Identity, and Conflict3S had the following overall rationale: A variety of trend within the social ciences, and within world affairs more broadly, suggest that the time is right to encourage an interdi ciplinary and international exchange among theorists and inve tigators of the elf and identity. Most obviou Iy, as a glance at the headlines of any new paper will confirm, we are at a period in hi tory when nationalism and a concern for maintaining and a serting ethnic and cultural identity are emerging as a powerful focus in Eastern Europe, the Middle Ea t, Africa, and A ia. In this current climate of heightened ethnic and cultural identification and conflict, we can no longer afford to ignore the role of cultural practices in shaping personal and social identity, or the role of the construction and management of these identities in all aspects of social life, particularly in social conflict. Our sense is that the social sciences have been too timid in proposing and exploring what might be termed the ociocultural and p ychological dimensions of conflict. While they have readily inve tigated the political and economic aspects of conflict, they have been relatively reticent to address the role of group and individual selves and identities in shaping conflict. In a related aspect of the workshop rationale we suggested that, almost without exception, the ocial sciences are linked to one particular view of the self, identity and, more generally, the individual. And what ocial scientists believe about the nature and functioning of the elf influences every aspect of their theorizing about people and the relations among them, at both the individual and the group level. The prevailing model is, we believe, that of the rational, elf-interested actor who is made up of distinct preferences, feelings, traits, and abilities, and whose action is a direct function of the expression of these internal attributes. However, the indigenous p ychologies developing in various parts of the world highlight • Richard Shweder is profes or of psychology and chair of the Committee on Human Development. University of Chicago. Hazel Markus is professor of psychology at Stanford University. 35 The workshop took place at Stanford early I t December and was supported by a grant from the Council's Comparative and Tran national Research Program. MARCH


orne very different model of the self. 36 The e increasingly well- pecified models po e a variety of intriguing questions about the cultural pecificity of many current theorie of ocial behavior, particularly those concerned with cultural contact and conflict, most of which are rooted firmly in the "classic" model of self and identity. These alternate view of elf al 0 suggest that one barrier to a comprehensive undertanding and analysis of ethnic and cultural conflict is the assumption that groups in conflict share similar views of the elf, the group, and their interdependence. Given thi rationale, the programmatic aim of the work hop were twofold: To bring together cholars in anthropology, p ychology, philo ophy, and religiou tudie to identify the central theoretical is ues and mo t promi ing empirical re earch programs relevant to the three conceptual domains of culture, identity, and conflict; and to outline a et of que tions and topics for a sub equent, larger international meeting on issues concerning those domains and their inter-relations.37 The central ub tantive concern of the work hop participants were, therefore, first, the character and cau al role of per onal identity (one' en e of elf) in p ychological functioning; econd, the ocial, cultural and interper onal ources of personal identity; and third, the role of collective (for example, ethnic, racial, or national) elf-con ciou nes in the generation and maintenance of conflict and violence. In each of these domains recent cholar hip has raised provocative que tions and controver ial issues. The workshop was 36 E. Valentine Daniel, Fluid Signs: &ing a Person the Tamil Way. Berkeley, CA: University of California Pres , 1984. Hazel Markus and Shinobu Kitiyama. "The Cultural Con truction of Self and Emotion." In Hazel Markus and Shinobu Kitiyama. ed ., Emotion and Culture: Empirical Studies of Mutual Influence. W hington, DC: American Psychological Association, 1994. E. Sampson, "The Debate on Individuali m: lndigenou Psychologies of the Individual and their Role in Personal and Societal Functioning." A.merican Psyclwwgist. 43: 15-22, 1988. G. White and J. Kirkpatrick, Person. Self. and Experience: Exploring Pacific Ethnopsychologies. Lo Angele : University of California Pre ,1985. 37 The workshop was organized by Hazel Marku , Stanford University; Peggy Miller, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; and Richard Shweder, University of Chicago. The participants were: Dominic Abrams, University of Canterbury; Jennifer Crocker, State University of New York, Buffalo; Kay Deaux, City University of New York; Owen flanagan, Duke University; Patricia Gurin, University of Michigan; Hubert Hermans, Katholieke Universiteit, Nijmegen; Sudhir K ar, Institute for Advanced Study; Matthew Kapstein, Columbia University; Jeffrey Kripal, Westmin ter College; Robert Lifton, John J y College; Brenda Majors, State University of New York, Buffalo; Peggy Miller, University of lIIinoi ; Claude Steele, Stanford University; James Wertsch, Clark University; and Geoffrey White, East-W t Center.


thus designed as a first step in a process of coming to terms with the controversies and is ues at hand. What, then, were ome of the central notions that emerged? With respect to questions about the character and causal role of personal identity (the self) in psychological functioning, quite disparate currents of thought (skeptical postmodernism, connectionist-parallel distributed process models in artificial intelligence, Buddhist philosophical thought) are converging on the view that the self is illusory or epiphenomenal and plays no role in mental functioning; various other streams of thought have converged on the idea that the self is "multiple" or "Protean."38 At the same time, the very existence of human social and moral life seems intimately tied up with the evolution of a species whose central psychological makeup is defined by the existence of a causally active self and a somewhat unitary self ("One self per customer," in the philosopher Daniel Dennett's phrase}-a self that is free, willful, conscious, self-regulating and morally responsible; a self that is the initiator of action, the author of texts, the holder of rights, and the topic of evaluation when questions about rationality, "choice," responsibility, normality and pathology arise. The workshop prepared the ground for future discussions of this topic by reviewing epiphenomenal, mechanistic and vitalistic theories of the self, and by raising questions about the criteria for distinguishing pathological from non-pathological self-organization. The significance of dissociative states (trance, divine possession) and "multiple personality disorder" was also discussed. With respect to questions about the social, cultural, and interpersonal sources of personal identity, the workshop participants found it necessary to go beyond extreme versions of both mechanism and vitalism. On the one hand, the mechanistic approach to personal identity argues that one's sense of self (one's sense of continuity over time) is nothing other than a function of the continuity of one's memory of discrete mental states (perceptions, pleasure, and pain). On the other, the contemporary vitalistic approach argues that the 31 Jon Elster. ed .• Multiple Self (Studies in RatiOfliJlity and Social Chonge). Cambridge: Cambridge University Pres • 1987. Owen Aanagan. Consciousness Reconsidered. Cambridge. MA: MIT Press. 1992. Robert Jay Lifton. The Protean Self: HUfNJn Resilience in an Age of Fragmentation. New York: Basic Books. 1993. Louis Sass. Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the Ught of Modern Art. literature. and Thought. New York: Basic Books. 1992. Francisco Varela. Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and HUfNJn Experience. Cambridge. MA: MIT Press. 1993.


self is an essential part of the brain. Neither view, however, leaves much room for social, cultural, and interpersonal processes in the construction and maintenance of personal identity. The workshop thus focused on that aspect of the self that is not reducible to memory or brain process but is known by others, described by others, responded to by others, evaluated and often regulated by others. The participants considered the part of the self that develops by virtue of membership in some local moral community and through a history of experience with the practices of that group. And in that context they examined the role and effects of labeling and stereotyping, dialogue and narrative, moral agency, and social practice on various aspects of self functioning, including self-esteem, self-confidence, and various parameters of self-definition (gender, race, religion). While acknowledging the important principle that the "subject" (the self) is never fully determined by a hegemonic ideology or by social forces alone, the workshop presentations tried to clarify the way official and unofficial histories (for example, Russian versus Estonian accounts of Estonian-Russian political history), social labeling (e.g., role and racial labels), the family life and social practices of a community, and even the biographies of exemplary members of one's group, can playa major part in constituting an individual sense of self. Questions were also raised about the relationship between identity switching and systems of control (including the power to ridicule, stigmatize, and banish). It was suggested that, in highly individualistic consumer-oriented societies, identity switching is almost as easy as switching cable-TV channels. When there is little cost (no stigma or banishment) associated with trying on the symbols of a new identity, the market for multiple selves is likely to flourish. Regarding the role of collective self-consciousness ("identity politics") in the generation and maintenance of conflict and violence, the workshop participants not only focused on the role of the state in promoting collective identities, but were also concerned with the deep and provocative issue of whether a pluralistic and liberal democratic society must be philosophically and politically committed to "individualism." Assumptions about how "difference" ought to be treated in a democratic society were also explicated and challenged. Among some of the issues raised in this context were the following: In the modem era, has self-consciousVOLUME

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ness about group identity essentially become a personal identity project (i.e., a way of maintaining one's sense of personal identity)? In various parts of the world, how i "difference" treated (e.g., assimilation, co-existence, Syncretism, hierarchy, "cleansing")? Can there be a sense of collective identity without a rhetoric of "primordial ism"? The uses of "primordial" images (images of blood, family, hearth, homeland, food, kinship, descent, language, reproduction, the nature of womanhood) and other discourses of identity in ethnic conflict situations were therefore examined in detail. And questions were raised about the way economic and political circumstances conspire to create a situation where displays of ethnic/religious/racial solidarity become likely and where sides are taken, which in tum leads to conflict and violence. In this context the discussion ranged widely-from topic such as the prevalence and significance of conspiracy theories in the African-American community in the United States to questions about "globalization" and whether CNN provides the symbol of an emerging, widely shared sense of history and lives or whether its popularity is a measure of the spread and diffusion of Western perspective and values. Clearly this rich array of ideas and topics calls for further discussion. How to frame that discussion in a coherent and analytic way will be the primary challenge for the committee's organization of a larger conference on culture, identity, and conflict.

Social Suffering by Arthur Kleinman * Social suffering is the first of three interrelated projects that comprise the committee's program on "Health, Suffering and Social Change." (As described below, the others are social violence and cultures of biomedicine.) The starting point for the project has been to analyze the overlap and interpenetration of health problems and social problems. If it can be shown, as we believe it can, that many health problems-ranging from AIDS, tuberculosis, and diarrheal disease to depression, suicide, posttraumatic stress, and substance abuse-have powerful social origins • Arthur Kleinman is professor of social anthropology, the Presley Professor of Medical Anthropology, and chair of the Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University. MARCH


and con equences, and that many social problemsincluding violence, de titution, forced migration, child and spouse abuse-have sub tantial health consequences, it then becomes an issue for theory and research as to whether constructing a human problem as either "social" or "health" in character has any comparative advantage. This is ue is especially important in the current era of massive global changes. Tho e changes are intensifying individual trauma and social pathologies owing to the creation of failed states and violent, predatory communities, deepening deprivation from economic restructuring (e pecially among rural women in lowincome societies), a huge increase in refugees, and globalization of sub tance abuse and commercial sex work, including child prostitution ... to cite a few examples. Since the e human conditions include problems, such as AIDS and substance abuse, which are shared by low-income and high-income societies and which are not going to be imprOVed by processes of social and economic development that have heretofore dominated policy thinking in international public health, the reformulation of health and social policy from new conceptual angles and interdisciplinary directions that bridge the social sciences and medicine takes on added significance. The first new angle is to challenge the perspective of a global transition to imprOVed health, a perspective that is buttressed by epidemiological evidence of substantial improvement in certain health indexes. For example, in low-income societies like India, China, Tanzania, and Bolivia, since World War II average life expectancy has increased from around 40 to 66 years; average infant mortality rates have fallen from 28% to 10% of live births; and control of sewage and water, effective vaccination programs, and the availability of primary care services have improVed the lot of many. But when the lens of public health is widened to include the traumatic consequences of more than 100 armed conflicts in the world and the baleful effects of economic restructuring on the urban and rural poorwhich, among other things, have contributed to the more than 20 million refugees and 20 million internally displaced-the story of an unqualified transition toward global health can no longer be sustained. Moreover, from this angle of reflection the presumed content of public health also changes. In other words, a broader perspective amounts to a substantial challenge to the way public health is conceptualized. ITEMsll3

Another conceptual angle place greater emphasi on di aggregating societal or regional tatistics in order to obtain a better understanding of those local ocial proce e that mediate health outcomes. When ethnographic de cription of the community context of well-being are u ed to complement epidemiological data. violence, ub tance abu e, poverty, infectiou diseases, and trauma are hown not to be independent from each other (even though health policie and programs treat them as if they were eparate), but to be 0 intimately related as to create viciou cycle of ocial uffering. Note that the interdi ciplinary contribution here is more than adding, ay, ethnography to the tool kit of public health method . More than that, an interdi ciplinary perspective changes the orientation of policy, fir t, toward local intervention for local c1u ter of problem ; but, al 0, toward gathering information on how current program them elve may contribute to those cycle of human mi ery. Thi latter effort would amount to bringing the context of power into the analytic framework, including the political proce ses in which public health policies and program are themselve embedded. A uch it may amount to one of the more valuable contribution of interdi ciplinary frameworks that import social theory into a field that has been largely atheoretical.39 In converse fashion, the focus on how local cultural and political proces e mediate between large- cale social forces and individual bodily tate also has implication for ocial theory. In thi domain, ocial theory cannot disregard either p ychobiology or the intersubjective connections between collective and individual experience . Yet the theoretical ba e for under tanding how ocial context affects neurobiological proces e and how cultural practice are embodied tum out to be thin indeed. And that i why, as part of the committee' overall agenda, the members of the social suffering project have been working on new theoretical approache to reexamine and redefine the ubject matter of ocial medicine, mind-body relations, and bioethic . But, in a elf-critical pirit, thi al 0 mean reconsidering the often unthinking criticism of medicalization as, by definition, negative and dangerous. In our view it become a que tion for theory as much a policy and practice as to when medicalizing and ocializing human problem have com39 For funher discu ion of these health tran ition i ue see the chapters in Lincoln Chen. Anhur Kleinman and Norma Ware. cds .• Htal/h and Social Changt. Cambridge. MA: Harvard University Pre • 1994.


parative advantage . A number of the committee members who participate in the ocial uffering project have al 0 contributed to the preparation of a World Mental Health report that canva e the empirical evidence on the burden of the e ocial problem .40 Due to be released at the United Nation this spring, that report i funded by everal of the foundations that upport the committee's activitie : namely, the MacArthur Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, a well as the Carnegie Corporation. Regional relea e of the report in Delhi and Cape Town have been arranged to coincide with further meeting of the "Health, Suffering and Social Change" program. The e regional releases will attempt to develop international policy and increase public priority for mental health program and aim to project local context into global policy di cour es and to bring global perspective into local ettings. Even more germane to this article, the original member of the committee' project on ocial uffering-Arthur Kleinman, Veena Da , Margaret Lock, Mamphela Ramphele, Julio Frenk-organized a complementary conference that examined the theoretical dimensions and implications of thi perspective on reformulating human health problem . Convened in July 1994 at the Rockefeller Foundation's conference center in Bellagio, the meeting brought together anthropologist, ocial hi torians, experts in regional studies, scholar in religion, and literary tudie with physicians engaged in international public health policy and program .41 The Bellagio conference papers reviewed transformations in the cultural repre entations and the collective experience of uffering in different epoch and local worlds. Participant dealt with such ubjects a the political uses of uffering in Maoi t China, the ide40 Roben Desjarlais. Leon Ei nberg. Byron Good. and Anhur Kleinman. World Mtn/al Htal/h: Probltms and Priori/its in Low-Incomt Coun/rits. New York: Oxford University Press. 1995. .1 Anhur Kleinman. Harvard University; Veena Das. University of Delhi; and Margaret Lock, McGill University were the official co-organizers. Julio Frenk. National In titute of Public Health. Mexico; Mamphela Ramphele. University of Cape Town; and Carol Wonhman. Emory University. also panicipated. Participants from outside the committee included: TaIaI Asad. New School for Social Research; Adelbeno Barreto. Institute Conceitos Culturai • Brazil; John Bowker. Cambridge University; E. Valentine Daniel. University of Michigan; Stephen Graubard. Brown University; Anne Harrington. Harvard University; Lawrence Langer. Simmon College; Roben Lawrence. Rockefeller Foundation; David Morri and Pamela Reynold • University of Cape Town; Vera Schwarcz, We Ieyan University; Tu Wei Ming. Harvard University; and Allan Young. McGill University.





ology of social uffering in nation-making movement in South Asia, the politicization of mourning among political widow in South Africa, and the changing experiences of political refugee . Other papers e ayed torture, the reconstruction of death in North America and Japan, and the moral implications of the appropriation of human misery as "infotainment" by the global media and as pathology by the helping profe ions. Still other contributions focu ed upon social memory and the Holocaust, the erasure of uffering in Nazi medicine, and the place of suffering in the response of religiou traditions. The conference discu ion drew upon ocial and moral theory to engage the e topics. One subject for discussion emerged from evidence in a number of the papers that the individual emphasi on uffering in the Western tradition, and the profession that have their roots in that tradition, has been an ob tacle to understanding the social nature of suffering. In uch a context the experience of suffering was interpreted as social in two enses: fir t, as collective experience of trauma, such as forced uprooting; and second, as the intersubjective proces es that connect individual to families and ocial networks which are al 0 part of the experience of pain and atrocity. Discussants also compared an ethnographic and ocial historical focus on the "moral" content of ordinary social practices, such as responding to the intersubjective obligations entailed by the experience of serious illness, with the construction of profe sional "ethical" discour e in medicine and al 0 with a cultural studies approach to the politics of religious repre entations of the same human problems. Triangulated from these three per pectives, suffering poses a rather distinctive array of questions regarding the relationship between norms and normality, collective and individual experience, and professional and popular cultural modes of care. One other, related subject of discussion was the use of "objectivity" in medicine and public health as a means of claiming a "neutral" and "natural" basis for making moral judgements about human problems that are then authorized as deserving, or undeserving, of public intervention.42 The Bellagio meeting also included young scholars from South Africa, Thailand, India, France, and 42 Framed by an introduction that discusses such i sues, a selection of the Bellagio conference papers will be pubJi hed in a mid-I995 i ue of Da~dolus. A related, larger collection will ubsequently appear in an edited volume.



Canada who, working together with mentors on the committee, have organized a comparative ethnographic project on local community re pon es to marginalization, violence, and other form of social uffering. 43 Thi comparative project will attempt to define the social dynamics of both succe ful and un ucce ful community respon es. Becau e so much of the ocial cience literature on community program emphasize tho e that fail, these ethnographer are paying particular attention to the dynamics of succe sful program that ucceed. Indeed, one overall goal is to specify cro -cultural ingredients of programmatic succes . Given that generalization of ucces ful local project in low-income ocieties is unusual, clarifying some principles of success may be one mean of achieving this much desired outcome. It is worth noting that various of the is ues rai ed in the Bellagio meeting and in this cro s-cultural comparison carry over into the projects on violence and the culture of biomedicine ( ee below). The program as a whole i thus integrated both by the participation of a core group of committee members and by complementary theoretical que tions. One interweaving question concerns the extension, via societal proce ses of modernization and rationalization, of the concept of the "normal" from medicine to many other domains, including people, nation , and human nature. The connection of the normal to the modernizing project of progress means that explicitly moral categories are replaced by a category that claims privileged rationaltechnical statu , and yet simultaneously serves oftendisguised moral and political purposes. The committee's various projects examine this question for serious illness, political violence, the po t-traumatic con equences of displacement, and for extreme conditions such as the Holocaust. Another related conceptual que tion concerns the relation between pain and language. Here several issues are central: incommunicability, certainty (for the person who experiences pain) and doubt (for the observer), the distinctive constraints of speech genre and biology, the widely experienced human condition 43 These scholars and their project are: Naomi Adelson, "Social Health and Cultural Knowledge: A Long Term Study of the Wahpmagoostui Cree 'Gatherings"'; Komatra Cheungsatiansup, "Marginality and Social Suffering: The Social Production of Vulnerability in the Multiethnic Thai State"; Decpak Mehta. "Communal and Everyday Violence in Bombay"; Mills Soko, "Social Suffering: Experience and Policy in Apartheid and Post-Apartheid South Africa"; and Maya Todeschini, "Nuclear Landscapes: Hiroshima and Community Respon to the Atomic Holocau I."


of enduring pain as a moral-somatic mode of experience, and transformation in the use of omatic and psychologically-minded idioms of distress. And such issues are embedded in discussions that range from the role of atrocity in nationalist movements to the political economy of ordinary death among the destitute and the commodification of human misery as part of the globalization of commercial culture. In each of these domains, questions regarding both the production and consumption of suffering offer a two-sided reflection. Ours is a time of the image; social suffering has been mediatized. Trauma, due to "low-intensity" political conflicts, street violence, dome tic abuse, is represented in gory detail and with considerable artistry in the media. To an unprecedented degree the "real" is fashioned via cultural techniques in the intere t of political and economic power. What we represent and how we represent it becomes the basis for policies and programs. What we picture as "crisis" gets taken up in cultural processes of "infotainment" that create voyeurs out of television news audience and sell newspaper . What we do not picture is routinized mi ery, which becomes invisible. Ideology and political economy powerfully shape the picturing of social suffering. We are seeing a vast global transformation in imaging suffering. Are we also witnessing a transformation in the social experiences the e images animate and evoke? The relationship of changes in the cultural representation of suffering to the collective and individual experience of suffering has been an abiding conceptual issue for the program. Finally, yet another ongoing theoretical conversation concerns the use of the exi tential condition of suffering as a means of providing a critical political grounding for discourse on human rights. In this respect the program's three projects also share a concern with a cultural critique of rational-technical categories, such as the World Bank's notion of "Disability Adjusted Life Years," that transform suffering from a qualitative state to a quantitative measurement. While such categories clearly have both appropriate and inappropriate uses, they represent a major proce s of societal change that is altering the nature of social experience, including the experience of suffering, in our times. The less sanguine, indeed possibly ominous implications of that alteration have given our discussions a sharp sense of the fragility of human conditions and a deepened awareness of the responsibilities 16\ITEMS

of social science. Reflecting this sense and awareness, the themes of the program on "Health, Suffering, and Social Change" can be regarded as having shifted toward greater engagement with political processes and political economy. As a consequence, we would hope to make such themes-represented, for example, by the nexu between culture, political economy, and infectious di eases44-a more explicit part of the committee's overall future work.

44 One specific focus for thi particular theme could come from an ongoing comparative research project on "Culture and Immunization" that originated in the SSRC's South Asia committee and that was given initial shape by a 1993 work hop under the auspices of the Council's Comparative and Tran national Research Program. A they have orga¡ nized and secured funding for the actual research, the project coordinators-nOiably Paul Greenough (University of Iowa), Pieter Streenand (Royal Tropical In titule, The Netherlands). and Thavitong Hongvivatana (Mahidol University. Thailand)-have had conversations with Council talr and committee members about the establi hment of a complementary working group. Immunization data-initially from several Asian countries-would serve to ground uch a group's conceptual analyses which, in tum, would help harpen the research project's theoretical framework.

Violence, Political>gency, and the Self by Veena Das* A workshop on "Violence, Political Agency, and the Self' is scheduled to be held in Delhi this April under the joint auspices of the committee and the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.4s A primary impetus for this workshop is the fact that, in recent years, a new political geography of the world has emerged in which orne countries, or some regions within a country, are seen to be marked by a chronic state of political violence. In the political consciousness of the rest of the world, these region are thought of as zones of spectacular violence in which norms of human behavior have ceased to exist. Yet everyday life does not cease • Veena Das is professor of sociology at the University of Delhi. She i the recipient of the Anders Rutjers Gold Medal of the Swedish Society of Social Anthropology and Geography. The medal is awarded by the King of Sweden. 43 Committee support for the worlcshop comes from the Council's Comparative and Transnational Research Program. VOLUME

49. NUMBER 1

in these regions. So how should one con truct ideas of "normality" so as to bring the e "emergency zones" within the realm of the thinkable? The workshop on violence hope to take orne important tep toward this goal via two intellectual trategies. The fir t i to break down the dichotomy between societie that are considered table and relatively free of violence and societies that are een as teeped in and endemically di rupted by violence. For example, it is intellectually tempting to consider Northern Ireland or Sri Lanka a ocieties in which "senseless" killings, rape, and anonymous violence are the order of every day. But if we consider, in so-called peaceful societies, violence in inner cities, murder and rape in pri ons, wife-battering and child abu e in the intimate familial context, we recognize the tendency to normalize some kinds of violence and problematize only other kinds. In the workshop we hope to break the dichotomie of us and them by a juxtaposition of papers that describe violence of both kinds, not for purpo es of creating taxonomies but in order to ask whether models of violence taken from one kind of ociety al 0 speak to violence in other kinds of societies. This i not to suggest that all kind of difference between forms of violence can be, or hould be, elided over. Nor is the purpose to compile Ii ts of similarities or differences. It is, rather, to ee how the problem of violence, di per ed over different ites, can be reconfigured 0 that we can learn how repre entation can and do get embodied as experience and, conversely, how experience of violence calls for new ways of representing the self and the world. The second intellectual strategy is to see how phenomenology of experience relates to social institutions. In this context the most important ocial institutions to be examined would be the state, bureaucracy, the city, and the family. Con ider only one example. In the official ideology of the state, it has monopoly over violence which is considered "legitimate" becau e that allows all the dispersed violence in the ociety to be criminalized and thus addres ed through the agency of the state. Yet experience in many societies shows that production of violence is intimately linked with the practices of the state. In historical terms this was mo t evident in the practices of the colonial state. By enforcement of laws that had little relation to existing forms of life in which they were implemented, by administrative practice that classified populations in MARCH


new ways and in tituted new regime of property relations, and by ometimes initiating forcible movement of population , the colonial tate reshaped local moral world in completely unanticipated way . Given thi di ruption of local world , violence became an important way of claiming political agencies by the actors in uch world .46 Now it i not our claim that violence wa always enacted by victim to right a perceived moral wrong; while it was ometime perceiVed thus, at other times it was a way for those di po ses ed in earlier regime to remake local ociety through violent means. The overall point i that the relation between the practice of the state, the new rationalitie it introduced, and the embodied forms of life in local societie , is vital for our understanding of violence. One cannot be understood without the other. One fascinating aspect of this problem is that tate in po tcolonial societies have inherited many of the practice of colonial state . Of course the experience i not uniform across all post-colonial societies. But in many of the e ocieties the state came to embody a moral decadence that further eroded po sibilities of creating a "good" ociety.47 Hence, ju t a we hope to break the dichotomy between ocieties with a culture of violence and tho e that are free from violence by bringing different kinds of violence within the same f~mework of di cus ion, we al 0 hope to break the d~tinctions between colonial and po t colonial states, or at least to make such di tinctions more complex. To amplify the point further, we will have to examine how the tate is experienced in everyday life in the e ocieties in the pre ent. For example, in some ocietie beliefs and practices in local moral world such as belief in witchcraft-have been criminalized; in other , economic practices like swidden (slash and bum) agriculture are considered inappropriate to sustain higher levels of development; and in mo t po tcolonial societie the state produce its legitimacy by collection of crowds, by vi ual representations of magnified image of political leaders which have the effect of denuding local worlds of their moral legitimacy. The e practices of power are now embedded not 46 Vcena Das, "Time, Self, and Memory in Sikh Militant Discourse." In Vcena Das, ed., Critical Ev~nts: Anthropological Pus~ctiv~ on Cont~mporary India. Delhi: Oltford Universiry Press, 1995. Michael Gilsenan, "Law, Arbitrariness, and the Power of the Lord of Lebanon." Historical Anthropology, I: 381- 398,1985. 47 A hi Nandy, TM Sa~'agt F~ud. Delhi: Oltford University Pres • 1995. Also, M. Gilsenan, "Nightmares on the Brain of the Living" (typescript).


in some outside colonial regimes, but even in democratic regimes such as those of India and Sri Lanka. In this context, how does the state incarnate itself in everyday practices, and at what point does one see violence in local worlds as complicit with such practices and at what point do they begin to offer resistance to it? One central question we hope to address is how the ideologies of the state and the market come to be incarnated in individual bodies. Is there a difference in the way the state speaks through the body when, in one case, the agent of violence is a crowd enacting violence as a public spectacle and, in the other, when the agent is a man battering his wife in the intimacy of the domestic setting? How do the ideologies and institutional practices of the family and the state come to be linked? How do commodities become embodiments of desire for which men may kill?48 Are women and children always to be seen as victims, or are there forms of empowennent which need to be researched to see how women and children come to constitute themselves as agents? Clearly a theory of individual intentionality and agency, of the individual as sole author of actions, would be inadequate to understand these situations. This is clearest in the case of the perpetrators and victims of collective violence, for the crowd in a riot is often invested with an agency and a rationality, which in fact may lie elsewhere (as many historians of the French revolution have argued). Yet to construct the crowd as only a blind force would detract from the subtle manner in which members of a crowd come to construct their own agency in time; not in terms of intentionality of action but as a product of the various acts that they have performed as part of the crowd. And in the case of victims, where the body is attacked through acts of violence, there can be an attempt to recover agency by converting the suffering into a new social mission, for justice or peace for instance. Recognizing such circumstances and complexities, we face this conceptual question: If agency is a product of different subject positions, how does it relate to the

.. An example comes from communal riots where men may "remember" acts of violence by enumerating the desired objects (such as clothes and electronic items) that they were able to procure through their violence. Envy of the other in these cases is a socially produced emotion. in which display of commodities senes to distinguish not only one social class from anocher. but one fraction of the working class from the other.


construction of the self?49 Shifting to one final aspect of the workshop agenda: Although one commonly encounters the expre sion that violence is a major public health problem,S<> we have resisted the tendency to medicalize the issue for this reason: To conceive of violence as a public health matter has the advantage of attracting the attention of policy makers, but the price of medicalizing a complex human experience may be the significant reduction of the human experience. We recognize that a description and analysis of issues pertaining to constructions of normality, the relation between self and society, and the role of institutions in the production of violence, may appear to address problems of health and human development in an oblique way. However, it seems important to allow, first and foremost, full expression of the variegated experiences of both victims and perpetrators of violence, experiences which are otherwise screened off, leaving us in the end with very diminished ideas of what constitutes normality in human society. One practical consequence of this view is that the ethnographic regions on which workshop papers will be presented-tteed to be diverse. We therefore plan to include presentations on South Africa, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Nigeria, India, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Yugoslavia, Guatemala, the United States, and Northern Ireland. Attempting to construct a comparative ethnography for these settings will provide the considerable challenge of writing about violence in a way that is deeply embedded in the experience of one society but that also speaks to others. Finally, in addition to the senior scholars who will be presenting papers in the workshop, five young scholars from the region who are currently engaged in fieldwork on these issues will participate. There will be space for them in every session to raise specific issues which arise from their current fieldwork in relation to the meeting's theoretical and comparative formulations. The workshop will thus also act as a new kind of resource for the training of young scholars from South Asia and will, in tum, benefit from the challenging issues of fieldwork, ethics, and writing emerging in the work of the next generation . 49 Veena Das. ed .• Mirron of Vioknce: CommlUliries. Riors. and Survivon in South Asia. Delhi: Oxford University Press. 1990. Also. V. Das. "Privileging the Local: The 1984 Riots." Seminar. vol. I . 1995.

30 See footnote 40.


49. NUMBER 1

Cultures of Biomedicine hy Margaret Lock* Planned for December 1995,SI the committee's conference on "Cultures of Biomedicine" is framed by several general considerations. For several reasons, certain social scientists have found increasingly problematic the application of exi ting grand theories when seeking to understand events at local levels. Prominent among tho e reasons is growing acceptance that overarching theories cannot explain the plethora of observed variations in human social existence a failure underscored by the recognition that such ;heories themselves incorporate a matrix of assumptions and observations that are particular and partial rather than general. For scholars such as myself, such recognition is, in important respects, no less germane to the biological and natural sciences than to social science. Such a view, in turn, gives rise to one of the committee's thematic goals, namely, to seek to stimulate reconsideration of the relations between biology and culture. In this context the argument is thkt, difficult thought it may be, we must get away from the idea that there is (1) a real biology "out there" entirely separate from the way in which we apprehend it, and (2) a second biology which we con truct which is "purely" representational. I am neither anti-realist nor an extreme cultural relativist; trees, gall bladders, and taste buds do exist; and I also believe that understanding of these artifacts of nature varies through time and space. But my McGill colleagues and conference coorganizers, Allan Young and Alberto Cambrosio, and I would argue that one cannot experience, represent or talk about nature without drawing simultaneously on our own bodies as instruments for producing knowledge in some way or another and without, at the same time, apprehending and coding this sensate knowledge in a culturally constructed fashion. Thus, nature and culture are inseparable; they are neither a duality, nor in a simple dialectic, but inevitably mediated by and intimately associated with human intervention. The difficulty is that in talking about nature we tend to assume that scientific representations of nature are truthful, factual representations rather than one

very powerful method of constructing reality. It follows that, unle s we rigorously set up our own culture, with its particular understanding of nature, as a subject for critical analysis, dualism creeps back very quickly, along lines such as: "Other societies have constructions of nature and culture; our own society has a folk construction of nature and culture; but meanwhile 'real' nature is available for something quite different, that is, for a scientific analy is, entirely eparate from knowledge produced by culture." In the basic rationale for the "Cultures of Biomedicine" conference we therefore take the position that it is a mistake to assume the exi tence, on the one hand, of scientific, epistemologically-free thinking and, on the other, of various second-class, culturally infused folk biologie entirely divorced from the realm of scientific thinking. In 1967 Robin Horton wrote an article entitled "African Traditional Thought and Western Science" in which he was at pains to show that African thinking is not scientific but is, nevertheIe s, rational. s2 Building on the heritage of Levi-Bruhl, Horton strove to get away from an evolutionary approach to society in which those living outside the "Western" tradition are assumed to have "primitive mentalities." But, as Stanley Tambiah has pointed OUt,S3 Horton's argument has a "sting in the tail" because, although he demonstrates an analogical compatibility between scientific and African thought, he goes on to argue that the latter is not reflective, is ignorant of the experimental method, and is not subject to falsification (as is scientific thought). Participants in the planned conference reject arguments such as those of Horton, not so much because his analysis of African thinking is oversimplified and devoid of contextualization (as several anthropologists have suggested), but more because we begin with the assumption that all thought is, to a greater or lesser extent, steeped in culturally and historically situated assumptions. We further argue that the scientific method is an extraordinarily powerful ideology for our time, one which for most people appears as the truth but which actually represents our best efforts to describe reality. The sciences can, therefore, be subjected to systematic social and cultural analyses whose purpose is not to di card or reject the scientific 52

• Margaret Lock is professor of anthropology. McGill University. footnote 62.

51 See

MARCH 1995

Robin Horton, "African Traditional Thought and Western Science."

Africa. 36 (1 - 2), 1967. 53 Stanley Tambiah, Magic. Sci~nc~. and R~ligion in lhe Scop~ of Rationality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990.


method, but to examine rigorously the epistemologie and value system in which scientific knowledge and practice are grounded. 54 In general tenns, then, conference participants will attempt to sharpen critical knowledge of the world of biomedical cience and technology by focussing on historical and cro -cultural case studie as well a contemporary i ue. Another starting point for the conference is the work of Foucault, Hacking, and others. ss U ing various methodological approaches they have hown that, as basic biological cience and epidemiological knowledge has accumulated, with increasing rapidity throughout this century, a proce s of nonnalization has taken place with re pect to human biology, ubjective experience, and social relationships. Instrument , scales, and test are now used worldwide to examine human development and to monitor health and illness in standardized ways. Such standardization, designed to assi t in the implementation of regulation, is intimately linked to definition of the "nonnal" ver us the "pathological." The e processe of standardization and regulation reflect an historical shift from a qualitative, dichotomous under tanding of the nonnaVpathological distinction to its representation a quantitative variation along a continuous pectrum. And embedded in such standardization, the values and assumptions of Euro/American culture remain tacit and unexamined. For example, We tern pediatric measures for growth and development are applied universally on the assumption of a univer al human biology; Western assumptions about "nonnal" cognitive development have been the yard tick for comparative research in this area; and medication i administered cro -culturally without modification and to ethnically varied local population on the assumption that all our bodily chemistrie are functionally equivalent. Our position, however, is that it is not only a mi take to think of the cientific method and it application as epistemologically free, but al 0 inappropriate to work on the assumption that human biology i e sentially invariant across historical and ocial ettings. And although important local variation in genetics, biochemistry, and physiology are recognized Margaret Lock and Deborah Gordon. ed .• Biom~dicm~ Examin~d. Dordrecht: K1uwer. 1988. 55 Michel Foucault, Disciplin~ and Punish. ew York: Vintage Book • 1979. Ian Hacking. Th~ Taming ofChanu. Cambridge: Cambridge University Pres. 1990. Bruno Latour. w~ Ha~'~ N~·tr Bun Modtm . Cambridge. MA: Harvard University Pres • 1993 54


in theory, this knowledge is rarely applied in practice. 56 Furthennore, because of a rea onable concern that recognition of biological variation will readily become available for inappropriate, racially motivated political purpo es, there is a tendency to rule as out of order discussion of biological variation. s7 Against thi background, the Cultures of Biomedicine conference will bring together cholars who e work can hed light on how cientific facts and findings about human health and development are made, how tacit knowledge is embedded in experimental and clinical practice and apparatu es, and how knowledge who e origins are local and contingent is made to appear universal and timeless, the product of nature rather than of history. In more pecific tenns we are interested in three intersecting hi torical proces es: First, the drive to tandardize and regulate cientific and clinical practices and technologie which makes possible the univer alization of local knowledge (i.e., knowledge produced in a single locale or on the basis of a single population/culture). The econd, converse proce s i the rejection of unifonn cultural and biological base for comparing and asses ing groups and categorie of people (an idea ennobled in the concept of cultural pluralism). And the third proce s i the pathologization of states previously taken to be nonnal, natural, or healthy, i.e., the de ignation or de cription of such state as "abnonnal" or "deficient" and thu in need of remediation. An example of the fir t proces i how tandardized diagno tic criteria and in truments drawn from We tern psychiatry are used to aggregate, tran late, and pathologize culturally and phenomenologically diverse states and experience .S8 A contrasting example is the recent creation of a National Institutes of Mental Health unit devoted to studying ignificant dose-re pon e differences di tingui hing "Asian " from other biological populations. And an example of the third process can be found in the field of gynecological science, in clinical practices and pharmaceutical interventions that pathologize previously po t56 See footnote 60 on the Local BiologylLocal Biologies Conference and section of Carol Worthman's discu ion of .. Ethnopediatrics." 57 Russell Keat. "The Human Body in Social Theory' Rieth. Foucault. and the Repre ive Hypothesis." Radical Philosophy. 42: 24-32. 1986. 51 Arthur Kleinman. R~thinking Psychiatry: From Cultural Cattgory 10 Ptrsonal Exptritnu. New York: The Free Pre • 19 8. Allan Young. Th~ Harmony of I/Iusions: An Ethnography of Traumatic M~mory. Princeton : Princeton University Pres • in press.




reproductive biological and behavioral changes regarded as nonnal in other cultures. 59 In each case, such developments produce profound social and moral implication , and have the effect of displacing previously accepted views of elf, body, and biology. The current effort to map the human genome is an excellent example, ince it intersects all three processes. Assuming that it is successful, the project will produce a genetic representation of a hypothetical average per on and, simultaneously, boundaries of genetic deviance (i.e., people and genome falling outside of average values). At the same time an associated project, the Human Genome Diversity Project, is proposing to embark on a program of collecting genetic material from "remote" and "exotic" populations in order to take account of the pos ible genetic diversity of humanity. How the e contra ting programs will play out remains to be seen; but it eems certain that current conceptions of human nature, and current boundaries between what we understand as nature and as culture, will be ubject to questioning and revision in the years ahead. By focusing on specific ca es of how the boundarie between nature and culture are hifting and being conte ted, the committee' work-as represented by this particular conference-seeks to deepen our undertanding of the implicated i ues, issues that are equally and inextricably cientific, ocial, and moral.

59 My own work show how the body in Japan is hi torically and culturally ituated and sugge ts that the "universal" experienc of menopause appear not to be universal at all. Konenki, the Japanese tenn mo t closely approximating menopause, i not a tran lation of "menopause" and refers to a distinct set of experiences. Hi torically the tenn was applied to a variety of life course transitions for both males and females, and was used without regard to age. More importantly, the expe· riences to which Konenki refers do not coincide with Western definitions and expectation of physical changes associated with the ce sation of menses. Margaret Lock, Encounttrs with Aging: Mythologi~s of M~nopau:r~ in Japan and North Amtrica. Berkeley: University of California Pre ,1993a. M. Lock, "The Politics of Mid-Life and Menopause: Ideologic for the Second Sex in North America and Japan." In Shirley Lindenbaum and Margaret Lock, cds., Knowltdg~, POWtr and Practiu. Berkeley: University of California Pre ,1993b.



Conclusion-FK The following brief points about the above e says may be worth noting. • As merely a sampling, the essays do not provide a complete picture of the committee's work. As a noteworthy example of an activity only mentioned briefly above, committee members Atwood Gaines and Carol Worthman organized a working conference on "Local Biology/Local Biologies" that involved committee member and several outside cholars.60 And not mentioned at all are the largely intra-committee discussion-cum-seminars on "Pluralism" and "Numbers and Narratives," two topics originally een as providing a focus for fertilization and conversation across program and projects.6t • The activitie central to everal of the es ays have not only been successfully organized, but will also result in appropriate publications. The ame is envi aged for the two events cheduled for this year. 62 • While the committee's work has been broadly organized within two program (nominally and loosely, "Health" and "Human Development"), it hould be evident that a vital variety of i ue and ideas are een to cut acro s the e two areas"Ethnopediatric "i only the mo t obviou case in point. 60 The Local Biology conference was held in October 1993 at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences; the participants were Elliot BI , Cornell University; Prakash DeSai, University of Chicago; Carol Jenkin, Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research; Melvin Konner, Emory University; Shigehisa Kuriyarna, Emory University; and Margaret Lock, McGill University. The basic aim of the meeting was to bring together exi ting biological evidence and social analy i to stimulate the rethinking of biology from two, pos ibly complementary vantage points. The one, more "biological," foregrounds current work in biology that goc well beyond linear causality and biological primacy. The second, more "cultural" view, deconstructs the notion of "basic" biologicaVnatural cience, in part by examining the culturally di tinctive way in which communities have regarded and (re-) con tructed the human body over and in time. (A collection of papers relating to the latter perspective is being edited for publication by Atwood Gaine .) From the comniittcc's perspective the media's a1mostdaily declarations of the discovery of "the gene for X, Y, or Z' imply underscores the need for a uitably subtle and critical analy is of "biological primacy." Sec, in any event, pertinent portion of the e says by Lock and Worthman. 61 After a couple of seminars examining both topics in broad, philoophical terms, committcc members decided to defer further discu ion for a period. (The quality of the seminars that took place was heightened by the contribution of Andrew Abbott, University of Chicago; Charle Briggs, Vassar College; and Kimberley Scheppele. University of Michigan.) 62 A group of notable scholars has accepted invitation to the "Cultures of Biomedicine" conference. Full funding for the conference is, however, not yet in hand.


• In concert with a wide circle of scholarly colleagues, the committee has ought to promote crossdisciplinary conversations in a number of ways at a number of levels. In some cases ("Cultural Practices"), the focus has been on extending a particular concept from one domain of disciplinary discourse to another. In others ("Ethnopediatrics," "Culture, Identity, and Conflict"), what has been explored is how several separate, yet potentially related, areas of research might be brought into creative contact. And in yet others ("Social suffering," "Violence, Political Agency, and Self'), what is being considered is the substantial reforming of whole domains of inquiry and perhaps, programmatic intervention.63 • Finally, it may be worth noting the obvious, viz., that the meaningful engagement and, perhaps, integration or synthesis of (sub-)disciplinary language and perspectives on a committee uch as this is no 63 It hould be clear that several of the activities, and various aspects of the committee's work, cut across these different levels and fonns of intel· lectual innovation.


traightforward task. Planned as relatively distinct activities, the workshops on "Culture, Identity, and Conflict" and "Violence, Political Agency and Self' can serve as a case in point. Whether, and in what ways, the conceptual frameworks within which they are embedded can be constructively engaged, if not "synthesized," remains to be seen. But, as the committee looks to a pos ible second generation agenda built partly on the firm foundation of the activities described in these essays, this is precisely where its greatest challenge and promise lie: in creating a continuing forum for conceptual conversations about, and consequential research on, the full, integrated range of processes we now realize interactively shape human development and health-processes which are, in a deep sense, biological and p ychological and social and cultural and economic and political and historical in character. Then again, this is no less and no more the multi-dimensional space in which the social sciences generally face the greate t challenges, and have • their greatest promise.



Juae 1-.3, 1995 SPECIAL PLENARY SESSIONS International Institutions and Global Environmental Change Scientific Analysis. Perceptions. and Decision-Making Property Rights and Global Environmental Change Sustainable Development and Global Environmental Change Land UselCover Modeling and Analysis Human Migration and Global Environmental Change The first open meeting of the human dimensions of global environmental change community will be held at Duke University. Durham, NC, USA on Thursday-Saturday June 1-3, 1995. The objective of the meeting is to bring together the growing human dimensions community to promote exchanges of information on current research, teaching and outreach; to encourage networking in this new field; and to attcact social scientist , humanists and others not previously involved in human dimensions work. It is expected that there will be significant international participation. and participants from developing countries an: encouraged to attend. The meeting is sponsored by the Social Science Research Council and its Committee for Research on Global Environmental Change, the Human Dimensions Programme of the International Social Science Council, the Consortium for International Earth Science lnfonnation Network (CIESIN), and the Duke University School of the Environment.

Pk1lOlY sessw1U. The meeting wiu feature plenary presentations and a conference summary presentation by distinguished contributors to the human dimensions. Each of the plenary presentations win be supplemente4 by invited commentaries, and there will be opponunities for general questions and comments. Following each plenary session, there will be 5-6 concurrent small group sessions and seminars both related to the plenary topics and on other leading-cdge topics in the human dimensions Each session will have 4-5 papers and a substantial time period for general participation.

SIfUIll voup selnolU lIIUl ,eJIfiIuIn.

MtHklbt,lIIUl publkatiolU tIUpIII". There will be baJlds..on demonstrations of computer modeling systems as well as publishers' book di plays. An open table will be available to participants who wish to bring articles, notices, and other related material to be

made available at the conference.


S,lIIIbi in tll_ IIu"",,, A collection of current syllabi for courses in tbe human dimensions will be made available at the meeting; participants who wish to have their course syllabi considered for possible inclusion in this collection an: invited to send them with their conference registrations.

Rqislrtllio" tuUlfurtMr in/ormIIIiIJ,.. Contact the Global Environmental Change Program. Social Science Research Council, 605 Third Avenue, New York:. NY 10158. Telephone 2121661~280. fax 2121370-7896. email or majord@acfclu obtain materials bye-mail, send the following request message to: (no subject is necessary). with the commands on separate lines: open (enter) cdkiosk (enter) get hdmeeting (enter) quit (enter). 10 register, please send a check. payable to the SSRC, in tbe amount of $95 ($35 for students) to the Global Environmental Change Program. attn. Human Dimensions Meeting Registration.




Current Activities at the Council Second Annual Abe Fellows' Conference The Abe fellows' conference series promotes interdisciplinary and policy-relevant research, by individuals and networks of scholars, of issues falling under the Abe Program's three areas of ubstantive inquiry: (1) issues of pressing worldwide concern, (2) problems common to advanced industrial societies, and (3) issues that relate to improving U.S.Japan relations. The 1994 meeting was structured around two major components: cross-disciplinary pre entations of the fellow ' ongoing research and a series of policy-oriented problem-solving workshops. During the research presentations, fellows from different disciplines were paired together and asked to pre ent the research project of their assigned partner to a small group of participants. The two-day policy-oriented problemsolving exercise enabled fellows with broadly similar interests to meet in small tearns to focus on issues such as policies toward aging populations, government regulation of technology, global responses to environmental protection issues, and reform of the United Nations. Serving as experts in the policy areas being examined, were Neal Cutler, University of Pennsylvania; Henry Geller, the Markle Foundation; Jeffrey Laurenti, UNA-USA; James Lilley, the American Enterprise Institute; William Mansfield, UN Environmental Programme; Eli Noam,


Columbia University; John Shilling, the World Bank; John Shlaes, the Global Climate Coalition. Thirty-four Abe fellows participated in the event, along with representatives from the program's sponsoring organizations: the SSRC, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership. The conference took place on July 24-29, 1994 in Montauk, New York. The third conference will be held in Yokohama in July 1995.

Global Environmental Cbange Seminar The Committee for Research on Global Environmental Change (GEC) held one of its series of seminars on the human dimensions of global environmental change during its meeting on October 13-14, 1994. The topic was "Integrated Assessment of Global Environmental Change." Participants included Hadi Dowlatabadi, Carnegie Mellon University; and Jae Edmonds, Steve Rayner, and Norman Rosenberg, all of Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Washington DC. The meeting was chaired by a member of the GEC, M. Granger Morgan of Camegie Mellon University. Mr. Rayner introduced Battelle's work in this area and described the chapters of a forthcoming volume on the state of the art of global environmental change. Mr. Edmonds noted the importance of moving toward an

adequate treatment of the social sciences in global environmental change, and then reviewed approaches to integrated assessment. This method attempts to assemble knowledge from a diverse set of sources that bear on more than one aspect of the climate change issue, for the purpose of better understanding motivations, interactions, and options for policy. Mr. Edmonds cited a number of computer models relevant to these efforts, and described the work of Battelle on interacting models of human activities, atmospheric composition, climate, sea level, and ecosystems. Mr. Ro enberg described the MINK (Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas) study, one of the first integrated assessments. Mr. Dowlatabadi presented work on integrated assessment at Carnegie Mellon University. The objective of the Global Climate Change Assessment Program at the university is to develop an understanding of the issues, not based on disciplinary boundaries, but on boundaries defined by the problem it elf. A further goal is to offer insights about the efficacy of various policy levers and the priority of various strands of research. Mr. Morgan reported on an interview study done to elicit expert as essments of levels of uncertainty in policy-relevant global climate change variables and the design of national R&D programs related to climate change. This discussion was videotaped for possible use in committee outreach activities. VOLUME 49. NUMBER 1

Political Economy of Water in South Asia In association with the Madras Institute of Development Studies, the Joint Committee on South Asia sponsored a conference in Madras on January 5-8, 1995 entitled, "The Political Economy of Water in South Asia: Rural and Urban Action and Interactions." The conference was designed to bring together scholars and p~cti­ tioners from three distinct regions of South Asia-Gujarat. Nepal, and Tamil Nadu-to examine issues of cooperation and conflict within and between different sectors (household, industry, and agriculture) around the use o~ water. The intent of the meetmg was to shed light on processes that are of primary importance for the short term surviVability of both urban and rural communities in South Asia, and to provide an analytic framework for the understanding of conflicts over natural resources generally. The conference was organized by Paul Appasamy, Madras . Institute of Development Studies; Pranab Bardhan, University of California, Berkeley; James Boyce, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and David Ludden, University of Pennsylvania. Support was provided by the Ford Foundation, Delhi, and the Swedish Agency for Research Cooperation with Developing Countries.

Training Workshops in Central America As part of its ongoing eff~rts to promote sophisticated SOCial scientific research on development-related issues in Central MARCH


America and the Caribbean, the Joint Committee on Latin American Studies (JCLAS) has conducted a series of workshops over the past year designed to train junior scholars in the region to carry out research on issues relating to urban poverty, and on processe of regional integration. A workshop on February 6-12, 1995 focused on urban poverty research, and was held at the Universidad Nacional in Costa Rica. * This se sion, which was cosponsored by FLACSO-Costa Rica, enabled a group of especially promising junior researchers from the Dominican Republic, EI Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica to work with senior scholars from the United States, Brazil, and Costa Rica. Participants shared results of research they have been conducting with the benefit of training from previous workshops, and outlined plans for follow-up projects. Special emphasis was given to issues of research design and to the use of state-of-the-art techniques of quantitative measurement. . Participants addre sed a Wide range of poverty-related issues in their projects, including patterns of change in regional labor markets· the ethnic and gender composi~ion of social groups experiencing situations of extreme poverty; environmental correlates of basic needs provision; and the association of household and family structure with varying degrees • Instructors included Edward Funkhouser, University of California, Santa B~; Juan Pablo Perez SAinz. FLACSO-Costa RIca; and Juarez Brandao Lopes, Universidade de Campin (Brazil).

of impoverishment in different countries. In consultation with colleagues at FLACSO and other social science institutions in the region, as well as with the Ford Foundation, which has funded the workshops held to date, the JCLAS is exploring potentially fruitful ways to continue its support for training the next generation of social scientists in Central America, the Caribbean, and elsewhere in Latin America.

German-American Academic Council Summer Institutes Founded in 1993, the GermanAmerican Academic Council represents a new intergovernmental initiative to strengthen and expand German-U.S. cooperati?n across the social and natural SCIences. In association with the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, the SSRC is responsible for organizing and administering a series of summer institutes for promising junior scholars from both countries. The U.S. and German partner institutions are charged with organizing two institutes per year for the next two years. Two institutes were initiated in 1994 and will continue in 1995. The first, on "Family Development, Life Cycle, and Lifestyles," was held on July 3- 16, 1994 at Humboldt University, Berlin. * • Convenors: Gil Noam. Harvard Medical School; and Hans Bertram, Humboldt UniversiUil Berlin. Facilitators: Kurt Fischer, Harvard University; Uta Gerhardt, Universitllt Heidelberg; Martin Kohli, Freie Universitlit Berlin; Kurt LUscher, UniversiU1t Kon tanz; Karl-Ulrich Mayer, Max-Planck-lnstitut fUr Bildungsforschung, Berlin; Bernhard Nauc~ , Technische UniversiUil Chemnitz; Rosemane Nave-Herz. Universitllt Oldenburg; Robert Selman, Harvard University.

Presentations by participants and facilitators described changes that occurred in the 1950s and I 960s, when passage into adulthood was marked by a close succession of beginning occupational life, economic independence, marriage, independent housing, and the birth of a first child. In Western Europe and the United States over the last 20 years, these life events drifted apart temporally, with the founding of a family delayed. Pluralization and individualization have led to diverse, individually-created life courses in early adulthood. This institute began reviewing the implications of life course changes and the development of individual and collective meaning systems through analysis of longitudinal, network,


and life course studies in psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Participants are working on collaborative projects to be presented at the second workshop in July 1995 at Harvard University. The second institute, on "Globalization, Social Policy, and Semi-Sovereign Welfare States in Europe and North America" was held on August 4-13, 1994 at the Harvard University Center for European Studies. * Participants • Convenors: Stephan Leibfried. Universitlit Bremen; and George Ros • Brandeis University. Facilitators: Juna Allmendinger. Universitlit Manchen; Jane Jenson. Universit~ de Monutal; Peter Katzenstein. Cornell University; Andrew Martin. Carleton University (visiting professor); Cathie Jo Martin. Bo ton University; John Myles. Aorida State University; Paul Pierson. Harvard University; Elrror Rieger. UniversiUiI Mannhcim; and Margaret Weir. Brookings Institution.

and facilitators presented their research as it relates to competitiveness, social policy, and the emi-sovereign welfare state. Welfare tates, perhaps the crowning political achievement of the post-Great Depression, post-World War IT era, have since faced global economic pressures and internal political stresses, eroding their ability to moderate the harsher outcomes of capitalist markets and their hard-won concepts of social solidarity. The meeting reviewed the implications of competitiveness and transnationalization for social policy in welfare states through compari ons among regions and by state. Collaborative projects will be presented at the second workshop in July 1995 in Bremen.



Recent Council Publications Coffee, Society, and Power in Latin America, edited by William Roseberry, Lowell Gudmundson, and Mario Samper Kutschbach. Sponsored by the Joint Committee on Latin American Studies. Baltimore: The John Hopkins Univer ity Press, 1995. In this volume, an international group of hi torian , anthropologists, and sociologists analyzes the source of distinct patterns of ocial life in Latin America by analyzing the impact in different settings of the production, processing, and export of a single commodity, coffee. Focusing on landholding patterns, labor mobilization, class tructure, political power, and political ideologie and using coffee as a common denominator, the authors hed light on the key factors that determined how the rise of coffee export economies shaped development trajectories in various parts of Latin America. In examining how countries responded differently to the growing global demand for this commodity, the book offer an integrated comparative study of clas formation in the coffee zones of Latin America. It al 0 advance fresh theoretical and methodological insights for comparative hi torical analysis, and counter interpretations that emphasize the homogenizing tendencie of export agriculture. William Ro eberry i profe or of anthropology and chair of the Janey Program in Latin American Studies at the New School for Social Research. Lowell MARCH


Gudmundson is associate profesor and chair of the Latin American Studies Program at Mount Holyoke College. Mario Samper Kutschbach teaches history at the Univer idad Nacional de Co ta Rica and the Universidad de Costa Rica. Remapping Memory: The Politics of TimeSpace, edited by Jonathan Boyarin. Spon ored by the Committee on International Peace and Security. Minneapolis: University of Minne ota Press, 1994. The collection of essays in this volume focuses on conte ted memories in relation to time and pace within the context of cultural and political conflicts. The contributors a sume the historical reality that capital has appropriated and reconstructed pace and time and made it synonymous with commodity formation, a they concentrate on indigenous voice and the reconstitution of memory. This (re)constitution of space, time, and memory is addre ed in relation to an event either of historical significance, like the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hirohima, or of cultural ignificance, like the Indian preoccupation with reincarnation. Remapping Memory offers a guide to undertanding how the politic of space, time, and memory are negotiated to bring people to terms with their hi tory. Jonathan Boyarin, an anthropologist, has taught at the New School for Social Re earch and i the author of everal books.

Sexuality Research in the United States: An Assessment of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, by Diane di Mauro. New York: Social Science Research Council, 1995. Human Sexuality is inherently related to many of the ocial and public health concerns of the United States today, although there is little recognition or understanding of this fact. Social and behavioral re earch on exuality is needed to form a comprehensive knowledge base about what constitutes exual health, what motivate exual behavior, how exual norms are developed and sustained, and how these evolve over time. Information produced by exuality research can provide a more thorough under tanding of how exual experience and ocialization pattern influence adole cent and adult behaviors. Moreover, answers to such que tions are e sential to the effective planning and implementing of activities undertaken in the name of public health promotion and public policy. This publication provides a comprehen ive as es ment of sexuality re earch as it i currently conducted in the ocial and behavioral cience . It inform the reader of the "who, what, when, and where" of research in this area, providing an overview of it origins and controversial hi tory. In addressing the needs of the research field, it di cu se the gap and new direction needed for priority research topic , and identifie the ob tacle and barrier in exuality re earch, uch as ITEMs/27

the lack of comprehensive training for researchers and inadequate research dissemination. Topics discussed include mv/AIDS, gender, adolescent sexuality, sexual orientation, and sexual coercion. Research issues addressed are those relating to methodology, design, and implementation. An overview of public and private sector support for sexuality research is also provided. The report concludes by outlining recommendations for a future research agenda and for support in this area. Diane di Mauro is director of the Sexuality Research A sessment Project at the Social Science Research Council.

Governing Capitalist Economies: Performance and Control of Economic Sectors, edited by 1. Rogers Hollingsworth, Philippe C. Schmitter, and Wolfgang Streeck. Sponsored by the Joint Committee on Western Europe. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993. As economic sectors of various advanced industrial societies suffer in response to a decline in global growth rates, scholars, policy analysts, and government officials in a variety of countries are increasingly looking beyond their national boundaries for more effective models of management and industrial policy. This interdisciplinary volume offers a comparative analysis of the coordination and control of industries in North America, East Asia, and Western Europe, and challenges neoclassical economic assumptions concerning the efficaciousness of market mechanisms as a means of enhancing economic 28\1TEMS

performance. The authors explore variation in state policies in the governance of internationally competitive industries (automobiles, chemicals, consumer electronics, and steel, for example), and demonstrate how variation in state policies influences the performance of economic ectors. The authors argue that tightly controlled sectors outperform their less-regulated counterparts in the world economy. The book is the first of three projected volumes focusing on the theme of "comparative capitalism." The project trives to theoretically integrate several bodies of literature focusing on the coordination of economic actors; transaction cost literature; the vast literature on collective action; the corporatist literature that has focused on the emergence of private-interest governments; and the sociological and political economy literatures that study how the performance of firms is shaped by the socioeconomic environment in which they are embedded. 1. Rogers Hollingsworth and Wolfgang Streeck are professors of sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Philippe C, Schmitter is professor of government at Stanford University.

Policy Implications of Latino Poverty, by Marfa E. Enchautegui. A report sponsored by the Committee for Public Policy Research on Contemporary Hispanic Issues. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute, 1995. In recent years, researchers and advocates have shown increased interest in issues of ethnicity and poverty among Latino , a grow-

ing component of the U.S. population and the population in poverty. Yet Latinos are often overlooked in public policy actions seeking to address issues of poverty. Various factors seem to be involved in the lack of attention to Latino poverty. Most Latinos who are poor are employed, and much of the policy debate on poverty focuses on the nonworking poor. Furthermore, the geographic concentration of Latinos in a few states often isolates them from national policy debates. And despite the fact that 64 percent of all Latinos in the United States were born here, Latinos are too often perceived as immigrants and hence without claims in U.S. society. The term "Latino" encompasses a diverse population whose own ancestral differences often lead to disagreements regarding public policy actions. In addition, low participation in electoral process reduces the political influence of Latinos. Several routes are proposed in this report that would lead to policy action. Concentration on Latinos in a few states makes it easier to take advantage of the increased role of states in delineating antipoverty strategies. The "familism" of Latinos and their tendency to live in Latino neighborhoods make it important to examine the family and the neighborhood as relevant units for policy interventions. Emphasis should also be placed on increasing the educational attainment of Latinos, and attention needs to be paid to the connection between poverty and macroeconomic policies. Marfa E. Enchautegui is a labor economist and senior VOLUME



research associate at the Urban Institute.

Globalization and the Western Welfare State: An Annotated Bibliography, edited by Elmar Rieger and Stephan Leibfried. Sponsored by the Center for Social Policy Research, Bremen, in cooperation with the

Mannheim Center for European Social Research (MZES) and the Social Science Research Council. This bibliography grew out of an inaugural German-American Academic Council summer institute for young scholars organized by the SSRC and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and held

at Harvard University in August 1994. It serves as an orientation to the vast literature of this complex interdisciplinary topic. Elmar Rieger is assistant professor of sociology at the Univerity of Mannheim; Stephan Leibfried is professor of social policy and administration at the University of Bremen.

NEW DIRECTIONS ESSAY SERIES Joint Committee on African Studies In keeping with its efforts to advance the quality, value, and effectiveness of social science and humanistic research, the Joint Committee on African Studies (JCAS) of the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council is pleased to announce the start of New Dirtctions, an essay series that seeks to open new avenues of inquiry in the study of Africa. New Dirtctions will accept essays written in English or in French from scholars in the humanities and the social sciences. The series is intended as a forum for challenging rather than for surveying established research agendas and received wisdoms that have shaped understandings about Africa. It encourages the fonnulation of conceptual frameworks and methodological approaches that show promise of promoting interdisciplinary scholarship and debate on topics of concern within and beyond the continent. Each year New Dirtctions will seek to publish bilingually, in English and in French, two to three essays ranging in length from 20 to 30 pages. A proposal for a New Dirtctions essay should be presented in the fonn of a two-page abstract and sent to:

New Directions, Africa Program Sodal Science Research CoandI 605 Third Avenue

New York, NY 10158 Phone: (212)661-0280 Fax: (212)370-7896 New Directions replaces and complements the Research Overview Paper series spo~ by the leAS.




The Future of International Scholarship: An Exchange The June-September 1994 issue of Items carried an article by Stanley J. Heginbotham, SSRC's vice president, entitLed "Rethinking International Scholarship: The Challenge of Transitionfrom the Cold War Era." In it, Mr: Heginbotham traced the origins of post- World War II international scholarship in the United States to public andforeign policy concerns that had their roots in the cold war: Given a new internationaL and scholarly environment and changing priorities in public policy concerns and among funders, Mr: Heginbotham called for a reassessment of the organization and activities of international and area studies scholarship and exchange programs. Among the responses received was the following which is printed in its entirety, with a rejoinder from Mr: Heginbotham

Post-Cold War ''International'' Scholarship: A Brave New World or the Triumph of Form over Substance? Robert T. Huber; Blair A. Ruble, and Peter J. Stavrakis* The disappearance of the cold war, the fundamental political and ideological antagonism of the 20th century, nece arily compels the scholarly community-and the constellation of institutions that have provided it financial supportto consider how be t to adapt to the allegedly different realities of the post-cold war world. In particular, we wish the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)-historic trendsetters in funding America's academic research agenda-success in their efforts to craft an effective architecture for the design and implementation of their international tudies programs. We are all members of the broader network of national research organizations sustaining the foundations of American and collaborative research in international studies, and the position of national research organizations like SSRC and ACLS on funding priorities will therefore have consid• Robert T. Huber is currently senior vice president of the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX); Blair A. Ruble is director of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Rus ian Studies of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; Peter J. StavraJcjs is senior associate of the Kennan In titute. Me rs. Huber and Ruble served as SSRC taff associates (program directors) with responsibility at variou time for the activities of the ACLSlSSRC Joint Committee on Soviet Studies. Japanese Studies. and Korean Studi • as well as the Foreign Policy Studie Program.


erable impact throughout the advanced research community. With influence, however, comes re ponsibility, for if funders are guided by flawed or erroneous assumptions about the nature of scholarly investigation, the consequences for America's advanced research institutions could be disastrous. It i preci ely because of our concern for the future integrity of international scholarship that we take strong exception to the ubstance, tone, and logic of Stanley Heginbotham's asse sment of the impact of the end of the cold war which appeared in the June-September 1994 issue of Items. If the SSRC's vice president sought only to admonish area specialists to be more mindful of broader comparative processes in their work, it would be a valuable and constructive lesson for scholars. Instead, he argues for a general deconstruction of area studies programs and funding in favor of a still-undefined "international" perspective, a position which is both dangerous and flawed for a number of reasons. Mr. Heginbotham incorrectly assume that the complex of institutions created to sustain area studies programsSlavic and Eurasian in this instance-were static artifacts of the cold war, incapable of adapting to changes in the region and the introduction of innovative research methodologies. The reality is that Slavic and Eurasian area scholars and funders produced re ults strikingly independent of assumptions driving U.S. political preferences and demonstrated a remarkable ability to integrate new research missions into existing administrative structures. On a more fundamental level, the SSRC's vice pre ident has assumed that with the passing of the cold war, political pressure on scholarship will miraculously disappear. This attitude lays the groundwork for precisely the result Heginbotham 0 keenly desire to avoid, as a new et of frail institutions would be harnessed to a new political agenda. In addition, a departure from an area studies framework, as suggested by Heginbotham, will tear international scholarship from the rich, textured empirical base that has been assiduously developed through decades of research, moving it instead to a nebulou "global" framework for research. Finally, Heginbotham's "internationalist" agenda will, if implemented as de cribed in his es ay, forever alter the structure of higher education institutions in the United States, leaving them less than adequately prepared to meet the research challenges of the future. The thrust of VOLUME




Heginbotham's analysis wi11lead to the brave new world which Shake peare's Ariel wa 0 eager to ee, but, sadly, it will be one inhabited only by theoretical phantoms, leaving behind the intricate and intriguing world revealed to us by an earlier generation of area pecialists.

The cold war. scholarly objectivity. and Slavic studies The conflict between the United State and the Soviet Union provided an impetus for developing important elements of the po twar research infrastructure, but it is simply wrong to assert that this was the sole organizing theme for area studies programs in universitie ,or that individuals participating in these programs were unable to isolate their own re earch agendas from overarching political considerations. One of the most successful elements of the American enterprise was its ability to maintain scholarly criteria in this environment and nurture an intemational community of scholars who shared their re earch with colleagues in an effort to advance their collective state of knowledge. This goal was, in fact, at the heart of the formation of various Soviet and post-Soviet and East European studies programs. Of course, opening Soviet and East European societies was a major objective of U.S. foreign policy during the cold war period, and academic exchanges repre ented one of many foreign policy tools to achieve this goal. Of note, however, was the fact that funding institutions realized this policy goal could remain in place without impinging upon a parallel but separate, academic agenda of promoting advanced research and scholarly cooperation with colleagues from other areas and nations, including tho e of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In sum, institutions born partially in response to the cold war found they could operate in a tenser political environment without compromising their academic integrity. American universities and major national research organizations were asked by public and private funders to keep lines of communication open to Soviet and East European societies through scholarly exchanges of various kinds. In tum, these funders did not interfere in the selection process and the exchanges occurred on the basis of scholarly merit. Conversely, the scholarly community insisted, and largely succeeded, in ensuring that institutions which were established in the cold war era to support advanced multidisciplinary study of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe adhered to scholarly criteria, including peer review-based evaluation of research proposals, field research fellow hips, and other mechanisms for as uring professional scholarship. Nongovernmental bodies like the InterUniversity MARCH


Consortium on Travel Grants (lUCfG), created in 1958, and its ucces or body the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), e tabli hed in 1968, insisted on independence in the propo al and selection of research topics for American participants in their programs. Follow-on institution like the Kennan Institute for Advanced Ru sian Studies, the programs of the SSRC and ACLS, the American Council of Teachers of Russian, and the National Council for Soviet and East European Research, were all e tablished with a staunch commitment to merit-based programs and high quality cholarship. University programs, cognizant of this commitment, were confident that their finest students and scholars could participate in government-funded programs without compromising the integrity of their research. The results of these efforts produced analyses of Soviet and East European society which were much more subtly textured than can be described by any cold war paradigm. At least 20 years before the beginning of the Gorbachev glasnost era in 1985, numerous studies pointed to increasing pressures within Soviet and East European societies for major sy temic change. Carefully documented research revealed major di atisfaction with the operations of the economic sy tem, the dangers of a confrontational policy with the United States, major health problems caused by air and water pollution, and many other issues. Even after the onset of the glasnost era, specialists in the Slavic field did not content themselves with mere "cold war priorities." If anything, considerable effort was expended to demonstrate that it was a serious mistake to continue to look on Gorbachev's reforms either as a clever ruse or a new revolution. When official opinion became fixated on Gorbachev, serious research pointed to long-gestating systemic change, arguing that such change would need time to play itself out. Thus, cholars sought to employ interdisciplinary concepts and methodologies well before the end of the cold war; they were limited only by the stifling-and unavoidable---constraints of communist society. Preserving scholarly autonomy in the process was no easy task, nor was it 100 percent successful, but to suggest that "students and cholars were inevitably caught up in the vortex of [a] verbal and pictorial war" during the cold war is an exaggeration. Occasionally, the pre sure of U.S. policymakers seeking "policy relevance" in American scholarship created difficulties and tensions for academics. More rarely, efforts were made to reduce or eliminate funding of academic exchanges because of concern about the motives and academic credentials of participants. Research organizations in the field resisted these efforts at every tum, howITEMsI31

ever, seeking to insulate scholars from political pressures and thus enabling objective advanced re earch to flouri h. In the process, these institutions acquired the knowledge and skills required to survive in harsh political climate, resource that will stand them in good tead as the po t-cold war era brings its own peculiar set of political pre sure to bear on scholarly inquiry. Instead of recognizing this considerable achievement, Heginbotham offers the bromide that "it seems clear that those who shaped the emerging institutions of international scholarship in the early years of the cold war should have been more attentive to a range of is ues involving the autonomy and integrity of cholars and scholarly institution ." Minimum standards of profe ional comity demand that such personalities be identified 0 that they have an opportunity to defend themselve . Which individuals were inattentive to scholarly autonomy and integrity? Since the Joint Committee on Slavic Studie operated a number of programs throughout the cold war period, did the SSRC and ACLS fail to protect scholarly integrity and autonomy? Such anonymous charges frankly do not build a con tructive dialogue about area and international scholarship. Institutional adaptation in the wake of the cold war

What i genuinely urprising about Heginbotham's analysis of international scholarship in recent years is his failure to acknowledge the extent to which cholars and research organizations have already adapted and reoriented programs to tackle a rich re earch agenda across the humanities and social cience. And, as in the cold war period that preceded it, a mutual interest between funders and scholars is being sustained and invigorated. Indeed, given the SSRC's own active programs in this regard, the absence of any description of what is presently being done in research organizations is puzzling. Step have been taken in recent years, for example, to develop research programs that grapple with societal transitions in the fonner Soviet Union and Eastern Europe; scholars from the region itself now have more opportunitie than ever before to participate-according to open and fully merit-based criteria-in research fellowships and collaborative projects. The "funder priorities" cited by Heginbothamthe study of transitional markets, electoral systems, legislatures, local governments, media, educational infrastructure, environmental protection, etc.-are presently being analyzed through numerous new studies, fellow hips, and research teams. And it is no exaggeration to ay that the proportion of "policy relevant" projects is higher than it ever was during the cold war. 32\1TEMS

This year alone, lREX is sponsoring new advanced individual and collaborative research on topics as diverse as ubnational power and international cooperation in the Ru sian Far East, recreating legal services in po t-Soviet Ru ia, religiou traditions and their impact on culture in post-Soviet Central Asia, the women's movement in Russia and Ukraine, water resource management in Bulgaria, comparative transitions of monopoly finns to market finn in Central and Eastern Europe, the effects of economic transition on political institutions and groups in Poland, and the evolution of admini trative law in Slovenia, to name but a few. Similarly, the Kennan Institute has recently invited in a new generation of scholars to study-often in comparative perspective-political decentralization, regional government and economic development, ethnic conflict and political stability, the emergence of new ruling elites, center-periphery relation , the fonnation of new political partie, etc. Furthennore, the SSRC's own programs have addressed quite effectively the need for scholars to develop new Iingui tic skills and/or methodologies in order to take advantage of new research opportunities and examine previou ly inaccessible problems. The Council's excellent program of support for summer language institutes has allowed students and scholars, including those who did not begin their careers in Soviet studie , to obtain language experti e in nearly a dozen languages of the fonner Soviet Union and Central and Eastern Europe. This particular program has been operating for over ten years, and has expanded its coverage of languages since the collap e of the Soviet Union. First-year graduate student fellowship also enable tudents to combine area expertise gained at the undergraduate level with the methodological kills area studies offerings have traditionally lacked. Basic research in titutions already play key role in training a new generation of professionals in the fonner Soviet Union preci ely in the areas Heginbotham has identified as "thematic" concerns, such as hort-tenn training program for legislators, local government official , and entrepreneurs that focus on the dilemmas they face as they deal with mas ive political, economic, and social con equence of the transition. The nexus between basic research and applied policy concerns was recognized early on by many in the Slavic and Eurasian studies community, creating the paradox-from Heginbotham's perspective-of area specialists who straddled disciplinary boundaries. Thu , much of what Heginbotham describes as "rethinking international cholarship" has been underway in postSoviet studie for everal years. To be sure, funding patterns are fickle and constantly shifting. Some government funders VOLUME 49, NUMBER 1

are more congenial toward basic research and international collaboration, others less o. Much the same can be said for private funders. The means they choose to support such scholarship also change . Even as we engage funders with the full protection of scholarly criteria and interests, priorities of public and private funders are subject to change. But we must again stress that there is nothing new or cold wardependent about this reality. The pattern of funding for re earch during the cold war also creates problems for Heginbotham's premise. If he i to be believed, it should be possible to find a consistent correlation between the ebb and flow of the cold war and support for international studies. This is clearly not the case. The establishment of large amounts of private funding in the 1950 and 1960s dried up in the 1970s, even as relations between the superpowers deteriorated. Moreover, funding for Slavic and Eurasian studies remains high, perhaps higher than it has ever been, yet the cold war has suppo edly been over for at least three years! None of these vicissitudes in funding could have been predicted by a crude cold war hypothesis linking research funding to the international political climate. Further investigation into the content of research programs would only reinforce the conclusion that cold war factors were but one of several factors determining the overall level and mix of support for international scholarship. The history of Soviet and East European scholarship during the cold war period is a history of hard-eamed scholarly achievements and protection from political interference. Minimizing or ignoring these achievements is destructive. On another level, it simply makes no sense to throw the baby out with the bath water: If the cold war has produced research institutions that can adapt to changing circumstances, integrate new skills and research agendas, and sustain creativity inquiry without compromising scholarly objectivity, is it not more sensible to refine these institutions in light of current realities rather than engage in a time-consuming "rethinking" and costly "reconstruction" of international scholarship?

Knowledge and power in international scholarship The central problem with Heginbotham's analysis, aside from his failure to appreciate the productivity and adaptability of research institutions and programs created during the past fifty years, is that he has mistakenly attributed to the cold war what is in fact a more general pattern of institutionalized political power that attempts to enlist the support of independent scholarship. To put it bluntly, Heginbotham has mistaken the end of the cold war for the end of history. MARCH


There will always exist a tension between funders and policymakers; in this regard the cold war has no pride of place. Public and private funders are frequently impatient. now as then, when scholarly research doe not appear to have a policymaking payoff and programs are frequently tailored by funders precisely in an effort to shape the priorities of scholars. Then, as now, the response to such efforts is a more or less normal tension in which the pursuit of mutual interest between funder and scholar is developed and redeveloped acro s a variety of different programs. It takes little reflection to realize that, for example, Samuel Huntington's thesis on the future clash between civilization will, if adopted by a substantial part of the policymaking community, exert profound pre sure on scholars to tailor their research around this dynamic. Similarly, government-funded programs are replete with provisos and constraints binding scholars to sustain requisite levels of minority and gender participation, etc. The existence of such constraints reflects the clear political victory of one constituency over another-all achieved without the slightest reference to the cold war. Consequently, as long as political battles are fought in American society, we can expect them to generate pre sure on scholars to forego their adherence to standards of scholarly objectivity. In addition, Heginbotham has failed to appreciate how institutions have responded to changed conditions, an error in reporting that is e pecially obvious when evaluating the Slavic and Eurasian studies fields. Instead, we are confronted in his article with misplaced advice stressing that the "great danger is that individuals and institutions in the scholarly community who seek funds for international scholarship will so focus on the need to protect existing programs in the face of declining resources, that they will largely ignore the challenge of adapting those programs in ways that reorient them from their cold war origins to the changing priorities of funders and the changing opportunities and challenges for international scholarship." Yet the reality has been that institutions have changed and adapted their programs to remain competitive. Hence, budgets were protected not by reflexively returning to the past. but by actively searching out innovative ideas and programs to fund well-established as well as new research and training formats. Supporting innovation through channels familiar to federal funders is far preferable to a politically suicidal denunciation of such channels and the resources they represent. Heginbotham's discussion of the need for "context-sensitivity" reveals a crucial epistemological weakness in his analysis. Productive and usable knowledge does not proceed a priori from deductive principles or themes generated by ITEMsI33

the whim of grant officers, but from immersion in rich empirical detail. Perhaps this is the be t time to point again to the damage done by the exceptionally strong behavioral wave that swept through the social ciences in America nearly thirty years ago: Knowledge is an inductive process that proceeds from disparate pieces of data that are organized by the scholar into meaningful patterns. This organization can then be used to extend research into broader comparative directions. Area studies programs have succeeded precisely because they concentrated first on the inductive dimen ion of knowledge-amassing empirical data and then cautiously developing middle-range theorie about geographic regions within the international system. If we now have the opportunity to broaden our theoretical perspective by engaging in comparative inquiry at a level never before pos ible and including regional comparisons heretofore not deemed productive, we must, by all means embrace it. The recent record of Slavic and Eurasian area studie institutions reveals that they are meeting this challenge. Broader conceptualization therefore build upon-but does not replace-area expertise, and our academic programs should reflect this fact. Scholars who resist exploring areas of the world beyond their geographic specialty should be ju tifiably chided for failing to avail themselves of opportunities to expand their knowledge. However, it bears mention that, far from being an exotic tribe, many area specialists publish widely in disciplinary journals and are part of the larger humanistic and social cience community. Communism (not the cold war), limited the access that would have provided scholars the chance to integrate Slavic studies more firmly into broader comparative techniques. This does not eliminate the continuing need for scholars who possess linguistic skills and nuanced appreciation of individual cultures. Because of this, specialists in the Slavic and Eurasian field, or any other regional studies fields, are not beggars at the table of academic research. Rather they bring their own unique and equally valid research perspectives, which will in turn enrich any larger theoretical design that may emerge from interdisciplinary research. International scholarship stands, therefore, at a crossroads. On the one hand, it can maintain and strengthen the institutional infrastructure of area studies that has developed over the years, exploiting its intellectual commitment to indepth knowledge of societies and its administrative talents for protecting the integrity of scholarly inquiry from the pressure of public and private funders. This path is not without controversy, for it requires that funding institutions 34\1reMS

and the scholarly community take every opportunity to prod individual scholars to share their area expertise with others and broaden their base of knowledge in search of processes operating across disciplines and regions. On the other hand, we may proceed down the path suggested explicitly and implicitly by Heginbotham of leaving behind area studies and the institutions that have sustained it in favor of a stillundefined "international" perspective and its constellation of emerging sub-disciplines. In our view, the second option will cost the academic community more than it can possibly gain. Given the relative poverty of po t-cold war "di ciplines," we risk becoming a society fixated on theoretically ophisticated forms, and unintelligent in terms of the content needed to effectively address the substantive challenges of the future.

Potential impact of the new ''Internationalist'' perspective It is erroneous and unfair to argue that the cholarly community in Slavic and Eurasian studies has remained in a cold war mode in recent years. More worrisome than Heginbotham's misrepresentation of the past and present, however, is the potential impact of his analysis for the future of research institutions and the academic enterprise in general. Should Heginbotham's "rethinking" acquire concrete form, it is doubtful that area studies programs, if they survive, would resemble anything like their current structure. Undergraduate education in area studies would apparently not be affected, but graduate programs would be altered. The fundamental question is how. It is exactly at this point that Heginbotham's analysis becomes either opaque or a mere restatement of programs that already exist. Graduate programs will need to focus on "acquiring the sufficient language, cultural, and historical knowledge to understand a set of political, social, cultural, or economic dynamics within a local context." But good area studies program with strong links to traditional disciplines already fulfill these requirements. If this is what Heginbotham seeks to consolidate, we are in agreement; but it is the undefined nature of his commentary on post-cold war international studies that disturbs us. We are, in effect, asked to abandon what has worked well to advance scholarship in favor of ... what? This lead to a su picion that the new "internationalist" perspective is as yet empty and, as such, subject to capture by individuals and interests that seek to bend it to their own ends. If so, scholarship will be worse off than it has been before. Con equently, Heginbotham (and tho e who share his perVOLUME




pective) are obliged to specify in detail the attributes of their vision for international cholarship. A plea for "context-sensitivity" imply i n' t enough to ri k the hard-fought gains of U.S. scholar hip of the past half-century. Context en itivity i exactly what the field of Slavic and Eurasian studies has helped to produce for the past 50 years. Of course, Heginbotham i correct in earching for " ome measure of common understanding of the new role for international cholarship in a changed international and scholarly environment," and there are indeed ways to encourage this understanding without abandoning exi ting institutions and practices. Yet, the "internationalist" perspective u ually winds up urging the adoption of common re earch methods and issues of inquiry, and thus sacrificing the diversity and creativity that have been generated in area studies programs. The diversity of experience and requirements acro s regional areas mu t remain a permanent fixture of international programs. Rather than compressing such programs to uniform specifications, we should be searching for ways to complement what already exists. Heginbotham's sugge tion that academic institutions in close geographic proximity consider "consortial arrangements," for their international programs will doubtless have its greatest impact on the structure of higher education. His principal reason for supporting such an option is the costeffectiveness of moving faculty to students rather than the reverse. How one responds to this proposition really depends upon one's institutional position: the class of upwardly-mobile academic administrators (of which there are an alarming number in American academia) who seek nothing more than to cut costs and move on to another institution for a higher salary, will undoubtedly rub their hands with glee. Heginbotham's approach provides them the chance to downsize while appearing to be in step with the current fashion in funding priorities. Administrators committed to the long-term health of their institutions, on the other hand, will be left to deal with the bureaucratic chaos, diminished faculty morale, and student disgruntlement that inevitably follows such "reform." Moreover, area studies faculty will have to seriously consider the prospect that, regardless of tenure, they may ultimately become roving professors, who shuttle between campuses during breaks. Prospective faculty will doubtless see the handwriting on the wall and make other career choices, leaving academic institutions in a weaker position than they presently find themselves. Heginbotham's views and those presented here can be reconciled. If his intention is to initiate a discussion about the means by which we can prod area studies programs and MARCH


cholars to think even more creatively about the comparative dimensions of their work and to encourage academics to broaden their area experti e, we are in complete agreement. However, this goal is already being accomplished without jettisoning the institutional structures that have served us so well in the past half-century. Focusing on areas of mutual intere t between scholar and funder, and examining how undergraduate and graduate training and scholarly research can be adjusted to meet diverse academic and policy needs is a good starting point. Continuing to examine how we train students, for what purposes, and how we build incentives for scholars to take on new skills or recognize new research questions can only yield positive results. If Heginbotham seeks to utilize the end of the cold war to push aside or abandon area studies in favor of some nebulou "internationalist" perspective, however, we respectfully disagree. The history of Slavic and Eurasian studie demon trates that uch an abandonment is unnecessary and unwise. We risk leading our scholarly in titutions down the path of studies without content, offering dimini hed rewards for our scholars as well as their students during what is undoubtedly one of the mo t fascinating periods in world history.

Toward a Moratorium on Litmus Tests Stanley J. Heginbotham In concluding their commentary on my e say in the JuneSeptember 1994 issue of Items ["Rethinking International Scholarship: The Challenge of Transition from the Cold War Era"], Robert Huber, Blair Ruble, and Peter Stavrakis (hereafter Huber et a1.) note that my views and tho e they present can be reconciled if my intention is "to initiate a discussion about the means by which we can prod area studies programs and scholars to think even more creatively about the comparative dimensions of their work and to encourage academics to broaden their area expertise." That was, indeed, my purpo e, though I was addres ing a broader audience concerned with international scholarship and exchange. As I noted in the third paragraph of the essay: The purpose of this essay is to stimulate discussion and encourage a thoughtful reassessment of the organizational and funding bases for international scholarship and exchange programs. If we are able to build and articulate some measure of common understanding of the new roles for international scholarship in a changed international and scholarly environment, we will be better able to articulate a persuasive rationale ITEMs/35

for the support of such programs among funders, and to collaborate in adapting old programs and develop new programs that will be responsive to the new environment. Huber et al. then note that they respectfully disagree with me if I seek to use the end of the cold war to "push aside or abandon area studies in favor of some nebulous 'internationalist' perspective." An attentive reading of my essay makes clear that I have no such intent; indeed, I share with them their grim view of the results that such an abandonment would produce. Do we then agree? With respect to the character and needs of international scholarship, we largely do. Indeed, when Huber et al. write about the importance of area scholarship, the role of American scholarship and exchange activities, the struggle for scholarly autonomy during the cold war period, the need for continued vigilance, and the changes underway in some area studies institutions, I find myself in near-total agreement with them. With respect to what my article said, however, we clearly do not agree. They have projected onto me a set of beliefs that I do not hold and did not state, and a set of goals and intents that I did not articulate and would not subscribe to. I am certain that they did so without malice. Rather, they seem driven to transform my argument into the kinds of attacks on area studies and on the integrity of American scholarship that they fear will be given new impetus and force by the open questioning among scholars about how we can best organize ourselves to carry out international scholarship in a new and changing global and funder environment. In doing so, they do international scholarship a disservice by suggesting a narrow and destructive litmus test: Those who do not proclaim their fealty to the way we now do area studies are adversaries of area scholarship. It eems to me that support for international scholarship in general, and area studies scholarship in particular, is under sufficient threat that we need to reach out to potential allies and expand our circle of friends rather than attack those among us who suggest the need to discu s and experiment with ways of doing things better. I would hope that we could have a moratorium on such litmus tests. In that spirit, I would note that Huber et al. also provide us a positive service by marshalling arguments in support of a continuing central role for area scholarship in international research and training. in defending the role of Soviet and Eastern European scholarship during the cold war period, and in documenting ome of the important changes now taking place in that scholarship. Though they couch 36\ITEMS

their analysis as answers to arguments I do not make, others do make such arguments and will challenge the continuing importance of area scholarship and the integrity, adaptability, and importance of area cholarship on Eastern Europe and the post-Soviet world. We need effective counterarguments of the kind Huber et al. provide. If we are to adapt to a changing world, however, we also need to address the anxieties that are engendered by reassessments and that are reflected in the reactions of Huber et al. to my essay. Their misreading of that e say reflects three general anxieties. The first is that any questioning of the current organization and activities of area studies scholarship is motivated by, or will lend strength to those who favor, the abandonment of area scholarship. The second is that reflections on the funding environment for international scholarship over the past 45 years are motivated by a desire to show, or will lend strength to those who argue, that scholars have been instruments of-or otherwise had their integrity impugned by-<:old warriors. The third is that this article presages, or signals, a turning away from area scholarship at the Social Science Research Council. Let me address each in tum.

The abandonment of area studies programs? First, Huber et a1. assert that I argue for a "general deconstruction I of area studies programs and funding in favor of a still-undefined 'international' perspective." To the contrary, I note that "area studies scholars and area studies centers will remain central to international scholarship ..."; that "the need for local knowledge, the province of area studies specialists, is likely to increase ..."; and that "we will need greater diversity of area expertise." What I suggest is that funders are, and will increasingly be, less predisposed to support area studies programs qua area studies programs than in the past. They are, rather, interested in problems and themes that are being played out in many different settings around the world. The legitimate fear of those who recognize the importance of area scholarship is that the acquisition of these funds will be dominated by scholars who study "global" issues and patterns of internationalization from the assumption, crudely speaking, that the rest of the world can be studied as if it were the United States. 2 If that happens, scholarship that is solidly grounded in local knowledge will, along with our area studies infraI I infer that they use the term "deconstruction" not in its post-moderni t sense but in the sense of disestablishment of area studies institutions and undermining of their funding bases. 2 I am indebted to Craig Calhoun for this formulation.



structure, atrophy and become endangered. I believe that our area studies infrastructure must pro per, and for that to happen, we must assure that two perspectives are persuasively presented within the scholarly world and among funders. First. those of us who believe in the importance of area knowledge must emphasize to funders-and in some cases, persuade them-that the problems and themes they are interested in cannot be understood and addressed without knowledge and understanding of the specific contexts in which they take place. We must argue, in short, that scholarship on international problems and themes needs to be context-sensitive. That scholarship, in tum, can only be developed and sustained if funders contribute to the retention and expansion of a strong area scholarship infrastructure. As Huber et a1. note, many humanists and social scientists are already producing such scholarship. We need to call attention to and emphasize the value of such efforts. Some initiate their work, as Huber et a1. suggest they should, inductively from masses of empirical data derived from area studies preparation; others proceed deductively from theoretical and comparative queries and insights. There needs to be room in our scholarly communities for both, and we need to promote interaction among the two groups. Second, area studies programs, in order to draw the kinds and levels of support from funders that they continue to need to retain their knowledge base and scholarly capacity, must demonstrate to funders and to university administrators that they are adapting their training activities to meet the changing needs of growing numbers of students who will want to acquire area knowledge without becoming area specialists. Some in the area studies community are reluctant to depart from familiar patterns and question the need for change. Others have, again as Huber et al. note, already begun to adapt their programs and activities in creative and exciting ways. We need to recognize the importance of these experiments and encourage sharing of information about how well they work and how they can be improved)

Scholarly integrity and cold warriorlsm The second fear reflected in the reaction of Huber et al. to my essay is that forces hostile to intellectual interests will accuse scholars-and especially scholars of the Soviet 3 The fall 1994 meeting oflitle VI center directors was an occasion for stimulating debate on these questions. but also for the sharing of infonnation on changes already in progress. A recent retreat organized by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) on the internationalization of scholarship in the humanities and social sciences provided another opportunity for discus ion. Both IREX and the SSRC (through the regional committees it sponsors jointly with ACLS and its professional MARCH


Union and Eastern Europe-of having compromised their integrity in order to obtain funding during the cold war. They attribute to me assertions that the U.S.-Soviet conflict "was the sole organizing theme for area studies programs in universities," and that "individuals participating in these programs were unable to isolate their own research agendas from overarching political considerations." They identify me with a "crude cold war hypothesis" linking international funding levels to great power tensions. They suggest that I believe political pressures on independent scholarship began and ended with the cold war, and that I should have explicitly recognized the achievement of Soviet and Eastern European scholars and their institutions in resisting pressures to compromise their academic integrity. My general point was that the way we organize and practice international scholarship, training, and exchange programs has been very much influenced by the cold war context in which they were developed and funded. I suggest that this is important. not becau e I think that it threatened scholarly integrity, but because funders are rethinking their priorities and the criteria they use in supporting international scholarship. 1be rationale of promoting in-depth understanding of individual societies, I argued, while persuasive during the cold war era, is less persuasive today. My argument was not that funding rose and fell in tune with the intensity of the cold war, or that many other considerations did not affect funding patterns, but that the overarching rationale for support of area scholarship which sufficed during that era must now be reformulated. Though it was not my purpose to analyze the challenges to the integrity of area studies scholars-and certainly not specifically of Soviet and East European scholars-during the cold war, I did make clear that I did not imply that "individual scholars or scholarly institutions have been instruments of cold war policies, for many have gone to great lengths to avoid compromising their independence and integrity." I also noted that university insistence on academic freedom, combined with a loosening over time of funders' concerns for a link between scholarship and specific cold war issues, produced much research that was, as far as could be determined, irrelevant-and some that was explicitly hostile-to American cold war goals. I did not argue, nor do I believe, that area studies institutions were "static artifacts of the cold war." I did not assume, nor do I believe, that "political pressure on scholarship will miraculously disappear" with the staft). have been at the forefront of national organizations in helping to define changes in the environment of international scholarship and experimenting with programs that respond to those changes.


passing of the cold war. I did note, and do believe, that experiments with market-oriented and democratic values and institutions in various parts of the world are not likely to be dominated by international politics to the degree that they were during the cold war and that scholarship on such matters is now likely to "operate in an atmosphere of greater openness and flexibility." I also noted in the penultimate paragraph of the essay the importance of understanding and protecting against a new set of challenges to the autonomy and integrity of scholars and scholarly institutions in the post-<:old war period. My reflection that, during the early years of the cold war, those who shaped emerging institutions of international scholarship should have been more attentive to such issues was intended simply to remind readers of the continuing importance of those issues, not in any way to impugn the integrity of individuals involved. I should, however, have qualified that comment since many were fully sensitive to such issues. I apologize to any who may have taken offense. ''Rethinking International Scholarship" and the SSRC Huber et a1. may raise anxieties in some readers that my essay represents an official position of SSRC and may signal a move away from area scholarship by the Council. They suggest as much by wishing SSRC and ACLS "success in their efforts to craft an effective architecture for the


design and implementation of their international studies programs," by twice referring to me by my title, and by leaving open the interpretation that I include the SSRC among funders and therefore endorse the views that I attribute to funders. Let me, therefore, be clear: The views expressed in the e say are my own; they in no way hould be understood to be those of the Councilor of its taff. Nor was I intending to comment on the appropriate role of the Council's international programs or the way in which they should be organized. I do not consider the SSRC to be a funder, but an intermediary institution that solicits project resources from funders. Rather, by writing for the extensive and diverse audience of Items readers, I sought to stimulate scholars and exchange professionals from a wide range of institutional affiliations to reassess the rationale for and character of their programs, and, more broadly, international programs in this country. I hoped that the essay might provoke debate and discussion about how we can work together to strengthen both the funding bases and the effectiveness of those programs. The re ponse from Robert Huber, Blair Ruble, and Peter Stavrakis suggests that it was, at least, provocative. I hope these clarifying comments will promote renewed debate, insight, and cooperation among those committed to international scholarship and exchange. I hope, as well, that they may discourage further resort to litmus tests as this process goes forward. •



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The Council was incorporat~d in tM Stat~ of Illinois. D~cember 27. 1924. for tM purpos~ of advancing rts~arch in th~ social sci~nces. Nongov~rnmental and int~rdisciplinary in naturt. th~ Council appoints committees of schouus which seek to achi~~ tM Council's purpos~ through tM g~Mrotion of MW id~as and tM training of scholars. The activiti~s of the Council art supported priffllJrily by grants from privat~ foundations and government agencies. Dirtctors. 1993-94: PAUL B. BALTES. Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Education (Bertin); ROBERT H. BATES. Harvard University; WIWAM CRONON. University of Wisconsin. Madison; DAVID L. FEAllfERMAN, Social Science Research Council; ALBERT FlsHLOW, University of California, Berkeley; SUSAN TuFTs FIsKE, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; SUSAN HANSON, Oarlc University; BARBARA HEYNS, New Yortc University; NAOAYO HOMMA, Tokyo Woman's Chri tian University; JOEL SHERZER, University of Texas, Au tin; BURTON H. SINGER, Princeton University; KENNE1lf W. WACIm:R, University of California, Berkeley; ANNETTE B. WEINER, New Yorlc University; MJCHEU...E J. WHrrE, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Officers and Staff: DAVID L. F£AllfERMAN, Prtsid~nt; STANLEY J. HOOINB<JrnAM, Wc~ President; RONALD J. PELEcK, Wee Prtsident for Financ~; GLORIA KiRCHHEIMER. Editor; DoRm SINOCCHI, Human R~sourc~s Dirtctor; ITTY ABRAHAM, BARBARA A. BIANCO, SUSAN BRONSON, ADRIAN (JOSH) DEWIND, ARUN P. ELHANCE, ERIc HEitsHBERO, STEVEN HSYDEMANN, FRANK KEs EL, MIMI M. KIM, ROBERT LAllfAM, DAVID C. MAJOR, MARY BYRNE McDoNNELL, Eu.I!N PEREcMAN, RICHARD R. PETERsoN, SHERI H. RANIs, M. PRISCILLA STONE, RAMON TORRECILHA, KENroN W. WORCESlER.

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