Re: Feminism, postmodernism & science

Thomas Love (tlove@CALVIN.LINFIELD.EDU)
Mon, 3 Apr 1995 12:50:55 -0700

I've just returned from the Applied meetings in Albuquerque, where Roy
Rappaport was a discussant for a panel on including social values in
ecosystem management. The papers were useful but mixed, while his
comments were typically elegant and insightful. He spoke of the human
condition as being one where we're caught between the webs of meaning we
construct, in which we live and move, and the real constraints of the
material world we also inhabit. (That's the jist of his comments.)
While most anthropologists would immediately acknowledge this as
true of the human condition, I would guess that a majority of
anthropologists are ecologically illiterate, or nearly so, while a
majority of "scientists" are unaware of the fabricated, socially
constructed nature of meaning.
The four fields approach, or something like it, keeps anthropology
exciting because it acknowledges both these parts of being human. Let's
keep the creative tension of a holistic approach. Like you, I would hope
we can move beyond polarization, incorporate what's best of feminism and
post-modernism and other isms that will crop up, and at the same time
keep critically reviewing what passes for canonical in our business.

Tom Love 45N, 123W
Dept. Soc/Anth
Linfield College
McMinnville, OR 97128