Re: AAA: Not Just a Journal

Ralph L Holloway (rlh2@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Fri, 23 Feb 1996 23:47:19 -0500

On Fri, 23 Feb 1996, JOHN LANGDON wrote:

> Bob Graber criticized those of us who have quit the AAA in disgust as lacking
> professional committment. "Joining the AAA is the best single thing you
> can do to help others--and yourself--think of you as an anthropologist." The
> problem is the way AAA currently represents anthropology. I find professional
> identification in physical anthro through AAPA, but not in an organization whose
> publication does not recognize physical anthropology.
> I was bothered when I found myself writing that I got little out of the AAA
> except its publications, but it is true. I have only once attended a AAA meeting
> because when I have to prioritize my travel budget, the AAPA is more important.
> To argue that I should pay my $90 in spite of the journal to show my support for
> the organization is to consider AAA a charity. If the organization and its
> journal become more inclusive again and makes strides to bridge its
> subdivisions, I would like to rejoin.

I really don't understand Bob's plea. The price tag on the journal and
the membership into the Biology Section is simply too stiff for a journal
with such an attitude to the subdisciplines. I certainly don't want the
AAA to believe that simply because we need a professional
organization to rpresent us means that any policy goes. I haven't been to
an AAA Meeting for decades and have no intention of ever going again. I
hate Conventions, and all that goes with it. Furthermore it s too damn
depressing given the job market. The AAPA is difficult enough. It's
gotten so mammoth that one is sorely tried to attend the papers, and
usually misses most of the one's she or he wishes to attend. But at least
it is "home". You don't get treated like a "racist" or a "sociobiologist"
when you attend. Face it, given the number of professional societies out
there, journals of interest, etc, one must prioritize, and I think John
is certainly right to do so.
Ralph Holloway