anthropologists caucus at NCPCR

carter pate (CPATE@UTCVM.BITNET)
Fri, 20 Jan 1995 16:56:46 EST


Who has some good ideas about contributions which anthropologists have
made or should share wiuth the emerging field of Conflict Resolution?

I am attempting to organize a "caucus" of anthropologists at the
National Conference on Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution, May 26-30, in
Minneapolis, MN.

From several earlier conferences, and wide reading in the fields repre-
sented there (negotiations, mediation, alternative dispute resolution, in
everything from families, schools and neighborhoods to international affairs)
my impression is that it is much easier to identify the contributions of
sociology, political science and psychology, than those derived from anthrop-
ology. Not that these are not there, but they seem to be less visible.

Can anthropological concepts, theories and experiences be identified
which offer insights, paradigms or models to advance this field? I have in
mind how some management training has appropriated the idea "organizational
cultures," the emphasis and debates around "multiculturalism," (sometimes
with shallow reference to the cumulative record of anthropology) and so forth.
I also know of a few anthropologists' efforts in conflict-prone areas, such
as Leonard Doob's Fermeda Workshop in East Africa and his later work in
Cyprus. There must be many more to be noted.

If you're at all sympathetic, please let me know, and do one or more
of the following:

1) Suggest short, general questions which might be a focus for dis-
cussion is such a caucus, and attract anthropolgists and closely related
professionals to it. (Keeping in mind that the actual discussions would be
minimally structured, and these are not an "agenda" except as participants want
to bring them up there.)

2) Suggest reports or records of anthropological activities which are
relevant. Perhaps some of you have syllabi of bibliographies for Peace Studies
or Conflict Resolution, or Applied Anthropology courses. (One of my colleagues
has a course on Anthropology of Warfare course, which despite the name, is not
completely extraneous, because it takes up the topic of "warrior cultures" in
ways similar to the comment on this concept in the most recent US News and
W.R.) Since I've been out of touch with the Southern Anthropological Assn.
for quite a while, can someone help me get access to the program of a recent
meeting in which they focussed on conflict resolution?

3) As a mere sociologist with an "anthropology retread" I may not be the
best person to moderate such a caucus. Want to suggest a nationally
recognized anthropologist willing and able to chair such a session?

4) Provide names and addresses of other anthropologists who do not
participate on ANTHRO-L,who might be interested if invited.

5) If interested, try to come and participate yourself. A message
will follow with a previous announcement of NCPCR, and the Preliminary
Program will soon come to those who get on their list. Or contact me

Thanks for your attention.

Carter Pate
Dept. of Soc.,Anth., & Geogr.
Univ. of Tenn. at Chattanooga
Chattanooga, TN 37403