Re: Disasters

Arthur L. Baron (abaron@STU.ATHABASCAU.CA)
Tue, 16 Jul 1996 09:18:11 MDT

> On 15 Jul 96 at 10:54, Cyril Belshaw wrote:
> ....And further, if the return-come-what-may observation is
> > right, its study has major implications for other kinds of man-made
> > disaster -- drought, ethnocide, atomic explosion, and the forced
> > movement of populations. Who, in anthropology, is studying these
> > kinds of things now?
> No one apparently on this list. An attempt was made to focus the
> attention of anthropologists, for example, on the "who" of "power
> hierarchies" so as to help determine the impact that those at the top
> of such heirarchies might have on such man made disaters. It was to
> no avail as if anthropologists are content with the study of only
> those or the relatively powerless bottom, and even more preferably
> those at the bottom of past cultures, or, if current, only the
> so-called primitive ones.
> John Pastore

John you are absolutely right. The elite, the powerful, and the rich have not
been scrutinized, studied, and put under the microscope the way the
disenfranchised have. One of the hurdles is access; R. Lincoln Keiser's
ethnography "THE VICE LORDS: Warriors of the Streets" an upfront and personal
view of Chicago street "gangs" was only possible because he offered a royalty
in exchange for the opportunity to tell their story. I'm not sure this
strategy would work on those who don't need the money. Do the elite want their
story told (their dirty laundry aired in public) - I think not and most will do
what is necessary to support their public image. This area of study needs

arthur baron