Re: On distinguishing anthropology from sociology

mike salovesh (T20MXS1@MVS.CSO.NIU.EDU)
Tue, 14 Mar 1995 02:38:00 CST

Dear James Carrier: (That's an old Quaker style of address, which
is OK, because I'm an old Quaker anyhow.)

Whaddya mean, is it too early in the morning? I'm just about to
turn in. (It's almost 2:30 AM, which is more or less normal for
my retiring time. But then I never teach in the morning; besides,
we are supposedly on spring vacation.) UK time vs. US time. Oh.

Of course you are right about central tendencies: AJS isn't AA, and
MAN/JRAI is not BJS. Is that maybe why I don't regularly look at
AJS or BJS ? (I might add, however, that Robert Redfield's article
on "Folk Society"--which essentially shaped at least two generations
of social anthropologists working in Mesoamerica--appeared in AJS.
Unless it was ASR: I haven't actually looked at that article in
years! I had better look it up before I go back to class next week,
since I'll be discussing some of RR's ideas . . . )

But I usually take questions about the difference(s) between the
two fields to be asking about boundaries, not about central
tendencies. Looking for boundaries that clearly separate one from
the other reminds me of the rube who commented on a camel he saw in
a circus: "Thar ain't no sech animal!"

-- mike salovesh <>

Since I'm sending this to the list, let me hasten to add that the
word "rube" in that last sentence is not an insult directed at
rural residents. It's a term of art, a dialect word I picked up as
a carny a very long time ago. In carney lingo, a "rube" is someone
who is not "with it"--and being with it means that you are part of
the carney world. Ever hear of "Hey, rube" as a carney rallying cry?