Re: Neighborhood Bar

Nils Zurawski (zurawsk@UNI-MUENSTER.DE)
Tue, 10 Oct 1995 10:36:16 +0100

>Jim Martin wrote:

>Perhaps if non-Americans would inject their concerns more often then the
>neighborhood would look a bit less like Anytown, USA? What are the battles
>raging & debates flaring in your community? Come to think of it, what is
>your community like? If you had to describe it to an audience of beginning
>students, what would you say? What are its traditions and history? Are there
>major schisms that keep people apart? Who should I be talking to about
>current research in China & Taiwan (my areas). What are some of the most
>intereresting articles that should be translated into English (you see - I
>do not know if you publish in English or not).
> Just a thought - a way get to know more people in the neighborhood and to
>make conversations in this bar even more interesting.

Hi Jim,
that are a lot of questions to answer. I will try to at least give you an
impression about German Ethnology, though I myself am a sociologist with a
strong ethnological background.
I don't think that we have an equal stron virtual community as here on
Anthro_l is represented. I know of some yonger anthropologist that are
taking part here,but there is no German discussion list, which would be
I just returned from the congress of German speakin anthropologists in
Vienna (Austria and Swiss are as well german speaking, so its a conference
with all three associations) and was partly surprised how difficult it
still seems for a good part of the proffessors to cross disciplinary
The main question connected with activities that are not primarily
"ethnologic" is: "What has this to do with us, and what extraquality could
be added if we take part in e.g. a development project, or migrant aid in
our home countries."

I do see that as a major split, maybe a generational split.
Though the need to be concerned about global processes that will affect
local communities was stated and hopefully will find its way more into
upcoming research.

A second, though smaller issue is that of the political form of societies.
The word stateless, or even anarchistic (ackephalous) was more than once
rejected as things "we don't want to remember", though most societies
ethnologist go to are segmentary societies or lack a political system that
would be concidered having a state. There must be a barrier in thinking or
a lack of understanding regarding definitions of political forms and forms
of political integration. I wouldn't generalize that, but it came up now
and then.

But enough of that for now.

For the community of anthropologists, I feel it depends on your position in
the academic life (student, assistent, proffessor etc) in which way you
parttake in there. At the university where I study (Muenster) the community
is quite good, also due to the fact that the department is rather small.

i liked your view of this list as a bar with a neigbourhood, as we all are
coming from a no virtual background which affects our on line lives as
well, if not we wouldn't have anything to discuss. After all we are
interested in anthropology .

So far for now.