Anthropology E490/690    Anthropology and Development    Fall 2002

Assignment One



Development problems and issues through the eyes of the poor.


Due Date: September 24


Format: Five pages, typed. Half-inch margins at least. Proofread for spelling ­and grammar. Use American Anthropologist style references (check the website for instructions).


Sources: Pick one of the following books (or another one; approve it with me in ­advance). All are first-person narratives, novels or journalistic accounts that ­bring the reader into close contact with people's lives. Most are in the­ library - others may be found in used book shops on campus. If you know of book that should be on this list, suggest it to me! I have given the dates of the most recent edition, if possible.


Jorge Amado, 1979 The Violent Land. Avon.

Chinua Achebe, 1994 No Longer at Ease. Anchor.

Manlio Argueta, 1991 One Day of Life. Vintage.

Manlio Argueta, 2000 A Place Called Milagro de la Paz. Curbstone Press.

J. Berger, 1978 Pig Earth. Pantheon.

Camilo Cela, 1982 The Family of Pasqual Duarte. Avon.

Domitila de Chungara, 1979 Let Me Speak! Monthly Review Press.       

Alexander Cordell, 1975 The Rape of the Fair Country. Doubleday.

Harry Crews, 1995  Childhood: A Biography of a Place. University of Georgia Press.

Richard Critchfield, 1984 Shahhat, An Egyptian. Syracuse University Press.

Richard Critchfield, 1987 The Golden Bowl Be Broken. Indiana. Chapters 3 or 4.

Cyprian Ekwensi, 1963 People of the City. Heinemann.

Maxim Gorky, 1992  Mother.  Citadel Press.                                 

H. Ibsen, An Enemy of the People. http://www.ebooks3.com/ebooks/an_enemy_of_the_people.html

Zilpha Keatley, 1988 The Velvet Room. Yearling (childrens)

Oscar Lewis, 1959 Five Families: Mexican Case Studies in the Culture of Poverty. Basic Books

Gregorio Condori Mamani, 1996 Andean Live.. University of Texas Press.

Kamala Markandaya, 1982 Nectar in a Sieve. New American Library

Sidney Mintz, 1974 Worker in the Cane. W.W. Norton.

R.K. Narayan, 1966 The Guide. New American Library

J. Nichols, 1994  The Milagro Beanfield War. H. Holt.

Thiong'O Ngugi-Wai, 1991 The River Between. Heinemann.

Ben Okri,  1993  The Famished Road. Anchor Books.

R. Pozas, 1982 Juan The Chamula. University of California.

Kim Stanley Robinson, 2002 The Years of Rice and Salt. Bantam Doubleday.

Jacques Roumain, 1978  Masters of the Dew. Heinemann.

James Sexton and Ignacio Ujpan 1990 Son of Tecun Uman: A Maya Indian Tells His Life Story. Waveland.

John Steinbeck, 2002 The Grapes of Wrath. Penguin Books.

Paul Stoller, 1999 Jaguar: A Story of Africans in America. University of Chicago.

Pramoedya Ananta Toer, 1996 This Earth of Mankind. Penguin.

Pramoedya Ananta Toer, 1996 Child of All Nations. Penguin. 

B. Traven, 1995 The Cotton Pickers. Ivan R. Dee.

B. Traven, 2002 The Bridge in the Jungle. Ivan R. Dee.

Robert Tressell 1991 The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. Acacia Press. 

Ignacio Ujpan, 1985 Campesino - The Diary of a Guatemalan Indian. U. of Arizona

Carter Wilson, 1974 Crazy February. University of California.


Assignment: After reading the book, and briefly summarizing its setting and ­focus, answer as best you can two of the following question sets.


*      What are the most immediate and pressing problems facing the people you've ­read about? Are there "basic needs" that have the highest priority in your ­view? What are some of the other, less pressing needs that emerge from your ­reading?


*      Are the people you studied capable of articulating their needs? Do they understand the causes of their poverty? What is the relationship between their needs and their­ wishes?


*      What is the balance, in the case you have studied, between secular and ­material concerns, political and cultural problems, and those of a religious or ­moral nature?


*      Even the most pressing local problems often have global or national roots or ­implications that cannot be dealt with on the local level. Briefly discuss the ­balance and relationship between local and national or global problems in your ­case study.


*      How would the people you have read about define "development?" Would you­ expect there to be unanimous agreement among them on this definition, or would ­there be significant differences of opinion?


*      The poor are often portrayed as passive or fatalistic - incapable of­ concerted action to improve their situation. Is this true in the case you have­ read about? Can you think of reasons why this might be so, or might be ­untrue?