SOCIOCULTURAL THEORY THROUGH TIME - 1976


Anthropology in 1976

William Nixon



THE HOT DEPARTMENTS -

TOP FIVE IN FREQUENCY OF AUTHORSHIP IN JOURNALS
Mainstream

  1. University of California, Berkeley
  2. U. North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  3. Columbia
  4. Harvard
  5. SUNY at Buffalo

Marginal

  1. University of Pittsburgh
  2. SUNY at Stony Brook
  3. University of California, Berkeley
  4. Pennsylvania State University
  5. Hobart and William Smith Colleges


THE MAJOR THEMES IN JOURNALS by NUMBER OF ARTICLES

MAINSTREAM MARGINS

1

Kinship and Social Organization (17)

1

Kinship and Social Organization 

Linguistic Anthropology (15) 

Economic Anthropology 

 3

Ecological Anthropology (8)

Cross-Cultural Anthropology 

 4

Political Anthropology (7) 

Political Anthropology 

 5

Religious Anthropology (7)

Legal Anthropology 

 6

Cross-Cultural Anthropology (7)

Gender/Feminist Anthropology 

 7

Methods/Theory (6)

Demographic Anthropology 

 8

Gender/Feminist Anthropology (6)

Symbolic Anthropology 

 9

Developmental Anthropology (5)

Religious Anthropology 

 10

Economic Anthropology (4) 

10 

Linguistic Anthropology, Ecological Anthropology (tie) 


THE MAJOR SUB-DISCIPLINES
by affiliation of Authors in 3 major Journals

1
Social Anthropology

2 Cultural Anthropology

3 Linguistic Anthropology

4 Medical Anthropology

5 Cognitive Anthropology
6 Developmental Anthropology
7 Psychological Anthropology
8 Cross-Cultural Anthropology
9 Gender/Feminist Anthropology
10 Applied Anthropology



KEY THEMES IN ANTHROPOLOGY DURING 1976
The first point to be made about the above data concerns the apparent strength of linguistic anthropology in 1976 in the mainstream, both in terms of the article themes and the sub-disciplines of authors. This strong showing rests heavily upon the August 1976 special issue of American Ethnologist, devoted to folk biology. This special issue included ten articles by eleven scholars on such issues as folk taxonomy and nomenclature. Had this special issue not been included in the data, linguistic anthropology would have ranked near the bottom in both lists.

Walter Goldschmidt, then President of the American Anthropological Association, published a guest editorial in American Anthropologist that more accurately suggested the future of anthropology. Observing the trend in academia towards specialization, Goldschmidt expressed cautious hope that anthropology could maintain an uneasy compromise between the need to specialize and the desire to fit the knowledge gained from specialized scholarship into a broader context. However, he concluded that anthropology was in the midst of experiencing a series of "organization defections" that threatened this compromise: "We think of linguistics as a subdiscipline of anthropology, yet only about 7% of the approximately four thousand members of the Linguistic Society of America are also members of the AAA. I doubt this situation is good for linguistics as a field, but I am certain that it is bad for anthropology. . . . Folklore offers a second example and a cautionary tale. . . . Archaeologists and physical anthropologists have not yet removed themselves to the same extent, but they have gone further than I think is healthy. . . . The organizational defection that has taken place suggests a loss of context. The loss of context applies as much to the cultural anthropologist, whose awareness of the other specialized disciplines has been waning, as it does to the other specialists." (1976:519-520)

Reading the mainstream and marginal journals from 1976, two common features of the scholarship seem noteworthy. The first is the frequency with which Levi-Strauss was cited, both pro and con, suggesting that he was the key intellectual figure in 1976. Second was the prevalence of quantitative analyses. Virtually every issue of both the mainstream and marginal journals contained at least one article employing quantitative methods. One such application that deserves mention because it also gives us a window into notions of departmental rankings is Beverely Hurlbert's piece in American Anthropologist. Hurlbert ranked 80 American and Canadian anthropology departments using such factors as the ratio of "giving" faculty to other departments versus "receiving," placement of graduate students, rates of "productivity," and "ingrowness." According to her data, the top 40 departments were, in order: Harvard, Chicago, UC Berkeley, Yale, Columbia, Cornell, Michigan, Pennsylvania, UCLA, Indiana, Northwestern, Wisconsin-Madison, Stanford, Arizona, Tulane, Oregon, Rochester, Illinois, Minnesota, UC Davis, Catholic, Texas, Washington, UNC Chapel Hill, Kansas, Pennsylvania State, Colorado, Pittsburgh, Brown, Southern Illinois, Duke, Toronto, Princeton, Hawaii, New Mexico, New York, UC Santa Barbara, Calgary, Michigan State, and Iowa. (1976:274)

REFERENCES CITED

Goldschmidt, Walter

1976 Guest Editorial: Anthropology as Context. In American Anthropologist 78: 519.

Hulbert, Beverely McElligot

1976 Status and Exchange in the Profession of Anthropology. In American Anthropologist 78:272.

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