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Fwd: Proposed AN Series on Marriage and Family

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  • Lloyd Miller
    I m forwarding this to SACC-L in hopes that some community college folks will contribute articles or commentary to the AN on this most timely topic. Lloyd
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 3, 2004
      I'm forwarding this to SACC-L in hopes that some community college
      folks will contribute articles or commentary to the AN on this most
      timely topic.
      Lloyd

      Begin forwarded message:

      > From: "Stacy Lathrop" <slathrop@...>
      > Date: Mon Mar 1, 2004 6:59:51 PM US/Central
      > To: "Stacy Lathrop" <slathrop@...>
      > Subject: Proposed AN Series on Marriage and Family
      >
      > Dear AN Contributing Editors,
      >
      > AAA Section, Committee and Executive Board leaders have this past week
      > been engaging with current debates in the US on "gay marriage." As a
      > result of this discussion on the AAA leadership listserv, on Feb 26
      > the AAA Executive Board approved a statement on marriage and the
      > family (see below).
      >
      > To continue the discussion Dan Segal initiated on this topic on the
      > AAA leadership listserv, I have developed a Call for Papers (draft
      > pasted below) that takes off from his initial insights and the AAA
      > Statement on Marriage and the Family; in it, I attempt to frame some
      > relevant questions surrounding this issue and topic that I think
      > anthropologists can make important contributions. Please review this
      > call for papers, and send me your feedback. I welcome comment and
      > suggestions; I also encourage submissions.
      >
      > Thanks in advance,
      > Stacy
      >
      > Stacy Lathrop
      > Managing Editor, Anthropology News
      > American Anthropological Association
      > 2200 Wilson Blvd, Suite 600
      > Arlington, VA 22201-3357
      > Tel 703/528-1902 x 3005
      > Fax 703/528-3545
      > slathrop@...
      > www.aaanet.org
      >
      >
      > -------------------------------------------------
      >
      > Is It a Family? Are They Married?
      > Understanding Human Relationships
      >
      > The results of more than a century of anthropological research on
      > households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and
      > through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either
      > civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an
      > exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research
      > supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including
      > families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable
      > and humane societies.
      >
      > The Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association
      > strongly opposes a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to
      > heterosexual couples.
      >
      > -AAA Statement on Marriage and the Family, February 26, 2004
      >
      > From legal definitions of "marriage" to the ways real people are
      > forming lasting relationships, family is a dominant feature in
      > America, and often a contested one. Noting the absence of
      > anthropology's voice in the "rapidly shifting public debate about
      > lesbian and gay marriages," Dan Segal, when proposing a AAA Statement
      > on Marriage and the Family, pointed out that "kinship has, after all,
      > been a mainstay of anthropology," and that the radical right in the US
      > continues to fall back on "that chestnut of social evolutionary
      > anthropology (and of empire): 'civilization.' " Ironically, while
      > anthropology has dismissed Henry Lewis Morgan's 19th century
      > evolutionism in favor of looking at kinship as cultural process and
      > agency, not everyone in America has. As President Bush stated in his
      > call for a constitutional amendment to limit marriage to unions
      > between one man and one woman: "After more than two centuries of
      > American jurisprudence and millennia of human experience, a few judges
      > and local authorities are presuming to change the most fundamental
      > institution of civilization," or heterosexual, monogamous marriage.
      >
      > With editorials quick to report that Bush was again spurring "cultural
      > wars" in America, and with AAA quick to respond with a statement based
      > on empirical evidence, it would seem this is an area of public
      > discussion that anthropologists have much to contribute. What are the
      > issues? What can we learn about the human condition by focusing on
      > kinship, society and cultural change? And what role should
      > anthropology play in current debates on family and marriage, and
      > related ones on rights for women, children and homosexuals? Issues to
      > which anthropology could make a contribution include:
      >
      > · What roles do human biology, sexuality and gender play in kin
      > relationships? While the public tends to naturalize or essentialize
      > human kinship relationships, anthropologists have noted that humans
      > have formed such relationships in significantly different ways over
      > time and across cultural groups. How and why might this be so?
      >
      > · In what ways can anthropology shed light on how historical notions
      > of kinship can at times lead to social inequalities and
      > institutionalized discrimination?
      >
      > · How do humans think and talk about family and marriage, and why is
      > this significant? As debates in America about "gay marriages"
      > demonstrate, there are diverse views about these human relationships.
      > How might we understand such diversity and engage it?
      >
      > · Where are decisions about what constitutes a family or a marriage
      > being made? Obviously churches and courts of law are two important
      > sites in the US. But are there other places? How are these decisions
      > being made? What role do "local," "state," "national,"
      > "transnational," and "global" communities play, if any?
      >
      > · What can debates about family and marriage tell us about power and
      > cultural change? As the press has noted, debate on what constitutes
      > marriage in the US figures prominently in our "cultural wars". What
      > role should anthropology play in understanding and dealing with these
      > conflicts?
      >
      > Anthropology News cordially invites readers to submit ideas, brief
      > articles (of 400-800 words), and lengthier commentaries (or 1000-1500
      > words) on this topic and these issues. Using examples from their own
      > research, contributors are requested to submit their thoughts as an
      > email attachment to Stacy Lathrop, AN Managing Editor,
      > slathrop@.... Deadline is ASAP; the deadline for the May 2004
      > AN is March 17, 2004.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Stacy Lathrop
      > Managing Editor, Anthropology News
      > American Anthropological Association
      > 2200 Wilson Blvd, Suite 600
      > Arlington, VA 22201-3357
      > Tel 703/528-1902 x 3005
      > Fax 703/528-3545
      > slathrop@...
      > www.aaanet.org
      >
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