Reflecting on America: Anthropological Views of U.S. Culture, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Reflecting on America

Anthropological Views of U.S. Culture, 2nd Edition

Edited by Clare L. Boulanger

© 2016 – Routledge

280 pages

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Description

Anthropologists travel back in time and across the globe to understand human culture—but, surprise, there is culture right here in the United States. This second edition of the best-selling textbook and anthology, Reflecting on America, again focuses on how we can recognize the common cultural thread running through diverse American phenomena—from heroin addiction and Big Business’s efforts to shape the identities of children, to Civil War reenactments and the popularity of burlesque in the Midwest. In addition, this second edition includes chapters written especially for this volume on striptease, Burning Man, The Big Bang Theory TV show, and Groundhog Phil. Written throughout with verve and quirky humor, and offering “Questions for discussion” after every article, this book is perfect for undergraduate classes in anthropology and American studies. Drawing together twenty-two scholars with expertise in anthropological ideas about culture, Reflecting on America examines what it means to be American.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Upon Further Reflection 7

Clare L. Boulanger

2. America—The View from across the (Reflecting) Pond 9

Clare L. Boulanger

Ecology/Economy

3. Mickey, Nicky, and Barbie: Kinderculture in America 17

Richard H. Robbins

4. Consuming Ourselves to Death 29

Richard Wilk

5. The Button: Not a Simple Notion 41

Paul Grebinger

6. Safety and Health in the “Safer and Healthier” Agriculture 51

Brandi Janssen

Family Life and Leisure

7. Chauffeuring and Commuting: A Story of Work, Family, Class, and Community 65

Lara Descartes, Conrad P. Kottak, and Autumn Kelly

8. Military Families: The Long Journey Home 81

Sarah Hautzinger and Jean Scandlyn

9. Every Time We Type Goodbye: Heartbreak American-Style 97

Ilana Gershon

10. Striptease, Leisure, and Labor in the Midwestern United States 105

Beth Hartman

1. Introduction: Upon Further Reflection 7

Clare L. Boulanger

2. America—The View from across the (Reflecting) Pond 9

Clare L. Boulanger

Ecology/Economy

3. Mickey, Nicky, and Barbie: Kinderculture in America 17

Richard H. Robbins

4. Consuming Ourselves to Death 29

Richard Wilk

5. The Button: Not a Simple Notion 41

Paul Grebinger

6. Safety and Health in the “Safer and Healthier” Agriculture 51

Brandi Janssen

Family Life and Leisure

7. Chauffeuring and Commuting: A Story of Work, Family, Class, and Community 65

Lara Descartes, Conrad P. Kottak, and Autumn Kelly

8. Military Families: The Long Journey Home 81

Sarah Hautzinger and Jean Scandlyn

9. Every Time We Type Goodbye: Heartbreak American-Style 97

Ilana Gershon

10. Striptease, Leisure, and Labor in the Midwestern United States 105

Beth Hartman

Class and Power

11. Talk of “Broken Borders” and Stone Walls: Anti-immigrant Discourse

and Legislation from California to South Carolina 121

Ann Kingsolver

12. Gender, Race, and Class in America: Home in New Haven 135

Micaela di Leonardo

13. Welcome to an East Harlem Shooting Gallery 151

Philippe Bourgois

14. A Pilgrimage to the Past: Civil War Reenactors at Gettysburg 167

Matthew H. Amster

15. Memories of Burning Man 181

S. Megan Heller

16. When Worlds Collude: Groundhog Phil and the Super Bowl Meet

on Candlemas 193

Robert Myers

17. Metakinesis: How God Becomes Intimate in Contemporary

American Christianity 205

Tanya M. Luhrmann

Ideology

18. Little Boys Writ Big: Gender, Economy, and The Big Bang Theory 225

Clare L. Boulanger

19. Warmaking as the American Way of Life 237

Catherine Lutz

20. American Cultural Denial: The CATs’ Compass 253

E. L. Cerroni-Long

21. Living Up to Our Words 265

Paul Durrenberger

11. Talk of “Broken Borders” and Stone Walls: Anti-immigrant Discourse

and Legislation from California to South Carolina

Ann Kingsolver

12. Gender, Race, and Class in America: Home in New Haven

Micaela di Leonardo

13. Welcome to an East Harlem Shooting Gallery

Philippe Bourgois

14. A Pilgrimage to the Past: Civil War Reenactors at Gettysburg

Matthew H. Amster

15. Memories of Burning Man

S. Megan Heller

16. When Worlds Collude: Groundhog Phil and the Super Bowl Meet on Candlemas

Robert Myers

17. Metakinesis: How God Becomes Intimate in Contemporary

American Christianity

Tanya M. Luhrmann

Ideology

18. Little Boys Writ Big: Gender, Economy, and The Big Bang Theory

Clare L. Boulanger

19. Warmaking as the American Way of Life

Catherine Lutz

20. American Cultural Denial: The CATs’ Compass

E. L. Cerroni-Long

21. Living Up to Our Words

Paul Durrenberger

About the Editor

Clare L. Boulanger is a cultural anthropologist and Professor Emeritus at Colorado Mesa University (formerly Mesa State College) where she taught for 20 years across the five fields of anthropology. Her interest in American Studies extends back to research she did in 1982 on political decision-making in Burlington, Vermont. Although she has lived and worked in Indonesia, Malaysia, the U.K., Viet Nam, and the People’s Republic of China, she continues to find Americans to be the most exotic of the world’s peoples.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOC002010
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural