2nd Edition

Reflecting on America
Anthropological Views of U.S. Culture





ISBN 9781629583693
Published May 18, 2016 by Routledge
280 Pages

USD $45.95

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Book 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

 

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Editor(s)

Biography

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.