Fifty Years of Anthropology and Education, 1950-2000: A Spindler Anthology

Fifty Years of Anthropology and Education, 1950-2000: A Spindler Anthology

Fifty Years of Anthropology and Education, 1950-2000: A Spindler Anthology

Fifty Years of Anthropology and Education, 1950-2000: A Spindler Anthology

Synopsis

George and Louise Spindler are widely regarded as significant founders of the field of educational anthropology. This book brings together their best, most seminal work from the last 50 years--a time frame representing the developmental epoch of the field--and binds them together with a master commentary by George Spindler. Previously scattered over a wide range of publications, the articles collected here allow for a unified view of the Spindlers' work and of the development of the field. The book opens with an insightful Foreword by Henry T. Trueba, a fascinating piece titled "A Life With Anthropology and Education: Interviews With George and Louise Spindler by Ray McDermott and Frederick Erickson," and George Spindler's "Previews" essay which gives the reader a grasp of the whole to which the parts of the book contribute. These pieces frame and contextualize the work that follows. In Part I, Character Defining, many of the major themes of this volume are first encountered; this section sets the stage for what follows. Part II, Comparisons, focuses on comparison, which the Spindlers view as essential to an anthropological approach. Part III, Ethnography in Action, is devoted to the explicit exposition of ethnographic methods (though actually every piece in the book is a demonstration of method). Part IV, American Culture, moves from a traditional representation of American Culture to a processual analysis of how the culture is transmitted in real situations, and finally to an interpretation of right-wing actions that seem to constitute a reactive movement; the implications for education are pursued. Part V, Cultural Therapy , explains what cultural therapy is and how it may be applied to teachers and students. The volume concludes with Part VI, Orientation, Susan Parman's overview of the works of the Spindlers that spans their whole career.

Excerpt

Henry T. Trueba

I have followed the work of George and Louise Spindler since I first met them at Stanford in 1964, although at the time I did not have the privilege of working with them. In the mid-1980s when George and Louise came as visiting professors to the University of California in Santa Barbara, I had the opportunity of spending more time with them and finally began to under stand the significance of their work. Our personal rediscovery in Santa Barbara was followed by a genuine epiphany that suddenly gave my aca demic life direction and permitted me to articulate my work for several decades. Much of what I learned in the 1980s was in their writings but I had not internalized it and it was not self-evident. Their unique concept of culture dynamically changing in the process of transmission, their requirements for genuine ethnographic research (as the study of culture in vivo via diachronic and systematic methods), the intimate nature of the relationship between the psychological and the sociocultural, and the undeniable comparability of human behavior across languages and cultures, were all powerful incentives for many of us who were attempting to follow in the steps of George and Louise.

The Spindlers' research on culture and personality among the Blood Indians, on acculturation and adaptation among the Menomini, and their . . .

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