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Hale_collaborative_anthropologies_in_transition

Hale_collaborative_anthropologies_in_transition

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CollaborativeAnthropologiesinTransition
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CharlesR.Hale
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Anthropology,morethananyoftheothersocialsciences,reliescentrallyonfieldresearch,whichinturn.createsaninherentdependenceoncollaborationbetweenresearcherandsubject.Collaborationisatrickynoun.Itcansignaltreachery,asinmydictionary'sseconddefinition("tocooperatetreasonably,aswithanenemyoccupy-ingone'scountry"),anditalsocanreferinastraightforwardwaytoamutuallyagreeduponrelationofcollectivework.Iwant
to
keeptheambiguityinplace,atleastattheoutset,andbeginwiththisgeneralquestion:whatconditionsmakeitpossibleforanthropologists
to
convincetheirresearchsubjectstocollaboratewiththem?Thereis,ofcourse,nosingleanswerinthepresent,andlessstillifwehistoricizethequestion.Onemighteveninterpretthesuccessivecrisesthathaveafflictedanthropologysincethe1960sasexpressionsofcollectivediscomfortwithpreviousgenerations'acceptedandlargelyunexaminednotionsofcollaboration.Iapproachthisbroaderinquiry-intothetermsofcollaboration-throughamorefocusedlens,whichallowsmetodrawdirectlyonmyownexperienceoverthepast25years.WhataretheconditionsofpossibilityforwhiteanthropologistsfromtheUnitedStates
to
researchandrepresentcontemporaryindigenouspoliticsinLatinAmerica?ByconditionsofpossibilityImeanthehistoricallygivenideologicalandmaterialrelationswhichpermitandfacilitateagivensetofpractices.Thebestway
to
beginansweringthisquestionis
to
historicize,askingwhencurrentconditionsarose,whatprecededthem,andatleastspeculatively,howtheymighttareinthefuture.Eventhisbare-bonesformulationoftheproblembringsathirdidentitycategoryintothepicture:dominantculturemestizos(orladinos),whoarebothanalystsandpoliticalactorsinrelationtoindigenouspeoplesoftheirsocieties.
My
argument,insynthesis,isthattheconditionsofpossibilityIhaveexperiencedoverthepasttwodecadeshavetheirrootsinaparticularcultural-politicalmomentinLatinAmerica,inUSuniversi-ties,andinglobalpolitical-economicrelationsinthehemisphere.Theseconditions,whichhaveencouragedthedevelopmentofcollaborativerelationsbetweenwhiteUS
9780631234685_4_024.lndd502
 
COLLABORATIVEANTHROPOLOGIES
503anthropologistsandindigenouspeoples,intheegalitarianandreciprocalsenseoftheterm,arenowbeginningtochange.ThisincipientchangeentailstherelativedisplacementofwhiteUSanthropologists,andtheincreasingcentralityofmestizoLatinAmericans,amidthepersistingassertivenessofindigenouspeoplesthemselves.Threespecificconditionsofpossibilityconstitutedtheemergenceofreciprocalrela-tionsofcollaborationbetweenwhiteanthropologistsandindigenouspeoples:risingindigenousmilitancyinnationallevelstrugglesforcollectiverights;racialtensionsbetweenIndian-andmestizo-ledpoliticalinitiatives;andchangesinthesensibilitiesofUSbasedanthropologytowardaspecialemphasisondose,horizontalrelationswith"subaltern"researchsubjects.Inthemakingsincethe1960s,theseconditionscamefullytofruitionbytheendofthe
1980s,
whenrevolutionaryandnational-popularpoliticsinLatinAmericahadlosttheirsalienceandappeal(forcontrastingdepictionsofthisshift,seeCastaneda1993andGrandin2004).Wearewitnessingthefirstglimmersofanothershifttoday]asLatinAmericanstatesproceedingrantingpartialrecognitionofindigenousculturalrights,andneoliberalcapitalistdevelopmentgeneratesevermoreentrenchedformsofsocialinequality.Neoliberalmulticultural-ismdoesnoteliminateracismandracialhierarchy]butitdoesproducegrowingsec-torsofbothIndiansandmestizoswhofacebasicallysimilarformsofclassbasedmarginalization.Atthesametime,left-alignedpoliticalmovementsmayfinallybeshakingfreeofthestubbornracializedlegacywherebymestizosinsistonspeakingforIndians]insistonknowinghowtoliberateIndians,insistondenyingtheircomplicitywithanti-Indianracism.Researchrelationsundertheseemergentconditions,Isug-gest,willbemorefirmlygroundedinmestizo-Indiancoalitionpolitics,whichinturnwillposenewchallengesforwhiteUSanthropologistswhoseektocarryoutresearchinaccordancewithcollaborativeprinciples.Idevelopthesepropositionsbyexaminingthreesuccessivephasesofanthropologi-calcollaboration,andtheforcesthatproducedthetransitionfromonetoanother.Thesephasesare:(1)theimmediatepostwarperiod(1945-65),whenwhite
VS
anthropologistsworkedwithmestizopower-holdersastheirunacknowledgedallies;(2)theriseofleftistandrevolutionarypolitics,whenmestizointellectualstooktheleadinprotestagainstthisacademicdivisionoflabor(1965-85);(3)themostrecentperiodwhenindigenouspoliticshastakenonadistinctlynationalcharacter(1985-present).
My
concludingreflection,thatweareontheeveofanewphase,inpartisbasedonempiricalobservation,inpartextrapolationfromtheseobservabletrends]andinpart,admittedly,apositionedargumentforchangesthatIwouldlike
to
seehappen.Twocaveatsareinorder.First,thisentirechapterfocusesonsociallyconstitutedcategoriesthatdonotfullyordefinitivelycharacterizethesubjectstheyname.Allofthesecategories-white,mestizo,indigenous,Mexican,Maya,etc.-arecontingent,contested]andfluid.Asecond,moresubstantivecaveatfollows.Myattempttothinkbroadlyaboutstructuredrelationsamongthesecategoriesofpeoplefollowsa"racialformation"approach]whichdirectsustoexploretherolethatracehasplayedinthecreationandreproductionofrelationsofsocialinequality,aswellasinthecontesta-tionandtransformationoftheserelations(Winant2001;Williams1991;Smith1995;Gordon1998).Toidentifypeoplebytheracialcategoriestheyoccupy(e.g.awhiteanthropologist)isnottosuggestthatrace
is
theonlyrelevantfacetofoursocialposi-tion,onlythatthisisacrucial,andrelativelyneglected,facetofthetriadthatIseektounderstand.Myapproachis
both
toexplorethesestructuralrelationships,and
to
allow
 
I._
504
CHARLESR.HALE
ethnographicorhistoricalparticularitytodisruptthem.Forexample,intilerestofthischapterIworkwiththecategory"whiteanthropologist"withoutthequalifier"US."Inpartthisisamatterofparsimony;inlargerpart,however,Idothisintentionally,topushthestructural-racialanalysisasfarasitcango,whilealsoallowingethnographicparticularitytopushback.Iviewthecategory"whiteanthropologist"asbothcrucialandinadequate:itdirectsmuch-neededattentiontotileracializedfacetofresearchrelations,whichmightotherwisefadeunnoticedintothebackground;atthesametime,itis
dis-
ruptedbywhiteanthropologistswhoareLatinAmerican,byUSanthropologistswhostudyindigenousissuesandwhoarenotwhite,andbywhiteUSanthropologistswhodefysomefeatureofthiscategory]evenwhilecontinuingtooccupyit.Suchdisruptionscompli-catestructuralanalysisofracialcategories]butdonotunderminetheiranalyticaluseful-ness;tothecontrary,wecanbestunderstandboththestructuralrelationsandthedisruptionsbyreadingthemtogether,intensionwithoneanother.Insum]advancesinthedevelopmentofhorizontalcollaborativeresearchrelationsbetweenwhiteanthropologistsandindigenouspeoples-advanceswhichIstronglyendorseandtowhichIhaveattemptedtocontribute-havebeenpredicatedonaconjunctureofsociopoliticalconditionsthatnowmaybecorningtoanend.Ontheonehand,theserelationswillrunanevergreaterriskofbeingcomplicit
with
state-driveninitiativesofmanagedmulticulturalism,whichgrantlimitedrightsinhopesofstavingoffmoreexpansivedemands(Hale2002).Onmeotherhand]withIndian-mestizocoalitionpoliticsontherise,whiteanthropologistswillhavetopaygreaterattention
to
theparticularcritiquesandneedsthatthesecoalitionsbringtothefore.Whileitmaybetooearlyfullytodiscernthecontoursofthisshift]wehavemuchtolearnbyhistoricizingtileprecedingphases,andinsodoing,tobeginthinkingaboutwhatcomesnext.
WHITE
ANTHROPOLOGISTS
ANDTHEm.
UNACKNOWLEDGEDMESTIZO
~Lrns(1945-1965)
Althoughthegeneralaffirmationthatanthropologyhasitsrootsincolonialpowerrelationsisuncontroversial,notsoforthequestionofwhen(orif,or
to
whatextent)thedisciplinehasbrokenwiththishistoriclegacy.Tospecifysuchabreakitisnotenough
to
establishwhenwhiteanthropologistsbegan
to
sympathizewithIndians]
to
defendtheirculturesagainstaccusationsofinferiority]oreven]todefendIndianpeo-pleagainstabuseandopprobrium.Rather,onemustfindpracticesofanthropologicalknowledgeproductiondirectlyalignedwithefforts
to
transformthesystemiccondi-tionsthatmadeandcontinuetoreproducethisracialhierarchy.Thismorestringentreasoningleadsmetosuggestthatthefirstkeyshiftinrelationsbetweenwhiteanthro-pologistsandindigenousLatinAmericanscamenotwithme"Boasianrevolution"oftheearly20thcentury,butrather,withtheriseofleftandrevolutionarypoliticsintile1960s.Priortothathistoricalmoment,beginningatleastinthe1950sandinsomecasesgoingbackasfarasthe1920s]whiteanthropologistsintheBoasiantraditionofculturalrelativismattackedmepreceptsofracialinferioritystillcommonintilesocialsciences,spokeeloquentlyandactedenergeticallyagainstallformsofdoctrinalrac-ism,andarguedthatallcultures,evensmall,isolatedandpowerlessones,meritrespect,equaltreatment,andunderstandingintheirownterms.Butingeneral]those

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