Catalogue


Telling our selves [electronic resource] : ethnicity and discourse in Southwestern Alaska /
Chase Hensel.
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, c1996.
description
xii, 220 p. : map
ISBN
019509476X (Cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, c1996.
isbn
019509476X (Cloth)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
general note
Title from e-book title screen (viewed October 15, 2007).
catalogue key
7372139
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 204-213) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Chase Hensel was a Visiting Scholar at the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge University, and teaches anthropology and education at the University of Fairbanks. He lived in Bethel, Alaska for eleven years, where, as a participant in Bethel's subsistence practices and subsistence discourse, he studied issues of language, education, and ethnicity in the region
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1997-11:
Hensel's book, a revised doctoral dissertation, is a study of the subsistence discourse and practices of the Yupik Eskimos, who live in the community of Bethel in southwestern Alaska. Such discourse ranges from everyday exchanges in which subsistence is the perennial topic to formal public hearings on various governmental and commercial aspects of subsistence, wildlife, and their regulation. Because "subsistence is the central focus in the intellectual, material, and spiritual culture of both historic and contemporary Yup'ik society," the topic dominates the lives of Yupiks and serves to give them their ethnic, social, and spiritual identities. Unlike traditional ethnographic studies, Hensel's work focuses on this "subsistence talk"--on language behavior in social context--using the insights of linguistic anthropology and sociolinguistics to better understand contemporary Yupik society. The study is based on a combination of interviews and participant observation while the author and his family lived in the Bethel community. Upper-division undergraduates and above. D. R. Parks; Indiana University-Bloomington
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A unique, sparkling piece of work that should attract wide attention."--Anthony Woodbury, University of Texas, Austin "Hensel is a superb linguistic anthropologist....It's definitely a significant contribution to the field."--William J. de Reuse, University of Arizona
"A unique, sparkling piece of work that should attract wide attention."--Anthony Woodbury,University of Texas, Austin "Hensel is a superb linguistic anthropologist....It's definitely a significant contribution to the field."--William J. de Reuse,University of Arizona
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1997
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This book examines how Yup'ik Eskimos and non-natives use talk about hunting, fishing, and processing to construct and maintain gender and ethnic identities. It is suitable for students and scholars of linguistics and anthropology.
Long Description
In this book, Chase Hensel examines how Yup'ik Eskimos and non-natives construct and maintain gender and ethnic identities through strategic talk about hunting, fishing, and processing. Although ethnicity is overtly constructed in terms of either/or categories, the discourse of Bethel residents suggests that their actual concern is less with whether one is native or non-native, than how native one is in a given context. In the interweaving of subsistence practices and subsistence discourse, ethnicity is constantly recreated. This type of discourse occurs in a conversational setting where ethnicity is both implicitly and explicitly contested. While the book is ethnographic, it is not "about Eskimo's." Rather it is about how Bethel residents use similar forms of discourse to strategically validate disparate identities. In this context, the homeland of Yup'ik Eskimos, subsistence is the focus of people's interactions, regardless of their ascriptive ethnicity. Even people who spend little time in subsistence activities spend a great deal of time in subsistence conversation. Unlike traditional ethnographies which focus on traditions, and consequently tend to reify the past, this contemporary ethnography focuses on contemporary preoccupations of identity and meaning. The ethnographic description becomes a device for preserving and explicating the opulent polysemy of situated talk.
Main Description
In this book, Chase Hensel examines how Yup'ik Eskimos and non-natives construct and maintain gender and ethnic identities through strategic talk about hunting, fishing, and processing. Although ethnicity is overtly constructed in terms of either/or categories, the discourse of Bethelresidents suggests that their actual concern is less with whether one is native or non-native, than with how native one is in a given context. In the interweaving of subsistence practices and subsistence discourse, ethnicity is constantly recreated.
Main Description
In this book, Chase Hensel examines how Yup'ik Eskimos and non-natives construct and maintain gender and ethnic identities through strategic talk about hunting, fishing, and processing. Although ethnicity is overtly constructed in terms of either/or categories, the discourse of Bethel residents suggests that their actual concern is less with whether one is native or non-native, than with how native one is in a given context. In the interweaving of subsistence practices and subsistence discourse, ethnicity is constantly recreated.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 3
Overviewp. 3
Why Bethel?p. 6
Subsistence and Discoursep. 7
Subsistence as an Economic Activity?p. 7
Deconstructing the Economic Analysis of Subsistencep. 12
Negotiated Gender and Ethnicityp. 14
Mutual Influencesp. 15
Fieldworkp. 16
Ethnographic Background and Post-Contact History of the Areap. 19
Jigging for Pikep. 19
Introductionp. 21
Geology and Topography of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Deltap. 21
Wildlifep. 22
Local Villagesp. 23
Bethelp. 26
Subsistence: Past, Present, and Futurep. 31
Traditional Housing and Gender Rolesp. 34
Traditional Yup'ik Beliefsp. 40
Early Twentieth-Century Seasonal Roundsp. 42
Contemporary Practices and Ideologiesp. 47
Drift Netting for King Salmonp. 47
Introductionp. 49
Changes in Migration Patterns and Resource Usep. 52
Changing Technologies and Techniques of Subsistencep. 53
Changes in Preservation Techniques and Utilizationp. 55
Trade, Contact, and Changing Local Dietsp. 56
Contemporary Seasonal Rounds in Lower Kuskokwim Villagesp. 57
Subsistence Calendarp. 58
Contemporary Yup'ik Gender and Family Roles and Subsistencep. 59
Subsistence As An Integrated Activityp. 64
Subsistence Practices in Bethelp. 69
Contemporary Yup'ik Ideologies About Hunting and Fishingp. 70
Non-Native Ideologies About Hunting and Fishingp. 72
Fish and Game Stocks to Support Future Subsistence in Bethelp. 75
Regulating Subsistencep. 76
Subsistence, Identity, and Meaningp. 81
Cutting Salmon for Drying and Smokingp. 81
Introductionp. 82
Creating and Maintaining Identityp. 84
Boundaries and Boundary Markingp. 87
Boundaries, Stereotypes, and Practicep. 91
Stereotypes of Inuit: Historical and Contemporary Viewsp. 94
Non-Native Envy of Subsistence Skills and Subsistence as an Identity Markerp. 96
Yup'ik Practice as It Affects Non-Native Practicep. 97
Subsistence as an Identity Markerp. 103
Picking Blueberriesp. 103
Subsistence as a Marker for a Yup'ik Identityp. 104
Subsistence as a Marker for a Non-Native Rural Alaskan Identityp. 106
Talk of Practice for Yupiit and Non-Nativesp. 107
Specific Subsistence Practices as Markers of Identityp. 109
Development and the Marking of Gender and Ethnicityp. 113
My First Memorable Steambathp. 113
Introductionp. 115
Nondifferential Effects of Cultural Changep. 115
History of Wage Laborp. 116
The Gendered Construction of Workp. 119
Changes in Yup'ik Gender Spacesp. 123
The Steambath as an Institutionp. 123
Changes in Gender Relations and Powerp. 126
Outmarriage Reexaminedp. 133
The Continuing Symbolic Importance of Subsistencep. 134
Gender Differences, Discourse Similaritiesp. 137
Yup'ik Gourmands: Food and Ethnicityp. 139
Setting a Winter Net Under the Ice for Whitefishp. 139
Checking the Netp. 141
Eating for Pleasure Versus Eating to Survivep. 142
Yup'ik "Cooking"p. 146
Changing Attitudes and Dietsp. 149
Food as an Identity Markerp. 149
Subsistence Discourse as Practicep. 153
Ptarmigan Hunting by Snow Machinep. 153
Introductionp. 154
Practice/Structuration Theoryp. 154
Family Systems Theoryp. 157
Contextualization Conventions and Sociolinguisticsp. 159
Summary of Strategic Moves in Example 4p. 172
Subsistence Discourse as Practicep. 178
Native, Non-Native, How Native? Ethnicity on a Continuum of Practicep. 179
Conclusionp. 187
Notesp. 191
Referencesp. 203
Indexp. 214
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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