Faculty » Emeritus » Michael Kearney (1937-2009)
Office: 1314 Watkins Hall
My current primary project is finishing a book titled Symphonic Pragmatic Anthropology: From Four Fields to One – summed up as SPA. It seeks to do nothing less than deeply re-conceptualize and reorganize implicit basic worldview premises on which American Anthropology is organized and thus provide a more progressive and contemporary intellectual foundation for its reorganization. It notes how Anthropology has been remarkably un-self reflexive in examining its basic worldview assumptions and how they are integral components of the prevalent folk worldview of the greater society in which some essences and persons and just “naturally” and/or “supernaturally” higher” than others. Here SPA sees Anthropology as an expression of this worldview of verticality, which is the backbone of the current socioeconomic class system and of inequality in general. In other words, the present organization of Anthropology – especially its unquestioned distinction between those aspects of it that deal with the lower natural sciences in contrast to the higher realms of the social sciences, and humanities – is an aspect of a highly efficient system of reproducing socioeconomic and cultural inequality. But it’s all more complex than this. In exploring these deep innards of contemporary Anthropology as an expression of contemporary society and its “culture,”SPA needs to mobilize Linguistic Anthropology to devise novel terminology. There is not space here to elaborate these neologisms, since they need to be defined and elaborated in relation to other basic premises and neologisms of SPA’s approach to how contemporary Anthropology is deeply integrated into the contemporary political system, with its class differentiation that is informed by its traditional world view.
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS: Changing Fields of Anthropology: From Local to Global (2004, Rowman & Little Field Publishers, Inc.); Reconceptualizing the Peasantry: Anthropology in Global Perspective (1996); The Local and Global: The Anthropology of Globalization and Transnationalism, Annual Review of Anthropology (1995); Latin America's Indigenous Peoples Today: Changing Identities and Forms of Resistance in Global Context, in Capital, Power and Inequality in Latin America (1995, with S. Varese, edited by R. Harris and S. Halebsky); The Effects of Transnational Culture, Economy, and Migration on Mixtec Identity in Oaxacalifornia, in The Bubbling Caldron: Race, Ethnicity, and the Urban Crisis (1995, edited by M. P. Smith and J. R. Feagin); A Survey of Oaxacan Village Networks in California Agriculture (1994, with D. Runsten); Desde el Indigenismo a los derechos Humanos: Ethnicidad y Política más allá de la Mixteca, Nueva Antropología (1994); Mixtec Migrants in California Agriculture: A New Cycle of Poverty (1993, with C. Zabin, A. Garcia, D. Runsten, and C. Nagengast); World View (1984); Los Vientos de Ixtepeji; and The Winds of Ixtepeji: World View and Society in a Zapotec Town (1972).