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Journal ArticleDOI

A History of Archaeological Thought.

01 Jun 1991-Vol. 26, Iss: 2, pp 353
About: The article was published on 1991-06-01. It has received 531 citations till now.
Citations
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Book
01 Jan 2001
TL;DR: Archaeologies of the Contemporary Past as mentioned in this paper examines a variety of contexts including: * Art Deco * landfills * miner strikes * college fraternities * an abandoned council house.
Abstract: Archaeologies of the Contemporary Past turns what is usually seen as a method for investigating the distant past onto the present. In doing so, it reveals fresh ways of looking both at ourselves and modern society as well as the discipline of archaeology. This volume represents the most recent research in this area and examines a variety of contexts including: * Art Deco * landfills * miner strikes * college fraternities * an abandoned council house.

246 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A review of recent anthropological perspectives on ethnic groups and their boundaries, emphasizing the role of state formation in their creation and maintenance, is presented in this paper, which discusses current questions facing archaeological research on these topics.
Abstract: It is often difficult to identify ethnic groups in the archaeological record, yet archaeology has much to contribute to understanding the long-term social and political dynamics of ethnicity. This review considers recent anthropological perspectives on ethnic groups and their boundaries, emphasizing the role of state formation in their creation and maintenance. It then reviews recent archaeological studies of ethnicity in complex societies and discusses current questions facing archaeological research on these topics.

238 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the problematic nature of nationalistic interpretations of the archaeological record is discussed, and the essay concludes with a consideration of the professional and ethical responsibilities of archaeologists confronted with such interpretations.
Abstract: ▪ Abstract Nationalism requires the elaboration of a real or invented remote past. This review considers how archaeological data are manipulated for nationalist purposes, and it discusses the development of archaeology during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the relationship of archaeology to nation-building, particularly in Europe. Contrastive conceptions of nationality and ethnicity are presented, and it is argued that adoption of modern constructivist perspectives is incompatible with attempting to identify ethnic/national groups solely on the basis of archaeological evidence. The political uses of archaeology are also reviewed for the construction of national identities in immigrant and postcolonial states. The problematic nature of nationalistic interpretations of the archaeological record is discussed, and the essay concludes with a consideration of the professional and ethical responsibilities of archaeologists confronted with such interpretations.

226 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Theory in North American archaeology is characterized in terms of foci and approaches manifested in research issues, rather than in explicit or oppositional theoretical positions as discussed by the authors, which may contribute to diversity and dialogue, but it also may cause North American theory to receive inadequate attention and unfortunate misunderstandings of postmodernism.
Abstract: Theory in North American archaeology is characterized in terms of foci and approaches manifested in research issues, rather than in explicit or oppositional theoretical positions. While there are some clear-cut theoretical perspectives—evolutionary ecology, behavioral archaeology, and Darwinian archaeology—a large majority of North American archaeology fits a broad category here called “processual-plus.” Among the major themes that crosscut many or all of the approaches are interests in gender, agency/practice, symbols and meaning, material culture, and native perspectives. Gender archaeology is paradigmatic of processual-plus archaeology, in that it draws on a diversity of theoretical approaches to address a common issue. Emphasis on agency and practice is an important development, though conceptions of agency are too often linked to Western ideas of individuals and motivation. The vast majority of North American archaeology, including postprocessual approaches, is modern, not postmodern, in orientation. The relative dearth of theoretical argument positively contributes to diversity and dialogue, but it also may cause North American theory to receive inadequate attention and unfortunate misunderstandings of postmodernism.

219 citations


Cites background from "A History of Archaeological Thought..."

  • ...A surge of interest since around 1990 in the history of archaeological thought and research seems to have been part of this understanding (Pinsky and Wylie 1995:viii; Trigger 1989a)....

    [...]

  • ...Optimistically, many North Amer- ican archaeologists have pushed their theoretical egos to the side, are not excessively attached to or dismissive of any particular approach, and seem to be open to multiple ways of viewing the past (Preucel 1991;Trigger 1989a:369)....

    [...]

  • ...…probably agree that our research questions (if not also our interpretations) are influenced by our present social and political context, but at the same time most also seem to eschew what Trigger (1989b) calls Michelle Hegmon] ISSUES AND THEORY IN NORTH AMERICAN ARCHAEOLOGY 231 "hyperrelativism."...

    [...]

  • ...More commonly, processualists focused on specific cases as examples of and in relation to the larger context (e.g., Kintigh 1982; Steponaitis 1981; see Trigger 1989a:368), an approach that today is shared across the theoretical spectrum....

    [...]

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a review of approaches to gender in the field of archaeology is presented, highlighting the importance of situating gender research within an explicitly feminist framework and drawing attention to some of the important insights for archaeology from the wider field of feminist critiques of science.
Abstract: In the past decade, archaeologists have given considerable attention to research on gender in the human past. In this review, we attempt to acknowledge much of this diverse and abundant work from an explicitly feminist perspective. We focus on reviewing a selection of approaches to gender that are anchored to specific theoretical standpoints. In addition, we highlight several approaches that challenge an archaeology of gender that does not explicitly engage with the implications of this topic for research, practice, and interpretation. From our perspective, we suggest the value of situating gender research within an explicitly feminist framework, and we draw attention to some of the important insights for archaeology from the wider field of feminist critiques of science. Last, we draw attention to the crucial implications for the practice of archaeology.

211 citations

References
More filters
Book
01 Jan 2001
TL;DR: Archaeologies of the Contemporary Past as mentioned in this paper examines a variety of contexts including: * Art Deco * landfills * miner strikes * college fraternities * an abandoned council house.
Abstract: Archaeologies of the Contemporary Past turns what is usually seen as a method for investigating the distant past onto the present. In doing so, it reveals fresh ways of looking both at ourselves and modern society as well as the discipline of archaeology. This volume represents the most recent research in this area and examines a variety of contexts including: * Art Deco * landfills * miner strikes * college fraternities * an abandoned council house.

246 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A review of recent anthropological perspectives on ethnic groups and their boundaries, emphasizing the role of state formation in their creation and maintenance, is presented in this paper, which discusses current questions facing archaeological research on these topics.
Abstract: It is often difficult to identify ethnic groups in the archaeological record, yet archaeology has much to contribute to understanding the long-term social and political dynamics of ethnicity. This review considers recent anthropological perspectives on ethnic groups and their boundaries, emphasizing the role of state formation in their creation and maintenance. It then reviews recent archaeological studies of ethnicity in complex societies and discusses current questions facing archaeological research on these topics.

238 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the problematic nature of nationalistic interpretations of the archaeological record is discussed, and the essay concludes with a consideration of the professional and ethical responsibilities of archaeologists confronted with such interpretations.
Abstract: ▪ Abstract Nationalism requires the elaboration of a real or invented remote past. This review considers how archaeological data are manipulated for nationalist purposes, and it discusses the development of archaeology during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the relationship of archaeology to nation-building, particularly in Europe. Contrastive conceptions of nationality and ethnicity are presented, and it is argued that adoption of modern constructivist perspectives is incompatible with attempting to identify ethnic/national groups solely on the basis of archaeological evidence. The political uses of archaeology are also reviewed for the construction of national identities in immigrant and postcolonial states. The problematic nature of nationalistic interpretations of the archaeological record is discussed, and the essay concludes with a consideration of the professional and ethical responsibilities of archaeologists confronted with such interpretations.

226 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Theory in North American archaeology is characterized in terms of foci and approaches manifested in research issues, rather than in explicit or oppositional theoretical positions as discussed by the authors, which may contribute to diversity and dialogue, but it also may cause North American theory to receive inadequate attention and unfortunate misunderstandings of postmodernism.
Abstract: Theory in North American archaeology is characterized in terms of foci and approaches manifested in research issues, rather than in explicit or oppositional theoretical positions. While there are some clear-cut theoretical perspectives—evolutionary ecology, behavioral archaeology, and Darwinian archaeology—a large majority of North American archaeology fits a broad category here called “processual-plus.” Among the major themes that crosscut many or all of the approaches are interests in gender, agency/practice, symbols and meaning, material culture, and native perspectives. Gender archaeology is paradigmatic of processual-plus archaeology, in that it draws on a diversity of theoretical approaches to address a common issue. Emphasis on agency and practice is an important development, though conceptions of agency are too often linked to Western ideas of individuals and motivation. The vast majority of North American archaeology, including postprocessual approaches, is modern, not postmodern, in orientation. The relative dearth of theoretical argument positively contributes to diversity and dialogue, but it also may cause North American theory to receive inadequate attention and unfortunate misunderstandings of postmodernism.

219 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, a review of approaches to gender in the field of archaeology is presented, highlighting the importance of situating gender research within an explicitly feminist framework and drawing attention to some of the important insights for archaeology from the wider field of feminist critiques of science.
Abstract: In the past decade, archaeologists have given considerable attention to research on gender in the human past. In this review, we attempt to acknowledge much of this diverse and abundant work from an explicitly feminist perspective. We focus on reviewing a selection of approaches to gender that are anchored to specific theoretical standpoints. In addition, we highlight several approaches that challenge an archaeology of gender that does not explicitly engage with the implications of this topic for research, practice, and interpretation. From our perspective, we suggest the value of situating gender research within an explicitly feminist framework, and we draw attention to some of the important insights for archaeology from the wider field of feminist critiques of science. Last, we draw attention to the crucial implications for the practice of archaeology.

211 citations