[URBANTH-L]CFP: Proposed AAA Panel on 2004 AAA Meeting Cancellation

Harriet Richardson Seacat 3seacats at comcast.net
Fri Mar 18 23:25:05 EST 2005

Hello all,
    For those who may be interested in the below session (described in a
roughed-out abstract), we need to work fast to get this thing off the ground
on time.  Let me know ASAP if you are interested in participating (off
lists, please).  Also, let me know what section sponsorship you think may be
appropriate.  I think this could easily be either a paper session or a
roundtable discussion...
    For obvious reasons, I would not have proposed this if I had seen a
similar call for papers.  Please let me know if you have.  Thanks for
reading and please pass on to others you think may be interested.

Harriet L. Richardson Seacat, M.A.
Adjunct Faculty
Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology
University of South Alabama

**Calling all of those people who spoke out for the San Francisco laborers
and against the AAA response to the labor dispute:

“The Outcome of this Struggle will Impact all Working People”[1]:

Anthropologists and Our Feigned Attempt at Union Support

As a prerequisite to our unique ability to suspend ethnocentrism, many of us
are concerned with the impact of powerful corporations on the lives of the
people with which we work.  From Marx to Wallerstein, many prominent
scholars have explored the inequalities that exist in a capitalistic system.
Scholars, particularly anthropologists, have examined with similar virility
how people of cultural minorities are marginalized in this system.  The 2004
AAA meetings provide us with an awkwardly proximate example of how our
decisions as consumers impact people’s lives.  Even without a labor strike
and the prospect of crossing a picket line, our decision to meet in huge
corporate venues perpetuates inferior working conditions, like those being
protested by the San Francisco Hilton workers.  The strike and the AAA
response to it reminds us of our relative privilege as white collar workers
who support the corporate infrastructures which marginalize (and, at times,
terrorize) the labor force which sustains them.  The situation begs the
question of how we can criticize the effects of globalization while we
simultaneously provide the cash support upon which the system exists.  We
need to ask serious questions of ourselves as we plan for next year’s AAA
meetings and all meetings to come.  The unions which were striking in
November of 2004 in San Francisco believe that the “outcome of [their]
struggle will impact all working people”.  Fear besets us all as we enter an
age in which corporate power is becoming paramount.  This session and its
presenters explore different arenas of thought surrounding these issues,
including the politics of corporate power, the impact of corporate power on
low-wage laborers, ethnographic insight into the San Francisco strike and
anthropologists’ reactions to it, and how consumers can impact corporate
authority.  (alternate/other areas added as participants join the session)


[1] Workers Action, strike support flyer, 2004

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