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New Issue of Open Anthropology

Open Anthropology

Open Anthropology, a digital-only publication of the American Anthropological Association, is proud to announce the release of its latest issue. In World on the Move: Migration Stories, editor Alisse Waterston (CUNY – John Jay College of Criminal Justice) offers thirteen articles and two book reviews of anthropological works on the movement and circulation of people, ideas, languages and objects, and the human stories that reveal these processes. This issue also sheds light on current humanitarian crises and legislative debates related to migration.

Waterston curates a set of articles that explore the social and cultural aspects of migration across the globe and over time. “In the midst of contentious debates about immigrants and immigration law, anthropology provides an important framework for understanding. It resists the narrow view, asks the tough questions, contextualizes phenomena, gathers the evidence, studies and analyzes it, develops reasoned argument, and only then comes to judgment,” writes Dr. Waterston in her accompanying editorial.

At a time when immigration catalyzes human rights debates and the movement of people around the world has changed the global landscape, Open Anthropology provides a cross-cultural and historical perspective on migration. It also anticipates the upcoming AAA Public Education Initiative on migration, currently in development.

Content in Open Anthropology is culled from the full archive of AAA publications, curated into issues, and made freely available on the internet for a minimum of six months for users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full text of these articles. Each issue is dedicated to topics that are of interest to the general public, educators, advocates and public policy makers.

Open Anthropology is available at www.aaaopenanthro.org

Everyday Enforcement: New City and Society Issue

With mid-term elections fueling mobilization efforts across the political spectrum, immigration policy is at the fore of debates and conversations at the federal, state and local levels. In FY 2013, 368,644 individuals were deported, continuing the trend of annual deportations of over 350,000 individuals since 2009 (U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement). At the same time, an increase of legislation at the state and local levels has targeted undocumented immigrants, with 184 laws and 253 resolutions related to immigration enacted in 2013 (National Conference of State Legislatures). For undocumented migrants, these policies result in an uneven and often precarious experience. A “patch quilt of relatively safe and dangerous spaces” has been produced, as James Quesada points out, in the exciting new issue of City & Society on immigration enforcement.

The essays in the April issue of City & Society delve into the everyday challenges experienced by undocumented immigrants across the United States. They also describe the strategies employed by immigrant communities to negotiate practices of enforcement and highlight immigrant-organizing practices that construct conceptions of human rights and justice. Issue editors, Ruth Gomberg-Munoz and Laura Nussbaum-Barberena note in their Introduction,* “Perhaps most importantly, these articles reveal some of the human faces behind a “post-9/11” enforcement-oriented landscape and contribute analyses and models for action that can be engaged at the community level across the United States.”

To access this timely issue, login to AnthroSource.

Migration is on our minds! For more research and commentary check out Anthropology News and American Anthropologist. In Anthropology News, Robert Muckle writes on the archaeology of undocumented migration, and Grabriella Sanchez offers insights on human smuggling in Arizona through a two-part series. American Anthropologist offers several commentaries in the Vital Topics Forum, “On Latin@s and the Immigration Debate.”*

*Content is open and accessible for 30 days through Wiley Online Library.

#AAA 2013 – Public Education Initiative on Migration and Displacement

The AAA’s new Public Education Initiative, focused on Migration and Displacement, seeks to bring an anthropological perspective to bear on important discussions occurring within and beyond the academy. As we begin to work on this national project, we are bringing together anthropologists to discuss key aspects of the theme. During this year’s annual conference, two roundtables will focus their attention on migration; those present will help to shed light on issues that merit serious attention. We ask you to participate in these roundtable events…help us as we begin to structure the content and general direction of what promises to be another important national project.
Friday Nov 22, 12:15-1:30pm (Chicago Hilton, Williford A): Society for Linguistic Anthropology Presidential Conversation on “Language and Mobility: Rethinking the Populations, Practices, and Places of ‘Migration.'”
panelists include Hilary Dick, Adrienne Shiu-Ming Lo, Jonathan Rosa, Alejandro Paz, Rosina Marquez Reiter, Monica Heller, Bonnie McElhinny, Shalini Shankar, Jan Blommaert, Susan Gal.
Saturday Nov.23, 12:15-1:30pm (Chicago Hilton, Astoria Room): PEI Special Events Panel on Anthropology and Migration
panelists include Leo Chavez, Anna Rios, Daina Sanchez, Pat Zavella, Lynn Stephen, Jonathan Xavier Inda.

New Language and Culture Series on Anthropology News

Anthropology News has a new series that is launching this week on language and culture. Check out the latest piece from Jonathan D. Rosa, entitled Contesting Representations of Immigration. This piece is the first in a series of four pieces on the vital issue of immigration from the perspective of linguistic anthropology that will appear over the course of the next week.  It is also the inauguration of a new set of formalized discussions on specific issues related to language and culture.

Here is an excerpt from Rosa’s article:

Ongoing debates about U.S. immigration reform have sparked calls for the media and the public to refrain from using terms like “illegals,” “illegal immigrants,” “illegal aliens,” etc. to refer to unauthorized migrants. As scholars who study the ways that language constitutes culture and vice versa, it is intellectually and ethically imperative for linguistic anthropologists to contribute to this discussion.

Much of the current debate surrounding this issue focuses on whether the term “illegal” is a truthful characterization of certain people’s migration status. For example, in the explanation that accompanied a 2011 update to the Associated Press Stylebook, widely regarded as the U.S. news media industry standard, Deputy Standards Editor David Minthorn suggested that “illegal immigrant” should be the preferred term because it is “accurate and neutral for news stories.” In contrast, organizations such as the Society of Professional Journalists have described “illegal immigrant” as a “politically charged” phrase that should be reevaluated for its potential violation of the widely embraced journalistic practice of assuming innocence until guilt is proven. Others have made the related case that “illegal” is at best a misleading generalization, at worst a slur. A person diagnosed with cancer is not described as cancerous; however, “illegal” becomes a way of characterizing not just one’s migration status, but also one’s entire person. This perspective has galvanized a campaign to “Drop the I-Word.”

The “Drop the I-Word” campaign resonates with a central tenet of linguistic anthropology: language is a not merely a passive way of referring to or describing things in the world, but a crucial form of social action. Thus we need to ask: What forms of social action take place in and through popular representations of immigration?

Read the entire article on Anthropology News.

Finding Moral Heart for U.S. Immigration Policy: An Anthropological Perspective

This monograph is written by Josiah McC. Heyman and is number seven in the American Ethnologist Society Monograph Series.

Finding Moral Heart for U.S. Immigration Policy: An Anthropological Perspective

Contents: Acknowledgments Summary of the Immigration Policy Proposal and its Rationale Anthropology, Morality, and Immigration: An Overview of the Monograph Values, Activism, and Anthropology Foundational Values and Real World Challenges Recent Immigration to the United States: From Superficial Debates to Underlying Disorders Anti-Immigrationism The Basic Plan: Recruitment and the Receiving Situationb Local Compacts: Basic Format, Process, and Examples Long Term Settlement Via Local Compacts Border Control in a New Immigration Policy A New Policy, A New INS Foreign Relations Unresolved Challenges and Dilemmas Concluding Observations References Cited.

Purchase your print copy today!  Available at a special AAA member price of $12.50 at the AAA Online Store.

AAA General Statement on Immigration

Following the passage of anti-immigration laws in several states, the Executive Board’s Ad Hoc Group on Immigration has released a statement making recommendations to avoid investing in areas that sponsor or pass such legislation.

In further investigating the immigration issue, the Executive Board’s Ad Hoc Group recommends the Executive Board continues to monitor closely and avoid investing in states that sponsor laws that:

  • give police broad powers and discretion to single out members of a specific ethnic group whether in principle or by practice;
  • remove social services from undocumented immigrants;
  • ban undocumented immigrants from public schools and colleges, and/or charge discriminatory fees;
  • criminalize those who drive or shelter undocumented immigrants; and
  • require individual identification cards that indicate immigration status.

View the complete General Statement on Immigration.

What do you think? Leave your thoughts about this issue as a comment to this post.

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