To many tourists, transplants, and lifelong residents alike, Santa Barbara, California, is a Garden of Eden. Nestled between the Santa Ynez Mountains and a south-facing portion of the state’s central coast, it is the platonic ideal of a beach
The making and unmaking of a rural moral economy
This paper draws on the work of E. P. Thompson to understand anticapitalist resistance in northern California in the 1960s and 1970s. Through an analysis of the back-to-the-land movement in a region I call “Claytown,” I show how the making of a rural moral economy was in part enabled by the presence of a nascent marijuana industry. However, whereas a relatively small-scale marijuana industry helped forge anticapitalist resistance in the 1960s and 1970s, this industry has become a form through which values of capitalist political economy are being instantiated and reasserted. I situate my ethnographic analysis within a broader historical and legal framework to show how a contemporary moral economy is made and increasingly unmade in the context of late capitalism.
Neoliberal Development Policies and Their Contradictions
Kevin A. Yelvington, Jason L. Simms, and Elizabeth Murray
Wine tourism is a growing phenomenon, with tourists enjoying not only wine but a rural lifestyle that is associated with winegrowing areas and the elusive essence of terroir. The Temecula Valley in southern California, a small wine-producing region and wine tourism destination, is experiencing state-led plans for a vast expansion of production and tourism capacity. This article traces the challenges inherent in this development process, and questions the sustainability of such plans regarding the very environment the wine tourists seek out, especially regarding the availability of natural resources, mainly water, needed to fulfil these plans. The article concludes with a call for an applied anthropology of policy that is centred on the articulations of the state and neoliberal capitalism.
Racialized Girlhood, Behavioral Diagnosis, and California's Foster Care System
Isabella C. Restrepo
Scholars of the welfare system have explored the racialized criminalization of mothers of color who are punished by the foster care system, through control of their children, when they are unable to meet the ideals of middle-class motherhood but have yet to fully articulate a language to understand the ways in which this criminalization and punishment extends to youth once they are placed in the foster care system. Using ethnographic interviews with agents of the care system, I explore the ways in which the system pathologizes Latinas’ quotidian acts of resistance and survival like their use of silences through the behavioral diagnosis of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). I argue that California’s foster care system is an arm of the transcarceral continuum, marking girls of color and their strategies of resistance as pathological, thereby criminalizing them through the diagnosis of behavioral disorders.
Why Californians Shifted from Trains to Autos (and Not Buses), 1910-1941
This essay examines the transition from a rail-based intercity transportation system in California in 1910 to a road/private auto-based system thirty years later, with hypotheses that the transition could be explained by either corporate and state decisions for supplying infrastructure or by public demand. The essay examines trends of automobile ownership, road investment, bus organization and service provision, intercity passenger rail service provision, and intercity rail revenues, both within California and to and from California in each of the three decades. It concludes that public preference for private automobility explains most of the transition but that unserved demand remained for fast passenger train service between the state's large metropolitan areas. Failure to serve that demand derived from California's legacy of popular disdain for the private railroad industry.
Journeys of Personal Triumph and National Mission
Malcolm J. Rohrbough
Americans have always taken journeys. In the seventeenth century they moved to establish new church communities in New England and new plantations beyond the tidewater in Virginia and Maryland. In the eighteenth century individuals and families continued their searches for more fertile and cheaper lands beyond the reach of tax collectors and landlords. By 1750 they reached the crest of the Appalachian mountain range where they gazed toward the interior valleys of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The success of the North American revolution and the establishment of an independent nation in 1783 intensified these migratory instincts, no longer blocked by London’s imperial policies. For three generations after independence, from 1776 to 1850, Americans – families long on this continent and new immigrants – settled the interior of the continent and established thriving, albeit diverse societies based on widespread availability of land, ready access to water transportation, cultivation of staple crops for a commercial economy and, in the south, the growing use of slave labour (Rohrbough 1978).
Oak Park, California, or, as was more and more common over the last few years, e-mail messages. As I told him in our final exchange last November, he immeasurably changed my life for the better and was responsible for a great deal of my growth as a
Brett R. Wheeler
Janet Ward, Weimar Surfaces: Urban Visual Culture in 1920s Germany (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001)
Bernd Widdig, Culture and Inflation in Weimar Germany (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001)
Jeff Smith, Dominic Topp, Jason Gendler, and Francesco Sticchi
!” Lea Jacobs, Film Rhythm after Sound: Technology, Music, and Performance (Oakland: University of California Press, 2015), 280 pp., $34.95 (paperback), ISBN: 9780520279650. Reviewed by Dominic Topp An alternative title for Lea Jacobs's Film
Bureaucracy, New Media and the Infrastructural Forms of Doubt
Michael Vine and Matthew Carey
In August 2014, a crowd of several hundred concerned citizens piled into the David Marr Auditorium in the rural Northern California community of Redding to hear former solar panel contractor Dane Wigington offer an impassioned warning that their