In an earlier paper (Dressler, 2001), I suggested that medical anthropology as a research enterprise could not ignore either meaning or structure in human social life in the production of health. Rather, drawing on the early work of Bourdieu, I argued that we need to take into account both how the world is configured by the collective meanings we impose upon it, as well as the social structural (and physical) constraints on our behaviour that exist outside those meanings. Human health can be understood, in part, as the intersection of meaning and structure. Here, my aim is to extend this perspective in three ways. Firstly, I present an expanded theoretical framework within which collectivei meaning and social structure can be conceptualised. A useful theoretical framework must take into account paradoxical features of culture, including the seeming contradiction that it is a property both of social aggregates and of individuals, and that, ultimately, social structural constraints external to individuals depend on shared meaning. Secondly, I review recent research employing this perspective conducted in Brazil, the southern United States and Puerto Rico. These studies have all employed a 'structural-constructivist' theoretical orientation, using especially the concept of 'cultural consonance', or the degree to which individuals incorporate shared meaning into their own beliefs and behaviour. Where individual efforts to attain a higher cultural consonance are frustrated by structural constraints, poor health results. Thirdly, I consider some of the policy implications of this perspective. While much work in traditional public health focuses on a highly individualised notion of meaning (as in 'health beliefs'), it seems unlikely that the health of populations can be altered substantially without taking into account the structures that constrain individual action.
Rolf Dieter Hepp
impacts on social structures? The labor market provides socioeconomic conditions and (self-)governmental techniques under which people within the creative industries shape their self-awareness (“subjection”). People within creative industries like artists
Matrimonial Strategies and Postnuptial Residence Patterns in Two Eastern Siberian Communities of the Twenty-First Century
Vincent Zvénigorosky, Dariya Nikolaeva, Georgii Romanov, Aisen Solovev, Nikolai Barashkov, Éric Crubézy, Sardana Fedorova, and Christine Keyser
This article describes current matrimonial strategies and residence patterns in two communities in the Sakha Republic. In Tolon, a rural settlement in central Sakha, community exogamy is predominant and patrilocality is detectable in postnuptial residence patterns. In the sub-Arctic town of Khonuu no gendered residence patterns are observed. Khonuu has an airport and serves as a regional capital. In Khonuu matrimonial decisions follow the immigration of men and couples rather than traditional strategies connected with horse- and cattle-based subsistence. This article discusses the possible biological, historical, and cultural reasons that explain the observance or lack of observance of traditional marriage in the contemporary Sakha Republic.
argued that the broch people of northern Britain, whose last days included a probable treaty accommodation with the Romans, preserved a social structure established in the Neolithic. 11 My own work on the Picts offered a diagnostic for discerning
they exist at the interfaces of landscape ecology, social structure, and cultural meaning-making. They are particularly open to analyses that relate social power to ecological dynamics ( Widgren 2012 ). Boundary plants are vegetative manifestations of
Shifting contexts, shifting meanings—examples from South Sudan
actually somewhere beyond local social structures. Ultimately, organizations acted as some sort of “fourth sector”—rather than a third sector, as they are understood to be in their home countries ( Lewis 2011 ). Importantly, their version of neutrality, as
Elena A. Volzhanina and David G. Anderson
This article presents an ethno-demographic analysis of a regional group of Tunguses and Iakuts residing in a gold-mining area, whose traditional economy underwent profound changes at the beginning of the twentieth century. This article uses original sources to reconstruct the population of these groups, and to determine their major demographic characteristics. The authors posit that the most cogent demographic indicator, and the key factor for the dissolution of the traditional social structure is the gender imbalance, favoring males, which existed in the area as a result of industrial development.
David P. Conradt
While the 2009 election resulted in a familiar governing coalition, the dealignment of the party systems continued. Support for the once-major parties dropped to historic lows as did turnout. This article delves into the factors underlying this dealignment process. In addition to familiar demandside variables—social structure, values, and interests—particular attention is given to the supply side of the dealignment equation: the role of the parties, their leaders, strategies, and policies. The consequences of these changes for the future of the party and political system are then discussed in a comparative context.
Three decades after Catton and Dunlap's (1978, 1980) pioneering work, the promise and potential of environmental sociology remain unrealized. Despite the proliferation of theoretical frameworks and empirical foci, a "new ecological paradigm" capable of theorizing the interactions between social structures, human agency, and biophysical environments has yet to emerge. I explore this impasse by tracing the parallels between the Darwinian revolution and recent shifts in metatheoretical assumptions within environmental and mainstream sociology and related disciplines. These parallels suggest that the social sciences are in the midst of a second Darwinian revolution. A fuller appreciation of this intellectual convergence can provide the first steps toward a new evolutionary environmental sociology.
John P. Ziker
This paper discusses flexibility in subsistence and exchange strategies and family and community structures in an indigenous community on the lower Enisei River in north-central Siberia. An analysis of available data on mobility, resource use, and social and economic exchanges contributes to understanding the factors that affect resilience of indigenous domestic groups and communities in the region. The historic flexibility of economic strategies and related social structure is described on the basis of data from the 1926/27 Polar Census. Data from the author's 1997 visit to the area (the Tukhard community) illustrates very similar strategies and variation in deployment of these strategies. New patterns of organization are discussed in relation to the issues of community resilience and indigenous rights.