Scheper.docx

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Department
Integrative Studies Social Sci
Course Code
ISS 210
Professor
John Weaver

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Study Guide for Scheper-Hughes’“Saints, Scholars, and Schizophrenics” Preface to the 1982 Paperback (pp. xv-xxi) 1. Do the subjects of anthropological studies usually read published reports about their ways of life? Did they read Scheper-Hughes’book? Explain. a. Typically, no, the anthropological study subjects don’t read the published reports about their ways of life. This is because the subjects usually live in “exotic” cultures. Usually the natives know nothing about what has been written about them. Sometimes the anthropologist might send a copy of the ethnography, but it is usually displayed in town instead of read. b. This was NOT the case of those who have studied “modern” cultures, and particular the most literate and self-reflexive people, the rural Irish. Their reaction to, analysis of, and commentary on anthropological writing generally has been swift, frequently harsh, and (at least for the ethnographer) most unsettling. i. 2. Did the people of Ballybran lose or gain anything by virtue of Scheper-Hughes’ study? a. LOST- until now an unchallenged native interpretation of the meaning of their lives as ones based on the implicitly cherished values of familistic loyalty, obedience, and sacrifice. b. 3. What were the villagers’complaints against S-H’s book? a. Prologue to the Original 1977 Edition (pp. xxvii-xxviii) 1. Who was Mag Moriarty, and why does S-H discuss her? a. Mag Moriarty- in her lifetime she had seen the last of the curachs brave theAtlantic for mackerel, the Irish storyteller turn his back to the hearth and Preface to the Y2000 Edition (p. xiii) 1. Main points a. Introduction (Mental Illness and Irish Culture) 1. What broad perspectives and questions provide the orientation for S-H’s study? a. Both psychological and social structural b. Examine the interplay of historical circumstance and economic determinants with the largely symbolic spheres of beliefs, values, and behavior i. MYWORDS- examine how history and economics relate and influence each other in terms of beliefs, values, and behavior c. Emphasize the importance of the antithetical social spheres of the sexes to the quality of the emotional life, as well as the oppositional role of older to younger siblings i. MYWORDS- emphasize how the connected social spheres of the sexes and quality of emotional life are connected and the contrasting role of older to younger siblings d. Major Hypothesis- these preordained age and sex statuses are pivotal in defining parental expectations for their children, and result in entirely different socialization and later life experiences- weighted in favor of the mental health of girls and earlier born sons, and against the chances for healthy ego-integration of later-born male children i. MYWORDS-Aparent’s expectation for their children is strongly based the child’s sex and age. Sex and age determines how the child will be socialized and how their later life will end up. Girls and earlier born sons have a higher chance for better mental health. Healthy ego-integrated later-born male children will have a higher chance for poor mental health. 2. Define “participant observation” and discuss S-H’s use of this standard fieldwork technique. 3. What use did S-H make of interviews, and how did these interviews relate to a specific “problem-orientation”? 4. What projective tests did she administer? What advantages did these tests have over other means of gathering data? 5. Did S-H have help in conducting her research? 6. What concerns and anxieties did she have about the moral issues associated with her fieldwork? 7. What is cultural relativity? 8. What difficulties attend the study of mental illness? 9. Is Ballybran a completely atypical or highly unusual Irish village? Chapter 1 – In Space and In Time 1. Briefly describe Ballybran’s physical layout, social structure, and modes of economic production. a. Physical Layout i. b. Social Structure i. Mountain Villagers 1. shepherds, fishermen, and dairy farmers 2. claim continuous residence in the parish as far back as the first settlement by seafaring Mediterranean Celts 3. long, lean, finely sculpted (fair Norman complexion) ii. “Urbane” Families 1. provide the educational, religious, and recreational needs of the resident farming and fishermen population 2. teachers, postmen, politicians, nurses, auto repairmen, shopkeepers iii. “Equality and classlessness are strongly defended ideals… but the children of teachers rarely play with children of shopkeepers… shopkeepers of farmers… and almost no one plays with the children of the shepherds.” Page 78 c. Modes of Economic Production i. No public transportation leads to the parish today 2. In what terms does S-H characterize Ballybran’s worldview and ethos? a. Similar to other lasting isolated mountain and hill communities in Europe b. Fear and mistrust outsiders c. Are intensely familistic and tightly endogamous i. Familistic: of or relating to ii. Endogamous: the custom of marrying only within the limits of a local community, clan, or tribe d. View their terrain as a holy geography, their past as a religious history, and their language as a sacred tongue 3. What survivals of Celtic culture exist in the village’s natural environment, religious beliefs, and social practices? 4. When did the historical period begin in the parish? 5. Who is St. Brendan? a. "The Navigator", "the Voyager", or "the Bold" b. One of the early Irish monastic saints c. Renowned for his legendary quest to the "Isle of the Blessed," also called Saint Brendan's Island. The Voyage of Saint Brendan could be called an immram (Irish navigational story). d. He was one of the TwelveApostles of Ireland. 6. What does S-H mean when she says that St. Brendan’s monastic theology left its imprint on both Irish Catholicism and the ascetic personality of the Irish countryman? 7. In what ways have Celtic and Catholic beliefs merged together? 8. What reflections do you see in parish history of the historical antagonism between the English and the Irish? 9. What and when was the Great Famine? a. 1845-1852 b. Sometimes referred to, mostly outside Ireland, as the Irish Potato Famine i. One-third of the population was then solely reliant on this cheap crop for a number of historical reasons c. Mass starvation, disease and emigration i. Approximately 1 million people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland ii. Ireland’s population fell between 20% and 25% d. The proximate cause of famine was a potato disease commonly known as potato blight Chapter 2 – The People Left Behind 1. In broad terms, how has the quality of life in western Ireland changed since the 1940s? 2. Define “familism.” a. Adependency upon and reciprocity within wide circles of near and “far out” kin b. Rent beyond recognition given the virtual disappearance of the necessary relations 3. Briefly outline the decline in population and the change in household composition in Ballybran over the last century. a. Prior to the Great Famine of 1845-1849 i. Population: 2,772 ii. Early marriage was the norm iii. Families were large b. During the Famine i. Population: reduced to half ii. Adaptive reversal of marriage and birth patterns iii. Aspiraling emigration rate c. After the Famine i. 1965 Census- Population: 645 ii. 1972- last marriage to take place and has yet to produce an heir iii. 1974-1975: 38 deaths and 15 emigrations were offset by only 4 births. No matches, engagements, or marriages. Only the most furtively hinted at and fleeting courtships d. Today i. Average age at marriage for Ballybran couples is considerably later than for elsewhere in the Republic: 34 years for men; 28 years for women ii. Only 1 in every 3 adult males is married iii. Few married couples vale the 7-9 children household that use to be so popular in the parish 1. Now use a very successful form of birth control- total abstinence 2. Want to achieve their desire limit of 2 or 3 children iv. The majority of middle-aged adults live alone or with one or more members of their family of origin e. In Ballybran the curves become fixated at the second stage i. With unmarried adult children staying on in the paternal household, or they end abruptly as children do not only want to leave their natal families but leave Ballybran as well f. Ballybran is turning from a healthy conjugal community to a sick and dying celibate community 4. How has the nature of rural Irish women’s emigration changed since World War II? a. Previously, village girls spent periods of time from 2 to 5 years abroad in order to earn dowry money for a suitable match back home i. Dowry: property or money brought by a bride to her husband on their marriage. b. Now, village girls leave to go abroad with no intention of returning i. Vocal dissatisfaction of their mothers, who want a better life for their daughters than they themselves had 5. Compare statistics on the male and female farm population in Kerry Country. Note the problems of celibacy, childlessness, and aging of the Irish farm population. 6. What influences have these demographic problems had on agricultural development and values associated with traditional life? 7. Discuss the assumptions about traditional agrarian life that has informed the agricultural policies of the Irish government. a. Assumptions i. Fathers still rule imperiously over their children ii. Competition over inheritance of land is intense iii
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