“Out on the Land: Income, Subsistence Activities and Food Sharing Networks in Nain, Labrador”
Abstract: Throughout the history of Inuit ethnography, a major concern has been how and to what extent contemporary Inuk participate in and depend on subsistence activities, particularly in the context of increasing wage employment and growing participation in the cash economy. This paper provides an analysis of these activities in the predominately Inuit community of Nain, Labrador. Using social network analysis and demographic information collected between January and June 2010, we examine the interconnections between subsistence activities – obtaining “country food” through activities such as hunting and fishing – with access to the means of obtaining subsistence resources (such as snow mobiles, cabins and boats), employment status, and income. Our data indicate that individuals with higher employment status and income tend to be more central to the network of subsistence food sharing, but not because they have greater access to hunting tools or equipment (they do not). We conclude that those individuals who play the most central role in the network are those who are financially able to do so, regardless of access to hunting tools/means.
Keywords: Inuit, Subsistence, Employment, Social Network Analysis, Labrador
Published by Dialectical Anthropology — online first
“Peeling the Onion: Domestically Trafficked Minors and Other Sex Work Involved Youth”
by Amber Horning
A critical review of three recent works addressing human trafficking among minors: Rachel Llyod’s Girls Like Us, Meredith Dank’s The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, and Ric Curtis, Karen Terry, Meredith Dank, Kirk Dombrowski and Bilal Khan’s report to the National Institute of Justice: The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in New York City. Drawing on her own research with several dozen young pimps in New York City, Horning argues that these works together suggest an urgent need to refocus resources on understanding the problems that youth involved in sex work face including a lack of support, job opportunities and resources, and clearly defined exit routes.
Special Issue of Dialectical Anthropology: Anti-Anti-Trafficking? – Towards an Ethnography of Human Trafficking
due for publication in March
Editors Ed Snajdr and Anthony Marcus
This special issue of Dialectical Anthropology aims to critically examine how human trafficking discourses, laws and interventions complicate efforts to define, address and engage with the issue and how these responses and engagements problematize ideas of agency, consent and individual autonomy. These themes are explored from the perspective of anthropology and in particular through the lens of ethnographic research conducted in the field, both from its peripheries and among the central networks of sex workers, forced laborers and the organizations, and governments clamoring to assist them. From the favelas of Brazil or the steppes of Kazakhstan to US juvenile offender assessment centers, the digital networks of Craigslist and Backpage, or a military base in Bosnia, these ethnographic engagements seek to shed a critical light on the nuances, narratives and conundrums of human trafficking and the policies and practices devised to eradicate it.
Reducing Recurrent Homelessness: Some Methodological Lessons from the Critical Time Intervention Experiment
Anthony Marcus Ph.D
City University of New York
Social Networks Research Group
It is well established that quantitative surveys and qualitative interviews can easily complement each other. However, as one moves deeper into their respective “territories”, towards randomized control trials and ethnography the potential for misunderstanding increases. This article examines the tensions and possibilities in this relationship through the first ethnographic assessment of Critical Time Intervention (CTI), a randomized clinical trial of an experiment in reducing homelessness among mentally ill men in New York City in the early 1990s. CTI has had a decade of positive quantitative assessments, praise from President George W. Bush’s 2003 New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, and replication attempts, but its ethnographic data has not been used in evaluation. This article seeks to correct this omission and reveal some of the broader challenges to creating a qualitative/quantitative synthesis.
Assessing Respondent Driven Sampling for Network Studies in Ethnographic Contexts
Kirk Dombrowski (Social Networks Research Group, CUNY)*
Bilal Khan (John Jay College and SNRG)
Joshua Moses (McGill University)
Emily Channell (CUNY Graduate Center)
Evan Misshula (CUNY Graduate Center)
December 18, 2012
Abstract: Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS) is generally considered a methodology for recruiting “hard-to-reach” populations for social research. More recently, Wejnert has argued that RDS analysis can be used for general social network analysis as well (where he labels it, RDS-SN). In this paper, we assess the value of Wejnert’s RDS-SN for use in more traditional ethnographic contexts. We employed RDS as part of a larger social network research project to recruit n=330 community residents (over 17 years of age) in Nain, a predominantly (92%) aboriginal community in northern Labrador, Canada, for social network interviews about food sharing, housing, public health, and community traditions. The peer referral chains resulted in a sample that was then analyzed for its representativeness by two means—a comparison with the Statistics Canada 2006 Census of the same community, and with house-by-house demographic surveys carried out in community as part of our research. The results show a close fit with known available community statistics and our own survey. As such, we argue that the RDS sampling used in Nain was able to provide a useful and near-representative sample of the community. To demonstrate the usefulness of the results, the referral chains are also analyzed here for patterns in intragroup and intergroup relationships that were apparent only in the aggregate.
Keywords: Respondent Driven Sampling, Labrador Inuit, Ethnographic Methods, Network Sampling, Arctic Social Science
Drugs: the third rail of US politics
Brief:In the 2012 US Presidential election, America’s healthcare policies remain hotly disputed. But the issue of drugs and addiction, formerly a prominent public and health concern, is now largely invisible in national political debates. Its public health importance is overlooked in favour of the continued criminalisation and punishment of drug users. America’s HIV/AIDS epidemic, for example, has always implicated drug use among poor and minority communities. New HIV infections in the USA continue at a high rate: the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate 50 000–60 000 new HIV infections in the USA annually. Meanwhile in the more populous European Union, researchers estimate there were about 5000 new HIV infections in 2008—less than 10% of the US incidence. In the USA, drug offences feed the nation’s bloated prison system, and damage the social and economic prospects of America’s poorest families and communities. There are now more drug offenders in US prisons and gaols (more than 1 million) than prisoners in the European Union for all offences. These are vital social and public health matters for the USA, as measured by morbidity and mortality alone, yet are ignored in our Presidential politics. From Afghanistan, to US neighbour Mexico, where violence associated with the trade in illicit drugs has produced 60 000 murders in 6 years, and Central America, a region which now has the highest murder rate in the world, the candidates look away, as the deadly medical and social toll accumulates.