Associate Professor David Crawford – Winner of the 2009 Julian Steward Award

Submitted by Lisa Calderone MFA '11 on November 12, 2009

news_cas_crawford_book_09David Crawford, Associate Professor of Sociology & Anthropology, was recently honored with the 2009 Julian Steward Award for the best monograph in environmental/ecological anthropology published in the past three years (2006, 2007 and 2008) for his book entitled Moroccan Households in the World Economy: Labor and Inequality in a Berber Village (2008, Baton Rouge:Louisiana State University Press). The award will be presented by the Anthropology & Environment Section of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) during an anthropology and environment business meeting on Friday, December 4, 2009, at 6:15 p.m.

A brief review from the Julian Steward Award judges follows:

Re: Citations for Julian Steward Award, 2009
(Winner)

Crawford, David. 2008. Moroccan Households in the World Economy: Labor and Inequality in a Berber Village. Baton Rouge: Louisiana University Press.

David Crawford’s fine ethnography, Moroccan Households in the World Economy, examines social transformations in a High Atlas Mountain Berber community between 1998 and 2007. Asking how household and kinship dynamics influence the way small communities in this region engage with the world beyond the mountains, he draws on interpretive anthropology to address large questions about material poverty, development and wage labor. He shows how labor is organized for the difficult, life-sustaining task of farming. But he also discusses ways in which villagers decide to become involved in the larger world economy, what it does for them (and to them) and how different villages mobilize labor for different purposes.

Crawford is much concerned with questions of coevalness in anthropology. He looks at how terms like ‘tradition’ and ‘modernity’ reveal more about ways of organizing time rather than about different time periods in which people are organizing. He focuses on local realities and necessities – how people creatively stitch households together to build a local economy. His work demonstrates with great skill the contributions ethnography can make to overarching meta-theories more commonly associated with macro-economic models. One of the many contributions this volume makes is to show convincingly that change is nowhere singular, simple, uni-directional or predetermined. In a world where inequality is a given and migrants frequently exchange one source of inequality for another, he concludes that the achievements of people organizing themselves to survive in tough environments may inspire us to find new and more equitable ways share the world’s resources.

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