On this page, we share articles from the Society for Linguistic Anthropology Section News published in Anthropology News.
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ENDANGERED MINORITIES AND LINGUISTIC PLURALISM IN ITALY
By Stavroula Pipyrou, Published November 21, 2017
In 1999, the implementation of act no. 482 finally created the opportunity to link linguistic minorities in Italy directly with local self-government. After the demarcation of their territories by the provincial councils, the linguistic minorities recognized by act no. 482 were granted the right to use their languages in the field of education both as a medium-language and as a subject in nursery schools, in primary and secondary education, in public meetings, in place names, in the media, and with public administration and judicial authorities. Local populations and institutions were determined to make the most of the newly found recognition that went some way to address the suppression of minority languages rooted in Italy’s era of fascism.
When I first arrived in Reggio Calabria in 2006 to commence a project on minority governance among the Grecanici (Greek-speaking) linguistic minority, it was evident that infrastructure for promoting minority matters was firmly in place (Pipyrou 2016). The first Sportello Linguistico was an important initiative to protect and promote Grecanico language and was inaugurated by the provincia on July 13, 2004. Funding was secured for three such sportelli, operating as cultural and information centers and official mediators between Grecanici and the provincia. The centers organized conferences and seminars; published all manner of material relating to Grecanico language, history, and culture; and employed language teachers. Part of the remit was to pursue links with the Griki of Puglia and other linguistic minorities in Italy and to strengthen relations with Greece, especially Greek cities twinned with Grecanici communities. Finally, in collaboration with the Department of Philology and Linguistics at the University of Messina, the sportelli offered the services of numerous interpreters and translators. The initiative focused on taking a public responsibility for teaching the minority language, rather than it primarily being a family concern.
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HERE’S THE RUB ON THE DOVE SKINCARE AD
October 18, 2017
The latest rendition of “sorry, not sorry” is not just topping the Billboard charts. It is also a public relations anthem about “missing the mark.” This time, Dove skincare is being accused of “tone deafness.” The ad, appearing on Facebook, drew widespread critique. It features a loop of images of three women, each wearing a nude colored shirt to match the model’s skin tone. A black woman removes her shirt to become a white woman, who removes her shirt to become a brown woman, whose undressing returns us to the first of the three models. The company quickly pulled the ad, but not before viewers saved versions of it. One widely circulated screen grab captured a black woman transforming into a white one. Outrage was quickly followed by calls for #BoycottDove on Twitter.
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BONNIE URCIUOLI’S REFLECTIONS UPON RETIREMENT
What article or book that you wrote are you most pleased with? Could you talk about the story behind writing it? Or: What article or book was hardest for you to write, and why?
These two questions have the same answer, “Skills and Selves in the New Workplace,” published in AE in 2008. It took years and I sweated blood writing and rewriting and rewriting it, probably because I tried to pack way too much into each draft. I had long been thinking about how the word skill got thrown around as a count noun denoting some kind of plug-in. I was also having an extension on my house built by a very skilled contractor working pretty much by himself. By ‘skilled’ I mean he had been doing this work for decades and knew exactly what he was doing. I wanted to contrast this with the idea of workers and students as future workers imagined as bundles of skills like Lego pieces or Tinkertoys. What kind of corporate ethos comes up with the notion that ‘skills’ as the (supposed) outcome of workshops on ‘leadership’ or ‘communication’ could discursively parallel ‘skill’ as the (concrete) result of years of experience? Who was making money off this? Nor was I thrilled at how students were getting inculcated with this, especially students of color. (Diversity skills? Really?) After starting a draft in 2002, I played with it until 2004 when I figured I might as well send it in and get some useful feedback which I did (including “you’re going where with this now?”). It took a few more revisions over a few more years, not to mention a lot of help (big shout-out to Chaise LaDousa, Ilana Gershon, Virginia Dominguez, and the AE reviewers), to get it over the final hump. But the article was one of the most productive things I ever did, pulling together many many threads for me and apparently for quite a few other people as well.
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RIGHT-WING POLITICS IN BRAZIL: ICONIZATION AND ACCUSATIONS OF CORRUPTION
By Aaron Ansell, Published May 14, 2017
In late 2016, I noticed a peculiar convergence between Brazilian and US politics. In both countries, the political right spurred mass mobilization against a ruling center-left party through the demonization of leading women as corrupt. While neither Senator Hillary Clinton (US) nor President Dilma Rousseff (Brazil) were indicted on criminal charges, these accusations helped to bring about drastic changes in each country’s government. In Brazil, where I’ll focus my attention here, popular allegations of Rousseff’s corruption had previously emboldened the congress to impeach her based on “an eclectic bunch of reasons” often having nothing to do with the formal charges (The Economist 4/18/16). Here I suggest that anti-Rousseff urban demonstrators, along with a few of my own field consultants in Brazil’s rural hinterlands (Piauí State), convinced one another of Rousseff’s guilt through a meta-communicative process that equated disparate, poorly evidenced aspects of Rousseff’s venality.
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No SLA Column in March 2013. Volume 54. Issue 3. Section News
No SLA Column in February 2013. Volume 54. Issue 2. Section News
No SLA Column in January 2013. Volume 54. Issue 1. Section News
No Section News in September 2012. Volume 53. Issue 7
No SLA Column in June 2012. Volume 53. Issue 6.
No SLA Column in January 2012. Volume 53. Issue 1.
No Section News in September 2011. Volume 52. Issue 6.
No Section News in September 2010. Volume 51. Issue 6.
No Section News in September 2009. Volume 50. Issue 6.
No Section News in October 2008. Volume 49. Issue 7.
No Section News in September 2008. Volume 49. Issue 6.
No SLA Column in January 2008. Volume 49. Issue 1.
No Section News in September 2007. Volume 48. Issue 6.
October 2006. Volume 47. Issue 7. “The DoBeS Program in Action- A Report from Argentina” (James Stanlaw and Mark Peterson) and “The Chaco Languages Project of Argentina” (Lucía Golluscio and Silvia Hirsch), p. 63
No Section News in September 2006. Volume 47. Issue 6.
No Section News in September 2005. Volume 46. Issue 6.
No Section News in Volume 45. Issue 6.
No Section News in September 2003. Volume 44. Issue 6
No Section News in September 2002. Volume 43. Issue 6.
No SLA Column in April 2001. Volume 42. Issue 4. Section News
September 1984. Volume 25. Issue 6. “SLA By-Laws” (Jane Hill) 1984_09