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Open Access Publications from the University of California

About

The Structure and Dynamics eJournal welcomes articles, book reviews, data, simulations, research material, and special issues that examine aspects of human evolution, social structure and behavior, culture, cognition, or related topics. Our goal is to advance the historic mission of anthropology in the broadest sense to describe and explain the range of variation in human biology, society, culture and civilization across time and space. Submissions of databases, software tutorials, programs, and teaching materials are welcomed, as are communications on research materials of interest to a wide variety of science and social science researchers, including networks, dynamical models, and complexity research and related genre.

Articles

Atlas of Chiefdoms and Early States

This first installment of an Atlas of Chiefdoms and Early States assembles data on six clusters of elementary hierarchical polities, coded here to measure the scale of both the political-administrative aspects and the social-economic aspects of these case studies. These six clusters - the Hawaiian archipelago, Madagascar, the interlacustrine region of East Africa, the central Cameroons, southeastern Nigeria, and southern Mesopotamia - are documented with ethnographic, historical, and archaeological evidence, for which key references are provided. This initial step toward a compendium is intended to be cumulative. It will be revised and expanded in future installments, along with revisions of the Excel data file that is provided for download, and the editor's edition Spss file with labeled and corrected codings. These data are released into the public domain but because they are constantly up-dated please communicate with the author before using them. Updates of the data may be available from the author before a new installment appears.

  • 2 supplemental files

Network Perspectives on Communities

Abstract: The application of network perspectives to communities requires some appreciation of the variety of ways people are now writing about communities. Some scholars and practitioners have drifted toward the view that a community is composed very largely of the personal networks of the individuals who are members of the community. But the whole community is more than the sum of those related parts, and the structure of a community must include not only those direct interpersonal relations but also the relations among the clusters and groups and corporate entities that interact in and about this whole. If scientific knowledge about these matters is to accumulate, we must be able to compare findings among various studies. From the 1940s well into the 1960s the local community was the recognized social unit that sociologists and anthropologists studied. Linton wrote of the necessity of the local group. Many sociologists and anthropologists gave their full attention to this local level of social integration through a field called “community studies.” The work of Conrad Arensberg, Sol Kimball, Carl Taylor, Robert Redfield, and others had views of communities that had a network cast to them. The category “community” includes a wide range of social formations, generally local systems of fairly densely connected persons in households and organizations, systems on a scale somewhere between those domestic households and the wider society -- state or nation. Recently scholarly focus has shifted to individuals and their personal networks, with less attention to the social structures in which they are embedded. The concept “community” really needs to be defined because it is used in many situations where what it means has real consequences. A network perspective suggests a whole complex social system organized in levels, from a household/family level, upward through a hierarchy of levels, to the national (nation-state) and even beyond that to a supranational (above-state) level. Within that complete social system are embedded several levels of networks that could be called community. The networks that form such a community must be sorted out from the entire complex system. A network perspective on communities – or on structures relating to communities – includes seeing groups both as networks of the individuals composing them and as nodes related to each other through their common members. Such “affiliation networks” are more complex than just the sum of the personal networks. Improved techniques of data collection and data analysis are bringing us closer to sorting subsystems in ways that permit their proper comparison. Gaps or seams between segments or clusters, structural equivalence, structural holes, regular equivalence, role analysis, and block modeling are improving our understanding of systems at all levels. We are approaching an understanding of the concept of community in network perspective.

Seventh Lagoon: The Ring of Water

The Seventh Lagoon is an eco-activist artwork conversation -- with all of us -- on the rise of the earths's oceans previously exhibited and catalogued as part of the Lagoon Cycle (1985). The entire 360-foot work is now in the National Museum of Modern Art at the Pompidou Center in Paris, France. We hope that its web publication will encourage further dialogue on these issues -- Editors.

"Our work begins when we perceive an anomaly in the environment that is the result of opposing beliefs or contradictory metaphors. Moments when reality no longer appears seamless and the cost of belief has become outrageous offer the opportunity to create new spaces - first in the mind and thereafter in everyday life." -- ecoartists Newton & Helen Mayer Harrison, quoted at Greenmuseum.org with the introductory statement:

"Among the leading pioneers of the eco-art movement, the collaborative team of Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison (often referred to simply as "the Harrisons") have worked for over thirty years with biologists, ecologists and urban planners to initiate collaborative dialogues to uncover ideas and solutions which support biodiversity and community development.

The Harrison's concept of art embraces a breathtaking range of disciplines. They are historians, diplomats, ecologists, investigators, emissaries and art activists. Their work involves proposing solutions and involves not only public discussion, but extensive mapping and documentation of these proposals in an art context.

Past projects have focused on watershed restoration, urban renewal, agriculture and forestry issues among others. The Harrisons visionary projects have often led to changes in governmental policy and have expanded dialogue around previously unexplored issues leading to practical implementations throughout the United States and Europe."

  • 1 supplemental PDF
  • 2 supplemental files

Comments

Press Release: New calculations show as many as 7.3 million Americans know someone killed or injured in Iraq and Afghanistan

This is a simply a press release at Duke University on James Moody's assessment (Structure and Dynamics 1#2) of impact of the U.S. wars' casualty tolls.