The World Cultures eJournal welcomes articles, data, and comparative research material dealing with any aspect of human behavior. Publication of any comparative database, regional or worldwide, will be considered. Submissions of programs and teaching materials are welcomed, as are communications on research, coding, sources, and other materials of interests to comparative researchers.
Volume 21, Issue 1, 2016
Darkness in Academia: Cultural Models of How Anthropologists and Journalists Write About Controversy
The aim of this paper is to systematically explore a large collection of documents pertaining to the allegations made in Patrick Tierney’s Darkness in El Dorado: How Scientists and Journalists Devastated the Amazon (2002) for lexical patterns that indicate how key terms were used to analyze and report the allegations, thus forming cultural models of the Darkness in El Dorado controversy. The purpose of this paper is not an analysis of the validity of the allegations in Tierney’s book or to take sides with any of the stakeholders in the controversy. Rather, by conducting a systematic analysis of terms used to write about the controversy, the variation in the cultural models of various actors (e.g., journalists and anthropologists) is described and compared.
It is argued that the commonly asserted non-existence of group marriage arises solely from an abandonment of Morgan’s (1877) definition of marriage and that the commonly accepted alternative to that definition lacks ethnographic generality. As defined by Morgan group marriage has been practiced by over one-third of the hunter-gatherers listed in Murdock (1971).