Anthropological and linguistics articles from University of Western Australia

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Mixed Languages by Saskia Marina Hewitt UWA linguistics student

Language mixing is a phenomenon that has only been discovered relatively recently, and while it is rare, it is not as rare as once thought (Bakker and Muysken, 1995:50). It is probably because of its novelty as an area of study in linguistics that there are a number of differing opinions as to what the definition of a mixed, or split, language should actually be. The examples I will present here do not seem to be under dispute, however.
The exact mechanisms and conditions that lead to formation and crystallisation of a mixed language are still being investigated by linguists, but there are a number of recurrent trends that can explain why and how they start. This essay will discuss those trends and also look at patterns in the structure of mixed languages.

What is a “mixed language”?
The exact definition of a mixed language still seems to be under dispute. A number of linguists define it as a language in which a majority of the grammar comes from a different source to the majority of the lexicon (e.g. Bakker and Muysken, 1995:49) but Thomason and Kaufman (1988) take a slightly less stringent view. They still define a language as mixed even if much of the grammar is from the same language source as the lexicon, as long as the language exhibits “complete grammatical replacement in at least some subsystem” (103). So if the language has grammar from the same language as the lexicon, except that all the noun morphology, for example, is from a different language, this would be a mixed language. They further define a mixed language as being the result of such massive borrowing from one language into another that the transmission of the latter language from generation to generation is obstructed (76).
Linguists also differ in regards to terminology because they like to go about describing and studying these languages differently. For example, Bakker and Muysken prefer to talk about “language intertwining” instead of “mixed languages” because they feel that “the process… can be defined independently from the historical directionality involved” (1995:50), while Thomason (2001) and Thomason and Kaufman (1988) generally define the language through the process of borrowing which they say created it.
Despite slight differences, the broad picture painted by various linguists on the matter is the same: a mixed language, as its name implies, is created by a conjunction of two different language systems. It is significantly different from either of these two languages, and, perhaps most importantly, it cannot be traced back to any one language. And, importantly, language mixing is distinguished from other related phenomena such as language death, pidginization and creolization because a mixed language has all the grammatical and lexical complexity of a normal language (Thomason and Kaufman, 1988:104), is usually formed in bilingual (rather than multilingual) contact situations, and has components which can be traced back to their respective languages easily (Thomason, 2001:197). In the same place, Thomason also says that an important distinguishing factor is that in mixed languages “imperfect learning plays no role” whereas in pidgins and Creoles, “imperfect learning plays a prominent role”. I will give some examples of mixed languages that have been reported in various works. You will see that all these languages fit into the broadest definition of a mixed language, but that some of them may be harder to fit into the more restricted (Bakker and Muysken type) definition. This is of course neither an exhaustive list of known mixed languages in the world nor a comprehensive study of any of them. For further reading see the reference list at the end of this essay.

Peter Bakker’s work A Language of Our Own is quoted on the Metis Cultural and Heritage Resource Centre (2002). There, Bakker describes Michif as a language spoken in North America by less than a thousand people of Native American and European (mostly French) descent. Its first speakers are thought to have been the children of mothers who spoke the American-Indian language of Cree and French-speaking fathers. The language has both French and Cree components in roughly equal parts, and each component keeps the phonological system of the language it was derived from (Thomason and Kaufman, 1988:229). The basic split in this language is between verbs (Cree) and nouns (French). It is in this way that it differs from the definitions of a mixed language as being split down a grammar/lexicon dividing line. Bakker and Muysken, however, propose that Michif actually does conform to such a split because its “verbs…consist of only bound morphemes and are therefore only in Cree.” It looks as though the split is down a noun/verb line “because of the polysynthetic structure of Cree” (1995:46). This would enable Michif to fit more stringent definitions as well. In any case, the idea that Michif is a mixed language does not seem to be in any dispute.

Ma’a (Mbugu)
Ma’a, also called Mbugu, is probably one of the most widely reported mixed languages in the literature, possibly because it was discovered early on, and also because it seems to be of a prototypical form. According to Mous (1994) it is spoken in Tanzania in the Usambara Mountains (175) by a group that is thought to have come originally from Kenya (177). The group is surrounded by the Bantu people, who speak Shambaa, which is the dominant language in the area (175). Thomason and Kaufman (1988) say in their case study of the language that its grammar is primarily of Bantu origin, while its lexicon is mainly of Cushitic origin (223). They say that this is a result of massive borrowing of grammatical structures from Bantu into the original Cushitic language, in a situation where that language was being maintained (rather than in a situation of shift) (227).

Anthony Grant describes this language in his case study (1994). It is spoken by the Irish Travellers, a nomadic group of people who share “a number of cultural traits, such as common patterns of livelihood, [certain] customs…and adherence to Roman Catholicism” (123). It is basically composed of an Irish lexicon and an English grammar, in which respect it can be analogised to another mixed language, Anglo-Romani, which features a Rom (gypsy) lexicon and an English grammar (Thomason and Kaufman, 1988:103). The two are also similar in that they function as secret languages. (ibid; Grant, 1994:123). One major difference is that Shelta is acquired as a first language, while Anglo-Romani is learnt in adolescence (Grant, 1994:140). The speakers of Shelta number about ten to twenty thousand (the figure is uncertain), living mainly in Ireland but also in Great Britain, the USA, Canada, Australia and South Africa (Grant, 1994:123).

Mednyj Aleut
Mednyj Aleut, also called Copper Island Aleut, is a case somewhat similar to Michif in that it exhibits nominal and verbal morphologies that can be traced back to different languages; the noun morphology, with, indeed, the main part of the grammar, are from Aleut, and the verb morphology is Russian (Thomason and Kaufman, 1988:234). The verb morphology of Aleut, a polysynthetic language, is extremely complicated (ibid.) and this may provide an explanation for why it was replaced with the simpler Russian system. This complicated verbal system is another point in case for the similarity of Mednyj Aleut with Michif; recall that Cree’s verbal morphology is also complex. Further, Cree is also a polysynthetic language (Golovko, 1994:120). However, Thomason and Kaufman (1988:238) make the following important distinction between the two languages: that, “Cree speakers borrowed French lexical morphemes, while Aleut speakers borrowed only the grammatical morphemes.”
Mednyj Aleut is spoken by a small number of people on Mednyj (Copper) Island, one of the islands in the Aleutian chain, near Russia. It began to be spoken by the children of Russian men and Aleut women, who had a special status in the community on the island, somewhere between the Aleuts and the Russians (Golovko, 1994:113).

Kormakiti Arabic
Thomason and Kaufman (1988), in their discussion of mixed languages, outline three broad types existing in the world today. The first type is exemplified above by Ma’a and Shelta. These languages have lexicons which are predominantly from one source language, but grammars which are almost entirely from the other source language (103-104). The second type is that of the Michif and Mednyj Aleut examples, which feature “borrowed grammatical structures [which] are confined to particular grammatical subsystems” (105). As an example of the third type, they give Kormakiti Arabic, a hybrid between Arabic and Greek spoken on Cyprus (105). They quote Newton, who studied the language, on page 106: “Words of Arabic… origin retain the full morphological apparatus of Arabic, while those of Cypriot-Greek… origin appear exactly as they do [in that language].” Newton found that 38% of lexical items were of Greek origin, including some basic vocabulary such as body parts and numerals. So in this case, the mixture is diffused evenly across grammatical structures and lexical items (Thomason, 2001:202).

Social Factors in Language Mixing
How and why does language mixing occur? We have already looked at a few different factors in the definitions above – they occur where there is language contact between two different cultures, and where there is widespread bilingualism (so that the structures of the other language can be borrowed intact). This bilingualism is usually just one-way (Thomason, 2001:197). This factor is important, because it means that the two cultures do not need a third language in order to bridge any sort of communication gap, which is the sort of situation in which you would get a creole or a pidgin. Instead, a mixed language arises because of a desire for an in-group language (ibid:198). Sometimes the mixed language is never or rarely revealed to outsiders – for example Shelta and Anglo-Romani, as discussed above, and also the mixed language Media Lengua, which is a hybrid between Quechua and Spanish. Pieter Muysken spent three months studying Quechua before discovering that “his hosts spoke a different language… when they thought he could not overhear them” (Bakker and Muysken, 1995:50). Every work on this matter that I have come across attributes this desire for an in-group language to one of two causes: either so that conversations can be kept secret from outsiders, or as a symbol of identity, or both. For example, recall from the discussion of Mednyj Aleut that its speakers had a special status. They were more privileged that the Aleuts, but not as privileged as the Russians. They affectively had a new culture which arose rapidly and had no particular ties to any other culture. For this reason, the language of the Copper Island Aleuts now “is the only factor for their self identification” (Golovko, 1994:117).
In what socio-historical settings might we find this sort of thing happening? Myers-Scotton (2002:253) identifies a few conditions that seem to recur:
(i) …subjugation of an indigenous group… by a foreign power; (ii) migration and a new life that requires regular use of a dominant L2; (iii) long term employment in an alien culture, using the L2 of that culture; and (iv) indigenous, but minority, status under totalitarian rule.
She also identifies one other factor, which is the deciding one – that “the speakers of the besieged language must perceive their language as an essential part of their ethnic identity.” If the speakers are hostile towards the dominant language and culture, then they will try to hold onto their own culture through their language. But if pressure to change is intense and prolonged, a mixed language may result (as in Thomason and Kaufman, 1988:50). This scenario is applicable to languages like Ma’a and Anglo-Romani, but in the cases of Mednyj Aleut and Michif there was no pressure to shift to the other language (ibid:108). In these two languages, also, the speakers were of mixed blood. In cases of that type, there surely can be no great attachment to either culture on the part of the speakers. Instead, the speakers would see themselves as belonging to a third, separate group (Bakker and Muysken, 1995:51). It would make sense, then, to use a third, separate language.
So it seems that there are two broad socio-historic settings in which a mixed language comes about. The first is when a minority language is in intense contact with a dominant one for a long time. The second is when two cultures with different languages come together and have children, especially when these children feel for some reason separate from the cultures of their parents. Note that these two settings do not correspond to the reasons given above as to why a mixed language is desired.

How will a Mixed Language Look?
Most mixed languages follow similar patterns, and a short typology is given in Golovko (1994:119ff), where he uses Bakker (1992). He says that in a mixed language derived from languages A and B, “bound morphemes (always of a grammatical nature)… [and] syntax” will come from language A, while “free lexical morphemes are in language B” and “free grammatical morphemes can be in either language”. He notes, though, that Michif and Mednyj Aleut are exceptions to this rule, although this may be because of the polysynthetic natures of Cree and Aleut. He says further that “if language B were an isolating language (the only type not represented among source languages)”, then the resulting mixed language may be different again. In other words, the morphological type of the source languages will affect what the mixed language will look like in terms of which components come from which language.
Bakker and Muysken (1995) also note that in a language where the speakers of a mixed language are descended from mothers of one culture and fathers of another (e.g. Michif), the grammar will be that of the mother’s language. Alternatively, if the language is the result of one language trying to hold out against another (like Ma’a), the grammar will be that of the intruding language (50).

The idea of mixed languages even existing is a fairly new one, and for this reason study of the phenomenon still is in early stages. There is some disagreement about what a mixed language actually is, but even so most languages that have been identified as mixed are not under any dispute. Despite this, linguists have been able to thoroughly investigate a number of different cases and this has helped them to discover something of what goes on when a mixed language is formed. There is general agreement about the social conditions in which a mixed language can arise and the reason for its development, but there is still much more work to be done. We do not yet have a complete picture of the phenomenon and there are gaps to be filled and questions to be asked before we can fully understand everything about it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Indigenous filmmakers...strictures 2005 Western Australia

Anthropology of Media 150.239

Essay #2


September 24 2005

Now that we are becoming more like the whites, however, we are going to need to watch these videos we are making of ourselves. Mokuka, Kayapo Leader 1991 (Turner, pg. 167).

Turner’s statement that “an indigenous video maker operates with the same set of cultural categories, notions & representations, principles of mimesis, aesthetic values & notions of what is socially & politically important as those whose actions he or she is recording” should be looked at in the specific context of his studies of the Kayapo in Brazil, and also be extended to a broader notion of indigenous filmmakers in general.

Embedded in Turner’s statement is a comparison with non indigenous documentation. He is saying that indigenous people share a cultural schema that allows them to film, interpret and focus differently than non indigenous filmmakers. It would be good to write a history of colonial photography here, but for lack of space in such a short essay, suffice it to say that colonial representation has been until recently one of hidden cameras and photographs of ‘other’ and has been marked with racism so characteristic of early 20th century Eurocentered filmmaking. (Edwards 1992, Scherer 1990).

The question for any anthropologist in interpreting or recording visual representation must be to determine what the meaning of a particular design or motif is. Who is the person in the photograph? Why was this photograph taken of this particular person, and then kept by that particular person? Turner’s statement suggests that these questions are answered best by someone who shares the same cultural schema, and that therefore an ‘outsider’ could never know these things, or better said, would not know them in the same way. (Banks, 1996).

…. aesthetic values and notions…Anthony Shelton’s writing about the Huichol people of northwest Mexico certainly supports Turner in his statement that the aesthetic is understood almost exclusively by other indigenous people, and that art is so bound by rituals that embody Huichol cosmology and value systems, that a non-indigenous person would be at a complete loss to interpret them accurately. (Shelton, 1992).

Turner is also saying that visual representation is more in consonance with the culture one is recording if one comes from that culture oneself.. There is in fact, widespread criticism from Aboriginal people on non indigenous filmmaking methods about close- ups on faces and fast cuts are not used by indigenous filmmakers, who prefer whole body and whole scenes (McDougall 54). Non indigenous filmmaking methods are often incongruous to indigenous people. Indigenous people, for example, never hide cameras, and they always allow the subjects to know they are being filmed. (Banks, 1995). Just for interest’s sake, I’d like to include an email I recently received from a non-indigenous filmmaker, David Dring. David’s film, Customary Law, was screened on TV in 2004. Here is the content of the email:

Thanks Marciah, interesting notion...academics always have a way with perception...or perceiving. True, a lot of indigenous people resent the intrusion, however if one has an insight, understanding, respect and shares similar aims quite often the non-indigenous and indigenous issue is overlooked. In this context the colour is 'blurred' because of the same sharing of values ie an greater awareness of social justice where we all live together as 'one'. An idealised notion but definitely not the 'noble savage' image bandied around in some notable Anthropologist works. In the instance of working with the Mowanjum people and Elders my own aspirations of 'film-making' and story were abandoned on arrival in Broome and I found myself presenting a story that had in some way 'found' me. The Elders had a message to present and an important one at that. I may have mentioned when asking an old man if he knew so and so and he turned to look up and said yes, that's me. He was the chief spokesperson for the story a group of Elders who wanted to present a story on Customary Lore.
In terms of rapport and filming from a certain angle, perspective, relating to culture; true we will never have their view of reality/dreaming because we are non-indigenous but certainly it doesn't stop us from being interested and recording a fascinating culture. A lot of people complain about the exotic notion film-makers present and I agree. They are sick and tired of being used or 'their names' being used to profit broadcasters and international tv stations. Personally I often have a conflict with documentaries undertaken that are purely profit and without the true consent of those people involved and their respective communities. Much of the time the whole Aboriginal issue is misrepresented by tv. True Westerners are intent on making a buck and this philosophy is a stark contrast from the indigenous caring of land and family. And Indigenous filmmakers are the 'true' representation of culture in a politically correct sense but in a free world where expression is not restricted and if given the opportunity - one isn't given the opportunity lightly- filmmakers will seize an opportunity to share a story and be part of the creative process and their incredible world philosophy - who wouldn't. Thanks Marciah....will catch up soon....I am planning a barbecue. Say hi to all. David.

David Dring’s position is in contrast to Turner’s position, but does re-state some of Turner’s premises about cultural notions, cultural schema, and cultural representation.

Turner’s statement alludes to this reality when he talks about’cultural catagories’ and mimetic procedures. For example, attention to landscape and ‘real time’ shooting is common in Warlpiri video production. Eric Michaels proposes that such techniques of filmmaking are directly linked to the way that Warlpiri relate to the land. (Michaels, 1988). Eric Michaels also believes that video and television intrude into the Aboriginal community at Yuendumu to a far greater extent than other discourses--greater potential force than guns or grog or paternalism ( Michaels, 1988 )


“notions and representation” What are the notions to which Turner alludes? There are notions of politics of representation, authenticity and the scripting and inventing of social identity by indigenous people. There are notions about where members of the indigenous community view videos (eg town houses owned by chiefs or leaders) and what the significance of that is. There are notions of what the video equipment itself means, and who can use it and why. All these things are embedded in Turner’s statement. (Meadows, 1989).

Turner uses the illustration of a 17 year old filmmaker, a native of the Kayapo village where a naming ceremony is performed. The indigenous filmmaker is able to capture the sequential order, uniformity of movement and spatial trajectory for a naming ceremony, something that a non indigenous filmmaker (according to Turner) would not have been able to represent fully. (Ginsberg, 1997).

One Aboriginal critic suggests that it is because indigenous people prefer to see ‘whole bodies and whole events’ (MacDougall 54). Attention to landscape and ‘real time’ shooting is common in Warlpiri video production. Eric Michaels proposes that such techniques of filmmaking are directly linked to the way that Warlpiri relate to the land. (Michaels, 1988)

...“principles ofmemesis”… Turner’s example of Kayapo Indians making videos of historic encounters and internal political events illustrates that the already existing mimetic tradition (recording the entrance into a new village, appointing of a chief etc) lends itself perfectly to video reproduction, and that once again, his statement that the cultural schema is already collaborative would hold true. (Turner, 1992). Taussig’s (1993 ) concept of mimesis as a transformative and revelatory power that transforms the original by creating a new version that reveals the truth or ‘inner logic’ of the original would support Turner in his statement. Is this process best done by an indigenous person? Turner says yes.

“the indigenous video maker draws upon his or her own cultural categories and forms to guide the camera work and editing process…” (turner, p. 171) Turner’s usage of the 17 year old video maker in a naming ceremony who focuses on the repetition of the dance steps, the location of the tribe, trajectory. kinship representation illustrates that the social form is made more perfect, or more authentic, by a member of the village, and implies that this same representation could not have occurred with a non indigenous video maker.

He states that Kayapo share a sense of what is beautiful, what is social and what is moral.

His example is very similar to the work of Anthony Shelton, in his writing of Wisconsin Chippawa. (Shelton, 2003).

Turner’s statement suggests that indigenous filmmakers have an innate understanding of the socio-political conditions of their subjects. That is, Aboriginal people would best understand issues concerning aboriginal law, land rights, black deaths in custody, health and aspects of identity and therefore could best represent them. The Walpiri, for example, are greatly concerned about the drift of young community members to urban centres where many succumb to grog and grog-related violence, and methods of videoconferencing have evolved to try to help with community issues such as these.

Turner’s statement embodies empowerment issues. The Tanami Network Trust,

started in the Warlpiri community, demonstrates that technology itself is not a threat, but that technology can be empowering. The Tanami communities use of satellite videoconferencing technology represents a radical opposition to postmodern notions that a system of social control and power is inherent in mass media. (Walpiri Media Association, 1990).

There is another major issue with filmmaking in indigenous communities, and that is one of video cameras themselves having a type of cultural significance. Turner illustrates this when he mentions that donating a camera brought about unexpected consequences, and that someone he was working with was exiled from the group.

“ I stumbled into long-standing rivalries and personal animosities that I was unable to reconcile or mediate to the satisfaction of all parties.” ( Turner,p.169).

Following Turner’s notion that political and social issues are best responded to by indigenous filmmakers is the crucial issue of the adoption of technology. Inuit communities in Canada voted to refuse offers of satellite dishes until the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation had control of content, recognising the dangers of the new broadcasting technology. In the Torres Strait Islands and in Aboriginal Australia, some communities have threatened to return their satellite dishes unless some form of local control - through training and maintenance support--is forthcoming. (Corker p. 43-44; Doolan; Meadows). Turner’s statement embodies the central issue of ownership and funding.

Turner is saying that indigenous filmmakers necessarily share the cultural schema, linguistic representation, symbolic representation and understanding of political and social priorites as the people they are recording. He is also saying that a non indigenous person has a different focus, film technique and political priority (as an embedded concept). Underpinning his statement are his studies with the Kayapo in Brazil.

Turner’s statement has many truisms that would be supported by anthropologists such as Marcia Langton, Faye Ginsberg, Anthony Shelton, Eric Michaels and others. However there do exist non indigenous filmmakers who have lived with indigenous people long enough to be able to take on their lens, and deliver a cultural product that meets indigenous standards. The film Customary Law by David Dring is a good example of a non indigenous filmmaker who has managed to make a film of a similar genre to indigenous filmmakers. Turner’s statement is in consonance with a general trend in Aboriginal communities in Australia, Canada, Alaska and South America to gain control over their own media and cultural reproduction. His statement does not say conclusively that non-indigenous filmmakers in the future won’t be able to reproduce indigenous culture to indigenous standards of authenticity and memesis.


Banks, Marcus. 1996. Ethnicity: anthropological constructions. London: Routledge.

Customary Law . [film]. 2004. Western Australia. DAVID DRING , writer and filmmaker.

ABC film documentary.

Edwards, Elizabeth. 1992. Anthropology and photography . New Haven: Yale

University Press in association with The Royal Anthropological Institute, London.

Ginsberg, Faye. “Indigenous Media: Faustian Contract or Global Village” Cultural Anthropology 6:1 (1991): 92 - 112.

Ginsberg, Faye. 1992. “Screen Memories: Resignifying the Traditional in Indigenous Media. Media World: anthropology on new terrain. Ginsberg, Abu-Lughod, Larkin B.

Berkely: University of California Press.

Langton, M. 1994. Aboriginal art and film: the politics of representation. In Race and Class: Aboriginal Australia: Land, law and culture. Vol. 35. No. 4. Institute race relations, Russell Press, Nottingham, pp. 89 - 106.

Langton, M. 1997. Grandmother’s Law, Company Business and Succession in Changing Aboriginal Land Tenure Systems. Galarrwuy Yunupingu. Our Land is Our Life: Land Rights--Past, Present and Future, St. Lucia: Queensland University Press.

MacDougall, David. 1987. “Media Friend or Media Foe?” Visual Anthropology 1:1 pp.54-58.

Meadows, Michael. 1989. “Getting the Right Message Across: Inadequacies in Existing codes make Imperative the Development of a Code of Conduct for Australian Journalists Reporting on Race.” Australian Journalism Review 10: 140-153.

Michaels, Eric. 1986. Aboriginal Invention of television Central Australia 1982-1986. Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.

Scherer, Joanna Cohan. 1990. Special issue of Visual Anthropology 3.’ Picturing

cultures: historical photographs in anthropological inquiry.’ Harwood Academic Publishers.

Shelton, Anthony. 2003. Existence + the Aesthetics of Everyday life among the Huichol of Northwest Mexico. Yale University Press. New Haven.

Taussig, M. 1993. Memisis & Alterity: A particular Study of the Senses. Routledge. New York.

Turner, Terence. 1992. Defiant images: the Kayapo appropriation of video’,

Anthropology Today 8 (6): 5D16

Walpiri Media Association. Japaljarri Making Boomerang at Mt. Allen. VHS videotape.

Yuendumu. 1990.

Yuendumu Community Education Centre. 1990. Communications in the Tanami: A Report on a satellite-linked workshop held between Yuendumu, Lajamanu, and Sydney. Yuendumu, 1990.

The Growth of the anti-Communist Movement

The Growth of the anti-Communist movement

By Marcia Hewitt University of Western Australia 2004

The Communists never lacked for enemies. Even before the Bolshevik Revolution

gave birth to the American Communist party, many of the groups and individuals who were to become its main opponents had been actively fighting other radicals. Over the course of the twentieth century, they became increasingly concerned about Communists and by the late 1940s a wide-ranging anti-Communist network was in place whose members were to take the lead in the national crusade against domestic communism. What differentiated these people from their fellow Americans was not their anti-communism, which most Americans shared, but its intensity. Zealous partisans who often made the eradication of the so-called Communist menace a full-time career, in some respects they were the mirror image of the Communists they fought. They came into their own during the McCarthy period, staffing the main organizations in the field and imposing their agenda on the rest of the nation.

The anti-Communist network was not a monolith, but a coalition that gradually attracted groups and individuals. Each element in the network appealed to a different constituency and used its own tactics; the mixture of offensives became far more potent than any single campaign would have been. Yet for all its diversity, anticommunism was indisputably a movement of the political right. Though liberals and even socialists joined the network, they did not set its tone. Instead, they enlisted in an ongoing crusade whose parameters had long been established by conservatives and whose main effect was to bolster right-wing social and economic programs. Over time, even those men and women who had originally been leftists of one kind or another often ended up on the far right.

Historians have noted the roots of American anticommunism in what they refer to as the nation's countersubversive tradition: the irrational notion that outsiders (who could be political dissidents, foreigners, or members of racial and religious minorities) threatened the nation from within. Projecting their own fears and insecurities onto a demonized "Other," many Americans have found convenient scapegoats among the powerless minorities within their midst. Native Americans, blacks, Catholics, immigrants--all, at one time or another, embodied the threat of internal subversion. By the twentieth century, the American "Other" had become politicized and increasingly identified with communism, the party's Moscow connections tapping in conveniently with the traditional fear of foreigners.

While this countersubversive tradition cannot in itself explain why McCarthyism came to dominate American politics during the late 1940s and 1950s, it does help account for its emotional impact and for its characteristic paranoia. It is also possible that, at least in part, McCarthyism was the mid-twentieth-century manifestation of a continuing backlash against the modern, secular world. Accordingly, as some historians suggest, the political demonology embodied in cold war anticommunism may well reflect deep-seated anxieties about individual autonomy, gender identity, and the perceived loss of community. Such an interpretation, though still largely speculative, is compelling. Certainly, it is not hard to conceive of the existence of the countersubversive tradition as a subterranean source of popular irrationality and xenophobia that could be exploited by ambitious politicians or special-interest groups to direct hostility against the opponents of their choice.

By far the most important of these special interests were those segments of the business community who opposed organized labor. From the 1870s until the McCarthy period, these employers identified the labor movement with the Red menace of the moment--whether anarchists, socialists, Communists, or Wobblies, as members of the radical Industrial Workers of the World were called in the early twentieth century. This tactic of Red-baiting made it possible to confront unions without having to address economic issues. Businessmen and their allies in the press insisted that workers' demands were not based on legitimate grievances but were creations of outside agitators, usually foreign-born, bomb-wielding Reds. Such charges invariably surfaced during periods of labor unrest and accompanied almost every major strike wave of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Closely allied to the industrialists in the business of cracking down on labor militants and repressing leftists were the forces of law and order-- private detective companies, local and state police, and, later, federal agencies like the FBI and military intelligence. Many of these groups had been formed specifically to fight radicalism and crush labor unrest and it was not uncommon for them to be subsidized by local businesses. But they had their own interests as well. Because of the authoritarian mind-set that law enforcement work breeds among its practitioners, opposition to radicalism was widespread. Moreover, their own bureaucratic interests, including the desire to present themselves as protecting the community against the threat of internal subversion, inspired them to exaggerate the danger of radicalism.

The obsessive anticommunism of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover may well have been typical of the beliefs of the nation's law enforcement agents. Embracing the middle-class, small-town values of family, flag, and church, Hoover felt almost personally threatened by radical ideologies and individuals. His vision of the Communist menace extended far beyond the Communist party to almost any group that challenged the established social, economic, or racial order, and he was to dedicate his entire professional career to combating that menace. Even when ordered to curtail his political activities, Hoover evaded his superiors and continued to keep the party and other leftists under surveillance. Because of his enormous success in building up his own power and that of the FBI, Hoover was able to transmit his own heavily ideological brand of anticommunism to the rest of the country.

His first opportunity came during the Red Scare of 1919-20 when, as a young official in the Department of Justice, Hoover helped plan a massive roundup of foreign-born radicals. The Palmer Raids, as the roundup was known, were the culmination of almost a year of near-hysteria on the part of politicians, journalists, and businesspeople who claimed that the left-wing agitation and labor unrest that had followed World War I threatened to plunge the nation into the revolutionary chaos that they claimed was sweeping Europe. The traditional targets--foreigners, radicals, and striking workers--were beaten and arrested, and many of the noncitizens among them were deported.

Though the furor soon abated, the Red Scare left an important legacy. Not only did it give J. Edgar Hoover his lifelong mission, it also fostered the development of an anti-Communist community, with an institutional base in the nation's most important patriotic organizations and small business groups. Like Hoover, the true believers within such groups as the American Legion, a veterans' organization founded in 1919, and the Chamber of Commerce, a national association of local business leaders, subscribed to an anticommunism with targets encompassing far more than the Communist party. They saw little difference between "parlor pinks" and "flaming Bolsheviks" and considered nonconformity to be as dangerous as communism. They also adhered to a dualistic view of the world in which anyone who disagreed with them was an enemy. As a result, they were often more hostile to their non-Communist critics like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) than to the Communist party itself. Keepers of the ideological flame, these professional patriots and their associates seemed marginal during periods when the nation was concerned with other issues. But when the political atmosphere changed, as it did during the late 1930s and again during the cold war, their views entered the mainstream.

The anti-Communist network that these people nourished expanded during the labor struggles of the 1930s. Conservatives within the American Federation of Labor (AFL) had long struggled against radicalism within the labor movement. The presence of Communists in the CIO allowed its enemies, within both the business community and the AFL, to charge that the new unions were run by Reds. Moreover, because of the Roosevelt administration's sympathy for the CIO, anticommunism became a partisan issue. The American Legionnaires, right-wing politicians, and other spokespersons for the anti-Communist network charged that Communists had infiltrated the New Deal and were using federal agencies to further Moscow's schemes.

They received support from Congress. For years the American Legion and its allies had been demanding that the nation's lawmakers investigate communism and do something to curb it. Their efforts resulted in a few hearings with no lasting impact. But by the end of the 1930s, as conservative lawmakers in both major parties began to turn against the New Deal, the professional patriots found a receptive audience. The result was the creation in 1938 of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), which was to become, along with the FBI, one of the main institutional centers of McCarthyism. For the small-town politicians in the right wing of the Republican party and their conservative southern Democratic colleagues, HUAC's anti-Communist investigations offered a more effective way to fight the New Deal than opposing its economic and social reforms. The committee also appealed to those politicians who, like its first chair, the xenophobic Texas Democrat Martin Dies, subscribed to the ideology of countersubversion.

From the start, HUAC was to focus on the alleged Communist influence in the labor movement and New Deal agencies. It took testimony from ex-Communists, American Legion officials, and other representatives of the anti-Communist right, as well as from the CIO's labor opponents. It eagerly pursued evidence that Communists had infiltrated the government. Committee staff members joined local Red squads in illegal raids on local Communist party headquarters and the offices of front groups in Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. These raids produced membership lists that HUAC used to embarrass the Roosevelt administration by drawing attention to the hundreds of federal employees allegedly on them.

By the late 1930s the anti-Communist coalition had expanded far beyond the traditional right. Many of its new recruits, among them conservative trade union leaders and Socialists, came from groups that had themselves once been under attack. The Catholic Church was one such group. The church had long been antagonistic to "atheistic" communism; the Spanish Civil War accentuated that hostility, for the Catholic hierarchy was as fiercely committed to Franco as the Communist party was to the Loyalist regime. The Soviet takeover of the traditionally Catholic countries of Eastern Europe after World War II and the subsequent persecution of the church there intensified Catholic anticommunism, especially within the Polish-American and other Eastern European ethnic groups.

Within the United States, Catholic anti-Communists concentrated their activities on the labor movement. The American working class was largely Catholic and, in order to maintain the church's influence over its flock and especially over its dwindling male membership, some Catholic activists undertook to drive the Communist party out of the labor movement. In the late 1930s, a handful of enterprising priests and laypeople began to organize anti-Communist nuclei within a few left-led unions. Though ineffectual at first, these efforts were to provide the organizational structure for later, more successful campaigns to eliminate the party's influence in the labor movement.

Perhaps the most important recruits to the anti-Communist cause during this period were former fellow travelers and ex-Communists. Some had been fairly high-ranking party leaders who were expelled from the party during the sectarian warfare of the 1920s and early 1930s. Others abandoned communism for their own ideological or personal reasons. They quickly became important members of the anti-Communist coalition, for unlike the Legionnaires, antilabor businessmen, and right-wing politicians, they actually knew something about the party, their alleged expertise gaining greater respectability for what had been until then a rather haphazard cause. They also embarked on the task of educating the rest of the nation about the evils of communism. In the process, they made careers for themselves as witnesses, publicists, and staff members for the various organizations that made up the anti-Communist world. By the 1940s, they had become ubiquitous figures at trials, deportation proceedings, and congressional committee hearings. It is hard to conceive of McCarthyism without the former Communists; the support they gave the rest of the network was indispensable.

The career of Benjamin Mandel was typical. A former New York City high school teacher who became a full-time party activist in the 1920s, he was forced out of the party in 1929 when Stalin removed his faction from the party's leadership. After toying with a few left-wing sects during the 1930s Mandel found a home in Congress. First with HUAC and then as the long-term research director of the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS), he was to orchestrate many of the investigations and purges of the McCarthy period. The career of J. B. Matthews, Mandel's colleague on HUAC, followed a similar trajectory. A minister who had been a leading fellow traveler during the 1930s, Matthews broke with communism and began to work for HUAC. During the 1940s and 1950s, he became the eminence grise of the anti-Communist network, supplying the Hearst Corporation and his other corporate and political clients with names and information from his famous collection of party literature and front group letterheads and other memorabilia.

By the 1940s, the professional anti-Communists had coalesced into an informal network. They shared a worldview that they assiduously sought to disseminate through whatever means they could. As journalists, consultants, and committee staffers, they worked closely together, sharing information and helping each other find jobs and publishers. They socialized frequently, conscious that they had become, as one of them jokingly suggested, "Red-Baiters Incorporated." The interconnections within the network were striking. Some of Hoover's top aides became key officials within the American Legion. Former FBI agents worked for HUAC. Father John Cronin, the Catholic Church's leading anti-Communist, wrote an influential pamphlet for the Chamber of Commerce in 1946 and then served as the liaison between the FBI and HUAC member Richard Nixon. These professionals, because they were organized, committed, and strategically placed, were to have a disproportionate influence over the ideological and institutional development of McCarthyism.

Chronologically, the last group to join the anti-Communist coalition was the liberals. When the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Pact in August 1939 transformed American Communists from dedicated antifascists to critics of the U.S. government, the Communist party lost many of its political allies. Most of the non-Communists who had tolerated the party because of its dedication to the antifascist cause turned against it. No longer would these liberals and moderates serve as a buffer for the party against its traditional enemies on the right. Instead, they joined them.

Despite intense opposition from isolationists who wanted the United States to stay out of the war in Europe, the American government committed itself to the support of Great Britain. Eager to squelch criticism from both the left and the right of its increasingly interventionist foreign policy, the Roosevelt administration began to treat the Communist party as a threat to the nation's security. It imprisoned the party's leader, Earl Browder, for a passport violation and tried to deport leading foreign-born Communists. Roosevelt expanded Hoover's authority to put the party under surveillance. At the same time, Congress passed several laws clearly directed against the party. The 1939 Hatch Act barred Communists, Nazis, and other totalitarians from government employment. The 1940 Voorhis Act, which stipulated that groups with foreign affiliations register with the government, was designed to force the American Communist party to sever its ties to Moscow. And the 1940 Smith Act, the first peacetime sedition act in American history, authorized the government to crack down on speech as well as action by making it illegal to "teach or advocate" the overthrow of the government or to join any organization that did.

Private organizations also turned against the party during the Nazi-Soviet Pact period. Some labor unions threw party members out of leadership positions and others passed resolutions condemning Nazism, fascism, and communism. These "Communazi" resolutions popularized the concept of totalitarianism, which treated communism and fascism as but variants of the same repressive, authoritarian creed. The purges spread to the academic community where several colleges and universities, most notably the City College of New York, dismissed Communist professors. Even the American Civil Liberties Union turned anti-Communist and expelled a leading party figure from its board of directors.

For almost two years, until Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 returned the Communist party to the Allied camp, American Communists were confronted with the same kind of political repression that they were to face a decade later during the McCarthy period. Abortive though that earlier campaign was, it did display all the elements of the later anti-Communist crusade. Washington's imprimatur was crucial; not only did the federal government itself crack down on the party, but in doing so it gave the stamp of approval to the previously more marginal activities of the traditional anti-Communists. In addition, the anti-Communist campaign of the Nazi-Soviet Pact period perfected many of the techniques and developed many of the institutional structures that would become crucial during the McCarthy years.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The process of colonization upon Indigenous Australians by Marcia Hewitt UWA

The effects of European colonialism on the social, economic and political structures of small-scale societies such as those found in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Puerto Rico, and Vietnam.
Describe the process of colonisation ­ who how and why? Discuss also the responses to the changes imposed and the ways in which the social changes experienced impact upon the lives of the descendants of those colonised.

Question 2: Option 2 -Colonisation

In this essay I will describe the process of colonization upon Indigenous Australians, and very specifically I will describe the socio-cultural impact of European settlement on Indigenous health. I will also try to demonstrate why Aboriginal people have not acculturated successfully to European medical systems.

It is well documented that the poor health of Indigenous Australians in contemporary society can be largely attributed to the European invasion. After James Cook reached the shore of Sydney Cove in 1788 and colonization of the land began, the previous tranquility of Aboriginal people’s lives changed forever. Colonisation not only disrupted traditional Aboriginal lifestyle but it also has been identified as the most important factor contributing to the poor health status of Aboriginal people today..

It is essential to understand the meaning of health to Aboriginal people because contrary to the Western meaning of well-being, it is a multi-dimensional concept embracing all aspects of living. According to the National Aboriginal and Island Health Organisation the definition of health is as follows: “Not just the physical well being of the individual but the social emotional and cultural well-being of the whole community. This is a whole-of-life view and it also includes the cyclical concept of life.” (Eckermann et al 1992) Reports also suggest that Aboriginal people were relatively free of disease and they enjoyed better health conditions compared to the large proportion of the British population at the time of colonization.

The colonizers, usually Christian, had a dramatically differing view of health to that of the colonized, and so there is not good syncretism between Western medical practioners and Aboriginal people.. For example, an Aboriginal person might see (and often does) a hospital as a place to die, and so they will stay away from hospitals at all costs. They also don’t like to take medication since they don’t have the feeling that they should take things if they aren’t sick. So resistence in this particular instance takes the form of not going to the doctor, not taking medicine, or simply returning to their own community healers and making their own medicines, such as amarrh, which they make from blood and saliva.

In the hunter-gatherer semi nomadic lifestyle, Indigenous Australians had free access to the land and its resources with traditional medicine that made it possible to maintain f fairly healthy and well-nourished population. Within a few years, however this healthy population became the poorest and sickest minority group in Autralia. d

Dispossession of Aboriginal land and consequently the destruction of the economic sphere of Aboriginal people in conjunction with the range of introduced diseases had resulted in a rapid population loss. according to Smith’s analysis in Saggers and Gray, Aboriginal population in pre –contact time was approximately 314,500. Smith estimated the Aboriginal population in 1933 was 73.828 which is roughly 25 per cent that of the pre-colonial time. These data indicate the devastating effect of colonization on Indigenous Australians’ health status.

Colonialism destroys the cultural patterns by which traditional societies in ‘underdeveloped’ countries survive, and in the case of Australian Aboriginal people, in particularly the kinship bond... Many precolonial social structures, even if dominated by exploitative elites, had evolved systems of mutual obligations among the classes that helped to ensure a least a minimal diet for all. (Lappe’ and Collins (2001)..Once these patterns and infrastructures are disrupted all kinds of other imbalances occur. For example, within a few years of European settlement essential conditions in order to maintain good health were absent from Aboriginal peoples’ lives. The Better Heath Commission identified these conditions as a range of material and non-material factors such as adequate shelter, suitable nutrition, companionship, income and healthy environment. In addition to these things, Aboriginal people’s health was jeopardized by many so called introduced diseases against which they had not developed natural immunity as these illnesses were unknown in their tradition life. amongst these diseases were smallpox, measles, influenza, tuberculosis, whooping cough and leprosy which all had a disastrous effect on the health of Indigenous Australians. (Saggers and Gray 1991).

From the 1890’s under the government protection policy, segregation of Aboriginal people started which meant that indigenous Australians who had previously been forced to leave their traditional ‘countries’ became incarcerated in settlements, reserves and missions (Knowles 2001) Hundreds of people including adults, children

dn elders were squeezed in these institutions thereby creating an ideal environment for the transmission of communicable diseases. Living conditions in these institutions were intolerable in addition to overcrowding. The responsible government had no intention to spend any money on basic facilities such as water toilet etc. Dense population, poor nutrition all contributed to the distribution of diseases. In the case of infectious diseases, most particularly in the case of leprosy and venereal diseas, the response of European people was appalling. Instead of providing some sort of health care to Aboriginal people they instead requested to move them away. It was not until 1911 when the first medical examination was ordered for Aboriginal people. It was done in the fear of Europeans settlers that they might catch a contagious illness.

Aboriginal people had to endure the policies of these institution which also had the implication of loosing the freedom of choice, independenc and mobility. Many children were forcibly removed from their families and raised up on mission for settlements. Many of them suffered emotional distress as they were lost halfway between two cultures. Further, institutionalization had a negative psychological impact on Aboriginal people which took the form of depression and frustration and still has a devastating effect on contemporary Aboriginal life. They could no longer care for the land or for each other.

I have described the impact that colonlialism has had on Native Australians and why the Aboriginal people have not been able to adapt very successfully in the area of health (as well as many other areas). European colonization destroyed the kinship infrastructure and the access to bushfood that was necessary for the mainenence of Aboriginal health. In addition to this, moving Aboriginal people away from families has created long –term social and psychological issues for them, a form of dislocation in their own country. Neither have aboriginal people been able to fit into many of the existing economic structures, and few aboriginal people have their own homes. This is due to deficiencies in the economic theories that are not reaching Aboriginal people.

Are Iranians Being Vilified (Published in Green Left Weekly)

Are Iranians being Vilified?

by Marcia Helene Hewitt UWA anthropology student.

Recently I was given a tutorial assignment of comparing one group of migrants in Australia to Puerto Ricans in East Harlem. I chose Iranian people since I have a number of Iranian friends and acquaintances, all of whom I like very much.

I began my research by speaking to an Iranian boy of 17, someone born here, and who had been one of my music students ten years previously. He began to tell me how he had been made to get off of a bus in transit, detained for 3 hours and questioned. He told me that he had been arrested several times and then let go, admittedly, because he had been in a few fights in Northbridge. He said if he got into a fight with another Iranian, then he would be let go, but if he got into a fight with a ‘white’ then they would keep him overnight. The fact that he saw Anglo Australians as white, and himself non white, struck me. This lad was brought up in Claremont in a gracious Baha’I family!

I was so disturbed by what he had told me that I researched further and found that there had been a number of ASIO raids in Iranian households, with people held at gunpoint. How could this be happening in Australia?

I put a question to Prof. Chomsky on the Znet Web board , whether he thought that the United States would invade Iran, and his reply was that he didn’t think they would invade, but that Washington did seem to be stepping up anti-Iranian propaganda. I learned about a Sally Field movie called “Not Without My Daughter” which has received some criticism for depicting Iranians and Muslim culture as monstrous. So I naturally started to draw my own conclusions, conclusions which may not be correct, that somehow American foreign policy is affecting Australian cultural attitudes, and shouldn’t be. I read another article in the Green Left Weekly where Bob Brown suggested that this might have to do trade arrangements between John Howard and the present Iranian government, and that certain ‘revolutionary’ organizations are being targeted here.

One of my friends is now afraid to receive political material from me because he says that anyone from the Middle East is now being watched closely (he is a double PhD academic) and doesn’t want to jeapordise me in any way! Isn’t it time that we, as a democratic community , do something about this kind of dangerous cultural attitude?