Grant TypeConference Grant
Institutional AffiliationMaine, U. of
Grant numberGr. CONF-721
Approve DateMarch 4, 2016
Project TitleRoscoe, Dr. Paul, U. of Maine, Orono, ME - To aid workshop on 'Status Pursuits across Human Systems,' 2016, U. of Maine, in collaboration with Dr. Cynthia Isenhour
‘Status Pursuits across Human Systems’ September 30 – October 4, 2016, Orono, Maine Organizers: Paul Roscoe and Cynthia Isenhour (U. Maine) This workshop brought together scholars from social-cultural anthropology, archaeology, and closely related fields to address a neglected but critical question: How can anthropology contribute to our understanding of the relationship between status pursuits and material consumption? A highly diverse group of participants discussed this question during the four-day meeting and together explored potential theoretical payoffs for research in: the currently resurgent, comparative study of status competition and consumption across time and cultures; the social and political dynamics involved in the emergence and development of complex society; and the processes that drove the emergence of Euro-American consumer culture and associated free market exchange. Participants agreed that the discussions also had practical relevance, helping to illuminate the growing asymmetries in resource use that already leave a significant percentage of the world’s population unable to meet even its most basic needs; and a powerful driver of the greenhouse gas emissions that could raise global temperatures by as much as four degrees Centigrade by the end of the century. Outcomes of the workshop include more developed thinking on this topic among program participants, as well as detailed plans and timelines for joint-publications, targeted at both scholarly and popular audiences.