Editorial Retrospective

Peer Reviewed

Essay Excerpt

... Cultural Anthropology remains officially a disciplinary journal, but ideologically an interdisciplinary one oriented to the contemporary cultural studies movement in the United States ... new journals, begun on manifesto-like pronouncements, are the major print medium of this movement. Ideologically, they desire and are able to keep their distance from the "mainstream" from which they derive-that is, from disciplines, with their own apparatuses of university departments, degree programs, professional organizations, and official journals. These disciplinary traditions are substantial institutionally, and despite the illusory effect of marginality created by the self-identity of cultural studies journals and interdisciplinary centers, the latter carriers of the new are ultimately rooted in and connected dialectically to their originating disciplines. And eventually, it is to the same disciplines or a similar processof institutional discipline-formation to which they must return.The challenge, then, is to remakethe existing disciplines. One source of transformation is from the sheer power and influence of ideas from the margins toward the putative center or mainstream. Another simultaneous source is from distaff voices situated within the realm of the official. This is the important, rare, maybe even unique site of Cultural Anthropology among the journals explicitly engaged in the debates and discourses of the contemporary cultural studies movement in the United States. (Marcus, 563-564) 

About the Author

Marcus is a Professor Emeritus at Rice University.

His areas of research are as follows: Culture Theory and Comparative Cultural Studies. The ethnography of elite groups, of the emergence of middle-classes cross-culturally, and of intellectuals. Peoples and cultures of Oceania. Contemporary transnational cultural formations.

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