By Barbara L. Voss

This cutting edge paintings of historic archaeology illuminates the genesis of the Californios, a neighborhood of army settlers who solid a brand new identification at the northwest fringe of Spanish North the US. due to the fact 1993, Barbara L. Voss has performed archaeological excavations on the Presidio of San Francisco, based via Spain in the course of its colonization of California's important coast. Her learn on the Presidio varieties the root for this wealthy learn of cultural id formation, or ethnogenesis, one of the diversified peoples who got here from common colonized populations to serve on the Presidio. via a detailed research of the panorama, structure, ceramics, garments, and different features of fabric tradition, she lines moving contours of race and sexuality in colonial California.

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Additional resources for The Archaeology of Ethnogenesis: Race and Sexuality in Colonial San Francisco

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7 This perspective foregrounds the perplexities of subjectivity: “Many identities vie for importance in daily life” (Staats 1996:163). In the growing understanding of social identities as mutually constituted and enmeshed, little attention has been paid to exactly how power—of all kinds— participates in these articulations. Ann Stoler provides one such instance in her analysis of white endogamy in colonial Indonesia: “Ratios of men to women followed from how sexuality was managed and how racial categories were produced rather than the other way around” (2002:2).

Such ethnic boundaries are inherently permeable and constantly in negotiation. Cultural traits, language, territory, and ancestry may be utilized as resources during these ongoing negotiations, but “only those which the actors themselves regard as significant” (Barth 1969:14) are employed in this way. Because ethnicities are defined through external boundaries, ethnic groups are internally heterogeneous, so much so that even within a single family, each member has a diªerent relationship to the ethnic identity (Barth 1994).

Social identities are not external or prior to the situations and interactions in which they appear, but are continually enacted, reproduced, and transformed in social life. Pierre Bourdieu conceptualizes this relationship between agency and structure as the interplay between practice and habitus, the latter likened to a conductorless orchestra (1977:72) whose members play their instruments according to durably installed, generative principles of regulated improvisation. Habitus guides but does not determine the routines of daily life, which themselves participate in the ongoing formation and transformation of the habitus.

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