Chicano Studies, 1970-1984
Annual Review of Anthropology
Vol. 14: 405-427 (Volume publication date October 1985)
R Rosaldo
In lieu of an abstract, the publisher reproduces the first page of the article. (Link)

Letters to My Tutor…

My dearest Simone,

Renato Rosaldo summarizes Paredes’ critique of some early Chicano studies stating that ethnographic errors included “mistranslations, failing to see double meanings in speech, taking literally what people meant figuratively and taking seriously what people meant as a joke.” These types of mistakes aren’t surprising given how little time some anthropologists spend in the field with the people they are studying. I have been repeatedly taken aback by the authority and weight given to some anthropological studies that result from seemingly little time spent with the culture and with the language.

I also wonder at the lack of interest in native critiques and self-evaluations. Sometimes it seems as though anthropologists and other social scientists do not believe that the locals participate in any valuable self-examinations or examinations of the particulars of their cultures. In the previous review having to do with ritual, native critiques of a particular ritual were not readily shared with outsiders and there was an assumption that such critiques didn’t exist. It’s nice to see more participation in studies by in-group members who have advanced degrees in anthropology and an increase in attention being paid to the critiques of “regular” people — Rosaldo wrote of this happening more with studies of Chicanos.

In a section titled “The Coming Generation,” Rosaldo wrote that “writings on Chicanos will be significantly shaped by four scholars in their late 30s and early 40s.” Here are some quick links for these scholars mentioned in this review from 1985:

Jose Cuellar

San Francisco State Faculty Page
Bio at
City College of San Francisco Rate My Professor
San Francisco State University Rate My Professor

Carlos Velez-Ibanez
Faculty Page at UC Riverside
Faculty Page at Arizona State University
University of Arizona Rate My Professor
UC Riverside Rate My Professor

Miriam Wells
UC Davis Faculty Page
UC Davis Rate My Professor

Jose Limon
University of Notre Dame Faculty Page

It has been a busy day and it’s now late, so I will leave you with that.

Until next time,