All anthropologists and archaeologists seek to answer basic questions about human beings and society. Why do people behave the way they do? Why do patterns in the behavior of individuals and groups sometimes persist for remarkable periods of time? Why do patterns in behavior sometimes change?
A Hopi Social History explores these basic questions in a unique way. The discussion is constructed around a historically ordered series of case studies from a single sociocultural system (the Hopi) in order to understand better the multiplicity of processes at work in any sociocultural system through time. The case studies investigate the mysterious abandonments of the Western Pueblo region in late prehistory, the initial impact of European diseases on the Hopis, Hopi resistance to European domination between 1680 and 1880, the split of Oraibi village in 1906, and some responses by the Hopis to modernization in the twentieth century.
These case studies provide a forum in which the authors examine a number of theories and conceptions of culture to determine which theories are relevant to which kinds of persistence and change. With this broad theoretical synthesis, the book will be of interest to students and scholars in the social sciences.
Scott Rushforth is associate professor of anthropology at New Mexico State University. Steadman Upham is professor of anthropology and vice provost and dean of the graduate school at the University of Oregon.