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Networks: Mainstream American Culture Network (MACNet)

MACNet was initiated on the initiative of Dieter Haller at the 2006 EASA Conference in Bristol. Since then, a mailinglist of those interested in this new topic of research among Non-american Anthropologists has been collected, the Network has organized two workshops (W119 and W120) and a first business meeting at the forthcoming 2008 Conference in Ljubljana. Colleagues with interested in the topic are welcome!

By “Mainstream” we stress the necessity not to focus on specific minorities such as Native Americans, African-Americans, migrants etc, but rather on topics such as the Cheerleader, Cheesecakes, Shopping Malls, Baseball and the like.

The networks objective is to address the last blind regional spot of Non-american Anthropologists by encouraging field-based research on MAC, and bringing together existing scholarship. This is important because it will help us to close a knowledge gap on this specific, world-affecting region, and will also contribute to our understanding of the creation of ‘the West' in academia.

MACNet has several goals:
· firstly, encouraging fieldbased research on mainstream american culture and thereby creating more knowledge about the only remaining regional blind spot for european anthropologists.
· Then, closer examination of MAC tells us something about the creation of “the West” in academia.
· And also, it reflects what is going on in real life, as through the globalization of images, products, and identities, American forms of culture are transferred worldwide.

· Plus, by studying the interconnectedness between anthropology and its embeddedness in specific ­ American ­ practices and discourses, we not only will obtain greater knowledge on how our objects of study are shaped and how they are theorized, but also how American ways of shaping, analyzing and theorizing influence the perception of culture in other cultural contexts.

The Network is run and organized by Dieter Haller (Ruhr Universität Bochum/Germany, Dieter.Haller(at)ruhr-uni-bochum.de) and Irene Stengs (Meertens Institute in Amsterdam/ Netherlands, stengs(at)wxs.nl); the workshops at EASA 2008 are organized together with Eveline Dürr (University of München/Germany) and Jackie Feldman (BeerSheva/Israel).

We would like to ask those interested in MAC to subscribe to our mailinglist: