This year, the AAA is holding a hybrid meeting, virtual and in-person in Baltimore, Maryland from November 17-21. The theme of this year’s meeting is Truth and Responsibility: “to bear witness, take action, and be held accountable to the truths we write and circulate.”
HRAF Anthropologist Ian Skoggard and Max Stein, executive board members of the Society for Anthropological Sciences (SAS), have organized a panel on altruism, entitled “Altruism in Ethnography: Re-Imagining a Classic Framework through Anthropology’s Current Diversity.” The goal of the panel is to showcase ethnographic examples of altruistic behavior in order to substantiate the abstract models of altruism found in evolutionary biology literature with actual in situ lived experiences of people in place and time.
Altruism is undoubtedly key to human sociality, but what does it actually look like on the ground in terms of cultural values, attitudes and practices? How is it distorted by structures of gender, class, and race? How do these ethnographic accounts vary across cultural domains? There are three papers in the panel: Skoggard will talk about filial piety as a particular Chinese form of altruistic behavior, Lessye DeMoss will discuss family support networks in rural Alabama, and Carrie Perkins examines resource sharing and gift-giving among refugee women in Thailand. The panel will be recorded and archived at the AAA’s View-on-Demand Library for online viewing.
Skoggard is also involved in a mentoring roundtable of SAS members, offering their expertise in research methods. He will instruct ways to code ethnographic data for cross-cultural research.