Continuity and Change in Anthropological Perspectives on Migration

Deborah A. Bolnick

in Rethinking Anthropological Perspectives on Migration

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780813036076
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041780 | DOI:
Continuity and Change in Anthropological Perspectives on Migration

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Historically, anthropologists have treated migration as a source and form of major change, involving mass population movement over large distances and across sociocultural boundaries. Migration studies in molecular anthropology fit squarely within this tradition since most studies have tested hypotheses of large-scale population movement. This chapter provides an overview of how molecular anthropologists approach the issue of migration, drawing on examples from genetic studies of Native Americans. Using two case studies of migration on a more localized scale, this chapter shows that the short range, short term, and incremental movements of individuals are also important. These small-scale movements can have a profound effect on the genetic structure of human populations, and they indicate that migration is not always associated with upheaval and change. Rather, some forms of migration comprise a normal part of everyday life and produce continuity rather than change.

Keywords: migration; biological anthropology; molecular anthropology; culture change; cultural continuity

Chapter.  5579 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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