A Section of the American Anthropological Association
For single or multiple-authored books in anthropology published in 2011 and 2012, the prize for the latest round of submissions was awarded at the AAA Annual Meeting, November 20-24, in Chicago:
Tobacco Capitalism: Growers, Migrant Workers, and the Changing Face of a Global Industry
Peter Benson expertly handles grounding his topic in a broader historical and political economic context, telling a rich story while avoiding – and expressly dismantling – the oversimplified narratives that permeate the themes he engages. He succeeds in his aim to situate a nuanced, sensitive account of the workers’ experiences within a critical analysis of broader structural forces, illuminating a range of political projects that shape the contemporary historical moment.
Hound Pound Narrative: Sexual Offender Habilitation and the Anthropology of Therapeutic Intervention
Taking seriously and, without romanticization, James Waldram attempts to understand the situations of a nearly universally reviled group – sexual offenders – and does it well. He dodges the pitfalls of conventional tropes around these topics, problematizing and disrupting a range of assumptions along the way while examining the production and roots of the numerous discourses discussed. The rich ethnographic detail makes this a compelling story.