A Critical Archaeology Revisited

Author(s): Wilkie, Laurie\xa0A; Bartoy, Kevin\xa0M

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Abstract In 1987, a small number of historical archaeologists issued a call for archaeologists to embrace the teachings of critical theory so that their research could be sed to challenge societal structures of inequality. Although community partnering, an outgrowth of critical theory has become increasingly important to archaeological practice, a true archaeological "praxis" has yet to be achieved. Possible reasons for this include a decontextualization of critical theory from its historical origin, the subsequent reification of capitalism in critical research, and the obscuring of agency in critical interpretations because of an emphasis on top-down or macroscale models of society. We suggest that true praxis can be achieved in historical archaeology through a reconceptualization of the relationship between individuals and society and through a structuring of archaeological research that seeks to create a discursive relationship between past and present peoples and between researchers and community partners. We present a critically informed archaeological case study from Louisiana to demonstrate how such a dialogue can lead to emanicipatory knowledge.
Publication Title Current Anthropology
Publisher The University of Chicago Press
Publication Date 12/2000
URIs http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/317405
http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcAuth=SerialsSolutions&SrcApp=Summon&KeyUT=000165434000003&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=WOS
Keywords AGENCY
ANTHROPOLOGY
Anthropology
Archaeological research
Archaeological theory
Archaeologists
Archaeology
Behavior
CAPITALISM
CHUMASH TRADITION
Critical theory
GENDER
HISTORICAL ARCHAEOLOGY
Historical archaeology
Louisiana
Methods
PLANTATION
POWER
Practice
Society
U.S.A
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