The Archaeology of Institutional Life / Edition 2

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Institutions pervade social life. They are often vested with the resources, authority, and power to enforce the orthodoxy of their time. But institutions are also arenas in which both orthodoxies and authority can be contested. Between power and opposition lies the individual experience of the institutionalized. Whether in a boarding school, hospital, prison, almshouse, commune, or asylum, the experiences of the individual can reflect the positive impact of an institution or its greatest failings. This interplay of orthodoxy, authority, opposition, and individual experience are all expressed in the materiality of institutions and are eminently subject to archaeological investigation.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Addressing a long-neglected facet of the archaeology of our modern world—our institutions—this volume reveals the interesting and insightful past of a class of sites that are deeply and inextricably tied to a core aspect of modernity.”—Jamie C. Brandon, Arkansas Archeological Survey

"This volume highlights the use of interdisciplinary approaches and multiple lines of evidence as crucial to understanding the material culture of institutions and the relations of power that they embody. Institutions embody a worldview and the lives of their residents, staff, and community observers are influenced and constrained by the ideology which fashioned it. Researchers of any discipline who share an interest in power relations, childhood, gender studies, community relations, and institutional history will all find food for thought within The Archaeology of Institutional Life."—Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817355166
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 3/22/2009
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

April M. Beisaw is Research Associate, Department of Anthropology, Binghamton University. 
James G. Gibb is an archaeological consultant, Annapolis, Maryland.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Acknowledgments ix

1 Introduction James G. Gibb 1

2 Historical Overview of the Archaeology of Institutional Life Sherene Baugher 5

I Method and Theory

3 On the Enigma of Incarceration: Philosophical Approaches to Confinement in the Modern Era Eleanor Conlin Casella 17

4 Feminist Theory and the Historical Archaeology of Institutions Suzanne M. Spencer-Wood 33

5 Constructing Institution-Specific Site Formation Models April M. Beisaw 49

II Institutions of Education

6 Rural Education and Community Social Relations: Historical Archaeology of the Wea View Schoolhouse No. 8, Wabash Township, Tippecanoe County, Indiana Deborah L. Rotman 69

7 Individual Struggles and Institutional Goals: Small Voices from the Phoenix Indian School Track Site Owen Lindauer 86

III Institutions of Communality

8 The Orphanage at Schulyer Mansion Lois M. Feister 105

9 A Feminist Approach to European Ideologies of Poverty and the Institutionalization of the Poor in Falmouth, Massachusetts Suzanne M. Spencer-Wood 117

10 Ideology, Idealism, and Reality: Investigating the Ephrata Commune Stephen G. Warfel 137

IV Institutions of Incarceration

11 Maintaining or Mixing Southern Culture in a Northern Prison: Johnson's Island Military Prison David R. Bush 153

12 Written on the Walls: Inmate Graffiti within Places of Confinement Eleanor Conlin Casella 172

13 John Conolly's "Ideal" Asylum and Provisions for the Insane in Nineteenth-Century South Australia and Tasmania Susan Piddock 187

14 The Future of the Archaeology of Institutions Lu Ann De Cunzo 206

References Cited 215

Contributors 243

Index 245

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