A Message from the President

Susan Abbott

We are now officially into the fall and here in Lexington, Kentucky, some leaves are beginning to show touches of red and yellow and orange amidst their various shades of green. The humid heat of the long summer has finally abated. This all means one thing--it is time to make arrangements to attend the Annual Meeting of the SCCR in St. Petersburg, Florida, February 18-22, 1998. Uwe Gielen tells me he is hard at work organizing sessions for the meeting, something he can tell you more about in his section of this newsletter.

In the last newsletter I listed a series of initiatives I planned to promote during my year as president of the SCCR. I want to take this opportunity to report what has been happening to each of them.

First, your officers decided at our Executive Board meeting last February to institute a key symposium at each annual meeting. Members would submit proposals to the President who would consult with the Executive Board and the editor of CROSS-CULTURAL RESEARCH in selecting one to be the first key symposium at the 1998 meetings. The key symposium papers would then be published in the following year as a special theme issue of CROSS-CULTURAL RESEARCH. Unfortunately, we only received one proposal, and so we decided not to have a key symposium during the 1998 meetings.

So what about this initiative? I still believe it to be a good idea that I have seen work well for over twenty years for the Southern Anthropological Society. In their case, the selected symposium is published as the annual PROCEEDINGS OF THE SAS by the University of Georgia Press. It has earned money for the SAS when PROCEEDINGS have been adopted for classroom use and have been purchased as one-off issues by individuals. This is also an excellent opportunity to have a collection of papers published. Another example is the Society for Psychological Anthropology which has also periodically published special theme issues of its journal ETHOS that realized heightened sales because of its particular interest to individuals. We should be able to make this kind of arrangement work for us.

To make it work, you, the membership, must go to work and propose suitable symposia. Proposal content is described in another section of this newsletter. The proposals will be for the 1999 annual meetings in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The SCCR Executive Board with the editor of CROSS-CULTURAL RESEARCH will select the 1999 key symposium from among the proposals you submit. I think this is an exciting opportunity to put together intellectually stimulating symposia which have the promise of ending up in print where they can reach a much wider audience.

Given the multi-disciplinary nature of our organization, many exciting possibilities can emerge from cross- disciplinary as well as cross-cultural exchange i n symposia of this kind. Why don't you take up the challenge? Why not encourage your colleagues to do the same? I look forward to receiving several proposals in time for the Executive Board's review at the Florida meetings.

Regarding our decision to begin selecting our meeting sites at least two years in advance, Alice Schlegel, University of Arizona, has agreed to chair the committee charged with identifying a site for the meetings in 2000. Renuka Sethi, California State-Bakersfield, and Jonathan Tudge, UNC-Greensboro, will also be serving on the committee. They will make their recommendations to the society at our 1998 meeting in February.

The final initiative--recruitment of new members--lies with everyone of us. So I pose the question, did you recruit one new member for the SCCR during the past six months? The Executive Board and I want to encourage everyone of you to recruit one new member between now and the Florida meetings. We want a stronger society, and that requires a membership increase. We do not need, nor do most of us want a large society. We can all get that with our national disciplinary societies. But we do need to attract sufficient membership to ensure interesting, stimulating annual meetings and an acceptable financial condition for the SCCR. If everyone recruited one new member, we would still be a small society, but we would also achieve these modest goals.

Remember that we now have attractive new brochures to help stimulate interest. If you don't have any, contact Lew Hendrix, Dept of sociology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901-4524 (e-mail: GA1627@siucvmb.siu.edu).

I am looking forward to seeing many of you in Florida at our up-coming joint meetings with the Society for the Study of Play. Not only will you be able to play on Florida's sandy beaches if you come to these meetings, you can drop into another society's sessions to listen to experts discussing the dimensions and dynamics and content of play.

Call for 1998 Key Symposia Proposals

Deadline for submission for the 1998 Annual Meeting is February 1, 1998

The Executive Board of the SCCR and the Editor of CROSS- CULTURAL RESEARCH are soliciting proposals for the Key Symposium for the 1999 meetings in Santa Fe, NM . The symposium selected for this honor will be published as a thematic issue of CROSS-CULTURAL RESEARCH in the year following the annual meeting in which it is presented.

Criteria for selection include a cross-cultural or comparative theme pertaining to the constants and variables of human behavior, timeliness and general interest in the topic or theme, overall quality of the proposal, stage of preparation of the session and evidence of commitment of the participants to participation and completion of their papers. All social and behavioral sciences dealing with human beings are acceptable, including anthropology, sociology, psychology, geography, political science, economic, education, human ecology, and evolutionary biology. Invited participants need not be current members of the SCCR but the principle organizer must be a member.

Proposals must include 1) a one to two page description of the theme or topic to be examined including a statement of how it can contribute to the comparative or cross-cultural study of human behavior, 2) a statement of why this is a timely topic or theme, 3) a list of probable participants and some indication from the majority of them that they are willing to participate, preparing their papers on time.

Submit your completed proposals to:

Susan Abbott, Department of Anthropology, 211 Lafferty Hall, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, U.S.A.


PH: (606) 256-2796; FAX: (606) 323-1959.


Lives Across Cultures: Cross-Cultural Human Development by Harry Gardiner,Jay D. Mutter, & Corinne Kosmitzki. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 1998, 352 pp. Paperback. ISBN 0-205-19182-7. $32.00.

Using a chronological-within-topics approach, this newly published book focuses on human development within the cultural context. It is notable in its effort to integrate a variety of viewpoints and perspectives and consistently interweaves its themes into the narrative, providing a comprehensive and cohesive understanding of development across cultures and across the lifespan. Containing examples of behavior from scores of societies, readers are introduced to classical studies in psychology and anthropology as well as the most up-to-date cultural research available. Each chapter concludes with sections on "Things to Do and Think About" as well as annotated recommendations for further reading. Lives Across Cultures can be used as a core text in courses focusing on cultural= similarities and differences or as a culturally sensitive supplement to courses in psychology, anthropology, or sociology. An Instructor's Manual and Test Bank is available upon adoption. A summary of features and= complete Table of Contents can be found at the Allyn & Bacon Web site at http://www.abacon.com/books/ab_0205191827.html or on Harry Gardiner's home page at http://cslab.uwlax.edu/~gardiner.


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