MARIETTA BABA

Contributed Articles

To the End of Theory-Practice ‘Apartheid’: Encountering the World

MARIETTA BABA A historical and comparative examination of ethnographic practice in sixteen nations around the globe reveals that theory-practice relations in anthropology and ethnography (A/E) have been shaped and re-shaped over time and space by complex contextual influences. This paper explores the evolution of theory-practice relationships in A/E over various regions of the world, tracing the beginning of a theory-practice ‘split’ from its origin under British colonialism, to its reappearance and institutionalization in post-World War II America, and postulating its absence in the ‘Second and Third Worlds’. Global practice in ethnography now appears to be converging toward a re-integration of theory and application across multiple disciplines and professions (a ‘hybrid’ approach), as ethnographers work to address urgent and poorly understood problems that are not well theorized....

Fertile Ground: Homegrown Loyalty Makes for Globally Competitive Industry

KERI BRONDO, MARIETTA BABA, SENGUN YENIYURT and JANELL TOWNSEND This paper proposes a theory to explain how rural sociality has influenced workforce behavior and productivity at a Global Manufacturing Systems’ automotive assembly plant in mid-Michigan. The paper argues that for over 100 years, rural and farming families in the region have been appropriating GM factories in order to sustain their rural life ways and remain part of their own ‘moral’ community. Loyalty to the company is conceptualized from the families’ perspective as a requirement of sustainable communities, motivated by an intergenerational desire to keep GM in Michigan. Employee loyalty also benefits the company by ensuring high performance and quality. The link between sociality and performance is illustrated through statistical modeling of attendance data and maps produced through ArcGIS....