Anthropology of Los Angeles
Place and Agency in an Urban Setting
Contributions by Maryann Aguirre, Beth F. Baker, Jenny Banh, Nathalie Boucher, Charles Joseph, Melissa King, Andrea Lepage, Adonia E. Lugo, Allison Mattheis, Yolanda T. Moses, ChorSwang Ngin, Jocelyn A. Pacleb, Kyeyoung Park, James Diego Vigil, George Villanueva, Natale A. Zappia Edited by Jenny Banh, Melissa King
Publication date:23 January 2017
Length of book:260 pages
The Anthropology of Los Angeles: Place and Agency in an Urban Setting questions the production and representations of L.A. by revealing the gray spaces between the real and imagined city. Contributors to this urban ethnography document hidden histories that connect daily actors within cultural systems to global social formations. This diverse collection is recommended for scholars of anthropology, history, sociology, race studies, gender studies, food studies, Latin American studies, and Asian studies.
Banh and King’s anthology is a timely and multifaceted addition to Los Angeles studies and urban anthropology. Reminiscent of editors Raúl Villa and George Sánchez’s Los Angeles and the Future of Urban Cultures (2005), the book focuses on contestations of power and space through public culture, agency, and memory. Threads of activism and intersecting identities run throughout the chapters, which range from the aftermath of the 1992 LA uprisings to the Great Wall of Los Angeles mural, urban agriculture, and models of community organizing. The book’s methodological emphasis on ground-up ethnography (including autoethnography) is one of its greatest strengths, along with interventions into scholarship of the city that has largely drawn from archives, interviews, or literary works.... [T]his is a useful volume for students and scholars of postmodern urban landscapes, as well as practitioners seeking an introduction to the heterogeneity of Los Angeles. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries.