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Rethinking Anthropological Perspectives on Migration$
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Graciela S. Cabana and Jeffery J. Clark

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813036076

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813036076.001.0001

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Continuity and Change in Anthropological Perspectives on Migration

Continuity and Change in Anthropological Perspectives on Migration

Insights from Molecular Anthropology

(p.263) 13 Continuity and Change in Anthropological Perspectives on Migration
Rethinking Anthropological Perspectives on Migration

Deborah A. Bolnick

University Press of Florida

Historically, anthropologists have treated migration as a source and form of major change, involving mass population movement over large distances and across sociocultural boundaries. Migration studies in molecular anthropology fit squarely within this tradition since most studies have tested hypotheses of large-scale population movement. This chapter provides an overview of how molecular anthropologists approach the issue of migration, drawing on examples from genetic studies of Native Americans. Using two case studies of migration on a more localized scale, this chapter shows that the short range, short term, and incremental movements of individuals are also important. These small-scale movements can have a profound effect on the genetic structure of human populations, and they indicate that migration is not always associated with upheaval and change. Rather, some forms of migration comprise a normal part of everyday life and produce continuity rather than change.

Keywords:   migration, biological anthropology, molecular anthropology, culture change, cultural continuity

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