Congratulations to doctoral candidate Leslie Aragon, who has been awarded a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant for her project titled “Networking Identity in the Hohokam Ballcourt World.” Leslie’s dissertation committee is chaired by Regents’ Professor Barbara J. Mills.
Abstract: This project investigates how group identity is constructed at multiple scales and how it might change over time. Archaeology provides a unique opportunity to develop a framework for investigating different concepts of group identity and social interactions among communities with deep time depth in the ancient past. This project takes a multidisciplinary approach, incorporating social network analyses (SNA), petrographic analyses, and stylistic analyses across multiple media to understand internal and external diversity, an important step in gaining insight into social organization. Using the Hohokam Ballcourt World in the southern U.S. Southwest as a case study, this research informs upon the dynamic ways that groups form social boundaries regardless of spatial proximity. In a broader sense, the project addresses questions regarding the organization of human communities at varying scales, how people form identities, and the long-term effects of these processes. (Anthro News digest date: 4/19/2019)