Distinguished Professor of Anthropology Louise Lamphere received the Franz Boas Award for exemplary service to Anthropology recently from the American Anthropological Association. The award is presented annually by the AAA to its members whose careers demonstrate extraordinary achievements that have served the anthropological profession.
The Boas Award recognizes Association members who have made exceptional contributions to anthropology with respect to the increase and dissemination of humanistic and scientific knowledge and/or service to the profession.
Lamphere is perhaps best-known as a founding mother of feminist anthropology, influencing decades of research within anthropology and related disciplines on issues of gender inequality and knowledge production.
In releasing information about the award, AAA's Emilia M. Guevara and Kathy Ano said Lamphere has made significant contributions to anthropological knowledge during her more than 45-year career through her studies of the Navajo, workplace life, family and kinship, U.S. immigration and U.S. healthcare policy.
Guevara and Ano cite her work as co-editor, with Michelle Rosaldo, of the founding feminist anthropology text, “Woman, Culture and Society.” Published in 1974, this collection is now a classic. Lamphere’s deft coediting and original contributions helped create a volume that reread the existing anthropological literature for androcentric assumptions, reconfigured perspectives on women as active agents in their societies, stretched the boundaries of existing anthropological theory, and quite literally transformed the entire discipline.
Lamphere's 1997 volume, “Situated Lives: Gender and Culture in Everyday Life,” coedited with Helena Ragone’ and Patricia Zavella, extended her feminist commitment, focusing on the impact of the intersection of gender with race, class and sexual difference in women’s daily lives.
In addition, Guevara and Ano say Lamphere continued her work in the 1980’s and ‘90’s by exploring gender dynamics, contributing a range of books on immigration and labor within the changing political economy of the United States, publishing “From Working Daughters to Working Mothers” in 1987, “Structuring Diversity: Ethnographic Perspectives on the New Immigration” in 1992, “Sunbelt Working Mothers” in 1993 (with Patricia Zavella, Felipe Gonzales and Peter Evans) and “Newcomers in the Workplace: Immigrants and the Restructuring of the U.S. Economy” in 1994 (with Guillermo Grenier).
In 2007, she shared authorship with the grandmother, mother and daughter of a Navajo family with which she had worked since the 1960s, producing “Weaving Women’s Lives: Three Generations in a Navajo Family,” that combined her scholarly and personal history.