If you aren't already familiar with this massive reference work, maybe you should be. It is massive (almost 17,000 pages), and it is online (if your library has a subscription). The coverage of archaeology is very good; archaeology is listed as a discipline of its own and not a subdiscipline of anthropology. I count 44 archaeology articles, most by recognized experts. These are categorized as follows:
- 8 regional syntheses
- 24 entries on "conceptual approaches"
- 12 entries on "methods and practice"
Puzzled about the relationship of poststructuralism and postmodernism (from some discussion on Savage Minds), I turned to the encyclopedia today while watching Florida beat Penn State. This entry turned out to be extremely useful for a social-theory-challenged guy like me:
- Mjøset, Lars (2001) Theory: Conceptions in the Social Sciences.
- law-oriented (covering-law approaches, promoted unsuccessfully by the new archaeologists);
- idealizing (economics, game theory, rational choice theory)
- constructivist (Geertzian anthropology, poststructuralism, postprocessual archaeology)
- critical theory (Frankfurt school).
Murphey's Law strikes again! Don't you hate it when you find an important and very relevant work just after your article is published? (I really wish I head read Mjøset before I completed my paper.) I almost added, "or after your term paper is submitted." But in the latter case, it is a blessing for students, since it gives you a head start when you return to your term paper to revise it for publication. Oh, you don't publish your term papers? Well why don't you get off your butt, stop reading blogs, and do something useful. Here is my logic: If a student has the ability, intelligence, drive, etc. to succeed as a scholar, then the chances are pretty good that such a person's term papers (with some additional work) are worthy of publication. If that is the case, then by NOT publishing them one is not only reducing one's academic chances, but also depriving the discipline of good research.
Here are a few other entries from the encyclopedia I have found useful:
- Bruegmann, Robert (2001) Urban Sprawl.
- Evans, Gary W. (2001) Crowding and Other Environmental Stressors.
- Jackman, R. W. (2001) Social Capital.
- Ostrom, Elinor (2001) Environment and Common Property Institutions.
- Wacquant, Loïc (2004) Ghetto. (This seems to be a kind of updated to the Encyclopedia)
- Wong, S. (2001) Cities, Internal Organization of.
Oh yes, I also found this gem today. In his entry "Postmodernism in Geography," postmodernist geographer Edward Soja says that poststructualism is just a "safer sounding label" for postmodernism.