Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 235–263 | Cite as

On Disciplinary Culture: Archaeology as Fieldwork and Its Gendered Associations

  • Stephanie Moser


This paper discusses the disciplinary culture of archaeology, focusing in particular on the role of fieldwork in shaping the sense of identity for the profession. Based on the examination of the professionalisation of Australian archaeology, it is argued that there is a distinctive suite of attributes relating to the activity of fieldwork, which are central to the organizational culture of the discipline. These attributes can be seen to have a gendered dimension, revealing the extent to which archaeology is shaped by different gender regimes.


Disciplinary culture Archaeological fieldwork Gender 


  1. Aisenberg, N., & Harrington, M. (1988). Women of academe: Outsiders in the sacred grove. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.Google Scholar
  2. Aitchison, K. (1999). Profiling the profession. York, CBA: English Heritage & IFA.Google Scholar
  3. Aitchison, K., & Edwards, R. (2003). Archaeology labour market intelligence. Profiling the profession 20023. Kings Lynn: Cultural Heritage & IFA.Google Scholar
  4. Andres, J., Barrett, J. C., & Lewis, J. S. C. (2000). Interpretation not record. The practice of archaeology. Antiquity, 74, 525–530.Google Scholar
  5. Andrews, M. (1989). The search for the picturesque: Landscape aesthetics and tourism in Britain, 17601800. Aldershot: Scolar.Google Scholar
  6. Bahn, P. (1989). Bluff your way in archaeology. West Sussex: Ravette.Google Scholar
  7. Barley, N. (1983). The innocent anthropologist. London: Colonnade and British Museum Publications.Google Scholar
  8. Becher, T. (1989). Academic tribes and territories: Intellectual enquiry and the cultures of disciplines. Milton Keynes: Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Binford, L. R. (1989). Debating archaeology. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  10. Bourdieu, P. (1988). Homo academicus. Cambridge: Polity Press (in association with Basil Blackwell).Google Scholar
  11. Butler, J. (1993). Bodies that matter. On the discursive limits of sex. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Canadian Museum of Civilisation (1996). An exhibition about the history and meaning of hats and other headwear in Canada. Canada: Canadian Museum of Civilisation.Google Scholar
  13. Carmen, J. (2004). Excavating Excavation: A contribution to the social archaeology of archaeology. In G. Carver (Ed.), Digging in the dirt (pp. 45–51). Oxford: BAR.Google Scholar
  14. Carr-Saunders, A. M., & Wilson, P. A. (1933). The professions. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  15. Chadwick, A. (2003). Post-procuessualism, professionalization and archaeological methodologies. Towards reflective and radical practice. Archaeological dialogues, 10(1), 97–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Claassen, C. (Ed.) (1992). Exploring gender through archaeology. Monographs in world archaeology, no.11. Madison: Prehistory Press.Google Scholar
  17. Claassen, C. (1994). Women in archaeology. Philadelphia: University of Pennslyvania Press.Google Scholar
  18. Clark, J. G. D. (1989). Prehistory at Cambridge and beyond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Clarke, A. (2002). The ideal and the real: Cultural and personal transformations of archaeological research on Groote Eylandt, northern Australia. World Archaeology, 34(2), 249–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Copley, S., & Garside, P. (Eds) (1994). The politics of the picturesque: Literature, landscape and aesthetics since 1770. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Cullen, T. (1996). Contributions to feminism in archaeology. American Journal of Archaeology, 100, 409–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Daniel, G. (1975). One hundred and fifty years of archaeology. London: Duckworth.Google Scholar
  23. Daniel, G. (1976). Cambridge and the back-looking curiosity. An inaugural lecture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Daniel, G., & Renfrew, C. (1988). The idea of prehistory. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.Google Scholar
  25. De Boer, T. (2004). Shovel bum: Comix of archaeological fieldwork. Lanham: Altamira.Google Scholar
  26. duCros, H., & Smith, L. (Eds.) (1993). Women in archaeology: A feminist critique. Canberra: Occasional papers in prehistory no. 23, Department of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University.Google Scholar
  27. Edgeworth, M. (2003). Acts of discovery: An ethnography of archaeological practice. Oxford: BAR.Google Scholar
  28. Edgeworth, M. (Ed.) (2006). Ethnographies of archaeological practice: Cultural encounters, material transformations. Lanham: Altamira.Google Scholar
  29. Fabian, J. (2000). Out of our minds. Reason and madness in the exploration of colonial Africa. California: California University Press.Google Scholar
  30. Flannery, K. V. (1976). The early mesoamerican village. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  31. Flannery, K. V. (1982). The golden marshalltown: A parable for the archaeology of the 1980’s. American Anthropologist, 84, 265–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Frost, P. J., Moore, L. F., Louis, M. R., & Lundberg, G. C. (Eds) (1991). Reframing organisational culture. Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  33. Frost, P. J., Moore, L. F., Louis, M. R., Lundberg, G. C., & Martin, J. (Eds.) (1985). Organisational culture. Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  34. Fry, J. (2006). Studying the scholarly web: How disciplinary culture shapes online representations. International Journal of Scientometrics, Infometrics and Bibliometrics, 10(1), paper 2.Google Scholar
  35. Gero, J. M. (1983). Gender bias in archaeology: A cross-cultural perspective. In J. M. Gero, D. M. Lacy, & M. L. Blakey (Eds.), The socio-politics of archaeology (pp. 51–57). Research report no. 23. Amherst: Department of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  36. Gero, J. M. (1985). Socio-politics and the woman-at-home ideology. American Antiquity, 50, 342–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Gero, J. M. (1988). Gender bias in archaeology: Here, then, and now. In S. Rosser (Ed.), Feminism within the science and health care professions: Overcoming resistance (pp. 33–43). Oxford: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  38. Gero, J. M. (1993). The social world of prehistoric facts: Gender and power in Paleoindian research. In H. DuCros & L. Smith (Eds.), Women in archaeology: A feminist critique (pp. 31–40). Canberra: Occasional papers in prehistory no. 23, Department of Prehistory, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University.Google Scholar
  39. Gero, J. M. (1994). Excavation bias and the woman at home ideology. In M. C. Nelson, S. M. Nelson, & A. Wylie (Eds.), Equity issues for women in archaeology (pp. 37–42). Washington DC: Archaeological papers of the American Anthropological Association, no.5, American Anthropological Association.Google Scholar
  40. Gero, J. M. (1996). Archaeological practice and gendered encounters with field data. In R. Wright (Ed.), Gender and archaeology (pp. 251–280). Phildelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  41. Gero, J. M., Lacy, D. M., & Blakey, M. L. (Eds.) (1983). The socio-politics of archaeology. Research report no. 23. Amherst: Department of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts.Google Scholar
  42. Gero, J. M., & Root, D. (1990). Public presentations and private concerns: Archaeology in the pages of ‘National Geographic’. In P. Gathercole, & D. Lowethal (Eds.), The politics of the past (pp. 19–48). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  43. Gheradi, S. (1995). Gender, symbolism and organisational cultures. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  44. Gilchrist, R. (1992). Review of experiencing archaeology by Michael Shanks. Archaeological Review from Cambridge, 11, 188–191.Google Scholar
  45. Glover, D., & Kaplan, C. (2000). Genders. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  46. Goode, W. J. (1957). Community within a community: The professions. American Sociological Review, 22, 194–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Goodwin, C. (1994). Professional vision. American Anthropologist, 96(3), 606–633.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Greenhalgh, S. (1996). The social construction of population science. An intellectual, institutional and political history of twentieth century demography. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 38(1), 26–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Greenhalgh, S. (1997). Methods and meanings: Reflections on disciplinary difference. Population and Development Review, 23(4), 819–824.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Heilbron, J. (2004). A regime of disciplines: Toward a historical sociology of disciplinary knowledge. In C. Camic & J. Joas (Eds.), The dialogic turn: New roles for sociology in the post disciplinary age (pp. 23–42). US: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  51. Herdt, G. (1993). Third sex, third gender. Beyond sexual dimorphism in culture and history. New York: Zone Books.Google Scholar
  52. Hodder, I. (1989). Writing archaeology: Site reports in context. Antiquity, 63, 268–274.Google Scholar
  53. Hodder, I. (1997). ‘Always momentary, fluid and flexible’: Towards a reflexive excavation methodology. Antiquity, 71, 691–700.Google Scholar
  54. Holtorf, C. (2002). Notes on the life history of a potsherd. Journal of Material Culture, 7, 49–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Holtorf, C. (2006). Studying archaeological fieldwork in the field: Views from Monte Polizzo. In M. Edgeworth (Ed.), Ethnographies of archaeological practice: Cultural encounters, material transformations (pp. 81–94). Lanham: Altamira.Google Scholar
  56. Hutson, S. (1998). Strategies for the reproduction of prestige in archaeological discourse. Assemblage, 4.Google Scholar
  57. Kramer, C., & Stark, M. (1988). The status of women in archaeology. Anthropology Newsletter, 29(9), 111–112.Google Scholar
  58. Lake, M. (1993). The politics of respectability: Identifying the masculinist context. In S. Magarey, S. Rowley, & S. Sheridan (Eds.), Debutante nation: Feminism Contests the 1890s (pp. 1–15). Sydney: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  59. Lampert, R. J., & Thorne, A. (1980). Editorial. Australian Archaeology, 10, 1.Google Scholar
  60. Langham, I. (1981). The building of british anthropology. Dordrecht: D. Reidel.Google Scholar
  61. Lenoir, T. (1997). Instituting science: The cultural production of scientific disciplines. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  62. Louis, M. R. (1985). An investigators guide to workplace culture. In P. J. Frost, L. F. Moore, M. R. Louis, G. C. Lundberg, & J. Martin (Eds.), Organisational culture (pp. 73–93). Beverly Hills: Sage.Google Scholar
  63. Lucas, G. (2001). Critical approaches to fieldwork. Contemporary and historical archaeological practice. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  64. McDavid, C. (2002). Archaeologies that hurt; descendants that matter: A pragmatic approach to collaboration in the public interpretation of African-American archaeology. World Archaeology, 34(2), 303–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Merton, R. K., Reader, G. G., & Kendall, P. L. (Eds.) (1957). Student physician. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  66. Morris, E. L. (1991). Women in british archaeology. Birmingham: Institute of Field Archaeology.Google Scholar
  67. Moser, S. (1995). Archaeology and its disciplinary culture. The professionalisation of Australian archaeology. Ph.D. dissertation. Sydney: University of Sydney.Google Scholar
  68. Moser, S. (1996). Science, stratigraphy and the deep sequence: Excavations vs survey and the question of gendered practice in archaeology. Antiquity, 70(270), 813–823.Google Scholar
  69. Moser, S., Glazier, D., Phillips, J., El Nemer, L. N., Mousa, M. S., Richardson, S., et al. (2002). Transforming archaeology through practice: Strategies for collaborative practice and the Community Archaeology project at Quseir, Egypt. World Archaeology, 34(2), 220–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Nelson, M. C, Nelson, S. M., & Wylie, A. (Eds.) (1994). Equity Issues for Women in Archaeology. Washington DC: Archaeological papers of the American Anthropological Association no.5, American Anthropological Association.Google Scholar
  71. Nixon, L. (1994). Gender bias in archaeology. In L. J. Archer, S. Fischler, & M. Wyke (Eds.), Women in ancient societies (pp. 1–23). London: Macmillian.Google Scholar
  72. Patterson, T. C. (1991). Who did archaeology in the United States before there were archaeologists and why? Preprofessional archaeologies of the nineteenth century. In R. W. Preucel (Ed.), Processual and postprocessual archaeologies: Multiple ways of knowing the past (pp. 242–250). Carbondale: Southern Illinois University.Google Scholar
  73. Pinsky, V. (1992). Archaeology, politics, and boundary-formation: The Boas Censure (1919) and the Development of American Archaeology during the inter-war years. In J. E. Reyman (Ed.), Rediscovering our past: Essays on the history of american archaeology (pp. 169–189). Aldershotm: Avebury Press.Google Scholar
  74. Rainger, R. (1991). An agenda for antiquity. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.Google Scholar
  75. Reyman, J. (1994). Gender and class in archaeology: Then and now. In M. C. Nelson, S. M. Nelson, & A. Wylie (Eds.), Equity issues for women in archaeology (pp. 83–90). Washington DC: Archaeological papers of the American Anthropological Association 5, American Anthropological Association.Google Scholar
  76. Richards, C. (1995). Knowing about the past. In I. Hodder, M. Shanks, A. Alexandri, V. Buchli, J. Carman, J. Last, & G. Lucas (Eds.), Interpreting archaeology (pp. 216–219). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  77. Saks, M. (1983). Removing the blinkers? A critique of recent contributions to the sociology of professions. The Sociological Review, 31, 1–21.Google Scholar
  78. Schwartz, D. W. (1978). A Conceptual framework for the sociology of archaeology. In R. C. Dunnell, & E. S. Hall (Eds.), Archaeological essays in honor of Irving B. Rouse (pp. 149–176). Mouton: The Hague.Google Scholar
  79. Sellars, M. (1973). The secret notebook for the practising archaeologist: With preliminary notes toward an ethno-science of archaeology. Plains Anthropologist, 18, 140–148.Google Scholar
  80. Shanks, M. (1992). Experiencing the past: On the character of archaeology. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  81. Shanks, M. (2001). Culture/Archaeology: The dispersion of a discipline and its objects. In I. Hodder (Ed.), Archaeological theory today (pp. 284–305). Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  82. Shepherd, N. (2003). State of the discipline: Science, culture and identity in South African archaeology 1870–2003. Journal of South African Studies, 29(4), 823–844.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Shortland, M. (1994). Darkness visible: Underground culture in the golden age of geology. History of Science, xxxii, 1–61.Google Scholar
  84. Shortland, M. (1995). Bonneted mechanic and narrative hero: The self-modelling of Hugh Miller. In M. Shortland (Ed.). Hugh Miller: New essays. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  85. Shumway, D. (1999). Disciplinarity, corporatization and the crisis: A dystopian narrative. Journal of Midwest Modern Language Association, 32(2/3), 2–18.Google Scholar
  86. Sørensen, M. L. S. (2000). Gender archaeology. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  87. Spencer-Wood, S. M. (1999). The world their household: Changing meanings of the domestic sphere in the nineteenth century. In P. Allison (Ed.), The archaeology of household activities (pp. 162–189). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  88. Stocking, G. W. (1983a). History of anthropology: Whence/Whither. In G. W. Stocking (Ed.), Observers observed: Essays on ethnographic fieldwork (Vol 1. pp. 3–12). Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  89. Stocking, G. W. (Ed.) (1983b). Observers observed: Essays on ethnographic fieldwork. History of anthropology (Vol 1). Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  90. Thomas, K. (1978). Idlers in the land. Richmond, VIC: Hutchinson.Google Scholar
  91. Tilley, C. (1989). Excavation as theatre. Antiquity, 63, 275–280.Google Scholar
  92. Trigger, B. G. (1989). A history of archaeological thought. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  93. Valian, V. (1998). Why so slow the advancement of women. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  94. Vollmer, H. M., & Mills, D. L. (Eds.) (1966). Professionalisation. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  95. Walde, D., & Willows, N. (Eds.) (1991). The archaeology of gender. In Proceedings of the 22nd annual Chacmool conference, Calgary, The University of Calgary Archaeological Association.Google Scholar
  96. Ward, R. (1958). The Australian legend. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  97. Webb, J. M., & Frankel, D. (1995). Gender inequity and archaeological practice: A Cypriot case study. Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, 8(2), 93–112.Google Scholar
  98. Weigall, A. (1923). The glory of the pharoahs. London: Butterworth.Google Scholar
  99. Whatley, M. H. (1989). A feeling for science: Female students and biology texts. Women’s Studies International Forum, 12(3), 355–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Wheeler, M. (1955). Still digging: Adventures in archaeology. London: Pan.Google Scholar
  101. Wilson, L. (1976). The academic man. A study in the sociology of a profession. New York: Octagon Books.Google Scholar
  102. Woodall, J. N., & Perricone, P. J. (1981). The archaeologist as cowboy: The consequences of the professional stereotype. Journal of Field Archaeology, 8, 506–508.Google Scholar
  103. Wylie, A. (1997). The engendering of archaeology. Refiguring feminist science studies. Osiris, 12, 80–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Yarrow, T. (2003). Artefactual persons: The relational capacities of persons and things in the practice of excavation. Norwegian Archaeological Review, 36(1), 65–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  105. Yarrow, T. (2006a). Perspective matters: Traversing scale through archaeological practice. In G. Lock & B. Molyneaux (Eds.), Confronting scale in archaeology: Issues of theory and practice (pp. 77–87). US: Springer.Google Scholar
  106. Yarrow, T. (2006b). Sites of knowledge: Different ways of knowing an archaeological excavation. In M. Edgeworth (Ed.), Ethnographies of archaeological practice: Cultural encounters, material transformations. Lanham: Altamira.Google Scholar
  107. Zeder, M. A. (1997). The American archaeologist: Results of the 1994 SAA census. Society for American Archaeology Bulletin, 15(2), 12–17.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

Personalised recommendations