by Wong, Stephen E

Scientific discoveries and technological advances are achieved through the expenditure of human and material resources. Clinical research and program development in mental health services are no exceptions. In the present rejoinder to Dr. Wakefield's second critique, this point is briefly discussed as well as fallacies in his claim that across-setting generalization was the main reason why behavioral programs have not been more widely utilized in the treatment of psychosis. 

Scientific and technological breakthroughs often require sizable investments of human labor and material resources. For a notable example, in 1961 President John F. Kennedy devoted the work of thousands of scientists, engineers, and other skilled technicians and an estimated $25 billion to the Apollo Project with the goal of putting a man on the moon (Koman, 1994). This stunning feat had never before been achieved by any nation on earth and it has not been repeated since. Could the project have been successfully completed with considerably fewer workers and at one-half the cost? Recalling the tragic deaths of three astronauts in the launch pad fire of the Apollo 1 and the nearly disastrous events that scuttled the Apollo 13 mission, probably not. 

Once scientific discoveries are made, a modern society's usage of these findings depends on their broad acceptance and changes in the individual behavior of many members of the population. Consider how the transmission of bacteria and disease has been prevented by encouraging people to wash their hands, how scurvy has been virtually eliminated by getting everyone to eat fresh fruits and vegetables containing vitamin C, and how tooth decay has been reduced by convincing people to brush their teeth daily with fluoride toothpaste. The success of these public health programs depended not only on the original scientific discoveries but also on the widespread adoption of practices that applied the new knowledge. 

It was from this perspective that I wrote the article, "Behavior Analysis of Psychotic Disorders: Scientific Dead End or Casualty of the Mental Health Political Economy?" My review of the literature suggested that after a brief trial in the late 60s and early 70s by a few hundred psychologists (at most) and a handful of psychiatrists, behavioral treatments for psychoses and severe mental disorders were largely abandoned in favor of psychotropic drugs. This abandonment did not follow a string of failures to replicate or other negative findings, although research of the time did identify certain limitations - as might be expected in a nascent treatment for a vexing problem. Unlike for dominant biomedical approaches, the work of tens of thousands of mental health professionals and hundreds of billions of dollars were not dedicated for over half a century to exploring, developing, and applying psychosocial and environmental interventions for severe mental disorders. My paper pointed out something rather simple and obvious-compared to the resources devoted to the biomedical model, behavioral approaches had not been given a fair test. I then gave an overview of ways in which supporters of biomedical interventions have secured and maintained control over public opinion, governmental policy, third-party funding, and mental health practices. 

Now Professor Wakefield returns with another lengthy paper reiterating and defending many points of his first review. After dubbing his paper with the inflammatory title, "Is Behaviorism Becoming a Pseudoscience?...," he complains about the "vigorous, quite harsh" rebuttals by Drs. Wyatt, Midkiff, and myself, and the ensuing "...heated rhetoric." As he did in his first review, Dr. Wakefield circumvents the main points of my article and finds fault in peripheral issues that he claims disprove my central thesis. In their eloquent and incisive rebuttal, Drs. Wyatt and Midkiff (this issue) refute point-by-point most of the issues in Dr. Wakefield's second critique. Rather than attempting a similar comprehensive response, I will merely focus on a few key points of Dr. Wakefield's critique and then return to the larger topic that was the subject of my paper. 

One of Dr. Wakefield's main criticisms revolves around the limited generalized effects that have been reported for token economy programs. In the abstract of his second review he writes: "I (Wakefield, 2006) argued that the treatment's fate was due to its own limitations, particularly the failure of effects to generalize adequately to natural environments given deinstitutionalization." And, a few lines later: "I conclude that we all agree that such treatments were not shown to adequately generalize, providing a scientific reason for the treatment's fate." (Wakefield, this issue, p. 170). 

Dr. Wakefield dismisses my reference to basic and applied behavioral research on generalization as a "non sequitur" to his criticism of the limited generalization for token economies (Wakefield, this issue, p. 177). He asserts that research on the "concept and process of generalization" is "...irrelevant to the present dispute" concerning treatment programs for schizophrenia. Earlier he writes, "In my view, each disorder must be considered individually regarding the issues in dispute" (Wakefield, this issue, p. 172), thus implying that the discussion of generalization must be broken down according to clients' specific psychiatric diagnosis. 

I contend that behavioral research on generalization was germane to Dr. Wakefield's criticism and logically connected to the discussion. Generalization is a common and well understood behavioral phenomena and an informed discussion of this topic cannot be arbitrarily restricted to carry-over effects for a specific therapy technique used with a particular group of clients. The treatment approach for severe mental disorders reviewed in my article is based on a science of behavior that searched for and uncovered natural laws with broad generality. Principles of behavior such as reinforcement, extinction, and generalization have been replicated with pigeons, rats, dogs, cats, reptiles, fish, certain invertebrates (cephalopods), sea lions, whales, and all sorts of primates, including humans with a wide spectrum of behavioral problems. These scientific principles have been shown to operate in the wild, and in zoos, laboratories, hospitals, clinics, schools, and open community settings around the world. Why would these highly robust principles not also govern the generalization of desired behavior change in persons with severe mental disorders, if these principles were ever directed to this purpose? In contrast, the diagnosis of schizophrenia is not a very reliable construct nor is it consistently correlated with any physical anomaly that would support the notion of it being a distinct biological condition. Why should we ignore well-established behavioral principles in favor of unreliable psychiatric diagnoses, other than out of deference to psychiatric audiority?

The references I made to research in promoting generalization of trained skills in persons with autism and other developmental disorders also showed that behavioral researchers have made substantial progress in producing this form of behavior change when they had stable research programs and worked on this issue over a sustained period of time. It is worth noting that the Wong et al. (1993) study, one of the few to have demonstrated limited but reliable generalization of trained skills in chronic schizophrenic patients, was conducted without external funding and mostly with students and volunteers assisting on a dissertation project. Due to lack of internal and external institutional support, the research group working on this study disbanded when the project was completed. Regrettably, we were only able to do a one-shot study on the generalization of newly acquired social skills. Based on what was accomplished with these minimal resources, it is reasonable to predict that if our research group had been given more support (e.g., one-one thousandth of the $800 million that is supposedly spent on the development of each new drug brought to market) we likely would have completed additional studies, each more refined, more advanced, and producing better generalization than that reported by Wong et al. (1993).

In both in the current critique and the previous one, Dr. Wakefield characterizes generalization as an insurmountable problem that provides the logical justification for dispensing with behavioral programs. To support his argument Dr. Wakefield quotes several researchers who commented on the limited or inadequate generalization obtained with previous behavioral programs (Wakefield, 2007, p. 175-176). These quotations, however, are often taken out of context and misrepresent the authors' message. For example, a few pages after Dr. Wakefield's quote from Kazdin and Bootzin, the authors provided a section nearly three pages long entitled, "Procedures to Increase Generalization" describing techniques that have been successfully employed to promote generalization across settings (Kazdin & Bootzin, 1972, pp. 361-364). The quote from Glynn et al. (2002) is taken from a study of social and independent skills training whose main innovation is manual-based in vivo training designed to promote skills generalization. This study hardly represents capitulation to the obstacle of extra-therapy setting generalization. Similarly, the article by Kopelowicz, Liberman, and Zarate contained numerous guidelines for increasing generalized effects of social skills training in sections entitled, "Community Supporters" and "Enhancing Generalization" (Kopelowicz, et al., 2006, S16, S20-21). Contrary to the dire picture painted by Dr. Wakefield, the above authors merely identified the promotion of generalization as an area for future research and program development. They did not in any way indicate that generalization was a clinical barrier that should cause researchers and clinicians to drop behavioral interventions in favor of drug treatment. Portraying this as the authors' position is a gross misrepresentation and a disservice to interested readers.

One of the recommendations for promoting generalization made by several of the above authors involves restructuring clients' home and community environments to duplicate reinforcement contingencies created in therapeutic settings. Kazdin and Bootzin wrote, " is our guess that me most fruitful techniques (for increasing generalization) will be ones that emphasize programming the natural environment." (Kazdin & Bootzin, 1972, p. 364). This advice was later echoed in Kazdin's book, The Token Economy (Kazdin, 1977, pp. 180-183), which covered the topic in greater depth. Kopelowicz and his associates also recommended a similar approach to enhancing generalization dirough teaching case managers and family members to encourage and reward clients' use of trained skills in the community and at home (Kopelowicz, et al, 2006, p. 5). Recruiting community mental health professionals and family members to apply positive reinforcement, successive approximation, extinction, and other behavioral techniques in clients' natural environment is a crucial step at which procedures developed and evaluated in research settings are transferred to natural environments. Like the public health programs mentioned at the start of this article, this is the point at which research findings are implemented by large numbers of people in their homes and communities. Dr. Wakefield ignored these recommendations of authors that he cited. Instead, he chose to write a second, slightly less disparaging review of behavioral programs, but one that still discourages the wider application of these empirically-validated procedures with severe mental disorders.

This is another tangential topic that Dr. Wakefield erected as a target for his criticism of my article. It should be noted diat this topic does not appear as a heading nor is it discussed at any length in my original paper thong, 2006a). I confess that Dr. Wakefield successfully baited me into mentioning the etiology of schizophrenia in my response to the commentaries (Wong, 2006b). However, I am now willing to say that to my knowledge there is no well-articulated behavioral theory of the etiology of schizophrenia. As my article pointed out, for the last 30 years there has been minimal behavior analysis research on schizophrenia. Behavioral theories about how this disorder develops would require intensive and lengthy longitudinal studies that have not been funded or supported in other ways, and hence do not exist. 

When I cited Allyon, Haughton, & Hughes (1965), who demonstrated that reinforcement contingencies could bodi produce and eliminate psychotic behavior, I was pointing out how environmental conditions might contribute to the emergence of psychoses. The study by Allyon et al. (1965) involved only one subject, which is obviously insufficient upon which to build a theory of the origin of schizophrenia. However, while claiming to "...not scoff at the idea that environmental conditions can influence the development of schizophrenia" (Wakefield, this issue, p. 186), Dr. Wakefield was quick to belittle this striking demonstration of contingency-produced psychotic symptoms. But, regardless of our differing opinions about the etiology of this disorder, this was not a focus of my article and it is not an issue I wish to further dispute with Dr. Wakefield. 

Dr. Wakefield characterizes the biomedical approach to mental disorders as being the epitome of good science: "Biological research has the virtue of being a progressive paradigm that offers novel hypotheses, acknowledges evidential weaknesses and addresses them with further studies, and gives up hypotheses when disconfirmed" (Wakefield, this issue, p. 174). This rosy view of biomedical research turns a blind eye to numerous discrepancies in empirical data and the pharmaceutical industry's pervasive and long- standing pattern of manipulating scientific activity recounted by Drs. Wyatt and Midkiff (2006) and myself. Professor Wakefield also maintains that behavioral treatments were displaced solely because of the "scientific, non-political reason" of poor generalization (Wakefield, this issue, p. 176), a misreading of the literature and an idealized view of science. 

Science is a social enterprise involving groups of individuals who work with different conceptual models and research methodologies, who compete for recognition and resources, and who advocate for the broader acceptance of their own approach. To characterize science as a process detached from people, their personal biases, and their vested interests is a disembodied abstraction. Science, particularly science involving mental health services, is embedded in other larger social processes and institutional transformations such as: 

* University budget shortages raising the priority of funded research 
* Professional education and interdisciplinary struggles for practice jurisdictions 
* Service organizations and industries vying for insurance and private payment 
* Capital investment and competition for market share 
* State and federal law and policy pertaining to mental health services 
* Corporate influence of government through lobbying and campaign contributions, and 
* Corporate influence of public opinion through commercial mass media 
Academic psychologists and social workers also operate within this complex political-economic web and have little leeway in the kinds of interventions they can study and develop. 

Just as the walk on the moon and the U.S. space program was not initiated or decided upon by astrophysicists and aeronautical engineers, the treatment of persons with severe mental disorders is not primarily determined by psychologists, social workers, or even psychiatrists. Although mental health professionals are able to make minor adjustments within their approved span of practice and have some input into the kind of work they do, the perception of professional self-determination is mostly illusionary. The majority of mental health professionals, including leading academics and researchers, are happy to work when and where they can find it. And, just as the U.S. space program was not determined solely by Presidential order but also by a confluence of historical-geopolitical events (i.e., the nuclear Cold War, the Soviet Union's early lead in the space race and successful launching of Sputnik, and U.S. desire to regain technological superiority and global prestige) (Koman, 1994), the shift away from behavioral toward pharmacological treatments was not due to poor outcomes of the former and superior outcomes of the latter, and certainly not due the narrow issue of across-setting generalization. This shift was more likely due to the growing wealth and power of commercial sectors within our society, including the pharmaceutical industry; the systematic diversion of public and private funds towards profit-generating, short-term solutions to human concerns; and the corresponding relative decline in expenditures for preventive, educative, rehabilitative, behavioral, and other socially constructive strategies for dealing with human problems. These overarching conditions are rarely mentioned in discussions of mental health services and they will be very difficult to change. Nevertheless, the first step in addressing any significant problem is recognizing and analyzing its actual causes. 

Glynn, S. M., Marder, S. R., Liberman, R. P., Blair, K, Wirshing, W. C, Wirshing, D. A., Ross, D., & Mintz, J. (2002). Supplementing clinic-based skills training with manual-based community support sessions: Effects on social adjustment of patients with schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry, 159(5), 829-837. 
Kazdin, A. E. (1977). The token economy: A review and evaluation. New York: Plenum Press. 

1 Correspondence concerning this article should be sent to Stephen E. Wong, School of Social Work, Florida International University, 
Copyright Walden Fellowship, Inc. Fall 2007
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved

Anthropology of aviation and flight safety

Anthropology of aviation and flight safety
by Batteau, Allen W

This article examines the anthropological issues posed by commercial aviation, an industry that in less than a lifetime has changed the meanings of space and place, and altered fundamental perceptions of global civilization. The article begins with a critical examination of the concept of "human factors" as the standard industry approach to the human role. It notes that the representation of flight, as a mass transportation mode, has not kept pace with the global deployment of this technology across multiple cultural regions. The article notes that commercial aviation, as a large-scale technological system, has been deployed on a global scale yet is only weakly governed by United Nations bodies and multilateral arrangements among air carriers. The article concludes with the observation of a process of technological peripheralization, arguing that technologies that promise an escape from economic marginalization can often promote technological marginalization.

Commercial air travel, along with automobiles, computers, and electronic communications, has reshaped the contours of contemporary civilizations, touching the lives of villagers and elites alike. Assumptions about time and distance, about space and place, about community and communication, have all been upended by these four technologies. 

In this article I wish to examine the anthropological issues raised by the industrialization of one of these technologies, commercial air travel. The commodification of longdistance travel, along with telecommunications, has altered the personal and societal radii that once defined human scale and hence the frontiers of anthropological understanding. The border phenomena of anthropology today are found not in New Guinea, but in the large-scale social representations implicated in large-scale technological systems: these systems include power generation and distribution, biotechnology, and civil aviation. Among these concepts and images are "human factors," a humanity decomposed and redesigned for improved adaptation to the technological system. Like other colonial projects, "human factors" redefines space and place, creating new opportunities for adaptation and new forms of peripheralization. 

I will first characterize human flight using conventional anthropological views (The Culture of Flight) and present an alternative view from a group of French anthropologists (Face a 1' Automate). Circling closer, I will then place the industry's view of humanity (Design and Decomposition) within the context of the fin de siecle problematic of commercial aviation (The Regulation of Large-Scale Technological Systems). I propose a new anthropology for these new phenomena (Toward an Anthropology of Large-Scale Representations), and close with a consideration of the alternative: a world in which technological progress creates new forms of dependence and insecurity (Postimperial Peripheries). 

The Culture of Flight 
Commercial aviation is one of the youngest industries, roughly the same age as consumer electronics and broadcast communications. Commercial aviation in the United States evolved out of the 1920s airmail service of the Army Air Corps. Until it was rationalized at the behest of the postmaster general, commercial aviation was a hodgepodge of small, inefficient carriers, and unconnected routes. 

A large-scale technological system, such as transport organized on a continental scale, presents a delicate balancing act among central sources of supply, regional demands, and network integration. Electric power transmission, mechanized transportation, and industrialized agriculture are all largescale networked technical systems. Their balance of supply, demand, and network performance is maintained only through government or monopolistic sponsorship and regulation. From an organizational point of view these systems represent an adjustment between distributed (network) and hierarchic (bureaucratic) control. In aviation, the technological issues of balancing a large-scale network are complemented by the business requirements of combining profitable operation with safety and passenger comfort and convenience.1 
In 1959, when Boeing introduced the first jet airliner-- the 707-this balance was altered. Widebodies, such as the 747, introduced in 1970, upended the economics of the industry. Widebodies created an overcapacity that drained money from the industry even as de-regulation in the late 1970s opened the door to yet more capacity. Deregulation permitted the airlines to compete on the basis of ticket prices, once more extending the affordability of flying. As a result, within a generation flying has gone from an elite experience to something as commonplace and democratic as boarding a bus. 

For most of its history, going back to Warner and Low's (1947) study of the social system of a modem factory, industrial anthropology, like industrial psychology, has concerned itself more with descriptions of industrial workplaces than with industrial systems or industrial civilizations. Classic studies of tin miners (Nash 1979), textile workers (Ong 1987), locomotive engineers (Gamst 1980), and health care workers (Sacks 1988) provide a clearer view of the industrial workplace, particularly on the capitalist periphery. Production, however, is only one element of the industrial picture: industrial civilization also requires that distribution, consumption, and administration be regimented on an industrial scale. The literature of industrial anthropology currently embraces an array of studies of industrialized consumption (Miller 1998, or Appadurai 1986, for example) and administration (Fiske 1994, or Gregory 1983, for example). These, along with the studies of industrial production do not yet add up to an anthropological approach to industry that is as comprehensive as anthropological approaches to nonindustrial societies (but see Santos Corral 2000 for an exception). 

Large-scale technological systems generate their own array of cultural innovations, even as they massively rearrange existing cultural forms. The cultures of aviation, among managers or pilots alike, are male-oriented, with bravado, strutting, and fascination with machinery supplying the dominant themes. Around the world pilots constitute a unique group, characterized by an ensemble of physical abilities (eyesight, motor skills), background (flight training), initiation rite (the solo flight), and stylized dress. 

The culture of aviation, the remaking of human culture through flight, consists of a set of representations and mediations that defy the gravitas of conventional cultural forms. Concepts of distance and familiarity, like markers of status, have all been altered by this new large-scale system. 

In the history of aviation one can observe overlapping yet distinctive images of the experience of flight and its place in human affairs. Before the mid 1930s, civilian flight was a matter of carnival demonstrations and courageous airmail pilots, braving storms and the unforgiving skies to get the mail through. From the 1930s to the 1970s commercial flight was only for elites. High fares restricted access and business attire was de rigueur. In the 1970s airlines such as Southwest and PSA learned how to evade fare-and-route regulation, and in 1979 the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (a pattern-- setter for the rest of the world) de-regulated the entire domestic industry, offering the experience of flight to the hoi polloi. World deregulation soon followed. Flight opened the iron cage of locality, so that Amazonian villagers and Canadian Inuit alike could have their bodies and their sensibilities transported to Sao Paulo, Toronto, or London. Today, in any medium-sized city, the experience of rubbing elbows with representatives of other cultures is democratic and ordinary, and the separations of cultures have been replaced by a separation of culture and technology. 

Human flight is an experience of perfection: in flight, polished skills and highly engineered devices enable aviators and their acolytes to transcend normal human limitations. The devices are significant: it is the marriage of man (yes, man) and machine, or more accurately the subservience of man to machine, that enables this transcendence. Those who submit are allowed to enter the sacred spaces of flight: the control tower, the flight deck, the sky. In these sacred spaces "human factors" are almost an afterthought, a grudging acknowledgment or faintly heretical statement that there might be a concern for adaptation between this excellent machinery and the imperfect humans who depend on it. 
In the last 20 years, aircraft have become more highly automated, with flight management computers, autoflight controls, datalink with air traffic control (ATC) centers, and "glass cockpit" cathode ray tube (CRT) displays displacing the gauges and dials of a conventional flight deck. Faced with these developments, the lagging engineered device, the "human factor," which aviation invented 60 years ago, must struggle to adapt. Indeed, one might suggest that the recent profusion of human factors literature (Wiener and Nagel 1988; Johnston, McDonald, and Fuller 1994; Garland et al. 1999), which explores the relationship between flyers and flying, is a direct consequence of the rapid growth of flight technology. 

Human factors tends to be an Anglophone phenomenon, with psychologists and engineers in other world regions proposing alternative paradigms. One alternative to the human factors approach to flight automation is presented by a group of French anthropologists and information scientists. In a wide-ranging book, Face a l'Automate: Le pilote, le controleur, et l' ingenieur, Alain Gras, Caroline Moricot, Sophie Poirot-Delpach, and Victor Scardigli, examine commercial aviation as a "large-scale technical system," drawing on the work of Hughes (1983). In this large-scale system, which found a social and representational niche for what was once considered a "useless object" (Gras et al. 1994:12) three critical roles-pilots, controllers, and designers-are today faced with a common problematic, the transition from analog to digital displays of the flight situation. Believing in the perfectibility of society through engineered devices, designers of contemporary aircraft install numerous devices intended to gain the greatest aerodynamic and propulsion efficiency. Today there is extensive use of digital technology and displays on the flight deck and in the control centers. As a consequence, the roles of the pilots and the controllers are being changed in profound ways.

Drawing on the concepts of Levi-Strauss to analyze the structure of myths to reveal unknown or forgotten social facts, Gras et al. (1994) note that the two accepted representations of human flight are those of the ideal of free flight, as represented by Icarus, and the image of total control as represented by l'oiseau mecanique (mechanical bird). Icarus places the pilot in charge and has profound consequences for the design of procedures, organizations, and technologies; understandably this is more in conformance with the pilots' image of themselves. The "mechanical bird" envisions the aircraft as but one moving part in a vast technological assemblage, subject to positive control from air traffic control (ATC), Datalink, and flight automation. L'oiseau mecanique is the guiding imaginaire for equipment designers. Seated in the cockpit of l'oiseau mecanique the pilot is but one more link in a production chain, and the least reliable link at that. 

To this I would add two other representations, the "winged chariot," and by extension the "flying omnibus." Both emphasize transportation rather than flight, may well be more appropriate to commercial air transport, and are embodied in the latest generation of commercial transport which, after all, comes from a company called Airbus Industrie. 
On modern flight decks, digital displays and controls have altered the pilots' perception of airspace and their navigational tasks in ways that are still not understood. Numerous recorded instances of "mode confusion" (Learmount 1998), where the pilots did not understand the autoflight mode behavior of the aircraft, are ample testament to this. 

Gras et al. (1994:73) note, in describing the role of aircraft designers, that these engineers, like others, are remaking the world and humanity in a manner in line with the philosophy of Descartes (the whole universe can be broken down into elements governed by the same laws), of Pascal (to distrust the physical body and its passions; to deny the existence of chance through the theory of probability)... and last, of 19th century positivists (the engineers being entrusted with a social mission-- progress in science and industry is progress for humanity). 

Whether or not this "digital human" is mankind's preferred future is seldom considered in the design of these systems. To this, the authors add, in describing their research approach, We distance ourselves from the concepts of human factor and human categories of causality. Human "functions," human "factors," is it not by chance that this vocabulary is borrowed from biology in the 19th century and from mechanics in the 18th century-the age when the first French engineering academies were founded to lead humanity toward Progress. Even in the time of Pascal and Descartes human beings could not avoid the universal method of "understanding" the world, i.e., everything, from the atom to planets' trajectory, could be broken down into simple elements. (ibid.:7f.) 
A challenge for an anthropology of aviation, which Gras et al. present, is to travel a similar distance from "human factors" to an understanding of the emergent phenomena and subtle connections within human contexts and their integration on a global scale. Let us begin. 

Design and Decomposition 
Aviation human factors began as a discipline in the early years of World War II, when it was realized that more crew were dying from their own errors in piloting than from enemy fire. Wartime stress and fatigue, together with technological advances in speed, maneuverability, and (aircraft) endurance, required a rethinking of the selection, preparation, and operational routines of the flight crews. The total mobilization of a world war placed tens of thousands of aircrew in the most technologically advanced devices then known to humanity, with the fate of Western civilization hanging in the balance. 

It is this tension between democratization and technological advance that created the need for human factors as a specific approach to integrating man and machine. Improvements in aviation technology created new challenges for the relationships among the crew, the environment, the self, and other crew. As aviation became organized, the relationships between the aircrew and the organized regulation of flight became the next human factors challenge. As long as flying was reserved for a small handful of courageous lone eagles, these challenges could be met by self-selection and Darwinian attrition: only risk takers with good eyesight and motor skills would go into flying; those who didn't measure up fell out of the sky. 
An initial human factors challenge for aviators was to know which way the plane was going, and it was addressed with a piece of string. When flying an airplane, it is essential that the aircraft be in trim along three axes: pitch (nose up or down), roll, and yawl (the direction the aircraft is moving through the air in relation to the direction in which it is pointed). Too much yawl and the aircraft will slip during a turn and skid out of control. Very early, pilots began attaching a piece of string to a frame member, and by keeping the fluttering string parallel to the fuselage, they could be assured that they were going in the direction they were pointed. 

This little story illustrates a key point: in flight, unaided human senses are inadequate for controlling the aircraft. Maintaining trim, airspeed, and navigational axes in most situations exceeds human capabilities and requires instrumented support. Some of the earliest human factors research studied instrumentation requirements and design, determining just how much information about the aircraft and its environment was needed by the pilot. Today even the simplest aircraft has flight instruments to monitor airspeed, trim, and altitude.

Other initial concerns of human factors were with crew physiology. With aircraft continually setting records for altitude (above 20,000 feet by Georges Legagneux in 1913), speed, endurance, and maneuverability, they stressed the human body's ability to function. A tight turn, like high altitude in an unpressurized cabin, can cause a loss of consciousness. Studies of fatigue, endurance, circulation, and eyesight, along with the biomechanics of flight decks, have enabled humans to fly aircraft faster, higher, and farther. 

Some of the more recent challenges addressed by human factors include relationships among the aircrew, summarized under the heading of "crew resources management," and relationships with management, summarized under the heading "safety culture." On the flight deck the introduction of technology (autoflight, flight management computers, navigational aids, communications), while improving the economy and extending the performance of the aircraft, has stressed the capabilities of the crew. Unlike the Ryan NYP, which Charles Lindbergh flew solo from New York to Paris in 33 hours, a modern-instrumented aircraft requires the coordinated effort of two flight crew, in which one (either the captain or the first officer) controls the aircraft, while the other monitors traffic, environment, and communications. In a commercial airline the captain and first officer rarely have a close relationship; a typical duty tour begins early in the morning with the captain introducing himself to his first officer in the dispatch center and then briefing the crew. To achieve smooth coordination between captain and first officer, numerous airlines have created programs of crew resources management, or CRM. 

CRM is a training discipline that teaches pilots to communicate effectively, to work as teams, to monitor situational awareness and fatigue, distribute workload, and to exercise consultative decision-making skills, all with crew members with whom they are probably personally unfamiliar: in short, to work as an experienced team from their very first takeoff together. CRM has acquired a quasi-religious cachet among leading airlines, as pilots attribute improved safety and the avoidance of disasters to the skills they learned in CRM classes: When Captain Al Haynes, of United Airlines, brought a crippled DC-10 to a nearly successful landing in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1989 after it had lost all flight controls, he attributed the success (in which he saved 185 lives) to coordinated effort with two other crew in an exceedingly stressful and demanding situation. 

CRM substitutes an engineered skill set for the local adaptations of teamwork that are learned by sports teams and musicians over the course of prolonged, mutual familiarization. This decomposition of human attributes into "resources" is notable, as is the implicit assumption of a rationalized style of authority called "management." Although these concepts have without question prevented numerous accidents, particularly in Europe and North America, their acceptance in Asia, Africa, and Latin America has been more problematic (Helmreich and Merritt 1998 supply some examples).

Part of this lack of acceptance, one might hypothesize, is that CRM is based on a strategy of analytic decomposition and on a set of individualistic assumptions concerning authority. Western concepts of management presume that authority is vested in the office, rather than the person (Weber 1956:125), and that the strict limits on authority include an affordance for mutuality ("speaking up") that mitigates any overreach by the person in the commanding role. Jing Hung-- Sying et al. (2000), by contrast, observe that in Chinese and other Asian cultures authority is considered absolute, that it is a matter of personal obedience, and that a first officer would never dare to speak up to his captain. These differing perceptions of authority suggest that CRM has a dissonant message among nonwestern crew. 
It is likewise with "safety culture," a constituent element resulting from a decomposition of culture. In recent years safety culture has been recognized as essential to safe operations in both aviation and the nuclear power industries (Rabinowitz 1998; Ostrom, Wilhelmsen, and Kaplan 1993; Pidgeon and O'Leary 1994). Considered as a set of homilies toward prudence, following rules, and communicating openly, one can hardly fault the concept of "safety culture," although its provenance and sustenance remain open questions. By decomposing the habits of the heart into elements sized to a designer's checklist, one eliminates from view the ineffable impulses that distinguish cultures from commands. In a list focusing on specific items such as reporting systems (check), open communication (check), nonpunitive fact finding (check), and adherence to standard operating procedures (double-check), there is no formatted space for a dialogue that might construct a shared perception of operational risks. 
When two complex systems are required to adapt to each other, either one can be decomposed and "retrofitted" to the other, or the two can "coevolve" as both learn from the miscues of misintegration. Coevolution can be a gradual process of mutual learning, or a shotgun marriage in which the two systems face a common environmental threat of adapt or die. The wartime urgency that gave birth to human factors did not allow time for mutual learning, and the wartime technological imperatives of the last 60 years (inasmuch as neither the military nor the economy demobilized at the conclusion of World War II) have dictated that humanity should be retrofitted to aircraft systems, rather than the other way around. 

Although this is a modest oversimplification of both the problem and a complex literature2 it is unarguable that human factors, as a branch of engineering, uses engineering strategies and engineering discipline to solve an engineering problem: the improved performance of a large-scale technological system. When the social sciences support this strategy they strike a pose of positivism, with any insights of interpretation, of social construction, of discourse, and of historical conflict carried along as contraband.3 
The Regulation of Large-Scale Technological Systems 
As the miniaturists of the social sciences, anthropologists have specialized in small-scale societies and local segments of larger-scale systems. When anthropologists have pronounced on larger-scale phenomena, such as colonialism or dependency, it has usually been with the borrowed voices of historians, political scientists, or sociologists. Conversely, these disciplines have looked to anthropology and ethnographic methods for the fine lines and chromatic values that bring continental structures down to a humanly recognizable scale. For more than 50 years this has been a stable arrangement. 
Large-scale technical systems challenge this. Unlike a loose-jointed colonial or national regime, a large-scale technological system introduces and organizes tight coupling and cultural complexity spanning a plurality of local and regional communities of understanding. Technological investment creates the requirement and the opportunity for tight coupling, while increasing scale means that the system will embrace yet wider varieties of local knowledge. 
In organized systems, the attributes of coupling and complexity pose challenges for effective operation. As described by Charles Perrow (1984) (and others in a substantial literature and debate that I will only summarize here), system complexity can produce unexpected behaviors, as when, for example, a contractor loads an aircraft with "expired" oxygen bottles, not understanding the hazardous nature of the cargo being loaded (NTSB 1997). When tight coupling (for example, the proximity of the cargo bay to the passenger compartment) is added to complexity, small deviations can ramify throughout the system. Perrow describes these ramifying and amplifying deviations in complex and tightly coupled systems as "normal accidents," that is, accidents that were engineered into the system by virtue of its design. An alternative view, coming from a group of "high reliability theorists," states that such systems can be made safe by balancing strict operational accountability with autonomy pushed to the lowest levels, redundant monitoring, and constant training. Both the "normal accidents" and the "high reliability" views have in common is a dynamic view of systems rarely found in the literature of human factors, and almost never in the practice of regulatory authorities. Neither has yet added a comprehension of cultural complexity to their analysis of organizational complexity (Perrow 1984; LaPorte et al. 1991; Roberts 1989). 
Systems analyses of the flight situation range from static characterizations of system elements in a single operational cycle to dynamic views of industry-scale phenomena. In 1990 Avianca 052 crashed on final approach to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The proximate cause of the crash was fuel exhaustion and the crew's failure to declare a fuel emergency. This state of affairs came at the end of a long chain of errors, including an outdated weather report provided on dispatch, obsolete flight manuals, lack of CRM training, and miscommunication between the flight crew and ATC. This accident is presented in the aviation psychology literature as a classic example of a systems accident, although the level of system characterization is that of an array of interacting elements, with no description of system dynamics (Helmreich 1994). Weick's analysis of the runway collision of two 747s in Tenerife, Canary Islands, by contrast, does describe a deteriorating situation that led to a breakdown in crew coordination and situational awareness. On an industry scale, Rasmussen (1997) describes the tradeoffs among safety, economical operation, and operator workload as being managed by pilots' experimentation within the margins of safe performance. Amalberti (1999) describes the tasks of flying in terms of "dynamic cognition," in which a process of "cognitive betting" continuously trades off task completion with error management. Although Helmreich's analysis of the Avianca accident is frequently cited in the aviation literature, an appreciation of systems dynamics is only beginning to gain acceptance within the American aviation community.

Large-scale technological systems are far too complex and delicately balanced to be integrated either through local adaptations or market mechanisms. Technological integration involves the transfer of energy and information within a system that may be continental in scale, or even larger. In a market system the control loop is no larger than a single contract. In a technological system the control loop will (typically) span the entire system, in all phases of a multiyear lifecycle. Design decisions made by Douglas Aircraft 70 years ago in Long Beach, California, affect African villages even today, with every landing and departure of a DC-3. Design decisions constrain operational possibilities, and in a networked system operational balances (inputs and outputs) must be maintained. 
In a networked system a new layer of complexity is added. Networked systems, whether power grids, telephone systems, or transportation systems, have a layer of behavior ("network performance") that is independent of and constrains the underlying technology. If not understood and planned for, network performance can cause unexpected results. A snowstorm in Seattle causing flight delays in Miami (due to gate holds and shortages of aircraft) is but an obvious example of how an operational anomaly can ripple through an entire network. Engineering supplies a well-developed, if specialized, understanding of network effects, including queuing behavior, self-stabilization, tracking errors, oscillation, and hysteresis. 
Attempts to maintain these systems using market mechanisms create periodic shortages (such as flight delays) and local catastrophes (such as accidents). Although in the long run a market will balance itself, the public has concluded that periodic shortages and local catastrophes are an unacceptable price for the freedom of the market in largescale technological systems. 
Development of the regulatory mechanisms and representations that maintain technological systems has not been commensurate with their growth in scale and coupling. Global aviation, a large-scale technological system spanning multiple national borders, is regulated (although this is too strong of a word) by various bodies of the United Nations, by multilateral arrangements among airlines, or by the dominant power of the leading aircraft manufacturers. A small illustration of the opportunities and limitations of each of these is appropriate. 
An affiliate of the United Nations, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), is responsible for negotiating agreements among 185 national regulatory authorities on subjects as diverse as communication standards, navigational beacons, runway lighting, and airport facilities. ICAO has no enforcement authority, and its officials, some of the most prestigious figures in the aviation world, rely on persuasion to "harmonize" practices among ICAO members. The difficulty of their task can be appreciated by the fact that the promotion of Standard Aviation English (SAE, a uniform phraseology for communication among pilots and between pilots and air traffic control), while accepted in nearly all developed countries, has not been adopted by airlines in the United States. 
Another regulatory mechanism that has arisen, although not proffered as such, is the rise of multicarrier alliances. An "alliance" is a branded agreement among three or more carriers to share routes, capacity, and other resources. The two leading alliances are Star Alliance (United, Air Canada, Mexicana, Air New Zealand, Ansett Australia, SAS, Lufthansa, Thai Airways, Varig, All Nippon); and One World (American, British, Canadian, Qantas, Finnair, Iberia, Cathay Pacific). These offer travelers a seamless transportation experience around the globe. Some of the functions and resources that are being combined or integrated within alliances, or at least under discussion, include: 
Code sharing: passenger bookings 
Flight crews: interchange between airlines 
Maintenance facilities: aircraft repair in remote locations 
Passenger awards: frequent flyer miles 
Publicity and promotion: unified alliance image 
Interchange of aircraft: "hull-swapping" 
Financing and equity stakes in partners 
These developments bespeak a de facto consolidation and regulation of an international industry, even if de jure international consolidation and rationalization are precluded by the national pride and civil statutes of the world's civil aviation authorities. 
The third source of dominant influence, and hence regulation within the industry, is the aircraft manufacturers. When Boeing or Airbus deliver an aircraft, they also deliver a set of procedures ("manuals") for operating and maintaining the aircraft. They may also deliver a set of relationships ("financing") that enable the lease or purchase of the aircraft. They also implicitly deliver a set of cultural assumptions ("design philosophy"), of American or European origin, regarding the appropriate relationship between flight crew and flight technology. For example the color red, a standard for alarms, has quite different meanings in Western and Asian cultures. 
What these three regimes (ICAO, alliances, aircraft manufacturers) have in common is that they are attempting to regulate behavior within a large-scale technological system spanning all the major cultural regions of the world. To the extent they are successful, ICAO, the alliances, and the manufacturers themselves become the cockpit for the negotiation of cultural differences among the nations and peoples that make up commercial aviation around the globe.

To summarize provisionally, the large-scale integration of civil aviation is freighted with cultural practices and assumptions whose acceptance and comprehension in any part of the world is not to be taken for granted. Culture here is a far different matter from questionnaire responses or national stereotypes: culture here is a matter of collective representations and negotiated differences that resist fixed or authoritative characterization. Authoritative efforts to fix (mend, correct, neuter, hypostatize) cultural differences elicit resistance, whether in the rejection of CRM or SAE, or in protests over the design of autoflight controls. 
Toward an Anthropology of Large-Scale Representations 
Technological systems have grown in scale more than have the social representations that maintain them. These representations-"culture" or "cultures"-within sociotechnical systems are no less a part of the system dynamics than are mechanical components or information resources. The culture of a large-scale technical system supplies the resources for sensemaking needed by those involved in the system and the symbols of legitimation for those who govern the system. When those implicated in the system are unable to make sense of the system or its behavior, catastrophe results. To the extent that those implicated in the system are able to stabilize their representations of the system, normal operation can go forward. 
By stabilization of representations I understand not uniform comprehension or consensus, but shared awareness of basic conditions and constraints. For example, some of the greatest risks to safe flight today are from the passengers. As broader segments of the public fly, passenger understanding of the risks of flight has declined. Numerous incidents of passengers jeopardizing safe flight, whether by carrying flammables in the passenger compartment, opening luggage bins during landing, operating cell phones in flight, or threatening crew ("air rage") are well documented. On a larger scale, the differential operational standards in diverse world regions creates unique risks for international flight. 
Passenger flight in the third world is a much different matter from the first world. Equipment is older, the technology is imported, there may be less emphasis on passenger comfort and convenience, and air traffic management facilities are weak or nonexistent. As a consequence, accident rates in Asia, Africa, and Latin America are much higher than they are in Europe or North America. Within the industry the usual explanation for this is simply that the third world has not yet "caught up" to the industrialized world (Thornton 1997; Saxer 2000), whether in terms of training, air traffic management, or ground facilities. An alternative view would suggest that in today's world system, the third world will always be a technological periphery and that the higher accident rate in third world aviation is the dark side of affordability, comfort, and convenience of first world aviation. 
These shared understandings are not matters that can be conveyed through a public address announcement at the beginning of a flight, in an Airbus service bulletin, or in an ICAO circular. These representations are cultural, that is, a matter of negotiated understandings of context and self and other. Although anthropology supplies a supple and subtle comprehension of small-scale representations, it is only beginning to similarly comprehend the large-scale representations that structure large-scale technological systems (but see Douglas 1990, who first, I believe, noted this issue).

Anthropology's strengths lie in ethnographic observation, contextual understanding, and responsibility to cultural differences. Together these supply an alternative imaginaire for humanity to the decomposed and retrofitted human factors that are reaching the limits of their service life. 
There are a few studies of human behavior and systems pertinent to the domain of civil aviation based on anthropological principles of ethnographic observation and sensitivity to context. These studies, as described below, point to the possibility of a contextual understanding of the representations of aviation, and hence of an anthropology of large-scale representations. 
An excellent example of an ethnographic study of aviation is Hutchins's (1995) cognitive account of "How a Cockpit Remembers its Speeds." Landing a jet transport involves a complex set of precise transformations as the aircraft descends, slows down, approaches the field, and changes its wing configuration to maintain stability. Wind speed, temperature,4 and aircraft weight affect the calculations of descent profile and landing speed. Well before they begin descent a flight crew will begin planning its landing and planning the configuration of the aircraft and instrument settings to maintain a descent profile that brings the aircraft to the right place (the runway) at the right time at the right speed. As the airplane slows down and approaches the ground, the margins for error in speed, altitude, navigational track, and trim shrink. The flight crew has available multiple controls (thrusters, elevators, flaps, slats, speed brakes) to maintain the balance of speed, attitude, and sink rate: too much speed and the airplane cannot descend, or will land "hot." Too little speed, and the airplane stalls. Too much attitude, and the plane stalls; too little attitude, and it picks up speed and descends too rapidly. Too much sink rate (measured in feet per minute of descent), and the airplane crashes; too little, and it overshoots the runway. A well-planned descent minimizes the cognitive tasks of the last few minutes of a landing (which, as is evident here, are quite complex); the cognitive tasks of planning and executing the descent are distributed among the flight crew and the flight instruments. In Hutchins's account, it is not simply the flight crew but the cockpit (flight crew + flight instruments) that performs the cognitive tasks of planning, calculating, and adjusting flight parameters as the aircraft proceeds through its descent profile. 

Hutchins emphasizes the communicative construction and self-regulation of contexts. Despite organizational ideologies that emphasize vertical control through management, lines of authority, and procedures, most behavior is regulated contextually, that is, through lateral control. Contexts contain within themselves feedback mechanisms that maintain the stability of the context. These feedback mechanisms are often subtle-in Edward Hall's term, "high context"-and discovered only through sensitive and sympathetic observation. Only after prolonged observation can one be sure if raised eyebrows, or an altered tone of voice, contain a rebuke or an approbation (i.e., negative or positive feedback).

The expression "high context" illustrates another part of this point, that contexts can be self-organizing in addition to self-regulating. Over time contexts build up repertoires of messages, meanings, and expectations that contribute to the stability of the context. Whether this is based on a "search for equilibrium" (Perin 1995:160, following Barker 1968), or a teleological result that is evident only in hindsight, is less important than the understanding that contexts tend to perpetuate themselves through their internal messages. 
Linguistic and cultural insight can reveal other dynamics within a system that are often transparent from a managerial point of view. Perez and Psenka (2000), for example, apply the concepts of system dynamics and contextual interpretation to the analysis of an accident where technological complexity, breakdowns in coordination, expectations conditioned by cultural differences, and miscommunication all contributed to a CFIT, or controlled flight into terrain. In the 1995 Cali, Columbia accident, one of the more puzzling accidents in recent years, two American Airlines pilots flying an advanced aircraft progressively lost situational awareness and coordination. Miscommunication with ATC, a confusing interface for the flight management computer, and schedule pressure all contributed to a stressful and deteriorating situation. Although no close ethnographic observation was available for the reconstruction of this (or nearly every other) accident, they were able to use the familiarity of an airline captain (Perez) with operational procedures and the operational environment to reconstruct a self-reinforcing "death spiral" of rising stress, deteriorating situational awareness, and breakdown in crew coordination; one by one, corrective options were eliminated by the dynamics of the situation (Perez and Psenka 2000). 
Studies of aviation communication provide a third area in which contextual understanding would be of value. Inasmuch as cultural understandings are negotiated through acts of communication, an appreciation of the multiple levels and layers of communication is required to construct an anthropology of large-scale representations. Most studies of communication in aviation (Cushing 1994, for example) assume a referential model of communication, in which utterances refer to an unambiguous object; any shortfall from unambiguity is considered noise or miscommunication. 
An exception to the assumptions of a referential model is found in Charlotte Linde's studies of flight deck communication using both simulator studies and cockpit voice recorder (CVR) tapes. In a study of "communicative success," Linde (1988) found that mitigating phraseology (including informal syntax, informal lexical choice,5 or third person rather than first person) was very sensitive to social rank (the distinctions among captain, first officer, and flight engineer). Mitigation also was inversely associated with communication effectiveness: the more mitigated the speech, the more frequently descriptions of topics or draft orders failed. Despite this, the flight crews using more mitigated speech were judged to be better crews. An explanation of this paradox is that mitigating behavior encodes the relational rather than the referential aspects of communication and overall contributed to the smoothing of interaction and improving of coordination among flight crew.

Referential models of communication decontextualize it. Elements of communication that define or respond to the context are ignored. Thus it was nothing but noise preceding a fateful crash, when the pilot of American 965, on approaching Cali, spoke into COMI (the ATC channel) "Buenos noches senior" [sic]. From a contextual viewpoint, however, this is highly interesting: it created a false sense of familiarity with the controller. The captain of the KLM flight that crashed at Tenerife at first did not respond to an inquiry from the second officer ("Is he not clear then?"), and only when the inquiry was repeated ("Is he not clear then, that Pan Am?") did he respond with an emphatic, intimidating "Yes!" Referentially, this silence followed by a repeated inquiry is uninteresting; relationally, it suggests a breakdown in synchronization between the captain and the crew. 
Any act of human communication contains multiple layers of relational meaning that are evident only in context. Teamwork among operational personnel depends on context-- building and context-regulating messages that are lost in the referential model. Understanding the breakdown or collapse of such teamwork requires as much data regarding the timing, phrasing, intonation, kinesic, and other nonverbal aspects of communication. Those who have been able to reconstruct such collapse processes (Weick 1990, for example), were able to do so only by enlisting some of these types of data. 
In sum, there is a tension between the decomposed and retrofitted understanding of human possibility that is embodied in "human factors," and the adaptive, self-regulating capabilities that are embodied in ethnographic observations and anthropological concepts. This tension is paralleled by the tension between the global regulation of aviation (whether from ICAO, One World, or Airbus) and the messy facts of local nuance and diversity that will continue to constitute world cultures. The observable stress placed on flying outside the metropolitan core, whether in accident rates, stressed crews, or corporate unprofitability, suggests that aviation, or more accurately aviation technology, has but imperfectly colonized the developing world. 
Each of these miniaturists-Hutchins, Perin, Perez, Psenka, Linde-points us to the possibility of comprehending the representations of aviation by those whose lives are touched by flight. Operational stresses in commercial aviation today6 reflect a fragmentation and instability of these representations. Building on the contextual sensitivity at which ethnography excels, the next step is to comprehend the representations of the large-scale mechanisms that stabilize, or destabilize, the large-scale technological system. 
Postimperial Peripheries 
In the last 150 years mechanized transportation and communication-railroads, steamships, buses, airplanes, along with telegraph, telephones, telecommunication, and now the Internet-have altered the personal and societal radii that once defined human scale and hence the frontiers of anthropological understanding. "Anthropological" is used here in a classic sense of concern with the nature of humankind, an enterprise far more urgent than simply poking around the dusty attics of the mansions of humanity. Anthropological theory has long since abandoned the assumption of clear societal or cultural boundaries, although anthropologists still often seek (or yearn for) out-of-the-way, cobwebby places to do their fieldwork. Assumptions about locality and rootedness still insinuate their way into anthropological writing, even if they are not specifically acknowledged: ample evidence of this is found in the concept of "a culture" that can be identified with a set of spatial coordinates. A more accurate depiction of what was formerly called "a culture" would be a fluid assemblage of cultural elements, negotiated with neighbors and mutable according to shifting political strategies. 
Aviation, along with telecommunication, has fundamentally altered the moral interconnectedness of this world. A hundred years ago mothers could remind their children of the starving masses in Asia, encouraging them to finish their meals; Christian missionaries might begin a palliative relief effort, feeding a few thousand. By and large, however, distant wars and famine posed little threat except possibly to colonial trade concessions. 
The 20th century was the period in which the world changed from agricultural production and loosely articulated village life clustered around scattered cities to an interconnected, industrialized organic whole. Technologies created in San Jose are quickly adopted in Mysore, and purchasing decisions in Little Rock create layoffs at clothing factories in Djakarta. Skirmishes in the Gulf of Yemen tax the pocketbooks of SUV owners. 
Trade and technology structure the relationships among regions and nations. Trade relationships involve the movement of goods and are subject to constraints of geography; technological relationships involve the movement of ideas and are subject to the constraints of knowledge. The resulting prosperity may be less evenly distributed than the prior sufficiency, and the global system may be living on the borrowed time of resource exhaustion and environmental degradation. Otherness and difference are less associated with space and place than they were 100 years ago. The technologies of transportation and communication are both bringing the world together and creating new divisions within it. 
A fundamentally new division within a world constructed by transportation and communication networks is the decomposition of humanity into its constituent parts for better adaptation to the engineered environment. The entire disciplinary confederation of "human factors" rests on the premise that human entities, whether individual lives, groups, or communities, can be decomposed into elements for purposes of tuning a sociotechnical system. In so doing it ignores, or rather negates, the observations made here concerning the self-organizing and self-regulating capabilities of contexts. The tension between self-regulation and external control is not a new story: in aviation it is dramatically framed, due to the operation in a hazardous space, the physical isolation of critical contexts (the flight deck, the traffic control center), the formalization of external control (ATC, SOPs), and the disastrous results of violating the balance between the two.

A unique characteristic of civilizations is that they are defined by their technological legacies. In contrast to earlier societies, which had mastered elaborate techniques, civilizations are at the mercy of technological legacies having roots far deeper than any person's life span. Into these legacies are coded massive arrays of representations of occupations, rituals, consumption, and authority. Sometimes this coexistence is as supple as a smooth leather glove; at other times it pinches like a cheap pair of shoes. In ways that earlier toolkits were not, this technological legacy is beyond the grasp of any individual citizen or groups of citizens, a fact that at times makes it seem out of control. 
Catastrophic failures, such as the crash of a 747, define the limits of a civilization, the coexistence of a society and its technological legacy. Generically, catastrophic failures occur when one group has designed or deployed a technology that another group is ill-prepared to use, or when a group is too boldly experimenting with a technology before it has accumulated sufficient experience to have tacit knowledge of the technology's limits of safe performance. In most cases what appears to be a technological failure is in fact a social failure organized around a technological nexus: an escalating system failure that the users and managers failed to notice or contain. 
Even as industrial transportation and communication are erasing the old borders of the world, they are creating new frontiers within it. On the technological periphery successive waves of discontinuous innovation create successive threats for operational balances. The resulting quotidian stresses of overworked crews, abused equipment, and ill-- treated passengers are so familiar as to be unremarkable; only the occasional punctuation of a crash reminds the public that aviation on the periphery faces an unfamiliar set of difficulties. 
A contemporary issue in anthropology and development theory is the extent to which communities on the capitalist periphery have the capability to organize their own sufficiency, and the extent to which this capability is undercut by national governments and global institutions. Global institutions undercutting self-sufficiency on the capitalist periphery begin with multinational corporations and include the World Trade Organization and international relief agencies. A similar effort at understanding has not yet been made for the technological periphery. 
Frozen in the amber of the academy, anthropological theory (as contrasted to the day-to-day efforts of ethnographers and practicing anthropologists) has not yet caught up with the new global structures of technological marginalization. Although world-systems theory (Wallerstein 1974), with its insight into economic marginalization, is well established within anthropology, the reproduction of a technological periphery is scarcely commented on. Coreperiphery and metropole-hinterland relationships once associated with geographic distance are breaking down, only to be replaced by relationships of technological distance and dependence. Communities find their integrity and security under assault from technologies that offer the promise of escape from economic marginalization. its early days anthropology focused on the totality of humanity, both in its shared historic evolution and in its contemporary diversity. As naive evolutionism was discredited, and as the colonial enterprise insisted on being informed about hinterland peoples, anthropology turned from the study of humanity to a comparative sociology (and comparative economics and comparative political science and comparative humanism) of indigenous peoples. In the contemporary engineered world the indigenes are the "users," and the manipulation of their "human factors" is likewise a colonial enterprise. The border phenomena of an industrial civilization include environmental degradation, economic dislocation, and industrial accidents. These are phenomena not only of a capitalist world system, as real as that is, but also of a process of technological marginalization, which in the engineered world is creating new forms of dependence and insecurity. 
1 A commercial airlines must balance profitability, safety, and passenger comfort and convenience. Both safety and passenger comfort are expensive and eat into profits. Without this balance, the airline dies. 
2 Regarding the problem of aircraft systems adaptation, obviously in some ways aircraft have been adapted to human requirements. Both the pressurized cabin and the on-board lavatory are clearly adaptations to physiological requirements. On the other hand, the precursor to the pressurized cabin, the oxygen mask, is clearly an adaptation of the human body to the flight environment. Aircraft, human bodies, and human social systems have sets of operational boundaries, which are sometimes discovered only by testing the boundaries ("pushing the envelope") Only when one system approaches the boundaries of the other is it required to adapt. As the pressurized cabin and oxygen mask illustrate, the sequence has been flight environment (altitude > 14,000 feet) led to bodily adaptation (oxygen mask); social development (commercialization of flight) led to mechanical adaptation (pressurized cabin). In the 1940s the further growth of the commercial aviation system was limited by the unwillingness of passengers to wear oxygen masks (an example of what Hughes cite calls a "reverse salient"), thus leading to the requirement for a pressurized cabin. Regarding more general of sociotechnical adaptation, concern over the mutual adaptation of humanity and technological systems again has been a predominantly postwar phenomenon. Early concerns with "joint optimization" of "sociotechnical systems" (Trist, Susman, and Brown 1977) and "adapting men to machines" (Bell 1947) were succeeded by disillusionment with industrial technology in general. Although every industrialist learns from competitors, there has yet to be a productive dialogue between industrial technologists and their critics.

3 The space provided here is neither available nor appropriate to discuss the various relationships of psychology, sociology, anthropology, and political science to positivist epistemology. It will suffice to note that the lack of engagement with this issue is a major contributor to the maintenance of cordial relationships within academic departments. 
4 Landing a small aircraft in an urban airport on a hot summer day can be especially trying. Updrafts from the city pavement cause the plane to rise and sometimes defeat the pilot's best efforts to descend. Sometimes nearing the surface a "ground effect" will cause the plane to seemingly float above the runway, even with the engines shut down. 
5 So that the point is not missed, a pedantic elaboration should make clear that "informal" means unauthorized or nonstandard, i.e., contrary to the provisions of Standard Aviation English. 
6 The chronic unprofitability of airlines is chronicled by Petzinger (1995). Stresses on crew are evident in the labor unrest in the industry. Passenger stress has become a subject of federal legislation. However, no one has yet drawn the connection between these stresses and the inherent nature of a large-scale sociotechnical system. 

The Indigenous Hill-farming System of Khasia Tribes in Moulvibazar District of Bangladesh: Status and Impacts

The Indigenous Hill-farming System of Khasia Tribes in Moulvibazar District of Bangladesh: Status and Impacts

• Narayan Saha, Department of Forestry, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology
• M. Atiqul Azam, Bangladesh Forest Department, Divisional Forest Office, Sylhet, Bangladesh

Rapid economic growth of the Khasia people has resulted from a most successful betel leaf farming system practiced within the fringe of reserved forests, where government policies have facilitated effective use of the local people as a labour force for production, protection and conservation of biodiversity of the surrounding forests. Khasia tribes have traditionally grown betel leaf plants on naturally occurring trees. Deforestation is a serious problem in Bangladesh, whereas the Khasia people living within forests are protecting trees for their livelihood, including selling betel leaf, collecting fuelwood and consuming and selling fruits from support trees. It is a profitable yet sustainable forest production system, maintaining soil fertility, stable production and optimal family size, and has created employment opportunities for the people living within and outside the forests. It has enhanced the supply of socially required betel leaf to the local markets, contributed to price stability, and generated some export revenue. However, the revenue of growers has been reduced by plant diseases and the capture of resource rent by middlemen. Economic benefits could be further increased through government initiatives to improve management and the marketing system.
Bangladesh, with a predominantly flat landscape, has about only 12% of hill land area mainly in the eastern and south-eastern part of the country. Tribal communities have long lived in these hilly areas. There are 27 tribal communities in Bangladesh (Khaleque 1998). The annual deforestation rate in natural forests in Bangladesh during 1981-1990 was 3.3% (GOB 1992). Forest tribes depend on shifting 
cultivation and illegal logging for their sustenance, which caused denuding of large tracts of hill forests. However, the hill-farming system practiced by the Khasia people in Sylhet division has been considered a sustainable system, as argued by Chowdhury and Mahat (1993) and Nath et al. (2003).
Lamb (2002) identified three options for overcoming forest degradation, presenting a conceptual model of the trade-offs between the ecosystem integrity of the reforested ecosystem and the human well-being promoted by reforestation (Figure 1). Relative to this framework, the betel leaf production system supports forest rehabilitation while promoting community well-being (category-1). It should be noted that forest lands which were degraded by intensive shifting cultivation have been reforested and protected by the Khasia tribes who were allotted land for betel leaf production for their sustenance. 
Betel leaf (Piper betel) is an important crop throughout Bangladesh and the neighbouring countries. It is a perennial dioecious climber that creeps up the trees supported by its adventitious roots. The leaf is commonly chewed with slices of betelnut (Areca catechu) and a thin coating of catechu and lime. It is a common and sometimes mandatory item at social functions. Both betel leaf and betel nut have medicinal values and a huge internal market exists in Bangladesh. A number of studies have been conducted on farming systems of tribal communities in Bangladesh, but there has been little research on the Moulvibazar district in general and betel–leaf-based hill farming in particular. This study analyzes the indigenous hill-farming system of Khasia tribes in Moulvibazar district and its socio-economic and environmental impacts, and explores measures for improving the existing management system. The paper first reviews the history of Khasia forest villages. The methodology and findings of a survey of Khasia farmers are then reported. Finally, comments are made about the sustainability of this hill-farming system.
The Khasia tribes dominate in the Sylhet division in north-eastern Bangladesh, particularly the Moulvibazar district, having settled there about 500 years ago. Khaleque (1998) reported that in the past, most of the tribal communities lived by subsistence agriculture, but a market economy has emerged with their integration into mainstream society. Khasia people have developed their own market-oriented tree and betel-leaf-based farming system (Alam and Mohiuddin 1995) and, particularly in the case of those living within the fringe of reserved forests of Moulavibazar district, have been growing betel leaf on naturally growing trees since 1952.
The reservation process of forest land commenced in Sylhet in 1914. Previously, shifting cultivation was practiced extensively in all forest areas, and many became grazing lands for the local people. The land condition did not improve after reservation (Pant 1989). The ‘Forest Village’ concept was initiated during the early part of 20th century and was constituted with local tribes without any proper records and demarcation as a measure to control shifting cultivation (Saha 1998). This concept was first applied in the Chittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts Forest Divisions, which were established in 1872 and 1909, respectively (Saha 1998). The Forest Department settled landless local tribes in the forest vicinity, where they were expected to carry out forestry work as daily labour in return for the right to grow agricultural crops along with forestry crops. Allotments were granted to the forest villagers on a renewable basis for 99 years. Almost all the forest villages are now expanding at an alarming rate through encroachment. The original villagers have been inviting their relations and allotting forest land to them, due to the absence of any proper village records and demarcation, and the situation appears to be out of control in many areas.
Development of forest villages commences in two parallel and strategically linked processes. First, forest villagers supply their labour for production, protection from pilferage and conservation of biodiversity of the surrounding reserved forests. Second, forest villagers can live within the forest vicinity by constructing houses and practicing agroforestry systems, where they obtain returns from agricultural crops. In general, this policy has failed in that most forest villagers live in the forestland, but do not practice any type of farming. As a result, the villagers have no alternative sources of income other than daily labour wages paid by the Forest Department. Sometimes they help the outsiders to exploit forest resources illegally.
When it was evident this approach had failed, the Forest Department registered a few Khasia people as forest villagers in Sylhet Forest Division in 1952. Each family was allotted about 1.27 ha of forestland (including about 0.06 ha as house land), with defined boundaries, renewable on a biennial basis for 99 years. The tenure was designed to ensure farmers have a continuing incentive to meet their obligations to the Forest Department. These people, who had relocated from near the Indian border, were granted forestland for their house construction and betel leaf farming with naturally growing trees. They have a social structure in which each village is headed by a minister (headman). All Khasia households deposit their deeds with the minister who generally handles all formalities with the Forest Department. They perform the activities for the Forest Department as a group, while individually farming their own land, drawing on their indigenous knowledge of cultivation. The 
Khasia forest villages in the Sylhet region were observed to be an exception to the forest village scheme. In Sylhet Forest Division, the plantation program gained momentum in the period 1955-60 with the establishment of about 200 ha per year, and increased in 1975-1980 to about 500 ha per year (Drigo et al. 1988).
The study area is a reserved forest area of Lawachara beat of Moulvibazar Forest Range of Sylhet Forest Division, located about 30 km south of Moulvibazar, bounded by 24019‘ north latitude and 91047‘ east longitude (Canonizado and Rahman 1998). The terrain includes numerous isolated hillocks of 100 to 200 feet height. The lower hill slopes with undulating topography are under tea cultivation. The soil varies from clayey loam on level ground to sandy loam on hilly ground. The moist tropical maritime climate is characterised by moderately cool and dry conditions from mid-November to the end of February and high precipitation from April to September. The mean annual rainfall is 3800 mm, and humidity remains high at 70% to 85% most of the year. The mean annual maximum and minimum temperatures are 330C and 180C, respectively. Most of the Khasia villages are concentrated in Moulvibazar district. Out of five upazila of Moulvibazar district, Kamalganj upazila was selected, and out of the seven Khasia villages in Kamalganj upazila, the village of Magurchara Pan Pungi was selected as the survey area. A set of questions were framed to ascertain important indicators of betel leaf farming systems. An exploratory survey of Khasia tribes in Moulvibazar district was carried out during May to July 2003. For the main survey, a list of all 40 households of the Magurchara Pan Pungi was prepared, 20 were selected at random, and personal interviews and field observations were undertaken. The number of trees by species was recorded for the area of trees around the homestead of each respondent. The farm area was further sampled, randomly selecting three 10 m by 10 m quadrats from each selected farm, and the number of trees of each species was collected for each sample quadrat.
Land Use
The farmland area of 1.21 ha and on average half of the homestead area (of 0.06 ha) was planted to trees, each family having 1.24 ha of land for betel leaf farming. Decisions for planting, maintenance, harvesting and selling are usually taken by male head of the family, but with consultation with his wife and other family members.
The vegetation of farmland in the study area is natural, with secondary regrowth of varying age combination and density. The study identified 33 plant species in the farmland and 18 plant species in the homestead area, with six species in common.
Out of the 45 species, 37 were used as support trees.2 The important species in terms of wood value and suitability for betel leaf farming in the farmland are jarul (Lagerstroemia flosreginae), awal (Vitex spp.), chapalish (Artocarpus chaplasha), kalajam (Syzygium cumini), rata (Amoora wallichi), toon (Cedrela toona), bonak (Schima wallichii), simul (Salmalia malabarica), kadam (Anthocephalus chinensis), dumur (Ficus racemosa), dhakijam (Syzygium grandi), jam (Eugenia spp.), dewa (Artocarpus lakoocha). The most important species in the homestead area are kanthal (Artocarpus heterophyllus), betel nut (A. catechu) and mango (Mangifera indica). Only 17% of the species grown in the farmland are well suited for betel leaf farming. These trees are owned by the Forest Department. Because the trees in the farmland have low value, the Forest Department does not procure trees from such land, and the farmers are also not allowed to fell these trees. In the homestead area, 79% of the tree species are well suited for betel leaf farming, and the rest are important as fruit trees. The stocking density on farmland was found to be 1262 trees per hectare excluding seedlings and saplings, with a wide variety of diameter classes.3 Chapalish (A. chaplasha) and betel nut (A. catechu) are regarded as the most suitable tree species for betel leaf farming. Chapalish is a large deciduous tree with tall straight bole, attaining a height of about 30 – 40 m, with a girth (dbh) of 3 – 5 m (Zabala 1989). It also has a high timber value, and requires no pruning. Betel nut is a large evergreen palm with tall straight bole, attaining a height of about 24 m, with a girth of 15.5 cm (Khan and Alam 1996). It also provides income to the farmers through sale of fruit, and requires no pruning.
Indigenous Management Techniques
To plant betel leaf, farmers first clean the land, slashing and uprooting shrubs and ground flora and keeping only the trees and their saplings, during the drier months of November to February so as to minimize soil erosion. Generally cuttings with four nodes are taken as propagules from 2-3 year old vines, collected without charge from nearby gardens. During the commencement of the rainy season in May-June, the betel leaf cuttings are planted near the support trees, with one cutting per tree. The ground is weeded three times in a year, with weeds used as mulch. No chemical fertilizers are used. Betel leaf grows well in partial shade, and the support trees (other than betel nut and chapalish) are pruned once a year, during the dry months, prunings being used as fuelwood. They are watered once a year during the dry months. It was reported by the Khasia people that betel leaf plants have been infected by a disease known locally as utram. Infected leaves dry out and ultimately the vine dies. This disease occurs during times of high rainfall and humidity. Farmers generally uproot all betel vines in infected plots and keep the land fallow for 1-3 years before replanting.
Plucking of betel leaf starts in second year and continues for about 12 years, after which plants are generally attacked by disease. Leaves are harvested three times a year, with peak production during June-July, and no production from mid-March to mid-May. Plucking of betel leaf continues until the plant dies naturally or is attacked by disease. Both male and female family members participate in betel leaf garden preparation 
and maintenance. Male members (and hired labourers) usually do the heavier work, including pit digging, weeding, pruning, watering and plucking. Female members and children participate in light work, including sorting and packing the leaves. Sometimes hired labourers are also engaged in light work. Khasia people believe that dancing in their betel leaf farm before planting will induce better crops. After death, the bodies of Khasia people are cremated. The ashes are then kept in an earthen pot inside their houses, and buried in the farmland when planting new crops. The belief is that, if the soul of the dead enters the crop field, fertility increases and the crop grows well. Khasia people bathe before going to their farmland and harvesting betel leaves. They believe that if they bathe all evil will be washed away and their garden will be free from pests and diseases. Whenever a diseased leaf or branch touches their bodies, they immediately bathe so that the disease cannot spread.
Marketing of Betel Leaf
The supply chain for betel leaf is illustrated in Figure 2. Khasia people carry leaf from their farmland and home garden to their houses and sort and pack the leaf. Fariah (who have little capital) and befari (larger firms) from cities up to 100 km away (including Sylhet, Sherpur, Banugach, Srimongal, Novigonj, Habigonj, Kamalgonj and Moulvibazar), travel to the farms and negotiate prices. Fariah and befari gather all purchased betel leaves at the roadside by shoulder load. Fariah and befari obtain advance money from the arathdar, who is the controller of market prices. Befari must supply their purchased betel leaves to the arathdar. Fariah sometimes sell their purchased leaf to the befari and sometimes directly to the arathdar. The arathdar sells leaves to retailers, and sometimes exports leaf to India and the United Kingdom with higher price margins. Retailers sell leaf to hawkers and small retail shops, who then directly supply consumers. The farm products fetch higher prices in the town areas than on the farms. It is estimated that consumer prices of betel leaf are about three times the farmgate prices. The benefits of high market prices go to the middlemen rather than to the farmers. Transportation of betel leaf from garden to town areas is difficult due to inaccessibility to the forest areas. It is also one of the causes of higher prices. The reliable supply leads to a stable consumer price for betel leaf.
Profitability of Betel Leaf Based Farming
Income generation from the betel-leaf-based forest farming system is continuous and long-term. A major cost item is employment of year-round labour for intensive tending operations. From survey data, the annualised return per farm is estimated to be Taka 277,3964, and the present value of leaf production per farm (over a 12-year planning horizon and with a discount rate of 8.5%) is estimated to be Taka 2,039,673. Intensive tending operations are required to attain the above return. Other than betel leaf and food production, it was observed that Khasia tribes obtain fuelwood from farmland for their daily cooking and fruit from homestead land for consumption and sale. Profitability can be increased by undertaking disease prevention measures. Intensive research is needed into control of betel leaf diseases. Improvement of marketing systems can also increase returns to farmers. About 85% of respondents agreed that there is a need to develop integrated betel leaf production and the growing high-value tree species. The condition of integration is that 60% of the production from tree species would accrue to the participant and 40% to the Forest Department, with all production costs born by the Forest Department. This arrangement benefits the Khasia tribes as well as creating an avenue for generating revenue for the government on a perpetual basis.
Forest dwellers are dependent on forest resources to meet their daily needs. Due to population pressure on forest resources, the sustainability of hill-farming systems has become an important global issue. Nath et al. (2002) argued that at the farm level, sustainability could be indicated by (i) maintenance or improvement of soil fertility, (ii) stable or increased yields of the major crops, and (iii) a stable or only slowly increasing farm population. Khasia people use decomposed weeds and pruning materials as organic fertiliser, which are sufficient to maintain soil fertility and avoid soil toxicity which may arise from application of inorganic fertiliser. The productivity remains stable with the application of these materials.
Some socio-economic characteristics: The average family size was found to be six persons. Khasia households take a 
cluster form. Only the youngest girl can live with her parents. Other adult male family members reside outside the forestland. After the youngest girl marries, she and her husband live with her parents. In this way, they maintain small population size on the allotted areas, and the prevailing production is enough to maintain their livelihood. The family members who live outside forestland lease land from unused private tea gardens and fallow land of the Land Ministry for betel leaf cultivation. They maintain their living from the income of these farms.
The mean monthly income in 2002-2003 was found to be about Taka 14,164 (seven times the national average income of Bangladesh), most of which was derived from selling betel leaf. The farmers were able to save a considerable amount of this income and to invest for purchasing or establishing a new farm. The Khasia farming system generates employment for many forest dwellers. Some Khasia people do not work in the Forest Department’s land, but rather hire outsiders to meet their obligations to the Forest Department. While this contributes to employment opportunities for outsiders, it is in conflict with their lease agreement.
Under the circumstances of population pressure, poverty and scarcity of land resources in Bangladesh, it is critical that land be intensively utilised for sustainable development. The government policy of rehabilitation of Khasia people and conservation of biodiversity has improved land-use efficiency. Khasia people have been gaining a legal right to use the Forest Department’s land peacefully. Employment opportunities have been generated. Their income has increased substantially both growing betel leaf on farm and homestead land as from earning daily labour wages from the Forest Department for production and protection of reserved forests. The farming system has been enhancing the supply of socially required betel leaf to the local markets and contributing to the price stability. The Khasia people have emerged as a dynamic social group. As well as providing social security and economic benefits to the Khasia tribes, betel leaf forest farming is a sustainable hill-farming system, contributing to replenishment of the forest reserves of Moulvibazar district, protection of timber plantations, and protection and conservation of biodiversity of the surrounding reserved forests. Economic benefits can be increased and ecological stability maintained by improving the existing management system through government initiatives, such as providing funds for research and policy intervention into betel leaf diseases, marketing of betel leaf, integration of suitable high-value tree species, and benefit sharing. This approach of hill farming has potential to be applied to other regions of Bangladesh, where shifting cultivation is a serious threat to environment and livelihoods.
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