Kowal's dissertation, entitled The Affinities and Disparities within: Community and Status of the African American Slave Population at Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (Department of Anthropology, Florida State University) investigates how patterns of consumption reflect internal patterns of social hierarchy among the enslaved plantation community and what were the degrees of resistance and accommodation of those enslaved and their structure in relation to white plantation owners. Family, community, customs and practices, religion, and settlement patterns are the factors used to interpret the African American presence at Charles Pinckney’s Snee Farm in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina and to perform a regional comparison with similar plantations of the period. This study utilizes ethnological, archaeological, historical, and physical resources to determine status differences within this slave community. Its strength is the use of a holistic and interdisciplinary approach along with the integration of anthropological and archaeological theories of agency and consumption. To determine how enslaved Africans defined their community and daily lives utilizing a comprehensive, multidisciplinary method is necessary. Analysis of consumption patterns through archaeological evidence reveals interactions between slaves and other peoples defining the ranges and boundaries of the enslaved community and its elements of resistance. Agency and consumer theories provide an explanation of how individuals possess the ownership of choice and the ability of anthropologists to characterize populations in terms of their own community through the factors deemed most important by the members’ own standards in the face of outside pressures.
Kowal, Amy C.
"Autonomous, but Shackled: A Community Model of Slave Life and its Archaeological Testing,"
African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter:
1, Article 4.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umass.edu/adan/vol10/iss1/4