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Constance Sutton, Feminist Anthropologist, Is Dead at 92

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Dr. Sutton wrote or edited several books, including “Caribbean Life in New York City: Sociocultural Dimensions” (edited with Elsa Chaney, 1987). That book concluded that cheap airfares and readily available communication links had transformed the city into a geographic center for West Indian immigrants, creating a “continuous and intense bidirectional flow of peoples, ideas, practices and ideologies between the Caribbean region and New York City.”

“Caribbean Life in New York City” (1987), co-edited by Dr. Sutton, concluded that cheap airfares and readily available communication links had transformed New York City into a geographic center for West Indian immigrants.CreditCenter for Migration Studies

What emerged, she wrote, was a “transnational social-cultural system.”

Among her other books were “From Labrador to Samoa: The Theory and Practice of Eleanor B. Leacock” (1993) and “Feminism, Nationalism, and Militarism” (1995).

Constance Rita Woloshin was born on Jan. 29, 1926, in Minneapolis, the daughter of Jewish immigrants from Russia. Her father, Boris, was an electrical engineer. Her mother, Vera (Constantinovska) Sutton, was a homemaker.

She graduated from the University of Chicago with a bachelor of philosophy degree in 1946. She went on to earn a master’s there and, later, a doctorate in anthropology from Columbia.

After a brief marriage that ended in divorce, she married Samuel Sutton in 1952. He died in 1986. In addition to their son, she is survived by her husband, Antonio Lauria; two grandsons; and a sister, Phyllis Rose.

Dr. Sutton conducted extensive comparative research into gender and power among the Yoruba people in Nigeria, and she studied the evolution of black sugar-cane plantation workers in the Caribbean from peasants to politically mobilized trade unionists.

She was chairwoman of the New York Academy of Sciences’s anthropology section and a founder of what became the New York Women’s Anthropology Conference, which she formed with the social theorist Eleanor Leacock. It later morphed into the International Women’s Anthropology Conference, an organization accredited by the United Nations.

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