Ian McEwan and the anthropologists

Posted by on March 19th, 2010
Stored in Anthropology

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Ian McEwan, Jingpo villagers, and the anthropologist

from Culture Matters by Third Tone Devil

In Ian McEwan?s new novel, Solar, an anthropologist of science named Nancy Temple causes the downfall of the hero, Michael Beard, a Nobel laurate physicist, by resigning from a committee he heads in protest to his statement that women are just not as interested in physics as men, and this has to do with biological differences. The press then accuses Beard of being a social Darwinist, a eugenicist and a hegemon, and digs out his womanizing to compound the evidence of him being a misogynist.

Jihadi Videos and the Anthropology of Inaccessibility

from Savage Minds: Notes and Queries in Anthropology ? A Group Blog by Adam Fish

Anthropologist Roxanne Varzi came to our UCLA working group Culture, Power, and Social Change last week and spoke and showed a courageous and wise reflexive ethnographic film ?Plastic Flowers Never Die? on the religio-statist support of martyrdom in Iran. I asked a question about how to theorize the role of digital ?texts? in the present era of ubiquitous self-publishing and social broadcasting. I was thinking about jihadi videos that are shot and distributed on online video portals as advertisement, recruitment tools, or celebrations of religio-military success. According to the IntelCenter, jihadi videos can be categorized as operational, hostage, statement, tribute, training, and instructional videos.

H-Madness: A new blog on the history of psychiatry

from Somatosphere by Eugene Raikhel
I recently learned of an exciting new blog on the history of psychiatry which was launched earlier this year.  H-Madness is a collective blog edited and written by a team of historians with what looks to be an impressive roster of guest contributors.  The historians behind the site are Greg Eghigian (Penn State University), Eric J. Engstrom (Humboldt Universität), Andreas Killen (City College of New York), and  Benoît Majerus (Université libre de Bruxelles) and as they write in the blog’s description:

The concept of field

from media/anthropology by John Postill

A short outline of the theoretical and historical development and relevance of the concept of field

Although today we associate field theory with the work of the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (1993, 1996), this theory has a far longer history originating in physics and Gestalt psychology (Martin 2003). In anthropology, the first sustained usage and elaboration of the concept of field can be traced to the Manchester School of anthropology (1940s-1960s). Led by Max Gluckman, the Manchester scholars conducted fieldwork in Central and Southern Africa during the end of Empire.  They struggled with the problem of how to study urbanised localities under conditions of rapid social and political change. This was a time in which ?tribal?, linguistic and other ?community? groupings were in flux and new kinds of affiliations were being constantly made and remade around novel occupational and recreational practices. Faced with such fluid actualities on the ground, Gluckman and his followers moved away from the structural-functionalist paradigm then predominant in British social anthropology and towards historical-processual accounts informed by new concepts such as ?field?, ?network?, ?social drama?, ?trouble case?, ?situation? and ?arena? (Evens and Handelman 2005; Swartz, Turner and Tuden 1966; Turner 1974). The result was a series of now classic ethnographies published in the 1950s (incl. Mitchell 1956, Turner 1957, Epstein 1958).

Notes on Norris and Inglehart (2009) Cosmopolitan Communications

from media/anthropology by John Postill

Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart. 2009. Cosmopolitan Communications: Cultural Diversity in a Globalized World. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Chapter 1. Is Cultural Diversity Under Threat?

5 What happens when countries like Bhutan or remote areas of Africa adopt TV, the Internet, mobiles? Do these processes of adoption undermine national cultural diversity and lead to global cultural convergence? Heavily debated issue of cultural imperialism, Coca-Colonization, etc.

Human Terrain System Under Investigation: HTS Link to JIEDDO & US Death Squads

from OPEN ANTHROPOLOGY by Maximilian Forte

by John Stanton

?According to several government and civilian sources, [Michael] Furlong?s operation was funded under a $24.6 million contract by the Defense Department?s Joint IED Defeat Organization [JIEDDO], which was set up early in the Iraq war to combat insurgents? roadside bombs. His operation was part of a larger military information program, called Capstone?, Karen DeYoung, Washington Post.

Before linking JIEDDO to Furlong?s program, it?s worth noting that the US Army Human Terrain System is in the midst of an Army 15-6 investigation. According to sources one area the investigator is looking at is the ?management/leadership side and fraudulent time and attendance records.? Many in the program have high hopes for positive change.

Preference for masculine/feminine-looking men and national health

from Dienekes’ Anthropology Blog by dienekesp

Supplementary Table 1 has the relevant data. I have sorted the data on national health index, and average masculinity preference.

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