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juliusbeezer : anthropology   33

‘Leave the Sentinelese alone’
What should be the policy regarding uncontacted peoples like the Sentinelese in India and others around the world? Should we let them be isolated or make contact? Can there ever be a consensus between scholars and authorities over this?

On the face of it, we always say their lifestyle is primitive and they are deprived of being part of larger civilisation, the benefits of which do not reach them. These are generalized statements, but we have to see what they mean at the ground level. What do they imply in reality? Of the four Andaman tribal communities, we have seen that those in close contact with the outside world have suffered the most. They have declined demographically and culturally. Their land is occupied. It has happened to the Great Andamanese, to the Onge, and even to the Shompen in Nicobar, who are also a hunter-gatherer people. Over the years, we have not been able to get the Jarawa any benefits. Rather in a number of cases, settlers are having liasons with their girls, however minimal. Their food supply like honey, crab and fish are being taken away in exchange for biscuits. They don’t need biscuits. They have learned to smoke and drink.

In my opinion, we should not be in a great hurry to make contact with the Sentinelese.
anthropology  work 
november 2018 by juliusbeezer
What you can learn about marriage and migration from a 13-million member family tree
prior to 1750, most marriages in their data set occurred between people born about 6 miles from each other. After the start of the Industrial Revolution in 1870, however, that distance rapidly increased to about 60 miles.

You might think that as people traveled farther to find a spouse, they would marry people who were more distantly related to them. And indeed, that was true. Eventually.

The authors report that between 1650 and 1850 the average genetic relationship of married couples was on the order of 4th cousins. After 1850 it was on the order of 7th cousins.

But, the researchers found something strange in the data. Between 1800 and 1850 the distance couples traveled to marry each other doubled — probably because rapid transportation made railroad travel possible in most of Europe and the United States. However, that increase in distance traveled to marry someone was accompanied by an increase in genetic relatedness between marriage partners.

In other words, during this 50-year period, people traveled farther to marry closer relations.
anthropology  genetics  history  sex  psychology 
march 2018 by juliusbeezer
What is anger? 2. Jean Briggs | The History of Emotions Blog
Let me make four quick points about this. First, and most obviously, as I have said, there is no Inuit word for “anger”. Secondly, it is notable that there is no reference anywhere to the idea that any of these Inuit words includes a necessary reference to revenge or pay-back (which is considered a defining feature of orge – the Ancient Greek philosophical concept of anger adopted by Nussbaum and others). Thirdly these words are primarily, though not exclusively, terms for outward actions – such things as shouting, scolding, threatening, and physically attacking. The Inuit vocabulary as translated by Briggs (and this is reinforced also by another recent linguistic study) is primarily a behavioural one.2 So, whatever it is that is standing in the place of “anger” or “bad temper” in the worldview of the Utku seems to have been more a set of behaviours than a set of feelings. Finally, Inuit languages do not seem to have an equivalent category to the English ‘emotion’ at all, so their second-order moral and psychological beliefs about shouting, attacking, and hostility will not be based on the same model of the mind as is familiar in modern academic psychology.
psychology  anthropology  language  emotion  canada 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
Autism, genius, and the power of obliviousness | Armed and Dangerous
I also have the advantage that my peer network has been stiff with geniuses for forty years. I’ve logged a lot of time interacting with both autistic and non-autistic geniuses, and I’m anthropologically observant. So hear this:

Yes, there is an enabling superpower that autists have through damage and accident, but non-autists like me have to cultivate: not giving a shit about monkey social rituals.

Neurotypicals spend most of their cognitive bandwidth on mutual grooming and status-maintainance activity. They have great difficulty sustaining interest in anything that won’t yield a near-immediate social reward. By an autist’s standards (or mine) they’re almost always running in a hamster wheel as fast as they can, not getting anywhere.
culture  psychology  anthropology  opensource 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
What is a Situation?: An Assemblic Ethnography of the Drug War — Cultural Anthropology
the drug war is best conceived as what I will call a situation. I hope to show that the concept of situation significantly adds to anthropological knowledge because it allows us to consider that which is widely diffused across different global scales as a nontotalizable assemblage, yet in its occasional and temporary local manifestation allows us to understand how persons and objects that are geographically, socioeconomically, and culturally distributed get caught up in the shared conditions emerging from the situation. Becoming caught up in the shared conditions of a situation, in turn, significantly affects the possible ways of being-in-the-world of those persons and objects that get caught up. The concept of situation, then, allows us to analytically recognize that in the current global configuration, complexity is at least as knotted nonlocally as it is locally, and thus increasingly—so I contend—local complexity emerges within the shared conditions set by this diffused complexity
spectacle  Situationism  anthropology  drugs  war 
september 2015 by juliusbeezer
Why Google made the NSA — Medium
We knew this already didn't we?
("In-Q-Tel" "the highlands forum" "the core" "the gap" "the men who stared at goats" "general idiots" "perverters of social science" and other sadly misguided individuals and initiatives)

"The latest mad-cap Pentagon initiative to dominate the world through control of information and information technologies, is not a sign of the all-powerful nature of the shadow network, but rather a symptom of its deluded desperation as it attempts to ward off the acceleration of its hegemonic decline.

But the decline is well on its way. And this story, like so many before it, is one small sign that the opportunities to mobilize the information revolution for the benefit of all, despite the efforts of power to hide in the shadows, are stronger than ever."
google  surveillance  war  us  facebook  anthropology  sociology  psychology 
january 2015 by juliusbeezer
Eight dead in attack on Ebola team in Guinea. ‘Killed in cold blood.’ - The Washington Post
The attack occurred in an area near where riots broke out last month because people feared that workers disinfecting a market were contaminating people, according to the BBC.
medicine  politics  anthropology  africa 
september 2014 by juliusbeezer
A reader’s guide to the “ontological turn” – Part 2 | Somatosphere
On its surface the book is an introduction to central themes and keywords in the philosophy of science. In effect, it launches a programme of research that actively blurs the lines between depictions of the world and interventions into its composition. And it does so by bringing to the fore the constitutive role of experimental practices – a key leitmotiv of what would eventually become STS.

Hacking, of course, went on to develop a highly original form of pragmatic realism, particularly in relation to the emergence of psychiatric categories and new forms of personhood. His 2004 book, Historical Ontology, captures well the main thrust of his arguments, and lays out a useful contrast with the ‘meta-epistemology’ of much of the best contemporary writing in the history of science.
philosophy  history  theory  anthropology  ontology 
march 2014 by juliusbeezer
Manifestation de Nantes : des casseurs, mais aussi des tracteurs - Reporterre
Les pavés du tramway sont enlevés pour servir de projectiles. Les gendarmes, retranchés derrière leurs grilles, ne bronchent pas, répliquant par des tirs de grenades - en l’air et non en tir tendu - et par le canon à eau. Il s’agit de ne pas blesser les milliers de manifestants pacifiques qui sont encore sur le cours Franklin Roosevelt.
français  culture  anthropology  politics  sport  france  NDDL 
february 2014 by juliusbeezer
Public health anthropologist uses ethnography to improve farmworker safety | Penn State University
Snipes works mostly in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. For periods of three months to a year, she latches on with a group of farmworker families as a participant observer, moving along with them from crop to crop. "I have picked just about everything," she says. "Apples, cherries, hops, asparagus, broccoli, raspberries, onions, squash, watermelon, cotton…" Along with picking produce, she's gathering data: conducting interviews and focus groups, administering surveys and epidemiological assessments, and collecting biomarkers of pesticide exposure. "I want to have a comprehensive view of what's happening in their lives," she says.

Snipes brings to the field a special understanding that goes beyond her academic training. "My own grandmother worked picking cotton," she says, "so I have some understanding of the hardships, and I have those stories to share."

Among her findings is a common belief that danger attaches to the physical form that a pesticide takes... "So if it's wet, a spray that people can feel landing on their skin, it's seen as harmful, and there is great concern. If it's dry, however, there is little or no concern. They call it 'powder,' and consider it almost like dirt."

A similar distinction is made between hot and cold. "Just like my grandmother, many farmworkers believe that if you wash your hands with cold water you'll end up with arthritis, or rheumatism. This type of belief is very common cross-culturally," Snipes says, "but in this context, it may have health impacts... where workers are given cold water both to drink and to wash the residues of pesticide powder from faces and hands, they may rather wait until they get home to a hot shower, believing that cold water is to be avoided, and that powders aren't really harmful anyway. "That decision means eight to 12 hours of additional exposure."
anthropology  work  medicine  safety  food  agriculture 
november 2013 by juliusbeezer
We are all shamans in training – Beyond Meds
The would-be shaman has to pass through the experience of madness without getting stuck in it. In the experience of madness the shaman descends into the underworld of the unconscious, where they have to come to terms with the darker parts of their being. My confrontation with the psychiatric community was a projection into real time and space of a darker part of me that “pathologizes” myself, as if my inner process was playing itself out in the seemingly outer world. Like “dream characters,” the “pathologizing psychiatrists” were the part of me that I had dreamed up into materialization who judged me and saw me as “sick,” who thought there’s something wrong with me that needed to be fixed.

Seeing the psychiatrists as characters in my dream, which is to say embodied reflections of aspects of myself, is to recognize these animated, living figures existing within myself as aspects of my mind. Recognizing that the psychiatrists were symbolically re-presenting, in full-bodied form the part of me that both pathologizes and is pathological helps me to see my own complicity in my experience with them, and to step out of feeling victimized by the psychiatrists and blaming them. Recognizing the psychiatrists as a part of myself enables me to forgive them, as well as myself.
psychology  sociology  anthropology 
november 2013 by juliusbeezer
Articles |
Our argument is that when it was impossible, cumbersome or simply slow to assemble and to navigate through the masses of information on particular items, it made sense to treat data about social connections by defining two levels: one for the element, the other for the aggregates. But once we have the experience of following individuals through their connections (which is often the case with profiles) it might be more rewarding to begin navigating datasets without making the distinction between the level of individual component and that of aggregated structure. It becomes possible to give some credibility to Tarde’s strange notion of ‘monads’. We claim that it is just this sort of navigational practice that is now made possible by digitally available databases and that such a practice could modify social theory if we could visualize this new type of exploration in a coherent way.
screwmeneutics  attention  anthropology  science  sociology 
october 2013 by juliusbeezer
Norman Tebbit interview: 'No, I'm not a homophobe' | Politics | The Guardian
I ask if he is familiar with psychological studies that have tested heterosexual men's response to gay pornography. As I explain to him that electrodes attached to the penis measure sexual arousal, the temperature in the room plummets. The funny thing is, I go on, heterosexual men with relaxed attitudes to homosexuals are unmoved by gay porn – whereas those hostile to homosexuals exhibit sexual arousal. Why does he think that might be? By now Tebbit is looking ill, and his wife has turned white.

"I think there's something weird about people who want to go and have electrodes attached to their penises and watch pornography," he says brusquely, getting to his feet. "I don't think they're a representative group. Margaret, would you like your tea?"
sex  science  politics  funny  anthropology  queer 
june 2013 by juliusbeezer
Anthropology, Footnoted: Jared Diamond’s The World Until Yesterday - Vol. 1, No. 2 – The Appendix
At the most basic level, the biggest problem with Diamond’s work is that he didn’t get the memo on colonialism, despite the fact that he himself has helped write substantial portions of it. Diamond operates with a Whiggish view of history, seemingly suggesting (but never out-and-out saying) that the modern nation state is naturally the best form of government yet invented.
anthropology  graeber 
may 2013 by juliusbeezer
Trolls subvert media-induced 'grief'
internet  anthropology  socialmedia  facebook 
april 2013 by juliusbeezer
Deb Duchon Interview: Part I
I met the Hmong was out in the woods. They couldn't speak English but they knew what to use in the woods, which I thought was pretty interesting. And so I got friendly with a family and their oldest daughter became my interpreter. We went around doing interviews. One day we took a break and we were in this sort-of empty lot just picking wild plant and she came to this big stand of black-nightshade and she goes, "Oooo, zhoa ia." And she starts picking it like crazy. And I said, "You can't get that. It's poisonous." And she said, "Nooo. This is zhoa ia. It's good." And I said, "It's black-nightshade and it's bad." And she said, "Nooo. Debbie, you so silly." And she picked it and we took it back to her house and we asked her grandmother who was the family herbalist who said, "Yes, this is zhoa ia and it's good." And so I took some of it to a botanist friend and he said, "This is black-nightshade and it's poisonous." [laughs] So, I did a lot of research on that.
food  anthropology 
march 2013 by juliusbeezer
In Praise of Question Marks: Reflections on ‘Critical Methodologies: Narrative Voice and the Writing of the Political – The Limits of Language’ | The Disorder Of Things
While it seems that Political Scientists and IR scholars wrestle with whether or not there is a place for the ‘I’ at all, whether or not it has some role or should be completely obliterated from research methods as well as writing, Anthropologists wrestle with the question of where the ‘I’ should appear. Very few Cultural Anthropologists would suggest these days that an anthropologist can avoid being reflective. That is, no would dare suggest that anthropological methods can work without keeping an awareness of ‘I’ front and center. But there are also very few anthropologists who would say that one’s research is only about oneself. ‘I’ alone is not enough, but the degree to which ‘I’ should appear in ones written, published work, is still up for debate. Audience and audience expectations about empirical grounding are of concern here. Who am I addressing? Who is the you?
anthropology  theory  methodology  writing 
march 2013 by juliusbeezer
Break a Leg! Fracture Treatment in Iron Age and Roman Britain « Bones Don't Lie
In the Roman period there is an increase in healed fractures that are deformed. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the medical knowledge decreased or practitioners were worse, but may be a sign that individuals were not given proper rehabilitation time.
anthropology  history  science  medicine 
november 2012 by juliusbeezer
The real secret of staying married - Features - Health & Families - The Independent
More than 90 per cent of Americans and 80 per cent of Britons condemn extramarital affairs as wrong, compared with just two in five people in Italy and France.

And guess what, says Hakim: in Italy and France, divorce is far less common.
sex  sociology  anthropology 
september 2012 by juliusbeezer
Jerry Moore: Stuffed | berfrois
Correlated with American consumption is the growth in self-storage facilities, now a $20 billion business.World-wide there are approximately 60,000 self-storage facilities; 52,000 of them are in the U.S. In 1984 there were 6,601 storage facilities with a total volume of 289.7 million square feet. By late 2008 this had increased some 800% to 2.35 billion square feet.
After about 15,000 years ago, human societies in different portions of the world increasingly relied on stored food: foodstuffs initially collected, then cultivated, and eventually farmed. With those changes, the configurations of our material culture diversified and our stuff weighed more. When that happened, our homes changed from principally places of temporary shelter into more permanent refuges for ourselves and our possessions.

Sedentism did not result from agriculture. Sedentism developed when people had too much stuff.

Our complex domestic affiliations and meanings appear relatively “recently” in the human experience, roughly in the last 15,000 years. The myriad notions attached to home apparently required not only sedentism, but a connection of permanence, a new way to think about place
anthropology  ebooks  nomadism 
september 2012 by juliusbeezer
Don’t Cheat Imaginary Alice
For years, Bering has been testing these effects in the lab by telling potential cheaters that the ghost of a girl named Alice inhabits the room in which they are to perform a graded task. Cheating is always an option and the children are told they will be left alone to complete the task. Kids who believe that Alice is real are much less likely to cheat.
religion  anthropology  psychology  gametheory 
september 2012 by juliusbeezer
Indo-European Languages May Have Originated in Turkey | UA Magazine
New research published in Science identifies Anatolia, which comprises modern-day Turkey, as the place where Indo-European languages originated. This contrasts with the so-called ‘Steppe hypothesis’, which maintains that these languages originated in the Russian steppes.
(common ancestor for most w. european languages 8-9k years ago.
language  anthropology 
september 2012 by juliusbeezer
Debating our ancestors’ sex life « Inspiring Science
a recent article argues that the DNA we share with Neanderthals and Denivsovans might not be due to interbreeding. Instead, they suggest that it might come from incomplete genetic mixing in structured populations; using a demographic model, they are able to predict the correct amount of genetic overlap with Neanderthals even without interbreeding.
anthropology  sex 
september 2012 by juliusbeezer
Review: David Price’s Weaponizing Anthropology: Social Science in the Service of the Militarized State. Logos
Price persuasively argues that the military theorization of culture relies solely on anachronistic structural-functionalist concepts of culture—as he dryly observes, the experience of reading the Counterinsurgency Field Manual is akin to “that of reading a contemporary physics text relying on theories of aether to explain radio broadcasts, a chemistry text basing its analysis on inherent qualities of earth, wind and fire, or a geology manual with a chapter on Adam and Eve (p. 141).”
anthropology  war  politics  academic 
july 2012 by juliusbeezer
Anthropology, Secrecy, and Wikileaks « ZERO ANTHROPOLOGY
a good secret is one worth sharing with important secret is shared, and it has to be shared because the key thing about secrets is that they are resources for interaction, not data meant to be permanently occluded from everyone except the secret-keeper. Some anthropologists have a lot of insights derived from experiences in small groups of people... secrets can help to build communal affect, and to reproduce the local... secrets include some, and exclude others that creates a boundary and allegiance among those party... a secret is something everybody knows, but agrees not to talk about....secrecy as rhetorical play because secrets are meant to be told but there is also a way of telling them. Secrecy can be a matter of initiation into a select...secrecy as social control, tactical power... Secrets make certain meanings stick, to create and uphold official versions of truth... Keeping secrets keeps knowledge on the level of the magical without it ever being put to the test
anthropology  security  politics 
december 2010 by juliusbeezer
In a far corner of Greenland, hope is fading with the language and sea ice | World news | The Observer
For centuries, the proud Inughuit (who the likes of Peary, Cook and Rasmussen were very dependent on) have overcome the problems of the severe cold, famine and isolation, but some have now fallen victim to apathy and Danish welfare dependence which has partially replaced an ancient system of production.

The trappings of welfare dependence and modern western society have inevitably taken their toll on the indigenous culture of story-telling, too. The loss of their rich oral heritage seems particularly sudden and jarring, given that it has been replaced in part by a diet of violent, expletive-packed American films and apparently addictive bingo.
anthropology  inuit 
november 2010 by juliusbeezer
Social Text: Blog: Hacker and Troller as Trickster
Biella Coleman discovers the rich seam of ethnological ore that is the trickster myth
february 2010 by juliusbeezer
What Sorts of People Should There Be?
Canada, particularly Western Canada, occupies a strikingly under-explored place in the history of eugenics. Despite the enforcing of eugenic sterilization laws from 1928 until 1972 leading to the performance of over X sterilizations (over 90% of all those done in Canada), the fact that Canada even participated in eugenic sterilizations remains mostly unknown.
anthropology  eugenics 
august 2009 by juliusbeezer

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