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03.08.05: The blog has moved to www.antropologi.info/blog/anthropology/, and several broken links have been corrected

Here are the most recent posts on the new blog location:


Friday, February 18, 2005, 01:32

Anthropologist shoots down stereotypes about gun enthusiasts (Book review)

Reason / Find articles

Shooters: Myths and Realities of America's Gun Cultures, by Abigail A. Kohn, New Fork: Oxford University Press, 224 pages, $29.95

Abigail A. Kohn calls Shooters an ethnography, an anthropological study conducted from within a culture to gain the "natives' point of view." Rather than studying gun enthusiasts though literature and statistics, or from behind a duck blind to ensure "objectivity," Kohn spent time with enthusiasts, interviewing them, taking classes with them, and shooting with them.

The result is a fascinating look into the world(s) of gun enthusiasm that puts real, human faces on a gun debate dominated by antiseptic statistics and abstract principles. After reading Shooters, you'll wonder why no one has done such a study before. The omission may stem from the typical attitude toward guns among academics, which Kohn addresses in her preface. >> continue

>> read the Introduction at amazon

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005, 22:19

Anthroscope - a new anthropological radio show

The Oracle

Created by Professor S. Elizabeth Bird as a means of promoting an anthropological perspective in the local community, the pilot broadcast of Anthroscope, a radio call-in show hosted by University of South Florida's Department of Anthropology, was well received, eliciting feedback from several people.

Bird's guests on the program were associate professor Lorena Madrigal and professor Susan Greenbaum. An urban anthropologist, Greenbaum talked about the negative effects of inner-city redevelopment. Madrigal, a biological anthropologist, discussed her views on evolution and creationism.

Bird said the purpose of the radio program is to address anthropological issues that have a direct relation to people's lives. She said later topics might include the obesity epidemic in America and ethical issues regarding the ownership of Native American remains. >> continue

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Sunday, February 13, 2005, 18:45

Instant Messaging - Studying A New Form of Communication

Susan D Blum, U Notre Dame, Anthropology News, American Anthropological Association

Teaching an upper-division undergraduate class on linguistic anthropology, “Doing Things with Words,” at the University of Notre Dame, nothing got my students so excited—not gossip, not gender, maybe accent—as the topic of Instant Messaging

As a team, my eight students (Theresa Davey, Anastasia Envall, Mark Gernerd, Tiffanné Mahomes, Maria Monroe, Jenna Nowak, Matthew Patricoski and Jacob Weiler) and I investigated every aspect of Instant Messaging that we could to assess how it was affecting—if it was affecting—students’ daily experiences. The fact that IMing involves writing but is conceptualized as talk makes it especially germane for linguistic anthropological analysis. >> continue

SEE ALSO THEIR PAPER: Instant Messaging: Functions of a New Communicative Tool

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Sunday, February 13, 2005, 18:06

Islamophobia - a myth

Kenan Malik, Prospect Magazine

Ten years ago, no one had heard of Islamophobia. Now everyone from Muslim leaders to anti-racist activists to government ministers wants to convince us that Britain is in the grip of a major backlash against Islam. But does Islamophobia exist?

In the course of making my documentary, I asked dozens of ordinary Muslims about their experiences of Islamophobia. Everyone believed that police harassment was common, although no one had been stopped and searched. Everyone insisted that physical attacks were rife, though few had been attacked or knew anyone who had. What is being created here is a culture of victimhood in which "Islamophobia" has become a one-stop explanation for the many problems facing Muslims.

Pretending that Muslims have never had it so bad might bolster community leaders and gain votes for politicians, but it does the rest of us, Muslim or non-Muslim, no favours at all. The more that ordinary Muslims come to believe that they are under constant attack, the more resentful, inward-looking and open to extremism they are likely to become. >> continue (Link updated 2.4.05)

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Tuesday, February 08, 2005, 21:11

Alex Golubs list on popular ethnographies


A week or so ago I asked the question “what are the most popular ethnographies today that give you a sense of where the field is going, or at least what is popular right now?” With the help of a few friends, some commentors, a very large gin and tonic, and the internet, I came up with a few names I had never (or only vaguely) heard of before.>> continue

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Monday, February 07, 2005, 18:15

"Publish your manuscripts on the Internet!"

Reuters / Yahoo

The U.S. National Institutes of Health urged scientists on Thursday to let the agency publish their studies on the Internet."Scientists have a right to see the results of their work disseminated as quickly and broadly as possible, and NIH is committed to helping our scientists exercise this right", NIH director Dr. Elias Zerhouni said. >> continue


Open Source Anthropology : Are anthropologists serious about sharing knowledge?

antropologi.info-Special: Open Access Anthropology (English, Norwegian, German)

News from the Open Access Movement

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Monday, February 07, 2005, 17:30

Women in Cameroon:Information technology as a way out of the cultural cul-de-sac

IPS News Service

As is the case in much of Africa, cultural and religious factors in Cameroon have proved formidable obstacles to the advancement of women in the workplace. Traditional beliefs dictate that a women’s place is in the home, prompting many parents to take their daughters out of school at an early age – and allow them to be married. Information technology has proving especially useful in showing women a way out of the cultural cul-de-sac they so often find themselves in. >> continue

Digital Opportunity Channel (oneworld.net / digital divide network)

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Monday, February 07, 2005, 09:33

Poor Iraq: Thomas Hylland Eriksen's new newsletter

Thomas Hylland Eriksen's homepage

The only credible responses to the challenges facing humanity have to be ambivalent, doubtful, cautious, with instincts favouring pluralism and a multiplicity of voices rather than universal recipes for happiness.

According to writers like Frantz Fanon, Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Edward Said, the most difficult form of decolonisation consists in decolonising the mind; in developing a self, and an identity, and a self-consciousness which is not based on the categories of the colonisers. In giving the people of the world the choice of being either with the US or with the terrorists, Bush II has refused to acknowledge any position which is developed out of other concerns than their own. Poor Iraq. >> continue

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Monday, February 07, 2005, 09:18

First Anthropologist Wins Premier Ocean Award

Scoop, New Zealand

For the first time in its fifteen-year history, the world's most prestigious award in marine conservation has been given to an anthropologist.

Dr. Shankar Aswani, an honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at The University of Auckland, will use his Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation to continue his work with communities in the western Pacific's Solomon Islands. >> continue


Shankar Aswani's homepage with more information on his projects

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Sunday, February 06, 2005, 21:20

Pop goes Japanese culture

San Francisco Chronicle

Five years into the millennium, Japan's most visible export isn't economic, but cultural. The jury's still out on whether anime (Japanese animation), manga, toys, gadgets and fashion will sweep across middle America. "This stuff is getting globalized like never before," says Anne Allison, chair of cultural anthropology at Duke University, whose examination of the subject, "Millennium Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination" (University of California Press) will be out in 2006.

"In the last decade, especially in the last five years, Japanese pop culture, particularly youth culture -- anime, manga, Pokemon, kids cards -- has circulated not just in the United States, but in Western Europe, East Asia and South America." >> continue

Interview with anthropologist Anne Allison about her research in Japan (Japan Review)
Book review: Japan Pop!: Inside the World of Japanese Popular Culture (Japan Review) , see same book reviewed by H-Net Review

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Sunday, February 06, 2005, 20:49

What ads tell you about New Zealands and Australians

The New Zealand Herald

For New Zealanders the land represents everything that is pure and authentic. It's. the essence of who we are. We love it so much that we fear losing it which is why we get so upset about foreign ownership and Maori claims to the foreshore. But Australians see the land as something to be tamed. The land is something to be observed, or crossed, not something to integrate with.

Buy it or not - and being from an advertising agency they hope you do - these are some of the results of an eight-month study by FCB New Zealand. Chief executive Nick Baylis analysed advertisements in both countries. "This piece of research gives us the jump on everyone else because it uses semiotic and anthropological studies that people in New Zealand just don't use" >> continue

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Thursday, February 03, 2005, 00:41

Study: Negative Words Dominate Language

ABC News

Robert Schrauf, associate professor of applied linguistics and an anthropologist at Penn State, says he was a bit puzzled when he began analyzing data he collected that shows that regardless of age or culture, we have far more words in our vocabulary that express negative rather than positive emotions.

Schrauf started searching the scientific literature to see if he could find an answer, but he found more questions. Studies of 37 different languages turned up seven words that have very similar meanings. They are joy, fear, anger, sadness, disgust, shame and guilt. "Seven words, and only one positive," Schrauf notes. "Isn't that awesome?" >> continue

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Tuesday, February 01, 2005, 23:32

Book review: Mahmood Mamdani: "Good Muslim, Bad Muslim"

Media Monitors Network

A valuable new contribution to unearth and interpret America's bizarre conduct is Mahmood Mamdani's study "GOOD MUSLIM, BAD MUSLIM". The author, a distinguished political scientist and anthropologist, explains that the book grew out of a talk at a church in New York after 9/11 when to bear an identifiably Muslim name was to be made aware that Islam had become a political identity in America.

Perhaps the heart of this book can be found in the first chapter titled "Culture Talk; Or How Not To Talk About Islam And Politics". The author is able to penetrate the limits of conventional discourse on democracy and dictatorship, poverty and wealth and also succeeds in locating "culture" within the chasm of globalisation. >> continue


Interview with Mahmood Mamdani (Asia Source)

Essay: Good Muslim, Bad Muslim – An African Perspective - by Mahmood Mamdani (Social Science Research Council)

Mahmood Mamdani reviews the book "Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah" by Olivier Roy" and "The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West" by Gilles Kepel (Foreign Affairs, January/February 2005)

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Monday, January 31, 2005, 10:39

Anthropologists wonder about iPod-culture

Detroit News

Portable music players create their own culture. iPod users, who also call themselves "iPeople," say they can't get enough of the music downloaded from computer hard drives, the Internet and CD collections. Cultural anthropologists and techno experts wonder what the impact of their actions will be. At this point, experts are still grappling for answers. >> continue

iPod Nation? (The Tufts Daily)

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Monday, January 31, 2005, 10:35

U.S. exposure to foreign literature promotes tolerance in multicultural world

The Soth End Newspaper

It seems every aspect of American life is undergoing a “Globalization” except one — our literary culture. Explanations for this phenomenon vary, from lack of interest to lack of availability, but one thing is certain: A majority of Americans have a profound disinterest in the literary and cultural works of other countries. >> continue

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Thursday, January 27, 2005, 14:12

Stories of an African Bar Girl - "an ethnography done by an illiterate"

Anthropologist Eric Gable, allAfrica.com

It is hard to decide what to call this remarkable book, the first of two volumes. It is for the most part a collection of stories told by a West African bar girl,"Hawa," to anthropologist and musicologist John Chernoff in the mid 1970s. She tells about her life as a girl in a Muslim village and as a young woman in Accra, Lomé, and several other places, the lives of her fellow bar girls and about the men (mostly European but also African) she encountered, took from, gave to and left.

Chernoff wants the reader to approach Hawa's stories as "an ethnography done by an illiterate." Hawa is not only an ethnographic subject; she is also an observer, an ethnographer. Like all ethnographers her observations are partial, skewed, but also enlightening. >> continue

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Monday, January 24, 2005, 13:05

More and more academics use blogs


(via weblogs in education) Until a few months ago, the attention paid to web logs, or blogs, focused mainly on politics and the media business. Now, the technology that has been an alternative source of news to many academics is being incorporated more fully into university life.

Esther Maccallum-Stewart, a Sussex University historian is one of the pioneering British academic bloggers who are using the technology to teach and carry out research. "I feel very strongly that information should be disseminated into the internet world, but I also feel that academics can become too insular, constructing their own language and cliques which do nothing to promote the getting of knowledge."

That need for knowledge provision is the reason why Warwick University is giving its students and staff free space on its server to start their own blogs. The blogging project at the university is arguably the largest of its kind in the academic world with some 2,600 users. >> continue

Blog on Weblogs in Education

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Monday, January 24, 2005, 09:35

"Pop culture is a powerful tool to promote national integration"

RedNova News

WHEN reality television show Malaysian Idol came under attack last year, Dr Wan Zawawi Ibrahim, a professor of social anthropology, was one of the few academics who came to its defence. He is optimistic of pop culture's positive effect on national integration and the creation of new identities among the young.

"Malaysian Idol is an example of pop culture which has created social spaces for youngsters of different ethnic groups to come together," says the 57-year old researcher. The notion of pop culture as a social binding tool is not new. It has proliferated in local films, music or theatre years before the Idol series was even conceptualised.

Wan Zawawi also wants more social spaces for youths to come together. "Malaysian Idol, the National Service programme, cybercafes and even designer coffee outlets like Starbucks and Coffee Bean are social spaces for youths of various ethnicities to interact with each other," he adds. >> continue

Malaysian Idol - "a space for young people of different ethnicity to interact"

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Sunday, January 23, 2005, 17:54

Contemporary art from Africa is branching out in radical ways

Daily Telegraph

The biggest exhibition of contemporary African art ever held in Europe, Africa Remix (Hayward Gallery, South Bank, London) is a dizzying testimony to the variety of artistic expression throughout this vast continent – from Nigerian junk sculpture to Egyptian video installation, from South African sculptor Jane Alexander's haunting animal-headed figures to the obsessive fantasy cities of Congolese artist Bodys Isek Kingelez. Perhaps the biggest departure from previous showings is the fact that many of the artists don't live or work in Africa. >> continue

Africa 05 - official website
BBC: Africa on your streeet

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Friday, January 21, 2005, 11:10

The Anthropological Association of Ireland has a new website

It's no exciting website. There are no news, there are no articles to read, but you'll find information about two upcoming conferences.

From their self-description:

"The Anthropological Association of Ireland (AAI) is a small, non-profit organisation which exists to promote social and cultural anthropology within Ireland. Our activities involve the organisation of, usually, two conferences or workshops per year, and the publication of the Irish Journal of Anthropology."

>> continue to The Anthropological Association of Ireland

(via Yahoo Group "Anthropology in Action")

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