Somali-born rapper K'naan says hip-hop records helped him cope with his country's civil war, his adolescence as a refugee and his life as an immigrant in North America. "It's a whole new thing that is happening, even in villages in Africa," said K'naan, whose music touches on everything from personal empowerment to life in Somalia.
Marc Perry, an anthropologist at the University of Illinois, says despite rap's commercialization, socially conscious hip-hop is common among immigrants in the West and black populations in such countries as Brazil and South Africa. That's not surprising given hip-hop's history, Perry said at a recent symposium at Concordia University called Hip-Hop: Culture of Resistance. >> continue
Moulids are multi-faceted festivals held in honor of holy people. The surrounding area is transformed into a festive space that, in the case of large moulids, may engulf an entire neighborhood. Anthropologist Farouk Ahmed Mostafa says, “Moulids have played a large role in invigorating the economic life of the society in which the saint is located.” Moulids also provide an opportunity for reestablishing social contacts with out-of-town friends, he explains.
Times are changing for Egypt’s moulids. Yet the reasons for change are more subtle and complex than the government’s dislike of street merchants or anxiety about crowds. While state policies certainly shape these temporary transformations of public space, shifting shades of religiosity, the economy and perceptions of modernity also contribute to the changing form and character of Egypt’s moulids. >> continue (link updated)
Interesting thoughts by Alex Golub incl. links to articles.
"I spend a lot of the class slowly unprying my student’s idea of race. “Why are so many african americans professional athletes?” becomes “Why are so many professional athletes african american?” (because there are millions of african americans and very very few professional athletes).
Then I try a thought experiment: if excellence in athletics is explained by genetic endowment, perhaps Australia’s dominance in Rugby League is due to the Australian Rugby gene? Obviously not, say my students, since Australians are white, and our weirdo American intuitions only like genetic explanations for non-white people."
Here are three more articles from the Anthropology News March 2005 by the American Anthropological Association:
Vishvajit Pandya: "When Land Became Water". Tsunami and the Ongees of Little Andaman Island
I had a chance to visit the Ongees in the last weeks of January to find out how my old friends explained the tsunami and what they planned for their future. >> continue
Carrie Lane Chet: Work and Unemployment in the Global Labor Market
Since the fall of 2001, I had been conducting ethnographic fieldwork among unemployed high-technology workers in and around Dallas, Texas. >> continue
Raymond Scupin: Polarized Cultural Stereotypes Contribute to New Violence
The Thai government’s insensitivity toward the people and cultures of South Thailand is undoubtedly one factor contributing to the new violence in this region. >> continue
SEE ALSO EARLIER POST:
India is not USA : The Scientific Gender Gap Should Be Understood Comparatively
The office suite was translated from the English version of OpenOffice.org, an open source suite based on Sun Microsystems' StarOffice. This is the first ever release of a word processor in Swahili. The translation effort required translating 18,000 English strings, made up of one or more words, many of which have previously had no direct Swahili equivalent. As part of the translation, the team developed a glossary of 1500 technical words in Swahili. >> continue
Carol Mukhopadhyayis, professor of anthropology at San Jose State, Anthropology News March 2005(AAA)
Drawing upon ethnographic and questionnaire data from four urban areas in India, I took a comparative look at the scientific gender gap. My Indian expert consultants reject American notions of gendered brains, of mathematics as inherently “masculine” and cannot understand why American girls fear academic success or experience gender identity conflicts from excelling in mathematics.
Comparative research raises questions about the applicability of American theories to the scientific gender gap in the US. It suggests that these applications are mired in taken-for-granted American cultural models of gender and causality that prevent us from seeing alternative theories.
American expert models are virtually devoid of social context. Individuals appear to select activities, academic subjects, and occupations in a social void, in a world of infinite choices. >> continue (link updated)
Sun-Sentinel / AP
A U.N. Conference on Trade and Development report on protecting traditional knowledge argues that beyond a devastating impact on culture, the death of a language wipes out centuries of know-how in preserving ecosystems -- leading to grave consequences for biodiversity. >> continue
A new special by ID 21 , hosted by Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, UK, deals with how migration fights poverty and asks: Migration and asylum policies in crisis: time for a rethink?
They provide short summaries and links to the original sources, mostly working papers that are avaiable online in full length.
Exploiting remittances: good for Mexico’s development?
More and more money is being sent back home by economic migrants and so the interest in how remittances can help fight poverty is growing. The total value of remittances world wide is estimated at over 100 billion US dollars per year. In 2001 Mexico became the nation with the largest share of remittances as its workers sent home 9,920 million US dollars.
Research from York University in Canada proposes a broader understanding of migrant remittances. Using data from Mexico the author argues the importance of non-economic dimensions of remittances particularly its social and political implications, the differences between family and community-based (or collective remittances) and the difficulties in channelling them towards savings and investment. >> continue
Migration and asylum policies in crisis: time for a rethink?
A policy briefing from the World Institute for Development Economic Research argues that more needs to be done to understand the relationship between globalisation, migration pressures and the potential role of development assistance in reducing migration. >> continue