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11/03/05

  11:05:43, by admin   . Categories: religion cosmology, culture traditions, Africa

In Egypt: Economy and perceptions of modernity change religious festival

Cairo Magazine

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)

10/03/05

  12:57:37, by admin   . Categories: Us and Them, anthropology (general), persons and theories

Anthropology and Race - Discussions in the Classroom

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."

>> continue

08/03/05

AAAs Anthropology News March: Tsunami, Unemployment, Muslims in Thailand

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

  11:15:20, by admin   . Categories: technology, Africa, language

First Swahili PC office suite released in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Wikinews

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

06/03/05

  18:42:23, by admin   . Categories: Asia, gender, journal articles / papers

India is not USA : The Scientific Gender Gap Should Be Understood Comparatively

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)

  18:08:11, by admin   . Categories: culture traditions, language

Knowledge Fades As Africa Languages Die

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

SEE ALSO:
Modern technology revives traditional languages

05/03/05

  09:40:28, by admin   . Categories: development empowerment, migration

Research: How migration fights poverty

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

SEE ALSO:

Migration and development - a report from Tonga

antropologi.info links on migration (in English and Norwegian)

04/03/05

  10:45:07, by admin   . Categories: indigenous people / minorities, Asia, anthropology (general)

Malaysian indigenous people seek land, cultural rights

Yahoo Asia News / AP

Malaysia's indigenous tribes are hoping that a planned revision of a colonial-era law will grant them ownership of forests that their ancestors inhabited for more than 10,000 years, activists said.

They say the centuries-old culture and lifestyle of peninsular Malaysia's Orang Asli, or "Original People," have been threatened by developments such as airports, dams and highways that force tribes to move out of their homes _ located in forests owned by the state _ into semi-urban settings.

"Our main concern is land," said Juli Edo, an anthropology professor at Kuala Lumpur's University Malaya who belongs to an Orang Asli tribe. "We want a legal backup for the right to own land," he said Wednesday. >> continue

SEE ALSO:
Documents, films, tapes and other recordings relevant to Orang Asli peoples and cultures(link via AAA)

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