More than 365,000 people have fled from violence in Cote d'Ivoire to safety in Burkina Faso over the last two years. However there are no haunting images of refugee camps, packed to overflowing with people who have lost everything. For the new arrivals are former Burkinabe migrants going home. They have simply melted into the villages and the countryside, taken in by relatives and in some cases, even strangers. They are refugees in their own country.
The number of Burkinabe migrants that poured out of Cote d'Ivoire is almost double the number of Darfur refugees that have spilled across the Sudanese border into Chad. But while overcrowded refugees camps in eastern Chad have repeatedly come under the spotlight, attracting generous international aid, Burkina Faso's masses have largely fallen off the international community's radar screen. >> continue
11 Million People Without a State (OneWorld.net)
antropologi.info's links on migration (multilingual)
The Daily Star Lebanon
Dounia Bouzar, an anthropologist and educator, spent two years working with 12 Muslim associations in France studying the different ways young Muslims approach their daily life. Her newest book, "Monsieur Islam n'existe pas; Pour une desislamisation des debats" (Mr. Islam doesn't exist; de-islamisizing the discussions), is one of several publications just out in France that examine "la France Musulmane," or Muslim France. Part of the goal in her new book is to show just how diverse the community is.
Discrimination is still a big problem in France and Bouzar feels it's important to look for the reasons why a percentage of young Muslims feel the need to look abroad for guidance - a relatively new phenomenon. >> continue (link updated)
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
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
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 (link updated)
SEE ALSO THEIR PAPER: Instant Messaging: Functions of a New Communicative Tool (pdf)
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
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
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