Medical anthropologist Sabina Faiz Rashid, The Daily Star Bangladesh
The assumption often among policymakers is that mere provision of health services and better choices will improve health of the poor. Universal education in public health and biology and the availability of Western medical care are seen as preferred forms of intervention to improve the health situation of the country. However, throughout my fieldwork, I was confronted by overwhelming structural and social inequalities which have led to high unemployment, crime, widespread substance abuse and the breakdown of family networks and marital relations in slums.
For the poor, health cannot be separated from social and political -- economic conditions of everyday life. If we truly want to see improvements in the health of poor women and men in Bangladesh, we need a more radical and broader based approach to health, where social and economic justice need to be an integral part of medicine and public health interventions. >> continue
Anthropologists stepped into a hornets' nest on Monday, revealing research that suggests the original inhabitants of America may in fact have come from what is now known as Australia. The claim will be extremely unwelcome to today's native Americans who came overland from Siberia and say they were there first.
Silvia Gonzalez from John Moores University in Liverpool said skeletal evidence pointed strongly to this unpalatable truth and hinted that recovered DNA would corroborate it. She said there was very strong evidence that the first migration came from Australia via Japan and Polynesia and down the Pacific Coast of America. >>continue
The Australian/ eniar
THE skeletal remains of up to 18 Aborigines, stolen by a Swedish anthropologist 90 years ago, will be returned to Australia this month in a landmark repatriation agreement. Aboriginal elders from Western Australia, Queensland, NSW and Victoria will travel to Stockholm in late September to receive the ancestral remains and begin the process of spiritual healing.
Most of the remains - which are held in Sweden's Museum of Ethnography - were removed from the Kimberley by Swedish anthropologist Eric Mjoberg between 1910 and 1911.
Mjoberg's methods were said to include bribing Aborigines to lead him to remains and then smuggling the skeletons out of Australia by telling authorities the bones were from kangaroos. >> continue
With the increase in the population, Kathmandu valley's dynamics and structures of population have changed. New migrant families are coming up and the structures of old families are transforming from extended ones to nucleus. The family relation is no more confined to a particular locality and caste as it has become heterogeneous in nature. Many families even have married relations to international families.
Since valley has turned into a metropolitan, one can witness the transformation taking place in our age-old rituals, festivals and cultures. From celebrating rituals to marriage, the valley has seen drastic and dramatic transformation. Traditional systems are fading away and new system is gradually replacing the older one. As usual, Kathmandu valley is embracing change keeping intact its tradition of harmony and accommodation >> continue
Two new links, found via Science Blog/ Open Directory Project:
The Okavango Delta Peoples of Botswana: Short overview, many links. By John Bock, professor in the Department of Anthropology at California State University, Fullerton: "The Okavango Delta of the Republic of Botswana is a large wetland surrounded by the Kalahari desert. The Okavango is a unique ecosystem and has large populations of African mammals, birds, and other animals. Of less interest have been the 100,000 people who call the Delta home. This site is dedicated to the dissemination of information concerning the Okavango Delta People" >> continue
The Maithil Brahmans in India: an online ethnography by Carolyn Brown Heinz, Department of Anthropology California State University, Chico - including fieldnotes and many pictures. Confusing site navigation. >> continue
Alana Lentin, Open Democracy
The multiculturalist model that elevates difference to a social principle is under attack. People committed to creating a world of justice and equal rights should not waste time defending it.
Multiculturalism’s exclusive focus on culture can present an apolitical picture of “minority” experience and agency that evades the daily realities of institutionalised racism. This emphasis on culture lies at the heart of the problem of multiculturalism, and – I would argue – makes it an unworthy prize for progressive voices now seeking to reclaim it. >> continue
Thomas Hylland Eriksen's homepage
There are, plainly, no good arguments against allowing increased labour migration into European countries. Their labour is needed in our countries with their ageing populations; they enhance and widen the scope of national identities; their remittances help out at home; and their children have opportunities only dreamt about a generation earlier.
The problem for a country like Norway is, therefore, not how to limit the number of asylum-seekers or labour migrants, nor how to mitigate the conflict between immigrants and the domestic working class. The problem consists in attracting professionals. >> continue
AP / Yahoo News
Nearly 400 years after the worst of the Norwegian witch trials ripped through the area, approximately 100 people have made their way to the small town of Vardoe, just over 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) from the North Pole, for northern Norway's first ever witch conference.
"When we take the low population of Finnmark (Norway's northernmost county and home to Vardoe) into consideration, the persecution of accused witches is almost the worst in all of Europe," Rune Blix Hagen Hagen, historian at the University of Tromsoe, says. Approximately 20 percent of the 138 people convicted of witchcraft in Finnmark county between 1598 and 1692 were Sami.
While the belief in witchcraft and magic may appear firmly lodged in the past, the willingness to participate in witch hunts has not ebbed with the passing centuries, according to social anthropologist Jan Broegger. >> continue