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08/07/04

When cultures shape technology - Interview with Genevieve Bell

Tom's Hardware Guide

Tech firms flood consumers which new products every month. In an interview with Tom's Hardware Guide, Intel's anthropologist Genevieve Bell explains why cultures will determine the development of new products. Dell initiated at Intel a new way to think about the connection between people and technology, their cultural practices and "daily habits," she says. Rather than innovating and then trying to make people use products, the idea is to start with people and their needs first and learn what individual cultures care about. >>continue (updated link)

Anthropologist tries to fathom how advertisers can approach today's youth

Business Week

Timothy Malefyt is now an in-house anthropologist for BBDO New York, the advertising firm. His mission is to study a group of college students at Columbia University and figure out how in the world they process all of the information that comes their way, whether it's from TV, movies, billboards, video games, cell phones, the Internet -- just about everything but the fortunes wrapped inside Chinese cookies.

If a college student receives a targeted ad on her instant messaging (IM) screen, or a text message on her cell phone, is she likely to resent it? Consider it a joke? Would certain types of advertisements be welcomed? The answers depend, from an anthropologist's perspective, on the communications rituals associated with each of these tools. >>continue / copy

07/07/04

  22:05:13, by admin   . Categories: religion cosmology, migration, Caribbean

Haiti: Possessed by Voodoo

National Geographic

The ceremony begins with a Roman Catholic prayer. Then three drummers begin to play syncopated rhythms. The attendees begin to dance around a tree in the center of the yard, moving faster and harder with the rising pulse of the beat. The priest draws sacred symbols in the dust with cornmeal, and rum is poured on the ground to honor the spirits. In Haiti these rituals are commonplace: Voodoo is the dominant religion.

It was easy to meld the two faiths, because there are many similarities between Roman Catholicism and voodoo. Participation in voodoo ritual reaffirms one's relationships with ancestors, personal history, community relationships—and the cosmos. >>continue

Hmong: An Endangered People

University of California, Center for Southeast Asian Studies

There are more Hmong people today than Tibetans, yet the campaign to "Free Tibet" is widely popular in the U.S. and is internationally recognized, while the plight of Hmong people is relatively unknown. With this challenge, Dr. Eric Crystal introduced his lecture for the Center for Southeast Asian Studies on the UCLA campus. Eric Crystal is an anthropologist who has researched highland Southeast Asian cultures for over three decades.

The Hmong have had a long and distinctive history in China. Over the centuries they migrated south so that today they are dispersed throughout the highlands of southern China and northern Southeast Asia, including in Laos and Vietnam >>continue

  20:01:51, by admin   . Categories: politics, anthropology (general), persons and theories, music

The Rediff Interview/Nandini Chattopadhyay: Music and Protest

Rediff India

"I was doing my first major anthropology project studying the Baul protest movement and how it used music to talk about injustice, superstitions and hypocrisy. In Brazil too some of its most popular music and dance started in the ghettos as a protest against colonial rule and later against social inequities in general."

"Anthropology is what I do in my everyday life. In addition to living in India, I have lived in Singapore, Montreal, Canada and San Francisco. I have also traveled extensively across Asia and Europe. Learning different languages, philosophies, belief systems and social codes of conduct are what I have been doing as part of my everyday life. Being an anthropologist is somewhat of a continuation of that" >>continue

  13:58:04, by admin   . Categories: corporate & business anthropology, websites

Ideas Bazaar - Ethnography and Consultancy

London based research-based strategy consultancy using ethnograhic methods. "Ethnographic research is highly suited to telling us what we don't know about a given subject: it can tell us what really happens and how your product or service really fits into people's lives. It's good for bringing lives to life: generating intimacy but also new perspectives."

Check their articles and weblog!

>>continue

05/07/04

  19:59:54, by admin   . Categories: culture traditions, Us and Them, Latin- and Central America

Forgotten culture: Ignored by society, black Mexicans deny their history

Houston Chronicle

They call each other negro and sing and joke about living in an all-black community. But ask the villagers here about their African ancestry, and they respond with blank stares. Around the turn of the 17th century, Mexico imported more African slaves than anywhere else in the New World. But countless Mexicans are unaware of that history or that there are blacks in the country. The Mexican census does not acknowledge them. Indians get more recognition than blacks, who speak Spanish. >>continue

  19:28:48, by admin   . Categories: indigenous people / minorities, language, Native American

Saving native languages

University of Berkeley News

Chochenyo, the language of the Muwekma Ohlone people, has been silent since the 1930s, but a handful of tribal members working with mentors from the University of California, Berkeley's linguistics department are bringing it back to life >>continue

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