(Post in progress)
Here a short summary of some stories published during the summer break:
Most discussed: Jared Diamond's book "Guns, Germs and Steel" and the reasons for differences in progress for different societies
From a summary of the debate in Inside Higher Education (via Keywords):
Diamond focuses on the impact of geography — whether food and other key items were plentiful, whether and how disease spread, and how these developments led to different levels of industrialization, and wealth. "The book overlooks a fundamental issue: the inequality within countries as well as between them,” Kerim Friedman writes. “I assure you that logging industry executives in New Guinea live better than you or I do! Both New Guinea and the United States are far more unequal (by some measures) than is India." >> read more in Inside Higher Education
Field Work at Mac Donalds Drive-Through. Coca-Cola hired an anthropologist to find out how to sell more Coke to car drivers and the anthropologist didn't have more than 40 seconds per informant >> read the whole story "Ronald, patron saint of ethnography" by Grant McCracken (inkl lots of comments!)
Online-Research on age cohorts Charu writes: "I am very curious about what experiences we grew up sharing…. Internet ? Technology ? Liberalization ?" Her idea: to understand the events, ideas, values that have shaped her generation (mid-70’s born, the over-20, 30 ish) and to experiment with the possibility of blogs as a tool for primary research…. >> continue to her post on "A Time To Reflect"
Ethnographic Research on African Village in the Zoo published Nina Glick Schiller, Data Dea and Markus Höhne (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle, Germany) did some fieldwork in the zoo. One of their findings: "Organizers and visitors were not racist but they participated in and reflected a process that has been called racialization: the daily and often taken-for-granted means by which humans are separated into supposedly biologically based and unequal categories." >> read the summary and download the report