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In Death, Materiality and Mediation, Barbara Graham analyzes a diverse range of objects associated with remembrance in both the public and private arenas through ethnography of communities on both sides of the Irish border. In doing so, she explores the materially mediated interactions between the living and the dead, revealing the physical, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual roles of the dead in contemporary communities. Through this study, Graham expands the concept of materiality to include narrative, song, senses, emotions, ephemera and embodied experience. She also examines how modern practices are informed by older beliefs and folk religion.
AIDS and Africa are indelibly linked in popular consciousness, but despite widespread awareness of the epidemic, much of the story remains hidden beneath a superficial focus on condoms, sex workers, and antiretrovirals. Africa gets lost in this equation, Daniel Jordan Smith argues, transformed into a mere vehicle to explain AIDS, and in AIDS Doesn't Show Its Face, he offers a powerful reversal, using AIDS as a lens through which to view Africa. Drawing on twenty years of fieldwork in Nigeria, Smith tells a story of dramatic social changes, ones implicated in the same inequalities that also factor into local perceptions about AIDS-inequalities of gender, generation, and social class. Nigerians, he shows, view both social inequality and the presence of AIDS in moral terms, as kinds of ethical failure. Mixing ethnographies that describe everyday life with pointed analyses of public health interventions, he demonstrates just how powerful these paired anxieties-medical and social-are, and how the world might better alleviate them through a more sensitive understanding of their relationship.
Since the emergence of Western philosophy and science among the classical Greeks, debates have raged over the relative significance of biology and culture on an individual's behavior. Today, recent advances in genetics and biological science have pushed most scholars past the tired nature vs. nurture debate to examine the ways in which the natural and the social interact to influence human behavior. In What's Normal?, Allan Horwitz brings a fresh approach to this emerging perspective. Rather than try to solve these issues universally, Horwitz demonstrates that both social and biological mechanisms have varying degrees of influence in different situations. Through case studies of human universals such as incest aversion, fear, appetite, grief, and sex, Horwitz first discusses the extreme instances where biology determines behavior, where culture dominates, and where culture overrides basic biological instincts. He then details the variety of ways in which genes and environments interact; for instance, the primal drive to eat and store calories when food supplies were scarce and behavioral patterns in a society where food is abundant and obesity stigmatized. Now that it's often easier to change our biology rather than our culture, an understanding of which behaviors and traits are simply normal or abnormal, and which are pathological or necesitate treatment is more important than ever. Wide-ranging and accessible, What's Normal? provides a crucial guide to the biological and social bases of human behavior at the heart of these matters.
As the speed of globalization accelerates, world cultures are more
closely connected to each other than ever before. But what exactly
is culture? It seems to be involved in all psychological processes,
but can its psychological consequences be studied scientifically?
How can cultural differences be described without reifying culture
and reinforcing cultural stereotypes? Culture and mind constitute
each other, but how? Why do humans need culture? How did the
evolution of the mind enable the development of human culture? How
does participation in culture transform the mind, and how does the
mind process and apply culture? How may culture become a resource
for pursuing valued goals, and how does culture become part of the
self? How do culture travelers navigate cultures and negotiate
multiple cultural identities?
Nowhere have recent environmental and social changes been more pronounced than in post-Soviet Siberia. Donatas Brandisauskas probes the strategies that Orochen reindeer herders of southeastern Siberia have developed to navigate these changes. "Catching luck" is one such strategy that plays a central role in Orochen cosmology -- luck implies a vernacular theory of causality based on active interactions of humans, non-humans, material objects, and places. Brandisauskas describes in rich details the skills, knowledge, ritual practices, storytelling, and movements that enable the Orochen to "catch luck" (or not, sometimes), to navigate times of change and upheaval.
Text messaging has spread like wildfire. Indeed texting is so
widespread that many parents, teachers, and media pundits have been
outspoken in their criticism of it. Does texting spell the end of
Winner of the 2015 LGBT Studies Award presented by the Lambda Literary Foundation Unearths connections between homoeroticism, cannibalism, and cultures of consumption in the context of American literature and US slave culture that has largely been ignored until now Scholars of US and transatlantic slavery have largely ignored or dismissed accusations that Black Americans were cannibalized. Vincent Woodard takes the enslaved person's claims of human consumption seriously, focusing on both the literal starvation of the slave and the tropes of cannibalism on the part of the slaveholder, and further draws attention to the ways in which Blacks experienced their consumption as a fundamentally homoerotic occurrence. The Delectable Negro explores these connections between homoeroticism, cannibalism, and cultures of consumption in the context of American literature and US slave culture. Utilizing many staples of African American literature and culture, such as the slave narratives of Olaudah Equiano, Harriet Jacobs, and Frederick Douglass, as well as other less circulated materials like James L. Smith's slave narrative, runaway slave advertisements, and numerous articles from Black newspapers published in the nineteenth century, Woodard traces the racial assumptions, political aspirations, gender codes, and philosophical frameworks that dictated both European and white American arousal towards Black males and hunger for Black male flesh. Woodard uses these texts to unpack how slaves struggled not only against social consumption, but also against endemic mechanisms of starvation and hunger designed to break them. He concludes with an examination of the controversial chain gang oral sex scene in Toni Morrison's Beloved, suggesting that even at the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first century, we are still at a loss for language with which to describe Black male hunger within a plantation culture of consumption.
Rituals combining healing with spirit possession and court-like proceedings are found around the world and throughout history. A person suffers from an illness that cannot be cured, for example, and in order to be healed performs a ritual involving a prosecution and a defense, a judge and witnesses. Divine beings then speak through oracles, spirits possess the victim and are exorcized, and local gods intervene to provide healing and justice. Such practices seem to be the very antithesis of modernity, and many modern, secular states have systematically attempted to eliminate them. What is the relationship between healing, spirit possession, and the law, and why are they so often combined? Why are such rituals largely absent from modern societies, and what happens to them when the state attempts to expunge them from their health and justice systems, or even to criminalize them? Despite the prevalence of rituals involving some or all of these elements, this volume represents the first attempt to compare and analyze them systematically. The Law of Possession brings together historical and contemporary case studies from East Asia, South Asia, and Africa, and argues that despite consistent attempts by modern, secular states to discourage, eliminate, and criminalize them, these types of rituals persist and even thrive because they meet widespread human needs.
Questions the way we understand the idea of community through an investigation of the term "historically black" In Historically Black, Mieka Brand Polanco examines the concept of community in the United States: how communities are experienced and understood, the complex relationship between human beings and their social and physical landscapes-and how the term "community" is sometimes conjured to feign a cohesiveness that may not actually exist. Drawing on ethnographic and historical materials from Union, Virginia, Historically Black offers a nuanced and sensitive portrait of a federally recognized Historic District under the category "Ethnic Heritage-Black." Since Union has been home to a racially mixed population since at least the late 19th century, calling it "historically black" poses some curious existential questions to the black residents who currently live there. Union's identity as a "historically black community" encourages a perception of the town as a monochromatic and monohistoric landscape, effectively erasing both old-timer white residents and newcomer black residents while allowing newer white residents to take on a proud role as preservers of history. Gestures to "community" gloss an oversimplified perspective of race, history and space that conceals much of the richness (and contention) of lived reality in Union, as well as in the larger United States. They allow Americans to avoid important conversations about the complex and unfolding nature by which groups of people and social/physical landscapes are conceptualized as a single unified whole. This multi-layered, multi-textured ethnography explores a key concept, inviting public conversation about the dynamic ways in which race, space, and history inform our experiences and understanding of community.
Explore the most fascinating, creative, dangerous, and complex species alive today: you and your neighbors in the global village. With compelling photos, engaging examples, and select studies by anthropologists in far-flung places, the authors of ANTHROPOLOGY: The Human Challenge, International Edition provide a holistic view of anthropology to help you make sense of today's world. With this text you will discover the different ways humans face the challenge of existence, the connection between biology and culture in the shaping of human behavior, and the impact of globalization on peoples and cultures around the world.
From the arrival of Europeans in the Pacific in the 16th century, introduced psychoactive drugs have played a crucial role in the history of societies from China to Peru, and from Alaska to Australia. Tobacco, followed by opium, distilled alcohol, caffeinated drinks, as well as laboratory drugs such as morphine and cocaine, became standardized and massively produced commodities. These substances joined a local base of indigenous drugs and fermented beverages to create new traditions of consumption that characterized entire peoples and cultures. They were also tools of European domination, so crucial elements of cultural and economic change: opium in China, coca in the Andes, and tobacco and spirits in Oceania. New consumption and production patterns revealed important differences among cultures and polities of the region, and spawned social problems that, in turn, transformed collective representations of these substances. Some became powerful moral symbols that shaped influential social and political movements, such as the Temperance League in the U.S., and the anti-opium movement in China.
In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal.
In the decades it takes to bring up a child, parents face challenges that are both helped and hindered by the fact that they are living through a period of unprecedented digital innovation. In Parenting for a Digital Future, Sonia Livingstone and Alicia Blum-Ross draw on extensive and diverse qualitative and quantitative research with a range of parents in the UK to reveal how digital technologies characterize parenting in late modernity, as parents determine how to forge new territory with little precedent or support. They chart how parents often enact authority and values through digital technologies since "screen time," games, and social media have become both ways of being together and of setting boundaries. Parenting for a Digital Future moves beyond the panicky headlines to offer a deeply researched exploration of what it means to parent in a period of significant social and technological change.
On November 5, 2008, the nation awoke to a New York Times headline that read triumphantly: OBAMA. Racial Barrier Falls in Heavy Turnout. But new events quickly muted the exuberant declarations of a postracial era in America: from claims that Obama was born in Kenya and that he is not a true American, to depictions of Obama as a Lyin African and conservative cartoons that showed the new president surrounded by racist stereotypes like watermelons and fried chicken. Despite the utopian proclamations that we are now live in a color-blind, postracial country, the grim reality is that implicit racial biases are more entrenched than ever. In Wrongs of the Right, Matthew W. Hughey and Gregory S. Parks set postracial claims into relief against a background of pre- and post-election racial animus directed at Obama, his administration, and African Americans. They provide an analysis of the political Right and their opposition to Obama from the vantage point of their rhetoric, a history of the evolution of the two-party system in relation to race, social scientific research on race and political ideology, and how racial fears, coded language, and implicit racism are drawn upon and manipulated by the political Right. Racial meanings are reservoirs rich in political currency, and the Right's replaying of the race card remains a potent resource for othering the first black president in a context rife with Nativism, xenophobia, white racial fatigue, and serious racial inequality. And as Hughey and Parks show, race trumps politics and policies when it comes to political conservatives' hostility toward Obama.
Ethnography and Virtual Worlds is the only book of its kind--a concise, comprehensive, and practical guide for students, teachers, designers, and scholars interested in using ethnographic methods to study online virtual worlds, including both game and nongame environments. Written by leading ethnographers of virtual worlds, and focusing on the key method of participant observation, the book provides invaluable advice, tips, guidelines, and principles to aid researchers through every stage of a project, from choosing an online fieldsite to writing and publishing the results. * Provides practical and detailed techniques for ethnographic research customized to reflect the specific issues of online virtual worlds, both game and nongame * Draws on research in a range of virtual worlds, including Everquest, Second Life, There.com, and World of Warcraft * Provides suggestions for dealing with institutional review boards, human subjects protocols, and ethical issues * Guides the reader through the full trajectory of ethnographic research, from research design to data collection, data analysis, and writing up and publishing research results * Addresses myths and misunderstandings about ethnographic research, and argues for the scientific value of ethnography
What defines "happiness," and how can we attain it? The ways in which people in China ask and answer this universal question tell a lot about the tensions and challenges they face during periods of remarkable political and economic change. Based on a five-year original study conducted by a select team of China experts, The Chinese Pursuit of Happiness begins by asking if Chinese citizens' assessment of their life is primarily a judgment of their social relationships. The book shows how different dimensions of happiness are manifest in the moral and ethical understandings that embed individuals in specific communities. Vividly describing the moral dilemmas experienced in contemporary Chinese society, the rituals of happiness performed in modern weddings, the practices of conviviality carried out in shared meals, the professional tensions confronted by social workers, and the hopes and frustrations shared by political reformers, the contributors to this important study illuminate the causes of anxiety and reasons for hope in China today.
In the fourth and final volume of the Memory Ireland series, Frawley and O'Callaghan explore the manifestations and values of cultural memory in Joyce's Ireland, both real and imagined. An exemplary author to consider in relation to questions of how it is that history is remembered and recycled, Joyce creates characters that confront particularly the fraught relationship between the individual and the historical past; the crisis of colonial history in relation to the colonized state; and the relationship between the individual's memory of his or her own past and the past of the broader culture. The collection includes leading Joyce scholars including Luke Gibbons, Vincent Cheng, and Declan Kiberd and considers such topics as Jewish memory in Ulysses, history and memory in Finnegans Wake, and Joyce and the Bible.
How are children raised in different cultures? What is the role of children in society? How are families and communities structured around them? Now available in a revised edition, this book sets out to answer these questions, and argues that our common understandings about children are narrowly culture-bound. Enriched with anecdotes from ethnography and the daily media, the book examines family structure, reproduction, profiles of children's caretakers within the family or community, their treatment at different ages, their play, work, schooling, and transition to adulthood. The result is a nuanced and credible picture of childhood in different cultures, past and present. Organised developmentally, moving from infancy through to adolescence and early adulthood, this new edition reviews and catalogues the findings of over 100 years of anthropological scholarship dealing with childhood and adolescence, drawing on over 750 newly added sources, and engaging with newly emerging issues relevant to the world of childhood today.
The International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP) is an independent association of top research scholars with the goal of assessing methods for improving the main institutions of modern societies. The IPSP has produced a report consisting of twenty-two chapters in three volumes that distills the research of these scholars and outlines what the best social science has to say about positive social change. Written in accessible language by scholars across the social sciences and humanities, these volumes assess the achievements of world societies in past centuries, the current trends, the dangers that we are now facing, and the possible futures in the twenty-first century. It covers the main socio-economic, political, and cultural dimensions of social progress, global as well as regional issues, and the diversity of challenges and their interplay around the world. The authors offer a cautious optimistic conclusion: multiple ideas for social progress and better policies are already available and deserve to be tested and implemented.
This textbook examines strategies of investing in human health and investing in economic growth as distinct approaches to development. It explores the symbiotic relationship of these tactics, and considers the applications and outcomes from a global, national and community level perspective. Each chapter introduces concepts of economic development and population health, and uses case studies to illustrate the same. These case studies include program and policy examples from Bangladesh, Chile, Haiti, Rwanda, South Africa and Sri Lanka. The textbook also examines the impact of macroeconomic adjustment programs, health care restructuring, investment in primary health care, public-private partnerships, and the challenges of program coordination and up-scaling in stable and conflict-ridden countries. Discussion questions are provided at the end of each chapter to facilitate classroom activities. Solutions are provided at the end of the textbook.
What exactly is the tenuous connection between an individual and culture? When does a cultural tradition cease to offer security to its members and instead becomes so confining that one must protest or rebel to survive as an individual? These issues, which had often undercut the author's well-intentioned research plans, compelled her to pay attention to the subjective aspect of research as much as the objective ones. This was the beginning of an inner exploration which led her to become a Jungian psychotherapist and a different kind of observer of human nature and culture.
From stories of biblical patriarchs and matriarchs and their children, through the Gospel's Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and to modern Jewish families in fiction, film, and everyday life, the family has been considered key to transmitting Jewish identity. Current discussions about the Jewish family's supposed traditional character and its alleged contemporary crisis tend to assume that the dynamics of Jewish family life have remained constant from the days of Abraham and Sarah to those of Tevye and Golde in Fiddler on the Roof and on to Philip Roth's Portnoy's Complaint. Jonathan Boyarin explores a wide range of scholarship in Jewish studies to argue instead that Jewish family forms and ideologies have varied greatly throughout the times and places where Jewish families have found themselves. He considers a range of family configurations from biblical times to the twenty-first century, including strictly Orthodox communities and new forms of family, including same-sex parents. The book shows the vast canvas of history and culture as well as the social pressures and strategies that have helped shape Jewish families, and suggests productive ways to think about possible futures for Jewish family forms.
As a definitive study of the poorly understood Apaches de paz, this book explains how war-weary, mutually suspicious Apaches and Spaniards negotiated an ambivalent compromise after 1786 that produced over four decades of uneasy peace across the region. In response to drought and military pressure, thousands of Apaches settled near Spanish presidios in a system of reservation-like establecimientos, or settlements, stretching from Laredo to Tucson. Far more significant than previously assumed, the establecimientos constituted the earliest and most extensive set of military-run reservations in the Americas and served as an important precedent for Indian reservations in the United States. As a case study of indigenous adaptation to imperial power on colonial frontiers and borderlands, this book reveals the importance of Apache-Hispanic diplomacy in reducing cross-cultural violence and the limits of indigenous acculturation and assimilation into empires and states.
"Perhaps," wrote Ralph Ellison more than seventy years ago, "the zoot suit contains profound political meaning; perhaps the symmetrical frenzy of the Lindy-hop conceals clues to great potential power." As Ellison noted then, many of our most mundane cultural forms are larger and more important than they appear, taking on great significance and an unexpected depth of meaning. What he saw in the power of the lindy hop - the dance that Life magazine once billed as "America's True National Folk Dance" - would spread from black America to make a lasting impression on white America and of fer us a truly compelling means of understanding our culture. But with what hidden implications? In "American Allegory", Black Hawk Hancock offers an embedded and embodied ethnography that situates dance within a larger Chicago landscape of segregated social practices. Delving into two Chicago dance worlds, lindy hop and steppin', Hancock uses a combination of participant observation and interviews to bring to the surface the racial tension that surrounds white use of black cultural forms. Focusing on new forms of appropriation in an era of multiculturalism, Hancock underscores the institutionalization of racial disparities and offers wonderful insights into the intersection of race and culture in America.
Anthropology for Development: From Theory to Practice connects cross-cultural social theory with the concerns of development policy and practice. It introduces the reader to a set of key ideas from the field of anthropology of development, and shows how these insights can be applied to solve real-world development dilemmas. This single, accessibly written volume clearly explains key concepts from anthropology and draws them into a framework to address some of the important challenges facing development policy and practice in the twenty-first century: poverty, participation, sustainability and innovation. It discusses classic critical and ethnographic texts and more recent anthropological work, using rich case studies across a range of country contexts to provide an introduction to the field not available elsewhere. The examples presented are designed to help development professionals reframe their practice with attention to social and cultural variables as well as understand why mainstream approaches to reducing poverty, raising productivity, delivering social services and grappling with environmental risks often fail. This book will prove invaluable to undergraduate and postgraduate students who are professionals-in-training in development studies programs around the world. It will also help development professionals work effectively and inclusively across cultures, tap into previously invisible resources, and turn current development challenges into opportunities.
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