Anthropology

The Anthropological Roots of Ursula Le Guin

A connection can be made in between Ursula Le Guin’s fiction and her father’s groundbreaking work in anthropology. His ideas – which had a profound influence on his daughter’s writing – stemmed from an important development in the discipline of anthropology, one that viewed human culture as something that wasn’t ingrained, and had to be taught and learned.

4 years ago
896
Scott Atran

Scott Atran on Sacred Values

In this Social Science Bites podcast, anthropologist Scott Atran describes how ‘sacred values’ prove remarkably immune to negotiation and can empower vicious terrorism or victorious revolution.

4 years ago
3199

Book Review: Cold War Anthropology: The CIA, The Pentagon and the Growth of Dual Use Anthropology

“Cold War Anthropology: The CIA, The Pentagon and the Growth of Dual Use Anthropology” offers a historical account of how the US military industrial complex has had a profound influence on the development of US anthropology during the Cold War and into the present day. Reviewer Joseph Anderson sees the book as a dense but readable outline that confronts how ethnographic research in the field has been shaped by wider political-economic force.

5 years ago
870
Stereotypical anthropologist

What Does an Anthropologist Actually Do?

Anthropologists use ethnographic methods designed to facilitate their competency in another culture to understand what people do, think, feel and say that might seem strange to an outsider but are completely familiar to an insider. But what does that mean in practice?

5 years ago
583
Janet Carsten

Janet Carsten on the Kinship of Anthropology

One of the leading exponents of what might be called the second coming of kinship studies, Janet Carsten, a professor of social and cultural anthropology at the University of Edinburgh, has (literally) brought new blood into the field, exploring kinship’s nexus with politics, work and gender.

6 years ago
7854

This Book About an Anthropologist Ought to Win the Man Booker

A corporate anthropologist is told to write a report that will “name what’s taking place right now” and is “the First and Last Word on our age.” And so we set the stage for what in turn David Rudrum argues is itself a zeitgeist-defining work.

6 years ago
595

Trevor Marchand on Craft

It’s an unusual approach for an academic: a hands-on approach. Literally a hands-on approach. Trevor Marchand is an anthropologist interested in how information about crafts is transferred from expert to novice. This has led him to Nigeria, Yemen, Mali, and East London …

7 years ago
3267
Medicins Sans Frontieres staff in Guinea

Ebola: The Human Cost of Neglecting the Social Sciences

There is a genuine cost from ignoring lessons from social science in the fight against Ebola. What’s even sadder — these lessons were taught in blood three decades ago in the fights against AIDS. Are we ready for the next malady?

7 years ago
874

What is the “Global Brain”?

Just what is the “Global Brain”? In his article “Global Brain and the Future of Human Society,” Cadell Last defines […]

7 years ago
358

We need more mainstream social science, not less.

A recent New York Times op-ed has provoked a great deal of debate over the relevance and reinvigoration of the social sciences. Alex Golub welcomes some of the criticism levied at the social sciences as a whole but finds the lack of evidence supporting many of the sweeping claims on why social science is stagnating to be unreconcilable given massive funding differentials and the history of social and natural sciences. But social scientists must continue to work to ensure mainstream social science is communicated in more accessible ways.

8 years ago
657