Friday, July 20
Wednesday, February 15
Today in Iran many experience a dual life, and
speak what I call a “dual language.”There is an
expansion of ambiguous talk routinely affecting
all aspects of a person’s daily life. Lying,
hypocrisy, fear of punishment and being judged,
and an urge to please superiors are all common.
In opposition to dual life in Iran, many young
Iranians are increasingly turning to Persian blogs
as gateways for speaking out.
Regardless of how we understand the vulgarity
debate, and whether or not vulgarity applies to
all non-literary forms of writing and all taboo
subjects discussed, this so-called “vulgar sprit” in
Persian weblogs is a means of confronting dual
language, by which some bloggers intend to use
somewhat unconventional modes of writing to
express what they understand as their “pure” and
Whether certain trends in blogging can make a
difference in the future of Persian society is a
tempting question. Although we can’t determine
where this path of uncensored self-expression is
leading to at present, there are clues that they will
lead to a promising destination
Saturday, February 4
The sources which I found most interesting were Daniel Variscos blog post: Much Ado about Something Rotten in Denmark as well as a blog post by Mona Eltahawy (also quoted by Varisco) called A Mountain Out of a Molehill Over Danish Cartoons.
If you read german, there's a good overview at perlentaucher on the reactions of european media and an entry at wikipedia.
Here is a link to the "mohammed image archive" -
"an archive of numerous depictions of Mohammed to serve as a reminder that such imagery has been part of Western and Islamic culture since the Middle Ages -- and to serve as a resource for those interested in freedom of expression."
Thursday, January 19
Monday, January 16
Tuesday, January 10
fighting with complexity
Ulf Hannerz: [the term complex society]"is used somewhat imprecisely to refer mostly to societies with a developed division of labour and with sizeable populations. State organiszation, urbanism, organized social inequality and literacy tend also to be aspects of the complexity involved. (in Barnard & Spencer 2002)
Sydel Silverman: The term complex societies haslong been used in anthropology to refer to state-organized systems, including those of premodern times [...], those of the modern industrialized era, and those whose states stem from postcolonial or other recent political transformations.
(p. 292 in Barth, Gingrich, Parkin, Silverman 2005)
entry at wikipedia: a complex society is a social formation that is otherwise described as a formative or developed state.
Wilson/Introduction to Archeology: Societies which show in particular increased specialization and occupational separation. As inferred by the social typology set out by Elman Service, in complex societies, people "no longer combine, say, the tasks of obtaining food, making tools, or performing religious rights but become specialists at one or other of these tasks"
interesting comment by Hannerz:
The rather loose usage my be criticized - what society is realy not complex? - but anthropologists have obviously found it a convenient alternative to such terms as "modern society", "industrial society" or "civilization", with which it may partly overlap but which entail emphases or connotations one may prefer to avoid.
(again in Barnard & Spencer 2002)
THE at SM
I expect to submit a handful of blogs on a daily or bi-daily basis for a week or two, and my chosen topic is a staple on this site, namely the role of anthropologists and anthropology in a wider public sphere.
Instead of repeating myself, I'll make a new proposal for productive public engagement in each posting on this site. Tomorrow, I'll give you the story of a sport club in Drammen (a town near Oslo, where I live) and its struggles to incorporate minority children in its activities, and suggest how anthropologists might intervene. It goes without saying that I'm keen to receive your views, objections and suggestions as we go along.
Apart from interesting discussions that will surely follow his posts, there's something else happening here, which I want to keep an eye on: How are relations within academia influenced if well established anthropologists start blogging? I guess, like Will, I can say: "I'm looking forward to reading your posts, Thomas."
Tuesday, December 27
Cultural choices in the aftermath of the Tsunami
The book is published in both english and german and aimed at helping the survivors of the catastrophe to revive their traditions and customs. 50 of these books were sent to the Nicobar Islanders to "give these people a manual for their own, lost culture".
"The publishing house Czernin will donate all profits from the book’s
sale to the Sustainable Indigenous Futures (SIF) Fund, which supports
medium and long-term development projects for indigenous peoples from
Tsunami-affected areas on the Nicobar and Andaman Islands."