All Blog Posts (814)

The Language of Reciprocity and Exchange

If someone says, "Thank you," and another one responds, "You're welcome," does the response deny, cancel, or balance out a reciprocity or an exchange? Does it mean the one who thanks is welcome again to avail, receive, or ask for favor? Does the one who responds mean what he says or is he culturally conditioned linguistically to say "You're welcome" if he hears someone say "Thank you"? Is the "thank you-and-you're welcome" dialogue, in itself, a reciprocity of acts and an exchange of… Continue

Added by M Izabel on December 3, 2010 at 7:13am — 37 Comments

Conflict and Resolution: Exchange Versus Reciprocity

Bourdieu's symbolic violence, I think, is central in reciprocity as Nash Equilibrium is in exchange.

I remember writing a post before about how my grandmother and my friend's grandmother practiced reciprocity. They gave each other food, drinks, clothes, jewelries, plants, and even animals that they did not need, value, and meaningfully utilize. It was an ego reciprocating another ego back-and-forth in an almost endless fashion. They were outdoing each other. Once, my…

Added by M Izabel on December 3, 2010 at 2:18am — No Comments

The Birth of Society

How does a society emerge? Is it communism or capitalism that gives birth to it? Is it physical or conceptual? Can a nation or state have multiple societies? Is society communistic or capitalistic?

Here are my answers:

Power distributed and exercised hierarchically among groups and individuals is a requirement for the concept of society to emerge in a certain group or community. No wonder among indigenous peoples who are egalitarian and…


Added by M Izabel on December 2, 2010 at 3:21am — 10 Comments

Communalism, Reciprocity, and Exchange

Thomas Headland wrote:

"Twentieth-century Casiguran Agta history can be divided into three periods. The first is the Forager Phase, which lasted until 1964, when the Agta were still able to live their traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle based on collecting and trading forest products with downriver farmers for…

Added by M Izabel on December 1, 2010 at 8:22am — No Comments

Indian Rupee Symbol: Designing Globalized Culture

Considering the large number of OAC members coming from India, I wonder why most of them do not participate in discussions and debates. They play the opposite of Amartya Sen's "The Argumentative Indian." I hope this post can stir them and make them share their views on the new symbol of Indian rupee and the issues of inclusive globalization and of designing globalized culture.…


Added by M Izabel on December 1, 2010 at 4:06am — 6 Comments

Islam, violence and mourning in America

By Betsy Taylor

(published in NORTH OF CENTER, Nov 24, 2010

America’s founding documents speak in the first person plural with such power—“We the People…We hold these truths…We have warned them…We have reminded them…We have conjured them…We, therefore…solemnly publish

and declare.” Why has it now become so hard to say “We” as Americans


This question has hounded me recently. On… Continue

Added by Betsy Taylor on November 25, 2010 at 6:13pm — No Comments

AAA new Long-Range Plan drops reference to science

AAA new proposed Long Range Plan drops reference to science. I find this a little troubling.

This is the mission statement:

Section 1. The purposes of the Association shall be to advance anthropology as the science that

studies… Continue

Added by Jacob Lee on November 24, 2010 at 5:00am — 11 Comments

The Genetics of Migration

National Geographic has been airing a series about annual migration in the animal world. From Monarch butterflies to African elephants, they are all beautifully documented. Their numbers are just overwhelming to watch. It's called "Great Migrations" because it's really a mass movement of bodies in hunger and in heat. Army ants march on like soldiers and form themselves into a gigantic barricade during… Continue

Added by M Izabel on November 23, 2010 at 5:57am — No Comments

For Soccer

(found poem)

(An American's View of Berlin: 06-19-06)

The Croats are tanned,

the Swedes pink,

the Poles the color of powder.

They hoist the flags of their nations

and trundle like tiny

sweating armies under the sun.

The beer comes in big cups,

and the boats on the River Spree

glide past with music and accents



Added by Achirri Ishmael on November 21, 2010 at 3:00am — No Comments

Rummy's Winter*

[Found Poem]


he stood alone

at the 42 metro bus stop

just north of dupont circle last thursday

when icy traffic made the roads

a nightmare for drivers.

with his smartrip card in hand –



Added by Achirri Ishmael on November 21, 2010 at 3:00am — 2 Comments

Where the Wild Things Are: The World According to Larry H. Summers

found poem


“Inhabitants of low-income countries
typically die before the age

at which they begin

suffering prostrate cancer

associated with toxic…

Added by Achirri Ishmael on November 21, 2010 at 2:00am — 4 Comments

Bums, Scums, Nuts, and Sluts Do Matter in Social Science

I owe my understanding that history must come from below, from peripheries, from the edges, and from the margins not to Howard Zinn but to Ambeth Ocampo, a famous historian in my country who was educated in Britain. He also writes for a national daily, and his subjects are mostly about our eighteenth-century heroes. He demystifies and "unclothes" them. The title of his book about our national hero, "Rizal Without the…

Added by M Izabel on November 20, 2010 at 12:03pm — 2 Comments

Experimental Anthropology

I was browsing foreign films on when the synopsis of "Le Ballon Rouge" (The Red Balloon) popped up. The synopsis said that it was about a Parisian boy who found a red balloon, and it asked if the red ballon found the boy. The posed question sounded playful and innocent, but it definitely tickled my mind.…


Added by M Izabel on November 18, 2010 at 4:58pm — 1 Comment


Marx between Mill, Mayhew and Dickens

Phil Swift's brilliant post on the relevance of Henry Mayhew's 19th century investigations of London's working classes for a politicized ethnography today has set off many reverberations inside my skull. One issue is the relationship between Mayhew's project and Marx's. Both are highly critical of the social causes of the… Continue

Added by Keith Hart on November 18, 2010 at 2:00pm — 2 Comments

Anthropology + Photography

When I first started this blog I wrote a few posts about what different people do with photography, how they use it, and why. Those were inspired by social scientists and anthropologists who have looked into the social meanings and uses of photography--Pierre Bourdieu, Jay Ruby, Elizabeth Edwards, among others. Some of those posts looked at the lives of particular professional photographers, like…

Added by ryan anderson on November 17, 2010 at 4:00pm — 3 Comments

Ontology Is Dynamic

Like culture, ontology, which includes terms, categories, concepts of being, realities, relations, is dynamic because language is. I don't know if you still have to require me to quote someone about the dynamism of language and of all features embedded in it such as lexicons, syntax, semiotics, and, yes, semantics. I'm a little bit Chomskyan in my treatment of semantics. The latter can stand alone even without syntax, grammar, or structure, and that includes the standards of how it is used.… Continue

Added by M Izabel on November 16, 2010 at 9:38pm — 2 Comments

The 'Perils of the Nation': The Activist Anthropology of Henry Mayhew

I want to tell you about Henry Mayhew. His work is neither new (he wrote during the same decades as Charles Dickens), nor was he an anthropologist, yet for all that, he produced a vital and urgent anthropology that speaks critically to our current moment.

Mayhew’s aim (in his own words) was to ‘publish the history of a people, from the lips of the people… Continue

Added by Philip Swift on November 16, 2010 at 6:30pm — 7 Comments

Meaning: A Few Words from the Competition

From one now popular perspective, anthropologists are supposed to be especially acute interpreters of what other people(s) mean. But meaning is not, of course, a topic restricted to anthropological theory. An e-mail delivered via Soc-Net points to a deep review of philosophical and analytic perspectives of particular interest to developers of semantic network analysis. The abstract on reads as follows,…


Added by John McCreery on November 16, 2010 at 10:28am — No Comments

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