Chelsea Hayman's Blog (12)

Linguistic Anthropology and Electoral Madness

Since I've returned to the United States, I've been thrown into the whirlwind of election frenzy that I largely wasn't exposed to in England. It's kind of shocking to see how candidates from both parties approach each other in the debate forum and what people generally consider to be acceptable behavior or not. Recently, after the Vice Presidential debate, there was lots of hubbub surrounding Joe Biden's behavior in the debate, particularly his willingness to so blatantly criticize Paul…


Added by Chelsea Hayman on October 14, 2012 at 6:49am — 3 Comments

Final Abstract for Dissertation

Knowledge For the Public Good: Learning Territoriality and Resource Management in Fisheries


Fishing is one of the most globalised work practices in the world, yet its form and execution varies greatly across cultural contexts. Learning to fish is often accomplished through “situated learning” in communities, which occurs both on the boat and through conversation with other fishers. However, the inculcation of skill and strategy is also…


Added by Chelsea Hayman on August 16, 2012 at 12:46pm — 5 Comments

The Limits of Ontological Anthropology?

After reading Mario Blaser’s intriguing article, The Threat of the Yrmo: The Political Ontology of a Sustainable Hunting Program (2009), I started to see where gaps could lie in the ontological perspective. Although he suggests a “political ontology,” his most compelling and evocative thesis lies in the claim that the Yshiro Indigenous communities of Northern Paraguay abide by an entirely ‘different world’ when they conceive of appropriate conservation behaviors. Thus, their idea…


Added by Chelsea Hayman on July 23, 2012 at 2:13am — 9 Comments

Ethno-Logic, Conservation Behaviors, and the Anthropologist

"The characterization of textbook logic is necessarily brief and simplistic, but it captures an essential point about how logicians view logic and its relationship to thinking. Even the most extreme logical formalists agree that logic is expressed through language. For instance, Quine presents logic as the product of truth and grammar. At the time, he claims that logic is empirically real and emerges in the scientific enterprise." -Hamill, Ethno-Logic: The Anthropology of…


Added by Chelsea Hayman on July 18, 2012 at 10:30am — 11 Comments

Does Abu-Lughod entirely reject the notion of 'culture'?

This is more of something that I'd like to propose or ruminate on because it's an issue that I raised recently after reading some of her work. In Writing Against Culture, she does, albeit briefly, mention that she feels as if the 'culture' idea is useful for some things. She states, "The most important of culture's advantages, however, is that it removes difference from the realm of the natural and the innate. Whether conceived as a set of behaviors, customs, traditions, rules,…


Added by Chelsea Hayman on June 3, 2012 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

The Comfort of Things in Child Development

Things, according to Miller, are constitutive of identity. "Material culture matters," he insists, "because objects create subjects more than the other way round". Even more strongly: "the closer our relationships with objects, the closer our relationships with people". -Laurie Taylor, The Independent

Not to argue too much against Miller, because I feel as if his work is of great importance to studies of consumption, but I feel as if his analysis is, at times, banal…


Added by Chelsea Hayman on June 3, 2012 at 10:30am — 1 Comment

Disembeddedness as Invalidated by Gender

After thoughtfully considering some of the comments made on my last post regarding Sahlins and Polanyi's infamous 'disembedded economy' thesis, I have been considering this line of argument even more carefully. Although there are inherently many issues with Sahlins's initial premise of 'affluence' among hunter-gatherers, I think it's crucial to point out that what his argument states, in a latent fashion, is that our society is not altogether different from those of the so-called…


Added by Chelsea Hayman on May 8, 2012 at 11:00am — 9 Comments

Could Sahlins's Affluent Society thesis be used to disprove Polanyi's disembedded economy thesis?

Polanyi characterizes the shift to market capitalism by arguing that individuals act upon more maximizing strategies in which they are driven by profit-based gains rather than the subsistence strategies of feudal England. Based upon this, he highlights how the market creates a sense of scarcity as a way of sanctioning workers to meet particular arbitrary demands predicated upon consumptive needs, which are determined by an unstable market.

Reflecting upon this, Sahlins argues that…


Added by Chelsea Hayman on May 6, 2012 at 10:30am — 3 Comments

A Critical Reanalysis of the link between Levi-Strauss and the Interpretivist School

In my prior anthropological theory classes from undergrad, Levi-Strauss was always juxtaposed against Geertz, with Geertz reacting against Levi-Straussian structuralism in an attempt to indicate the value of thick description - looking at bits of ethnographic data as chunks of information ripe for analysis. As we've talked about in class, his work, however, fails to really assess political issues and historical issues, which play a crucial role in anthropology, as evidenced by…


Added by Chelsea Hayman on May 5, 2012 at 11:00pm — 5 Comments

A few conceptual musings in cognitive science and anthropology

I’m reading Gregory L. Murphy and Douglas L. Medin’s 1985 article,The Role of Theories in Conceptual Coherence, from Psychological Review Vol. 92 No. 3. In this paper, they aim to outline the link that exists between theoretical and conceptual knowledge, which, so far, has been rather nicely accomplished through a bevy of valid examples. However, about midway through the paper, around page 296, they use an analogy of the silver dollar…


Added by Chelsea Hayman on March 18, 2012 at 8:33pm — 3 Comments

Medical Anthropology: Where my interests originate

Medical Anthropology is particularly relevant because medicine is something that runs through all people's lives. Universally, all people experience states of illness that deviate from what they define as healthy. I have always found that so fascinating, particularly because it imbues people with a certain sense of difference that can be both stigmatizing as well as powerful, in some senses.

I am interested in the intersections between transcultural psychiatry, altered emotive…


Added by Chelsea Hayman on March 17, 2012 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Drug Consumption, Psychiatry, and Social Memory

The experience of psycho-pharmaceutical drugs as a circulating commodity at the global scale has been documented by journalists, but it is an area not widely explored by anthropologists. Most anthropology (see Sue Estroff) has ethnographically assessed psychiatric wards and other sites of medical care in the United States and Western world, but aside from the work of Arthur Kleinman in China, it seems that most psychological anthropology addresses cross-cultural emotion states (Unni Wikan,…


Added by Chelsea Hayman on March 17, 2012 at 12:00pm — 2 Comments


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