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03.08.05: The blog has moved to www.antropologi.info/blog/anthropology/, and several broken links have been corrected

Here are the most recent posts on the new blog location:


Sunday, May 01, 2005, 18:58

News from Kerim Friedman: How folksonomy websites can be used by anthropologists

In a new Anthropology News article, Anthropologist Kerim Friedman gives a short introduction in folksonomies and provides examples of how folksonomy web sites can be used by anthropologists. The term folksonomy, he explains, "owes its roots to the anthropological study of “folk taxonomies,” popular in the 1960s, it is a new term, coined by blogger Thomas Vander Wal to describe an emergent, decentralized approach to classifying information on the Internet." >> continue

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Saturday, April 30, 2005, 18:06

News from T.Hylland Eriksen: On Useless universities,Human security & Pluralism

Three new texts can be found on the website of anthropologist Thomas Hylland Eriksen. The first one is a translation of an article published earlier in the Norwegian newspapoer Morgenbladet and deals with the commercisalisation of Norwegian universities:

On the fundamental uselessness of universities
Politicians try to make the universities more efficient, in accordance with the gospel of New Public Management. Many countries have now introduced quantitative techniques for ‘measuring’ the efficiency of academics, and have finally made the long-expected connection between funding and productivity, measured in student credits and publications. The universities become a kind of industrial enterprise. University employees are well on their way to becoming musicians who have been instructed to play twice as fast, so that productivity can be increased. >> continue (a bit farther down the page)

I haven't read the other articles and as I'm on my way out, I'll just mention them quickly (Focus on security and trust seems to be a hot research issue):

From obsessive egalitarianism to pluralist universalism? Options for twenty-first century education
Although there are important, sometimes disturbing, connections between neoliberalism and certain forms of knowledge pluralism, I do not propose to explore them here. Instead, I shall focus on conditions for the transmission of knowledge in our time, arguing that it is necessary to find a third way between the Scylla of fixed, authoritarian knowledge and the Charybdis of relativist confusion. >> continue

Risking security: Paradoxes of social cohesion
Although the concept of human security, as it is currently being used in the worlds of development studies and peace and conflict research, was introduced as late as the mid-1990s, it can be used to address questions which are as old as the social sciences themselves. >> continue

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Thursday, April 28, 2005, 13:00

Book review: How American Hospitals Shape the End of Life

USA Today

Medical anthropologist and University of California-San Francisco professor Sharon Kaufman, relies on extensive research and two years of firsthand observations in three hospitals. Kaufman's book wrestles with death and dying. She describes how 27 people pass their final days and hours. In the epilogue, she notes that she had not expected to spend half her time in intensive-care units. >> continue

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Thursday, April 28, 2005, 12:52

Gene Study Puts Indians on Guard

IPS News

Scientists involved in the Genographic Project will go in search of the genes of indigenous communities worldwide in a bid to decipher the puzzle of how ancient peoples were disseminated around the planet. Negative experiences in the past, cultural resistance and the influence of global activism against ''biopiracy'' have triggered suspicion among the Indians, who worry about their role in DNA studies, according to Latin American indigenous leaders consulted by Tierramérica.

But the bigger storm cloud, according to U.S. rights activists, is the controversial Human Genome Diversity Project (HGDP), dating to 1991. The initiative aimed to study human genetic variations to help design new medical treatments, among other purposes. Angry anthropologists, activists and Indians described the project as ''racist'' and prevented it from taking place in its original form. >> continue

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005, 11:57

Anthropologist: Europe Should Face Itself in Turkey's Mirror

Zaman Daily Newspaper

At this time of the season, purple flowers bloom more fully in all corners of the Bosphorous, and purple clusters, enchanted because spring is coming at full speed, twine around. Being in Istanbul is a privilege under the shadow of purple clusters. Philosopher, anthropologist and sociologist Edgar Morin, was in Istanbul last weekend. Morin says, "Love is part of a life poem," and he himself has proven the fact that if one does not know anything about poems, he/she cannot be a scientist.

"Despite all efforts by intolerant Europeans, Turks climb a 200-meter hill on the way to Saint George Orthodox Church in Istanbul, together with Christians and Muslims. It is not our duty to judge the people's beliefs here, but the ability to pray side by side and the fraternity among nations. Europeans are not very familiar with this ability. They have been after sharing since the beginning of the 19th century. They do not see the "people" around but only race, religion and discrimination. Europeans, who are busy setting double standard snares, are now lagging far behind the idea of humanism", Morin says. >> continue

Resident Foreigners and Antalya. A new sociological structure in Turkey that came along with globalization

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Monday, April 25, 2005, 12:24

Introduction to "Media Worlds": Media an important field for anthropology

anthropologist Andrea Handl, zerzaust

In their introduction to "Media Worlds" Ginsburg, Abu-Lughod and Larkin argue, that the anthropology of media is an important field of study, as the "ubiquity of media worldwide means, that anthropologists encounter it in the diverse places where we work." They think that media anthropology will be able to advance theory and method in both anthropology itself and nearby fields that are concerend with the study of media. What anthropolgy can contribute to the study of media is a global, comparative perspecitve. >> continue to her post (incl many related links!)

New book by Lila Abu-Lughod: The Politics of Television in Egypt

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Friday, April 22, 2005, 08:47

Greenpeace activists & Sami reindeer herders want to stop the logging of forests

Six Degrees, Finnland

Greenpeace have set up a Forest Rescue Station in Finnish Lapland to stop the logging of forests used as natural pastures by Sami reindeer herders. This action also highlights outstanding disputes concerning the land rights of the indigenous Sami in Finland. Finland is home to about 7,500 Sami.

The Sami understandably ask why the government and Finnish NGOs always seem to be ready to defend the rights of indigenous peoples in faraway countries, while failing to uphold the rights of Europe’s last first nation in their own country. This winter the Finnish government-owned forestry organisation Metsahallitus announced plans to log state-owned forests where the Sami graze their reindeer, against the wishes of local reindeer herders’ co-operatives and environmental groups. >> continue

The Sámi of Far Northern Europe (ArcticCircle)

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005, 22:59

Inuit leader wins environment prize

The Globe and Mail

Canadian Inuit leader Sheila Watt-Cloutier won the 2005 Sophia environment prize Wednesday for drawing attention to the impact of climate change and pollution on the traditional lifestyles of the Arctic's indigenous people and others. Ms. Watt-Cloutier, born in Nunavik, Que., and raised in a traditional Inuit family, has been the chairwoman of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference for the past decade. Last year's winner, Kenyan environmental activist Wangari Maathai, went on to win the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. >> continue

Sheila Watt-Cloutier: 'Our land is changing - soon yours will too' (The Guardian, 15.1.05)
Fighting for the Right to be Cold - The Satya Interview with Sheila Watt-Cloutier
Inuit threat over global warming (BBC 11.12.03)

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Monday, April 18, 2005, 12:58

Open source movement is like things anthropologists have studied for a long time

Jill Walker (University of Bergen, Norway) reports from a seminar I've missed to attend:

Lars Risan is the first speaker at the network seminar I’m at in Oslo. Don’t you love the idea of code as sacrament? Lars is an anthropologist, and he starts his talk by saying that actually, what we see in the open source movement is a lot like things anthropologists have studied for a long time. >> continue / see more notes on the front page

Lars Risan: The Net, Hacking and Linux
Gift economies and open source software: Anthropological reflections

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Sunday, April 17, 2005, 17:01

UPDATED: Ethnographic Study on "Digital Kids"

Linux Electronics

A University of California, Berkeley, professor is spearheading a team just awarded $3.3 million to study "digital kids." The study will document how youth from ages 10 to 20 are using new digital media to create and exchange knowledge, assess how these phenomena affect learning, and encourage use of its conclusions for the improvement of schools.

Principal investigators include anthropologist Mizuko Ito, who has studied youths' use of digital media in the United States and Japan.

Half of the ethnographic study's research sites will be online and include the use of blogs, new online play sites such as Neopets and online games. The other half will include sites like libraries, community centers, game centers and after-school programs that have digital media. >> continue

UPDATE: Judd Antin (University of California Berkeley!) has more information. He writes - among others: "There is practically no research on how youth in the United States use, perceive, and value ICTs. It’s a gigantic gap. We aim to fill it. (..) Educational technology has been stagnant since about 1990. There have been practically no new developments in teaching software. Through our study we hope to provide the ammunition to develop educational software that works, and which capitalizes on the new, digital, networked environment in which many kids are growing up. >> continue
He also points to the research project's homepage

Ethnographic Skype
Instant Messaging - Studying A New Form of Communication

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Sunday, April 17, 2005, 16:55

Donna Goldstein has been named winner of the 2005 Margaret Mead Award

Denver Post

University of Colorado anthropologist Donna Goldstein has been named winner of the 2005 Margaret Mead Award, given every other year to a young anthropologist in recognition of excellent research. The American Anthropological Association and the Society for Applied Anthropology recognized Goldstein for her 2003 book, "Laughter Out of Place: Race, Class, Violence and Sexuality in a Rio Shantytown."

Goldstein originally visited the shantytown to study an AIDS epidemic among women there, she said in a statement. But she ended up writing about how the women use storytelling and black humor to deal with their sometimes tragic lives. Source / >> more info on the website of Society for Applied Anthropology (they might have mistaken 2004 and 2005?)

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Saturday, April 16, 2005, 19:05

Ethnographic Flickr

Anthropologist Kerim Friedman, Keywords

Last year, when I was offered the opportunity to teach a course on anthropology and photography at Haverford College, I immediately knew I wanted to do something with Flickr. I have to admit that it was exhausting correcting papers with dozens of hyperlinks to photos on flickr. But it was also fun. I especially enjoyed seeing the various ways students used Flickr’s tags to come up with interesting paper topics. >> continue

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Saturday, April 16, 2005, 16:22

New forum installed with RSS-support

I've installed a new forum in English - in addition to the one in Norwegian (the same forum script) that has been (more or less) active for eight-nine months now. Use the forum to discuss or ask questions to other visitors. There's a built in email-notification feature, alternatively you can use the forum's RSS-Feed .

>> antropologi.info-forum in English.

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Friday, April 15, 2005, 00:06

Ethnographic Skype

Alexander Knorr, Xirdalium

Oftentimes there is a confusion about what anthropological 'fieldwork' actually is. One aim of my project is to transpose anthropology's rich and powerful methodology to the terra nova online: thick participation plus its weaknesses compensated by other methods like the ethnographic interview.

As Damien Stolarz has put it, Shapiro provides us with a "Simple hack using Skype as an audio interviewing and archive tool. Instead of needing phone interview recording hardware (which you might not have) you can use computer tools (which you have in abundance)." This contains tremendous possibilities for every trustworthy cyberanthropologist. >> continue


Whats your Skype Research Project? by anthropologist Dina Mehta

Dina Mehta: How social software and social tools are truly worldchanging

Skype and VOIP - all posts by Dina Mehta

antropologi.info's links on Cyberanthropology

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Thursday, April 14, 2005, 15:32

New book critizises ethnographic methods in market research on children

D. Murali in the The Hindu Buisiness Line

"Children have become conduits from the consumer marketplace into the household, the link between advertisers and the family purse," writes Juliet B. Schor in his book "Born to Buy". Marketers have "set their sights on children" — not for the odd trinket and toy as in those good old days, but also for the big money that this niche group can yield by influencing buying decisions.

What is depressing is the amount of specialised research that companies unleash on children. "They've gone anthropological, using ethnographic methods that scrutinise the most intimate details of children's lives. Marketers are videotaping children in their private spaces," laments Schor. Quite shockingly, "Researchers are paying adults whom kids trust, such as coaches, clergy, and youth workers, to elicit information from them"? Prying happens online too.

The last chapter springs a hope that childhood can be decommercialised, though the job is not going to be easy. Some of the changes that Schor proposes involve Government regulation of ads and marketing. >> continue

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005, 18:41

Gift economies and open source software: Anthropological reflections

David Zeitlyn, University of Kent at Canterbury

Building on Eric Raymond’s work this article discusses the motivation and rewards that lead some software engineers to participate in the open source movement. It is suggested that software engineers in the open source movement may have sub-groupings which parallel kinship groups such as lineages. Within such groups gift giving is not necessarily or directly reciprocated, instead members work according to the ‘axiom of kinship amity’ – direct economic calculation is not appropriate within the group. What Bourdieu calls ‘symbolic capital’ can be used to understand how people work in order to enhance the reputation (of themselves and their group). >> continue

(Found in the huge paper collection on Open Source at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology)


Social Exchange Theory: Lecture by William Davis, University of California, Davis

Cyberanthropology - links

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005, 12:10

Korean Artist a Fan of an Ancient Craft

Photojournalist Nayan Sthankiya, OhmyNews

Very little attention in today's fast-paced society is paid to the history and dedication involved in the production of traditional Korean fans. However, one man in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, continues to keep the art alive in much the same way it was practiced hundreds of years ago. >> continue

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Wednesday, April 13, 2005, 12:01

Indigenous Russians Unite Against Oil and Gas Development


Despite their small numbers, the Sakhalin aborigines are standing up to multinational energy companies that are developing oil and gas deposits on the island. On March 25-26, representatives of the Nivkh, Orok, Evenk, and Nanai peoples of Sakhalin held a congress in the town of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Roughly 3,000 indigenous people make up about 0.5 percent of the island’s total population.

The indigenous congress created a council which will represent the island’s indigenous population in negotiations with the oil companies and Russian government authorities. The council will advocate for an ethnographic study to assess the cultural impact of the oil and gas projects on indigenous peoples.

The new Shell pipeline is being constructed over a sacred Nivkh burial ground. The noise from the construction has impacted the caribou population and driven herders away from their traditional grazing grounds. The new Shell drilling platform and the pipeline connecting it to the shore is due to be constructed near the key feeding area of the endangered western pacific gray whale. >> continue

Peoples of the Russian North and Far East (Arctic Circle)

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Monday, April 11, 2005, 01:06

Laos: Massive Dam Project Could Backfire

IPS News

A new dam funded by the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and hailed as a windfall for Laos may end up doing more harm than good to one of the world's poorest nations and its vulnerable farmers, several independent development groups say. It shows that international financial institutions, spearheaded by the Washington-based World Bank, are paying little regard to indigenous people, the environment or the long-term welfare of the poor nation. This will drastically alter the character of two important rivers, displace thousands of desperately poor residents, and disrupt the livelihoods of tens of thousands more. >> continue

International Rivers Network: Nam Theun 2 - Open letter to the World Bank
The impact of the Nam Theun 2 dam on indigenous peoples (World Rainforest Movement)

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Sunday, April 10, 2005, 21:51

It's now easier to find older entries and pages. We're no longer dependent on the atomz free site search. As the maximum number of pages has been exceeded, not all pages were indexed. Now I've installed the isearch-search engine. The search is accessible in the menue on the left site of this page and on my anthropology search page.

As some of you might know, Yahoo has launched their social network tool Yahoo! 360º, including blog, photo sharing etc. In order to sign up, you need an invite. I have plenties of invites left, so if somebody is interested, drop a note with your email address and I'll send you an invite. Use the comment function or the contact form. By the way, I've got still lots of gmail invites...

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