Posts Tagged With ‘anthropology’


Anthropology of Education

Anthropology of education engages these perspectives through the study of schooling in our own culture, from the perspective of minority groups in our culture, and from multiple transcultural perspectives. The anthropology of education engages issues such as the socialization process of schooling; the production, transmission, and acquisition of “culture” within the educational process; the role of ethnocentrism and cultural relativism in schools; the school’s role in the creation of identity; and how minority groups interact with the majority culture of schooling. These issues are at the heart of immense debate and analysis within educational policy and practice, ranging from questions of multicultural education to what it means to be educated; from curriculum design to multiple intelligence; from why minority students disproportionately fail in school to what it means for a test to be “culturally biased.”

Source: here


Aliases, creeping, and wall cleaning: Understanding privacy in the age of Facebook

Based on a year long ethnographic study in Toronto, Canada, this paper looks at how – contrary to many mainstream accounts – younger users do indeed care about protecting and controlling their personal information. However, their concerns revolve around what I call social privacy, rather than the more conventional institutional privacy. This paper also examines the somewhat subversive practices which users engaged in to enhance their own social privacy, and in some cases, violate that of others.

Source: here


Humanity’s Other Basic Instinct: Maths

Traditionally, scientists have thought that we learn to use numbers the same way we learn how to drive a car or to text with two thumbs … The oldest evidence of people using numbers dates back about 30,000 years: bones and antlers scored with notches that are considered by archaeologists to be tallying marks. More sophisticated uses of numbers arose only much later, coincident with the rise of other simple technologies. The Mesopotamians developed basic arithmetic about 5,000 years ago. Zero made its debut in A.D. 876. Arab scholars laid the foundations of algebra in the ninth century; calculus did not emerge in full flower until the late 1600s.

Despite the late appearance of higher mathematics, there is growing evidence that numbers are not really a recent invention—not even remotely. Cantlon and others are showing that our species seems to have an innate skill for math, a skill that may have been shared by our ancestors going back least 30 million years.

Source: here


The Encultured Brain: Why Neuroanthropology? Why Now?

Increasingly, neuroscientists are finding evidence of functional differences in brain activity and architecture between cultural groups, occupations, and individuals with different skill sets. The implication for neuroanthropology is obvious: forms of enculturation, social norms, training regimens, ritual, and patterns of experience shape how our brains work and are structured. But the predominant reason that culture becomes embodied, even though many anthropologists overlook it, is that neuroanatomy inherently makes experience material. Without material change in the brain, learning, memory, maturation, and even trauma could not happen. Neural systems adapt through long-term refinement and remodeling, which leads to deep enculturation. Through systematic change in the nervous system, the human body learns to orchestrate itself as well as it eventually does. Cultural concepts and meanings become anatomy.

Source: here


Fairy tales have ancient origin – Telegraph

Dr Jamie Tehrani, a cultural anthropologist at Durham University, studied 35 versions of Little Red Riding Hood from around the world.

Whilst the European version tells the story of a little girl who is tricked by a wolf masquerading as her grandmother, in the Chinese version a tiger replaces the wolf.

In Iran, where it would be considered odd for a young girl to roam alone, the story features a little boy.

Contrary to the view that the tale originated in France shortly before Charles Perrault produced the first written version in the 17th century, Dr Tehrani found that the varients shared a common ancestor dating back more than 2,600 years.

He said: “Over time these folk tales have been subtly changed and have evolved just like an biological organism. Because many of them were not written down until much later, they have been misremembered or reinvented through hundreds of generations.

Source: here


Fairy tales have ancient origin – Telegraph

Dr Jamie Tehrani, a cultural anthropologist at Durham University, studied 35 versions of Little Red Riding Hood from around the world.

Whilst the European version tells the story of a little girl who is tricked by a wolf masquerading as her grandmother, in the Chinese version a tiger replaces the wolf.

In Iran, where it would be considered odd for a young girl to roam alone, the story features a little boy.

Contrary to the view that the tale originated in France shortly before Charles Perrault produced the first written version in the 17th century, Dr Tehrani found that the varients shared a common ancestor dating back more than 2,600 years.

He said: “Over time these folk tales have been subtly changed and have evolved just like an biological organism. Because many of them were not written down until much later, they have been misremembered or reinvented through hundreds of generations.

Source: here


Links for December 2nd


Shoptalk, Anthropology and Business

Missed this Shop Talk discussion in September.

Shop Talk discusses the anthropologists who no longer observe tribal people out in the jungle, but watch us instead.

These days we’re the tribal people, it’s us they’re observing as we go about our daily lives and over the past few years especially, what we do and why we do it is becoming of increasing interest to business.

Accountants, for instance, how they react to a mountain of emails; why middle class mobile phone users in China take their phone to the temple to be blessed; how we do the shopping.

Various, including Simon Roberts of Ideas Bazaar can be heard here (.ram file). Interesting stuff.