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Monthly Archives February 2014

Variations on an Educational Theme

When the traditional educational system of colonizing societies was disseminated to indigenous societies, it was not accepted by the colonized “as-is,” but was adopted as merely an underlying framework. This hybridization led to a multitude of varied, yet similar, educational systems across the post-imperialized world. In the following excerpt from the Introduction of Connecting Histories […]

Uzbekistan, Social Network of Choice

In the Republic of Uzbekistan, being Uzbek has less to do with one’s lineage and more to do with one’s allegiance to a society. The advantages of this voluntary membership within the Uzbek “social network” are explored in Variations on Uzbek Identity: Strategic Choices, Cognitive Schemas and Political Constraints in Identification Processes. Below, Peter Finke […]

Vienna, Dream City within a ‘Paradoxical Republic’

For the next three weeks, New York City will resonate with the energy of Austria. Vienna: City of Dreams will feature a slate of events presented by Carnegie Hall. Capping the festival will be symphony performances of the Vienna Philharmonic, an orchestra which has been celebrated since its first concert in 1842. This arrangement of […]

Throwing Out Ideas, The Culture of ‘Urban Pollution’

The celebrated volume of anthropologist Mary Douglas, Purity and Danger (1966), broke ground with its discussion of cleanliness, dirtiness, and sacred ritual. Editors Rivke Jaffe and Eveline Dürr took this up in their 2010-published Urban Pollution: Cultural Meanings, Social Practices. The volume, which was published as a paperback earlier this month, dusts off the concepts of […]

Love in the Time of Ethnography

In David Picard’s Tourism, Magic and Modernity: Cultivating the Human Garden, the author uses analogy to shed light on life in La Réunion, a tropical tourist destination in the Indian Ocean. The volume, recently published in paperback, shows that, like plants in a garden, local life is pruned — using the shears of development and […]

A ‘Privileged’ Prisoner is Still a Prisoner

In German concentration camps, some Jewish prisoners were selected by their Nazi captors to hold more-advantaged positions within the population of the camp. This not only allowed them some protections, but also made them targets of disdain from other victims. Author Adam Brown sheds light on these “privileged” few in his volume Judging “Privileged” Jews: […]

Following the Diaspora: A Study of the Hadrami Community

The Hadrami community’s migratory patterns throughout the Indian Ocean region have historically been propelled by trade and religious ambitions. Leif Manger’s complex ethnographic account of this community’s varied and widespread diaspora from South Yemen is explored in The Hadrami Diaspora: Community-Building on the Indian Ocean Rim, which was published this month in paperback. Following, Manger […]

The Importance of Being Nourished

Nutrition is essential to human life, no matter one’s cultural background or period in which one lived. Human Diet and Nutrition in Biocultural Perspective: Past Meets Present, published in 2010 and recently available as an ebook, follows this fundamental building block of life and its impact on society from prehistoric to contemporary times, across the […]

Hot Off the Presses – New Journal Releases for January

German Politics & Society Volume 31, Issue 4 This special issue is titled “German-Polish Border Regions in Contemporary Culture and Politics: Between Regionalism and Transnationalism.” Contributions to the History of Concepts Volume 8, Issue 2 This issue features articles covering a variety of social, political, and cultural topics. Social Analysis Volume 57, Issue 3 This special […]