anthropologist

When I explain cultural misappropriation to children, I use the example of The Nightmare Before Christmas.  

It’s effective because especially for children, who don’t have enough historical context to understand much of the concept, you can still fully grasp the idea.  

There was nothing wrong with Jack seeing the beauty and differences in Christmas town, it’s when he tried to take what is unique about Christmas town away from those it originally belonged to without understanding the full context of Christmas things is when everything went wrong.

When Jack tries to get the folk of Halloween town to make Christmas gifts for children, etc., children understand that the Halloween town folk do not have the full context for the objects they are making, and they are able to see that the direct repercussions and consequences are very harmful.

I love the Humans are weird thing. And I was thinking about it and Happy Tears. 

Happy tears would confuse the heck out of aliens. 


Stasser is a Xeno-sociologist. It is highly regarded on it’s world and given how elite the study of alien societies is, that is a great achievement . It is because of this that Stasser was given the study of the humans. 

It is the third such expert assigned to the species and it finds them…vexing. 

it is clear they are emotional creatures. You can see that from their actions. In fact, the levels of their emotions and the scope of them (they become attached not only to their own and other species but to objects and fictional characters!) But the way they show these emotions is… less clear. Stasser is used to beings who show their feelings more directly. It’s own species are all connected. They share emotions through that connection. There is never any doubt what anyone is feeling. When they discovered other species felt things, it came as a surprise. 

It completely changed their culture overnight. 

If other species were emotional that meant… well it made a lot of their history a lot more shameful. 

Stasser has since studied many species both on world and off. Most species give obvious signals to demonstrate their emotions. Some are visual, some audio, some physical, it varies from lifeform to lifeform. On the planet Jax for example, emotions are shown through colour. Jaxans glow bright blue when they’re happy. They turn a murky grey when they are sad. Some of the more subtle shades took time to learn, and Stasser had thought it was fairly awkward method of communication, if fascinating. 

But humans! Humans were a whole new level of complicated. 

Humans use visual signals. The configuration of their eyes, their mouth, demonstrate how they feel. If their mouth is turned up, showing teeth, then they are happy. If the mouth is turned down and if the eyes are leaking fluid, this means sadness. 

Or no. They use audio signals. If their air filtering organs spasm causing an interrupted exhale, then they are happy. If their speech becomes louder, they are angry. 

Or wait, sometimes humans combine signals. If they make a sound-it is difficult to describe, it involves similar organ spasms as the happy sounds, but it does not sound the same- but if they make this sound while they are leaking from the eyes, it means that they are very sad indeed. 

Stasser thinks that it is finally coming to grips with human’s emotional signals. They are complex, certainly. But they are charming and the humans often vocalised their emotional state which helped. 

Then, it happened. 

One of the humans that Stasser was observing began leaking and it’s air filtering organ began spasming, making that difficult to describe noise. 

It had been reunited with its offspring. This was a joyous occasion, was it not? Could it be possible that humans did not form an emotional attachment to their offspring? That simply did not fit with any of the data Stasser had gathered thus far. 

“Crewman Avery? You are,” what was the word? “crying. Is something wrong? Is the offspring injured?” 

The offspring did not appear injured. The offspring was clinging to it’s parent, and it was making the upturned lip teeth showing expression of happiness. 

Crewman Avery made a strange audio signal. Was Avery injured? Stasser was a Xenosociologist not a xenobiologist. If Avery was injured, they must return to the ship at once. Stasser was broadcasting distress at the thought as well as confusion, but no one present had the correct organ to sense it. 

“Oh Stasser, honey, no. I’m,” Avery inhaled deeply, limbs encircling the offspring, “I’m crying because I’m happy.” 

Stasser stared for a long moment. It considered the long months of research and all the data it had gathered. The careful spreadsheets, the sketches of different visual signals, the recordings of audio signals. 

It considered a new career dispensing saccharine food items or as a cultivator of plant life. It likes plants. They were so attractive to look at. And despite many studies, they have never demonstrated any sign that they had emotions. 

Then Avery reached out a limb towards Stasser, pulling it into the physical contact. 

And Stasser thought maybe it just needed to study human emotional signals further. It might take a lifetime of concentrated observation, but it thought it was up to the task. 

anonymous asked:

what do I do when someone tells me Jewish isn't a race

Ah yes.  We know the type:

We don’t imagine the person who told you this will be intelligent enough to comprehend the following, but here’s the breakdown of how wrong they are:

1) There is no biological basis for race.  There is no gene that is exclusive to members of any one “racial” category.    The concept of “race” has been roundly rejected by geneticists and anthropologists as having zero scientific validity.   As anthropologist John Shea points out, “Race is folk taxonomy, not science. The variables used to organize it, such as skin color and hair texture, are arbitrary choices.”

2) If race isn’t a scientifcally-valid construct to describe reality, then just what is it?  It’s a social construct - something that doesn’t actually exist but that humans have taken a hold of as a way to organize their social world. As Brian Jones put it, race is real “…in the same way that Wednesday is real. But it’s also made up in the same way that Wednesday is made up.”

3) Because race is a made-up social construct, we prefer the term “racialized” as a term, since race isn’t something people are, it’s something that’s done to them - an identity foisted upon them.

4) Racialization historically has been super-arbitrary and what people think of as “races” varies with geography and time.  Since it’s not a scientifically-valid concept, country of origin, language spoken, and religious beliefs have all been used to determine what racial category one group or another has belonged to over the years - all in an attempt by the dominant “race” to keep “lesser races” subordinate to them.  For example, in the late 1800s, neither Italians nor the Irish were considered to be white.  There are parts of the word even today that would consider Catholics to be a separate racial category.

(above: anti-Irish racist propaganda from the late 1800s)

5) So because racialization is a social construct that changes with time and geography, Jews have previously been considered a separate “race” - certainly by the nazis in the most extreme and tragic example.  Karen Brodkin has written about how Jews in America “became white” in the 1940s.  Currently we are witnessing the racialization of Muslims in very much the same way that Jews were racialized.

So to sum up: race is a made-up concept that’s not substantively real or scientifically-valid.  Because of this, people have historically used all manner or criteria to try to delineate racial boundaries, including religion, language, and geographic origin.  Some of these, mixed with physical stereotyping, were combined to racialize Jews.  There have been other examples of ethnic, linguistic, and/or religious groups being racialized and we’re currently seeing the same thing happen to Muslims.  

ID #14759

Name: Serena
Age: 15 (almost 16)
Country: Australia

Hi! Ciao! I’m Serena, an artsy gal from Melbourne.
I love having pen pals and talking to people! It’s so interesting to learn all about where you come from, your culture, but also have someone to just talk about anything with.
I promise I’ll reply to any and all letters (that are respectful + non-offensive) and try to include little tidbits like art or poems or the latest tea I’m drinking (I LOVE tea). I’m big on the whole feminism movement, and I enjoy learning about other cultures (I would love to be an anthropologist - no that’s not the trendy, expensive store).
I feel like I’m rambling here (and I’ll ramble continuously in my letters) so I’ll try to wrap it up - I am currently learning Italian, studying maths (pre-methods), history, literature and biology. I am very interested in learning other languages - write to me in yours!

Preferences: 21 and under. Be kind xx

Bertha Parker Pallan (1907-1978) was a Native American archaeologist, of Abenaki and Seneca descent. Her parents were Behula Tahamont, a Native American actress, and Arthur C. Parker, the first president for the Society of American Archaeology. 

Parker discovered and participated in many archaeological sites during her career, but she is best known for her work at the site of Gypsum Cave. Although she was originally hired her as the expedition cook and secretary, she was allowed to explore the cave and was able to reach more inaccessible areas. It is here that she uncovered the first giant ground sloth remains in association with humans, a discovery that received national attention among anthropologists. After her time at Gypsum Cave, she discovered two additional sites: Corn Creek Campsite, and a pueblo site at Scorpion Hill. She worked for over 10 years as an Assistant in Archaeology and Ethnology at the Southwest Museum, where she published a number of archaeological and ethnological papers in the museum journal. In her later years, she acted as a technical advisory and consultant on TV shows and movies depicting American Indians, and hosted her own TV show on Native American history and folklore.

Bertha Parker Pallan was a ground-breaker in many aspects. She is considered the first female Native American archaeologist, and she is one of the first women  recognized for conducting her work at a high level of skill in the field without a university education. Additionally, her role as a consultant for TV and movies influenced how American Indian cultures and their histories were depicted in the media.

The Dogon people of the central plateau, Mali.

The Dogon worship ancestral spirits or deities called Nommos, who were described as amphibious, hermaphroditic, fish-like creatures. They breathed through holes on their back and had skin like that of a chameleon. The Nommos have been referred to by the Dogon as “The Monitors”, “Masters of the Water” and “The Teachers”.

Research completed by French anthropologists from 1931-1956, discovered (though not without controversy) from a village Elder named Ogotemmêli, that the Dogon understood knowledge of the Cosmos far beyond what could be expected.
Ogotemmêli told the French researchers that the Nommos came from a small planet which orbits a star, a sister star of Sirius. Ogotemmêli went on to explain that the sister star orbits Sirius every 50 years and has a huge mass.

The star, which scientists now know as Sirius B, completely invisible to the human eye, was only theorized in the 19th Century, and wasn’t photographed until 1970. According to Dogon tradition, it was the Nommos who provided them with the knowledge of Sirius B, along with the knowledge that Jupiter has 4 moons and Saturn has rings. 

The Dogon have long practised ceremonies which celebrate the cycle of Sirius B around Sirius. They are believed to be of Egyptian decent, another culture with strong ties to the star Sirius.

attracted to more than one gender/sex?? wanna talk about it???

My thesis involves interviewing people who practice or identify as being attracted to more than one gender/sex. it is completely confidential. if you’re interested, follow this account. If you have any questions, please message either this account or the one in the link. I will not be able to begin interviewing until I get IRB permission (hopefully within the month). You must be 18 years old or older to participate, as stated by the IRB.

Please feel free to share this or refer this to others! The more the better!

I don’t have any idea of who or what God is.  But I do believe in some great spiritual power.  I don’t know what to call it.  I feel it particularly when I’m out in nature.  It’s just something that’s bigger and stronger than what I am or what anybody is.  I feel it.  And it’s enough for me.
—  Jane Goodall
'humans are weird' post
  • Alien: We have a very dedicated humanology department in our learning hives.
  • Human: Humanology?
  • Alien: you know, the study of humans and their habits--
  • Human: ohhh, cool, we call them anthropologists here.
  • Alien: ......
  • Alien: ..............................you have humans that study humans?

anonymous asked:

Where did the "sometimes you misinterpret" meme come from? o-O

the “sometimes you misinterpret” came to us, honestly; knocked on our front doors and slipped into our inboxes in the form of one particularly resilient anon–one who’s clearly mastered the art of ye olde ctrl+ c/v–asking us all the same, quoteworthy question:

Did you change your mind about kubo?will you at least admit that you misinterpreted bleach now??

They didn’t just ask a couple of us, oh no, anon’s hit numbers are currently somewhere around 20. Here are some of our responses: Sera’s, Dux’s, Erin’s, Jei’s, and my own.

It’s gotten to the point where we’ve started considering this a rite of goddamn passage. The Final Frontier of ichiruki shipping. The Ultimate Accolade. The highest of honours–to be visited by the faceless bogeyman of tunglr shipping discourse, the anon of misinterpretation themselves.

And as such, the memes have started to follow; first with Karoll and her La Renjiconda Stan anons–yet another Cursed Meme– here, then with Sera’s post, and then Eien’s wonderful little edit.

Of course, maybe it really isn’t all that funny and we’re just making memes out of our asses at this point. Sometimes you misinterpret, after all :’)

anonymous asked:

Hello! I was wondering if you could recommend articles or books for someone who is not an anthropologist but would love to be one. It could be of any topic, but friendly towards someone who doesn't have an advance knowledge in this study field. Maybe you could recommend your favorite first articles/books that made you fall in love more with anthropology when you were just starting to study it. Thank you! P.s. I LOVE your blog; I have learned so much and it's really entertaining 😊

Thank you!! This is a tough question, and I hope others comment some other sources. 

Geertz, Clifford. 1973. “Thick description: Toward an interpretive theory of culture.” In The interpretation of cultures. 

Geertz, Clifford. 1974. “‘From the native’s point of view’: On the nature of anthropological understanding.” Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences 28 (1): 26-45. 

Malinowski, Bronislaw. 1922. “Introduction.” In Argonauts of the Western Pacific. 

Farmer, Paul. 1996. “On suffering and structural violence: A view from below.” Daedalus 125 (1): 261-283. 

Abu-Lughod, Lila. 2002. “Do Muslim women really need saving? Anthropological reflections on cultural relativism and its Others.” American Anthropologist 104 (3): 783-790. 

Foucault, Michel. 1976. The history of sexuality

Chomsky, Noam and Edward S. Herman. 1998. Manufacturing consent. 

Chomsky, Noam. 2016. Who rules the world? 

Mead, Margaret. 1928. Coming of age in Samoa. 

Bohannan, Laura. 1961. “Shakespeare in the bush.” Natural History. 

Said, Edward. 1978. “Introduction.” In Orientalism. 

The Combahee River Collective. 1977. “A Black feminist statement.” 

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1992. “Price formation and the anticipation of profits.” In Language and symbolic power. 

Duggan, Lisa. 2003. “Introduction” and “Equality, Inc.” In The twilight of equality? 

Harris, Marvin. 1976. “History and significance of the emic/etic distinction.” Annual Review of Anthropology 5: 329-350. 

Benedict, Ruth. 1934. Patterns of culture. 

These are in no particular order. Just the order I remembered them. 

Any article you can look at that’s from a major anthro journal like American Anthropologist or American Ethnologist or things like that is also good. A lot of the ones I want to recommend are actually from queer theory, not anthropology. I tried limiting it to that field specifically. Actually I lied some are queer theory good luck figuring out which. 

Anything by any of these authors is also worthy. 

You may be able to find a lot of these as PDFs online but you didn’t hear it from me. 

Edit: you can also find films or short videos featuring a lot of these people, especially Chomsky