PopAnth Call for Contributions

From the PopAnth website: "PopAnth translates anthropological discoveries for popular consumption. Academia does a lot of good work researching, decoding and understanding human societies – past and present. We discover all kinds of really cool stuff about human nature and culture. Anthropology can help us understand who we are as individuals and as a global … Continue reading PopAnth Call for Contributions

I am racist, and so are you.

“We cannot continue to take the easy way out. This cannot be allowed to continue. People are dying, because white people have not stepped up to the plate and addressed the racism that has wormed its tendrils through our souls.”

Thanks, Rachel, for your honesty and integrity, and for writing this article!

Being Shadoan

And the sooner we both acknowledge this, the sooner we can begin to address the problem. So let’s talk.

“Wait just a minute here, Rachel. You’re like, the least racist person I know. You’re always sharing stuff about race and racism. You couldn’t possibly be racist.”

Here’s the deal. Racism isn’t just guys in white robes and Paula Deen shouting racial slurs. Racism is subtle, racism is insidious, and our culture is so deeply steeped in it that it’s impossible to grow up in the US and not be racist. It’s a kind of brainwashing: a set of default configuration files that come with the culture. It’s a filter, built up from birth, that alters our perception of the world. (Literally–racial bias makes people see weapons that aren’t there.) Racism isn’t just conscious actions; it’s judgements that happen so fast that we may not even be aware of…

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“Hey, y’all got to understand – y’all prolly scared of us… we scared of y’all too!”

Ethnography Matters

Phoenix JacksonPhoenix Jackson is a researcher at the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, a Cornelius Hopper Diversity Fellow with UCSF, and a Somatic Counseling Psychotherapy graduate student at John F. Kennedy University.
This post is re-blogged from the Center for Critical Public Health.

Editor’s note: My colleague Phoenix Jackson wrote these poignant field notes after we went out to recruit focus group participants for a study on health inequities among African American youth.

While following the #dangerousblackkids tag (started by @thewayoftheid and Mikki Kendall @karnythia) over the past few days, we were struck by parallels between Twitter users’ pushback against perceptions of Black youth as “dangerous” and the lived experiences of study participants evoked in these notes. 

Like #dangerousblackkids, this post highlights what’s omitted from dominant narratives about who is afraid and who is dangerous. Perhaps Michael Dunn was afraid of a group of teenagers in…

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This is What Happens When Americans are Asked to Label Europe and Brits are Asked to Label the US

It does not surprise me that the British participants are mostly familiar with where Texas, California, New York, ‘the South’ and Canada are. Somehow, Detroit keeps popping up in Missouri. Also, some interesting cultural icon associations: Alaska = Sarah Palin, moose; Florida = crocodiles, Will Smith, old people; The Northeast = Stephen King; New Mexico/Arizona = Walter White/Jesse Pinkman; California = Silicon Valley; North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska get no love.

Also not surprising, Americans are not very knowledgeable about European geography and have many of their own geo-cultural associations (e.g., Borat, hot blonde people in the north, Harry Potter). They seem to be more familiar with Western Europe and with Russia. What interests me is the level of familiarity of the first group with specific regions/states of just a single country, and the second group’s level of familiarity with various countries in an entire region.



At the end of last year, the BuzzFeed team asked students and co-workers to label a map. Those in the UK were asked to label a map of the United States, while those in the US were tasked to label a map of Europe.

Yes there is a difference between labelling states of one particular country versus labelling countries in a continent. Sure some people were probably goofing around and not taking the request too seriously. And while many of the attempts will make you chuckle, some of the maps are quite commendable! Before you snicker too hard, maybe quiz yourself and see how you fare?

If you’d like to test yourself, I’ve included blank maps at the bottom of the post. Or you can just click the links below:

Click here for a blank map of the United States
Click here for a blank map of Europe


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Memories of scarcity: victory gardens, rationing, and margarine during WWII

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons I was going through some posts at my old blog yesterday and came upon this short excerpt from an interview I did in 2007 for my undergraduate thesis on the history of development and gentrification in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. I don't think it's something that ended up in the final version, … Continue reading Memories of scarcity: victory gardens, rationing, and margarine during WWII

But someone was already here: teaching social studies in public schools

"Social studies is the neglected subject in school these days. Not enough time in the day." - My dad, a second grade teacher in Pinellas County, FL This statement is a very true and very sad one. Thanks to budget cuts, and, according to my dad, more time scheduled for standardized test-related subjects during the … Continue reading But someone was already here: teaching social studies in public schools

Fast food, food habits and kids’ nutrition in the U.S.

Photo by circler   According to a USA Today article, 19 U.S. chain restaurants have resolved to offer healthier meal choices to kids across the nation. Approximately 15,000 restaurants, including Burger King, Cracker Barrel, Carabba's, Denny's and IHOP locations, are taking part in Kids LiveWell, a corporate-driven initiative to get kids to eat better by … Continue reading Fast food, food habits and kids’ nutrition in the U.S.

Elvis as American Cultural Icon

Douglas Holt's 2004 book “How Brands Become Cultural Icons" defines iconic brands as brands that are time-tested, important cultural symbols - they represent popular values, ideas and identities within a culture and are highly symbolic or meaningful in a society. He writes that iconic brands and iconic individuals "serve as society's foundational compass points - … Continue reading Elvis as American Cultural Icon

A short history of the American campsite: Martin Hogue, designobserver.com

  Image via gtykal Most Americans have gone camping at some point in their lives, and some make it a habit to go at least a couple times a year to "get away", possibly without completely getting away. This contradiction begs the question, in our modern, 21st century society, are we truly "away" when we … Continue reading A short history of the American campsite: Martin Hogue, designobserver.com