Campbell’s Law, Planned Social Change, Vietnam War Deaths, and Condom Distributions in Refugee Camps

Donald T. Campbell was a psychologist in the 1970s. During this time, the belief emerged that society was a social engineering project that could be planned and evaluated.  The general idea was  that if you collected enough data, you could plan and control social change in a way that led to desired results.  Economists from … Continue reading Campbell’s Law, Planned Social Change, Vietnam War Deaths, and Condom Distributions in Refugee Camps

Social Class and Food from Around the Web

I grew up eating what the educated like to call "junk" food and "trash" food, mostly it was "poor food," that came from boxes and cans. It wasn't always like this in my family, we had short periods of feast and long periods of famine, and when times were good (my mom "marrying up') we … Continue reading Social Class and Food from Around the Web

Monetizing Mindfulness

Maybe the word “mindfulness” is like the Prius emblem, a badge of enlightened and self-satisfied consumerism, and of success and achievement. If so, not deploying mindfulness — taking pills or naps for anxiety, say, or going out to church or cocktails — makes you look sort of backward or classless. Like driving a Hummer. I … Continue reading Monetizing Mindfulness

Expressing Outrage and Lynching: Vigilantism in a Tanzanian Village, 1997

(Adapted from Tony Waters, When Killing is a Crime, Lynne Rienner Publishers 2007). By Essau Magugudi in Kigoma NOVEMBER 27, 1997, is deeply etched in the memories of Shunga villagers. It was on this day that they took law into their own hands and hacked to death three bandits who they suspected of carrying out … Continue reading Expressing Outrage and Lynching: Vigilantism in a Tanzanian Village, 1997

Hatfield and McCoy Feud–The Real Thing

(Extract from When Killing is a Crime by Tony Waters (2007).  Lynne Rienner Publisher). The Hatfield and McCoy feud is legendary in the United States, having become the subject of film and television drama. However, the events do have a root in a real feud, which took place across the Tug River, which forms the … Continue reading Hatfield and McCoy Feud–The Real Thing

Something is Wrong with You. You’re Broken. You’re a burden.

By Guest Writer: Eric Chisler I just got the most profound sense of grief upon reading this. I'm tearful and shaken. I think I just realized the moment that I stopped living in my body, the moment I became convinced that I was defined by what goes on in my head. I was diagnosed with … Continue reading Something is Wrong with You. You’re Broken. You’re a burden.

Carlos

Late December 2006 This morning, while sitting at one of the tables by the pool visiting with a resident of the complex, I noticed Palm fronds falling from the canopy of green above me. I followed the thwup, thwup, thwup? of a heavy tool beating in the air to the cascade of fronds falling to … Continue reading Carlos

Albanian Blood Revenge

(Extract from When Killing is a Crime (2007) by Tony Waters.  Lynne Rienner Publishers) During the early 20th century, the small Balkan country of Albania was a remote corner of the Ottoman Empire, a principality ruled by a warlord king after World War I, and occupied by Italy during World War II. For most of … Continue reading Albanian Blood Revenge

The Rochambo of Paradox, Conundrums, Dilemmas, and School Bureaucracies

The below is pp. 185-186 (Chapter 9) of my book Schooling, Childhood, and Bureaucracy: Bureaucratizing the Child. Other extracts can be read here at Ethnography.com here, (Leaky First Graders, etc.) here, (How the Rich Educate their Children: A Swiss Hogwarts) and here. (Children as Raw Material on the Bureaucratic Assembly Line) Or better yet, you … Continue reading The Rochambo of Paradox, Conundrums, Dilemmas, and School Bureaucracies

Why isn’t ethnography.com more focused on ethnography? Um, ‘cause I don’t feel like it.

I like to use the categories on our homepage to surf through old posts, looking for oldies but goodies to re-post on slow days. I also like to read and think about anthropology and sociology and I can count on finding something here to get my mental juices flowing. And like Mark describes below, I … Continue reading Why isn’t ethnography.com more focused on ethnography? Um, ‘cause I don’t feel like it.

Classism in Academia

This was originally published at Class Action in September 2012. Classism in Academia A little over two years ago, a student called me a ‘cunt’ in front of 38 other students. My academic employer did little to protect me and allowed a local, “progressive” paper to attack me in a newspaper/Internet article. I believe this … Continue reading Classism in Academia

How Class Differences Shape Love and Marriage

I just ordered and am very excited to soon be reading, The Power of the Past: Understanding Cross-Class Marriages by Jessi Streib. Books about marriage are plentiful but an ethnographic account of cross-class marriages is something new. If you click this link, it will direct you to a Washington Post article written by Streib that gives you a … Continue reading How Class Differences Shape Love and Marriage