Notes From the Liquor Store... Thought I was finished working here. But I remembered, I do like the liquor store. Been coming in and chatting with Norm at night. He's helping with my studies in Arabic philosophy. So I thought I'd give him a night off so he can run errands and cook dinner for … Continue reading A Liquor Store is like a Drive-Thru Cheers
'Mental health' has been shown to be social and environmental, though we've heard of Prozac, and even music therapy led by professionals. Well-being may also be connected to collective, organized sound among ordinary people. I'd like to share a recent study in biomedicine, and draw these scientific conclusions into the anthropological realm. First, because I'd … Continue reading Is Drumming Better than Prozac? An Anthropological Reflection
Notes From the Liquor Store It's the second time Rita has been into the liquor store where I work in Chico, California. Last time was Wednesday, when it was pouring rain, and the man she was with was dressed from hood to boots in bright yellow PVC. She's from Paradise, or what was the town … Continue reading Would sobriety coins be an acceptable form of payment at the liquor store?
In 1978, Remmy Ongala left his home in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (not far from the city of Bukavu) for Tanzania. He boarded a boat across Lake Tanganyika to Kigoma, Tanzania's main port city on the great lake. From Kigoma, he then traveled by train to Dar es Salaam to eventually become one … Continue reading The Place That Is Our Home
Culture: The values, beliefs, behaviors, and expectations of behaviors or social norms of a given population of humans. Do you know what I find amazing? I find it amazing that I never see people burning couches and cars in the streets of my neighborhood. And I find it amazing that I never find discarded red … Continue reading On the Culture of Binge Drinking in a Residential College Town
Explaining why people do things, even when it doesn’t seem reasonable to an American undergraduate is what I do for a living. I’ve explained why people don’t agree with their political views, the persistence of “irrational habits,” why most people don’t want to move to America, why poverty persists in a world of abundance, and a … Continue reading Which Thumb is on Top? Questions about Culture from a Mlabri Village in Thailand
Some years ago, I asked the question, "Who Stole Culture from Anthropology?" in a brief essay in Anthropology News in 2006. I raised the question because many anthropologists had complained to me since about 1987, about how they had trained “too many” anthropologists with the result that they were unemployed. The discipline seemed to be … Continue reading Musings about the Theft of Culture from Anthropology