¿Cuándo comienza la época del Antropoceno?


La invención de la máquina de vapor o el estallido de Trinity, la primera bomba atómica detonada en Nuevo México por los Estados Unidos, eran fechas que algunos investigadores señalaban como el inicio de la nueva época: el Antropoceno. Sin embargo, un nuevo estudio internacional manifiesta que hasta el momento no hay un punto de partida que marque el fin de la época actual, el Holoceno.

La naturaleza era la fuerza que domina el medio ambiente en la Tierra, hasta que los humanos la reemplazaron. Pasamos del Holoceno al Antropoceno, la época en la que los hombres son capaces de modificar y alterar los ecosistemas por encima de la naturaleza. Sin embargo, el momento en el que se inicia esta época es aún controvertido.

La caza y la tala de bosques por la aparición del hombre en la Tierra provocaron la desaparición del 65% de los grandes mamíferos hace entre 12.500 y 50.000 años


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 taste of what the book is about.

Couples argue about money, sex, and housework most frequently but class differences are sure to affect those variables. Indeed, Streib describes that in the case of her couples, class was about money but so much more about class culture, how to spend leisure time, manage home maintenance, and “even how to talk about their feelings.”

I grew up working class and so did my husband. This June we’ll be married 21 years, we met each other in our mutually impoverished early 20’s. We have some class differences—his family is conservative, religious and more settled, mine more hard-living democrats, I have three other siblings and we each have different fathers. So, we’ve had a few conflicts around risk taking but for the most part, I think it’s been easier for us because we both grew up working class and were better able to climb the ladder together (and that includes two sets of student loans). We are economically middle class but in sync about how we like to spend leisure time (outdoors), manage home maintenance (do-it-yourself), and talk about our feelings (express freely, brutal honesty). Before hearing about Streib’s book, I hadn’t thought past the money part of cross-class relationships.

I’m curious what Streib’s overall point will be. In the opinion piece she wrote she mentions that “the opportunity to marry — or even meet — someone of a different class is disappearing” and that inter-class marriages will become less likely. It’s the way economic conditions can shrink our world’s and give us less opportunity to encounter difference, and maybe find love. (gehiago…)

What Exactly is Neoliberalism?


“Thanks to globalization . . . the world is governed by market forces” —Alan Greenspan (Aspen Inst.)

Booked is a monthly series of Q&As with authors by Dissent contributing editor Timothy Shenk. For this interview, he spoke with Wendy Brown about her new book Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution (Zone Books, 2015).

Climate change, a crippled welfare state, the 2008 financial crisis, skyrocketing income inequality, political disappointments reaching back decades, terrible superhero movies grossing billions of dollars, and Tinder—these are just a few of the sins attributed to neoliberalism. But what exactly is neoliberalism? An economic doctrine? The revenge of capitalism’s ruling class? Or something even more insidious?

Wendy Brown takes up these questions, and more, in her latest work, Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution. A searching inquiry, the book is part historical study, part philosophical treatise, and part engaged polemic. Scholarship on neoliberalism is booming, but Undoing the Demos highlights a subject too often neglected: the political consequences of viewing the world as an enormous marketplace. Her conclusions are grim, but that makes grappling with them all the more urgent.

—Timothy Shenk (gehiago…)

Commodifying language


Language is the new way to sell “authenticity” to tourists. Monica Heller explains why:




Vietnam Market (Photo by Taylor Miles, flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Vietnam Market (Photo by Taylor Miles, flickr, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

This is the third part of our special review section on Ethical Eating in the Postsocialist and Socialist World. Check out the first part here and the second part here.

Patterns of food provision and consumption have become objects of increasing concern among both scholars and activists. In the last few decades, the ways in which food is both produced and processed, networks of retail and distribution, as well as labour conditions in which these processes take place have been at the centre of a debate generally advocating “alternative” and “ethical” food models. The analysis of these movements has so far overwhelmingly focused on the forms and claims that “alternative food networks” have taken in Western advanced capitalist countries.

no gmo (Photo by Sviatlana Yermakovich, flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0)

The present volume, edited by anthropologists Melissa Caldwell, Yuson Jung, and Jakob A. Klein, and published in 2014 by University of California Press, provides very much needed insights of meanings and dynamics of “ethical eating” in postsocialist and market socialist societies.

The discussion brought about in eight chapters focusing on Lithuania, China, Russia, Cuba, Bulgaria, and Vietnam focuses on issues such as food safety and moral economies in the framework of Europeanisation politics (ch. 1); the moral significance of food (ch. 2); alternative food networks and farmers’ markets (ch. 3); certification and organic food (ch. 4); the connection between rural producers and urban consumers (ch. 5); the politics and ethics of vegetarianism (ch. 6); agroecology and sustainability (ch. 7); and food practices as civic engagement for building a “healthy” nation (ch. 8). In addition to providing a general account of the main points raised in the book, in this review I will pay specific attention to chapters dealing with post-Soviet countries – chapters 1 and 3 on Lithuania and chapter 8 on Russia – as part of my current research area. My study on Georgian hospitality, focusing on the pivotal role of food and drink in host-guest relations, has certainly gained fresh insight from the debate initiated by the book’s contributors.


Anthropology is Taking Over the World


Anthropology is Taking Over the WorldThe first clue that anthropology is taking over the world is in the March 2015 issue of American Anthropologist, where Virginia Dominguez writes that she is Taking Over the World. Well, admittedly she meant taking over the “World Anthropology Section of the American Anthropologist,” but still.

And then there’s Erin Taylor, who has recently written about anthropology going public, and has been working to revitalize the big Open Anthropology Cooperative.

But most of all, there’s President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan meeting with President Barack Obama and talking anthropology. Ashraf Ghani taught at the Johns Hopkins University, and while by the time I arrived there he had moved on to the World Bank, I was fortunate to learn from his team-taught class with Katherine Verdery. But now that he’s President of Afghanistan, perhaps it gives new meaning to his analysis of Eric Wolf as an “attempt to write a history of the present as a history of power” (Ghani, Writing a History of Power: An Examination of Eric R. Wolf’s Anthropological Quest 1995:32; see also Eric Wolf, Europe and the People Without History).

Of course, Barack Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham was an anthropologist. Ghani remarked that “your mother was an inspiration to us. I understand that the president of the World Bank actually got the job because he invoked your mother’s teachings to convince you that an anthropologist could lead the World Bank.” So yes, there’s also World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.

So back when anthropology was declared the #1 worst major for your career, they weren’t really thinking about becoming President of Afghanistan and President of the World Bank, and (very related to) President of the United States. Anthropology is the worst major for your career, but the best major for taking over the world. (gehiago…)

Overpopulation, overconsumption – in pictures


How do you raise awareness about population explosion? One group thought that the simplest way would be to show people


Por qué ya nadie admira al ‘macho alfa’



En la serie ‘Togetherness’ la masculinidad se mide por la responsabilidad y sensibilidad de sus protagonistas.

Foto: HBO

¡Con un par!, ¡sé un hombre! o ¡ponle cojones! son algunos de los latiguillos con los que han crecido generaciones de adolescentes en este país. Uno de cada tres de los de ahora cree que los chicos no deben llorar, que aquellos que parecen agresivos son más atractivos y que a veces es correcto amenazar a los demás “para que sepan quién manda”. El “sé un hombre”, visto en plan machito alfa, todavía anima al personal. Muchos, no obstante, están tratando de darle la vuelta y desterrarlo de nuestras vidas. Porque, ¿qué significa realmente ser un hombre? ¿Qué implicaciones tiene? Eso mismo se pregunta el documental The Mask you live in, el último proyecto de The Representation project (los mismos que popularizaron el#AskHerMore en la alfombra roja de los Oscar y los artífices de otro exitoso documental sobre los estereotipos femeninos, Miss Representation)Un proyecto que se presentó en el último festival de Sundance y que trata de analizar cómo la cultura ha moldeado una masculinidad que perjudica al crecimiento personal de los niños y perpetúa estereotipos socialmente enfermos.




Terrain est une revue semestrielle d’ethnologie centrée sur l’Europe. Toujours basée sur des études de cas, elle a pour ambition, par le biais de ses numéros thématiques, d’éclairer les aspects les plus divers de la société européenne contemporaine. Ouverte parfois, à titre comparatif, à des terrains plus éloignés, elle l’est aussi aux autres sciences sociales et humaines ainsi qu’aux chercheurs étrangers. Terrain publie des auteurs français et étrangers, ethnologues et anthropologues mais aussi sociologues, historiens ou psychologues. Abondamment illustrée, Terrainse veut scientifique dans son propos tout en restant accessible aux non-spécialistes par sa présentation et son écriture.


My Ten Steps for Writing a Book


(Savage Minds is pleased to run this essay by guest author Kristen Ghodsee. Kristen is Director and the John S. Osterweis Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at Bowdoin College. Her prize-winning books include: The Red Riviera: Gender, Tourism and Postsocialism on the Black Sea (Duke University Press, 2005), Muslim Lives in Eastern Europe: Gender, Ethnicity and the Transformation of Islam in Postsocialist Bulgaria(Princeton University Press 2010), Lost in Transition: Ethnographies of Everyday Life After Communism (Duke University Press, 2011), and Professor Mommy: Finding Work/Family Balance in Academia (Rowman & Littlefield, 2011). Her fifth book, The Left Side of History, is forthcoming with Duke University Press in 2015. She blogs about ethnographic writing at Literary Ethnography.)

When Carole McGranahan asked me to blog for the Savage Minds writing group, I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about.  I’d recently finished my fifth book, and was in the early stages of a sixth manuscript, so it seemed like I should have something to say about how to get a big project done. 

But I never realized I had a process until this morning.  To get the creative juices flowing, I sketched out a flow chart of how I tackle a project from start to finish.  The chart surprised me.  My quirks and old habits turned out to be a defined system, one that I have implemented for each of my books without even knowing it.

Ghodsee 10 Steps (gehiago…)