A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘anthropology

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

leave a comment »

  • blogTO notes that ferry tickets for the Toronto Islands can now be bought online.
  • Discover‘s Crux considers SETI.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper considering habitable exoplanets around nearby red dwarf stars, defends the potential existence of exoplanets at Kapteyn’s Star, and looks at the Epsilon Eridani system.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes that a second Scottish referendum on independence is possible, according to Alex Salmond.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Mormons are unhappy with the Scouts’ gay-friendly shift.
  • Language Hat considers the history of family name usage in Russia.
  • Languages of the World examines in two posts the argument that primitive peoples have simple languages.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the strategies of Spanish populist group Podemos.
  • Peter Watts considers the peculiar thing of people lacking large chunks of the brain who nonetheless seem normal.
  • Diane Duane, at Out of Ambit, is quite unhappy with an impending forced upgrade to Windows 10.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw notes how labour-saving technologies improved the lives of women.
  • The Planetary Society Blog considers proposals to explore small solar system bodies.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer considers what would happen if Bernie Sanders won the nomination of the Democratic Party.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to statistics on the population of Abu Dhabi.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the depopulation of South Ossetia and looks at the Russian Orthodox Church’s hostility to Ukraine’s Uniate Catholics.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell notes that although Labour apparently did a good job of convincing potential voters it was right, it did a worse job of getting them to vote.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

leave a comment »

  • Claus Vistesen of Alpha Sources notes that though the stock market might be peaking, we don’t know when.
  • blogTO warns that Toronto might consider a bid for the 2024 Olympics.
  • James Bow thinks about Ex Machina.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly looks forward to her impending visit to Maine.
  • Centauri Dreams features an essay by Michael A.G. Michaud looking at modern SETI.
  • Crooked Timber finds that even the style of the New York intellectuals of the mid-20th century is lacking.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that a search for superjovians around two nearby brown dwarfs has failed.
  • The Dragon’s Tales considers the flowing nitrogen ice of Pluto.
  • Geocurrents compares Chile’s Aysén region to the Pacific Northwest.
  • Joe. My. God. shares the new Janet Jackson single, “No Sleeep”.
  • Language Log looks at misleading similarities between Chinese and Japanese words as written.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money argues that the low-wage southern economy dates back to slavery.
  • Marginal Revolution is critical of rent control in Stockholm and observes the negative long-term consequences of serfdom in the former Russian Empire.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes how Jamaica is tearing down illegal electrical connections.
  • Savage Minds considers death in the era of Facebook.
  • Towleroad looks at how the Taipei city government is petitioning the Taiwanese high court to institute same-sex marriage.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy argues restrictive zoning hurts the poor.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at how Tatarstan bargains with Moscow, looks at Crimean deprivation and quiet resistance, considers Kazakh immigration to Kazakhstan, and argues Russian nationalist radicals might undermine Russia itself.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

leave a comment »

  • The Big Picture shares photos from post-referendum Greece.
  • blogTO looks at a recent live-tweeting of a bad date.
  • Centauri Dreams notes the recovery of New Horizons.
  • The Dragons’ Gaze notes a new estimate for terrestrial exoplanets suggesting that every Sun-like star should at least have one.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper suggesting that salt in the waters of Uranus and Neptune plays a critical role in determining their internal structure.
  • Geocurrents looks at Dhofar.
  • Language Hat notes that Stalin was quite multilingual.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money looks at the way the language used by women is policed.
  • The Map Room’s Jonathan Crowe links to an interview with fantasy map designer Robert Lazzaretti.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reflects on Australia’s experience in the Great Depression, noting that it was a time when states were powerful.
  • pollotenchegg notes post-Second World War fertility in Ukraine.
  • Savage Minds has a roundup of links to various anthropology and social sciences blogs.
  • Speed River Journal’s Van Waffle shares photos from St. Jacob’s Farmers market.
  • Torontoist looks at a BDSM sex dungeon.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that Iceland has repealed its blasphemy law in direct reaction to the Charlie Hebdo murders.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at Russia’s historical singularity and recent evolution.

[NEWS] Some Pride links

  • Christianity Today notes how the Bible verses used to debate same-sex marriage have changed over time.
  • On the subject of same-sex marriage, Lawyers, Guns and Money observes the differences between this court case and past cases involving interracial marriage, Savage Minds looks at the anthropological perspective, and the Tin Man reflects on the achievement.
  • Locally, Torontoist looks at the political history of Pride, the National Post observes the decision of Patrick Brown, Progressive Consrrvative leader, to march in pride as the first leader to do so, Elton John’s Torontonian husband David Furnish reflects on his history growing up gay in Toronto in the 1970s and 1980s, and an epochal 1976 kiss-in at Yonge and Bloor is described in the Toronto Star in the context of LGBT activism.
  • Internationally, CBC reported on the police attack on a gay pride march in Istanbul.

[LINK] “Committing Crimes during Fieldwork: Ethics, Ethnography, and “On The Run””

Savage Minds’ Alex Golub takes a look, from the social sciences perspective, about Alice Grossman’s controversial On The Run. I honestly hadn’t thought there were such notable differences between journalistic and ethnographic conventions re: truth-checking, though maybe I just hadn’t gotten deep enough into the field.

There are still some outstanding issues, of course. One is Goffman’s claim that police checked hospital records looking for people to arrest — something I’d like to deal with later on. Here, I want to focus on the claim not that Goffman was inaccurate in her reportage, but that she broke the law during her fieldwork.

This criticism comes from law professor Steven Lubet. Having loved Goffman’s book, I thought it would be easy to dismiss Lubet’s critique — especially the part where Lubet asked a cop whether details of Goffman’s book were true and the cop is like: “No we never do that to black people” and I was like: “Well I’m glad we got to the bottom of that, since police accounts of their treatment of minorities is always 100% accurate.” But in fact Lubet’s piece is clearly written and carefully argued and I found it very convincing. That said, how much of a problem does it pose to Goffman’s book?

In the appendix to On The Run Goffman describes the death of one of her key informants, and driving around in a car with some guys with guns planning to kill his murders and take revenge. This, Lubet says, constitutes conspiracy to commit murder. But was Goffman’s actions unethical? What does it mean to commit a crime? And does answering these questions say anything new, interesting, and important about ethnography?

Clearly, it’s not prudent to confess to a crime in print. But is it unethical, in general, to break the law during fieldwork? I think the answer is, in general, no. I personally believe that one should follow the laws of the country where you live just on general principles. But there are many cases when anthropologists do fieldwork in places where the laws are clearly contrary their moral intuitions, and to accepted international standards. For instance, Goffman makes a compelling claim that her field site is one of these places.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 26, 2015 at 10:38 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • The Big Picture has a photo essay about albino children in Panama.
  • Crooked Timber considers African-American radicalism.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to one paper imagining the frequency of habitable planets in other universes, and links to another suggesting that to host habitable worlds exoplanet systems will need their worlds to have aligned orbits.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that police in Seoul cannot halt the Pride parade.
  • Language Hat reports on a pavilion at the Venice Biennale featuring Native American languages.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that 19th century Chinese bet on the outcome of student exams.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes the crackdown on money laundering has not hit the average Mexican.
  • Savage Minds considers race from the perspective of a library cataloguer.
  • Torontoist notes a local call for ghost bikes.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the repression of Crimean Tatars, notes a Chinese proposal for settlement in Siberia, and looks at how the war in Ukraine has given nuclear weapons new life.

[BLOG] Some Thursday links

  • Centauri Dreams reports on the Planetary Society’s solar sail.
  • Joe. My. God. links to Miley Cyrus’ coming out story.
  • Language Log criticizes the numbers given for Chinese language speakers.
  • The Power and the Money looks at the fragmentation of the Mexican political scene.
  • Savage Minds considers the academic boycott of Israel.
  • Towleroad notes a sad case of homophobia in Northern Ireland.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that the two Ukrainian Orthodox churches not under the control of Russia are moving towards union.
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 456 other followers