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World Affairs

Shifting the global conversation on refugees

An interview with Sarah Green | By Monica Heller

"They know how many drown. They know what the risks are. And they still take that risk. Because what they’re leaving is appalling.” — Sarah Green

Recently, vast numbers of people have been moving across borders, catching global media attention and producing complex responses from countries—those which host these refugees, and those which refuse. The same phrase is used repeatedly in describing the exodus: refugee crisis. As a linguistic anthropologist, I can’t help wondering how understanding these terms differently might help us do better at handling the suffering involved, and perhaps even prevent it. I spoke recently with Sarah Green—a social anthropologist from the University of Helsinki whose expertise is in what is referred to as “mobilities." Her area of interest is Europe, and her long-standing involvement on Lesbos provided her a unique take on the events we were witnessing. I wanted to understand better what was going on in the Eastern Mediterranean, and how the entire process described as a "refugee crisis" might be understood from an anthropological perspective. read more

World Affairs

Shifting the global conversation on refugees

An interview with Sarah Green | By Monica Heller

“They know how many drown. They know what the risks are. And they still take that risk. Because what they’re leaving is appalling.”
— Sarah Green

Recently, vast numbers of people have been moving across borders, catching global media attention and producing complex responses from countries- those which host these refugees, and those which refuse. The same phrase is used repeatedly in describing the exodus: refugee crisis. As a linguistic anthropologist, I can’t help wondering how understanding these terms differently might help us do better at handling the suffering involved, and perhaps even prevent it. I spoke recently with Sarah Green—a social anthropologist from the University of Helsinki whose expertise is in what is referred to as “mobilities.” Her area of interest is Europe, and her long-standing involvement on Lesbos provided her a unique take on the events we were witnessing. I wanted to understand better what was going on in the Eastern Mediterranean, and how the entire process described as a “refugee crisis” might be understood from an anthropological perspective.

Monica Heller: Sarah, you’re a social anthropologist at the University of Helsinki. You’ve been working for a very long time on the issue of borders and border crossings–in particular in the area around what is now Turkey, Greece, and Albania–which of course is an area that we’ve all been watching very carefully lately.

You’ve had a long association with the island of Lesbos, which has been in the news a lot. Could you tell me a little bit about your experience in that area: what you’ve been seeing lately, and how we might understand it?

Sarah Green: Well, I started working directly on Lesbos, though I’ve known the island for a very long time because I actually spent some of my childhood years there. But I’ve been working there as an anthropologist since 2006. There was an issue about undocumented people crossing onto the island even then. It became a very significant quantity of people this last summer, but it’s been an issue there for some time. Part of that is obvious–its geography. The island of Lesbos, along with the other Aegean Islands, is very close to the Turkish coast and, at certain times of year, the trip is relatively easy to make.

Monica Heller: When you say ever since 2006, did something happen then, or was it just that you happened to show up there?

Sarah Green: I moved my research from the Greek-Albanian border, where I had done a lot of work on border issues–which is in northern mainland Greece–to the Aegean region, which is where Lesbos is located, in 2006. The issue with significant numbers of undocumented people arriving on the island had probably started shortly after 2001.

Monica Heller: What happened then?

Sarah Green: Well you might remember the 9/11 events happened. It caused a very quick response on the part of the United States in Afghanistan initially. And that caused the first wave of people fleeing– from a variety of routes, but one of those routes was the Aegean via Turkey.

Monica Heller: And how did that route open up?

Sarah Green: Turkey shares borders with a variety of countries, and those borders aren’t very controlled. Or they weren’t very controlled. They’re very, very large borders; there is a lot of area there that’s very mountainous, very difficult terrain. And people knew that once they got through into Turkey they probably wouldn’t be stopped until they got to the coast. So it’s not a hard route.

Monica Heller: So why are we paying attention to this now?

Sarah Green: Because of the numbers of refugees arriving in Europe. Prior to this, there have been very significant numbers that have arrived in Arab-world countries and other near Eastern countries. And it’s still the case. For instance, Turkey now has about two million refugees on the Turkish side of the Turkish-Syrian border.

Monica Heller: The people who you describe as undocumented who came through Turkey into Lesbos, what’s happened to them in the last fifteen years?

Sarah Green: Over time there has been a procedure that has developed. It came under severe strain this last summer, in 2015, because there just weren’t the resources to deal with the numbers of people arriving all at once. But the procedure generally follows EU regulations. The Aegean has two borders: a national border between Greece and Turkey, but also an EU border between the EU and its near outside, which is Turkey. So the EU has regulations, called the Dublin Agreement, which require that the first port of entry of somebody who’s undocumented–that country has to document them. And there’s this thing called Eurodac, which is a fingerprinting system, which fingerprints them. The Dublin Agreement suggests that people who are undocumented have to go back to the country from which they first entered the EU to be processed. So if they manage to escape attention in Greece and get, say, to Germany, the Dublin Agreement means that they have to be sent back from Germany to Greece to be processed. The processing happens in Athens. So in terms of Lesbos, people have their fingerprints, their details taken, they go onto an EU database, then they get put on one of the ferries to Athens. They get fully processed there, in terms of their claim for asylum. This summer, when the island of Lesbos was receiving between eight hundred and three thousand people a day, the system just collapsed; they didn’t have the resources to deal with the sheer volume of refugees to be processed. And, in any case, it was a perfect storm in a way because Greece is in the midst of one of its worst economic crises in its modern history. This summer was even worse because there was this referendum on whether the Greek people wanted the government to accept new austerity measures from the EU in return for further funds to avoid a Greek default on its debts. Nobody knew whether Greece was going to be given a bailout by the EU and so on. The banks were closed in the run-up to the referendum to prevent a run on the banks, so there wasn’t enough money even to feed the people in the reception centers.

“That’s also one thing that’s actually really important that anthropologists can do, is to understand those who really don’t want the migrants. And understand where they’re coming from and what that’s about.”

Monica Heller: What’s been happening now? What’s happened since the summer?

Sarah Green: This summer was rather extraordinary. There was absolutely no NGO help in the Aegean Islands. There was no UNHCR, there was no Red Cross, there was nothing. There were just the locals and the tourists and the police and coast guard and Frontex, which is an organization hired by the EU to control the EU’s external borders. Since that time, there has been a whole raft of NGOs that have moved in. It’s now become very organized. But still, the EU now has woken up to the seriousness of the problem–in terms of the EU, in terms of the regulations never having been designed for something like this to happen. And people are trying to find other kinds of solutions. In the meantime, the processing of people is still going on, day in and day out.

Monica Heller: The usual response is, “We need to be very careful because not everybody is actually a refugee.” There are “terrorists”, quote-unquote, being smuggled in. What should we think about that?

Sarah Green: This is one of the things that I find a bit peculiar about the way the news reports the arrival of these people. Even the sympathetic reports suggest that people who arrive are going to be somehow much better human beings than most people in the world. That you’re going to have people who are perfect humans and completely innocent of anything. And that’s not the case of any population, right?

But also, these people have been through hell and high water. In order to get to the point where you are going to risk your life, knowing what might happen, because people read the news, they have smartphones, and they know what happens. They know how many drown. They know what the risks are. And they still take that risk. Because what they’re leaving is appalling. None of them are going to be perfect people, and they’re going to be quite traumatized, actually, by their experiences already. And of course, it is inevitable that some of the people who they’re trying to run away from will also possibly be amongst their number. A very, very… well… easy way to spot those people is to ask the others. And very rarely does that happen because, for some reason, people don’t ask refugees–even those who are well meaning. They’ll ask refugees, “How can we help you?” and “What do you need from us?” They very rarely ask refugees, “How can you help us?” And those people often bring skills and knowledge that can make the assistance more mutual than just one-way. In the case of Syrians, it’s particularly the case because the Syrians who have managed to get across the Aegean usually are people who have much higher than average income. Syrians, in any case, are highly educated, very well trained people who have a huge number of skills that they could help with and probably would be willing to help with. A lot of doctors and engineers, teachers, you know, all kinds of things. For those not working directly with the refugees, there tends to be an assumption that all they are is refugees as if that is all there is.

Monica Heller: Why do we have that binary, and what–let’s say as anthropologists–can we do to shift that frame?

Sarah Green: I think why we have that frame is partly because of the media, the way in which the whole thing has been reported. I think what anthropologists could do is do what they do best, which is to understand that people are social beings who have relations that are not only within their own places but across many borders. And to understand the variety of needs and wants and desires and traumas and so on that people experience. And to be a bit more realistic about the fact that this population, just because you give them a name–”refugee” or “asylum seeker” or “migrant” or “illegal” or something–doesn’t render them anything other than ordinary human beings. And a lot of the debate seems to be about how to try and locate the debate in a moral way so as to find out who’s got the moral high ground. Is it the moral high ground to throw these people out? Keep them out? Build more walls? Or is the moral high ground to take care of them and to let them in and be humane? And I think so long as that debate keeps going in that way, the practical solutions seem to get forgotten.

Monica Heller: What kinds of things could be good practices? What kinds of things are put in place? Because the image that you get in the media is never that this is about temporary asylum. And that effort needs to be put into the way home if you like.

Sarah Green: I suppose what’s happening is there’s a variety of things in different countries. Different countries are responding in different ways. So Finland, for instance, where I’m living at the moment, has got this practice of housing people in people’s private homes. So there are some reception centers, but they’re very remote and you know Finland, it’s an awful lot of open space with forest in it. So there’s been a lot of rehousing people in people’s homes. Families, especially. And that’s been very effective. But also, just realizing that these people are really not wanting to be there in order to take other people’s jobs or anything; they’re there because of an emergency. And given the emergency going on in their homeland and not knowing when it might end, they’re going to have to settle; they’re going to have to find a way to live and make their way and learn languages. I think the best thing for both sides, actually, is a lot of learning about what is and isn’t acceptable for each.

There’s some big trouble over that. I’m sure you read about it in the newspapers during the New Year. Celebrations happened in a number of countries. Germany, in particular, but also several other countries where there was insufficient education on the part of both sides about ways to behave. But I think it’s also really important to realize that these people really can be asked to give something back. And want to. You know, to be able to do something, even if it’s voluntary work. They’re very skilled people. They have a variety of things that they can be doing. And also to try and maybe do it with schools and so on, a bit of history about times when each group, whether it’s now the group that’s the receiving group or has had moments when their people have been refugees, have had moments where their people have had to migrate and move from one place to another. And to try and understand it. But at the same time, to really work to understand the fear. That’s also one thing that’s actually really important that anthropologists can do, is to understand those who really don’t want the migrants. And understand where they’re coming from and what that’s about.

Monica Heller: We were talking earlier about the ways in which people and phenomena get labeled. And that’s one of the ways in which we can see how it is that people are feeling, right, about things? There’s this movement that I’m sure you’re familiar with around the word “illegal” and to say, you know, nobody is illegal. “Illegal” is not an adjective you can apply to a human being. To try to push back against that notion of, you know, undocumented illegal alien. Terminology that tends to come up on a regular basis around these phenomena. So I was curious about whether you’ve seen things like that and what you think about them.

Sarah Green: The language thing is really interesting. The words to use and not to use. And I think it’s very, very good that we have the debate. At the same time, I think it’s also quite important–I think there’s a difference between saying that an illegal is a thing and recognizing that it’s a formal status.

I was talking about this today, actually, at a conference. I was talking about what’s going on in Athens right now . And I was pointing to a very big difference from when I remember Athens in the 1960s. It’s almost impossible to believe in this day and age that Greece did not have any migration legislation in the 1960s. It was not possible to be a migrant in Greece because there was no legal way to do that. It didn’t exist. It was a country that sent people out to the United States amongst other places. Many other places. Greece wasn’t used to the idea of receiving people then. Now in the 1960s, of course, people did come. It was almost impossible legally to stay in the country, but nobody really cared. You know, the people were just wandering in and out of Athens, so anti-apartheid campaigners, as they were escaping South Africa, would often find themselves living in Athens because it was an informal … you were allowed to stay as long as you didn’t attract the attention of the authorities. It was no problem. It was really only after 1989, with the fall of the Soviet Union, that Greece was forced to start introducing migration legislation because people were coming in from Albania and from former Yugoslavia, once former Yugoslavia broke up, and through Greece getting to the EU. And so this kind of let-it-all-hang-out approach towards migration didn’t really exist because migration didn’t legally exist, as it actually wasn’t on the law books.

It makes one realize that the word “migrant” is a legal term. It’s a legal term that refers to your status when you cross a border from countries that have legislation that concerns migration. Otherwise, you’re just moving from one place to another. And also, “refugee” is a legal term, as is “asylum seeker.” So the words thing, on the one hand it’s correct to say that people are illegal because legally they are illegal. But that’s quite different from saying that a person who may have broken the law is a particular kind of person by doing so. It’s like the difference between saying somebody stole something and saying they’re a kleptomaniac. It’s about whether there is something fundamental about the person, rather than saying there is something that they did that the government defines as not legal.

Monica Heller: Right, and I think that the discussion around that has been in the way that people talk. It attaches the term to people. Other than saying, this person, looked at through the eyes of the state, does not have the documentation that the state requires. Part of the push-back has also come from a recognition between the contradictions that I was talking about before, where, you know, on the one hand the state says you have to have some kind of documentation we tell you that you have to have, but at the same time we don’t stop a cyclical process of people coming in, working from a very vulnerable position–because they’re not documented–so they can be exploited, they can be housed horribly, and then kicked back across the border whenever people want to. And that process, from the state’s end, is never actually attended to so that there’s no attention to the employers who take advantage of weak borders. There’s only attention to the individuals who are trying desperately to make a living, and who are caught in that particular web. So it’s a question of saying, “How do we be clear about where the gaze is from and also where the gaze is oriented to and where it’s not oriented to?”

Sarah Green: That’s absolutely right, and I think one of those three articles that recently came out in American Ethnologist was about this—one of them started with a Hannah Arendt quote, saying, “For a start, we don’t like being called ‘refugees.'” And the whole point is, again, that kind of Kafkaesque thing about the stigma that somehow you become that thing beyond everything else. And as you were pointing out, the debate gets circulated around the people who have arrived, and not so much what caused them to leave where they left. Or the circumstances under which they’re being allowed to move or not to move in a particular way. And one issue relating to that is EU border policies. Greece joined the Schengen zone at the same time as it introduced migration legislation in the 1990s. Now you might think, “Well, you know, that’s a very nice thing for Greece to be in Schengen,” but actually Schengen required huge amounts of new controls and surveillance of people who were coming in. And it was in order to try and control what they saw as a leaky border into the EU that Greece was put into Schengen. And that book, Illegality, Inc. by Ruben Andersson, it won a BBC Best Ethnography award this last year. It was about the massive increase in the infrastructure and the business of border surveillance and border control. In this case, it was in Spain, but it’s happened everywhere. So that all those labels actually reflect an underlying entire infrastructure and system that is designed to catch people in its web. And so, in fact, we’re all getting caught in its web in one way or another; it’s just very visible for the people who are doing it in a way that that system is designed to catch.

Monica Heller: That raises all kinds of questions again about the nation-state and the situation of the nation-state under contemporary conditions. So one last question. Is what we’re seeing now new? Or are we just living through something that has been going for a really long time, and for some reason we keep forgetting that?

Sarah Green: I think it’s both. What’s new is what I was just talking about the level of border surveillance control, legislation, management, and so on. This level of it is relatively new. On the other hand, there have been wars and conflicts from which people have fled, flown, run away to save themselves for about as long as there has been human history written. And it’s very, very easy to forget, and I think it’s also very easy to forget quite how often this has happened in Europe, too. First World War, Second World War, just in recent history. A massive movement of peoples. A displacement of peoples. As a result of stuff going on elsewhere, and it’s sort of–well, maybe it’s understandable, but it’s kind of strange to me to realize that people don’t know that people are running away from the areas that were first most hit and destabilized by the aftermath of 9/11. That, you know, the biggest numbers of people that we’ve been receiving across the Mediterranean have started from 2003 onwards. And it’s not a very difficult thing to understand why that might be. Also, there is a lack of recognition in western Europe that, in the countries neighbouring the conflict zones, in Lebanon and Turkey and Jordan, for example, they are actually housing massive numbers of refugees, many more than are being taken in by European Union countries. What we’re going through in places like Europe, let alone the United States or Canada, is so tiny in comparison to the level of problem which is not getting anywhere near that kind of news, you know. The Turkish government has just got on with it, built enormous refugee camps, and is just taking care of that situation. And, you know, it’s like Europe with its enormous wealth and resources somehow can’t cope with a fraction of that number of people. Which I find extraordinary. So we do keep forgetting, and there have been, you know, times … If somebody’s in New York, go to the Ellis Island Museum, have a read of what happened there: the sheer numbers that Ellis Island was dealing with at various points in its history were absolutely overwhelming. Certainly a lot bigger than what we’re dealing with now. And the US government, public services and the American people managed.

Monica Heller: And so it makes you wonder, you know, why it was possible, and it is presented as impossible to manage now.

Sarah Green: Yeah. Or that somehow something has changed about what it means to be somebody who is running either from destitution or from destruction and trying to get help elsewhere, in large numbers. Why that is so much of a bigger problem now than it was in previous decades or centuries.

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO TEACH-IN: Global Refugee Crisis 2016 and beyond
We welcome individuals and groups working on refugee settlement to bring in their display materials and share their contact details with us. Featured Speaker: Sarah Green, University of Helsinki: Global Refugee Crisis—Fieldwork from Europe and Lesbos. Moderators: Jayeeta Sharma and Monica Heller, University of Toronto. 252 Bloor Street West, Room 5/210-220, Toronto, Ontario, Canada / Fri, 8 Apr 2016 at 5:00 PM www.eventbrite.ca

Sarah Green came to Helsinki in 2012, after having worked in anthropology departments at the Universities of Manchester (1995-2012) and Cambridge (1992-1995). She currently specializes on the anthropology of location and borders, especially in the eastern peripheries of Europe which provide a means to analyze how people classify the world, their location in it as well as the location of others. She is interested in the political, social, economic, epistemological and historical dynamics involved in that process of defining the difference between here and somewhere else and then attempting to make it so. http://www.helsinki.fi

Monica Heller is a Professor at OISE and at the University of Toronto, and past president of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). Her research focusses on the role of language in the construction of social difference and social inequality in the post-nationalist, globalizing new economy. Her ethnographic, sociolinguistic research mainly examines these processes as they unfold in francophone Canada. She is also involved in work in these areas conducted in western Europe, and in their relevance for policy in the areas of language and education and training, the workplace and public space. http://www.oise.utoronto.ca

Photography: Freedom House

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Why is South Korea the world’s plastic-surgery capital? / By Patricia Marx /01.29.2016

If you want to feel bad about your looks, spend some time in Seoul. An eerily high number of women there—and men, too—look like anime princesses. READ MORE

10299923685_5d317d852a_k
Why Design Thinking Won’t Save You

An old, but still very relevant article / By Peter Merholz /02.26.2016

Whenever I see a business magazine glow about design thinking, as BusinessWeek has done recently with this special report, and which Harvard Business Review did last year it gets my dander up. Not because I don’t see the value of design (I started a company dedicated to experience design), but because the discussion in such articles is inevitably so fetishistic, and sadly limited. READ MORE

1*j6o_QkSqzD0yvoJmEkYgeQ
A behavorial approach to product design

Four steps to designing products with impact—By Aaron Otani /01.08.2016

Understanding the psychology and science behind how people interpret information, make decisions, and take action enables us to deliver more effective designs. READ MORE

hack
The anthropology of hackers

By Gabriella Coleman /01.25.2016

A "hacker" is a technologist with a love for computing and a "hack" is a clever technical solution arrived through a non-obvious means. It doesn't mean to compromise the Pentagon, change your grades, or take down the global financial system, although it can, but that is a very narrow reality of the term. READ MORE

Ballet dancers perform in Nacho Duato's "The Nutcracker" at the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia November 20, 2015. For theatregoers in St Petersburg, Nacho Duato's "The Nutcracker" demonstrates the global appeal of a Christmas classic. When the curtain rises at the Mikhailovsky Theatre, among the oldest opera and ballet houses in Russia, it's the culmination of hundreds of hours of toil and sweat by dancers, costume makers, set designers and musicians playing the famous score by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.  REUTERS/Grigory Dukor   PICTURE 25 OF 31 - SEARCH "DUKOR NUTCRACKER" FOR ALL IMAGES - RTX1Y2RU
How the arts add to urban economies

Performing arts organizations like opera or ballet help to attract knowledge workers—By Richard Florida /01.08.2016

A new study published in Economic Development Quarterly finds that the arts do in fact add to urban economies overall. READ MORE

2
An anthropologist unravels the mysteries of Mexican migration

Undocumented immigrants risk scorching temperatures, venomous creatures, and military surveillance to get into the U.S.—By Simon Worrall /01.08.2016

Despite the arduousness of the crossing and the high-tech surveillance systems arrayed against them, most of the survivors will attempt to cross again. READ MORE

17goffman-superJumbo-v3
The trials of Alice Goffman

By Gideon Lewis-Kraus /01.18.2016

Before the morning last September when I joined her at Newark Airport, I had met Alice Goffman only twice. But in the previous months, amid a widening controversy both inside and outside the academy over her research, she and I had developed a regular email correspondence, and she greeted me at the gate as if I were an old friend. READ MORE

Heroes-Bowie-Photoshoot
The death and mourning for David Bowie

By Professor Deborah Lynn Steinberg /01.18.2016

"I was asked today if I would consider writing something about the death of David Bowie and about public mourning. This is awkward timing. The subject of mourning has become a vexed and maybe unwelcome one for me." READ MORE

Graduate-Institute-Geneva
Picture of a house—toward the ethnography of the academia

By Miia Halme-Tuomisaari /01.19.2016

There was a time when universities were modelled after churches. Today their designs echo temples of different kinds—namely corporate headquarters. In light of what is going on in the academia, this makes perfect sense. READ MORE

Quote by Martin Luther King Jr. Via SociologyAtWork.org
Dr Martin Luther King: “Public sociologist par excellence”

By Dr Zuleyka Zevallos /01.20.2016

Dr Martin Luther King Jr was born on the 15th of January 1929. Our American colleagues and others might know that King had a degree in sociology and theology (of course!). As the Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Sociology notes, King remains “a public sociologist par excellence.” READ MORE

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 5.21.28 PM
Pleasure is good: How French children acquire a taste for life

By Marie-Anne Suizzo / Photography by Natasha Mileshina /01.08.2016

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions people make is to lose weight by dieting. The idea is that restricting the pleasures of tasty foods will lead to greater fitness and a finer physique. READ MORE

lead_960_Peeps
What was Volkswagen thinking?

On the origins of corporate evil—and idiocy—By Jerry Useem /01.11.2016

One day in 1979, James Burke, the chief executive of Johnson & Johnson, summoned more than 20 of his key people into a room, jabbed his finger at an internal document, and proposed destroying it. READ MORE

design-thinking
‘Design thinking’ is changing the way we approach problems

Why researchers in various disciplines are using the principles of design to solve problems big and small. / By Tim Johnson /01.21.2016

Much of our modern life, it seems, has been designed in the heart of Silicon Valley, so it made perfect sense that the concept of “design thinking” finds its greatest expression here. At least that’s what I learned over lunch with Doug Wightman, one of design thinking’s foremost proponents. READ MORE

4164251472_a7e6d32028_o
Anthropology in business

For business, what do anthropologists bring to the party? / By Patricia Sunderland & Rita Denny /03.11.2016

READ MORE

Peeps-review-657x472B
A review of Peeps magazine

By Steve Watson /01.24.2016

I first came across Peeps magazine last year as a Kickstarter campaign and was immediately fascinated by the premise of a magazine built around anthropological research and insight. READ MORE

Susan_Forbes_021
Cultural Anthropologist Susan Kresnicka Reveals How Her Core Passions Help Hollywood Thrive

"I encourage our clients to focus less on trend-chasing and more on understanding the broader cultural forces." / By Kathy Caprino /02.01.2016

Susan Kresnicka works at Hollywood’s leading integrated branding and marketing agency Troika, spearheading their Research and Insights group. READ MORE

The-reception-of-the-diplomatique
The water-cooler problem

Company success and employee satisfaction depend on social ties that are hard to forge in a globalized era. / By Alexandra Mack /02.01.2016

George Macartney had a bad day at work. The deal he was sent to close was rejected, despite months of advance negotiation. He followed the agreed-upon protocols, though they made both parties uncomfortable. He returned home feeling misunderstood and empty-handed. READ MORE

Mag-Rack
Cover story

/02.03.2016

You know the saying: you can’t judge a book by its cover. With magazines, it’s pretty much the opposite. READ MORE

anOther3
When mainstream media thinks anthropology is cool.

Peeps Magazine recognized as one of the 'Very Best in New Independent Magazines' /02.06.2016

"At last, an indie mag about anthropology! If that turns you off, think again. Like the best magazines, Peeps is a magazine about people and there are some great universal stories here."— Jeremy Leslie, magCulture, quoted in AnOther Magazine READ MORE

Multiculture
Race is a social construct,
scientists argue

Racial categories are weak proxies for genetic diversity and need to be phased out. / By Megan Gannon / Photo by smcgee /02.10.2016

More than 100 years ago, American sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois was concerned that race was being used as a biological explanation for what he understood to be social and cultural differences between different populations of people. READ MORE

socialmedia
Why we post

Why We Post is a global anthropological research project on the uses and consequences of social media. /03.08.2016

READ MORE

IDEO
Ideo Reimagines The Future Of Planned Parenthood

The prestigious global consultants elevate Planned Parenthood's patient experience with human-centered design. / By Diana Budds /03.20.2016

In 2014, Planned Parenthood embarked on an ambitious collaboration with the global design consultancy Ideo to hatch plans that would help the nonprofit do what it does best: care for patients. Now, as Planned Parenthood celebrates its centennial, the fruits of that collaboration are beginning to take shape. READ MORE

Digital technology
Fast-world values

For all the smart tech, we still feel pressed for time. Are digital services the problem, or are we humans to blame? / By Judy Wajcman /02.08.2016

More than 40 years ago, as a young woman in Melbourne, Australia, I had a pen friend in Papua New Guinea. She lived in a coastal village, an hour’s slow boat trip from the city of Lae. I went to visit her. The abundant tropical fruit, vegetables such as taro and sweet potato, and fish fresh from the sea made up for the mosquitoes that plagued me. No one was in a rush to do anything. READ MORE

bbe
Get what’s mine: Formation changes the way we listen to Beyoncé forever

By Naila Keleta-Mae /02.15.2016

“Formation,” is a master class in how pop artists can clearly articulate political views that differ from the mainstream without being labeled didactic and marginalized by the media. READ MORE

lead_960
The Facebook-Loving Farmers
of Myanmar

A dispatch from an Internet revolution in progress. By Craig Mod /02.14.2016

For six weeks last October and November, just before Myanmar held its landmark elections, I joined a team of design ethnographers in the countryside interviewing forty farmers about smartphones. READ MORE

SAPVoice-Art-And-Science-of-Empathy-Design-Thinking-by-Kaan-Turnali
The art and science of customer empathy in design thinking

By Kaan Turnali /03.27.2016

Customer-centric solutions demand empathy. But, how we employ this principle within design thinking is as critical—if not more—as what we do in the process. READ MORE

girls-bending
These New York kids are the future of
technical design

By Leo King /02.27.2016

The right STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education at a young age makes a massive difference in what career a child goes on to pursue. One New York City-based entrepreneur is transforming how that education is delivered, with a fantastic hands-on approach to learning and technology. READ MORE

Art&Kids
Science Says Art Will Make Your Kids Better Thinkers (and Nicer People)

A new study supports our hunch that kids who are exposed to the arts gain benefits beyond just being "more creative." / By Jennifer Miller /04.20.2016

READ MORE

Indian
My Indian Parents Are Huge Fans of Cultural Appropriation, Even While My Generation Finds it Appalling

To them, it was a sign of their culture gaining mainstream acceptance. To me, it was thievery and a selfish promotion tactic. / By Nikita Redkar /05.09.2016

READ MORE

The bane of cultural appropriation2
The bane of cultural appropriation

The campaign against cultural appropriation is part of the broader attempt to police communities and cultures / By Kenan Malik /05.06.2016

READ MORE

A conversation with Barry Lord
A conversation with Barry Lord

/02.24.2015

The museum planner and thought leader joins the dots between culture and energy. READ MORE

PLACEMAKING788
On placemaking

An anthropologist’s perspective by Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman /05.11.2015

READ MORE

taste-road_799
A taste of the road

Ethnographer Bruno Moynié's road trip into the American South /08.25.2014

Imagine you are sitting down to eat, when all of a sudden you look up and see a bald, middle aged man, wearing a large skull ring and a dark t-shirt, who introduces himself to you with these words... READ MORE

Bangladesh_x788B
Cosmopolitan moments

Diversity through the lens of Colin Shafer /10.13.2014

Participatory Photography project “Cosmopolis Toronto” combines collaborative authorship between subject and photographer to create a visual metaphor for Toronto’s diversity. READ MORE

Indian
My Indian Parents Are Huge Fans of Cultural Appropriation, Even While My Generation Finds it Appalling

To them, it was a sign of their culture gaining mainstream acceptance. To me, it was thievery and a selfish promotion tactic. / By Nikita Redkar /05.09.2016

READ MORE ON xojane.com

spyvsspy_788
Spy vs Ethnographer

Understanding the lives of ethnographers through the lives of spies | By Carrie Yury /04.17.2016

I have a confession to make. I am a secret, impassioned lover of detective fiction. Although I began my academic career pursuing serious literature, these days, I don’t read the classics. Instead, I read whodunits. Cozies. Mysteries.READ MORE

UMD anthropolgy and sociology professor Mita Emad speaks to her class March 29, 2016 during a discussion using the Canadian magazine Peeps.
Peeps in the classroom

By Mitra Emad | Photography by Brett Groehler /04.19.2016

Professor Mitra Emad discusses how she and her class used Peeps Magazine as a resource this year.READ MORE

Peepsfinal_OPT
Soothe-sayers and storytellers

The healing capacity of narrative—by Emma Louise Backe /02.15.2016

When I cracked my head on the floor, words leaked out as quickly as blood from the wound in my scalp. Yet the damage from my brain contusion was as much internal as it was external. Blood seeped into my frontal lobe as I lay, head throbbing, in a hospital bed, ravaged by pain and fear of what had truly been broken in my injury.READ MORE

Rue Saint Denis,
© Boris Svartzman
Introducing Peeps Magazine Issue 02: Crossing Thresholds

From the Editors’ Desk | by Anya-Milana Sulaver & Aliah El-houni /04.17.2016

Every issue we create starts with an idea. It’s usually a great idea. And then it evolves into something we could never have imagined ourselves as the contributions we receive are put side by side.READ MORE

Brooklyn Orange tongue-2
Bricolage in a can

The story of one research team's journey into the brand culture of alcoholic energy drinks | By Gavin Johnston /03.24.2016

In its original formulation, Sparks was one of the first alcoholic beverages to contain caffeine. Its other original active ingredients included taurine, ginseng, and guarana, the backbone ingredients of traditional energy drinks.READ MORE

IUJP9OI22I_OPT
The changing face of Valentine’s Day

How Millennial values are redefining the landscape of love—Written by Megan Melissa Machamer /02.10.2016

Red roses, representing the color of passion. A pink box of chocolate to color code budding love and desire. A diamond necklace in a velvet, heart shaped box. You sit alone on your couch, frustrated that the last three commercials have not been directed at you—you are just trying to watch the game!READ MORE

IMG_3298_788
Peeps Magazine through academic eyes

A review of Peeps Magazine by Leslie Carlin and Simon Coleman, University of Toronto /02.09.2016

The University of Toronto Anthropology program has been interested in Peeps Magazine since we introduced ourselves to them with our Kickstarter campaign last June. When the issue finally dropped in November, the program kindly offered up the services of Drs. Leslie Carlin and Simon Coleman to provide us with some constructive feedback and their thoughts.READ MORE

IMG_32692_OPT
Why I love female superheroes

A close look at Supergirl and Jessica Jones—Written by Charissa Dechène /01.20.2016

In the summer of 2015, I bought a Supergirl keyring in the LEGO store in my hometown of Gouda, The Netherlands. The moment my eyes caught the keyring hanging on the wall I just had to have it.READ MORE

Xu_In-the-morning,-Chong-Xu-starts-to-prepare-the-online-order-system.-His-wife-is-watching-him.
Portraits of the post-Mao generation

A photo essay of China’s much anticipated post-80s generation—Photos and text by Yuyang Liu /01.21.2016

In his work for Issue 01 of Peeps Magazine, Chinese photographer Yuyang Liu captured a day in the life of members of the much anticipated generation that anthropologist Graham Candy identifies as reputedly "only know[ing] of China’s rise in fame and fortune.”READ MORE

image-5_MainOpt_788
On the fall and rise of hands

Unraveling our ties to technology to remember the art of making things—By Elisabeth Bennett / Photography by Curtis James /12.10.2015

When we characterize younger generations today, perhaps what most differentiates them from others is their nativity and literacy in the digital age. We make much of this difference and contemplate how it affects and reflects language, brain development, and future innovation in technology.READ MORE

Wade_Inside_Portrait2_788_OPT
Authentic storytelling

An interview with Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker Cynthia Wade /12.10.2015

Cynthia Wade is an award winning documentary and commercial director known for intimate and gripping storytelling. Whether in a remote village in Cambodia or a conference room on Madison Avenue, Cynthia has been recognized for her ability to find and capture moving stories.READ MORE

IMG_5705_788
Mindful of the mosaic

The Sensuous Geographies of Ethnic Festivals—By Kelley McClinchey /08.25.2015

Ethnic festivals benefit individuals and communities; not only for the community at large, but for recent migrants, first generation, second, or even third generation community members. Ethnic festivals may begin and maintain themselves as grassroots events, but others generate widespread notoriety frequently becoming hallmark events.READ MORE

Print
Sound Advice

How names can shape consumer preferences—By Sam Maglio and Cris Rabaglia /07.28.2015

The study of language has the power to turn the average person into a mind reader. Take a look at the two figures above. If we told you that one of these shapes is called a kiki and the other a bouba, how would you match these names to the two shapes?READ MORE

Farm_778
The promise of big data

On bringing together two different approaches to research—By Tim Fisher /08.03.2015

As a curious six year-old, I studied each nook and cranny of the farm where I grew-up. I felt intimately familiar with every element of the landscape. Then, one day, my mother showed me an aerial photograph of the farm and it reshaped my understanding of the place where I lived. I now had two ways to see my world—an “on the ground” view that was filled with richness and nuance, and a view from above that helped me to place my understanding in a broader perspective.READ MORE

Baltimore-Uprising-Collage_788
The long and the short of it

Reflecting on narrative, grief and violence in the wake of Baltimore—By Sarah Stefana Smith, Cultural Analyst /08.03.2015

In late April, I watched from Toronto as Baltimore, a landscape I had weeks prior inhabited, bubbled over from the confines of ‘respectable’ grief and rage. I encountered the first of numerous broadcasts quite off guard. I was sitting in the lobby of a hotel where I often went to write to use the free wifi. In the background the television screen flashed “Violent Riots in Baltimore” as CBC anchors offered up detailed accounts of looting and burning in the streets. How is one supposed to feel when watching their home in conflict?READ MORE

Film Review-Mad Max: Fury Road
Breaking the princess complex

/06.24.2015

As a filmmaker and an anthropologist, I am always looking for films that explore popular topics from an unlikely point of view. George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road is such a film.READ MORE

Astronaut_portrait_Opt2_788
Marking territory in the infinite

/05.25.2015

As an anthropologist interested in outer space, I was immediately struck by the implications of taking a flag off of our planet.READ MORE

peeps_final_788
Changing the shape of fashion

The new power of the plus-sized market—By Cat Ashton /05.27.2015

In the fall of 2011, at the One of a Kind Show in Toronto, I entered one of the clothing booths in the hope of finding a Christmas present for my mother. As I began to look over colourful sweaters and patchwork hoodies, the booth owner quickly moved to intercept me. “We don't have anything for you here,” he said. Mortified, I slunk away; the anger came later.READ MORE

AirBnB_02
My share of the sharing economy

Our cultural analyst and forum editor at Peeps reflects on her lived experience as part of the new Web 2.0-based sharing economy. /12.02.2014

READ MORE

Hong Kong, democracy and cultural myths / Peeps Forum / Photography by DM Chung
Hong Kong, democracy and cultural myths

By Graham Candy / Photography by DM Chung /10.13.2014

Myths are the way we make sense of our world, they are the stories we are told, and in turn tell to others. Myths provide a sense of purpose in a complex world, and fundamentally, hope for the future.READ MORE

SeparateMarch788
In defense of bias

On the nature of qualitative research—By Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman /05.18.2015

Let’s talk about bias. I have it. You have it. As humans all of us have our own opinions towards virtually everything that comes across our plates in our daily lives, be it (literally) a menu option or (the more serious) potentially deadly first impression. And researchers, from the molecular biologist to the cultural anthropologist, are not excluded from this inherent trait.READ MORE

youthsoccer_main
Observations of an observer

A visual-ethnographer’s insights from the field—By Jacob Langvad Nilsson /10.13.2014

Youth are much more connected today than, say, 15 years ago. We are all more connected. And the same thing is happening in emerging markets, there are smart phones and internet cafes, and people know what is going on in other countries.READ MORE

shutterstock
What journalists get wrong about social science, according to 20 scientists

By Brian Resnick /01.26.2016

There's a constant conflict between social scientists and the reporters who cover them. It's derived from "a fundamental tension between the media's desire for novelty and the scientific method," as Sanjay Srivastava, who researches personality at the University of Oregon, tells me.READ MORE

Social-over-mobile__788x510
The EPIC2015 Conversation

By Maria Bezaitis, Alexandra Mack & Ken Anderson /01.28.2016

EPIC2015 was notable for so many excellent reasons. São Paulo enabled an influx of new participants and presenters from Latin America, expanding the community and conversation with new colleagues and stakeholders as well as new ways of thinking about people that develop out of different cultural perspectives.READ MORE

C52A8514_788
Making the strange familiar and the familiar strange

Stepping into the shoes of an ethnographer—By Megan Melissa Machamer /06.19.2015

READ MORE

about face
About Face

Why is South Korea the world’s plastic-surgery capital? / By Patricia Marx /01.29.2016

If you want to feel bad about your looks, spend some time in Seoul. An eerily high number of women there—and men, too—look like anime princesses.READ MORE

10299923685_5d317d852a_k
Why Design Thinking Won’t Save You

An old, but still very relevant article / By Peter Merholz /02.26.2016

Whenever I see a business magazine glow about design thinking, as BusinessWeek has done recently with this special report, and which Harvard Business Review did last year it gets my dander up. Not because I don’t see the value of design (I started a company dedicated to experience design), but because the discussion in such articles is inevitably so fetishistic, and sadly limited.READ MORE

1*j6o_QkSqzD0yvoJmEkYgeQ
A behavorial approach to product design

Four steps to designing products with impact—By Aaron Otani /01.08.2016

Understanding the psychology and science behind how people interpret information, make decisions, and take action enables us to deliver more effective designs.READ MORE

hack
The anthropology of hackers

By Gabriella Coleman /01.25.2016

A "hacker" is a technologist with a love for computing and a "hack" is a clever technical solution arrived through a non-obvious means. It doesn't mean to compromise the Pentagon, change your grades, or take down the global financial system, although it can, but that is a very narrow reality of the term.READ MORE

Ballet dancers perform in Nacho Duato's "The Nutcracker" at the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia November 20, 2015. For theatregoers in St Petersburg, Nacho Duato's "The Nutcracker" demonstrates the global appeal of a Christmas classic. When the curtain rises at the Mikhailovsky Theatre, among the oldest opera and ballet houses in Russia, it's the culmination of hundreds of hours of toil and sweat by dancers, costume makers, set designers and musicians playing the famous score by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.  REUTERS/Grigory Dukor   PICTURE 25 OF 31 - SEARCH "DUKOR NUTCRACKER" FOR ALL IMAGES - RTX1Y2RU
How the arts add to urban economies

Performing arts organizations like opera or ballet help to attract knowledge workers—By Richard Florida /01.08.2016

A new study published in Economic Development Quarterly finds that the arts do in fact add to urban economies overall.READ MORE

2
An anthropologist unravels the mysteries of Mexican migration

Undocumented immigrants risk scorching temperatures, venomous creatures, and military surveillance to get into the U.S.—By Simon Worrall /01.08.2016

Despite the arduousness of the crossing and the high-tech surveillance systems arrayed against them, most of the survivors will attempt to cross again.READ MORE

17goffman-superJumbo-v3
The trials of Alice Goffman

By Gideon Lewis-Kraus /01.18.2016

Before the morning last September when I joined her at Newark Airport, I had met Alice Goffman only twice. But in the previous months, amid a widening controversy both inside and outside the academy over her research, she and I had developed a regular email correspondence, and she greeted me at the gate as if I were an old friend.READ MORE

Heroes-Bowie-Photoshoot
The death and mourning for David Bowie

By Professor Deborah Lynn Steinberg /01.18.2016

"I was asked today if I would consider writing something about the death of David Bowie and about public mourning. This is awkward timing. The subject of mourning has become a vexed and maybe unwelcome one for me."READ MORE

Graduate-Institute-Geneva
Picture of a house—toward the ethnography of the academia

By Miia Halme-Tuomisaari /01.19.2016

There was a time when universities were modelled after churches. Today their designs echo temples of different kinds—namely corporate headquarters. In light of what is going on in the academia, this makes perfect sense.READ MORE

Quote by Martin Luther King Jr. Via SociologyAtWork.org
Dr Martin Luther King: “Public sociologist par excellence”

By Dr Zuleyka Zevallos /01.20.2016

Dr Martin Luther King Jr was born on the 15th of January 1929. Our American colleagues and others might know that King had a degree in sociology and theology (of course!). As the Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Sociology notes, King remains “a public sociologist par excellence.”READ MORE

Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 5.21.28 PM
Pleasure is good: How French children acquire a taste for life

By Marie-Anne Suizzo / Photography by Natasha Mileshina /01.08.2016

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions people make is to lose weight by dieting. The idea is that restricting the pleasures of tasty foods will lead to greater fitness and a finer physique.READ MORE

lead_960_Peeps
What was Volkswagen thinking?

On the origins of corporate evil—and idiocy—By Jerry Useem /01.11.2016

One day in 1979, James Burke, the chief executive of Johnson & Johnson, summoned more than 20 of his key people into a room, jabbed his finger at an internal document, and proposed destroying it.READ MORE

design-thinking
‘Design thinking’ is changing the way we approach problems

Why researchers in various disciplines are using the principles of design to solve problems big and small. / By Tim Johnson /01.21.2016

Much of our modern life, it seems, has been designed in the heart of Silicon Valley, so it made perfect sense that the concept of “design thinking” finds its greatest expression here. At least that’s what I learned over lunch with Doug Wightman, one of design thinking’s foremost proponents.READ MORE

4164251472_a7e6d32028_o
Anthropology in business

For business, what do anthropologists bring to the party? / By Patricia Sunderland & Rita Denny /03.11.2016

READ MORE

Peeps-review-657x472B
A review of Peeps magazine

By Steve Watson /01.24.2016

I first came across Peeps magazine last year as a Kickstarter campaign and was immediately fascinated by the premise of a magazine built around anthropological research and insight.READ MORE

Susan_Forbes_021
Cultural Anthropologist Susan Kresnicka Reveals How Her Core Passions Help Hollywood Thrive

"I encourage our clients to focus less on trend-chasing and more on understanding the broader cultural forces." / By Kathy Caprino /02.01.2016

Susan Kresnicka works at Hollywood’s leading integrated branding and marketing agency Troika, spearheading their Research and Insights group.READ MORE

The-reception-of-the-diplomatique
The water-cooler problem

Company success and employee satisfaction depend on social ties that are hard to forge in a globalized era. / By Alexandra Mack /02.01.2016

George Macartney had a bad day at work. The deal he was sent to close was rejected, despite months of advance negotiation. He followed the agreed-upon protocols, though they made both parties uncomfortable. He returned home feeling misunderstood and empty-handed.READ MORE

Mag-Rack
Cover story

/02.03.2016

You know the saying: you can’t judge a book by its cover. With magazines, it’s pretty much the opposite.READ MORE

anOther3
When mainstream media thinks anthropology is cool.

Peeps Magazine recognized as one of the 'Very Best in New Independent Magazines' /02.06.2016

"At last, an indie mag about anthropology! If that turns you off, think again. Like the best magazines, Peeps is a magazine about people and there are some great universal stories here."— Jeremy Leslie, magCulture, quoted in AnOther MagazineREAD MORE

Multiculture
Race is a social construct,
scientists argue

Racial categories are weak proxies for genetic diversity and need to be phased out. / By Megan Gannon / Photo by smcgee /02.10.2016

More than 100 years ago, American sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois was concerned that race was being used as a biological explanation for what he understood to be social and cultural differences between different populations of people.READ MORE

socialmedia
Why we post

Why We Post is a global anthropological research project on the uses and consequences of social media. /03.08.2016

READ MORE

IDEO
Ideo Reimagines The Future Of Planned Parenthood

The prestigious global consultants elevate Planned Parenthood's patient experience with human-centered design. / By Diana Budds /03.20.2016

In 2014, Planned Parenthood embarked on an ambitious collaboration with the global design consultancy Ideo to hatch plans that would help the nonprofit do what it does best: care for patients. Now, as Planned Parenthood celebrates its centennial, the fruits of that collaboration are beginning to take shape.READ MORE

Digital technology
Fast-world values

For all the smart tech, we still feel pressed for time. Are digital services the problem, or are we humans to blame? / By Judy Wajcman /02.08.2016

More than 40 years ago, as a young woman in Melbourne, Australia, I had a pen friend in Papua New Guinea. She lived in a coastal village, an hour’s slow boat trip from the city of Lae. I went to visit her. The abundant tropical fruit, vegetables such as taro and sweet potato, and fish fresh from the sea made up for the mosquitoes that plagued me. No one was in a rush to do anything.READ MORE

bbe
Get what’s mine: Formation changes the way we listen to Beyoncé forever

By Naila Keleta-Mae /02.15.2016

“Formation,” is a master class in how pop artists can clearly articulate political views that differ from the mainstream without being labeled didactic and marginalized by the media.READ MORE

lead_960
The Facebook-Loving Farmers
of Myanmar

A dispatch from an Internet revolution in progress. By Craig Mod /02.14.2016

For six weeks last October and November, just before Myanmar held its landmark elections, I joined a team of design ethnographers in the countryside interviewing forty farmers about smartphones.READ MORE

SAPVoice-Art-And-Science-of-Empathy-Design-Thinking-by-Kaan-Turnali
The art and science of customer empathy in design thinking

By Kaan Turnali /03.27.2016

Customer-centric solutions demand empathy. But, how we employ this principle within design thinking is as critical—if not more—as what we do in the process.READ MORE

girls-bending
These New York kids are the future of
technical design

By Leo King /02.27.2016

The right STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education at a young age makes a massive difference in what career a child goes on to pursue. One New York City-based entrepreneur is transforming how that education is delivered, with a fantastic hands-on approach to learning and technology.READ MORE

Art&Kids
Science Says Art Will Make Your Kids Better Thinkers (and Nicer People)

A new study supports our hunch that kids who are exposed to the arts gain benefits beyond just being "more creative." / By Jennifer Miller /04.20.2016

READ MORE

Indian
My Indian Parents Are Huge Fans of Cultural Appropriation, Even While My Generation Finds it Appalling

To them, it was a sign of their culture gaining mainstream acceptance. To me, it was thievery and a selfish promotion tactic. / By Nikita Redkar /05.09.2016

READ MORE

The bane of cultural appropriation2
The bane of cultural appropriation

The campaign against cultural appropriation is part of the broader attempt to police communities and cultures / By Kenan Malik /05.06.2016

READ MORE

A conversation with Barry Lord
A conversation with Barry Lord

/02.24.2015

The museum planner and thought leader joins the dots between culture and energy.READ MORE

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On placemaking

An anthropologist’s perspective by Katrina Johnston-Zimmerman /05.11.2015

READ MORE

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A taste of the road

Ethnographer Bruno Moynié's road trip into the American South /08.25.2014

Imagine you are sitting down to eat, when all of a sudden you look up and see a bald, middle aged man, wearing a large skull ring and a dark t-shirt, who introduces himself to you with these words...READ MORE

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Cosmopolitan moments

Diversity through the lens of Colin Shafer /10.13.2014

Participatory Photography project “Cosmopolis Toronto” combines collaborative authorship between subject and photographer to create a visual metaphor for Toronto’s diversity.READ MORE

Curations

Indian
My Indian Parents Are Huge Fans of Cultural Appropriation, Even While My Generation Finds it Appalling

To them, it was a sign of their culture gaining mainstream acceptance. To me, it was thievery and a selfish promotion tactic. / By Nikita Redkar /05.09.2016

READ MORE ON xojane.com

The bane of cultural appropriation2
The bane of cultural appropriation

The campaign against cultural appropriation is part of the broader attempt to police communities and cultures / By Kenan Malik /05.06.2016

READ MORE ON aljazeera.com

Art&Kids
Science Says Art Will Make Your Kids Better Thinkers (and Nicer People)

A new study supports our hunch that kids who are exposed to the arts gain benefits beyond just being "more creative." / By Jennifer Miller /04.20.2016

READ MORE ON fastcocreate.com

SAPVoice-Art-And-Science-of-Empathy-Design-Thinking-by-Kaan-Turnali
The art and science of customer empathy in design thinking

By Kaan Turnali /03.27.2016

Customer-centric solutions demand empathy. But, how we employ this principle within design thinking is as critical—if not more—as what we do in the process. READ MORE ON forbes.com

IDEO
Ideo Reimagines The Future Of Planned Parenthood

The prestigious global consultants elevate Planned Parenthood's patient experience with human-centered design. / By Diana Budds /03.20.2016

In 2014, Planned Parenthood embarked on an ambitious collaboration with the global design consultancy Ideo to hatch plans that would help the nonprofit do what it does best: care for patients. Now, as Planned Parenthood celebrates its centennial, the fruits of that collaboration are beginning to take shape. READ MORE ON fastcodesign.com

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Anthropology in business

For business, what do anthropologists bring to the party? / By Patricia Sunderland & Rita Denny /03.11.2016

READ MORE ON americananthro.org

socialmedia
Why we post

Why We Post is a global anthropological research project on the uses and consequences of social media. /03.08.2016

READ MORE ON ucl.ac.uk

girls-bending
These New York kids are the future of
technical design

By Leo King /02.27.2016

The right STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education at a young age makes a massive difference in what career a child goes on to pursue. One New York City-based entrepreneur is transforming how that education is delivered, with a fantastic hands-on approach to learning and technology. READ MORE ON Forbes.com

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Why Design Thinking Won’t Save You

An old, but still very relevant article / By Peter Merholz /02.26.2016

Whenever I see a business magazine glow about design thinking, as BusinessWeek has done recently with this special report, and which Harvard Business Review did last year it gets my dander up. Not because I don’t see the value of design (I started a company dedicated to experience design), but because the discussion in such articles is inevitably so fetishistic, and sadly limited. READ MORE ON hbr.org

bbe
Get what’s mine: Formation changes the way we listen to Beyoncé forever

By Naila Keleta-Mae /02.15.2016

“Formation,” is a master class in how pop artists can clearly articulate political views that differ from the mainstream without being labeled didactic and marginalized by the media. READ MORE ON noisey.vice.com

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The Facebook-Loving Farmers
of Myanmar

A dispatch from an Internet revolution in progress. By Craig Mod /02.14.2016

For six weeks last October and November, just before Myanmar held its landmark elections, I joined a team of design ethnographers in the countryside interviewing forty farmers about smartphones. READ MORE ON theatlantic.com

Multiculture
Race is a social construct,
scientists argue

Racial categories are weak proxies for genetic diversity and need to be phased out. / By Megan Gannon / Photo by smcgee /02.10.2016

More than 100 years ago, American sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois was concerned that race was being used as a biological explanation for what he understood to be social and cultural differences between different populations of people. READ MORE ON scientificamerican.com

Digital technology
Fast-world values

For all the smart tech, we still feel pressed for time. Are digital services the problem, or are we humans to blame? / By Judy Wajcman /02.08.2016

More than 40 years ago, as a young woman in Melbourne, Australia, I had a pen friend in Papua New Guinea. She lived in a coastal village, an hour’s slow boat trip from the city of Lae. I went to visit her. The abundant tropical fruit, vegetables such as taro and sweet potato, and fish fresh from the sea made up for the mosquitoes that plagued me. No one was in a rush to do anything. READ MORE ON aeon.co

anOther3
When mainstream media thinks anthropology is cool.

Peeps Magazine recognized as one of the 'Very Best in New Independent Magazines' /02.06.2016

"At last, an indie mag about anthropology! If that turns you off, think again. Like the best magazines, Peeps is a magazine about people and there are some great universal stories here."— Jeremy Leslie, magCulture, quoted in AnOther Magazine READ MORE ON AnOtherMag.com

Mag-Rack
Cover story

/02.03.2016

You know the saying: you can’t judge a book by its cover. With magazines, it’s pretty much the opposite. READ MORE ON 99percentinvisible.org

The-reception-of-the-diplomatique
The water-cooler problem

Company success and employee satisfaction depend on social ties that are hard to forge in a globalized era. / By Alexandra Mack /02.01.2016

George Macartney had a bad day at work. The deal he was sent to close was rejected, despite months of advance negotiation. He followed the agreed-upon protocols, though they made both parties uncomfortable. He returned home feeling misunderstood and empty-handed. READ MORE ON sapiens.org

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Cultural Anthropologist Susan Kresnicka Reveals How Her Core Passions Help Hollywood Thrive

"I encourage our clients to focus less on trend-chasing and more on understanding the broader cultural forces." / By Kathy Caprino /02.01.2016

Susan Kresnicka works at Hollywood’s leading integrated branding and marketing agency Troika, spearheading their Research and Insights group. READ MORE ON Forbes.com

about face
About Face

Why is South Korea the world’s plastic-surgery capital? / By Patricia Marx /01.29.2016

If you want to feel bad about your looks, spend some time in Seoul. An eerily high number of women there—and men, too—look like anime princesses. READ MORE ON newyorker.com

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The EPIC2015 Conversation

By Maria Bezaitis, Alexandra Mack & Ken Anderson /01.28.2016

EPIC2015 was notable for so many excellent reasons. São Paulo enabled an influx of new participants and presenters from Latin America, expanding the community and conversation with new colleagues and stakeholders as well as new ways of thinking about people that develop out of different cultural perspectives. READ MORE ON epicpeople.org

shutterstock
What journalists get wrong about social science, according to 20 scientists

By Brian Resnick /01.26.2016

There's a constant conflict between social scientists and the reporters who cover them. It's derived from "a fundamental tension between the media's desire for novelty and the scientific method," as Sanjay Srivastava, who researches personality at the University of Oregon, tells me. READ MORE ON vox.com

hack
The anthropology of hackers

By Gabriella Coleman /01.25.2016

A "hacker" is a technologist with a love for computing and a "hack" is a clever technical solution arrived through a non-obvious means. It doesn't mean to compromise the Pentagon, change your grades, or take down the global financial system, although it can, but that is a very narrow reality of the term. READ MORE ON theatlantic.com

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A review of Peeps magazine

By Steve Watson /01.24.2016

I first came across Peeps magazine last year as a Kickstarter campaign and was immediately fascinated by the premise of a magazine built around anthropological research and insight. READ MORE ON stackmagazines.com

design-thinking
‘Design thinking’ is changing the way we approach problems

Why researchers in various disciplines are using the principles of design to solve problems big and small. / By Tim Johnson /01.21.2016

Much of our modern life, it seems, has been designed in the heart of Silicon Valley, so it made perfect sense that the concept of “design thinking” finds its greatest expression here. At least that’s what I learned over lunch with Doug Wightman, one of design thinking’s foremost proponents. READ MORE ON universityaffairs.ca

Quote by Martin Luther King Jr. Via SociologyAtWork.org
Dr Martin Luther King: “Public sociologist par excellence”

By Dr Zuleyka Zevallos /01.20.2016

Dr Martin Luther King Jr was born on the 15th of January 1929. Our American colleagues and others might know that King had a degree in sociology and theology (of course!). As the Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Sociology notes, King remains “a public sociologist par excellence.” READ MORE ON sociologyatwork.org

Graduate-Institute-Geneva
Picture of a house—toward the ethnography of the academia

By Miia Halme-Tuomisaari /01.19.2016

There was a time when universities were modelled after churches. Today their designs echo temples of different kinds—namely corporate headquarters. In light of what is going on in the academia, this makes perfect sense. READ MORE ON allegralaboratory.net

Heroes-Bowie-Photoshoot
The death and mourning for David Bowie

By Professor Deborah Lynn Steinberg /01.18.2016

"I was asked today if I would consider writing something about the death of David Bowie and about public mourning. This is awkward timing. The subject of mourning has become a vexed and maybe unwelcome one for me." READ MORE ON warwick.ac.uk

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The trials of Alice Goffman

By Gideon Lewis-Kraus /01.18.2016

Before the morning last September when I joined her at Newark Airport, I had met Alice Goffman only twice. But in the previous months, amid a widening controversy both inside and outside the academy over her research, she and I had developed a regular email correspondence, and she greeted me at the gate as if I were an old friend. READ MORE ON The New York Times

lead_960_Peeps
What was Volkswagen thinking?

On the origins of corporate evil—and idiocy—By Jerry Useem /01.11.2016

One day in 1979, James Burke, the chief executive of Johnson & Johnson, summoned more than 20 of his key people into a room, jabbed his finger at an internal document, and proposed destroying it. READ MORE ON theatlantic.com

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Pleasure is good: How French children acquire a taste for life

By Marie-Anne Suizzo / Photography by Natasha Mileshina /01.08.2016

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions people make is to lose weight by dieting. The idea is that restricting the pleasures of tasty foods will lead to greater fitness and a finer physique. READ MORE ON theconversation.com

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An anthropologist unravels the mysteries of Mexican migration

Undocumented immigrants risk scorching temperatures, venomous creatures, and military surveillance to get into the U.S.—By Simon Worrall /01.08.2016

Despite the arduousness of the crossing and the high-tech surveillance systems arrayed against them, most of the survivors will attempt to cross again. READ MORE ON nationalgeographic.com

Ballet dancers perform in Nacho Duato's "The Nutcracker" at the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia November 20, 2015. For theatregoers in St Petersburg, Nacho Duato's "The Nutcracker" demonstrates the global appeal of a Christmas classic. When the curtain rises at the Mikhailovsky Theatre, among the oldest opera and ballet houses in Russia, it's the culmination of hundreds of hours of toil and sweat by dancers, costume makers, set designers and musicians playing the famous score by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.  REUTERS/Grigory Dukor   PICTURE 25 OF 31 - SEARCH "DUKOR NUTCRACKER" FOR ALL IMAGES - RTX1Y2RU
How the arts add to urban economies

Performing arts organizations like opera or ballet help to attract knowledge workers—By Richard Florida /01.08.2016

A new study published in Economic Development Quarterly finds that the arts do in fact add to urban economies overall. READ MORE ON citylab.com

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A behavorial approach to product design

Four steps to designing products with impact—By Aaron Otani /01.08.2016

Understanding the psychology and science behind how people interpret information, make decisions, and take action enables us to deliver more effective designs. READ MORE ON Medium.com