AnthoCurrents – August 22, 2014

A biweekly look at recent stories on anthropology and practicing anthropologists in the popular media


  • Anthropologists just keep making interesting documentaries, and the Chicago Sun Times points us toward an upcoming documentary about the closing of Wisconsin Steel in the 1980s and how an entire pathway to the middle class quickly disappeared. You may be able to see Exit Zero as early as spring 2015, but you can get the book now.
  • Meanwhile, in popular film, A Five Star Life features an anthropologist played by Lesley Manville. After watching Blue Jasmine, this former Boston University anthropology major is left wondering just how the anthropologist will be depicted in this film. If you’ve seen A Five Star Life already, please report back in the comments section.


  • MintPress’ article on the research of anthropologist Brian Broadrose includes his criticism of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).
  • Signithia Fordham asks in American Progress: Are black female academics ignored? Fordham (with co-author John Ogbu) wrote about the “burden of ‘acting white’” back in 1986, and her research has been quoted frequently ever since, sadly often without mentioning her name. The article links to the original research from The Urban Review, and it is still relevant.
  • And then there’s Oscar Lewis’ work on the “culture of poverty.” The Guardian talks about how Lewis’ work has been misunderstood and misapplied in order to blame the poor for their condition.

For Fun

  • GlobalPost offers this list of parenting habits from around the world that are (supposedly) in no danger of becoming American habits. I have no idea if these are even accurate, but I admit to avoiding eye contact with my own children from time to time. If only they could pee on command…

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