AnthroCurrents – January 23, 2015

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

  • Music communicates a lot—next time you’re watching a movie, pay attention to the way music directs its audience.  But research conducted by anthropologist Nathalie Fernando and neuroscientist Stephen McAdams will probably convince you that music is not a universal language. There are still people in Democratic Republic of Congo that are not freaked out by the theme to Psycho.
  • Anthropologist John R. Bowen writes in Time about French social and historical characteristics that set the stage for the Charlie Hebdo massacre and may end up increasing the political power of the far right in that country.
  • All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood was reviewed this week at Author Jennifer Senior has a degree in anthropology from Princeton. Her book describes the current state of American middle-class parenting.
  • At NPR, anthropologist Barbara J. King analyzed the most recent extended breastfeeding hoopla to hit social media (I’ve stopped paying attention) and talks to Katherine Dettwyler—another anthropologist—about what “normal” really means.
  • Erin Moriarty Harrelson is an anthropologist researching the deaf community in Cambodia. She writes about her experiences in the field for National Geographic. Cambodia is one site where she can observe people encountering sign language for the first time.


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