A biweekly look at recent stories on anthropology and practicing anthropologists in the popular media
- Two anthropologists argue that most violent crime is committed within the boundaries of moral behavior as defined by the perpetrators. The media are calling it Breaking Bad Syndrome, and the book is called “Virtuous Violence.” If anyone has any opinions on this research, I would love to hear about it in the comments.
- The Washington Post tries to settle the debate (I didn’t even know there was one) over whether Inuits really do have 50 words for snow as reported by Franz Boas way back in 1911. Recent research by Smithsonian anthropologist Igor Krupnik supports Boas’ claims.
- A recent study makes the case that adolescent boys travel farther then adolescent girls amongst the Tsimani population in Bolivia, ostensibly so that they can look for mates. One naturally wonders what the results of a similar study would be amongst Western youths and how that behavior would be interpreted.
- Two very different articles show the importance (to many) of having an established sense of place and purpose within society. The New York Times discusses the high rate of suicide amongst displaced indigenous peoples in southwest Brazil, and the Deseret News reports on a psychological study finding that adolescents with a strong religious worldview are less likely to use drugs.
- Anthropologists Shannon Speed and Hallie Boas write about the harassment of Hopi Indians by the federal government in Al-Jazeera America.
- From the journal Nature, “If you want science to deliver for society, through commerce, government or philanthropy, you need to support a capacity to understand that society that is as deep as your capacity to understand the science.“