Body Ritual Among the Nacirema

The latest post on How Anthropologists Actually do Anthropology discussed the actual fieldwork of anthropology; the process and the how-to of so called data collection. However, as in many scenarios, raw data alone cannot be presented to the public because of its incomprehensibility. That is why anthropologists write and produce ethnographies. Ethnographies are the final…

Ethnographic Research for Dummies

For everyone whose waited for my next blog post, I thank you very much for your patience. My short absence however is not without purpose. I was in fact fortunate enough to participate in my first formal ethnographic research publication. I have always read and worked on literature reviews of different ethnographies and theoretically discussed…

Anthropology is useful, Google it.

Of course from an academic standpoint, the purpose of anthropology is as any other discipline: to push beyond the human inquiry in hopes of discovering new knowledge. Although important, the relevance of it all, it seems, is highly unconvincing for those who seek practical applicability of the things they learn. Much like philosophy and literature,…

Are We All the Same? Or Are We all Different?

Driven by the epistemological quest to decipher the ever complex human species, Anthropologists try to understand why we do the things the way we do, what unites us as species and, ultimately, what differentiates us as individuals. Much simpler said than done, Anthropologists thus tackle one of the most important paradoxical dualities concerning human beings;…

Think Twice Before You Use the Word ‘Culture’ Again

When we think of the word Culture, most often than not, we think of what I like to call the ‘container definition’ of culture. This ‘container definition’ of culture has become a more popular definition due to the constant misuse of the term in the over-generalized as well as over-essentialized mass media. The term ‘container…

The Awakening Introduction

“In this class we do not look at Samurais and Katanas!”, my first year Introduction to Japanese Culture class’ professor yelled as he introduced the students to Sociocultural Anthropology. For a self proclaimed Japanophile such as myself, this statement gave an immediate yet lasting sense of  regret as it left me dispirited and demotivated for my new undergraduate…