Why George Floyd Matters

With all due respect and no malice intended but the George Floyd murder is not the first time African American men have been wrongfully brutalized and killed by the police in the United States. Even more striking, the graphic violence displayed on video for the world to see of an African American man and a […]

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Pandemics: Agents of Global Change – Part 2

The Economic and Commercial Impact of Pandemics: By now, the COVID-19 influenza outbreak has reached practically all parts of the globe. In the context of discussing the pandemic, it serves no purpose to focus on the fact that scientists, medical professionals, public health experts and a handful of concerned economic institutions and businessmen have been […]

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Pandemics: agents of global change

It was the early 1990s, while working at the American College of Physicians in Philadelphia, I became interested in epidemiology. With all the doctors around (there were twelve different medical sub-specialties at ACP), it was not hard to be impressed with their serious demeanor about medicine but more important – their extraordinary knowledge. Some years […]

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Cultural Critique: Anthropological – by Keith Hart

Cultural critique, the use of anthropology to draw critical attention to institutions that readers take for granted, is as old as the origins of the modern discipline. It was a major purpose of Boas’s students, especially Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict. Its antecedents range from modernism to the critical theory of the Frankfurt School and […]

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The Subjugation of Liberal Democracy

Are we witnessing in our lifetime the slow destruction of liberal democracy? Have we exhausted the limits of a political system that has served nations for more than a century? These are questions many of us probably never thought we would face. But here we are faced with the hard to imagine reality that the […]

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anthropology, social, cultural, ethnography, ethnology, social anthropology, cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, urban anthropology, visual anthropology, , anthropology documentaries, anthropology lectures, anthropology, online courses, perspective in anthropology

Religious Colonizing in Brazil

After Bolsonaro was elected President of Brazil, I sort of lost the desire to write anything more about the country. As a gringo living in Brazil for more than twelve years, I had the opportunity to witness the changes the Lula administration brought to Brazil, the impeachment of Dilma Rouseff and the openly corrupt Temer […]

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anthropology, social, cultural, ethnography, ethnology, social anthropology, cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, urban anthropology, visual anthropology, , anthropology documentaries, anthropology lectures, anthropology, online courses, perspective in anthropology

The Collapse of Societies

By now, the entire world is aware of the historic and unprecedented events occurring in the United States.  It seems trite to characterize these events as an aberration that will soon pass over. Even more striking, it seems these events will have far-reaching, long-term, damaging effects on not only the Constitution of the United States […]

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Agriculture in Human Evolution – by Keith Hart

In his Discourse on the Origins and Foundations of Inequality among Men (1754) Jean-Jacques Rousseau was concerned, not with individual variations in natural endowments, but with the artificial inequalities of wealth, honour and the capacity to command obedience that he derived from social convention. In order to construct a model of human equality, he imagined […]

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anthropology, social, cultural, ethnography, ethnology, social anthropology, cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, urban anthropology, visual anthropology, , anthropology documentaries, anthropology lectures, anthropology, online courses, perspective in anthropology

Filtered Realities

In order to proceed, we must first acknowledge the more than three decades of work by a man who has been sounding the alarm concerning the dangers of media organizations manipulating information for the purpose of influencing opinions and behaviors. His name is Noam Chomsky and his two ground-breaking books, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy […]

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The Mueller Report: Highlights

The Mueller Report is probably one of the most extensive legal investigations in the history of the United States. Certainly, the circumstances necessitating it are historic and unprecedented in American political documentary. Even more striking, the idea that someone elected to the office of the President of the United States would so openly abuse power […]

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The Horror of War – Part 2

It was Christmas Eve and it just so happened that I pulled guard duty. The post I was assigned to was a 30-foot tower that stood facing toward the Bien Hoa Airport. At night, you could see the large flood lights and the air traffic controller tower clearly from that position. I had pulled guard […]

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anthropology, social, cultural, ethnography, ethnology, social anthropology, cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, urban anthropology, visual anthropology, , anthropology documentaries, anthropology lectures, anthropology, online courses, perspective in anthropology

The Horror of War – Part 1

  With all the violence in the world and the ever growing movement of mankind toward more violence, it appears there is always a war somewhere in the world. It occurred to me that since ancient times politicians always create wars, generals manage wars, and soldiers fight them.  Now, setting aside the economic advantages of […]

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anthropology, social, cultural, ethnography, ethnology, social anthropology, cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, urban anthropology, visual anthropology, , anthropology documentaries, anthropology lectures, anthropology, online courses, perspective in anthropology

An Anthropologist in the World Revolution – Pt. 1 by Keith Hart

Michael Wesch, an assistant professor of cultural anthropology at Kansas State University, well-known for his inspiring YouTube lectures and documentary shorts, has received over a hundred applications for his graduate course in ‘digital ethnography’ from around the world.1 The only problem: no such course exists. Wesch teaches undergraduates and has organized a ‘digital ethnography working group’ […]

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The Real Race Problem – Part 2

On the eve of the one-hundred and eighth anniversary of W.E.B. Du Bois’ newspaper The Crisis, we are presenting, in its entirety, a lecture from the distinguished anthropologist, mentor and head of the Anthropology Department at Columbia University for many years – Dr. Franz Boas on the subject of the “race” problem. THE REAL RACE […]

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anthropology, social, cultural, ethnography, ethnology, social anthropology, cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, urban anthropology, visual anthropology, , anthropology documentaries, anthropology lectures, anthropology, online courses, perspective in anthropology

The Real Race Problem – Part 1

  On the eve of the one-hundred and eighth anniversary of W.E.B. Du Bois’ newspaper The Crisis, we are presenting, in its entirety, a lecture from the distinguished anthropologist, mentor and head of the Anthropology Department at Columbia University for many years – Dr. Franz Boas on the subject of the “race” problem. THE REAL […]

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The Culture of Corruption

Many of us know that political corruption is not new to the world. It is an unsavory, human practice with a history that extends far back into ancient times, countries, and rulers. Unlike modern times, there were no checks and balances of power then and rulers were free to rule however they saw fit. During […]

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Teaching Anthropology in 2018

Recently, a colleague contacted me with a very interesting and specific question. At the time, I was on the road and too busy to address his inquiry. I asked him to hold on until I had time to think about how to approach the question. After some thought, I decided to respond by penning this […]

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There’s Something in the Water

A recent death in the family necessitated a return to the United States after living abroad for the past ten years. A family member in Miami has a large home, so I stayed there for six months while handling family business. From the very beginning, I noticed a slight discoloration in the tap water in […]

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The Struggle for Power by Keith Hart

  Book Review: The Rise and Fall of Nations: Ten Rules of Change in the Post-Crisis World by Ruchir Sharma, London: Allen Lane, 2016; pp 464, £25. Ruchir Sharma grew up between Mumbai,  Delhi  and  Singapore. He entered the world of international investment in the early 1990s as a specialist in emerging markets. He has […]

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Anthropology and the New Human Universal by Keith Hart

World society today resembles nothing so much as the eighteenth century ancient régime that Kant had every reason to believe had been abolished by revolution. Now a rich, aging white minority inured to luxuries unimaginable two centuries ago presides over masses whose passivity is measured by their lack of spending power (Hart 2002). The institutional […]

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anthropology, social, cultural, ethnography, ethnology, social anthropology, cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, urban anthropology, visual anthropology, , anthropology documentaries, anthropology lectures, anthropology, online courses, perspective in anthropology

Gun Violence in American Schools

  There is something terribly wrong going on in American schools today. A silent epidemic is spreading throughout the country like a cancer. What does it say about a society when children and adolescents can get their hands on military grade weapons, somehow get them into their schools and gun down dozens of fellow classmates […]

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