Shifting Perspective: The Efficiency Trap

A few months ago I wrote about the privilege of having the time and money to make homemade bread. I haven’t stopped thinking about the changes that have occurred in the world, and in modern capitalist culture in particular, that have made what used to be a basic daily task into something we no longer… Continue reading

Shifting Perspective: House and Home

Several weeks ago I impulsively started looking online at local houses for sale and began fantasizing about owning property again. In 2011, I walked away from the condo I’d purchased in 2005 for $196,000 because it had dropped in value to somewhere around $40,000. So with a foreclosure on my record, and a deliberate one… Continue reading

(R)anthropology Class: The Culture of Religion

It is no secret to my students that I am an atheist. It usually comes up early in my classes when I have to talk about cultural universals like religion, or when I have to explain why I don’t teach intelligent design (the secret code name for Christian creationism). I am also quick to reassure them… Continue reading

Brandwashing

Raise your hand if you’ve never heard of breast cancer. How about AIDS? Do heart disease, leukemia, or diabetes ring a bell? You may not have been aware of ALS, or amylotrophic lateral sclerosis, until recently… although you probably have heard of its common name, Lou Gehrig’s disease. What about domestic violence? Are you just… Continue reading

Shifting Perspective: Word Power

Consider the following brief life histories of two 18-year-olds: A was a sullen, withdrawn child. She seemed predisposed to depression early in life, and caused her parents concern when she would run through their house claiming she was being chased by invisible monsters. She had school friends, but at different times in her young life… Continue reading