Do old civilizational traditions still play a role in economic life today? In a new project, Overheating researcher Chris Hann wants to show that so-called civilizational analysis can give us new insights into the current political and economic crises - and maybe also solutions.
Aktuelle forskningssaker - Side 5
Robert Pijpers: social anthropologist and movie star in the making..?
Ten years after the civil war, life has come back to Lunsar in Sierra Leone. Anthropologist Robert Pijpers is talking with CEOs and motortaxi drivers about the current mining boom, the influx of new people and investments, and about the resettlement of entire villages.
Allow a short prelude. Early in my Australian fieldwork, I had the opportunity to sit in on a public consultation concerning the Queensland Government's plans for the Great Barrier Reef. Being considered a matter of national importance, the Federal government (Canberra) is also involved in these plans.
From dry desert to prospering boomtown: Welcome to El Pedregral
What are the side effects of extracting oil in the Canadian tar sands areas? – Before I came to Canada, I thought the environmental crisis was the most urgent. But I cannot say this anymore, says anthropologist Lena Gross.
In retrospect, it is easy to see that the opening of the Stuart Shale Oil plant was the beginning of the end for Targinnie as a living rural community.
Tensions are high in Subic Bay in the Philippines. The costs of Labour are among the lowest in Southeast Asia – something more and more foreign investors have come to exploit, says Elisabeth Schober, who is currently on fieldwork there.
In Sierra Leone, as well as in many developing and resource rich countries in the world, there is an increasingly important debate regarding local content: the use of local products and services by foreign investors.
The only way to leave Lac La Biche other than by private car are the overland buses. On some days they don’t show up, on some they are way too early, on most days they are late.
People in Colca Valley are organizing forums to discuss climate change, food security and a controversial dam and irrigation project, says Astrid Bredholt Stensrud, currently on fieldwork in the Peruvian Andes.
If we want to move towards ecological sustainability, we cannot ignore the life-worlds of people who make their living in the fossil fuel industry, says Thomas Hylland Eriksen, currently on fieldwork in the industrial town of Gladstone in Australia.
It has taken us several hundred million years to produce this compressed sunlight, and it has been the driving force of modern civilization for two hundred years. It cannot be eliminated without further ado, writes Thomas Hylland Eriksen.
Elephants clashing with human beings on their paddy fields, people dying from kidney failure, climatic uncertainty, increased jealousy leading to sorcery attacks, and the nearing end of small-scale farming: Results of a global crisis of desire?
A little while ago, I caught fifty slimy amphibians with my bare hands, put them into a sack and promptly delivered them to be killed in an industrial-sized freezer. My usually peaceful and animal-friendly self felt surprisingly pleased with itself for carrying out this act, which was intended to protect the lives of other animals.
Many things have changed in Chivay, but at the same time, it feels like it have just been a couple of days since I left.
Wherever there is change, there also seems to be disappointment.
‘It is the ugliest town in Australia; I think you should go there.’
China’s economic growth does not always benefit its national minorities. Instead, it strains ethnic relations.
On my 5th day in Subic Bay, we found a dead pig on the shore, buried in sand all the way up to its snout. The stray dogs had not gotten to it yet, and there was no smell, either. Just the sad, solemn sight of this animal that had been caught by the water, carried off into the sea, and then washed ashore on our beach. I could not stop staring at it, wondering about the people it had belonged to before its sudden death by drowning.
A discipline that is obsessed with cultural differences will be nothing but a burden to humanity, says Ronald Stade who is researching human waste and humans as waste in Ghana’s largest slum.
Social anthropologists are not only crossing disciplinary boundaries. They have also started studying other species.
Thomas Hylland Eriksen is getting ready for fieldwork close to The Great Barrier Reef that may be about to become a victim of Australia’s economic growth.
Our models for learning are inadequate. To solve humanity’s biggest crises we have to learn how to learn together in new ways, says Fred Steier who will be holding the next Overheating seminar.
More specific knowledge is not always the most imporant thing. What we really need is to train our mind to think outside the box. That's the aim of the second Bateson symposium at the University of Oslo, 11-12 september.