Tag: Politics and society

Does “Reasonable” = “Racist”?

Alma Gottlieb , April 26th, 2021


What can anthropology contribute to the critical conversation about race in America, following the welcome jury decision in the Derek Chauvin trial? After they amassed and presented a…


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Two Lessons I Learned about the Transfer of Power while Living in Africa

Alma Gottlieb , January 12th, 2021


1. The moment that any transfer of power occurs from one individual or regime to another is fraught—ritually, sociologically, emotionally. Why? This is a liminal period–“betwix…


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Long Past Time for the 25th Amendment*

Alma Gottlieb , January 6th, 2021


There will be plenty of time for Biden to use his extraordinary faith and energy and creativity to think about how this divided nation might be healed. For…


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What Anthropology Teaches Us about COVID-19, Part 2: An Optimist’s Scenario

Alma Gottlieb , March 19th, 2020


Here’s what I imagine could–and should–emerge from this viral nightmare. Locally, stranger-neighbors will (re)discover each other. Re-appreciate the bonds of co-residence. …


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When Women’s Laughter Keeps Men in Line

Alma Gottlieb , February 12th, 2019


Among the Mbendjele gathering-hunting people who live in the Republic of Congo, “women’s laughter manages to keep men in line.” Drawing from ethnographic research by Jerome Lewis, anthropo…


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Is History Over? How Can Power be Soft? Ask Ulf Hannerz

Alma Gottlieb , July 19th, 2017


  The end of history The clash of civilizations The coming anarchy Soft power We’ve all heard these trendy mottos, and most of us have probably cringed. Anthropologists…


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An Anthropologist at the Women’s March on Washington, Part 2: The Posters

Alma Gottlieb , March 1st, 2017


  Photo by Alma Gottlieb   Women (and some men) with signs, as far as the eye could see. In my first post about the Women’s March of…


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An Anthropologist at the Women’s March on Washington, Part 1: Finding Communitas, Feminist Style

Alma Gottlieb , January 23rd, 2017


(photo by Alma Gottlieb) The doors of our metro car opened and closed, opened and closed with increasingly alarming dysfunction.  On any other day, the many more dozens…


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An Open Letter to My Grandchildren

Alma Gottlieb , November 9th, 2016


Dear Dean and Mona,   At four years old and ten months old, you are both too young to understand why the grown-ups around you keep talking about…


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An Open Letter to My Children

Alma Gottlieb , November 9th, 2016


Dear Nathaniel and Hannah, I am sorry that my generation has failed you. We have bequeathed you a world that has too many problems, too much fear, and too much…


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It’s Never “Just a Symbol”

Alma Gottlieb , July 9th, 2016


Symbolic anthropologists, take note.  What’s in a symbol?  Everything, when it comes to politics.  Especially, election-year politics.  And especially when a major political candidate claims ign…


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Rethinking BDS

Alma Gottlieb , April 23rd, 2016


A shorter version of this post will soon appear online as a podcast, in coordination with the motion put to a vote among the membership of the American…


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Science and the National Interest

Alma Gottlieb , February 19th, 2016


Who should judge what counts as “worthy science”?  Who should judge what counts as “in the national interest”? New legislation just passed by the U.S. House of Representatives…


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