Maori chiefs were taboo'd from eating inside their houses, the Jewish Kohen (priests) couldn't handle dead bodies, and clerical classes across religious traditions have required celibacy -- does anyone know of any other examples of taboos on holy or religiously influential people? The cultures can range from contemporary big religions (e.g. Abrahamic) to the animism of small-scale societies - all examples are welcome!! THANKS!
I am trying to find some confirmation (or refutation) of the idea that at least in some contexts (schoolyard fisticuffs and other low-stakes, non-lethal brawls) the bloodying of one combatant's face is a kind of an "okay, the fight is over, we have a winner, everyone go home" signal. [more inside]
I recently learned that the panhandlers in my city (Cambridge, MA) often share their food when they get big items and it made me wonder - do homeless individuals often have explicit or implicit rules, like "share when you get food" or "the person who's been homeless the longest gets the best spot"? What do you think happens if people break the rule? I'm sure there's a lot of variation both within and between cities, but if anyone has any thoughts, I'd really appreciate it!
I have an original pet theory I came up with a long time ago involving the Internet and how people judge probability. It probably would fall into the anthropological, sociological or psychological fields. I'm not intending to make this post to discuss the theory itself as a sort of "let's b.s. back and forth about my idea" kind of thing. Reason I'm posting is because I'd like to know if this theory already exists or is an application of something broader that already exists. Maybe it's a theory being applied onto the communications medium of the Internet of some older theory in one of the above field(s) of study, or maybe it's a piecemeal construction of a few theories spliced together. Anyway, enough babbling, actual theory after the cut. [more inside]
I'm looking for academic-level writing on the ways that cities that are built on islands or peninsulas, or in geographically isolated areas, develop and behave differently from cities that are more easily and fully connected to other cities. This would be about the mindset and attitudes and not about urban planning or infrastructure. I'm thinking these may be anthropological or sociological studies. They may even just be a thought pieces or essays. I could swear I saw one that talked about Manhattan and Charleston, but I can't find it.
OK... I'm probably going to mangle this question, because I'm not a sociologist or anthropologist, or remotely knowledgeable in those fields. So, I'm probably using all my terms incorrectly. But, long story short - it's been my experience that most behaviors that laypeople, in casual conversation, call "human nature" are really just cultural phenomena. In other words - a behavior that someone from the United States thinks is "human nature" might be completely absent in another culture or society. It that's true - then it's not really "human behavior" at all. So - my question - is the tendency for kids in grade school to form cliques "human nature" - or a phenomena that's specific to certain (e.g., our) cultures? [more inside]
Are there any ethnographies of corporate culture that are primarily academic? [more inside]
Where can a fellow (who has access to online academic resources but is 1000mi+ from a quality academic library) get some hands-on advice for gathering data for social network analysis? Bonus substantive questions inside. [more inside]
A few years ago I landed on this idea of what I think may really be the perfect fun-and-interesting job for me: a textbook editor. But even more so with social studies content. How do I do it? [more inside]
Looking for books that revisit a person or groups of people at different points in their lives, a la the "Up" series by Michael Apted. [more inside]
This recent link on the blue reminded me how fascinating ethnography can be. Now I have a hankering for some well-written works of anthropology or sociology that offer insight on different people and different ways of life. Please recommend some good books for me! This is for "pleasure reading," so really dense jargon is a turn-off, but they don't need to be written for a popular audience.
What are the gripping must-reads in scientific sociology? What are sociological studies that really changed how we view certain cultures/groups etc? [more inside]
What are the best academic journals in each field? [more inside]
What is the most important scientific question of our time? [more inside]
What do we know about gregariousness in human behavior? [more inside]
What are the reasons for and against constitutionally requiring a specific national language? [more inside]
Are we a monogamous species? [more inside]
What have been the most important books in social science (including psychology, political science, sociology, anthropology, economics, "applied" social sciences like marketing, and so on) of the past 50 years?
Is there a version of this representing attitudes from people within the US about their neighboring states? [more inside]
Books about anthropology, psychology, sociology, modern rituals...I think. Can you point me in the right direction? [more inside]
What are the best essays, books, or scholarly articles regarding the social role of maps? Both pre- and post- web 2.0, google earth mash ups, and the like. I'm familiar with the Situationalist critique, but wonder where else to begin reading. [more inside]
When I was younger, I read a sociology textbook trying to find out why sociology was treated as a separate discipline and how it differs fundamentally from the other social sciences. I learned a lot about Weber and Durkheim, but I still don't get it. Can you help? [more inside]
Is there academic research that claims that viewing of advertising material a ritual of genderization? [more inside]
What's the difference between "society" and "culture"? [more inside]
Gravity/Life/SocietyFilter: So the Earth is all lumpy, with more or less gravity in some places. Has anyone ever corroborated it with life/social/world things? Many questions inside... [more inside]
In the U.S., we get all caught up in the decisions that adult women make and the consequences of those decisions. (To have children, not to have children, to work, to stay home with the children, not to work, to marry, to have children without marrying, etc.) Are there similar convulsions about these cultural issues in other countries, especially non-English speaking ones? How can I learn about them? I'm curious both about how women's roles in in their societies are changing and about how those societies are reacting to the changes.