Concepts in Linguistic Anthropology: Language Ideology, New Chinglish

Q) What is language ideology and what are its main features? What kind of linguistic ideologies are at play in the debates about New Chinglish? Paul V. Kroskrity defines “language ideologies” as the “beliefs, feelings, and conceptions about language structure and use, which often index the political-economic interests of individual speakers, ethnic and other interest groups, and the nation-state." (2015,... Continue Reading →

The Nature of Culture

I would like to start with the question: Can there be multiple truths? Or is truth supposed to be one, as in 'The Truth'? Well, according to cultural anthropology, your truth is not the only truth. What I consider as true, moral or taboo could be completely different from your understanding. And so many factors... Continue Reading →

A Critique of Mill’s Harm Principle

If we ask the question “How would a society’s happiness be maximized?”, John Stuart Mill, an advocate of utilitarianism, would answer “by defending personal freedom of the individuals”. In fact, his commitment to following a utilitarian approach to forming an ideal society is the reason for his attempts of defending individual liberty in his book... Continue Reading →

AI “Revolution”?

We all know that phrases such as “Artificial Intelligence”, “Machine Learning” and “Data Science” have become buzzwords thrown in every corner. Surely today is the era of Artificial Intelligence with the emergence of Big Data and with the leap in computation power. Perhaps, we are going through a revolution, a technical revolution, that will be... Continue Reading →

Fear Opposed to Illusive Power

Consider whether Machiavelli’s idea that it is better for a ruler to be feared than loved applies to contemporary politics. Does the emergence of democracy in many parts of the world alter this equation? If so, how so? If not, why not?  When the two words ‘fear’ and ‘love’ come together in a sentence, it... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Politics of Piety / Saba Mahmood

Mahmood, S. (2012). Politics of piety: the islamic revival and the feminist subject. Princeton: Princeton University Press.  This thought-provoking yet complicated book is a groundbreaking analysis of the complex relationship between religious practices and beliefs of (some) Muslim women and modern secular liberal discourses on feminism and other issues. The ethnography, published in 2004 by... Continue Reading →

Book Review: Political Leadership among Swat Pathans / Fredrik Barth

Barth, Fredrik. Political Leadership among Swat Pathans. 1st Pbk. Ed. with Corrections ed. London: Athlone, 1965. Print. Monographs on Social Anthropology ; No. 19.  This fascinating yet terrifyingly complex ethnography, published in 1959, is about the Pashto-speaking people (Pathans) of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border area called Swat. Fredrik Barth claims the main purpose of his study... Continue Reading →

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