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American Anthropological Association
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Founded in 1902, the American Anthropological Association (AAA) is the world's largest organization of individuals interested in anthropology. The purposes of the Association shall be to advance anthropology as the science that studies humankind in all its aspects through archaeological, biological, ethnological, and linguistic research; and to further the professional interests of American anthropologists, including the dissemination of anthropological knowledge and its use to solve human problems. Visit us at

AAA encourages members to contribute to this blog space. Views and opinions within the posts are that of the authors and are not the official Association position.

Entries by American Anthropological Association

The Middle Class (Thinks It) Knows Best: Daring to Intervene in Disadvantaged Households

(5) Comments | Posted February 11, 2015 | 4:31 PM

Written by Susan D. Blum, Lizzie Fagen, Kathleen C. Riley

In a recent New Yorker article, Margaret Talbot discusses Providence Talks, a project designed to address the so-called "language gap" that, according to 30-year-old research claims, is directly related to an "achievement gap" at school. Generalizing from data...

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Research in the Public Interest

(2) Comments | Posted January 16, 2015 | 5:41 PM

Written by Jeffrey H. Altschul, President, Society for American Archaeology and Monica Heller, President, American Anthropological Association

In a recent editorial published on Politico's website, Senator Rand Paul (R-TN) and Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) argue that public funds should only be used on "the...

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This Holiday Season Let's Replace Disparaging Slurs

(1) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 12:51 PM

Written by Netta Avineri, Ph.D. and Bernard Perley, Ph.D.

'Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.' Not true. Words have power.

We've all been on the receiving end of name-calling by insensitive childhood classmates. Some of us, however, have endured decades -- and some...

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Gloria Steinem vs. Prostitution in India

(1) Comments | Posted November 28, 2014 | 6:45 PM

Written by Svati Shah

When Gloria Steinem went to India earlier this year, she documented her trip in a series of articles in the New York Times's (NYT) India Ink column. They were full of Steinem's revelations about the existence of feminism in India, and creatively described white guilt as...

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Congratulations to Anthropologist Ashraf Ghani, Afghanistan's New President

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2014 | 4:47 PM

Written by Dr. Edward Liebow, Executive Director of the American Anthropological Association

The American Anthropological Association extends its warm congratulations to Dr. Ashraf Ghani, the newly elected president of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Dr. Ghani, who has formed a unity government with his electoral opponent, Dr. Abdullah...

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Changing Our Response to Behavioral Health

(0) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 10:33 AM

Written by Jennie M. Simpson

Robin Williams's death has saddened and shocked many of us, and as the many displays of mourning through social media indicate, Williams's death has deeply touched so many and brought to the fore much needed conversations about mental illness. Through his diverse work and career,...

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An Experiment 'Goes Wild' in Kenya: Locally-Run Conservancies Are Meeting the Needs of Wildlife, Livestock, and People

(2) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 2:33 PM

Written by Kathleen A. Galvin and Robin Reid

A revolution is occurring in Kenya. Or perhaps 'transformation' better fits. What's happening is an explosion in the number (and fast-growing maturity) of community-based wildlife 'conservancies' in Kenya, which, although famous for its wildlife 'parks' and tourist businesses, has been losing its...

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Love Bite: Why Uruguayans Revere Luis Suárez

(0) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 6:48 PM

Written by Daniel Renfrew

For many soccer fans around the world, Uruguay superstar Luis Suárez's televised chomp on the shoulder of Italy's Giorgio Chiellini in what has been dubbed "the bite heard 'round the world" has marred an otherwise mesmerizing World Cup in Brazil. People have expressed incredulity: how could...

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The Civilizing Act of 1964

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2014 | 1:27 PM

Written by Dr. A. Lynn Bolles

Just a mere 50 years ago, the US Congress produced a landmark piece of legislation, the Civil Rights Act of 1964. What made this law remarkable was that it outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin in a country that...

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Brazilian Football as a Means of Reflecting Upon Brazilian Society

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 7:00 PM

Written by Benjamin Penglase

The massive protests that broke out in Brazil last year during the Confederations Cup soccer tournament caught everyone by surprise. Images of police firing tear gas and rubber bullets at peaceful protestors outside stadiums grabbed the world's attention and raised a series of questions. Why were...

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Concealment and Recognition at the 2014 FIFA World Cup

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2014 | 5:51 PM

Written by Joshua D. Rubin

To many in Brazil and the wider sporting world, the opening match of the FIFA World Cup was like a breath of fresh air. With the touch of a ball, years of anxious debate, furious social and infrastructural transformation, and political protest will suddenly...

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Forgetting the 9/11 Victims

(1) Comments | Posted June 10, 2014 | 2:34 PM

By Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh

In that terrible moment on that bright September morning, when the Twin Towers collapsed, thousands of pounds of steel became entwined with the lives of nearly 2,749 victims, the billowing dust that rained over lower Manhattan intermixed with the ashes of bodies cremated in an instant. Although...

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Ritual on Steroids: Staging the World Cup in Brazil

(0) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 8:14 PM

Written by Werner Krauss

Structural anthropology has been good at explaining sports as a social context for belonging: my soccer club, my national team. Events like World Cups or Olympic Games made sense of a global world inhabited by a united humanity, simultaneously exhibiting and transcending differences of race, class,...

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Review of A Troublesome Inheritance

(1) Comments | Posted May 14, 2014 | 1:37 PM

Written by Dr. Jonathan Marks (UNC - Charlotte)

Nicholas Wade is one of the premier science journalists in America, and an avid promoter of molecular genetics, particularly as applied to anthropological questions. A discussion of his new book about genetics and anthropology, "A Troublesome Inheritance" should probably begin...

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Vote for the Other Guy

(0) Comments | Posted May 2, 2014 | 12:26 PM

Written by Michael French Smith

I have encountered many unfamiliar things as a cultural anthropologist in Papua New Guinea (PNG), but none as unfamiliar as politicians urging people to vote for their opponents. PNG became an independent country with a parliamentary government fewer than 40 years ago. But PNG politicians...

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Crimea: Russian Aggression or Realpolitik?

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2014 | 7:01 PM

Written by Rick Feinberg

The crisis of the year -- at least so far -- is Russia's annexation of Crimea. Roundly condemned by both the U.S. and EU, it has been likened to Hitler's invasion of Sudetenland and Poland. Commentators across the political spectrum have denounced it as naked aggression...

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Peer Review Is Time-Tested to Withstand Political Fashion Trends

(1) Comments | Posted March 11, 2014 | 4:42 PM

By Dr. Ed Liebow, Executive Director, American Anthropological Association

Expert peer review is the best way to judge research proposals and their scientific merit. It is time-tested to withstand political fashion trends and to bring to the forefront the most promising scholarship. Expert peer review helps determine what public investments...

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An Anthropologist Looks at the United States

(0) Comments | Posted February 21, 2014 | 4:11 PM

Written by Dr. Laura Nader

In 1949 Harvard anthropologist Clyde Kluckhohn published his prize winning book A Mirror for Man. In his book, Kluckhohn has a chapter "An Anthropologist Looks at the United States." Anthropologists had worked in the WWII war efforts on many geographic fronts and Kluckhohn himself was...

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Mourning for Syria's Cultural Heritage

(5) Comments | Posted February 14, 2014 | 11:45 AM

Written by Dr. Sandra Lorena Lopez Varela

Last week, I watched the The Square, nominated to this year's 86th Academy Award for Best Documentary. Back in January 2011, when millions of Egyptians gathered at Tahir Square to demand the fall of President Hosnik Mubarak's regime, and violent clashes erupted, I...

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12 Years a Slave and the Questioning of Race

(0) Comments | Posted February 7, 2014 | 1:53 PM

By Raymond Codrington

Given that it is awards season, the spotlight is on the Oscars. Best picture nominated, 12 Years a Slave, created a large amount of buzz from movie goers and critics alike with its framing of capitalism, its director's lens on slavery, and the long standing tensions around...

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