This article is part of the series:

If you spend any time in a psychiatric hospital in China, you will likely be struck by the fact that most of the inpatients there have been hospitalized against or regardless of their will, usually by their family members. In China, although families have long been involved in the lives of mentally ill patients, the ways in which they are …



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“It’s only Veria who can bathe our old mama,” remarked mama’s daughter-in-law with gentle amusement. “Because Veria is blind. You know how modest mama is. She doesn’t want anyone to see her private parts.” Veria’s devoted care for her mother extends far beyond bathing. Recently she decided that those who stay with mama were neglecting her. She collected the old …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: CRISPR Babies and Bioethics

In late November, He Jiankui, a scientist in China, announced that he had created the first “CRISPR babies,” meaning that he performed germ-line genome edits on human embryos, which were implanted through in vitro fertilization (IVF), and has now resulted the birth of twin girls. He used CRISPR-Cas9, a genome editing technology that can target DNA at precise


Risk is Your Business: Citizen Science after Fukushima

I began to sweat profusely when my Geiger counter registered a radiation level of 13 microsieverts per hour—a number that indicated a high level of radioactivity. Worried, I glanced at my guide, Mr. Kan’no. The latter seems unperturbed, replying with a wry smile: “See? I told you the radiation level would be high near the gate!” Mr. Kan’no is not …

In the Journals

In the Journals, December 2018

From the journals in December 2018, here’s some new reading for the first days of the new year. Enjoy!

Medicine Anthropology Theory (Open Access)

But are they actually healthier? Challenging the health/wellness divide through the ethnography of embodied ecological heritage (open access)
Kristina Baines

A holistic definition of ‘health’ remains difficult to operationalize, despite decades of attempts by …


Disability from the South: Toward a Lexicon

This article is part of the series:

In this series, we work to broaden the horizons of an emergent anthropology of disability[1] by taking two considerations as the starting point for a conversation. On the one hand, we respond to Jean and John Comaroff’s (2012) provocative call for “theory from the South,” or grounding the location of social theory-making outside dominant Euro-American spaces, assumptions, and priorities. On …

In the Journals

In the Journals, November 2018

Here are some highlights from last month’s journals. Enjoy!

American Ethnologist

Contractual dependencies: Disability and the bureaucracy of begging in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (open access)
Clara Devlieger

One of the most conspicuous livelihood strategies for physically disabled people in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, is a particular style of begging known locally as “doing documents.” Confronted with the …