Books

Johan Asplund’s The Elementary Forms of Social Life

This article is part of the series:

Det sociala livets elementara formerDet sociala livets elementära former [The Elementary Forms of Social Life]

by Johan Asplund

Bokförlaget Korpen, 1987/2000, 268 pages.

 

Johan Asplund, whose work has been rather underrepresented in the international academic arena, is frequently seen as the “father” of contemporary Swedish social psychology. Remarkably productive, Asplund gained popularity in the 1970–1980s, and his books are still widely used in …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Accidents and myths

What role do accidents play in determining our lives and histories? What, even, is an accident? How does something come to be thought of as “accidental”? This month’s Web Roundup features stories on accidents and their aftermath.

Starting us off, Slate has an excellent article about Phineas Gage, the most famous patient of neurosurgery ever. For those who don’t …

Books

Anne Allison’s Precarious Japan

Precarious Japan

by Anne Allison

Duke University Press, 2013. 246 pages

 

The March 11, 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear disaster in Northern Japan illuminated and deepened a sense of vulnerability for people across the nation that, as Anne Allison argues in Precarious Japan, significantly predated this “triple disaster.” Author of three other major books on the cultural …

Features

Vitamin

Discussing a failed arctic expedition of the late 1700s, Keith Gessen reminds us that the team had wooden boats, wildly inaccurate maps, and “didn’t know what a vitamin was.”[i]  Now, four Nobel Prizes later, we are in the 101st Year of the Vitamin. The word, derived from “vital” because vitamins are required for life, yields 104,000,000 Google search …

Books

Seth Holmes’ Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies

Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States

by Seth Holmes

Foreword by Philippe Bourgois

University of California Press, 2013. 264 pages; US$ 27.95, paperback

 

Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies is an absolute must-read for anyone interested in food and the food system, and the ethics, politics, and human consequences that are a part of how stuff gets …

Features

From disability stigma to disability value: Notes from research on disability in urban India

I am a medical anthropologist who researches deaf and disabled peoples’ social, moral, and economic practices in urban India. When speaking with colleagues and friends in the United States and elsewhere, I am invariably asked about the existence of stigma in India and whether deaf or disabled people are treated as stigmatized. People also ask me about pollution and if …